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November 16, 2013

Notes: Brunetti not just a run threat

Bo Wallace talks to media following Saturday's 51-21 win over Troy.

OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss has gained more than 500 yards of total offense four games in a row and broke the school record with 751 yards on Saturday.

Many different players are responsible for the string of standout performances, but a new weapon has taken shape in recent weeks.
Barry Brunetti is no longer considering just a runner when he comes in at quarterback. The senior completed 3 of 4 passes against the Trojans while also putting up 47 yards on the ground. He completed 50 percent of his passes against Arkansas last week and was 7 of 7 against Idaho.

"They're giving me more options to go ahead and throw," Brunetti said. "It helps out now because it puts the defense on its heels. When I come in they can't just check to a run defense. Now they don't know what's going on. It helps me when I do run because they don't know if it's a run or pass."

Still effective in the red zone, Brunetti has also shown deep-ball potential in recent weeks.

"I'm thankful for it," Brunetti said. "I thank Coach Freeze for the chance to throw. I never lost confidence because I know what kind of arm I have. I knew the whole time I could throw. God blessed me with a good arm, but I wasn't making throws I knew I could make. Now I am."

BRYANT BACK TO FULL SPEED: Serderius Bryant suffered a concussion against Texas A&M and has admitted being hesitant at times after his return, but it's now a non factor.

Bryant had three tackles on Saturday, two behind the line of scrimmage. He also had a sack and a forced fumble.

"Coaches aren't throwing me out there as fast, can't get another concussion because I'd be out for the season," Bryant said. "I feel good, and I'm coming along."

SCOTT RETURNS: Jeff Scott returned to the lineup Saturday and picked up where he left off, rushing 11 times for 54 yards and catching two passes for 25. It was Scott's first action since leaving the Texas A&M game early with a thigh injury.

"I just wanted to makes sure he feels like he's back," Freeze said. "Today, after his last carry when I told him he was done, I said, 'Tell me how it feels.' He said, 'I just felt rusty. I didn't feel crisp, but I'm not in pain.' I think it was good that he got in some today and maybe knocked the rust off and can be back to his old self next week."

NKEMDICHE SHINES: Robert Nkemdiche had four tackles and a quarterback sack Saturday, looking more healthy than he has since injuring a hamstring a month ago against Texas A&M.

"It appeared he played one of his better games," Freeze said. "I'll have to look at the film and see what he did assignment-wise, but it did appear he played better."

REBEL RAMBLINGS: Safety Cody Prewitt did not play defense in the first quarter, apparently the result of a violation of the Rebels' class attendance policy. …Tight end Nick Parker drew the first start of his career. …Ole Miss established a school record with 751 yards of total offense, eclipsing the previous record of 623 against Auburn in 1951. …Ole Miss' 751 yards is the highest in the SEC this year and the fifth-most in league history. …Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had four catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns and set Ole Miss freshman records for receiving yards (477) and touchdowns (5) in a season. …Quarterback Bo Wallace passed both Jevan Snead and John Fourcade to move into fourth place in school history in career passing yards (5,658) and passed Kent Austin to move into fourth place in career total offense yards (6,280). …Freshman wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo caught his first career touchdown pass, a 24-yarder from Wallace. …Freshman Mark Dodson Jr. rushed for the first touchdown of his career, a fourth-quarter 1-yard plunge. …Ole Miss held Troy to minus-13 rushing yards, the first time an opponent has failed to break even since Mississippi State in 2008. …Sophomore cornerback Carlos Davis led Ole Miss with a career-high six tackles. …Sophomore cornerback Mike Hilton recorded his first career interception.

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