Thursday, August 30, 2012
Bo Wallace set to start for Ole Miss Saturday
By Edward Aschoff
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has made a decision on his quarterback battle.
After sleeping on it Wednesday night, the first-year coach named junior college transfer Bo Wallace his starting quarterback for Saturday's opener against Central Arkansas. Wallace, who arrived in Oxford this spring, beat out junior Barry Brunetti, who transferred to Ole Miss last year from West Virginia.
Wallace actually spent a year with Freeze at Arkansas State before going the juco route at East Mississippi Community College, where he threw for 4,604 yards and 53 touchdowns last season.
Wallace spent the first part of spring with an edge at the quarterback position, but as spring progressed, Brunetti caught up and the two entered the summer tied for the starting spot. However, Wallace had a much more productive fall camp, so it should come as no surprise that he took the starting spot. He's more familiar with Freeze's offense and he's considered a better passer than Brunetti.
This has to be a tough pill for Brunetti to swallow. He was named Ole Miss' starter heading into last season, only to lose it before the opening game even finished. Later in the season, he got his spot back, but had to learn yet another offense this spring. He felt very confident about where he stood in the competition this summer, but just didn't do enough this fall.
Both quarterbacks struggled with consistency this spring and fall, so there still has to be a little concern with the quarterback spot. But now that the competition is over, the offense can concentrate on molding itself around one guy. That will help with comfort and chemistry -- two things Ole Miss' offense desperately needs.