Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Carver Rayburn0
Local Athletics Bulletin: Grove Bowl and Bianco Ball
Grove Bowl Provides Lots of Questions
Spring practice concluded with the Grove Bowl on Saturday, April, 11th. It was Red versus Blue, with the victors receiving a steak and the defeated allowed to eat hot dogs.
In the end, Chad Kelly led the Blue Squad to a 17-7 victory. Going into the spring Ole Miss had one major question: Who will be the starting quarterback? Will it be dual threat DeVante Kincade, could it be Jackson Prep product Ryan Buchanan, or will it be the transfer “Swag” Kelly?
“My mind will go back and forth from drill to drill,” said Head Coach Hugh Freeze. “Going into today [Saturday] I would say Ryan [Buchanan] had a lead, but that certainly doesn’t mean he will be the starter.”
Buchanan struggled during the game, going five for sixteen on his passes, with 49 yards and one interception. On the flip side Kelly and Kincade showed out. Kelly went 9 for 19 for 104 yards and a touchdown. Kincade went 9 for 18 for 93 yards and added 50 rushing yards on ten rushing attempts.
“We chart every throw, and at one point all three of them [Kelly, Buchanan, and Kincade] were throwing for 66%,” said Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner on how close the quarterback race is. “Each one of them has something that they do a little bit better than the others.”
The one shining light in the receiving core on Saturday was Washington transfer Damore’ea Stringfellow. Stringfellow, who redshirted last season, had three catches for 98 yards and hauled in a 66 yard touchdown catch.
“We are going to shake out of it, they’re going to be fine,” Freeze said. “With the exception of two guys, there have only been a few working everyday with the quarterbacks due to injuries and hopefully that has something to do with it.”
Ole Miss produced one of, if not the best defenses in the country last year. A lot of that had to do with Ole Miss’ dominant secondary. However, the team lost All-Americans Cody Prewitt and Senquez Golson to graduation. Their replacements are a pair of JUCO defensive backs. The first being Tee Shepard, who signed in 2014 but redshirted last season because of injury. Then next is Tony Bridges, who was the top JUCO defensive back in the 2015 class.
“Our defense revolves around what those safeties, husky, rover, free safeties can do,” said defensive coordinator Matt Womack. “Thought there was a lot of improvement in that area, and I’m confident we will have a nice unit next year.”
At the end of the day everyone was a winner because nobody got hurt. The fans got to bring their families out and everyone got to see a sneak peak of the 2015 Ole Miss Rebels. After last football season, expectations are high.
This team looks to be able to handle it. Man, is it going to be a long four months to August.
A ninth-inning grand slam and eventual series win proved to give the Olemaha Rebels a boost of confidence after taking a series at No. 1 Vanderbilt. The Rebels are now 5-4 against No. 1 ranked teams this year.
Ole Miss Baseball senior Scott Weathersby was named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Monday, April 13. The right-handed reliever earns the accolade for the first time in his career after a brilliant performance against No. 1 Vanderbilt.
Weathersby tossed a career-long six innings of relief to pick up the win, striking out a career-high 10 batters to help Ole Miss knock off the top-ranked Commodores in 16 innings. He retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced, giving up just two hits and issuing one walk to keep Vanderbilt off the scoreboard in extra innings. The senior captain pitched out of a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the bottom of the 11th to keep the Rebels alive, striking out two and forcing a flyout to send the game to the 12th. After Ole Miss got the go-ahead run in the top of the 16th, Weathersby sent the final two batters of the game down on strikes to cap off the come-from-behind victory.
The Rebels, have been a team of ups and downs this year, but continue to find their niche under Bianco. Don’t Call it a Comeback, We’ve Been Here for Years. Ole Miss is now 21-20 on the season and ranked No. 27 in the RPI Poll According to: WARREN