Kelly, Parrish, Prince Meet with Media as Rebels Prepare for Liberty
OXFORD, Miss. — When Ole Miss football players Casey Kelly, Henry Parrish Jr. and Deantre Prince met with media following Tuesday’s practice, it was evident that the 24-hour rule has passed and all attention is geared towards going 1-0 this weekend. While certain concerns remain relevant from last week, it is something that can be overcome. Case in point: adjustments.
Matt Corral went down briefly Saturday with an injury before succeeding backup quarterback Luke Altmyer during their next offensive series. Despite that, the Rebels were largely one-dimensional with struggles in the run game, finishing with a team total of 157 yards. Parrish acknowledged Tuesday that there was a lack of focus, but knows what it takes to get back on track.
“Kevin Smith harps on the details every day. We have to keep progressing in there. Mainly just the details, the key points and where we need to be to make the plays go,” Parrish said. “That’s the main thing coaches are talking about this week. It’s going to be in our hands this week. We just have to prepare really well and go execute.”
In the receiving game, a pair of walk-ons in Kelly and Jahcour Pearson were the bright spots. Kelly had a career-high with 81 yards on seven catches from the starting tight end spot. According to Kelly, the mental game partially allowed him to have the night he had.
“I’ve always kind of envisioned myself making plays,” Kelly said. “It’s kind of a thing I do in my free time. I think of who I’m going to block, when I’m going to catch the ball, where in the void in the defense am I going to catch…When you go out there, it’s like second nature because you’ve done it so many times.”
Kelly will look to have a similar mindset against a Liberty team coached by a familiar face. Flames head coach and former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze used to see Kelly around the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center when Kelly’s older brother, Chad Kelly was playing quarterback for the Rebels in 2015 and 2016.
“I know him well, when Chad was here and stuff like that,” Casey Kelly said. “I came in here when I visited Chad and he’d be in here all day watching film.”
When scouting the Flames, Prince noticed the same intangibles teammate AJ Finley shared about Liberty quarterback Malik Willis in Monday’s media availability. In both cases, it simply came down to containment.
“He has a great arm and has great ability with his feet. We just have to contain him while also making sure we stay in coverage and that he does get any deep shots or get the runs he wants.”
Saturday’s home non-conference matchup with Liberty set for 11 a.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network or listened to on the Ole Miss Radio Network.