Houston’s Nuts

Living somewhat close to Oxford, I hear a lot of talk about Ole Miss football. The news is not good. I’ve struggled to understand the coaching decisions made by Houston Nutt regarding the Ole Miss quarterback position ever since he brought in Jeremiah Masoli from Oregon last season.

They had a guy named Nathan Stanley who started the first game last year, threw 3 touchdowns but fumbled once in a win and after that, he hardly ever saw the field again. Stanley transferred at the end of the season and we all saw how Masoli and Ole Miss fared last year.

This off season, Coach Nutt brought in two quarterbacks in Barry Brunetti, a West Virginia transfer (and Memphis native) along with Juco transfer Zack Stoudt. Add redshirt junior Randall Mackey into the mix and the resulting fierce QB competition throughout the off season was the hot topic out of Oxford all summer long.

Then, inexplicably, Brunetti was mentioned as being the leader when it was assumed by most that Mackey had the inside track. All of this proved moot when Mackey was suspended for the first game after getting arrested and Brunetti was named the starter.

Against BYU, Brunetti looked horrible and was replaced by Zack Stoudt, who came in and made a few nice plays. Stoudt was named the starter for week 2 and has assumed that role since, with Randall Mackey coming in from time to time to run a few plays. Stoudt threw five interceptions against Vanderbilt.

“I’ve never felt that way on a sideline, ever,” Nutt told reporters after the game. “I just didn’t have that confidence we were going to move the ball and make first downs like I normally do. We just looked bad. Really bad.”

What is it that Nutt is sometimes referred to as? “The Quarterback Killer”? It’s like he knows the quarterback position exists and that, technically, it has a function in the game of football. But damn if he can make hide nor hair of it. It’s like he’s playing Chess with Checkers pieces. No, actually, it’s like he’s playing Chess with a two potatoes and a turnip.

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