BLOG: Ole Miss’ annual spring football game ended up being a deadlock on Saturday afternoon at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.The Red, led by quarterback Randall Mackey, overcame a 17-7 deficit at the half to force a 17-17 tie with the Blue, who was led by quarterback Barry Brunetti. An estimated crowd of 12,000 saw the two mobile quarterbacks display their talent for the first time in mass and the results were productive for the most part.
Mackey was 9-for-18 for 151 yards and one touchdown, while Brunetti was 12-for-21 for 211 yards and two scores. Both threw interceptions, with Brunetti throwing two to Red defenders. Zack Stoudt, a junior college transfer that was involved in the competition to become the starter in 2011, was held out of Saturday’s game for violation of team rules stemming from him walking out of a class.
Mackey’s TD pass came with 5:27 left in the first quarter when he found Terrell Grant on a 14-yard strike. The Blue was able to tie the game later in the quarter when Brunetti capped a nine-play, 70-yard scoring drive with a 5-yard pass to Ja-Mes Logan.
RB Korvic Neat put the Blue ahead for the first time in the contest with just 3:44 left before halftime when he scored on a 90-yard pass from Brunetti. The Blue then made the score 17-7 with 50 seconds remaining in the first half with a 23-yard field goal from Andrew Ritter. The five-play, 53-yard drive was set up thanks to a 47-yard pass play from Brunetti to Vincent Sanders.
The Red got back on the scoreboard at the 4:35 mark of the third quarter with a 22-yard field goal from Bryson Rose. The drive lasted 13 plays covered 75 yards. The highlight of the drive was a 21-yard completion from Mackey to Layton Jones that garnered a first down. Mackey also hit Logan for a 13-yard gain on another third down situation to keep the drive moving.
Red’s final score of the game came with 10:30 left in the contest when Devin Thomas rushed for a 1-yard TD. Thomas ended up leading all rushers with 92 yards on 17 carries.
Both teams each had another couple of chances to break the tie, but neither offense was able to produce enough positive plays to get into the red zone for any easier shot at a touchdown or field goal. The closest either team got to scoring was when a 44-yard field goal from Ritter missed wide left.
Brishen Mathews and Josh Lancaster led the Blue and all tacklers with eight stops apiece, while Joshua Shipp led the Red with six tackles. (April 16, 2011)