Mark Dodson touchdown during 2014 Gove Bowl. Mandatory Photo Credit: Ole Miss Athletics
We are talking about football in a game we couldn’t lose y’all.
Saturday was a fun filled day in Ole Miss sports. It started with the 2014 Chucky Mullins Award ceremony, where sixth year senior Deterrian Shackelford won the award for the second time in his years at Ole Miss, becoming the first Rebel ever to achieve this accomplishment.
At noon, the Rebels geared up for the annual Grove Bowl presented by Regions. In a game that is normally a red jersey versus blue jersey spring game, the Rebels were in their new blue and white jerseys, a blue versus white matchup.
Coach Hugh Freeze was very pleased at the results from the final spring practice. Here is what he had to say:
"I’ve obviously coached a lot of spring practices, and I can’t remember one being better in the area of effort. There are obviously a lot of things we can clean up, but I certainly believe that we got the most effort out of the young men that we put on the practice field for 15 days. It was extremely physical and extremely competitive for 12 of the days. I’m really pleased with the effort. That competitive nature will go a long way in taking whatever the next step is in our program. There are several reasons for that. One, we’ve obviously added depth through recruiting. Two, (head strength and conditioning coach) Paul Jackson and his staff have done a really nice job in developing our young men, and we’ve been with basically the same staff going into year three with a lot of the same kids. It pays great dividends. I’m really pleased with the effort and attitude."
I’Tavius Mathers was really impressive in the spring game, having 4 carries for 121 yards, and a highlight 96 yard run. Kalio Moore, who moved from running back to defensive back this spring, ran down Mathers, preventing him from scoring a touchdown.
Freeze commenting on Mathers:
"I’Tavius Mathers is just special. We’ve got some good backs. Today he made a phenomenal run. Yesterday he made a run where he made two guys miss in space. That guy has improved."
Those other backs Freeze is referring to include true-freshman Jordan Wilkins. Wilkins made some very impressive runs late in game to prove he is a force to be reckon with come the 2014 season.
Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade both proved why it is hard for the coaches to determine who will be second string quarterback.
Buchanan completed 6 of 10 passes for 100 yards. This included an impressive touchdown pass to running back Mark Dodson. Kincade finished 5-8 for 57 yards and added a touchdown. Kincade would also carry for 38 yards.
Freeze’s comments on Kincade and Buchanan:
"I look forward to watching film between Ryan and DeVante. They both do different things. Ryan has some natural pocket presence that’s hard to teach. He’ll hang in there and knows where it’s supposed to be. You saw Kincade do a lot of things with his feet. He’s got a strong arm. I’m excited that we have that competition going on."
The sophomore class had an exciting day on the field. Tight end Evan Engram had two catches for 77 yards, this included a 68 yard reception. Mark Dodson had two catches for 69 yards with a touchdown catch. Star wide-receiver Laquon Treadwell had two catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, who was the only player in a red jersey, had a very promising day. Wallace completed 10 of 21 passes for 152 yards, one touchdown, and had zero turnovers.
As for defense, Cody Prewitt showed why he was a 2013 All-American. The senior safety recorded 10 tackles and forced two fumbles that were recovered by Serderius Bryant and Derrick Jones.
Marquis Haynes was the most impressive newcomer on defense. The freshman defensive end picked up seven tackles and two sacks. He reminded Freeze of C.J. Johnson coming out of high school.
Well of course Ole Miss won today. The offense beat the defense with a score of 15-12. The 2014 Regions Grove Bowl concluded spring football practice for the Rebels.
The team looks forward now in preparing for the 2014 football season. The Rebels open their season against Boise State on Thursday, August 28th. The game will be played at a neutral site, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. ESPN will televise the game with a kickoff time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.
Stay tuned to Ole Hotty Toddy, as we will be preparing you all summer for the kickoff of the 2014 college football season. Please leave your comments below on your thoughts on the Grove Bowl.
The day also concluded in a Rebel double-header sweep over Auburn. You can catch the results of the Rebels on the diamond in another article on our site.