The Ole Miss Rebels aren’t going to make Saturday any easier for their departing head coach.
Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt announced Tuesday that starting quarterback Randall Mackey, leading rusher Jeff Scott and reserve running back Korvic Neat are suspended for the LSU game for violating unspecified team rules.
Nutt added that the three could be held out of the season finale at Mississippi State as well.
In what has been a tumultuous 2011 season for the Rebels (2-8, 0-6), this just adds to the mess that has been created in Oxford.
Ole Miss entered the season with higher expectations after a 4-8 2010 campaign, but things started slowly with a 14-13 loss to BYU to open the season. The Rebels have won just two games since and are currently struggling through a 12-game conference losing streak dating back to last season.
The school announced on Nov. 7 that Nutt wouldn’t return as Ole Miss’ coach next season and with No. 1 LSU (10-0, 6-0) coming to town this weekend, it will be hard for things to end well in Oxford for Nutt. This just complicates matters and adds an unneeded distraction along with more negativity to dump on this program.
Mackey has started the last six games for the Rebels and has engineered the offense better than any of the other two quarterbacks -- Zack Stoudt and Barry Brunetti -- this season, but only has 1,112 yards passing yards and seven touchdowns to five interceptions.
This is the second time Mackey has been suspended. He sat out the opener after he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly being involved in a fight at a downtown Oxford bar.
Stoudt, who lost his starting job to Randall after taking it from Brunetti following Week 1, has just 542 yards with two touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Scott proved to be Ole Miss’ most electric offensive weapon this season as both a running back and return man. Now, against LSU’s vaunted defense, the Rebels, who are limping into the contest as it is, will be without two key offensive weapons.
Players talked this week about coming out and trying to send Nutt out the right way. This is far from the way to start that process.