NOTEBOOK: Ole Miss could get resolution on Tunsil next week
Published 6:05 am Sunday, October 11, 2015
Before Saturday’s game against New Mexico State, it was reported by SEC Network sideline reporter Laura Rutledge that the NCAA had contacted Ole Miss regarding Laremy Tunsil’s status.
It is the first kind of news that offered any type of end date to the lineman’s saga that has lasted since the first game of the season.
The junior tackle has missed all six games due to an ongoing investigation by the NCAA, and until Saturday morning, mum had been the word in regard to an answer of any kind. But a resolution could be coming soon.
“I was told by our administration that we should expect an answer next week sometime,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Saturday’s game.
When it was announced early last week linebacker C.J. Johnson would be out four to six weeks after having surgery on his meniscus, backup Terry Caldwell had his opportunity.
He did not disappoint, replacing Johnson at the Mike position.
The former Northwest Mississippi CC linebacker tied for the team lead Saturday with five tackles, including four solo and one for a loss. He also had a sack in his first start as a Rebel.
“(Caldwell) did well,” safety Mike Hilton said. “He fit his gaps right, and he was able to wrap up and make plays. He was making the right calls to the defensive linemen. So he’s going to be good for us. Just have to keep it going and make sure he practices well and keep his confidence up.”
Punt return struggles
Returning punts has been an issue for Ole Miss in recent years, one the Rebels thought they had resolved with Carlos Davis back to field them this season.
It hasn’t gone as planned.
In the first six games, Davis has fumbled the ball four times when returning punts. He muffed two Saturday and fumbled one along the sideline to give NMSU possession deep in Ole Miss’ territory in the second half.
The Aggies recovered two loose balls on special teams but were unable to capitalize on either drive-extending chance.
One NMSU punt bounced to the ground and Davis did not navigate traffic, causing D.K. Buford to have his leg touched by the ball with the Aggies there to jump on it.
Chad Kelly threw for 384 yards, giving him his fourth 300-yard game of the season and tying Eli Manning and Bo Wallace for most in a season. … With two more interceptions, Ole Miss has nine on the season. The Rebels entered the day leading the Southeastern Conference with seven. … Freshman Cam Ordway made his season debut at cornerback, which eliminated his redshirt status.