BY PARRISH ALFORD
OXFORD - Perhaps no one benefited more from last week's open date than Danny Bell.
The true freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., was given the opportunity to take the No. 2 spot at strong safety behind Kelvin Robinson, and he appears close to doing just that as Ole Miss (2-1) prepares to meet Texas Tech (2-1) Saturday night at 6 here.
"He really came through for us, and I'm excited about working with Danny," said defensive coordinator Chuck Driesbach, who coaches the defensive backs.
Driesbach stopped short of awarding the backup job to Bell right away - a decision will come later this week - but he is working with the second team.
Bell has covered a lot of ground in a small amount of time. He reported on time in August, but his academic eligibility was then questioned by the NCAA. Because he had to wait for an NCAA academic review board to meet, Bell did not practice and was not eligible for the first two games.
Several recruiting analysts ranked Bell among the nation's top prep safeties last year.
Reserve tight end Slate Amos (hand) and starting fullback Rick Razzano (knee) are out. Starting tight end Eric Rice (ankle) remains questionable.
Head coach David Cutcliffe could not give a definite answer on the status of tailbacks Tremaine Turner (ribs) and Ronald McClendon (hamstring) Monday. Both were banged up in the Louisiana-Monroe game Sept. 13 but were projected to be available for Saturday's game.
Defensive lineman McKinley Boykin (back) and backup free safety Tavarus Horne (knee) are also questionable.
No live TV
Ole Miss-Texas Tech was a national telecast on ABC last year, but there will be no network television for the rematch Saturday. Fans with Internet access can watch the game at www.olemisssports.tv. A fee is required. The video feed is the same that is shown on the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium scoreboard, and the audio is provided by the Ole Miss radio network.
Heisman Trophy visits
College football's most recognized individual award will be on display at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday. Fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite Heisman candidate, play games and collect free items as well as see the trophy. The trophy was also at Texas Tech's game last week at North Carolina State. It has visited Ohio State and will make stops at Texas, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Oregon and Washington State.
Ole Miss is 6-14 against Big 12 Conference teams. ... The Rebels are 14-0 in non-SEC night games at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and 9-0 against Texas schools in Oxford. ... Junior defensive back Jamaal Jackson of Bruce is the lone Mississippian on the Texas Tech roster. ... Tech's visit is the first by a current member of the Big 12. ... Former Ole Miss QB Eagle Day (1953-55) will be honored before the game. Day was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in April. He led the Rebels to a 14-13 bowl win over TCU in Dallas on Jan. 1, 1956.