OXFORD • There is no opposing quarterback preparation drama for Ole Miss this week.
Rebels coach Matt Luke is quite sure of who will be taking snaps for Missouri as it tries to extend a four-game winning streak Saturday in Columbia – Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant.
Bryant, the starter in the 2017 Clemson-Alabama national semifinal, lost the job in 2018 and joined Missouri as a graduate transfer in the off-season.
He’s been a key part in Missouri’s 4-1 start and left last week’s 42-10 win over Troy after sustaining a knee injury late in the first half.
There was speculation about Bryant’s availability for this week’s game against Ole Miss until Missouri officials put that to rest late Sunday when it confirmed to ESPN that Bryant will start the game. In fact, he will “participate fully” in this week’s preparation, ESPN reported.
“All indications are that he’s playing, and that’s the way we’ll go about preparing,” Luke said at his regular Monday press conference.
Luke is making his first trip to Missouri as a player or coach. Ole Miss has played at Missouri three other times, most recently 2006 in a 34-7 loss under Ed Orgeron. The teams will be meeting for only the second time as SEC rivals. Missouri won 24-10 in Oxford in 2013.
Bryant, a running threat at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, has completed almost 65 percent of his pass attempts for 1,246 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
The news was not good for linebacker Cale Garrett, as important a member of the Missouri defense as Bryant is the offense. He sustained a torn pectoral tendon against Troy.
Garrett is the team’s leading tackler with 43, leads in interceptions with three and has scored three defensive touchdowns.
“He’s the guy that gets everybody lined up, a very physical and tough guy, and he can drop into pass coverage too,” Luke said. “The next guy steps in there, and they’ll have somebody ready to go.”