OXFORD — Two of No. 9 Ole Miss’ starting safety spots come down to chance on a weekly basis. And given the talent in the room, parties involved agree it’s fair.
At the start of Saturday’s Ole Miss-Vanderbilt game, the SEC Network’s Alyssa Lang reported co-defensive coordinator Chris Partridge told her that sophomores Ladarius Tennison and Tysheem Johnson and junior Isheem Young play a game of rock, paper, scissors before every game to decide which two earn starting spots in the lineup. All three play starters’ snap counts for the Rebels (6-0, 2-0 SEC), so it ultimately isn’t that big of a deal.
Tennison has started four games, Johnson five and Young three. Tennison and Young each have 23 tackles this season, while Johnson has 36.
But Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin did have to laugh about that strategy going public.
“That’s why we don’t let assistant coaches talk to the media, because Partridge decided to tell the media,” Kiffin said. “ … We were in a situation with three really good players that basically play two spots. And, we play a lot of plays on defense because of our offensive tempo. So, it’s very hard for anybody to play the whole game and play really fast. … I just said, well, can’t hold it against us which one starts, and so let them play rock, paper, scissors every week. They can only blame themselves.”
Tennison — who transferred from Auburn this offseason — confirmed that the games do take place. Ole Miss hosts the Tigers at 11 a.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
“It was pretty much before we even started the season. We have three stud safeties,” Tennison said. “So, this allows us not to … fight over who goes in. So, it’s pretty much fairness to who goes in.”
The Florida native said he still keeps in touch with a few of his Auburn teammates and isn’t looking at this week as different from any other.
Tennison may want to change up his rock, paper, scissors strategy now, however, as he was asked Monday what his go-to move is.
“I’m a rock guy,” Tennison said.
Mingo earns weekly honor
Ole Miss senior wide receiver Jonathan Mingo has been named the SEC co-offensive player of the week following his 247-yard, two-touchdown performance against Vanderbilt on Saturday. Mingo set the single-game record with his effort, surpassing Elijah Moore’s 238-yard performance versus Vanderbilt in 2020. For the season, Mingo leads the SEC with 507 receiving yards.
No update on Trigg
Sophomore tight end Michael Trigg left the game at Vanderbilt late in the third quarter after recording a 28-yard reception. Chuck Rounsaville of the Ole Miss Spirit reports that Trigg broke his collarbone. Kiffin did not provide an update on Trigg’s status Monday.
Trigg, a transfer from USC, has 17 catches for 156 yards and is tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches. All three scoring grabs came in the second game of the season against Central Arkansas.
“We don’t really have any public injury information, like always,” Kiffin said.
LSU kickoff time announced
Ole Miss and LSU’s matchup in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22. The game will be broadcasted on CBS.
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