Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said on Wednesday’s SEC teleconference that we would wait until Thursday or Friday of this week to decide on a starting quarterback for Saturday’s Texas A&M game.
It appears that decision has been made.
The Rebels will burn Shea Patterson’s redshirt and start the true freshman against the Aggies, according to Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee, who cited a source.
Source: Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson will have his redshirt pulled and play this weekend vs. Texas A&M.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) November 11, 2016
Following quarterback Chad Kelly’s season-ending knee injury against Georgia Southern, Ole Miss was left with the decision to start either redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin or Patterson.
The latter came to Oxford ranked as the nation’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2016. Patterson has yet to play in a game this season, and looked to be on pace for a redshirt year.
Pellerin took most of the first-team reps this week and completed one pass for 19 yards and an interception against Georgia Southern following Kelly’s exit.
On the season, Pellerin has appeared in six games while connecting on 38.5 percent of his throws for 53 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also added 25 rush attempts, 96 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
Should Patterson start, he is tasked with replacing a quarterback who threw for 2,758 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. The Aggies will also start a new face at quarterback this week in Jake Hubenak following Trevor Knight’s season-ending injury against Mississippi State.
Despite the lack of film on Patterson, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said that he was “very familiar” with the true freshman.
“I saw a lot of Shea,” Sumlin said on the SEC coaches weekly teleconference Wednesday. “He was done early in the recruiting process, but we’re very, very familiar with that whole area.
“We have a number of players from that area of Louisiana and the country and were in touch with him early. He’s very, very talented. One of the top prospect in the country coming out that year and a guy we recruited heavily.”
The Aggies enter Saturday’s contest coming off an upset loss to Mississippi State that sent them tumbling four spots to No. 8 in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings.
Ole Miss will need to win two of its final three games to reach bowl eligibility. Following Saturdays matchup, the Rebels still hold contests against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.