Jalen Hurts has dominated. Jacob Eason has had some moments. But Saturday was about the ascension of Ole Miss true freshman quarterback Shea Patterson.
After the Rebels lost senior quarterback Chad Kelly to a knee injury, the team looked to barely have a claim to a bowl game. Despite what amounts to a lost season for Hugh Freeze’s team, Ole Miss decided to pull the redshirt of Shea Patterson and start him against No. 8 Texas A&M.
While that decision didn’t pan out much for the first three quarters, Patterson threw a touchdown pass to start the fourth quarter and then orchestrated three more drives for a combined 172 yards, giving the Rebels 23 fourth-quarter points to complete the 29-28 upset.
It was in that fourth quarter that a legend was born.
— CFBonESPNRadio (@CFBonESPNRadio) November 13, 2016
Shea Patterson is LEGENDARY!!!!!
— Donte Moncrief (@drm_12) November 13, 2016
— Trent Dilfer (@TDESPN) November 13, 2016
Patterson finished the night 25 of 42 for 338 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also ran the ball 15 times for 64 yards. Both Patterson’s 338 passing yards and 402 total yards of offense set school records for a freshman. His ability to make things happen with both his arms and his legs earned significant praise from many, drawing Johnny Manziel comparisons from many including Brent Musburger and SEC Networks’ Booger McFarland.
He also showed off his ability to stretch the field with above-average arm strength. Patterson set up the second fourth-quarter touchdown, a 21-yard run by Akeem Judd, with a 40-yard pass to Damore’ea Stringfellow that featured a spectacular grab. His next drive ended on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson.
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) November 13, 2016
While 2016 may have been difficult for Ole Miss, it appears that the future is very bright.