It’s Shea Patterson’s turn in Oxford and Tim Tebow isn’t happy about it.
Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee reported on Friday that the highly-touted true freshman quarterback would get the start for the Rebels Saturday against Texas A&M.
He came to Oxford ranked as the nation’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback, and as would be expected, a lot of hype followed the signal caller to Ole Miss.
That excitement for the immediate future subsided a bit through the first 10 games of the season as the true freshman did not see any game action, and it looked like he was headed toward a redshirt season in 2016.
Then Game 11 happened.
Starting quarterback Chad Kelly suffered a torn ACL and meniscus against Georgia Southern, and the quarterback questions arose in Oxford. Redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin took over for Kelly last Saturday, completing one pass for 19 yards and an interception.
Coach Hugh Freeze maintained on Wednesday’s SEC teleconference that he wouldn’t name a starter until Thursday or Friday of this week, and that decision reportedly came down on Friday.
“I’m 100 percent opposed,” Tebow said Friday on the Paul Finebaum Show. “I know Coach Freeze. He’s a great coach. And he’s doing it for a reason. I don’t know why. If I was Shea, I would want to wait because you don’t know what’s going to happen in your career. Some people will say, ‘Well he might only be there three years.’
“You don’t know what his career is going to be. You have no idea. A lot of people have said that about other quarterbacks and they haven’t come close to leaving early. I would save it. Let him mature. Let him grow. Next year, he has another spring to develop and then be ready. Because you also want to be ready when you’re thrown into the fire.”
Rather than waiting until next season, Patterson will now try and lead Ole Miss to two wins over its next three contest to reach bowl eligibility.
That quest begins on Saturday, and Tebow believes the former 5-star recruit will be tested.
“He will absolutely be tested and the one thing that he has going for him is that Trevor Knight is not playing for Texas A&M so they are not going to put up the same points to put pressure on Shea that they would have if he was playing,” Tebow said. “There is still going to be a lot of pressure because the A&M defense is a good defense. They haven’t shown it the last couple of weeks but they do have a lot of playmakers. It’s Kyle Field at night. 108,000 people.”