The conversation all week leading upto this game was about the backup quarterbacks replacing injured starters, Jake Hubenak replacing Trevor Knight for Texas A&M and the debate for Ole Miss between playing Jason Pellerin or pulling the redshirt off five-star freshman Shea Patterson.
As it ended up, Ole Miss elected late in the week to pull the redshirt from Patterson and, after tonight, that looks to be the right decision. Patterson and the Rebels came from behind to claim a 29-28 victory in College Station on the backs of a 23 point fourth quarter.
Patterson looked like a true freshman early making some good throws and making some questionable decisions which showed the inexperience. As the game went on, the freshman from Shreveport, La., grew into the game and made play after play. He finished with 402 total yards including 338 passing yards on a sixty percent completion percentage.
Texas A&M looked for the first half of the game like they might dominate. Ole Miss was struggling with the Aggies’ receivers running wide open throughout the first half and Hubenak had 154 passing yards on only nine completions through the game’s opening half leading to a 21-6 halftime lead.
The second half would be a different story as the A&M offense only accounted for 122 yards in the second half. Ole Miss ratcheted up the pressure and got to Hubenak several times in the closing half while limiting the A&M passing game to 54 yards.
While the Ole Miss defense surged, the offense did as well. The Rebels had some productive drives in the first half, but they ended in the redzone without touchdowns after bringing in Pellerin as a change of pace quarterback. Patterson was given the unfettered reins in the second half and took full advantage.
After picking up 92 passing yards in the first half, Patterson went 15/24 for 246 yards in the second half while the Ole Miss rushing game came alive. Akeem Judd picked up 100 yards, his first 100 yard effort in SEC play, to go along with a 21 yard touchdown run to bring Ole Miss within two early in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss now travels to Vanderbilt looking to gain bowl eligibility while A&M will look to take out their frustration on Texas-San Antonio.