Ole Miss Football: Pellerin May Be the Best Choice For the Rebels Now
Jason Pellerin has played limited minutes as the second string quarterback. With the injury to Chad Kelly, Pellerin may be the best option for the Rebels for now.
The season-ending injury to Chad Kelly has sent the Ole Miss football team into scramble mode. Now the coaching staff have to decide whether to go with red-shirt freshman Jason Pellerin as the new starter or pull the red-shirt off of highly recruited five star Shea Patterson.
There is much speculation to what Coach Hugh Freeze may decide to do. Every fan has an opinion as to what should happen. However, there is no way to know what is the right decision. Plus ultimately it will be up to what the coaches feel is best for now and the future.
My take is simple. Regardless of rather you burn Patterson’s red-shirt or not, Pellerin may still be the best choice for the starter at quarterback. At least he is the best choice for starting now.
The potential of Patterson can not be denied. However, asking a freshman to take his first snaps during an SEC game in front of over 100,000 fans in College Station is a tough assignment. That is one of the reason why Pellerin may be the best choice for now. He has experience playing in front of big crowds.
Standing Behind Pellerin
There is a narrative that suggest playing Patterson is the only way to salvage the season. I say Pellerin is fully capable of leading the Rebels. What Patterson has in potential, Pellerin has in live game experience.
Pellerin is a three star quarterback who has shown enough potential that Coach Freeze was willing to red-shirt Patterson in the first place. Although, knowing that Kelly was a hit away from being sidelined, he felt confident enough to keep him as his back-up. Neither quarterback will be able to replace Kelly’s numbers. Kelly’s mastery of the offense can’t be replaced in a weeks worth of practice.
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Pellerin has a strong arm. He is athletic enough to upgrade the rushing offense. The offense will have to be tweaked for either quarterback. Plus, it will have to be simplified for whomever will be the starter. Giving him a week with the first team offense during practice would help his confidence and the confidence of the team around him.
Texas A&M will be a test of his ability. If after that game it is deemed that he is unable to fill the role then maybe consider removing the red-shirt off of Patterson. The following game in Nashville against Vanderbilt will be more suitable if a change is needed. Then starting at home against State will be a friendly atmosphere.
We as fans need to stop the thought that starting Pellerin is in some way giving up on the season. He may be as talented as the remaining quarterbacks that we must face. This is the time where the coaches earn their money. It’s up to Coach Freeze to install an offense in which he can succeed.
For now, instead of calling for change why not stand behind the QB that has been there all year. The Aggies were going to be a tough game regardless of who was at quarterback. However, Vanderbilt is beatable. Mississippi State is beatable during the Egg Bowl. You know what? The Aggies are beatable as well. I trust Jason. I believe Pellerin is able to lead us to a bowl game.