OXFORD, Miss. – After the Rebels win over UT-Martin Saturday, Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo commented on how pleased he was with Shea Patterson’s leadership of the offense in the 45-23 win.
“You all don’t know this but he made some really, really good decisions in the pass game today that resulted in some big plays, so I was really happy about that. He hit a lot of second looks today and that takes some patience and some discipline.“
Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo on Shea Patterson
Trailing 6-0 early in the first quarter, Patterson threw an interception to the Skyhawks’ Tae Martin, which led to a UT-Martin 23-yard field goal that made the score 9-0.
However, the Rebels’ sophomore quarterback did not get rattled, nor did he drop his head as he watched UT-Martin gain yardage on the short 4-play, 18-yard scoring drive.
Instead, and despite playing in just his fifth game as a collegiate quarterback, Patterson looked like a mature signal-caller on the Rebels’ first scoring drive of the afternoon.
He aired it out deep to wide receiver A.J. Brown—who already has a total of four touchdown receptions this season—for the 58-yard touchdown, and that would only be the beginning of Patterson’s record-setting day against the Skyhawks.
In the third quarter, Patterson, who completed 32 of 43 passes on the day, threw three more touchdowns, and helped the offense outscore UT-Martin 21-0 in the period to take a commanding 38-16 lead into the final quarter.
The offensive line, which Longo felt made strides using a six-man rotation, gave Patterson plenty of time to locate his targets, and the coordinator praised his quarterback for being patent and making the right decisions in the game.
“There are five specific plays that I can think about that he really had to be an intelligent quarterback on the field and he nailed all five of them.“
Coach Longo on Shea Patterson’s decision-making
For the second consecutive week, Patterson involved the running backs in the passing game. On the Rebels’ final scoring drive before halftime, the sophomore found D’Vaughn Pennamon wide open for a 42-yard reception that set up Brown’s second touchdown catch.
At the beginning of the second half, Patterson hit Jordan Wilkins for a 13-yard reception that started a 9-play, 80-yard scoring culminating with Wilkins running up the middle for a 1-yard score. Patterson would later connect with Wilkins again for a 16-yard touchdown, and by that point, Ole Miss was on cruise control.
“We got into a little bit of a rhythm, regardless of a positive play or negative play,” Longo said. “We got into a rhythm running the system, so we were a game better, that’s what I wanted, and now we’re going to take a step up here next week.”
Patterson breaks the single-game passing record
Patterson looked as if he was having fun finding his receivers down field—so much fun, in fact, that he made history, throwing for 489 yards and surpassing Chad Kelly’s 465 yards he threw against Auburn last season.
In his usual self-deprecating style, Patterson made sure he credited the ones he believes made his record-breaking day possible.
“First of all, it takes more than one guy to break a record,” Patterson said.
“I had so much help from my receivers and o-linemen. I didn’t even know I broke the record. That’s the cool thing about this offense. There’s so much freedom and spacing; it’s just the tempo is always rolling so it was pretty cool.”
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss QB
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)