Kelly and the Ole Miss offense ready to test the Tide
The offense of the Ole Miss football team seems to have everything under control after scoring a FBS-high 149 points in its two home victories over UT-Martin and Fresno State this season. Considering quarterback Chad Kelly’s performance thus far, the Ole Miss offense should be confident it can hold its own against Alabama on Saturday.
Kelly, who has taken more snaps than the other Ole Miss quarterbacks combined, completed 20 of his 25 passes for 346 yards in the No. 15 Rebels’ 73-21 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday. Kelly also threw four touchdowns and ran for one on the team’s second drive of the first quarter.
An abundance of talented receivers
Despite Kelly’s rise to stardom, he is quick to give credit to the receivers he’s finding wide open through the middle or deep down field. “All the guys are doing a great job, so I’m excited about this opportunity,” he said.
Having receivers such as Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, Quincy Adeboyejo, Markell Pack, Damore’ea Stringfellow, Derrick Jones, DaMarkus Lodge and Evan Engram to throw the football to has helped the Rebels’ offense tally 600-plus yards of total offense in each of its first two games.
Adeboyejo, who had five receptions for 120 yards and three touchdowns against Fresno State, is excited about where the offense stands heading into Saturday’s game against the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide (2-0).
“I went there my freshman year, but I didn’t play much,” said Adeboyejo, who sits two spots behind teammate Core in receiving yards (153) in the Southeastern Conference, of the September 28, 2013 game against the Tide in Tuscaloosa.
“I’m hoping to get down there with my team and do something special. Honestly, the whole team has been looking forward to this game. Coach Freeze has been telling us to stay on this week because we have an opponent. Now they are the opponent in front so we can finally focus on it.”
Kelly and Adeboyejo taking advantage of their chemistry
Kelly and Adeboyejo’s chemistry as teammates didn’t just start in the Rebels’ two games; it started before Kelly stepped foot onto the University of Mississippi campus. “That was one of the first guys I talked to before even getting to campus,” Kelly said of Adeboyejo.
Kelly likes Adeboyejo’s route-running skills and Adeboyejo, in return, praises the deep passes Kelly has thrown his way. “His deep balls are one of the better balls I’ve encountered from high school and since I’ve been here,” Adeboyejo said. “He just has really good touch on his deep balls.”
Adeboyejo has impressed Kelly with his willingness to learn something new in the offense and his desire to improve.
“He’s been nothing but a great teammate, a great worker,” Kelly said about the 6-foot-3, 195-pound slot receiver. “Can’t say enough about Quincy and it’s starting to pay off. He’s one of the guys that pays attention to every little detail, and he’s doing a great job getting open.”
Kelly and the offense ready to test the Tide
Neither Kelly nor Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze seems to be losing sleep about the big test that awaits them in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Saturday. Freeze is pleased with how the offense has been moving the football with Kelly under center. Both Kelly and his coach are confident they are prepared and have what it takes to win. “Chad studies more film than I do,” Freeze said of his quarterback’s preparation.
Kelly continues to work hard and his attitude has not changed since he was awarded the starting quarterback position in the Rebels’ (2-0) season opener against the Skyhawks. He has his head in the offensive playbook, learning as much as he can in order to be an elite quarterback in the SEC.
Kelly was asked after Saturday’s win what needs to change on offense and his answer was simple: nothing. “I don’t think there’s anything different,” said Kelly, who’s currently third in the SEC in passing yards (557).
I just need to keep working to make sure I’m making the right move on every single play, because one play can decide the whole game. — Chad Kelly
After the last-second, game-saving interception by Ole Miss’ Senquez Golson that gave his team the win last season, the Rebels know just how important one play can be.
Ole Miss and Alabama kickoff off at 8:15 p.m. CT on Saturday, September 19 in Tuscaloosa. The game will be aired on ESPN.
(Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)