Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly is ready to take the field against LSU
Following the bye week, Ole Miss’ quarterback Chad Kelly remains upbeat about the Rebels’ chances to get to Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference Championship game, but he knows the team has to win its last two games–plus have a little help along the way.
Ole Miss will have an opportunity for a bounce-back win this Saturday afternoon (2:30 p.m. CT, CBS) when it hosts the LSU Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
At one time, LSU was in the same situation the Rebels found themselves in prior to Ole Miss’ 53-52 overtime loss to Arkansas two weeks ago–they once controlled the landscape of the SEC Western Division.
Regardless of the loss, Kelly believes his Rebels (7-3, 4-2) will play LSU with a lot of fire and passion when the two teams square off Saturday.
“We are going to have to approach our side of the game the same we do every week and that’s to go out and match the intensity and just bring it every day,” said Kelly, who’s the only passer in the SEC over 3,000 yards passing (3,224). “So, I know both teams will be ready and anxious to go.”
Controlling the landscape is not the case anymore with either program, as both have stumbled late in the season with tough, unfortunate losses. LSU (7-2, 4-1) is going into Saturday’s matchup against the Rebels on a two-game losing streak. The Tigers’ collapse started with the Crimson Tide, who pummeled LSU en route to a 30-16 win. (Click here for current SEC standings.)
Then, LSU lost last weekend at home to a Razorbacks team who is on a hot streak after an early season slump.
As for Ole Miss, its loss to Arkansas wasn’t because of Kelly’s efforts on offense, where he ran for a game-high 110 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 386 yards and three scores.
Learning from a loss
In spite of the loss to the Razorbacks, Kelly took a lot from the game and hopes to carry it over into Saturday’s contest.
“You just have to make sure you get better every day on the practice field, so it can relate to the game field,” Kelly said. “Because losing the type of game we lost, there’s very little margin of error and I think that goes with both teams, because they understand they were national contenders a couple weeks ago.
Both teams are definitely going to bring it. We just have to make sure we are on our A-game.
QB Chad Kelly on upcoming game with LSU
Bye week offers time for healing
The bye week wasn’t a bye week for Kelly, who watched a full slate of games on Saturday and admitted he was eager to get onto the football field with his teammates. But the week off was much-needed for a Rebels team that played 10 consecutive weeks with banged up players on both sides of the football, some of whom have been out with significant injuries, and others with more minor ones.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze mentioned he was hopeful the bye week would help in some areas, most notably getting players’ bodies in full health for a stretch of games that could help put the Rebels back at the top of the SEC West.
“If you can’t refocus after a bye week and get yourself more amped up for the next game, then you’re playing the wrong sport,” Kelly said. “So, I know all of the guys are ready to get back and get ready to hit somebody.”
Feature image credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.