Ole Miss OL Javon Patterson looks forward to the opportunity to face No. 1 Alabama
OXFORD, Miss. – Left guard Javon Patterson did not start thinking about playing No. 1 Alabama until this week, but thanks to the Rebels’ early-season contest against Florida State, the sophomore is confident the Ole Miss offensive line can be successful against the Crimson Tide defense.
Patterson thinks back on the performance of the offensive line in the Rebels’ season-opening loss to the Seminoles and is confident his group has learned from the experience. The sophomore from Petal, Miss. believes they will give senior quarterback Chad Kelly and the running backs opportunities for big yards down the field.
Patterson was in the offensive line rotation last season when the Rebels defeated then-No. 2 Alabama inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, giving Kelly time to throw for 341 yards and three touchdowns. He knows the entire offensive line will have to repeat the success from last season to give the offense stability against a defense as talented as Alabama’s.
“We’ve got a lot of experienced guys with me, Jordan (Sims), Sean (Rawlings), Rod (Taylor), Robert Conyers, and Daronte Bouldin,” Patterson said. “We really put in work this offseason for games like this. It’s been good.
“We’ve got a great bond, and I feel like that’s taking us a long way and leading us to the next step.”
Facing the Alabama defense
No. 17 Ole Miss (1-1) will face a Crimson Tide defense that is anchored by seniors Jonathan Allen, Eddie Jackson and Reuben Foster. The 6-foot 3, 307-pound Patterson will see a lot of defensive lineman Allen, who has a niche for sacking the opposing team’s quarterback.
In just two games this season, Allen has already recorded seven tackles, three tackles for a loss of 28 yards, three quarterback hurries, and two pass breakups. Foster and Jackson have recorded 10 and six tackles, respectively. Patterson spoke this week about Alabama’s front seven.
They’re a very good front. They’ve got a lot of guys. They have a lot of good players on the edge and good players on the interior. They bring some problems, but as an o-line, we’ve got to be prepared for that and give them our best shot.
Javon Patterson, Ole Miss left guard
Facing FSU’s defense offered a glimpse of the type of speed and size the Rebels will see on Saturday. Ole Miss stood firm in the first half against a Seminoles’ defensive line that was anchored by Josh Sweat and Demarcus Walker, and Patterson felt the game was important for the Rebels’ in that it helped them become battle-tested early in the season.
Undefeated in SEC play
The loss to FSU was a non-conference game, which means it’s a new season for the Rebels. Therefore, a win over the Crimson Tide could be the start of great things to come for Ole Miss this season.
That’s the thing, we get these opportunities from week to week. We get a chance to go improve every week,” Patterson said. “That’s our goal— to improve every snap and every quarter. I feel like those things have gotten better.
Patterson stays focused
Patterson hears the exuberant talk on campus about top-ranked Alabama (2-0) coming to Oxford this week, as students and fans revel in knowing Ole Miss has gotten the best of the Crimson Tide for the past two seasons. As for Patterson, however, he will not allow all of the hype to distract him from playing at a high level.
It’s just the fact it’s SEC Football. It’s us against Alabama. We’re playing the No. 1 team, and it’s a great opportunity to take this, be at our home stage in a new stadium and everything like that. The crowd is going to be electric.
Patterson on playing Alabama
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.