Javon Patterson says Rebels’ spirits are high as team looks forward to playing at home
OXFORD, Miss. – The last time the Rebels lost back-to-back games, they finished the regular season 9-3 and went on to play in one of the New Year’s Six Bowls. Now, Ole Miss needs to recapture some of the magic it had back during that 2014-15 season in order to avoid a third straight loss.
The Rebels’ backs are against the wall after dropping two straight Southeastern Conference road games to Arkansas and LSU—two opponents the Rebels were tied with at halftime, before watching their lead evaporate in the third quarter.
Despite the two losses, however, left guard Javon Patterson says there are still a lot of positive attitudes in the locker room as each player who suits up for Ole Miss on game day realizes they must play with a sense of urgency.
Javon Patterson, Ole Miss left guard
Home again, home again
Playing inside Vaught Hemingway-Stadium on Saturday night (6:15 p.m., SEC Network) against the Tigers should help the Rebels stay motivated.
Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3 SEC) is 3-1 in Oxford this season, and Patterson its eager to be back inside the friendly confines of the Vaught for the first time since the Rebels’ 48-28 Homecoming victory over Memphis on October 1.
Patterson on playing at the Vaught
No. 15 Auburn (5-2, 3-1) is 1-0 in road games this season, having defeated Mississippi State (2-5) in Starkville.
Injuries to the offensive line
The Ole Miss starting offensive line may look a little different come game day as right guard Jordan Sims and left tackle Rod Taylor are both dealing with high-ankle sprains. Head coach Hugh Freeze listed both offensive linemen as questionable earlier this week at his weekly press conference.
Without Sims and Taylor, Ole Miss will go with junior Daronte Bouldin at right guard and freshman Greg Little at left tackle, two players who went in for Sims and Taylor against the LSU Tigers.
Little hasn’t played as many reps as the 6-foot-5, 318-pound Bouldin, who saw action in nine games in 2014 as a backup offensive tackle and every game in 2015 as a backup offensive guard.
Patterson is familiar with the role the 6-foot 6, 332-pound Little is having to play as a true freshman, saying “I was a young guy last year. But with older guys like me, Jordan, Sean (Rawlings) and Robert (Conyers), we help him doing some things.” Patterson was the first Ole Miss true freshman offensive lineman to start his college debut since John Jerry in 2006.
As for Bouldin, Patterson is confident in the Canton, Mississippi native’s ability to anchor the right guard position thanks, in part, to his game reps.
Patterson on Daronte Bouldin
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)