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Jason Pellerin prepared to lead Rebels’ offense if Kelly sidelined with injury

Jason Pellerin prepared to lead Rebels’ offense if Kelly sidelined with injury

OXFORD, Miss. – Week in and week out, Jason Pellerin has worked hard in case he was called upon to be the Rebels’ starter under center on game day. Now, with the uncertainty of senior quarterback Chad Kelly’s knee injury, Pellerin may be needed to lead the offense next Saturday when Ole Miss travels to Texas A&M.

Fortunately, the redshirt freshman is always ready to step on the field to perform if his jersey number is called. “It’s just business as usual,” said Pellerin, following Ole Miss’ 37-27 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday.

“You always have to prepare, like today you see what happens. You’re one play away from getting in there. So you always have to prepare to be the starter. And with him (Kelly) going down like that, just preparing throughout the week, you’ve got to be ready for that moment.”

Jason Pellerin on being prepared to play QB

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Rebels’ starting QB Chad Kelly left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. (Photo credit: Mario Parham, The Rebel Walk)

Kelly injured his knee in the third quarter against the Eagles; although, initially, many thought the Buffalo, New York native may have suffered a concussion following a hard blow from an Eagles’ defender. Many also thought his knee injury was so severe that he would need surgery on it and even a possible knee replacement, and then would have to endure physical therapy for a long time to help him recover – Heres a blog post on Physical Therapy After a Total Knee Replacement. Luckily, this wasn’t the case though. When the Rebels’ offense stepped back out on the field and Pellerin was the one in the huddle orchestrating the play, everyone’s eyes were glued on the 6-foot-4, 230-lb quarterback.

After the win, Pellerin, who has played in six games this season, was open about how nervous he was when he stepped on the field to lead the offense. Yet, the New Iberia, Louisiana native was able to march the Rebels on two scoring drives that put the game out of reach.

“Once you get settled in the game, you’re more focused on the game than how nervous you are or anything.”

Jason Pellerin

Pellerin is prepared to lead the Rebels’ offense for as long as the team needs him–a situation that should become more clear Sunday after Kelly undergoes an MRI. In the meantime, is Pellerin confident about leading Ole Miss (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) into battle? Yes, indeed.

“You have to take the time out even more, now, to learn the plays and everything. But throughout the week, we run the plays – ones and twos run the same exact plays. I am confident in learning everything.”

Jason Pellerin

Akeem Judd on Pellerin

Pellerin is not the only one who has confidence in his ability; his teammates believe in him, also.

“We got great faith in Jason,” said senior running back Akeem Judd, who rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. “He’s a great quarterback. He just needed his opportunity and he just needed to get comfortable just like any other player. So, we got great faith in him.”

Engram, Kelly continue breaking records

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Engram eclipsed the single-season school record for catches by a tight end with 53. (Photo credit: Mario Parham, The Rebel Walk)

Senior tight end Evan Engram had four catches for 75 yards and scored his seventh touchdown of the season. Engram eclipsed the single-season school record for catches by a tight end with 53. The previous record was 52 by Barney Poole in 1947.

Engram moved up to fifth in school history in career receptions (150), passing Bill Flowers (149 from 2001-04).

Kelly extended his own school record with his 22nd consecutive game throwing a TD pass. He came in tied for the third-longest active streak among FBS players. Kelly’s touchdown pass to Engram was No. 50 in his career.

Kelly also moved up to fourth on the Ole Miss charts with 503 career completions.

Senior defensive end Fadol Brown led the team with a career-high 14 tackles, doubling his previous high of seven from last year’s Vanderbilt game. He also recorded 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sack.

About The Author

Courtney Smith

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.

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