Teammates’ support helped Patterson remain confident during Rebels’ win over Aggies
OXFORD, Miss. – True freshman quarterback Shea Patterson had an outstanding debut game for Ole Miss in the Rebels’ win over A&M Saturday. But it was his lone interception on the first drive of the third quarter that led to the young signal-caller gaining more confidence.
Following the interception, Patterson didn’t play like it was his first official start at quarterback at the collegiate level. He led the Rebels’ offense on four scoring drives in the second half to help Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) defeat the Aggies 29-28 last Saturday night inside Kyle Field.
“The defense came and talked to me saying they were going to get the ball back. That was what really changed my mind. These guys are really behind me and I have a great supporting staff. That was what really gave me the confidence…”
Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson
Playing with experienced players also helped make Patterson comfortable.
“Luckily, we have a great group of seniors in Evan Engram and Robert Conyers, really keeping me level-headed throughout the game,” said Patterson, who was named SEC’s Freshman of the Week on Monday after completing 25 of 42 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“Like I said, they just made my job so easy. I just tried to control what I can control and did whatever I could do to help the team win.”
Not only does Patterson have an energized group of seniors to play with, he also has a gauntlet of talented wide receivers to whom he can throw the football. Patterson was able to hit eight different receivers and his two TD passes went to Damore’ea Stringfellow and Van Jefferson.
Patterson doesn’t remember having more than one option at receiver back in high school at IMG Academy.
“In high school, I was used to having like one or two,” Patterson said. “But to be able to go out there and have 6, 7, 8 just makes my job so much easier. Like I said, they made so many good plays for me that night and who knows, without receivers like that, I don’t think it would’ve turned out like that, the way it did.”
(Video of Shea Patterson courtesy of David Johnson, Rebels247)
After the game
After Patterson had a solid debut in his first college football game, he received a ton of phone calls and text messages from friends and family members.
“I think I shut my phone off after the game. I had about 300 text messages after,” Patterson said. “I try to keep a small circle that are a part of my friends and family.”
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)