Ole Miss aims to get back on track with Ta’amu under center
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Rebels are preparing to face the Arkansas Razorbacks (2-5, 0-4 SEC) this Saturday at 11 a.m. in Oxford. The Razorbacks are dead last in the SEC West and have lost those games by a combined 97 points.
With sophomore starting quarterback Shea Patterson out for the season due to an injury to his posterior cruciate ligament, junior college transfer Jordan Ta’amu will take over the starting quarterback spot for the Rebels.
Ta’amu had an impressive showing in Patterson’s absence against LSU, leading two scoring drives while completing 7 of 11 passes for 78 yards and adding another 20 yards on the ground.
“I think going out there and playing well in his drives earned him some credibility among the guys,” head coach Matt Luke said after the Rebels’ Wednesday practice.
“I think they were excited that he led two scoring drives. I think that helps him while he’s out there.”
Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke on QB Jordan Ta’amu
Expect the Rebels (3-4, 1-3 SEC) to try to get the ground game going early against the Razorbacks in order to help Ta’amu get settled in. Although Patterson will not be at the helm Saturday, Matt Luke is confident in Ta’amu’s ability to run the offense effectively.
“He’s got a grasp of the whole offense; there’s some things with his skill set and our run game that he will have the chance to pull and get on the edge,” Luke said.
“I don’t think we will hold anything back. We will do everything in our arsenal.”
Coach Luke on Ta’amu
Luke expects running back Jordan Wilkins (ankle) to try and play against Arkansas. Center Sean Rawlings (concussion protocol) is listed as doubtful, while defensive back C.J. Moore (hamstring) will be a game-time decision.
Ole Miss and Arkansas kick off at 11:00 a.m. (CT) Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. The Rebels are currently a 3.5 point favorite over the Razorbacks.
(Feature image credit: Mike Bedgood, The Rebel Walk)