Rebel QB Chad Kelly said every play intensity and focus a must for Egg Bowl

Ole Miss Quarterback Chad Kelly, the SEC leader in total offense with 3,857 yards thus far this season, expects a tough game Saturday night when the Rebels invade Starkville to take on Mississippi State in a venue the Rebels have not won in for over a decade, but he says if everyone is focused and 'on the same page,' the Rebs can come out on top.

Chad Kelly was asked about the cowbells at MSU, something totally foreign to him.

"I'm from Buffalo (NY) and have never heard a cowbell in my life. I've never been around a cowbell. I'm just a kid from Buffalo and cowbells aren't prevalent up there," he quipped. "I'm anxious to see what it is like. It is going to be intense and fun. I can't wait."

Don't look now, Chad, but you are about to get an awakening, a cowbell awakening.

"I know it will be really loud. We will have to be focused. We will have to work hard this week in practice and get everything down pat before heading to Starkville," he noted. "Then, every play, we have to be intense and focused and on the same page. We will have to be able to communicate during all that noise, so we will definitely have to be on the same page."

Kelly liked what he saw in athe MSU-Arkansas game in regard to Hog QB BrandonAllen throwing for seven TDs against the Bulldogs, but he doesn't take that as any guarantee he can replicate that performance.

"They throw a lot of funk at you - different looks. They try to attack you from different angles and you never know where they are coming from," he stated. "Arkansas had perfect calls on a lot of the time, but it doesn't always work out that way. Fortunately, we are in an offense where every play works if you execute and do what you are supposed to do. There are outlets for every coverage and for every look that a defense can show us, we have an answer if we recognize it and execute, which is a big part of my job.

"They may play one-high, two-high or change it up. We won't know until we get out there."

A job he has done exceptionally, so far, this year.

"There has been a standard set here with the quarterback position and not just by what Bo (Wallace) did. A lot of great QBs have come through here and I feel a responsibility to carry that torch the best I can," Chad noted. "I took an approach of one play at a time. I was determined to prepare hard and to be ready when the game came around and then to stay focused every single play. I feel I have done that OK. Also, I sort of expected these kinds of numbers when I started to get a grasp of the system and started to see what kind of receivers I have, the line I have and the backs I have. This is not happening just because of me. The rest of the guys make it happen as much as me. The whole offense has done a great job of balancing things out and keeping the defense on its toes.""

He says he has come a long way in his personal and QB development this year.

"I have matured. I think just understanding that everything does not need a reaction and there is a bigger picture than the current moment has helped me a lot," Kelly assessed. "I feel I have developed as a player too. I have learned the offense and I think that is where I can be even better next year."

Kelly has thrown for 3,504 yards on 64.8% passing efficiency and has connected for 25 TDs with 12 picks. He has also rushed for 353 yards. His 350.6 yards per game of total offense is tops in the SEC. His counterpart at MSU, Dak Prescott, has similar numbers and Kelly's respect. (3,637 total yards, second in the SEC behind Kelly.)

"Dak is a good guy and an outstanding quarterback. We have some similarities. He has a great arm and is a good runner when his number is called. He's also an outstanding competitor and leader," Kelly continued. "He's a great quarterback."  

Kelly believes these two teams are about equal and there are similarities.

"Our records are the same, our defenses are a lot alike and our offenses have both been real productive," he stated. "This should be a great game and the team with the most focus and intesnity, the team that is locked in the best, will likely be the team that wins. Like I said, it will be loud and crazy and hyped up and from our end of it, we will have to stay focused every single play."

The Rebels will now the result of of the Alabama-Auburn game just prior to the Egg Bowl kickoff, most likely. A win by Auburn and a win by Ole Miss puts the Rebels in Atlanta in the SEC Championship game, but Kelly said Ole Miss will not be looking at that.

"No matter if Auburn or Alabama wins that game, we have a rivalry game on our hands and it's going to be a battle to the end, no matter what is or isn't on the line extra beyond the scope of our game," he explained. 

In a few days, the "kid from Buffalo" is going to get his first taste of a cowbell, and plenty of them.

He can't wait.

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