Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze says true freshman QB Shea Patterson still has a lot to learn

To the casual fan, Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson was phenomenal in his debut two weeks ago in a 29-28 win over Texas A&M in College Station.

Patterson threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns while completing 59.5 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 64 yards on 16 attempts. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze was certainly impressed by his true freshman quarterback's debut, but after watching game film Freeze noticed room for improvement.

“He’s probably about where you would expect any freshman who came out this early in the season to be," Freeze said. "He had a great game at Texas A&M by many people’s standards, but we watched the film and you see there are still many things he doesn’t quite understand."

Patterson followed up his debut with a 222 yard and two touchdown performance in a 38-17 loss to Vanderbilt. Patterson only completed 47.6 percent of his passes but many of those were dropped balls by his wide receivers. Freeze estimates around "10 drops" but said Patterson missed open targets as well.

"He had Quincy Adeboyejo on a touchdown and Evan (Engram) on a touchdown and he missed those," Freeze said. 

"There were a lot of good things he did, but still a ways to go.”

Patterson scrambled around the pocket for most of the night against the Commodores. While his ability to escape pressure did create positive plays, including a 21-yard touchdown pass to running back Akeem Judd, Freeze says he thought Patterson was a little "anxious."

"He definitely got out of the pocket at times the other night where he didn’t have to," Freeze said.

"I think the answer to that is just more reps. That’s why we need more practices in the bowl time and the spring to get him ready for next season. We’ll work on it some this week, but the best teacher is experience for that. He’ll see it on film. He already has, and we’ll learn from it.”

Patterson will look to start in his third consecutive game on Saturday against Mississippi State. Kickoff for the Egg Bowl is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

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