At one point in the 2008 season, if memory serves us correctly, sophomore Quarterback Jevan Snead had thrown for nine touchdowns but he had also thrown nine interceptions.
By the time the Rebels ended the regular season, reeling off five straight wins, Snead had thrown 23 TDs and had 12 picks.
The TD-to-interception numbers during that time were 14-3.
A 1:1 ratio early, and nearly 5:1 late. A remarkable reversal. Or was it a progression?
"It's all about experience and reps and feeling comfortable," said Snead recently. "Game reps help tremendously, more than you realize until you live it.
"At first, there were things I was seeing defensively for the first time in a game. After a while, my recognition got better and better and I started making better decisions. I also became more careful and fully understood how critical it is to take care of the ball."
As the light bulb started burning brighter and brighter, Snead's confidence soared, not only in himself but in his supporting cast as well.
"I have so many weapons to choose from and that really gives a quarterback more and more confidence," he explained. "I've got guys out there who I can dump it to and they can turn it into big gains and guys who can run by coverages.
"Playmakers are everywhere on this team."
Jevan was also quick to note the improvement in pass protection.
"The guys up front got better and better as the year progressed too," Snead noted. "In November, I really felt like I could stand back there all day most of the time. It's not hard to play this position when you have that kind of protection."
Snead's personality is to deflect all the credit to his teammates, but when all was said and done, he completed 166-298 passes for 2,470 yards and 23 TDs while throwing 12 picks.
"I wanted my completion percentage to be over 60% and I would like to have some of those interceptions back, but as I said, the longer the season went on, the higher my completion percentage was and the interceptions were rare," he noted.
Snead really didn't know what to expect when the season started. The one constant was that he would do his best and continually grow in the position.
"I had hoped to get in a rhythm quicker than I did, but it was a learning process that was harder than I anticipated," he added. "The one thing I knew was that I would keep working, keep learning and keep trying."
Jevan's goal for the Cotton Bowl is simple - get off to a good start like he did against LSU and Mississippi State, where he was as sharp as he has ever been on the first drives of those games.
"We want to set the tone of being crisp and sharp. I will be anxious - I am before every game, but now my confidence level is high enough that it overrides that anxiety. It only lasts a few plays, but you want to be sharp even when you are getting settled in," Snead said. "A big key to the Cotton Bowl will be getting out of the gate early. That's our intention."
A lot of observers are saying the Cotton Bowl will be all about how well the Rebel defense can stand up to the prolific Texas Tech offense.
Jevan Snead is going to try to do his part to make sure it doesn't come down to that.
"The last three games, we averaged about 45 points a game. Don't count our offense out," Jevan smiled the smile of a confident, comfortable quarterback.
Jevan Snead -
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