A Closer Look: Quarterbacks

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This is the second of a 10-part position-by-position series looking back at the 2017 season, as well as previewing what lies ahead for Ole Miss football in 2018.

Top Performer: Jordan Ta'amu (115-of-173, 1,682 yards, 11 touchdowns, four interceptions)

Returning in 2018: Ta'amu (Sr., 1L), Jason Pellerin (Jr., 2L), Alex Faniel (Fr., RS), Grant Restmeyer (So, SQ), Graham Lindman (Sr., SQ)

Newcomers in 2018: Matt Corral (Fr., Long Beach Poly, Calif.)

Losing from 2017 Team: Shea Patterson (Transfer)

Looking back at 2017: With all the adversity hurled in its path last season, one of the more remarkable things Ole Miss was able to do was make a seamless transition at signal caller halfway through the season. When Shea Patterson's knee buckled in the first half against LSU, a play that would result in him missing the remainder of the season with a torn PCL, Ole Miss coaches called upon junior college transfer Jordan Ta'amu to right the ship.

The junior quarterback stepped in and led Ole Miss down the field to kick a field goal before halftime, and later led a scoring drive in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Tigers. It was the beginning of a transition that saw Ta'amu add a spark to the Ole Miss offense. He completed 66 percent of his passes, tossed 11 touchdowns and threw just four interceptions over a five-game stretch that saw him compile 1,682 yards. Phil Longo's offense became more cohesive upon Ta'amu's insertion. He was a direct runner and consistently made good reads in a system that hinges on run-pass options. His uncanny composure surfaced when he led a game-winning drive against Kentucky in Lexington. Ta'amu led the Rebels to a 3-2 record that culminated with an Egg Bowl win. More so than anything, he provided a sense of security in a season and offseason littered with uncertainty.

Looking ahead to 2018: This is Ta'amu's offense going into next year. His five-game audition showed he is a good fit in Longo's offense and has a knack for making the big play when his team needs one. He will have another offseason to progress as a passer and returns a plethora of talent at wide receiver. Ta'amu will also go into the spring and summer with the advantage of knowing he is the guy.

One of Matt Luke's first splashes as permanent head coach came by signing four-star quarterback Matt Corral. The Army All-American is a tremendous arm talent and gives Ole Miss something to build around in the future. He'll arrive on campus this month and participate in spring practice. He'll be a viable option should Ta'amu get injured, but it is certainly the latter's offense to control in 2018. 

A Closer Look:
- Running Backs (Jan. 8)
- Quarterbacks (Jan. 9)
- Wide Receivers (Jan. 10)
- Tight Ends (Jan. 11)
- Offensive Line (Jan. 15)
- Defensive Line (Jan. 16)
- Linebackers (Jan. 17)

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

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    in post Madden 17 Ratings for Former Rebels

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    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

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