October 28, 2007

Rebels have options at QB

The Ole Miss Rebels and head coach Ed Orgeron are faced with some interesting choices over the next three games.

The Rebels could elect to continue to play some veterans at some important positions, or Ole Miss could elect to insert some younger players into the lineup, with the hopes of getting them game tested for 2008.

This dilemma plays out in the most visible way under center, where Orgeron will have to select his quarterback.

Option One: Senior Seth Adams
152-271, 1809 yards 12 TD, 14 INT

Adams is the most likely guy to take the bulk of the remaining snaps. With low expectations, Adams entered the season on fire, helping turbo-charge the Rebel offense.

But in recent weeks, Adams' biggest strength turned into a weakness.

Billed as a quarterback who could take care of the football, Adams threw 10 interceptions in the Rebels' recent three-game home stand against just four touchdowns.

At Auburn, Adams completed 11-of-24 attempts for 89 yards and no touchdowns. It was his first game without an interception since the Rebels' season opener at Memphis.

While Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron has been very willing to make personnel changes at plenty other positions, he's appeared satisfied enough with Adams' play to keep him in games.

Odds of remaining the starter:2-to-1

Option Two: Senior Brent Schaeffer
9-21, 191 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Schaeffer started 12 games at quarterback for the Rebels in 2006 and was largely unimpressive. Orgeron questioned Schaeffer's lifestyle in the offseason, and he lost his job to a former walk-on.

Schaeffer's played in three games this season for the Rebels, including one drive in the fourth quarter at Auburn. On that drive, Schaeffer looked sharp, completing 3-of-3 passes before being intercepted in the end zone.

While the coaching staff has credited Schaeffer with saying all the right things, he played at Auburn only after Adams was shaken up.

While the offense moved with Schaeffer in the game, the Ole Miss coaching staff may not want to take the ball out of Adams' hands - unless they're forced to.

Odds of being the starter:6-to-1

Option Three: Freshman Michael Herrick
0-0, 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

One of the most prolific passers in California prep history, Herrick's the one quarterback who with eligibility remaining after the season. He's also never taken a collegiate snap.

There's concern about his size, but Herrick has worked hard to build onto his frame. This may be Herrick's best chance for regular playing time, with Texas transfer Jevan Snead eligible in 2008.

Herrick's name was mentioned plenty in the preseason, but as the Rebels' have gotten deeper into the year, his name has come up less and less often.

If the Rebel coaching staff decides to strictly concentrate on the future, it might be wise to get Herrick some snaps before his sophomore season. However, this coaching staff has made it clear that they want to win and want to play the players who give them the best chance to win.

At this time, that's probably not Herrick.

Odds of being the starter:15-to-1

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