CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: TODD

HED:What's a Patridge QB to do for some pub around here?

By Todd Vinyard

Daily Journal

There is always somebody, sometimes unintentionally, upstaging a Patridge family member.

From 1969-71, Jimmy Patridge played quarterback for Mississippi State. There was another guy playing quarterback for another state school at the time. You may have heard of him Archie Manning at Ole Miss.

Jimmy's son, Stewart, is playing quarterback this season for Ole Miss. His team is 2-0, he is completing 67 percent of his passes, and he ranks 24th among NCAA quarterbacks in passing efficiency.

Romaro Miller, however, has been the quarterback to talk about in Oxford. The highly-touted Shannon native set a state high school record for total offense last year and received the most press coverage for a guy from Lee County since Elvis.

But Patridge is the starter. Miller is, without a doubt, the future.

So, when Rebel coach Tommy Tuberville said at his weekly press conference that he has been wanting to get Miller in soon, it created a bit of stir. Is this Romaro's time? And why?

No quarterback controversy

Tuberville said earlier this season there were three ways Miller could get into the opener with Central Florida. One, if Ole Miss was way ahead. Two, if Ole Miss was behind. Three, if Patridge went down. None of those things happened and Miller didn't play.

Even the most die-hard Rebel fan must admit chances are extremely high Ole Miss will be behind, possibly way behind, Saturday at Auburn. That could be one way Miller plays.

Also, you only have to ask Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers about the fragile life of a quarterback. Being hit by 290- to 300-pound individuals is not good for a person's health. Patridge could get hurt and the Rebels need a backup with playing experience.

Miller has tons of talent. He showed that in a preseason scrimmage by throwing for more than 200 yards. Patridge has experience. He was the quarterback last season when Ole Miss went into Georgia and won.

"Having been there before, you can kind of tell guys what to expect and they will be looking to you to do the job," Patridge said of this week's SEC opener on the road. "There is no pressure to do it. That is just your job as a fifth-year senior."

Miller time will come at Ole Miss, and could start with a preview Saturday. For the moment, a Patridge has earned a part on center stage.

Rebel Ramblings: Junior college transfer Robert Gates (6-foot-2, 236) will make his second start of his Ole Miss career at left defensive end this week. ... The Rebels' defense has intercepted a pass in four consecutive games. ... Ole Miss will be looking for its first win in eight trips to Auburn. ... Right defensive tackle Mitch Baker played around 30-40 plays in his first action in two years since transferring to Ole Miss from Tennessee. Tuberville says Baker will help more with the run than the pass. ... Armegis Spearman, a sophomore linebacker from Bruce, accounted for 5 tackles (3 unassisted, 2 assisted) and an interception against SMU.

Todd Vinyard covers Ole Miss football for the Daily Journal.

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