October 21, 2007
Quarterback change could happen
Three weeks ago, there wasn't even a question. Seth Adams was going to start at quarterback for the Ole Miss Rebels, and if history was an indicator, Adams would play well.
But 10 interceptions in 11 quarters of football tends to change things, and Saturday during the Rebels' one-sided 44-8 loss to Arkansas, Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron did what he had to do.
He switched quarterbacks.
"I don't want any guys to be out there and not perform and not get benched," Orgeron said.
Adams certainly did not perform well Saturday, completing just nine-of-21 throws for 79 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions.
"I just played poorly and put our team in bad situations," Adams said. "I just never got anything going."
Adams missed on timing routes, screen passes and deep throws - plays he'd been making during the first five games.
Orgeron floated the idea that opponents have scouted Adams better since the early games this season, but Adams felt the responsibility falls back on him.
"They know we have a deep threat. They know we can throw the ball a little bit," Adams said. "But, it's just poor play on my part and the reason for the outcome today."
There's plenty of responsibility to go around, though.
"Sometimes it's his fault, sometimes it's the receivers fault," Orgeron said. "I thought our protection was bad today. He had a lot of pressure on him."
And after Saturday's struggles, the pressure to perform will just go up. It's something Brent Schaeffer knows all too well.
"I know what it feels like. I've been through it also," Schaeffer said. "I try to come in and give him a word of inspiration. A lot of times last year, I was in the same spot as him."
In over a quarter's worth of snaps, Schaeffer completed five-of-13 throws for 103 yards and a touchdown.
"For the situation I was in, I think I played decent," Schaeffer said.
Offensive coordinator Dan Werner said Schaeffer came in and took care of things well, all things considered.
"I was proud of (Brent). I thought he came in and handled the team," Werner said. "We went no huddle and moved us around and got us a touchdown. That's what he's supposed to do when he gets in there."
By the time Schaeffer entered the game down 28-0 late in the third quarter, the Rebels' running game had virtually disappeared. In Schaeffer's time, Ole Miss rushed seven times for 13 yards. One of those runs was a 6-yard Schaeffer scramble.
Playing with a one-dimensional offense limited the plays the Rebels could call, and that limited Schaeffer's effectiveness.
"It's just the situation that I'm in," he said. "With the score like that, they're playing off. They know you're throwing. Play action won't fool too many people."
But know Schaeffer may have a chance to earn back his starting job. He said his approach to practice wouldn't change this week.
"I just come out every week and try my hardest," Schaeffer said. "Things played out how they've played out, and I'm just trying to build my reputation back as a good character person - come out, work hard and practice hard every week regardless of if I play or not. If I do, I'm going to try and help us win. But if I don't, I'll just keep my head up and keep going."
But Schaeffer knows he can help his team win, someway or somehow.
"I'd like to think I can help the team win as a competitive player," he said. "I think I bring some things to the table that can help the team, just as Seth can help the team win.
"Even though I'm not playing, I want to win. I'm a competitor. I didn't come here to lose."
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