…as reported by the announcing team, why did he not come in for Storey, when he got knocked out of the game, and of the three times? Kelley hit the long pass on his first play and then reminded us whey he had been demoted to third team in practice on his last pass. If Noland is playing better than Kelley in practice, why is he not out there?
I apologize if this has already been covered. I have a hard time reading any Hog board after a loss. Sorting through all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth posts is just too painful. Unlike many out there, I just don’t enjoy wallowing in all of that misery.
Noland taking all the 2nd team snaps came from the announcers, per their conversation with CCM they said. Just seams funny they were privy to such info and nobody else was. Or they asked the right question at the right time I suppose.
That being said only the coaches know how well Noland performed in practice taking those snaps & progress in the offense.
Assuming the announcers were correct in that Noland took more meaningful snaps than Kelley during practice, my theory is that the coaches put Kelley into the game when Storey was hurt in the second quarter so they would not have to add a game to Noland’s redshirt count for what potentially could have been a limited number of plays. Then Kelley threw a TD, so they went with what they thought was a hot hand when Storey was knocked out for good in the fourth quarter.
Kelley actually moved the ball well in that first fourth quarter drive. He came in at the Arkansas 30 and the drive reached the Ole Miss 38 before two plays for lost yardage took Arkansas out of field goal range. He threw a good pass to La’Michael Pettway to move the ball 21 yards on the next drive, and Pettway dropped a pretty good pass from Kelley on first down in the penultimate drive.
I don’t see why they are so concerned about playing Connor Noland if he is better than Kelley. Noland may opt out after his 3rd year of college for the MLB draft. He may or may not be here…the redshirt issue may be a moot point. If KJ Jefferson is as good as we read, then he may be the heir apparent after whoever is the quarterback next year. Who knows…Connor Noland might win the job next year and play. He might go to baseball exclusively. My point is we can’t wait for next year. What if Noland had come in and driven us for a score, and we would have beaten Ole Miss. Would a victory last night be worth him taking off his redshirt? As bad as our circumstances are now…we needed a win any way we could get it. These decisions are tough ones for a coach. Noland has only played in one game, right? So, he can play in 3 more? That means he could have played last night without jeopardizing the redshirt. They must feel he is not ready or really better than Cole at this time.
The point is everybody is all over the choice to play Kelley when he actually did a decent job leading the team concerning the circumstances. He didn’t have the top two RBs and yet still got the team near field goal range on one drive, threw a touchdown pass on another and hit Pettway in the hands on a play that had a lot of green in front. Had Noland played, we don’t know that he would have done better, as good or worse. I think Matt nailed it when he said that Kelley came off the bench in the cold, wet rain and on the first play hit Pettway for a touchdown, and the coaches decided to ride him the rest of the way. Just because Noland got most, if not all, the second-team snaps in practice doesn’t mean that he had completely overtaken Kelley as No. 2. We don’t know, but it may have been they wanted Kelley to concentrate on the special packages they had for him.
Every QB we have had on the field the last 6+ years were all highly touted 4* QB’s except Kelly-3*. None were ready to start as a freshman or even redshirt freshmen. A couple got thrown in early due to injuries & didn’t bode well. Mainly due to the talent around them plus learning new systems, oh and SEC competition.
Not saying Noland isn’t ready, but.
If you base it off of HS school competition & accomplishments, JSJ would be the pick.
Sometimes you just don’t know till you throw m in the fire.
This was a very similar situation to the Colorado State game. We had a lead and the coaches opted for experience to protect that lead. It didn’t work in September and it didn’t work Saturday night. I suspect under similar circumstances, I would have done the same thing, but I would have used my tight ends and Maleek Williams to keep that drive alive before the punt. We didn’t need to score, but we did need at least one more first down. How many times we have seen that over the past three years? Just one more first down and the game is a W.
From the running back side, it is interesting that the coaches said that Maleek Williams didn’t make the trip and T.J. Hammonds had a rolled ankle. After losing Boyd and Whaley, the only true running back they had was Chase Hayden. I think I might have used one of those big fullbacks too, but I guess Cole Kelley fits the same mold.