Jordan Ta’amu officially took over as the Ole Miss starting quarterback in week eight after Shea Patterson was lost for the season with a knee injury.
He’s been setting records ever since, and Louisiana was his latest victim.
Ta’amu was 28 of 36 for a career-high 418 passing yards and five total touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) in a 50-22 Rebel win Saturday afternoon. Ta’amu fell two touchdowns shy of the single-game school record set by Arnold “Showboat” Boykin, who scored seven touchdowns in a 49-7 Ole Miss win over Mississippi State in 1951.
With the win, the Rebels moved to 5-5 (2-4 SEC) on the season. Louisiana, previously winners of three of its last four, dropped to 4-5 (3-2 Sun Belt).
“I think he’s got good poise,” Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth said of Ta’amu. “He throws strikes, and I tell you, a couple of times you could tell we covered his first and second progression and he sat there and he found the dig across the middle. You could hear the ball hitting the receiver’s shoulder pads with a pop. He’s got a live arm. He’s a very able runner who can hurt you with his legs. I think the guy did a really good job. He’s tough to stop, especially with their running back and their wideouts.”
Ta’amu, a junior college transfer by way of New Mexico Military Institute, has impressed in his three-game run as the starter for the Rebels.
His 368 passing yards against Arkansas were the most ever by an Ole Miss quarterback in his first career start. He followed with 382 passing yards in a comeback win at Kentucky, which was then a career high, topped only by his performance against Louisiana. His 77.5 completion percentage in the same game was an Ole Miss record by a Rebel quarterback with a minimum of 40 passing attempts.
Ta’amu’s performance against Louisiana brought his season totals to 86 of 117 passing (73.5 percent) for 1,246 yards and seven touchdowns to two interceptions. He also has four rushing touchdowns.
“Jordan, he definitely is a good quarterback,” Louisiana defensive back Tracy Walker said. “I can tell he picked up on a lot of things from Shea Patterson. I wish I could have played him, but it didn’t turn out that way. Jordan is definitely a good quarterback. He reads his keys and he does his job. He runs the offense well.”
Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown led all Ole Miss receivers with 185 yards and two touchdowns, while his 14 catches tied the school record set by all-time Rebel great Laquon Treadwell.
Brown has now totaled 1,015 receiving yards on the season, which is 38 shy of the school record. Brown is just the third Ole Miss receiver to break the 1,000-yard mark.
“I feel like they’ve got a great group of guys,” Walker said of the Ole Miss wide receivers. “They go after the ball and play aggressive. Ole Miss has one of the best receiving corps in the nation.”