After a memorable victory over No. 8 Texas A&M this past weekend, two Rebels who were vital in the comeback road win were recognized by the Southeastern Conference office for their performances. Quarterback Shea Patterson earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors, while junior kicker Gary Wunderlich collected SEC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades.
Playing in his first collegiate game, Patterson picked up his first SEC weekly award. Wunderlich was honored as the conference’s special teams player of the week for the second time in his career. Last season, the kicker helped Ole Miss knock off Alabama to earn the weekly award.
The duo was instrumental in the largest fourth-quarter comeback by an Ole Miss football team in 18 years. Trailing by 15 entering the fourth quarter, the Rebels scored 23 points in the final 15 minutes to knock off the Aggies, 29-28. Patterson led Ole Miss on three touchdown drives in the quarter before setting up Wunderlich’s game-winning 39-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the contest.
After senior quarterback Chad Kelly went down with a season-ending knee injury last week, Patterson’s redshirt was removed for Saturday night’s game at Kyle Field. The highly-touted 5-star quarterback did not disappoint in his Rebel debut, turning in a historic performance that will go down in the Ole Miss record books. Patterson totaled 402 yards of offense, including 338 through the air; both marks set school records by a freshman. The Shreveport, Louisiana, native completed 25 of 42 passes with two touchdowns and an interception. Patterson rushed 15 times for 64 yards on the ground, constantly scrambling, avoiding sacks and picking up key first downs.
Wunderlich continued his strong junior campaign. The Lou Groza Award semifinalist made three field goals for the third straight game, connecting on tries from 25, 24 and 39 yards. His 39-yarder in the final minute of play was the first game-winning field goal of his career. He also punted four times for a 40.5 average, including a 47-yarder. With three field goals and two PATs against Texas A&M, Wunderlich moved into third place in school history in career points scored (252) and career FGs made (44).
This season, the Memphis, Tennessee, native has been nearly perfect in field goal attempts. He is 19 of 20 on the year for a .950 field goal percentage that leads the SEC. Wunderlich successfully connected on a career-long 49-yard field goal earlier this year, and his only miss has been from 55 yards.
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