Shegog among the nation’s best in several categories
By Andy Collier
Sports Editor, The Bolivar Bullet
Delta State University quarterback Patrick Shegog is having one heck of a year.
The graduate student star has completed 78-of-118 passes for 1,190 yards with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing yards with 324 yards and five touchdowns on 42 carries. Shegog has had either a throwing touchdown or a passing touchdown in 17 consecutive games dating back to last season.
Shegog is the NCAA Division II leader in points responsible for (126), points responsible for per game (25.2) and passing efficiency (195.6). The Batesville native and South Panola High School graduate is also in the top five in touchdown passes (4th) and is in the top 20 nationally in total offense (1,514 yards, 11th), total offense per game (302.8 ypg.,13th) and completion percentage (66.1 pct., 19th).
Shegog had his most complete game against Shorter at Pig Pickin’ on Sept. 23 at Travis E. Parker at Horace McCool Stadium. He completed 15-of-19 passes for 218 yards with five touchdowns and rushed for 138 yards with two touchdowns on 10 carries to lead the Statesmen in their 56-20 victory. His performance was good enough to earn him Co-Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Week and D2football.com National Offensive Player of the Week. Shegog’s performance this season has DSU ranked sixth in the D2football.com Poll with a perfect 5-0 overall record and a 3-0 mark in the GSC.
Shegog’s great play is an extension of last season where he was named Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
At the weekly DSU press conference on Sept. 25, Shegog didn’t take all the credit for himself.
“First, I’ll just say I’m a product of the talent around me and the coaching staff too,” said Shegog. “The coaching staff makes it real easy by simplifying the game plan. The coaching is hard, and we’ve got a group of guys that understand football, schemes and playing hard. The coaching staff makes it easy, so all we have to do is execute.”
In Shegog’s success this season, many players have had a chance to get the ball as 16 different players have at least one reception. The veteran signal caller is also grateful for the work to offensive line has done in protecting him.
“I try to spend as much time with the o-line as possible,” said Shegog. “Every year I’ve been here, those are probably my best friends. The chemistry is always there. We have a lot of fun together outside of football. We eat together every week before the games, so the chemistry is there. It’s like that with all of the guys too. It’s real fun when your best friends are on the field with you, and you’re all having fun.”
One aspect of being a quarterback that Shegog has worked on is his leadership skills.
“The way I try to lead is by example, and I think all of the guys know that,” said Shegog. “Over the years, Coach (Todd) Cooley has been trying to get me to be a more vocal leader, and I think I’ve gotten better at that especially this year. I’ve had to address the team vocally a few different times. I’m getting more comfortable with it. At the end of the day, I feel like your team is going to respect what you say more if they see that you live by what you preach.”
The biggest thing that drives Shegog is making his family proud.
“A lot of things drive me, but that’s the main one,” said Shegog. “My parents are there for me every time I have a game. The past two years, they’ve been there for every single one of them with the exception of the Chowan trip. They’re always there and supporting me whether we win or lose. They’re just always there for me and the rest of my family and friends always show up too. Trying not to put a bad spot on the family name is something that I live by everyday.”
Shegog was key in the Statesmen going 11-2 last year as they earned a share of the GSC Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
Shegog knows it’s still early this year, but he would love for his team to finish with a better result.
“Since I’ve been here, it’s been an uphill battle,” said Shegog. “Last year, we finally got a taste of what the playoffs feel like. We won a share of the conference. We definitely want to get back knowing how close we were to the end goal last year, but we have to focus on one week at a time. As long as we take care of business, it will eventually get here.”