Ole Miss At Texas A&M: Five Things To Know
The Ole Miss Rebels are hoping that they can sustain the winning edge, momentum, and any thing else that comes their way as they travel to College Station to face the No. 11 ranked Aggies of Texas A&M.
TA&M is coming off a 17-point loss (48-31) to Mississippi State, Ole Miss' in-state archrival while the Rebels bested Alabama 23-17 at Oxford. The win over the No. 3 ranked Crimson Tide--No. 1 in another poll-- is the first time the Rebels have beaten Alabama since 2003. That was when Eli Manning was a senior quarterback.
A&M's loss was a bit deceptive as the Aggies trailed by as much as 31 points (48-17) before staging a comeback to make the score more respectable.
Last week aside, here are five things to look for as Ole Miss and Texas A&M prepare to meet for the seventh time in their history. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. central time kickoff, and will be televised by ESPN.
1. WILL THE AGGIES MAKE IT SEVEN?
In the previous six meetings between Ole Miss and A&M, the Aggies lead the overall series 6-0. The last time these two met in College Station, Gerald Ford was president, which was 1974. A&M won 7-0. They met again in 1980, with the maroon and white winning 23-20. Last season at Oxford, the Aggies won on the strength of a 33-yard field goal. The year before--also at Oxford, it took heroics by Manziel and company to come away with a 26-23 win.
As the saying goes, there is a first time for everything.
2. HILL OR WALLACE: WHO WILL FARE BETTER?
Kenny Hill has made a name for himself as the successor to Johnny Manziel as he had a sterling debut in the win over South Carolina, but the Bulldogs' defense put pressure on him last week, forcing him into making some off target throws.
Wallace, a senior, has been called by some media members "Good Bo or Bad Bo." The "bad" one is when he throws interceptions. In last week's win over Alabama, Wallace didn't throw an interception, and could be described as "Effective Bo," what with the poise and determination he showed in the two scoring drives, including the game winning touchdown pass to LaQuon Treadwell.
Perhaps the good outing that Wallace had against the Tide will propel his confidence and hep him maintain the effective, clutch style of play he displayed last week.
3. AN EFFECTIVE RUNNING GAME CAN BE AN ASSET...
Especially for Ole Miss. With Jaylen Walton, I'tavius Mathers, Mark Dodson and Jordan Wilkins getting a fair share of the workload. Although the Aggies beat Arkansas 35-28 in overtime two weeks ago, Arkansas had some soild running plays. Ole Miss's running attack has had some good moments through the first five games. If the running game can click for Ole Miss, they can sustain long drives and keep Hill and company on the sidelines.
4. THE REBEL "D" IS AMONG THE BEST IN THE LAND
When a team has Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche, Cody Prewitt, Tony Conner, Channing Ward, Issac Gross, Serderius Bryant, C.J. Johnson, among others, it is no wonder that the Rebels are allowing only 10.2 points per game, which is second in the country. The Rebels are only one three teams among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams that haven't allowed an opponent to score 20 points in a game to date. The other two are Stanford and Notre Dame.
For Ole Miss, it is going to take a herculean effort--muich like last week against Alabama--to cause havoc on the Aggies offense, especially the passing game.
5. EMOTIONS AND OTHER INTANGIBLES...
The is the first time Ole Miss has played an opponent on their home field. They played Boise State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and Vanderbilt at LP Field, the home field of the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
This is the first time since 1962 that Ole Miss has been 5-0. They want to show that they deserve to be among the more respected teams in the country. Since taking over as the Rebels head coach in December, 2011, Hugh Freeze has talked about this time being on a journey.
This game is part of that journey to get Ole Miss football among the elite in the SEC and the nation. Should they be able to come off the win over Alabama, they will take another step on the journey to be among the best among college football teams in 2014.