The Aggies are unranked for the first time this season and also hold a 3-3 season record for the first time since 2010. After a loss to top-ranked Alabama, Texas A&M is looking to get back in the win column against Ole Miss on Saturday. Here are five things to watch for as the Aggies face the Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi.
1. Dual quarterback threat
Ole Miss uses freshmen quarterbacks John Rhys Plumlee and Matt Corral in a rotation, with Plumlee serving primarily as a rushing quarterback while Corral attacks through the air. Last Saturday when the Rebels took on Missouri, the second half saw a drive-by-drive and then play-by-play rotation of the duo, with Plumlee accounting for 143 of their 204 total rushing yards. The Rebels’ unconventional quarterback play could prove effective against an A&M defense that showed signs of confusion and missed assignments against Alabama last Saturday.
2. Ole Miss Run Defense
A&M has struggled to find any momentum on the ground this season, and the Aggies are unlikely to succeed in that area on Saturday. The Ole Miss defense has allowed an average of 118 rushing yards over the last seven games; A&M has averaged 132 rushing yards per game. A&M also lacks depth at running back after losing sophomore Jashaun Corbin to injury and freshman Deneric Prince to the transfer portal. Leaving the Aggies with only freshman Isaiah Spiller, sophomore Jacob Kibodi and sophomore Cordarrian Richardson. As a result, junior quarterback Kellen Mond has been A&M’s leading rusher in two games this season, so look for him to lead for a third time.
3. A&M and Mississippi road games
Since joining the SEC, the Aggies are 4-4 against Mississippi teams in the Magnolia State. Combined with a 3-6 record on the road over the past three seasons, what should be a fairly easy win for A&M could turn out to be a struggle. According to the Golden Gate Casino’s sportsbook, the Aggies are a six-point favorite to win the game, but expect Ole Miss to keep the score close throughout.
4. Mond and receivers could have an explosive game
The Ole Miss secondary is lacking allowing an average of 300 passing yards per game. The unit has five interceptions on the season, with three of those coming against Southeastern Louisiana University. Though a weak offensive line and unreliable receivers have prevented A&M from finding success in the passing game, a matchup against this Ole Miss team could prove to be what the Aggies need to find some rhythm on offense.
5. Rebels’ Rushing
In addition to Plumlee, the Rebels also have a bit of depth at running back. Four non-quarterbacks had carries last Saturday. Though Plumlee leads the Rebels in rushing yards, freshmen Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner have been major contributors to the Rebels’ offense. However, A&M has a rushing defense that allows an average of 116.2 yards per game. Look for the Aggies to limit Ole Miss’ production on the ground.