COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The stage is set for another big matchup atop the SEC Western Division as the No. 3 ranked Ole Miss Rebels (5-0, 2-0) take on the Texas A&M Aggies (5-1,2-1) at Kyle Field for crucial position in the division standings.
Ole Miss is coming off a strong win over the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide, while A&M is coming off being routed by Mississippi State in Starkville. The Aggies lead the overall series 6-0 with the last meeting being a 41-38 win over Ole Miss in Oxford last season.The last two matchups between these two teams have been decided by a field goal.
For the past two years the Aggies have won in the closing moments of the game, and the Rebel seniors are ready for their final chance at Texas A&M. Much of the success for Texas A&M came from Johnny Manziel doing Johnny Manziel things, but he now plays for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. Its been a long time coming and Rebel fans hope to finally get over the hump with Texas A&M. If you were to ever break a losing streak to a school, THIS IS THE WEEK.
This game is crucial for Ole Miss to continue it’s road to their first SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, and they are in a full on race with bitter rival Mississippi State. The undefeated Bulldogs host Auburn this weekend, which is just as big of a game as the one we’re talking about.
Ole Miss is at a program defining stage of the season. They are 5-0 for the first time since 1962 and have been in this position before. In 2009 Ole Miss was ranked No. 4 in the nation before going to play South Carolina in Columbia. Ole Miss Quarterback Jevan Snead didn’t have the best day at work and the Rebels flat-lined in that game and got beat. That game is in the back of Rebel fans minds today as they travel to College Station.
Kick-off between the Rebels and Aggies is at 8 p.m. CT in College Station on ESPN. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox will have the call on the worldwide leader.
Fowler and Herbstreit are no stranger to the Rebels, as they hosted College GameDay from the historic Grove a week ago. This week their program is stayed in the State of Mississippi and set up in Starkville for Mississippi State-Auburn.
Generally I hold out my predictions on Ole Miss games until the day of the game, and I don’t like to give a winner. How can you in this league?
This is a game where Ole Miss’ running backs will have a good day at the office. If you look back to the Arkansas-Texas A&M game a few weeks ago, Arkansas ran all over the A&M defense. Ole Miss will do the same with backs Jaylen Walton, I’Tavious Mathers, Jordan Wilkins and Mark Dodson. Not all of them will have headline performances, but look Walton to be strong.
Aggie QB Kenny Hill will have a good day too for Texas A&M, especially early with Trae Elston out for the first half for Ole Miss. The Ole Miss defense will give up a little, but if they can prevent the big plays over the top they won’t have too much to worry about. If they win their individual battles and control the line of scrimmage, they will be in good position. That is how Mississippi State has been so successful this season in their big games.
This game will go down to the wire like the last two have between these two teams. This time Texas A&M doesn’t have Manziel to bail them out. Is “Kenny Trill” good enough to get it done against one of the best defenses in the nation? We’ll see tonight.
See you on the road Rebels.
Connor Hennessey is a writer and radio host in Oxford, Miss. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ConnorHennes on Twitter. Visit OleMissSports.com for up-to-date information pertaining to the Ole Miss Rebels. Show up to show out.