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OXFORD, Miss. – Fadol Brown says he didn’t feel any pain in his left foot in last Saturday’s win against Georgia Southern. That’s great news for the Ole Miss defensive front as the senior defensive end has his sights set on the team becoming bowl eligible.
But in order to reach the six-win bowl threshold for the fifth-consecutive year under head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) will have to win two of their final three games. All three are against SEC opponents, two of which are on the road.
The Rebels’ journey to the postseason will start this Saturday night against No. 8 Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2), a team coming off a 35-28 road loss at Mississippi State. The Aggies are looking to rebound, as they have lost two of their past three games after starting the 2016 season 6-0.
Certainly Fadol Brown and the Rebels recognize the importance of reaching six wins.
“It has always been a sense of urgency in the locker room,” Brown said. “It’s just going out there on Saturday getting the job done.”
VIDEO: Fadol Brown discusses becoming bowl eligible and offers his thoughts on the Ole Miss quarterback situation. (Video credit: Andy Hodges, GameDayMiss.com)
News came out on Tuesday that Texas A&M starting quarterback Trevor Knight will miss the remainder of the regular season after suffering a right shoulder injury against the Bulldogs. Before the injury, Knight had thrown for 1,911 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. The graduate transfer had also rushed for 583 yards on the ground, ranking second on the team.
The Aggies’ offense comes into Saturday’s showdown ranked third in the SEC, averaging 485.8 yards per game. Texas A&M has also been effective with its ground game, which also ranks third in the SEC. Running back Trayveon Williams is leading the pack, rushing for 804 yards and six scores this season.
The Rebels have been less than effective in stopping the run this season, and they currently rank 117th in the country, giving up 240.2 yards per game. Ole Miss is allowing 5.16 yards per carry.
With the Rebels’ offensive leader Chad Kelly out for the remainder of the season following an injury he suffered in the Georgia Southern game, some may say the pressure lies on the defensive side of the ball—but Brown doesn’t think so.
“I believe the guys behind him can get the job done. The o-line upfront, I know them, and I go up against them every day in practice so I know they are going to fight and give it all they have for whomever is their quarterback.”
Senior defensive end Fadol Brown
Freeze announced earlier this week that redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin would get most of the snaps with the first team this week at practice; however, he did not rule out the possibility of pulling the redshirt off of true freshman Shea Patterson.
As is the entire fan base of Ole Miss, Brown is eager to see who runs the offense inside Kyle Field on Saturday night (6:30 p.m., SEC Network).
“Jason (Pellerin) is a big guy. He’s pretty strong; he has a big arm. Shea (Patterson) is a shorter guy but he’s shiftier. He’s got a big arm also, so it will be interesting to see what happens.”
Fadol Brown on Pellerin and Patterson
Ole Miss and Texas A&M will kick off at 6:30 p.m. (CT) at Kyle Field in College Station. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.