Ole Miss vs. A&M: Four Keys to a Rebels’ Win over the Aggies
OXFORD, Miss. — No. 15 Ole Miss welcomes No. 11 Texas A&M this Saturday to Vaught-Hemingway in a key SEC West contest. Here are are our four keys to a victory over the Aggies.
- Under Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss is 9-2 when scoring first and 11-0 when leading at halftime. The Rebels are 3-5 when they don’t score first and 1-5 in the games they have trailed at halftime under Kiffin.
- It will be important for whichever unit takes the field first to set the tone. If it’s the offense, move the ball down the field effectively. If it’s the defense, play hard-nosed defense and give the offense the ball with a chance to take the lead early.
- In back-to-back weeks, the Rebels have only managed to score three points in the second half. Of the 340 total Ole Miss points scored this season, 143 have come in the second half (42%). It will be imperative for the Ole Miss offense to put up some points in the second half and not have to rely solely on the defense to carry the heavy load against Texas A&M who likes to wear down opposing defenses with its running game.
Get Pressure on Calzada
- The Ole Miss defense is tied for second in nation with 33 team sacks. Rebels’ sack leader Sam Williams is also tied for second in the nation with 10.5.
Highest pass rush grade among SEC EDs in Week 10:
1. Sam Williams, Ole Miss: 91.1 💥 pic.twitter.com/RfSyWvToqU
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 11, 2021
- Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada has been pressured on 94 of 260 drop backs this season. The Texas A&M offensive line has done a fairly good job of not letting Calzada get pressured as he has only been pressured on 36% of his drop backs. When under pressure, he is only completing 38% of passes.
- Calzada is not your typical dual-threat quarterback, making it difficult for him to escape pressure. He has only rushed for 35 yards this season. Getting pressure on Calzada and disrupting his rhythm will be important for an Ole Miss defense that will face a fierce Aggies’ running attack. If the Rebs do not get pressure, it might be a long game. Making the Texas A&M offense one dimensional will be in Ole Miss’ best interest.
- In the games Ole Miss has won this season, the Rebels are averaging 272.3 rushing yards per game. In the games they have lost this season, Ole Miss is averaging 117.5 rushing yards per game. So, it’s obvious it will be important for the Rebels to run the ball effectively and allow the play action passes to open and let Matt Corral do what he does best.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 6, 2021
Ole Miss and A&M kick off at 6:00 p.m. CT this Saturday, and the game will be televised on ESPN.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss senior majoring in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.