Ole Miss walked into the largest road crowd in SEC history of 110,633 with mostly Aggie’s and only about a few thousand Ole Miss fans. The Rebels liked the odds as they got out to a 21-0 early lead and finished up with a 35-20 win over #14 Texas A&M.
We will have to get used to this as fans as Ole Miss continues to improve each week and is now 3-0 in the SEC and 6-0 overall.
Last week, Robert Nkemdiche was quoted after the Alabama win, “In fall camp, we talked about the new normal, about a new air to us. We win. We’re the big brothers. We put it on tape.”
A lot of Ole Miss’ offense and defense is ‘on tape’ now but opposing SEC teams are still struggling to handle the Rebels.
The Reb’s got out to such a hot start it would have been impossible to sustain but they only had one offensive touchdown in the second half, a one on one win for Texas native, Quincy Adeboyejo.
The defense again proved they may be the best unit in the nation. They kept pace with A&M’s offense until the last play of the game saw Kenny Hill put a third score on the board.
Ole Miss’ defense scored two touchdowns as Cody Prewitt returned a Hill pass 75 yards for a score and linebacker Keith Lewis returned a Hill fumble 21 yards in the fourth quarter.
Cornerback Senquez Golson is making a Heisman campaign of his own as he got yet another interception (five) to keep himself near the top of the national rankings.
Kenny Hill finished 42-53 for 401 yards, with two touchdowns and three turnovers. On the other side of the field, Bo Wallace was only 13 for 19 with 178 yards passing and a touchdown. He added 50 yards rushing and two more TD’s on the ground. The most important stat for Wallace was zero interceptions in a high pressure situation.
Rushing yards were also telling as Ole Miss finished with 160 yards total and A&M finished with 54 total yards on the ground. Jaylen Walton had 49 yds with 5.5 yards per carry (9 total carries), Dodson had 22 and Mathers added 18.
The game started off by trading punts until Ole Miss’s Bo Wallace found the middle of the field open for wide receiver’s Treadwell and Adeboyejo to set up a tempo enhanced Wallace sneak for 10 yards for a score.
Yards after the catch were at a minimum for A&M. On the next possession, Speedy Noil caught a pass across the middle but was decleated by Robert Nkemdiche who forced another punt by A&M.
TAMU downed Ole Miss inside the 1 yards line with a stellar punt by Drew Kaser, but there was no stopping the Rebels from making a statement in this game.
Just like a boxer, Coach Freeze loosened up A&M with steady runs by Jalen Walton, passes to Treadwell and Cody Core and when the tempo got going fast enough, there was another 10 yard keeper by Wallace to make it 14-0.
At the beginning of the second half, QB Kenny Hill started moving the ball, but on 3rd and 15 near midfield, Cody Prewitt camped out under a deep pass and bobbed and weaved down the field for a 75 yard score to make it 21-0 Rebels.
Halftime found Ole Miss holding a Kevin Sumlin team scoreless for the first time in his career. Sumlin has never finished outside the top 15 in total offense in his eight years as head coach, so holding his innovative offense should impress the national poll voters.
The second half, gave A&M a second life on defense as the Ole Miss offense began to work on the run game, milking the clock.
The Rebel Defense did not slow down as they would notch two more turnovers, one by Keith Lewis for a score and an interception in the end zone by Senquez Golson in the end zone with 6.27 left to play.
Wallace found Adeboyejo over the top in the third quarter with 4 minutes left in the quarter to essentially salt the game away.
Prior to the game, Sumlin challenged his team to re-bound and be the more physical team following a beat down by Mississippi State. Coach Sumlin found his team was again beat up at the line of scrimmage.
Sumlin said at halftime, “We are just getting whipped up front. We are not running the ball. We just have to suck it up and get it done. We just have to man up.”
The moment was not lost on Coach Hugh Freeze who saw his team come out and put the pressure on the home team after beating #1 Alabama last week. “I think there is something special going on, both on and off the field. I like all our “all-in” moments and you have to like how we played in a hostile environment. We put way too much pressure on our defense tonight we’ve got to get a few issues fixed on third down.
Freeze answered when questioned how his team responded to the road game after such a huge win last week in Oxford, “I was not concerned about overlooking A&M. I said earlier that if we lost tonight it would not be because we were not prepared or over looking A&M. We are focused on the process.”