The #3 ranked Ole Miss Rebels (6-0, 3-0 SEC) are really starting to get national attention with a road beat down of Texas A&M 35-20. The score is a little misleading as A&M scored on the last play of the game to close the gap to 15 points.
This is the first game A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has ever been held scoreless at halftime, down 21-0, and the first Ole Miss has won back to back wins over top 15 ranked opponents in program history.
In this sixth game for Ole Miss, Bo Wallace and offense started out on fire and the smothering Landshark defense sealed the Aggies fate in the second half.
Let’s take a look at how the guys graded out against #14 Texas A&M
This was a pretty flawless outing for Bo Wallace who is beginning to get Heisman votes. He accounted for 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions for the second straight game in the ultra competitive SEC West.
Wallace completed 13 of 19 passes for 178 yards and 1 touchdown. He also had his best rushing night of the year with 50 yards on 14 attempts and 2 touchdowns.
He looks like he is very comfortable playing behind this defense and taking what is open and available in front of him.
WIDE RECEIVERS A
With only 178 yards total how can I give the unit an A? Well, that was 178 yards on only 13 receptions, good for 13.7 yards per catch. This was a really efficient night for the receivers who didn’t get wild with multiple touchdowns but helped move the chains and assisted in run blocks down the field.
Texas native Quincy Adeboyejo had the best night with 64 yards on two balls. Treadwell finished with 5 catches and 53 yards.
RUNNING BACKS B
The running game continues to improve with each week. The backfield finished with 110 yards tonight, not counting Bo Wallace’s scrambles. Jaylen Walton had 49 yards on 9 carries, Mark Dodson had 4 for 22 and I’tavius Mathers had 4 for 18. These three combined for a 5 yards average, which is great to see.
OFFENSIVE LINE B
This unit got a big “O” grade from me in the first game against Boise for being “O-ffensive.” Now half way through the season, they are really starting to click. Per play this offense got 7 yards per play with 4.5 yards per rush. 4 and a half yards and a cloud of dust? I will take that all day!
Fahn Cooper played the entire game at right tackle and is starting to be the every down contributor we thought he would be. They did give up two sacks but A&M was the best team in the conference as getting to the quarterback and the Aggie star rush end Myles Garrett only got to Wallace once.
At Ole Miss, the secondary should be called “primary!” All-American Cody Prewitt was SEC defensive player of the week for his interception and 75 yards return for a touchdown. Senquez Golson got his SEC leading 5th pick. Husky Tony Conner took over as the leading tackler on the team with 11 this week and 10 last week.
These guys are ruthless.
The big boys had a little trouble against the variable routes Kevin Sumlin can throw at a defense. Deterrian Shackleford sat out this game as his surgically repaired knee is bothering him. Coach Freeze elected to go with a lighter Keith Lewis who finished with 7 tackles and a fumble recovery for a score. JUCO transfer Christian Russell had 9 tackles but was burned a couple of times in coverage.
“Bird” Bryant and Denzel Nkemdiche combined for 13 tackles (7 and 6 respectively) as they play the same position and split time. You can’t get past those two, not even wide receivers are mismatches for those two.
DEFENSIVE LINE A
Is there anything more you would want? Maybe wrap up on sacks a little better? Of course Kenny Hill is just elusive enough to prevent sacks. Even so, the Rebels got to Kenny twice.
They held the Aggies running backs to 1.5 yards per carry, 54 total yards on 35 attempts. CJ Johnson is so quick and combined with run support from the defensive backfield you just can’t get to the corner on this line and they are starting to fill the gaps up the middle.
SEC defensive lineman of the week was Freshman Marquis Haynes who had 2 sacks with assistance from Robert Nkemdiche. You can also credit RN with a QB hurry that led to the Prewitt interception.
SPECIAL TEAMS B
Freshman Gary Wunderlich was 5 for 5 on PAT’s, Will Gleeson averaged over 40 yards on his punts. The only negative was the return game of freshman Markell Pack. He hasn’t mastered the ability to let a ball go past him for a touchback yet. He tries to fair catch everything even if it is inside the 5 yard line.