GAMEDAY PREVIEW: Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M

Oct. 12, 2013

Gameday Central | Scouting Report | Live Stats | Twitter Updates

TV Network: ESPN | Ole Miss Radio Network (Sirius 93, XM 199)

OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss returns to Oxford for only its second home game of the season, as the Rebels host No. 9 Texas A&M and last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, with a kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Saturday is the first of six straight contests over the next seven weeks in Oxford, and including the regular-season finale in Starkville, Ole Miss will not leave the state of Mississippi again this year.

"Obviously we're not happy with where we are, but we thank God we're not where we used to be," head coach Hugh Freezesaid. "The journey continues. It's been a very difficult stretch of road games. I'm disappointed in the outcome, but I'm extremely proud of the fight and battle our young men showed.

"Again, that stretch of road games was very difficult. We're thrilled to come back home, but it doesn't get much easier with Texas A&M and LSU coming in back-to-back weeks - two top-10 teams. It's a very difficult stretch even at home."

The Rebels (3-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) wrapped up a three-game road swing, including a 30-22 loss at Auburn this past Saturday. Coming off a bye week, the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 SEC) have won back-to-back games over SMU and Arkansas after their loss to No. 1 Alabama.

"Texas A&M, certainly, is very deserving of its ranking," Freeze said. "Kevin (Sumlin) has done a tremendous job in the short time he's been there. And of course, Johnny Manziel makes them very difficult to defend. They know who they are, they know what they want to do, they're very good at what they do and he makes what they do very special, along with (Mike) Evans and a few others. They have a lot of good players."

For the Rebels, quarterback Bo Wallace ranks sixth in the SEC in total offense (252.0 ypg) and sixth in passing (228.6 ypg) and threw for a season-high 336 yards last week against Auburn. Running back Jeff Scottranks seventh in the SEC in rushing (84.8 ypg) and ninth in all-purpose yards (119.6) and has climbed the Ole Miss record books into sixth in school history with 2,228 rushing yards.

Defensively, the Rebels will face the SEC's top passing attack in Texas A&M (365.0 ypg), led by quarterback Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans. The Ole Miss defense is led by linebacker Serderius Bryant, who leads the SEC and ranks ninth nationally (10.8 tackles/game) and was recently added to the Bednarik Award Watch List.

In last year's game, Manziel accounted for 320 yards of total offense, 191 through the air and 129 on the ground, and two touchdowns, one each through the air and on the ground, as Texas A&M erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 30-27 in Oxford.

Manziel leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in total offense (360.6 ypg). He also averages 9.59 yards per play, which ranks second in the league and ninth nationally.

"We did have a good plan (last year)," Freeze said. "We contained him for the better part of three quarters, but in the fourth quarter he showed why he won the Heisman trophy. We were able to create some turnovers last year, which was big. Hopefully we can have a repeat of that performance and contain him a bit - you're not going to stop him, but hopefully contain him and give us a chance to be in it late in the game."

"Don't overdo anything," said cornerback Mike Hilton, who spied on Manziel in last year's game. "Play your game. If you get a chance to get him on the ground, make sure you get him on the ground because he can make plays. Everybody knows it. You have to make a play when it happens."

A Freshman All-SEC selection last year, Evans leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in receiving yards (138.2 ypg). He also leads the SEC and ranks second nationally in yards per reception (24.7). He has also accounted for 10 plays of 30 or more yards, which leads the nation, including four plays of 40 or more yards.

"Everybody wanted us to copy their plan in playing Alabama," Freeze said of covering Evans. "I wanted to show them on tape where 270 yards came from a guy going up and just making a play, which he's very good at. We saw that on fourth and 19 last year at our place. Senquez (Golson) had perfect coverage on him and he just went up over him.

"We have to think through that. We've thought about a lot of crazy things. We're trying to think out of the box a little bit on who we might put on him in some situations that could compete for a jump ball with him. We're thinking along those lines. But certainly, even if you have him covered there's no guarantee that he's not going to make the play."

This is the sixth meeting all-time between Ole Miss and Texas A&M dating back to 1911. The Aggies have won each of the previous five meetings, including last year's game in Oxford.


 

 

    • SIDEBAR: A Look Back at an Ole Miss Sweep of Winthrop

      Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - Grae Kessinger got just enough of the bat on a breaking ball on the outside corner from Winthrop's Dalton Whitaker. The ball squirted towards the hole on the left side and grazed the outstretched glove of Eagle... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Clutch Hitting Drives Rebels in Game 2

      Saturday, February 17, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - The pitch came out of Winthrop's Colton Rendon's hand at 81 mph with the intention of breaking but hung as it floated towards Cole Zabowski at the plate. The sophomore first baseman turned and crushed it... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rolison, Rebels Roll Past Winthrop in Opener

      Friday, February 16, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - A dominant summer in the Cape Cod League brought forth some lofty expectations for Ole Miss' Ryan Rolison, something he's never shied away from.The sophomore lefty certainly lived up to them on opening day as he put... read more

    • Rebel Alums: Where are They Now

      Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      In our second installment of Rebel Alums: Where are They Now, we take a look at the All-American twin duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann.In 2012, Marcel Thiemann became the fourth player in Ole Miss men's tennis history to... read more

    • Baseball Releases 2018 Walk Out Songs

      Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Baseball

      With the first pitch of the 2018 season just days away, check out the much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @OleMissBSB and using the hashtag #RebWalkOuts.#1 Jacob Adams:... read more

    • Bianco Previews 2018 Team At Media Day

      Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Baseball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com Mike Bianco spoke with a sense of excitement in his voice as he stood at a podium in the Diamond Club seating area at Swayze Field at media day. Ole Miss opens its 2018... read more

    • Kennedy Leaves Ole Miss Better Than He Found It

      Monday, February 12, 2018 - Men's Basketball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com One of the first things Andy Kennedy said on Monday afternoon following the announcement that he would step down at the end of next season is that he felt a sense of calmness and... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Outfield

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      The final edition of our Ole Miss softball preview looks at the Rebel outfield, a speedy and athletic group that head coach Mike Smith is excited about heading into the 2018 season.Left Field: Elantra CoxThe senior is an electric... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Pitchers

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      Part two of our Ole Miss softball preview takes a look at the Rebel pitchers. This group was headlined by Kaitlin Lee last season with Brittany Finney, Morgan Bruce and others providing solid options as well. Head Coach Mike... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Infield

      Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Softball

      Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

      Friday, February 2, 2018 - Softball

      In the 10th and final of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features first baseman/designated player Abbey Latham. Abbey Latham | 1B/DP | R/R | 5-11 | Fr. | Livingston,... read more

    • Scholtz Looks Forward to Davis Cup

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      OXFORD, Miss. - While his alma mater kicks off a big weekend with two home matches at their brand new indoor tennis center, Rebel All-American Nik Scholtz will be representing his home country, South Africa, in Davis Cup at the... read more

    • National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Soccer

      OXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.The week-long training... read more

    • #RebsBSB Season Preview: Bullpen

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Baseball

      The bullpen was undoubtedly the backbone of Ole Miss' 2017 team. The Rebels had arguably the strongest bullpen in the SEC, one with a variety of different arms with closer Dallas Woolfolk anchoring the back end as the team's... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Jessica Puk

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Softball

      In the ninth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features utility player Jessica Puk. Jessica Puk | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook