Texas A&M Aggies vs. Ole Miss Rebels: Complete Game Preview

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistOctober 3, 2012

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Ole Miss Rebels: Complete Game Preview

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    The Texas A&M Football team will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to take on Ole Miss in their first Southeastern Conference road game on Saturday. The Aggies are coming off their first SEC win in the history of the school with a victory over Arkansas.

    Ole Miss lost on the road to Alabama. Both A&M and Mississippi are breaking in new coaches and new quarterbacks this season.The Aggies and Rebels share other similarities in that they both run spread offenses and are both off to surprising starts in 2012.

    The Aggies are looking to improve their conference record to 2-1 and take one step closer to qualifying for a Bowl game. The Rebels are trying to even their conference record at 1-1 and get their first win against an SEC West opponent in three years.

    This is a complete preview of the matchup between the Aggies and the Rebels.

Game-Day Information

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    Who: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Ole Miss Rebels

    When: 6 PM CDT

    Where: Oxford, MS

    Stadium: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium


    Radio: WTAW 1620 AM, XM 91, Sirius 123

    Rankings: Texas A&M UR Ole Miss UR

    Records: Texas A&M 3-1, 1-1 Ole Miss 3-2, 0-1

Texas A&M Depth Chart

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    QB: Johnnie Manziel

    Backup: Matt Joeckel


    WR: Mike Evans

    Backup Derel Walker


    LT: Luke Joeckel

    Backup: Germain Ifedi


    LG: Jarvis Harrison

    Backup: Shep Klinke


    C: Patrick Lewis

    Backup: Mike Matthews


    RG: Cedric Ogbuehi

    Backup: Ben Compton


    RT: Jake Matthews

    Backup: Joseph Cheek


    TE: Michael Lamothe

    Backup: Nehemiah Hicks


    WR: Uzoma Nwachukwu

    Backup: Sabian Holmes


    WR: Ryan Swope

    Backup: Malcome Kennedy


    WR: Kenric McNeal

    Backup: Thomas Johnson


    TB: Christine Michael

    Backup: Ben Malena



    DE: Gavin Standbury

    Backup: Julien Obioha


    NG: Kirby Ennis

    Backup: Jonathan Mathis


    DT: Spencer Nealy

    Backup: Ivan Robinson


    Rush: Damontre Moore

    Backup: Tyrone Taylor


    WLB: Steve Jenkins

    Backup: Donnie Baggs


    MLB: Jonathan Stewart

    Backup: Justin Bass


    SLB: Sean Porter

    Backup: Michael Richardson


    CB: Deshazor Everett

    Backup: Dustin Harris


    CB: De'Vante Harris

    Backup: Tremaine Jacobs


    BS: Steven Campbell

    Backup: Johntel Franklin


    FS: Steven Terrell

    Backup: Tony Hurd Jr.

Ole Miss Depth Chart

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    WR(X) 12 Donte Moncrief (6-3, 216, SO-1L)
    8 Terrell Grant (6-3, 208, JR-2L)
    88 Cody Core (6-3, 191, FR-HS)

    LT 70 Emmanuel McCray (6-5, 316, JR-1L)
    60 Derrick Wilson (6-2, 326, JR-JC)

    LG 72 Aaron Morris (6-5, 330, SO-1L)
    68 Justin Bell (6-3, 335, FR-RS)

    C 56 Evan Swindall (6-4, 295, JR-2L)
    61 Ben Still (6-2, 280, FR-HS) 

    RG 76 A.J. Hawkins (6-1, 310, SR-3L)
    74 Jared Duke (6-7, 354, JR-2L)

    RT 71 Pierce Burton (6-6, 289, JR-JC)
    77 Patrick Junen (6-3, 314, JR-2L)

    TE 83 Ferbia Allen (6-4, 253, SR-3L)
    17 Jamal Mosley (6-4, 246, SR-1L)
    45 H.R. Greer (5-11, 222, SR-3L)

    WR(Z) 85 Ja-Mes Logan (6-3, 195, JR-2L) OR
    10 Vince Sanders (6-1, 190, SO-1L)

    WR(H) 28 Korvic Neat (5-9, 164, JR-2L)
    16 Collins Moore (6-1, 196, SO-1L)
    22 Philander Moore (5-9, 188, JR-1L)

    QB 14 Bo Wallace (6-4, 204, SO-JC)
    11 Barry Brunetti (6-0, 212, JR-1L)
    9 Maikhail Miller (6-2, 240, FR-HS)

    RB 1 Randall Mackey (5-10, 195, SR-1L) OR
    3 Jeff Scott (5-7, 170, JR-2L)
    5 I’Tavius Mathers (5-11, 196, FR-HS) OR
    6 Jaylen Walton (5-8, 167, FR-HS)

    DE 10 C.J. Johnson (6-3, 233, SO-1L)
    38 Jason Jones (6-3, 255, SR-2L)
    44 Ralph Williams (6-1, 240, SO-1L)

    DT 95 Bryon Bennett (6-2, 294, SO-1L)
    92 Carlton Martin (6-2, 288, SO-1L)
    93 Uriah Grant (6-1, 298, SR-1L)

    NT 94 Issac Gross (6-1, 254, FR-HS)
    99 Gilbert Pena (6-4, 317, SR-1L)
    56 Woodrow Hamilton (6-3, 292, FR-RS)

    DE 33 E.J. Epperson (6-3, 253, SR-3L)
    55 Cameron Whigham (6-3, 255, JR-2L)

    Mike 52 Mike Marry (6-3, 256, JR-2L)
    24 Keith Lewis (6-1, 235, SO-1L)
    15 Joel Kight (5-9, 222, SR-3L)

    Stinger 4 Denzel Nkemdiche (5-11, 203, FR-RS)
    20 Aaron Garbutt (6-1, 213, SR-1L)
    14 Serderius Bryant (5-9, 223, SO-1L)

    Huskie 1 Dehendret Collins (5-10, 185, JR-JC)
    13 Brishen Mathews (6-0, 200, JR-1L)

    FCB 6 Wesley Pendleton (5-11, 175, SR-1L)
    12 Cliff Coleman (5-10, 181, SO-1L)

    Rover 3 Charles Sawyer (5-11, 181, JR-2L)
    7 Trae Elston (6-0, 190, FR-HS)
    8 Chief Brown (6-1, 202, FR-RS)

    FS 25 Cody Prewitt (6-2, 214, SO-1L) OR
    8 Chief Brown (6-1, 202, FR-RS)
    17 Tanner Burns (6-2, 191, SR-Sq)

    BCB 21 Senquez Golson (5-9, 188, SO-1L)
    19 Louis Covington (5-9, 162, JR-JC)

What Happened to the Aggies Last Week?

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    The Texas A&M Football team blew out the Arkansas Razorbacks 58-10 for their first ever SEC win last Saturday at Kyle Field. The win stopped an eight-game losing streak to SEC teams and a three-game losing streak to Arkansas.

    The Aggies will look to start a streak of their own with their second SEC win of the season at Oxford.

    Johnny Manziel started for the Aggies against the Razorbacks. He set an SEC record with 557 total yards. He set an A&M record for passing yards with 453 in the game and added another 104 on the ground.

    Manziel has been the quarterback at A&M for four games and has set two school and one conference records. He is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic players in the nation. 

    Freshman receiver Thomas Johnson had 108 yards receiving for his first career 100-yard game. Senior receiver Ryan Swope set an A&M record when he caught five passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. It was his 10th 100-yard receiving game of his career, which is a school record.

    The Aggies have their offense rolling as they head into Oxford.

What Happened to the Rebels Last Week?

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    Ole Miss lost to No. 1 Alabama at Tuscaloosa 33-14. Alabama was able to hold Ole Miss' explosive spread offense to only 218 total yards.

    The Rebels only rushed for 80 yards on 35 carries for an average of 2.3 yards per carry. They were able to score two touchdowns on the ground against Alabama. The Mississippi defense, which has struggled for much of the year, held Alabama to 305 total yards and 3.7 yards per rush.

    The loss dropped Ole Miss to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in the SEC. The Rebels have not won an SEC game since 2010.

What a Win This Week Would Mean for the Aggies and the Rebels

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    A win for the Aggies would mean they are two-thirds of the way to qualifying for a bowl game. The Aggies need to win seven game to qualify for a bowl game in 2012. That means they need to win three conference games. A win over Ole Miss would give the Aggies two conference wins with five conference games left.

    If the Aggies can qualify for a bowl during their inaugural season in the SEC that would qualify as a successful year. Seven wins would be an improvement over the six regular season wins the Ags had in 2011.

    For the Rebels, a win over the Aggies would give them their first conference win since 2010. It would be a defining win for Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss program. The Rebels are definitely a better team than they were the past two years, but they need a conference win to show the rest of the country that they are for real.

    A win for Ole Miss would give them four wins for the season. They would only need two more wins to qualify for a bowl game. That would be huge for Freeze and the Rebel coaches.

Key Player for the Aggies

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    It has become apparent in the first four games of the season that as Johnny Manziel goes, so goes the Aggies' offense. The Ags will need Manziel to protect the football against the Rebels.

    The game in Oxford is Manziel's first SEC road game. The Ole Miss defense has improved the past two games. They shut Tulane out and held Alabama to 305 total yards.

    Manziel has improved every game at staying in the pocket and going through his reads. The Aggie receivers should be able to get open against the Ole Miss secondary. If Manziel stays within the offense and protects the ball, the Ags have a great chance at winning.

Key Player for the Rebels

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    Junior running back Jeff Scott is one of the Rebels' most dangerous offensive players. He has rushed for 317 yards on 50 carries and scored four touchdowns. He is averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

    The Aggies struggled at the point of attack against Arkansas. They cannot afford to let Ole Miss control the clock by running the ball. They need to stuff Scott and force the Rebels to be one-dimensional on offense.

    If the Rebels can run the ball with Scott, then that will open up the play-action game for quarterback Bo Wallace. If Scott has a good game then the Rebels offense will be very hard to stop.

Aggies Will Win If...

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    The Aggies will prevail if Manziel can protect the football. The Rebels played Texas earlier in the season and proved incapable of stopping a deep passing game. Their secondary appeared to be lost most of the game.

    If Manziel is able to protect the ball, there should be enough holes in the Ole Miss defense for the Aggies to exploit them and outscore the Rebels.

    If Manziel turns the ball over and give Ole Miss extra possessions, the Rebels possess more than enough skill position players to put up a lot of points on the Aggies defense. 

The Rebels Will Win If...

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    Alternatively, the Rebels will prevail over the Aggies if they protect Wallace and force some turnovers on defense. Bo Wallace is a very good quarterback, but he is prone to committing turnovers when he is pressured. If the Aggies can pressure Wallace they can force him to make mistakes.

    If Wallace turns the ball over it will give the Aggies offense more plays to tire the Rebel defense out. The Rebels do not have the kind of defensive depth to hold up against 85-90 plays.

    On the flip side, the Rebels should be able to score on the Aggies. If they force a couple of turnovers and get a lead, they could force Manziel to begin pressing and try to do too much on offense.

    Both of these teams run a similar hurry-up spread offense, and both feature inexperience quarterbacks. Whichever quarterback protects the ball is likely going to win the game.


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    Prediciton: Texas A&M 41 Ole Miss 31

    The Aggies have too many playmakers for the Rebels defense to keep up. Expect Manziel to have close to 100 yards rushing and Ryan Swope to have another big game.

    Manziel has improved each game at staying in the pocket and going through his progressions. The Ole Miss defense is better than Arkansas' but is not good enough to contain Manziel and the Aggies' skill players.

    Ole Miss is an explosive offensive team and will be able to score against A&M. The Aggies just need to protect the ball on offense while forcing some turnovers on defense. If the Ags win the turnover battle, they should win the ballgame also.