Texas A&M is playing well in its first SEC season thanks to freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel. Ole Miss, on the other hand, is struggling to stay afloat.
Saturday's SEC contest pits a mediocre Rebels squad against an interesting, rising offense from College Station. Manziel is at the helm, running Kevin Sumlin's aerial assault with deft precision in his first year.
Watch this game if only for Manziel. His dual-threat abilities are dazzling, and he's only getting better.
Let's preview this matchup from top to bottom.
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
When: Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line:Texas A&M (-11.5), Over/Under 65.5, according to Covers.com
Who Might Not Play for Texas A&M (according to USAToday.com)
RB Brandon Williams - Eligibility - Out for Season
Who Might Not Play for Ole Miss (according to USAToday.com)
No Injuries to Report
BCS/Top 25 Implications
After losing to Florida in Week 2, Texas A&M has rattled off three straight wins. If the team can maintain its current momentum, rising in the SEC is not out of the question. Beating the Rebels is the first step in that process.
Ole Miss is a different story. It got trounced 33-14 by Alabama on Saturday, giving the squad its second loss on the season. BCS hopes are a major stretch for a team that will struggle to win seven games.
What They’re Saying
Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel has been excellent as a freshman this season, but no performance was better than his game on Saturday. He threw for 453 yards and three touchdowns, breaking Ryan Tannehill's A&M record and earning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Texas A&M center Patrick Lewis had this to say in an interview with ESPN's Sam Khan Jr.:
He's just a special football player, especially with the ball in his hands and he kind of reminds you of the kid in the neighborhood that you couldn't stop. Nobody could stop him, nobody could run with him, nobody could jump with him, throw with him, catch with him, he's just that special player for this offense.
Who to Watch, Texas A&M: Johnny Manziel, QB
Manziel is the main reason A&M stands at 3-1 on the season. As a first-year signal-caller, he's accounted for 16 total touchdowns (10 passing, six rushing) and hasn't thrown one interception.
Yardage-wise, he's creeping up on 1,500 total. All in all, he's been outstanding in Kliff Kingsbury and Kevin Sumlin's offense.
If the Aggies are going to continue improving, Manziel must continue on the curve he's on. He has a dynamic freshman receiver in Mike Evans to work with and a proven veteran in Ryan Swope. The weapons are in place, and he must continue using them against Ole Miss.
Who to Watch, Ole Miss: Jeff Scott, RB
Ole Miss is No. 74 in the nation at scoring points, but that doesn't mean they don't have weapons on offense. If they want to put points on the board against the Aggies, ball-carrier Jeff Scott is their best option.
Scott is only 5'7'', but he makes up for it with his speed. He's carried the ball 50 times this season for 317 yards and four touchdowns. He's averaging over six yards per carry, showcasing his big-play ability.
Ole Miss doesn't hold many advantages on the field. Scott can sway this game in their favor with a few long runs.
Look for Manziel and the Aggies' attack to put on another big show. Ole Miss' defense doesn't perform well against the run or the pass, which spells bad news against Manziel's dual-threat skills.
Texas A&M has a lot of momentum right now, and it will continue that into the heart of its SEC schedule.
Prediction: Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 17