The Ole Miss Rebels (3-2, 1-2 SEC) return home to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for a battle with No. 9 Texas A&M (4-1, 1-1 SEC) this weekend, after having taken to the road in four of their first five games.
While Ole Miss had road success early against Vanderbilt and Texas, the Rebels past two away games have dealt them two losses. A team struggling to find its true identity as the halfway point approaches in the season, entering a six-game home stand should help Hugh Freeze's club get back on track.
That being said, first up for the Rebels in Oxford is an Aggies offense as potent as any in America (followed next week by No. 10 LSU). There's no rest for the weary and the nation is about to find out the true identity of what thus far has been an Ole Miss team of multiple identities.
Will the Rebels pull an upset against the Aggies or Tigers and regain some swagger?
Or will they drop both contests—sending the red and blue into a downward, four-consecutive-loss spiral to enter the second half of the season?
Between inefficient offensive line play, a stagnant offense, a suspect run defense and a team as a whole that has just appeared out of sorts over the past two weeks, Ole Miss coaches have a lot of areas to address this week in practice. Moreover, players must begin to correct mistakes.
When the lights come on Saturday night, Rebel faithful are going to find out about the character of this club. Having generated a great deal of buzz among a 7-6 turnaround campaign in 2012, a high-ranked 2013 recruiting class and a 3-0 start to the current season, there are suddenly critics galore following the Rebels 25-0 loss at Alabama and 30-22 loss on the Plains.
Facing one of the greatest college quarterbacks to ever play the game, Freeze's club has a chance to do what they know they're capable of doing—fight mightily for four full quarters against an invigorated college football giant and just see who's left standing at the end of the night.
Let's take a look at some keys to the game for both teams.
When: Saturday, Oct. 12; 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Mississippi
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93, XM 199
Series History: Texas A&M leads 5-0
In Oxford: Texas A&M 1-0
Spread: Texas A&M (-5), per VegasInsider.com Consensus