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Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss: Despite Loss, Rebels' 2-QB System Worked

Oct 12, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace (14) hands off the ball  to Mississippi Rebels running back I'Tavius Mathers (5) during the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterOctober 13, 2013

Johnny Manziel will get even more Heisman focus following Texas A&M's 41-38 win over Ole Miss Saturday evening. 

He deserves that attention. There's no single quarterback in college football as exciting as Manziel. Against the Rebels, Manziel threw for 346 yards and had another 124 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Most importantly, he mounted two straight scoring drives at the end of the game to help the Aggies escape. 

Yes, Manziel will be talked about this week, but equally as impressive were the two quarterbacks for Ole Miss: Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti. But it's doubtful they'll get anywhere near the same amount of attention. 

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 12: Quarterback Barry Brunetti #11 of the Ole Miss Rebels throws a pass downfield during their game against the Texas A&M Aggies on October 12, 2013 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. At halftime Texas A&M leads Ole M
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Wallace and Brunetti were brilliant against A&M's struggling defense, tossing for a combined 329 yards and five touchdowns. They also combined for 14 rushes for 51 yards on the ground. 

Not only did they play in the same game, they played on the same offensive possessions. All without losing any rhythm or effectiveness. 

That's not easy to do. Switching quarterbacks midgame, let alone mid-drive, doesn't always work even if each bring different skill sets. In Ole Miss' case, Brunetti is considered the better runner, while Wallace is viewed as the better passer. 

But both ran and threw equally well. In fact, Brunetti's two touchdowns came on just four attempts. 

Ole Miss has dabbled in playing both quarterbacks plenty of times before. Rarely has it worked so well as it did Saturday against Texas A&M. Wallace and Brunetti exchanged reps on the field as though they were any other position, and the Rebels offense didn't miss a beat. 

There are few teams in college football this season that truly employ two quarterbacks to run the offense. Given how successful Ole Miss' offense ran through both quarterbacks on Saturday, it would be surprising to see head coach Hugh Freeze not continue to use it. 

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