Matt Corral, No. 12 Ole Miss Upset No. 11 Texas A&M 29-19 in SEC ActionNovember 14, 2021
The No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels followed up their win over Liberty last weekend with a 29-19 win over No. 11 Texas A&M on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels are now 8-2 on the season, while the Aggies fell to 7-3.
Saturday's win marked Ole Miss' first over Texas A&M since October 2015. Texas A&M had won the last three meetings.
Quarterback Matt Corral continues to have a significant impact in the Ole Miss offense, but running back Jerrion Ealy was also incredibly impressive Saturday night to give the Rebels their fifth win in their last six games.
Matt Corral, QB, OLE MISS: 24/37 for 247 YDS, 1 TD, 0 INT
Zach Calzada, QB, A&M: 22/42 for 237 YDS, 0TD, 2 INT
Jerrion Ealy, RB, OLE MISS: 24 CAR for 152 YDS
Devon Achane, RB, A&M: 12 CAR for 110 YDS, 2 TD
Ole Miss Defense Impresses in Limiting Texas A&M Running Game
The Ole Miss defense came to play on Saturday night, and they certainly did not disappoint. Texas A&M entered Saturday's game with the fifth-best rushing offense in the SEC, averaging 191.2 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry.
Junior running back Isaiah Spiller has been the third-best running back in the SEC in rushing yardage (873), while sophomore running back Devon Achane ranked seventh in the conference with 706 rushing yards.
However, Spiller and Achane were limited against Ole Miss. In the first half, Spiller accounted for just eight carries for 24 yards, while Achane racked up 21 yards on four carries.
Spiller was also tackled in the end zone for a safety to put the Rebels up 15-0 before halftime.
Spiller and Achane finished the game with a combined 151 yards on the ground and two scores.
Defensive lineman Sam Williams was particularly effective against the Aggies, recording six tackles and one tackle for a loss. He has been among the best pass rushers in the SEC this season. Defensive back Jake Springer was also impressive against Texas A&M, recording five tackles and one tackle for a loss.
However, Springer was tossed out of the game early in the third quarter for targeting after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Aggies wide receiver Demond Demas.
Ole Miss entered Saturday's game against Texas A&M with the second-worst rushing defense in the SEC, allowing 194 yards per game on the ground, which makes the Rebels' performance against the Aggies that much more impressive.
Slow Start for Offense, Two Late Interceptions Cost Texas A&M
The Texas A&M offense got out to an incredibly slow start against Ole Miss on Saturday. The Aggies were limited to just 90 yards and entered halftime down 15-0 to the Rebels. But the tides turned in the second half.
Despite not scoring in the first half, the Aggies bounced back in the third quarter, putting up 10 points compared to the Rebels zero.
However, things took a turn for the worse for the Aggies when Calzada, down two points, threw an interception with 7:04 remaining in the game. The Ole Miss offense capitalized on the turnover as running back Snoop Conner burst into the end zone for a touchdown.
Calzada then threw a pick-six with 5:56 remaining in the game, essentially sealing the win for the Rebels.
Saturday's slow start marked the second straight rough first half for the Aggies. Texas A&M scored just three points in the first half of last weekend's win over Auburn before exploding for 17 points in the second half.
The Texas A&M offense has undoubtedly had its struggles this season. The Aggies entered Saturday's game with the second-worst passing offense in the SEC, averaging just 206.2 passing yards per game.
Calzada also entered with the worst completion percentage in the SEC (54.9 percent) and the second-worst quarterback rating (120.8), per ESPN Stats.
The Rebel's ability to limit Texas A&M's potent rushing offense and shut down their passing offense was a big reason why Ole Miss came out with a win.
Ole Miss will face the Vanderbilt Commodores at home next weekend, while Texas A&M will host the Prairie View A&M Panthers.