What We Might See from Texas A&M Football against Ole Miss
Texas A&M football faces a significant road test against the tenth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels this Saturday down in Oxford. The Aggies have not beaten the Rebs since 2019 (the two did not play in 2020 due to health and safety protocols), but are looking to change that trend, among several others, with a win. Here are some bold predictions for what might happen in this one.
Max Johnson goes for 300+
The Rebels have a sneaky good pass defense this year, allowing 7.1 YPA on average this year. That said, they’re leaning heavily on great performances against poor teams to prop up that number a little bit—Mercer, Tulane (with a backup QB), and Vanderbilt are all on the docket there. Against Auburn, however, the Rebels allowed 7.2 YPA (the Aggies allowed 2.4), and Alabama and LSU both averaged over 10. Texas A&M football does not have an elite passing game with Johnson at signal caller, but I think they’ll do enough to be dangerous.
Texas A&M football records 5+ sacks
Don’t look now, but the Aggies are facing yet another offensive line prone to giving up sacks. The Rebels rank 99th in FBS in sack rate allowed, giving one up on 7.51% of all dropbacks. I imagine Kiffin will be drawing up lots of tomfoolery to try and dilute the pass rush, but this defensive front has proven to be disciplined enough against other teams trying the same strategy. If Texas A&M football can get 3 sacks against Tennessee, then they can definitely exceed that number against the Rebels—and I think they might even double it.
Jaxson Dart gets exposed
Lost in the reputation that Kiffin has built around this team of being a high-flying, well-oiled machine is that Jaxson Dart, when tested, has not looked amazing. Over the last three games—against Arkansas, Auburn, and Vanderbilt—he has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns. He has faced one solid defense in Alabama and looked lost for most of that game. There will be some huge shot plays schemed up in this one without a doubt, but I don’t think having to deal with this relentless pass rush will agree with Dart.
Rebels score 3 or fewer touchdowns
Ole Miss has only scored more than three touchdowns through the air twice this season—against LSU and Mercer, the two worst defenses they’ve faced. Most of their scores have come on the ground, but the Aggies have only allowed two rushing touchdowns all season. It’ll be tough sledding for the Rebels in the red zone in this one—without the threat of deep routes and crossers, forced to operate in short yardage, the Kiffin offense will have trouble against this stout defense for Texas A&M football.
Texas A&M football records 3+ fourth down stops
In 2021, Ole Miss was moving up and down the field seemingly at will in the first half, notching more than 400 yards in the first two quarters. However, they only ended up with 15 points to show for it, in large part because several fourth down attempts were stopped by the Aggie defense. The head man for Ole Miss is notoriously aggressive on fourth, following his analytics book to a T, and I think that will come back to bite him against the Aggies. Texas A&M football has been great defensively in short yardage, and I think that will pay off yet again in this matchup.