Defensive Line for Texas A&M Football Precipitates Huge Swing
One of the biggest swings in the game for Texas A&M football was obviously the blocked field goal leading to a touchdown in the first half. There’s no doubt that breaking through the line in that moment and the ball being deflected right to Jacoby Mathews was the biggest sequence in the first half—a ten point swing that gave an Aggie offense, up until that point completely ineffective, some life.
But it’s what led up to that play that I want to focus on here. The Rebels were picking up chunk play after chunk play through the air, with a 31-yard wheel route to Dayton Wade getting the Rebs right down to the 11 yard line. It looked for sure as though the Rebels were about to stretch the advantage to three touchdowns, and quickly. But on their first play in the red zone, Ole Miss made a mistake: they were flagged for holding, moving them back ten yards. This was especially big, as the play would have been a touchdown run by Ulysses Bentley if it had stood. Facing then first and 20, the Rebels ran the ball again, but were stopped short. However, they once more had been flagged for holding, moving them back another 30 yards.
The Aggie defensive front had been relentless on this sequence, forcing the Ole Miss offensive line to try and take them down. In doing so, they overplayed their hand and were eventually made to attempt a field goal. We all know how that turned out, however. If it wasn’t for the ferocious play of the Aggie defensive front, then the Rebels would have been up easily 17-0 or even 21-0. Instead, the Aggies cut the deficit to one score. The Rebels would respond on the next drive, but this allowed Texas A&M football to stay within striking distance for the remainder of the first half.