3 Key Plays that Decided Texas A&M Football vs Ole Miss

Nov 4, 2023; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Max Johnson (14) reaches for the goal line for a touchdown during the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2023; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Max Johnson (14) reaches for the goal line for a touchdown during the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Star Defender for Texas A&M Football Ejected

This one was puzzling and disappointing for several reasons. On the drive directly following the red zone interception—in other words, the first drive of the half for the Rebels—Ole Miss was moving the ball far too easily in what was a bad omen for how the second half would eventually turn out.

The Rebels were picking up chunk play after chunk play, and after one that got the Rebels down inside the red zone, a flag came out. Television viewers couldn’t quite tell at first, but the flag was on Shemar Turner—a “flagrant personal foul,” which I have not often heard actually called by a referee—for throwing some punches at an Ole Miss lineman. It wasn’t until after the following commercial break that fans at home saw a replay of what happened. After the play was over, the Ole Miss offensive lineman stood over Turner, sticking an, uh, personal area in his face. Shemar responded with frustration and anger, striking the Ole Miss player twice before the flag came out. The refs immediately dismissed him from the game after seeing that.

There was still so much left to happen in the game after this, but this really was what shaped the game going forward. That blocked field goal was a huge point swing, as was the red zone interception. Turner’s ejection seemed to consign the defensive front to a less than stellar performance from that point on. The piece of the Aggie defense that came through so often for A&M this season—the Aggie front and pass rush—were unable to do so in this one. Yes, this is a tough system to defend, but when the Texas A&M football team needed them most, they couldn’t come through.