Kickoff between the Rebels (3-2 overall, 0-1 SEC) and the Aggies (3-1, 1-1) is set for 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU with Clay Matvick doing the play-by-play, Matt Stinchcomb as the analyst and Angela Mallen as the sideline reporter.While there have been scattered showers in the area throughout the day, Weather.com predicts only a 15 percent chance of precipitation at kickoff that drops to around 10 percent later in the evening. The temperature is expected to be just north of 50 degrees until 10 p.m.
In Friday’s edition at the Oxford EAGLE we included our fourth 20-page GAME DAY Preview football tab of the season. Within the pages — which you can read digitally HERE — are features on cover athlete Aaron Morris and his quest to be one of the Southeastern Conference’s, Philander Moore looking to improve his free styling, Ja-Mes Logan talking about taking advantage of the double teams Donte Moncrief has seen, defensive tackle Gilbert Pena looking to build on the Alabama game, linebackers coach Tom Allen liking what he is seeing from his players and a lookback to Texas A&M’s 23-20 victory in 1980. GDP also includes a recruiting file on Ole Miss verbal commit Rashawn Smith.
Also, want to catch up on the week that was in Ole Miss football or how the Rebels have done this season, click HERE to see all the archived articles, blogs, videos from the season.
PREGAME NOTES: Tonight marks the fifth meeting between Ole Miss and Texas A&M. The Aggies have won all four previous meetings, most recently in 1980… The previous four meetings have come in College Station, Texas (1911; 1975), Beaumont, Texas (1914) and Jackson… Should Ole Miss win, they would improve to 4-2, their best start since 2009… Should Texas A&M win, it would mark its first-ever victory in Oxford… Ole Miss is looking to snap a seven-game skid in SEC home openers; the team’s last home opening victory over an SEC opponent was a 26-23 victory over Vanderbilt in 2004… Ole Miss is the first school in SEC history to play regular-season home games in the same season against the Texas Longhorns and Aggies… The Aggies’ defensive line is coached by former Ole Miss DL coach Terry Price.
BY THE NUMBERS: Ole Miss ranks 23rd in the nation in rushing offense (223.8 ypg) and in the top four in the SEC in total offense (4th; 434.0 ypg), rushing offense (4th; 223.8), third-down conversion percentage (1st; 51.5) and first downs (2nd; 23.2)…Texas A&M ranks first in the SEC in scoring offense (48.2 ppg), third in scoring defense (11.8 ppg), second in total offense (525.8 ypg) and second in passing offense (315.2).
AROUND THE LEAGUE (as of 5 p.m. CT):
Arkansas 24, Auburn 7
No. 20 Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14
No. 4 LSU at No. 10 Florida, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
No. 5 Georgia at No. 6 South Carolina, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Vanderbilt at Missouri, 6 p.m. (FSN)
BYE WEEK: Alabama, Tennessee
WR (X) Donte Moncrief
LT Emmanuel McCray
LG Aaron Morris
C Evan Swindall
RG A.J. Hawkins
RT Pierce Burton
TE Ferbia Allen
WR (Z) Vince Sanders or Ja-Mes Logan
WR (H) Philander Moore
QB Bo Wallace or Barry Brunetti
RB Randall Mackey or Jeff Scott
DE C.J. Johnson
DT Bryon Bennett or Carlton Martin
NT Issac Gross
DE Cameron Wigham
MIKE Mike Marry or Joel Kight
STINGER Denzel Nkemdiche
HUSKIE Dehendret Collins
FCB Wesley Pendleton
ROVER Trae Elston
FS Cody Prewitt
BCB Charles Sawyer
PK Bryson Rose
P Jim Broadway
KO Nathan Noble
HOLDER Chris Conley
LS Will Denny
KR Jaylen Walton or Senquez Golson
PR Philander Moore
— — —
WR Mike Evans
LT Luke Joeckel
LG Jarvis Harrison
C Patrick Lewis
RG Cedric Ogbuehi
RT Jake Matthews
TE Michael Lamothe
WR Uzoma Nwachukwu
WR Ryan Swope
WR Kenric McNeal
QB Johnny Manziel
TB Ben Malena
DE Julien Obioha
NG Kirby Ennis
DT Spencer Nealy
RUSH Damontre Moore
WLB Steven Jenkins
MLB Jonathan Stweart
SLB Sean Porter
CB Deshazor Everett
CB De’Vante Harris
BS Steven Campbell
FS Steven Terrell
K Taylor Bertolet
P Ryan Epperson
H Ryan Epperson
SNP Jake Matthews
KR Trey Williams
PR Dustin Harris
TEXAS A&M 7, Ole Miss 0 (14:11/Q1): It didn’t take long for Texas A&M to score in its first visit to Oxford. Four plays into the game running back Ben Malena broke free for a 59-yard touchdown.
Texas A&M 7, OLE MISS 7 (8:32/Q1): Ole Miss quickly responded, driving 70 yards on 15 plays on the next drive. Jeff Scott punctuated the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Bo Wallace started at QB for Ole Miss and was 6 of 6 for 61 yards on the drive.
OLE MISS 10, Texas A&M 7 (6:07/Q1): Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt stripped Aggie running back Christine Michael near midfield and while the Rebels were unable to piece together a touchdown-scoring drive, they did get a 46-yard field goal from Bryson Rose.
TEXAS A&M 10, Ole Miss 10 (10:09/Q2): After allowing the Aggies to drive the length of the field, Ole Miss’ defense held strong to five a 19-yard field goal. Texas A&M’s drive spanned 81 yards in 13 drives.
OLE MISS 17, Texas A&M 10 (3:39/Q2): Bo Wallace scored from 14 yards out one play after connecting with Randall Mackey in single coverage down the Rebels’ sideline for a 68-yard gain.
TEXAS A&M 17, Ole Miss 17 (:42.6/Q2): After recovering an Aggie fumble, Wallace is hit while throwing and Steven Jenkins returns the ball 37 yards for a touchdown.
OLE MISS 20, Texas A&M 17 (7:36/Q3): Rose put Ole Miss ahead 20-17 after converting 28-yard field goal on the Rebels’ first drive of the second half.
OLE MISS 27, Texas A&M 17 (14:56/Q4): Ole Miss extended its lead seconds into the fourth quarter. After jumping on a muffed punt by Dustin Harris, the Rebels took over on the Aggies’ 5 and three plays later Wallace connected with Donte Moncrief on a 4-yard slant over the middle for the score.
Ole Miss 27, TEXAS A&M 23 (6:24/Q4): Facing a third-and-long from their own 1, Manziel performed perhaps his best escape act of the night and led the Aggies 99 yards down the field in three plays. The third, a 29-yard touchdown run by the quarterback, brought the Aggies within four after a missed extra point.
TEXAS A&M 30, Ole Miss 27 (1:46/Q4): Following Manziel’s 29-yard score, Ole Miss picked up a quick first down on runs of 5 and 9 yards by Scott. The Rebels continued to feed the junior running back the ball, and the Florida native picked up 6 yards, 2 yards and 1 yard to set up a fourth-and-1 at Ole Miss’ 39 with just over three minutes remaining. Ole Miss attempted to pick up the first down on another handoff to Scott out of the shotgun, but the running back was hit for no gain. After completing a 12-yard pass to Mike Evans, and two rushes by Malena, Manziel hit Ryan Swope in the back left of Ole Miss’ end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
FINAL SCORE: Texas A&M 30, Ole Miss 27.
HOW IT ENDED: Even with the late Aggie touchdown and 1:46 remaining on the clock, the Rebels started to flip the field once again. After a 5-yard completion to Vince Sanders and a 32-yard pass to Moncrief, however, Wallace was intercepted by Texas A&M’s Toney Hurd, Jr. at the A&M 22 to seal the Rebels’ 16th consecutive loss in the Southeastern Conference.
BY THE NUMBERS: Manziel completed 17 of 26 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown. He was also intercepted for the first two times of his collegiate career. Malena led A&M with 142 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, while Manziel tacked on an extra 129 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries… Wallace completed 20 of 34 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown. He also threw two interceptions. Scott led Ole Miss with 108 yards and one touchdown rushing on 21 carries. Moncrief finished the game with six receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown. Ole Miss will fall to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the Southeastern Conference. As of Saturday, 734 days have passed since Ole Miss’ last SEC victory. Texas A&M improves to 4-1 and 2-1 despite turning the ball over six times (four lost fumbles, two interceptions). Click HERE for complete stats.
PARTING VIEW: Below, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and defensive coordinator Dave Wommack discuss the Rebels’ 30-27 loss:
HE SAID IT: Below are post-game quotes from Ole Miss sophomore safety Cody Prewitt, who recorded six tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception:
Talk about your performance: The bottom line is my teammates are depending on me and I’m depending on them and whenever we have the chance to make plays we need to, not for us but for our teammates and our team.
Talk about the last two Texas A&M drives: It’s just execution. We have to execute. We have to play our job and know that the rest of us are depending on each other to do our job and whenever we don’t do our job that happens.
How difficult is this to overcome: It’s not going to be difficult to overcome. We’re going to come in (Sunday), fix our mistakes and this game is forgotten. We’re going to move onto next week and keep working hard. It’s pretty devastating. Sometimes luck’s just not on your side.
Did the sideline tighten the last seven minutes: The defense, we knew we needed to put it away and we just didn’t That’s all there is to it. We didn’t execute or do what we needed to do to put the game away.
How difficult is stopping a guy like Manziel: He’s an incredible athlete, but we had our game plan set up to where we should have been able to stop him and for a while there we did. But when it really came down to it he was able to make plays and those were plays that we should have made.
What was the atmosphere like in the locker room: It was dead silence. We knew that they didn’t beat us but we beat ourselves.
How do y’all respond from a loss like this: We don’t blink. We play the next play. We get better. We’re going to come in (Saturday), fix the mistakes we made and we’re going to start focusing on Auburn.
NEXT UP: Ole Miss returns to the field next Saturday to host Auburn on homecoming. Kickoff is set for 11:21 a.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network. (October 6, 2012)