BLOG — Ole Miss will try to put a stop to its two-game skid when No. 9 Texas A&M and quarterback Johnny Manziel invade Vaught-Hemingway Stadium tonight for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff (ESPN). The Rebels, who have dropped back-to-back games to Alabama and Auburn, are playing their first home game since Sept. 7.
Ole Miss (3-2 overall, 1-2 SEC) is going with the blue-on-blue look. The Aggies (4-1, 1-1) are wearing all white, including the helmets.
Ole Miss won the toss, but deferred to the second half. A&M will get the ball first.
Manziel doesn’t waste any time, picking up 17 yards on a draw on the first play from scrimmage. He also had runs of 9 and 1 yards before completing a back-shoulder throw to WR Travis Labhart for a 35-yard gain to set up first-and-goal. RB Ben Malena then went up the middle, breaking numerous tackles to reach the end zone. 11 plays, 78 yards. Texas A&M 7, Ole Miss 0. 11:25 left in the opening quarter.
Ole Miss has moved the ball to its own 45-yard line in seven plays but now faces a fourth-and-1. Rebels take a timeout to talk it over. Ole Miss has gone on fourth downs nine times in the last two weeks and may try it again here. 8:24 left in the first quarter.
Backup QB Barry Brunetti comes on and is stuffed for no gain on a run up the middle. A&M takes over the Rebels’ 45.
The Aggies move inside Ole Miss’ 30 before safety Cody Prewitt strips Malena near the sideline. Denzel Nkemdiche recovered for the Rebels at their 30, but the play is under review. Replay shows Malena was already out of bounds. The call is overturned.
The Rebels force a third down, and Manziel’s throw sails out of the back of the end zone. Manziel was hurt on the play and was slow to get up, though he’s being helped to the Aggie sideline with the help of the medical staff. Manziel fell to the ground without being hit, clutching his left knee. Backup Matt Joeckel is now in.
Josh Lambo pushes a 36-yard FG to the right, and the Rebel defense holds. Ole Miss will take over at its 20. 5:07 left in the quarter.
Ole Miss picks up a first down, then QB Bo Wallace finds WR Vince Sanders all alone behind the Aggie secondary for a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Andrew Ritters’ PAT is good, and it’s Ole Miss 7, Texas A&M 7 with 2:49 left in the first. Manziel was up and jogging on the sideline during the Rebels’ possession and now has his helmet on.
Manziel is coming back in to start the Aggies’ next drive. Three straight completions have the Aggies in Ole Miss territory. A deep pass downfield intended for WR Mike Evans falls incomplete, but DB Trae Elston is flagged for targeting and subsequently ejected. Officials are now reviewing the play.
Elston’s ejection is overturned, but penalty still stands. Trey Williams then puts the Aggies back in front with an 18-yard touchdown run. Texas A&M went 75 yards in five plays. Texas A&M 14, Ole Miss 7. 55 seconds left in the quarter.
Ole Miss gets to midfield in eight plays, but a third-down pass over the middle falls incomplete. Campbell punts, and the Aggies will get the ball back at its 10.
Manziel shows that his knee is healthy enough, juking a defender to pick up a good chunk of yardage near the Rebel 45. He runs again to move the Aggies into Ole Miss territory. Freshman DE Robert Nkemdiche was helped off the field after being tended to by trainers.
The drive stalls for the Aggies, and Drew Kaser punts to the Rebels’ 13. Ole Miss will start this drive with 6:56 remaining before the half. Ole Miss has announced Nkemdiche’s injury is a strained hamstring. His return is questionable.
Back-to-back penalties from Texas A&M give Ole Miss a new set of downs at its 43. RB Jaylen Walton then rips off a 21-yard run to move the Rebels inside the Aggies’ 30. A&M takes a timeout. 4:45 left before the half.
Ja-Mes Logan can’t keep his foot inbounds on a third-down pass, and Ritter knocks in a 47-yard FG to draw the Rebels closer. Texas A&M 14, Ole Miss 10. Nine plays covering 62 yards on that drive. 4:14 left in the half.
Mike Marry shoots the gap on fourth-and-inches to disrupt the play, and Tony Conner finishes off the tackle of Malena for no gain to give the offense possession at its own 43. Less than two minutes left in the half.
The Rebels don’t do anything, going backward with a couple of penalties. A short pass to Walton on third-and-long brings up a punting situation for Ole Miss at the A&M 43. Thirteen seconds left in the quarter.
A punt and a knee ends the first half. Texas A&M 14, Ole Miss 10.
A&M’s second-half kickoff goes for a touchback. The Rebels will start their first drive of the half at its 25.
Ole Miss picks up just 7 yards on three plays. Campbell punts, and Malena returns to the Aggie 37.
A&M faced a third-and-short, but Isaac Gross jumps offside to give the Aggies a fresh set of downs in Ole Miss territory. A&M is still driving, and Woodrow Hamilton has to be helped off the field after the Aggies’ latest play. A&M now at Rebels’ 21.
Manziel hits Labhart over the middle to get the Aggies inside the 10, and two plays later, Manziel scampers up the middle for a 5-yd score to extend A&M’s lead. Texas A&M 21, Ole Miss 10. Nine plays, 63 yards. 10:11 left in the third.
Wallace scrambles and pushes ahead on third-and-3 to pick up the first down by inches. The Rebels are still driving, now at the A&M 20. Brunetti, who saw extensive action on the drive, throws a 16-yard touchdown to WR Laquon Treadwell at the goal line to answer. March covered 75 yards in 14 plays. It’s now Texas A&M 21, Ole Miss 17 with 5:02 remaining in the quarter.
Manziel completes three consecutive passes to move the Aggies to the Rebels’ side of the 50, but a hold backs them up to their own 46. After a few more plays, Manziel hits Malcome Kennedy over the middle to get A&M to Ole Miss’ 16, but it was a low throw that Kennedy looked like he might’ve trapped. And that’s what the referees decide after a review. Incomplete. Aggies back at the Ole Miss 32.
Manziel fires into triple coverage in the end zone, and Senquez Golson picks it off and returns it to the Rebels’ 8. Ole Miss needed that in the worst way. Less than 2 minutes left in the third.
And Wallace gives it right back as Darian Claiborne leaps to intercept a pass at the Rebels’ 20. Under a minute left.
The Rebel defense holds A&M to 6 yards on two runs, and a false start moves the Aggies back to their 19. Serderius Bryant catches Manziel from behind for no gain on third down. The fourth quarter will begin with an A&M field goal attempt. After 3, it’s Texas A&M 21, Ole Miss 17.
Lambo’s 37-yard attempt is up and good. Six seconds into the final quarter, it’s now Texas A&M 24, Ole Miss 17.
Jaylen Walton gets the crowd jolted with a 49-yard return out to the Ole Miss 49 on the ensuing kickoff. Brunetti then runs for 13 yards to give Ole Miss the ball at A&M’s 38. The next three plays net just 2 yards, and Ritter is on for a 53-yard field goal attempt. The Rebels call timeout first.
Ole Miss changes its mind and decides to go on fourth down. Tony Hurd Jr. jumps offsides to give the Rebels a free play, but Wallace’s pass falls incomplete. The Rebels go for it again from A&M’s 31, and Wallace finds Quincy Adeboyjo across the middle to the 10.
Brunetti comes back in and, after running for a yard, finds Evan Engram alone near the back of the end zone for a 9-yard score. Ritter’s PAT is good, and it’s a new ballgame. Ole Miss 24, Texas A&M 24. Seven plays, 51 yards on that drive. 12:10 left in the game.
The defense comes up with its second turnover as Manziel is stripped. Ole Miss recovers. The offense starts its new drive at the Aggies’ 41. Under 12 minutes left.
Wallace finds RB I’tavius Mathers in the flat, and Mathers reverses his field and scampers to the A&M 19. For the first time all night, Ole Miss has all the momentum.
Wallace finishes the short drive by shaking out of the grasp of an A&M defender and finding Treadwell all alone in the back corner of the end zone. Ole Miss takes it first lead of the contest with 10:36 remaining. It’s Ole Miss 31, Texas A&M 24.
A&M will start its next drive at its 25.
Manziel moves the Aggies down to Ole Miss’ 28 in four plays. Elston is down after a 7-yard run from Malena but jogs off the field after a few minutes. That’s good news for the Rebels. The injuries on the defensive side of the ball are starting to pile up.
After a short completion, LB Keith Lewis has been ejected after being flagged for targeting with a late hit on Manziel. Elston was tossed in the first half but then reinstated. We’ll see if Lewis comes back. Play is under review.
Lewis will stay on the field, too. Call reversed, but the ball is now at the Ole Miss 10 for the Aggies. Williams then outruns the Rebel defense to the front left corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown with 8:13 left. Eight plays, 79 yards there. New score is Texas A&M 31, Ole Miss 31.
Ole Miss starts its next drive at its 22.
Wallace hits Treadwell on a screen out to the Ole Miss 40. Wallace to Treadwell two more times moved Ole Miss into A&M territory. Going field level now for the final few minutes and interviews. (October 12, 2013)