OXFORD • Ole Miss and Texas A&M both felt like self-inflicted damaged cost them dearly in SEC road losses last Saturday.
Both want to correct that this week, and the Rebels hope being at home makes a difference when they kick off against the Aggies at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday night.
Ole Miss had a John Rhys Plumlee touchdown run of 57 yards in the first quarter wiped away by a holding penalty by receiver Miles Battle away from the action.
The Rebels also failed to score on fourth down from inside the Missouri 1 late in the first half.
“We had too many missed opportunities,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said. “When you go on the road in this league you can’t make mistakes.”
Had Plumlee’s touchdown stood Ole Miss would have led 14-3 late in the quarter.
Had Jarod “Snoop” Conner broken the plane of the goal line on fourth down, Ole Miss would have held the lead at halftime.
The Aggies felt like they had regained momentum at Alabama until a crucial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against wide receiver Kendrick Rogers who expressed his displeasure to an official over no call on what Rogers thought should have been pass interference.
Prior to the penalty A&M had scored on a 25-yard pass from Kellen Mond to freshman tight end Jalen Wydermyer and had followed that up by forcing an Alabama punt.
Instead of a second-and-10 from their own 36 the Aggies faced second-and-25 from their 21. They punted three plays later.
“It’s just as coach always tells us, it’s what’s between your ears. I’m not really sure what he said, but obviously that was a big-time mistake,” Mond said. “I’m not saying it cost us the game, but it could have put us in better position to compete, to go down and score and make it a seven-point game.”
Instead the Aggies lost 47-28 with the second-most points scored against Alabama this season. Ole Miss had 31.
Mond passed for 264 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, but he was sacked five times. He had 110 rushing yards before the sack yardage was added. He finished with 90 net rushing yards on 16 carries. He gave the Aggies a 7-0 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run.
“We weren’t able to keep up, sometimes losing field position battles,” Mond said. “We left a lot of stuff out there on the field, and there are things we need to clean up, but you can’t question our toughness and will to fight for four quarters.”