Keys To Victory
The Rebels desperately need to improve on the back end.
Amid the ruins of the big plays allowed against Missouri there were flashes from the young corners, Keidron Smith and Deantre Prince, but there were way too many plays downfield for Missouri, six of them for 20 yards or more.
Tackling, though much improved most of this season compared to recent seasons, was problematic against Missouri. A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is slippery, and the Aggies’ receivers can get things done after the catch.
The Rebels have to tackle better in this game.
The Rebels simply have to make plays when they’re there to be made. No holding calls on long touchdown runs, no coming up short on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1. This team is good enough to compete and win against mid-level SEC opponents but isn’t good enough to overcome points left on the table like that.
The Rebels had seven penalties for 75 lost yards in the game. They weren’t overrun with death-by-papercut 5-yard pre-snap infractions, but they were impactful in a negative way.
What To Watch
When Texas A&M has the ball
Mond, as John Rhys Plumlee will be for Ole Miss, will be a big part of the Texas A&M running plan.
Much of that will come as he extends plays and improvises.
Three A&M receivers have multiple touchdown catches led by Quartney Davis with four.
Junior Kendrick Rogers is the most likely matchup problem at 6-foot-4, but most of the A&M receivers go about 6-2.
Isaiah Spiller can make plays if you sleep on him, but the run game, at 132 yards on average, is not the Aggies’ biggest threat.
When Ole Miss has the ball
Ole Miss put up 204 rushing yards last week, the most allowed by Missouri. The Rebels need more of those yards earlier in the game at its crucial moments.
Look for Ole Miss to play two quarterbacks extensively. The Rebels’ best offensive success at Missouri came when Plumlee and Matt Corral were rotating freely on the same possessions in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels will likely try to get freshman running back Jerrion Ealy more involved than he was against Missouri.
Ole Miss defensive backs vs. Texas A&M receivers
Inexperienced or not the Ole Miss secondary has to do a better job of limiting plays down the field.
Vanderbilt was not able to burn the Rebels mainly because the pass rush was able to get to quarterback Riley Neal.
That wasn’t the case against Missouri as Kelly Bryant often had plenty of time to go through progressions.
The Rebels need to get to Bryant, but they also need to compete better and make some plays against a physical group of A&M receivers.