College Football

Ole Miss Drops Texas A&M 29-19, Improves to 8-2

Sep 18, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Matt Corral (2) passes against Tulane Green Wave at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss had everything clicking on Saturday in a wire to wire win over Texas A&M. Matt Corral, who threw for 247 yards and 1 touchdown, while running back Jerrion Ealy, who had 152 yards on 24 carries, were able to maintain perfect balance offensively. However, it was the defense that also stepped up in a big way. The Rebels defense made life miserable for the Aggies, particularly for quarterback Zach Calzada was 24-42 with 237 yards and 2 interceptions. Aside from David Achane’s 110 yards and 2 touchdowns, A&M struggled to move the ball all night, leading to a disappointing ten point loss.

How it All Happened

As expected, the Ole Miss offense came out at break neck speed. Corral and company came out firing, going 58 yards in just 2 minutes before being forced to settle for a field goal in the red-zone to go up 3-0. Following a Texas A&M punt, the Rebels put together a 14 play, 94 yard drive that ended in a touchdown pass from Corral to Dontario Drummond to go up 10-0. The Aggies proceeded to punt on their next 4 possessions, putting a heavy strain on an already tired defense.

With only 5 minutes to go in the half, Ole Miss threatened yet again with a first and goal from the 1 and a 13-0 leading. Despite the daunting task in front of them, the TAMU defense stood tall, forcing a turnover on downs and giving the offense the ball back at their own two. However, on the first play from scrimmage, running back Isaiah Spiller could not escape his own end-zone, resulting in a safety. Ole Miss would carry a 15-0 lead into halftime.

Despite a slow start, A&M would make their push to get back into the game at the beginning of the third quarter. Aided by a few Ole Miss penalties, Zach Calzada managed to get his team into field goal range to get their first points of the day. Following a stop by the defense, it was running back David Achane’s to drive the Aggie offense. In their best drive of the day, TAMU went 88 yards in just 7 plays, capped by an Achane 24 yard touchdown scamper that made it 15-10. After another A&M field goal, Snoop Conor would finally get the Rebels on the board in the second half, delivering a 13 yard touchdown run to make it 22-13.

With just under 5 minutes left and facing a 9 point deficit, Calzada attempted to force a pass that was jumped by Ole Miss DB AJ Finley, who secured the interception and returned it 52 yards for the game sealing touchdown. Achane would add a 9 yard touchdown run towards the end of the game, but it was too little, too late, and Ole Miss rode off into the sunset with a 29-19 upset win.

What is Next for Both Teams?

For Ole Miss, this win was a massive step in the road to a New Years Six bowl game. They return home to face 2-8 Vanderbilt, before taking on a pesky Mississippi State team. Should the Rebels manage to win out, there 10-2 record would put them in prime position to play in a marquee bowl game.

As for Texas A&M, they will have a chance to regroup against Prairie View next week in what should be an easy win. They finish the season at LSU in what could be a tough road game. With not much left to play for, the Aggies will just look to finish strong and win their bowl game.

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