The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies look to extend their perfect record against the Ole Miss Rebels, while keeping pace with Alabama in the SEC, on Saturday night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Hitting the road for the second straight week, the 4-1 Aggies and Johnny Manziel remain a game behind the Crimson Tide, and will have to run the table from here on out. Texas A&M doesn’t face another ranked opponent till the final two weeks of the season when it travels to LSU and Missouri.
A&M has gone 5-0 against Ole Miss in the all-time series.
Ole Miss has dropped two straight games, including last week’s 30-22 road loss to Auburn, and a 25-0 laugher to Alabama. The Rebels also began their season with four of their first five games on the road, pulling out a 44-23 win against Texas in Austin.
Manziel and the Aggies lead the SEC in scoring offense with 49.2 points and 365 passing yards a game. The sophomore is tied for second in the conference with 14 passing touchdowns, third in passing yards, and is 13th in rushing yards with 314. Senior running back Ben Malena is second on the team with 303 yards and seven scores.
Manziel’s best target is receiver Mike Evans, who’s hauled in 27 receptions for 691 yards and five touchdowns, and is best in the SEC with 24.7 yards per catch.
Defense has been the Aggies biggest question mark. They’re 87th in the nation and second to last in the SEC giving up 30.8 points per game. As a team the Aggies have also generated four sacks, the worst tally in the conference.
A lesser defense could be just what Ole Miss needs to breakout of their two-game skid. Junior quarterback Bo Wallace has completed 53 percent of his passes for two touchdowns in the last two weeks, and threw his first two interceptions of the season at Auburn.
Leading rusher Jeff Scott can also end his recent funk if the Rebels don’t’ fall behind early. He’s managed 94 yards on 14 attempts in the two losses.
Like A&M, the Ole Miss defensive frontline has had trouble creating pressure at the line scrimmage. Sophomore defensive tackle Issac Gross is first on the team with 1.5 sacks, while freshman defensive end Robert Nkemdiche has 14 total tackles and no sacks.
Last season Manziel had one of his worst games of the season against the Rebels, tossing two interceptions while the Aggies needed 13 fourth quarter points for a 30-27 victory.
The game kicks-off at 8:30 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast by ESPN, or watch a live online stream at Watch ESPN here.
Betting Odds: Texas A&M is favored by 5.5 points
Over/Under: 76 points
Prediction: Texas A&M 50, Ole Miss 34