Coach Kevin Sumlin took over the head coaching position at Texas A&M in December 2011. Coach Hugh Freeze took over the head coaching position at Ole Miss in December 2011. Sumlin has led the Aggies to 25-7 record to date. Freeze has led the Rebels to a 20-11 record to date. Recruiting at A&M has never been better. Recruiting at Ole Miss has never been better.
Both coaches were brought in with the hope to rebuild a downtrodden fanbase. Neither school had achieved much success with the previous regime and were desperate for a change. The moves paid off, and today is the culmination of those hires. #3 Ole Miss rolls into College Station to play #14 Texas A&M while the whole nation watches. 109,000 screaming Aggies will get to show the Rebels all about the 12th man.
And for the 3rd year in a row, Coach Sumlin will shake Hugh Freeze’s hand at the end of the game and say, “better luck next year”.
#3 Ole Miss kicks off against #14 Texas A&M at 8pm in College Station. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Ole Miss Preview:
Offensively, Ole Miss has only the 7th best offense in the SEC. They average 461 yards per game, most of which is through the air. The good news for A&M is that the safeties won’t have to cheat up to defend the run like they have had to the past two weeks. However, the same secondary that got burned on play action last week will need to have a very short memory. Bo Wallace can sling it and plans to give the Aggies his best shot.
Defensively, this team is as good as it gets. Their first team offense has only given up 1 touchdown all season. They are opportunistic in forcing turnovers and their secondary is the no fly zone of the south. Aggie punter Drew Kaser could see plenty of playing action. How this Aggie offense responds to adversity will determine the outcome of this game.
Texas A&M Preview:
Offensively, the Aggie faithful hopes to see Malcome Kennedy. After all the drops last week, his presence and leadership will be crucial to have. Furthermore, the coaches emphasized competition in the receiving depth chart this week. There were several players that underperformed against Mississippi State and the coaches will be looking to get the 4 most sure handed receivers on the field. Also, don’t be surprised if we finally see tight end Cameron Clear in action. A nagging ankle injury has sidelined him most of this season, but he could present a favorable mismatch to Ole Miss’ undersized defensive end.
Defensively, the Aggies match up much better to this kind of offense. The linebackers especially are geared to withstand hurry up spread offenses. A&M’s lack of depth and versatility has presented serious issues in the past two weeks against potent running attacks. But with Ole Miss not posing much of a rushing threat, the Aggies can focus their efforts on one thing. Look for Shaan Washington to get a long look at linebacker and get some serious playing time. He’s a playmaker and things just happen when he’s in the game.
On your way into town, stop by Koppe Bridge for one of the best burgers in town. Owned and operated since 1992, this Aggie hotspot is a place I visit nearly every time I come to town. And like most restaurants in College Station, they have pretty cheap beer as well. Which brings me to…
The biggest home game of the season demands the best bar. Stop by the legendary Dixie Chicken and support their claim to fame (more beer served per square foot than anywhere in the nation). The atmosphere is electric, and filled with a sea of maroon. There is no better place to experience the spirit of Aggieland than with a cold pint at the Chicken.
BTHO Ole Miss:
If history is any indication, the Aggies pull it out tonight. Coach Sumlin is 15-1 with the Aggies when the game starts at 5pm or later. Furthermore, Sumlin is 5-1 after losing a game. Ole Miss is 1-15 in its last 16 road games vs top 15 teams. Finally, Ole Miss is 0-4 the game after Alabama for 4 years straight.
The Aggie receivers cure their case of the dropsies and play with a lead the whole game. The Aggie defense plays their best and most inspired game of the season while adding a touchdown as well.
Prediction: Ags win 34-30