EDITOR’S NOTE: Counting down to the first week of Ole Miss football practice the week of August 15, HottyToddy.com’s own Collin Brister, former sports editor of the Daily Mississippian, will bring you exclusive “5 at 5” analyses of either A) the opponents Ole Miss will be facing this season or B) some background on Ole Miss’ players at each position. It’s being called “5 at 5” because each original piece will give you 5 key things to know, and we will post these stories at 5 p.m. every Monday-Friday.
Ole Miss has dominated the Aggies the previous two seasons, winning 35-20 in a game which wasn’t that close in 2014 and defeating the Aggies 23-3 last season. The Rebels played Johny Manziel extremely close in 2012 and 2013 but came up a field goal short each time. Hugh Freeze is 2-2 against Texas A&M in his career. The Rebels will get the Aggies in College Station after a non-conference game against Georgia State.
Trevor Knight will take over the starting reigns at quarterback this season for the Aggies. The senior transferred from Oklahoma after Baker Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech and become the starter. Knight was successful as the quarterback at Oklahoma before Mayfield as he led the Sooners to a victory in the 2014 Sugar Bowl over Alabama.
Kevin Sumlin enters this season firmly on the hot seat.
The coach hasn’t had consistent success since Johny Manziel’s last year in 2013. He has struggled to yield consistent play at the quarterback position. Since Manziel’s departure, Sumlin has gone through four starting quarterbacks in a two-year window, and three of those have transferred out including five-star quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Kyle Allen.
Texas A&M has one of the most interesting offenses in the SEC.
The Aggies spread out and rely heavily on quick to intermediate passes. Texas A&M hired Noel Mazzone, former Rebel offensive coordinator, to the same position after last year.
On the defensive side of the football, Texas A&M is run by John Chavis. Chavis was at LSU under Les Miles for a number of years and is known for having a stingy defense. Texas A&M boasts future first round defensive end Myles Garrett on their offense. The Rebels were able to shut down Garrett in the contest in 2015 because of Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil won’t be on the field when the Rebels head to College Station.
Analysis and Pick
This is one of the more interesting contests because it comes at a time in the season that could leave Ole Miss prone to losing games.
The Rebels jumped on Texas A&M in 2014 and didn’t allow the crowd to get into the contest. Kyle Field holds over 100,000 people and can be an intimidating place to play. The Aggies, however, don’t always play extremely well at home. The key here is Myles Garrett. If Ole Miss can minimize him, they could have success. If not he’s good enough to take over and win a football game.
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.