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Ole Miss Plans to Execute Passing Game Against New Mexico State

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

John Rhys Plumlee tosses a touchdown pass. Photo by Josh McCoy / Ole Miss.

Ole Miss plays its final non-conference game of the season Saturday afternoon inside the Vaught as they welcome the New Mexico State Aggies. Kick-off for this contest is set for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Ole Miss (3-6, 2-4 SEC) looks to rebound from a 20-14 heartbreaker at Auburn last weekend. During the game, Ole Miss had a few key players get banged up against the Tigers, including running back Scottie Phillips (ankle) and offensive lineman Ben Brown (ankle). Brown returned to the game.

After practice on Wednesday, head coach Matt Luke said that Brown did not practice and is still day-to-day.

“Scottie (Phillips) did not practice today and is doubtful for the game and Jaylen Jones is questionable with a knee strain,” Luke said.

Freshman starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee is only 13 yards shy of breaking the freshman rushing record at Ole Miss held by Mico McSwain at 612. The Hattiesburg native has four single-season school rushing records: most rushing yards-freshman QB, consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a QB (3), most rushing yards-true freshman and most rushing yards by a QB.

Coming into this weekend, Ole Miss looks to make sure they execute in the passing game, Luke said.

New Mexico State (0-8) comes into Oxford after a bye week to open the month of November. The Aggies opened the season with two straight road contests against top 25 teams. New Mexico State dropped a 58-7 decision at No. 23 Washington State before falling 62-10 at No. 2 Alabama.

Head Coach Doug Martin’s team averages 18.0 points per outing and allows 42.4. Senior tailback Jason Huntley paces an Aggie rushing attack that averages a little over 118 yards per game. Huntley has tallied 91 carries for 575 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Josh Adkins serves as New Mexico State’s primary signal-caller. Adkins completed 62 percent of his passes on the season for nine TDs and 14 interceptions. Tony Nicholson, a graduate transfer from Baylor, has hauled in 43 catches for 472 yards and three TDs to lead the Aggie receiving corp.

Defensively, New Mexico State is allowing 478.5 yards of total offense, including 264 on the ground and 215 through the air. Senior linebacker Javahn Fergurson ranks sixth nationally with 11.1 tackles per game. DB Austin Perkins has the Aggies’ only two interceptions on the season.

Saturday’s game will be the second all-time meeting between these two programs. The Rebels defeated the Aggies 52-3 in the last matchup in 2015 in Oxford.

This weekend, the Rebels will be honoring members of the military with Military Appreciation Week. Ole Miss Gamedays released a rendering of Saturday’s uniforms that include camouflage helmets, pants and accessories. 

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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