Thursday, May 26, 2022

No. 12 Ole Miss Hosts No. 11 Texas A&M in SEC West Matchup

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

No. 12 Ole Miss plays host to the No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Ole Miss (7-2, 3-2 SEC) is coming off a 27-14 win over the Liberty Flames last Saturday.

The Rebels come into the weekend fourth in the FBS in both total offense (524.2 ypg) and first downs (241).

This season, junior quarterback Matt Corral has thrown for 10 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 10 scores in the first nine games of the season. He is the only FBS player with more than 2,500 pass yards and more than 500 rush yards.

Ole Miss defensive lineman Sam Williams has a school record of 10.5 sacks on the season and has tallied at least one sack in eight of the Rebels’ nine games this season. His teammate linebacker Chance Campbell is third in the SEC with 8.3 tackles per game.

Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2 SEC) rolls into Oxford after a 20-3 victory over then No.1 Auburn in College Station. The Aggies have won four straight since knocking off No. 1 Alabama 41-38 on Oct. 9.

Sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada threw for 1,556 yards and completed 54.9 percent of his passes. Through nine starts, 12 of Calzada’s passes have gone for touchdowns, while seven have found the hands of the opposing team. Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane make up the Aggie ground game, with Spiller averaging 97.0 yards per game and Achane averaging 78.4. Tight end Jalen Wydermyer and Ainias Smith are two of Calzada’s top targets in the passing game. Wydermyer leads the team with 406 receiving yards, and Smith ranks first with six touchdowns.

Texas A&M’s defense is only allowing 14.67 points per game, second in the country behind Georgia. Linebacker Aaron Hansford is the team leader in total tackles with 64, while senior Tyree Johnson has wreaked havoc in opposing backfields with eight sacks on the year. The Aggies have also forced at least one turnover in all seven wins this season.

Saturday will be the 13th all-time meeting between Ole Miss and Texas A&M on the gridiron. The Aggies lead the Rebels 9-1 in the series. The original record is 9-3 in favor of A&M, with wins in 2014 and 2016 by Ole Miss vacated due to NCAA ruling.