By Adam Brown
No. 15 Ole Miss heads into the Lone Star state of Texas to take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday night. The kick is set for 6:30 p.m. and can be watched on SEC Network.
Ole Miss (7-1, 3-1 SEC) looks to bounce back after the first loss 45-20 of the season last week down in the Bayou against the LSU Tigers.
This season, the Rebels are the only team in the country with more than 3,500 total yards and 2,000-plus rushing yards.
Running back Quinshon Judkins leads all freshmen nationally in both rushing touchdowns (12) and rushing yards (831). Judkins’ 12 rushing TDs rank sixth-most in program history and are tied for the most ever by any Rebel freshman.
Head coach Lane Kiffin and co-offensive coordinator Charley Wise have the Rebels averaging 20.3 seconds per play this season, the third-fastest average in FBS behind only Indiana (19.1 spp) & SMU (20.0 spp).
Ole Miss’ offense leads the FBS with 26 total rushing touchdowns, and ranks in the top five in the FBS in total rushing yards (2,016), yards per game (252.0) and total attempts (367).
Texas A&M (3-4, 1-3 SEC) is coming off a tightly contested 24-30 loss against conference foe South Carolina, where the team’s leading passer and starting quarterback Haynes King went down midway through the contest with an injury.
In the event King will be unable to suit up for the team’s matchup against the Rebels, Ole Miss can expect to see true freshman Conner Weigman lead the Aggies in his first collegiate start at quarterback. Weigman finished his collegiate debut against South Carolina going 8-of-15 passing for 91 yards in relief of King.
The Aggie offense will also lean heavily upon running back Devon Achane, who currently ranks third in the SEC in rush yards per game, averaging 89.6.
Leading-tackler Antonio Johnson anchors the Aggie defense, with the defensive back totaling 48 total tackles in 2022. Accompanying Johnson in the Aggie secondary is sophomore Jardin Gilbert, who has brought in both of the team’s interceptions on the year while also tallying 47 tackles this season. Texas A&M’s front seven is headlined by the duo of Chris Russell Jr. and Fadil Diggs, combining to make 10.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks along with forcing four fumbles in 2022.
Saturday will be the 14th all-time meeting between the two programs, with Texas A&M leading the series 9-2. The original record was 9-4 in favor of A&M, with wins in 2014 and 2016 vacated by the Rebels due to an NCAA ruling.