There’s no rest for the weary in the SEC West. Ole Miss, coming off an emotional win over Alabama last Saturday, had to match that level of intensity on the road against Texas A&M. The Aggies, meanwhile, were searching for answers after getting beaten up by Mississippi State in Starkville.
Texas A&M's search continues while the state of Mississippi keeps on rolling, squashing the SI cover jinx (at least for a week). No. 3 Ole Miss thrashed the No. 14 Aggies 35-20. Here are three quick thoughts from the Rebels' win.
1. The doctor is in
"That thing's the most annoying thing I've ever heard," Wallace said. "I also feel like I'm the only quarterback in the nation that throws interceptions. Hopefully I can be 'Good Bo' the rest of the year."
This week’s performance went a little further toward putting the Bad Doctor away for good. Wallace went 13-of-19 for 178 passing yards, and he added 50 rushing yards with two scores. He was calm in the pocket and decisive on designed runs, and he made the most of downfield shots. He hit Quincy Adeboyejo for a 33-yard score with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
With the elite talent surrounding him, Wallace just needs to stay under control. He has done that the past two weeks, and Ole Miss has two big wins.
2. Land Sharks spotted
The Ole Miss defense showed up and showed out in College Station on Saturday. Per ESPN’s Travis Haney, this was the first time a Kevin Sumlin-coached team was held scoreless at halftime.
The Rebels got constant pressure on Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill, forcing him into bad timing with his receivers. He often made inaccurate throws, even when his targets were open. Defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche’s presence helped lead to safety Cody Prewitt's 75-yard pick-six with 11:56 remaining in the second quarter. That put Ole Miss up 21-0, and it only kept going from there. The Rebels scored another defensive touchdown in the fourth when Keith Lewis recovered a Hill fumble and took it 22 yards to the end zone.
Ole Miss held Texas A&M to 455 total yards, well below the Aggies’ average of 583.2 entering Saturday’s contest. This Rebels' defense, with nine returning starters from last season, is fast and strong. All of coach Hugh Freeze’s blue-chip recruits seem to be getting better by the week.
3. The Aggies are reeling
Sumlin talked all week about the importance of rebounding from Texas A&M's loss to Mississippi State. Instead, the Aggies laid an egg at home. During his halftime interview with ESPN, Sumlin said, “We’re getting whipped up front.”
It was just a week ago that Texas A&M was No. 6 in the nation. After a poor performance against the Rebels, the Aggies might be unranked. The good news? Texas A&M doesn’t have to play any more teams from Mississippi the rest of the year. The bad news? The Aggies face Alabama next Saturday.