When and where: October 19, 2019, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS, 7:30 PM ET
An SEC showdown between the Texas A&M Aggies and Ole Miss Rebels takes center stage in a primetime slot in Saturday night’s NCAA football action. A loss to Missouri followed Ole Miss’ blowout win over Vanderbilt at home, leaving them with a 3-4 overall record on the season. Things won’t get any easier with quarterback Kellen Mond and the Aggies coming to town.
While the Aggies are coming off a loss to Alabama, there was a lot to like from the offensive side of the ball against Nick Saban’s defense. Mond threw for 264 passing yards and two touchdowns, despite being under duress from Alabama’s pass rush throughout the entire game. He’ll look to boost those numbers against an Ole Miss secondary that is vulnerable against the pass.
Mond breaks out against AlabamaThere weren’t many positives to take away from Texas A&M’s drubbing at the hands of the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide, aside from Mond’s impressive performance in the pocket. The offensive line couldn’t keep the pressure off him, and the team failed to establish a rushing attack with Isaiah Spiller. Mond was literally a one-man offensive machine, racking up 264 passing yards and two touchdowns, along with rushing for 90 yards and one touchdown.
So the only three touchdowns scored on the day for the Aggies had Mond’s name on them.
His ability to sustain that level of play against an Ole Miss defense that ranks as the second-worst in the SEC conference will be on full display on Saturday. The first order of business will be attacking that vulnerable defensive secondary that is giving up a conference-worst 300.4 passing yards per game. No, Mond isn’t on Tua Tagovailoa’s level, but the Alabama quarterback torched the Ole Miss defense with his mobility in the pocket for 418 passing yards and six touchdowns.
Ole Miss’ defense will find Mond equally as slippery when attempting to bring him down. On the defensive side of the ball, Texas A&M sits middle-of-the-pack in a division full of great football teams. Ole Miss depends on big plays to move the ball, while ranking fifth-worst in the conference in third-down conversions. Texas A&M will be fine on defense as long as they avoid giving up those long scrimmage plays.
Secondary has to step up for Ole MissIf the defensive secondary can’t show any life for the Rebels, it will be the same story we’ve seen from them all season. They’ll get carved up by an elite passer, and their offense will fail to go blow-for-blow with the opposing team.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral hopes to replicate the versatility shown by Mond to a certain degree with his dual abilities in the pocket. He hasn’t shown anywhere near the same level of throwing precision yet, but he is capable of scrambling and making plays on the move. Texas A&M’s defense didn’t necessarily fair well against Tagovailoa, either.
Defense will be key for Ole Miss to have a shot at actually hanging around in this game. They’ll have to show some life in the secondary to keep Mond from wrecking the game. They have been decent against the run and downright awful against the pass. If they allow Mond to sling the ball all over them on offense, the game will be over before the start of the fourth quarter.
- Aggies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a losing home record.
- Aggies are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Aggies are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games on grass.
- Rebels are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Rebels are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
- Rebels are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 home games.
- Rebels are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.