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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

5 players to look for ahead of A&M-Ole Miss

Photo by Ishika Samant

Redshirt sophomore Zach Calzada passed for 192 yards and 15 completions across 29 attempts. This put the quarterback at a 107.3 passer rating.

After a 20-3 victory against Auburn on Nov. 6, No. 11 Texas A&M football travels to Oxford, Miss., to face off against No. 12 Ole Miss. Here are the five players to look for in this SEC battle:
Edgerrin Cooper – A&M
When his number, 45, is called, the redshirt freshman linebacker is going to make a statement.
Last season, Cooper played apprentice behind Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Buddy Johnson, and it has shown in what he has learned this year. Against Auburn, Cooper acquired six solo tackles, which featured a tackle for loss. So far this season, he has 38 total tackles, 28 solo tackles and an interception, which was made against Alabama on Oct. 9.
Cooper ran a 4.6 second 40-yard dash at Covington High School in Louisiana and has only gotten faster since, junior defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal said.
“[Cooper] is extremely fast,” Leal said. “He is there one second and gone the next. Him being able to plug the holes and run through there with bad intentions, that is something that he has definitely worked on throughout practice and has shown in the game.”
Sam Williams – Ole Miss
This 6-foot-4, 265-pound senior defensive lineman has been a nightmare to opposing quarterbacks all season.
Williams’ two sacks on Nov. 6 against Liberty broke the Rebels’ record for the most sacks by an Ole Miss player in the program’s history. With 10.5 total, he leads the Southeastern Conference in sacks and has tallied at least one sack per game all season.
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said Williams is among few players in the country that has played 60 to 70 snaps a game.
“I don’t think there is a defensive lineman around the country that has played as many snaps as [Williams] has,” Kiffin said. “He’s been a warrior for us, so hopefully he will be Saturday.”
Matt Corral – Ole Miss
This Heisman candidate and future 2022 NFL Draft pick will be a player to look out for as A&M travels to Oxford, Miss., on Nov. 13.
Junior quarterback Corral is third in the SEC in passing yards with 2,527 total and second in yards per pass attempt with 9.29 yards per throw this season. Corral has only thrown two interceptions on 272 pass attempts, so expect interceptions to be scarce come this Saturday.
Corral sits 10th in the SEC in rushing yards, second among quarterbacks, with 528 total yards. In the Rebels’ win against Tennessee on Oct. 16, Corral ran for 195 yards on 30 attempts and proved to be as dangerous on the ground as he is a threat in the air, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said.
“This guy can beat you with his legs, too,” Fisher said. “He keeps plays alive and he can shoot the ball down the field when he’s scrambling.”
Caleb Chapman – A&M
The 12th Man reminisced about Chapman’s 51-yard touchdown catch against Florida on Oct. 20 of last season, after his catch against the Tigers on Nov. 6.
Early in the second half, the junior wide receiver caught a 49-yard pass against Auburn that set up a field goal for senior place-kicker Seth Small to give the Aggies their first lead in nearly 30 minutes of gameplay. Chapman finished the game with three catches and 77 yards and caught the attention of many opposing teams.
Despite only playing four games this season, he has tallied nine catches for 179 yards and averages 19.9 yards per catch.
With already numerous weapons in Zach Calzada’s arsenal, Chapman will be another to watch out for ahead of the conference matchup on Oct. 13.
Jerrion Ealy – Ole Miss
The 5-foot-9 junior running back out of Ole Miss was a menace at home against Liberty.
Ealy ran for 115 yards on only 10 touches and accompanied two touchdowns in the Rebels’ 27-14 victory. This included a 70-yard sprint to the endzone for the second play of the game.
Through eight games, he has run for 436 yards on 72 carries and has picked up four touchdowns along the way. Ealy currently sits fifth in the SEC, tied with junior running back Isaiah Spiller, with 6.1 yards per carry this season.
Despite only averaging nine carries a game, Ealy has made a significant impact in the Rebels’ run game and can not be overlooked come gametime this Saturday.

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