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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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A look ahead: Ole Miss players to watch out for

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Photo by By Bryan Johnson

Texas A&M will travel to Mississippi Saturday for a top-25 match up.

Ole Miss and Texas A&M will face off in a top-25 showdown in Oxford, Miss. Saturday night in a game that will have key SEC West implications.

The Rebels come in at 5-2 overall, having lost in Memphis this past Saturday, but Ole Miss still has plenty of weapons offensively and defensively. Here are a few of the key players to watch for this weekend. 

Offense

Chad Kelly, QB: The Rebels are ranked 10th nationally in passing offense and that is due to the big play ability of starting quarterback Chad Kelly. The junior-college transfer has thrown for 2,234 yards and 16 touchdowns against seven interceptions, and is completing about 66 percent of his passes. He is the triggerman to the offense, and his ability to extend plays will be a new test for A&M’s defense. 

Jaylen Walton, RB: He is a speedster out of the backfield, and has game-changing, play-making ability if he gets into the open field. Walton has accounted for 331 yards rushing and three touchdowns. A&M will need to make sure it wraps up Walton and contain him to avoid him from having his first real breakout game of the year.

Laremy Tunsil, OT: The heralded offensive tackle returns after sitting out for the first half of the season amidst an ongoing NCAA investigation. He returns this weekend faced with the challenge of protecting his quarterback from Myles Garrett. Tunsil is first-round-draft-pick talent, but he has not seen game action this season. In his first game back, he will have his hands full trying to quell the best pass rushing tandem in all of college football.

Defense:

Mike Hilton, DB: The safety has been an all-around play-maker for the Rebels this year. He has contributed seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two interceptions. To go along with those impressive stats, he has one forced fumble and seven pass breakups this year. The Aggie offense will have to watch for the speedy Hilton and find ways to get away from his side of the field.

Robert Nkemdiche, DL: He suffered a concussion in the game against Memphis, so if he plays Saturday, he will be a key focus for A&M. The former No. 1 overall recruit in the country has 5.5 tackles for loss this year with 1.5 sacks. The offensive line will have to make sure they can keep him somewhat contained and allow Kyle Allen time to go through his progressions and make a good throw from the pocket. He has played a lot of offense this year as well, which is where he suffered the concussion. If he is healthy on Saturday, the Aggie defense will have to find a way to stop him if Ole Miss decides to line him up on offense.

Trae Elston, DB: He leads the team with four interceptions this season, and has 156 return yards on those picks. If he gets the ball in his hands on a turnover, A&M needs to wrap him up and make sure he does not get loose. The Aggies did a poor job of that last weekend, allowing Alabama to return three interceptions for touchdowns. A&M will likely find ways to keep Kyle Allen away from throwing Elston’s way during the game, or to at least be careful when going his way. Allen forced throws against Alabama, but he cannot do that against a talented, quick Ole Miss secondary.
 

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