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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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Aggie defense looks to recover against Rebels

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Photo by Cameron Johnson

Senior DB Demani Richardson (26) scores a touchdown during the Southwest Classic on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The Texas A&M football team will be back home at Kyle Field for the first time since Week 3. The squad will take on the Ole Miss Rebels this Saturday, Oct. 29, with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. 

At the start of the season, A&M was a hot topic after securing the No. 1 recruiting class. These days the Aggies are still pretty popular, and there is plenty of discussion surrounding the team after going 3-4 so far this season. 

The Rebels are currently 7-1 after suffering their first loss of the season to the LSU Tigers last week. Ole Miss defeated the Aggies last year in Oxford, Miss., snapping the team’s three-game win streak against the Rebels. 

Both teams will need to play well on either side of the ball to secure the win, as Ole Miss looks to bounce back and the Aggies search for a victory to help shift the narrative of their season. 

Although the Aggies have struggled with rushing defense, the line has made major improvements throughout the season and has been making momentum-shifting plays in the last few games. 

Last week against the South Carolina Gamecocks, senior defensive back Demani Richardson came up with major stops, tallying 12 tackles and recording the third double-digit tackle game of his career.

Richardson spoke on the defensive line’s focus and gave insight into how important it is that the Aggie defense prevents big runs from the Rebels.

“I feel like it’s a big part,” Richardson said. “We struggled a little bit, but I feel like we’re getting better each week and every day. We’re going to keep making it one of our key points, and we’re going to keep doing a good job of it.”

Causing chaos for Spencer Rattler, the Gamecocks’ redshirt junior quarterback, was sophomore defensive lineman Fadil Diggs. Diggs forced a fumble and recorded a sack, his third of the season.

True freshman Bryce Anderson also dominated against South Carolina. The young defensive back tallied three tackles, one forced fumble and snagged two fumble recoveries. 

The maroon and white will need the presence of Richardson, Diggs and Anderson to dismantle the Ole Miss offense. 

The Rebels’ offense is led by sophomore quarterback Jaxson Dart. Dart makes for a dangerous combination when he is able to connect with his running backs, freshman Quinshon Judkins and junior Zach Evans.

The dynamic duo are rushing beasts. Judkins leads the squad’s offense with 831 yards rushed for a total of 12 touchdowns. Evans follows closely with 605 yards rushed for a total of seven touchdowns. 

Dart can also strike at any moment, having recorded 378 rushing yards of his own this season. 

“[Evans is] a heck of a player,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “The key to [Ole Miss] is, you watch it, and it always has been, it’s running the ball.”

Rebels’ coach Lane Kiffin spoke with the media to discuss preparing his team for the Aggies after a loss and hitting the road to Kyle Field. 

“Their crowd is always one of the hardest places to play in the country,” Kiffin said. “I’m sure they’ll come prepared to get back on the winning track. It’s going to be a big challenge.”

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