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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

Highs and lows: 5 takeaways from A&M’s loss to No. 15 Ole Miss

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore WR Moose Muhammad III (7) completes a pass from freshman QB Conner Weigman (15) during Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss at Kyle Field on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

With the return home to Kyle Field after a long tour on the road, 101,084 people swarmed to the stands to watch Texas A&M face No. 15 Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 29. In spite of the 31-28 loss extending an exhausting losing streak for the maroon and white, the match answered a lot of questions that had been up in the air and introduced a few new ones.
Here’s what we saw:
Weigman is here to stay
The match against the Rebels served as the freshman quarterbacks’ first start this season. Closing out the loss with a 28-for-44 completion rate, tallying 338 yards in the air and tying the A&M-freshman single-game touchdown record with four touchdowns, Weigman proved that he was worthy of leading the Aggie defense. With a play style highlighted by quick darts up the middle and arching passes to the outside, Weigman built a strong platform to remain A&M’s starter for the remainder of the season.
“I thought [Weigman] did a really nice job,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He has a great feel for the game, and I said he’s really instinctive … He feels really comfortable in the offense. He’s going to do a really good job.”
All hail Moose Muhammad III
The sophomore wide receiver showed up and stepped out against Ole Miss, racking up eight receptions for 112 yards, making himself the key playmaker for the Aggies. Following the untimely removal of senior wide receiver Anias Smith from the starting roster, the Fightin’ Farmers needed someone to step up to the plate and make aggressive plays that extend drives — and that’s exactly what Muhammad does.
The Aggie defense that showed up to play Ole Miss would make Darwin proud
Despite the narrow loss, A&M’s defense proved that they can effectively adapt mid-game, a question that had been lingering on many minds in the 12th Man following performances both at home and on the road all season. After the Rebels stormed down the field on their first drive of the game to add 7 to their score, the Aggie defense returned to the field and forced the first of five third-and-long attempts for Ole Miss that resulted in a punt on fourth-and-13.
“We know what we do isn’t sweet,” redshirt freshman defensive lineman Albert Regis said. “You know it’s going to be a battle from the first whistle to the very last. So, we just focus on our job and we always say with [defensive line coach Elijah Robinson and defensive ends coach Terry Price,] ‘Die in your gap.’ No matter what we have to do, ‘Die in your gap.’”
O-line collapsed
The Aggies had a strong start with A&M’s opening drive ending with points on the board for only the second time this season. The offensive line looked solid, allowing Weigman ample time in the pocket to make plays and space for junior running back Devon Achane to run up the middle. However, as the game progressed and time ran off the clock, the offensive line slowly saw itself collapsing against the aggressive Ole Miss defensive front. Holes were left open, allowing Rebel junior defensive end Cedric Johnson to find sacks, and Achane was quickly halted on any movement up the middle.
The wheel of receivers
The loss moved the Aggies to 3-5 for the season; however, Weigman led the maroon and white to the team’s first 28 point game against an FBS opponent in a year — though Weigman certainly found help in A&M’s deep receiver core. Throughout the entire contest against the Rebels, Fisher played a game of receiver roulette. A&M saw seven players catch the ball, including a new face in freshman wide receiver Noah Thomas. The strategy holds promise for the rest of the season, as Fisher and the offense have a range of options and their opponents’ defenses have a lot to cover.
“We played hard tonight,” senior tight end Max Wright said. “There’s a lot of guys who came in and did a lot of really great stuff for us that were put in positions and new spots, and they performed.”

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