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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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Returning to Kyle Field

Junior+running+back+Trayveon+Williams+scored+the+winning+touchdown+against+the+Kentucky+Wildcats+in+overtime.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior running back Trayveon Williams scored the winning touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats in overtime. 

The Texas A&M football team will return to Kyle Field Saturday to begin its home stretch, facing the Ole Miss Rebels in the 11th meeting between the two SEC West schools.
Both teams are looking to get back on the winning track after suffering back-to-back losses. Last week, A&M failed to fight off a late-game surge from Auburn and were edged out 28-24, while the Rebels were bested by South Carolina’s fourth-quarter comeback, losing 48-44 in Oxford.
Ahead of the matchup against Ole Miss, A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said he is well aware the Rebels’ offensive proficiency and the problems they can cause for the A&M defense.
“You’re on pins and needles every play,” Fisher said. “They’re very dynamic in what they do and they have decent balance.”
The A&M defense will have their hands full going up against a prolific Ole Miss offensive side that has made the Rebels the No. 2 team in the SEC in total offense and scoring. Ole Miss also leads the SEC in passing. The Rebels’ senior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has been able to keep consistent pressure on defenses while being ranked among the top five in passing yards per game and total passing yards.
Ta’amu suffered a minor lower leg injury last Saturday and has been limited in practice, but is expected to start against the Aggies.
For the Rebels, junior wide receiver A.J. Brown is shadowing a second-consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season. Junior running back Scottie Phillips — who is leading the SEC with 12 touchdowns and is third in the conference with 923 rushing yards — will face an Aggie defense that has been holding teams to 81.4 yards per game. Following his tough physical performance against the Gamecocks, Phillips also endured a minor unspecified injury, and his status for the game is uncertain.
Facing a statistically poor Rebel run defense, Fisher said running back Trayveon Williams could generate another stellar performance.
“We’ve got to get those guys the ball as much as we can,” Fisher said. “Those guys are playing better and better each week.”
Despite Kellen Mond’s performance against Auburn and concern with how the offense was finishing drives late in the game, Fisher made it clear that Mond can get the job done moving forward.
“We all get caught up at looking at the guy with the ball and not the cause of the play,” Fisher said. “By far he was not the reason any of that happened.”
There is an opportunity for the A&M offense to perform well against the Ole Miss defense, which has allowed quarterbacks to convert over 60 percent in six in their last eight games. The four games in which Mond completed less than 60 percent of his passes have all resulted in losses. The Aggies are 5-0 when Mond’s completion percentage is over 60 percent.
While the Aggies are coming off losses from the past two weeks, Fisher said he is still pleased with the progress that has been made.
“There’s a mentality that goes with things like that,” Fisher said. “Domination and winning is a learned behavior and we have to keep doing it.”
The Aggies seek a win to declare their bowl eligibility for the 10th consecutive season and avoid the usual November slump. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. at Kyle Field, and the game will be televised on CBS.

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