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Ole Miss Rebels 35, Texas A&M Aggies 20: The Rebels Make Their Case for No. 1

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Ole Miss exorcised the demons of heartbreaking losses the last two years to Texas A&M in dominating fashion

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago this weekend, Ole Miss won its first SEC game in over two seasons. After this weekend, the Rebels have a case to be the No. 1 team in the country.

After rival Mississippi State stated its case with a 38-23 win over Auburn earlier in the day, Ole Miss responded in kind with a dominating win at Texas A&M 35-20 in front of an SEC-record crowd of 110,633. The Rebels jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead on the back of two Bo Wallace touchdown runs and got a pair of defensive touchdowns to hand Kevin Sumlin's Aggies their largest home defeat. A pair of Kenny Hill touchdown passes in the fourth quarter (along with a Senquez Golson interception in the end zone) made the score closer than the game was, but the 14 points scored by Texas A&M match the total given up by Ole Miss' first-team defense so far this season.

Ole Miss averaged over 9 yards per play in the first quarter en route to a 14-0 first quarter lead. Bo Wallace rushed for both of the first-quarter touchdowns for his first rushing scores of the season. The beleaguered Ole Miss rushing game had seven rushes of seven yards or more in the quarter, including one of Wallace's scores, a 10-yard rush. Ole Miss found success on the left side as Jaylen Walton's sweeps often went to the left and were picking up chunks of yardage. The first half was capped with a 75-yard interception return by Cody Prewitt to give the Rebels a 21-0 halftime lead.

Kenny Hill passed for more than 400 yards for the second time this year, but the offensive statistics were largely the result of the early lead. Hill passed for 401 yards while going 42-of-53 with the two touchdowns, two interceptions and an unforced fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Ole Miss' Keith Lewis.

The Ole Miss offense this year has largely not been the HUNH scheme that Hugh Freeze became known for at Arkansas State and his first two years in Oxford. Instead, the Rebels continued to try to use the run to set up the pass. After run plays on six of eight plays, Wallace delivered a 33-yard touchdown pass to slot receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, Wallace only attempted 19 passes, completing 13 for 178 yards and a touchdown. Wallace led the Rebels with 50 rushing yards and the two touchdowns.

Entering this week's game, Kevin Sumlin challenged the Aggies to leave last week's Mississippi State loss behind them. On the back of this performance, either they failed to do that or this Aggie team is, in fact, what was predicted of them before the season by many prognosticators. For Ole Miss, the Rebels move to 6-0 for the first time since 1962 and will continue to have the pressure ramp up in an apparent race to the Egg Bowl for SEC West supremacy.