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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

A&M searching for an end to its road woes vs. Kiffin's No. 10 Rebels

November 3, 2023
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Whether revered or reviled, all streaks eventually come to an end.

Texas A&M is counting on it. The Aggies (5-3, 3-2) on Saturday aim to put a screeching halt to a most reviled streak against a most reviled opponent.

They travel to face No. 10 Ole Miss (7-1) for an 11 a.m. Southeastern Conference football clash in hopes of simultaneously ending an eight-game losing streak in true road games and Rebels coach Lane Kiffin’s gloats.

Kiffin habitually trolls A&M in general — and A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, in particular — on social media and in pregame and postgame press conferences.

The Aggies can — at least theoretically — put a screeching halt to Kiffin’s taunts by ending their streak of futility that started two years ago at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

That 29-19 loss in 2021 stopped an A&M winning streak and sent the program into a tailspin from which the Aggies have not fully recovered.

However, a victory in Oxford could — at least theoretically — put the Aggies back on a path for success for the remainder of this season and beyond.

That will likely require doing things the Aggies did not do in their previous loss at Ole Miss.

“You’ve got to be sound in what you do. You have to block out the noise, block out the clutter and go play. You’ve got to execute in critical moments. That’s what it gets down to.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

In that game, the Aggies allowed 257 rushing yards, were erratic offensively, had two costly interceptions, had 10 penalties and failed to make big plays in clutch situations.

“You’ve got to play better football,” Fisher said of the upcoming road game. “You’ve got to be sound in what you do. You have to block out the noise, block out the clutter and go play. You’ve got to execute in critical moments. That’s what it gets down to.”

The Aggies also must contain the Ole Miss running game. Last season, they could not. Running back Quinshon Judkins torched the Aggies for 205 of the whopping 390 rushing yards Ole Miss rolled up in a 31-28 win.

Judkins is still one of the SEC’s most explosive running backs. However, this season, A&M’s defense is ranked second in the SEC against the run.

The key is containing Judkins. He rushed for only 56 yards in a 24-10 loss to Alabama, Ole Miss’ only defeat.

“Don’t let him get hot,” A&M defensive end Shemar Turner said. “(A&M can’t) let him get too comfortable running the ball, especially outside the tackles like he did last year.”

But this A&M defense isn’t like last year’s.

Turner has played a big role in a significantly improved defensive front. Linebacker Edgerrin Cooper is playing at an All-American level. Nickelback/safety Bryce Anderson is an emerging star.

They’re all major factors in a defense that has not allowed more than 24 points to an SEC opponent.

“(Ole Miss) will be a difficult offense, but I feel like there’s no offense we can’t handle in his country,” Turner said. “Just getting them behind the chains early, slowing down that tempo is going to be a key factor to stopping that offense.”

Of course, the Aggies offense will have to show significant improvement, too.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
A&M’s last road victory came at Missouri on Oct. 16, 2021.

Throughout their eight-game road skid, the Aggies have not scored more than 24 points against an SEC opponent.

They have to find a way to be more productive. The first step would be providing better protection for quarterback Max Johnson against an Ole Miss pass rush that has produced 30 sacks.

Johnson said that is making sure the Aggies don’t have a failure to communicate.

“I think (the key to success is) just having great communication at the line, whether that’s getting protection calls right, which we’ve done a really good job of getting everybody in the right position,” he said. “Not having false starts. Not having holding penalties. Communication overall is something we’ve been harping on as well.”

The Aggies also have to be ready for Kiffin. He’s well known for taking chances. He’ll go for it on fourth down when other coaches won’t. Last season against A&M, he called a fake punt on his own 16-yard. The Rebels picked up the first down. That led to a touchdown.

“Every coach has his own style of how you coach and what you play,” Fisher said. “He’s been very successful with his. He’s done a good job.

“They will do things. Shenanigans or trick plays. Each coach has his tendency of what he wants to do and when he wants to do it.”

The Aggies have their tendencies, too. Unfortunately, it has been a tendency to lose at their opponents’ stadiums.

But eventually, they will win again on the road. A win at Ole Miss would be extremely revered.

Discussion from...

A&M searching for an end to its road woes vs. Kiffin's No. 10 Rebels

3,307 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by W
AgOutsideAustin
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AG
Punked us on their own 16 yard line for a first down that led to a touchdown.
Thanks for that memory Olin.
Aggie1188
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AgOutsideAustin said:

Punked us on their own 16 yard line for a first down that led to a touchdown.
Thanks for that memory Olin.

Of course Jimbo was unprepared.
W
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AG
all right, Stallings' 1970 & 1971 teams have been put on notice

they compiled a 9-game road losing streak across the 2 seasons

upset LSU in Baton Rouge 20-18 to open the 1970 season...

then dropped 9 road games-in-a-row against:

#1 Ohio State
#9 Michigan
Baylor
SMU
#1 t.u.

LSU
#1 Nebraska
Texas Tech
TCU

and ended the streak with a shocking win at #8 Arkansas
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