COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M's promising season took a bad turn with road losses in each of the last two games, but the Aggies get a chance to finish strong with the final three at home. Texas A&M will try to gain bowl eligibility and avoid a three-game slide when they host Ole Miss on Saturday.
TV: Noon ET, CBS. LINE: Texas A&M -11.5
Texas A&M squandered a 10-point lead in the final 5:14 to drop a 28-24 decision at Auburn its last time out, and coach Jimbo Fisher is looking for his team to develop a killer instinct. "Domination and winning is a learned behavior," Fisher told reporters. "We have to learn to do that in those critical moments and those critical plays. That's what we're here for as a staff. I've got to teach those guys that." The Rebels own one of the best passing offenses in the nation, but their defense isn't holding up its end. Ole Miss goes into the week tied for 111th in FBS in scoring defense, surrendering an average of 36.1 points, and was shredded for 510 yards in a 48-44 home loss to South Carolina last week.
ABOUT OLE MISS (5-4, 1-4 SEC)
The Rebels rolled up 616 yards against the Gamecocks as senior quarterback Jordan Ta'amu threw for 379 yards in his seventh game with at least 324 yards through the air. Ta'amu got plenty of help last week from running back Scottie Phillips, who rushed for 141 yards and a season-high three touchdowns, bringing his season total to 12 rushing TDs. "We talked all week about getting me more involved in the passing and running game," Phillips, who also caught two passes, told reporters. "As you saw in the game, I took advantage of all my opportunities."
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (5-4, 3-3)
The Aggies have more of a question at quarterback after starter Kellen Mond completed just 50 percent of his passes for a second straight week and threw a costly interception. Fisher was quick to come to the defense of his quarterback, who has thrown all seven of his INTs this season in SEC play. "One thousand percent," Fisher told reporters when asked if Mond was still the No. 1 quarterback. "The tape says so. We all get caught up in looking at the guy with the ball and not the cause of the play. About four or five plays in the game I wish he'd done better."
1. Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown (2,584) needs 63 yards to become the school's all-time receiving leader.
2. Texas A&M RB Trayveon Williams is 69 yards shy of 1,000 on the season after rushing for 107 yards and a pair of scores last weekend.
3. The Aggies snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with a 31-24 win at the Rebels last season.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 41, Ole Miss 24
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