Game Day: Keys to Victory

If the Rebels are to get a win against the Aggies tonight, here’s how it will happen.

1. Controlled Rush
There has to be rush on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, and the Rebels have not been able to pressure the better quarterbacks they’ve faced, Texas’ David Ash and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron. They sacked McCarron once, Ash not at all.
Unlike those two, Manziel won’t look to stay in the pocket. He wants to run. The Rebels need push from their defensive line and need to build a wall around Manzeil before crashing it down.

2. Execute on offense
This is the spot where you would normally find a few graphs on turnovers. Certainly protecting the football still applies. The Rebels can’t make the plays if they don’t have the ball.
While they possess the football, the Rebels must make the basic plays – no drops, no route busts, no missed blocks – in order to score with the Aggies.
Texas A&M is going to get its points. The Rebels have to be ready to score with A&M and win a game that could be a shootout.

3. Make it a fourth-quarter game
Before you can win the fourth quarter you have to get there. The Rebels haven’t been there with Texas or Alabama.
Freeze says getting to the fourth quarter and winning the game are different things. We don’t know how successful the Rebels might be in the final 15 minutes, because they’ve yet to be there in a game that was not decided one way or the other.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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