When the Aggies run

Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller and Jacob Kibodi rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries against Alabama, giving them only 103 yards combined over the last three games. Quarterback Kellen Mond, coming off an 11-carry, 106-yard effort (not counting the lost sack yardage), is now the Aggies’ featured back behind a suspect line. Run defense is Ole Miss’ strength, but Missouri’s Larry Rountree had 143 yards on 23 carries last week.

EDGE: OLE MISS

When the Aggies pass

Ole Miss has allowed five of its last six opponents to pass for at least 300 yards, including the FCS’ Southeastern Louisiana. Mond and his receivers should have a huge day. Ole Miss also will be missing starting linebacker Jacquez Jones and backup defensive end Tariqous Tisdale for the first half because they drew targeting penalties against Missouri. Ole Miss nose tackle Benito Jones is a beast.

EDGE: TEXAS A&M

When the Rebels run

Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee has a trio of 100-yard rushing games. A&M got hurt by a pair of dual-threat QBs last season — Clemson’s Kelly Bryant had 54 yards on 15 carries in a 28-26 victory and Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald had 88 yards on 16 carries in a 28-13 victory. This year, Auburn’s Bo Nix had 38 yards on 12 carries in a 28-20 victory. A&M’s run defense allows only 116.2 yards per game (31st nationally), but Ole Miss gutted Missouri (25th at 108 ypg) for 233 yards last week.

EDGE: OLE MISS

When the Rebels pass

Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore has 44 catches for 562 yards, almost five times as many catches as any other Rebel. Ole Miss averages only 208.3 yards passing per game (92nd nationally), but that’s nine spots higher than Auburn, which came up with key completions to complement its running game in its win at A&M. Ole Miss has thrown 202 passes with only two interceptions. A&M opponents have thrown 207 passes with the Aggies coming up with seven interceptions, matching its total from last year.

EDGE: EVEN

Special teams

A&M’s meltdown against Alabama — allowing 311 return yards — saw the Aggies fall in the national rankings to 111th in net punting, 120th in kickoff return defense and 125th in punt return defense. Ole Miss’ strength is kickoff returns by Jerrion Ealy (24.9 avg.), though A&M is hopeful he has plenty of chances.

EDGE: TEXAS A&M

Intangibles

Ole Miss needs a victory to help its chances of becoming bowl-eligible. A&M needs a victory to avoid its worst record through seven games in more than decade. A&M is 3-1 in Oxford, Mississippi, but had to fight like heck for those victories. A&M went 1-3 in SEC road games last season, barely beating South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

EDGE: OLE MISS

TEXAS A&M MUST

Protect Mond

Everyone has thrown the ball well against Ole Miss. If the Aggies give Kellen Mond time, he should throw for 300-plus yards.

Stop the QB

John Rhys Plumlee’s legs are the Rebels’ key to success.

Win special teams

That seemed a given until the meltdown against Alabama last week. The Aggies need a bounce-back effort.

OLE MISS MUST

Get off the field

Alabama and Missouri converted 15 of 27 third downs in beating Ole Miss.

Shackle Mond

Mond had runs of 20, 22 and 36 yards against Alabama. Stop him and A&M becomes one-dimensional.

Get lucky

A&M has turned the ball over six times in its last three trips to Oxford.

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