The Texas A&M Aggies were on the ropes in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium but had just enough of that patented Manziel magic to hold off the Ole Miss Rebels in a 41-38 win. Texas A&M let Ole Miss hang around in a game that had an oddly low 14-10 score in favor of the Aggies at halftime. From there, the Aggies and Rebels combined for 55 points in a game that came down to the final seconds of play.
With the Aggies up by a touchdown in the third quarter, an offsides call on Toney Hurd gave Ole Miss a manageable a manageable 4th & 3, on which Bo Wallace connected with Quincy Adeboyejo for an 11 yard pass, followed by a nine yard Barry Brunetti touchdown strike to Evan Engram to tie the game at 24 apiece. (Wallace and Brunetti were rotating in and out all night.)
Two plays later, Trae Elston -- who had previously been ejected for targeting and then had his ejection overturned -- recovered a Johnny Manziel fumble at the Texas A&M 41. From there, it only took Ole Miss three plays to take the lead on a 19 yard catch by Laquon Treadwell, a play on which Wallace looked Manziel-esque in the way that he avoided pressure, extended the play, and threw a great ball to a wide open man on the run.
The Aggies responded with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a 27-yard Trey Williams touchdown run. Three plays later, Bo Wallace threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Walton, to which Texas A&M responded with a 75 yard drive capped by Johnny Manziel scrambling for a six yard touchdown, and we had a bona fide shootout on our hands. But the following Ole Miss drive stalled out, resulting in a turnover on downs, and Johnny Manziel drove the Aggies down the field to put Josh Lambo in position to knock through the decisive 33 yard field goal as time expired.
An unfortunate subplot of this game was a string of injuries to important players for both Texas A&M and Ole Miss. Johnny Manziel re-injured a knee that he sprained against Missouri last year but was able to return. Robert Nkemdiche left the game with an apparent hamstring injury. And, in a chilling moment late in the game, Ole Miss linebacker Serderius Bryant sustained an injury that required him to be carted off the field and have his neck immobilized.
Box Score Hero: Despite failing to record a touchdown pass (all five of the Aggies' touchdowns came on the ground), this game was won by Johnny Manziel on a gimpy knee. He threw the ball 39 times for 31 completions and 346 yards and ran -- again, on a gimpy knee -- for 124 and two touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Texas A&M came in ranked ninth in both the Coaches' Poll and the AP Top 25. Of the teams ranked ahead of A&M, Stanford and Georgia were the only teams that lost, so the most they would likely move up to would be 7th. Ole Miss received three votes in the AP poll last week, and are likely to see that situation improve.
But Did They Cover? The Aggies opened as four-point road favorites, but that line moved to seven by the time betting closed. With just a four-point margin of victory, the Aggies did not cover the spread.
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Next Week's Schedule: Texas A&M welcomes the improving Auburn Tigers to Kyle Field, and Ole Miss hosts LSU in Oxford.