A two-game road stretch awaits for Ole Miss, beginning in College Station on Saturday against a 5-4 Texas A&M team that has lost back-to-back road games to Mississippi State and Auburn.
Ole Miss is winding down its week of practice and has done so with a limited Jordan Ta’amu, who is nursing a foot injury as well as some general soreness stemming from last Saturday’s loss to South Carolina. Head coach Matt Luke said Ta’amu was limited again in practice on Wednesday, but should not be in any danger of missing Saturday’s game. True freshman Matt Corral has gotten more reps this week as a result.
“We are trying to rest him so he can be as healthy as he can, so we can run him and be full speed,“ Luke said. “He has gotten limited reps, particular with the looks and making sure he get all of the looks he may see.”
Battle repping more with Sanders:
Freshman wideout Miles Battle has been getting more reps in practice with Braylon Sanders out with an ankle injury he suffered against South Carolina. Battle could see his snap count increase if Sanders is unable to go, which is very possible.
“Sure it will,” Luke said. “Braylon has been day-to-day and will be a game time decision. We are going to try to give him as much rest as we possibly can. Hopefully he will be able to go.”
Ole Miss should be able to manage the absence of Sanders if it comes to it, especially since moving A.J. Brown outside against the Gamecocks spawned the coming out party of Elijah Moore in the slot. The freshman had 11 catches for 129 yards in the game. The injury to D.K. Metcalf has caused the Rebels to reshuffle a bit at this position and Sanders being able to play would certainly be a boost in both depth and capability. Battle has played in three games this season and has recorded two catches.
Little talks A&M run defense, possibly final three games at Ole Miss:
Greg Little is projected to be a first round pick in April’s NFL draft. The remaining three games could be his last at Ole Miss. He discussed what has been a rollercoaster ride of a career in his three years in Oxford.
“I am just focused on these last three games, but if I am blessed to go to the NFL next year, it has been a lot of fun,” Little said. “I have met a lot of people and we have overcome a lot of adversity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Guys sometimes have regrets, and I don’t have any regrets. I love Coach Luke and I love the staff here. It has been a lot of fun and hopefully these last three games, we have a blast together.”
The first of the final three games Little alluded to will feature a fierce Texas A&M defensive front that is first in the SEC in run defense, allowing just 3.1 yards per carry and 79 yards per game. The Aggies are also first in the league in first downs allowed. It will be a tall test for an Ole Miss offense that has not fared well against some of the better defenses in the SEC.
“They’ve shut teams down running the ball all year,” Little said. “That is our goal. We want to come in there and run the ball. We have a running back that can get to 1,000 yards and we want him to do that next game. “They’re big and physical. Their defensive coordinator has them pretty heavy in there. Their main focus is stopping the run and we need to come at them with some different schemes.”