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Friday, October 5, 2012
Staff prediction: Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss

By Sam Khan Jr.

Texas A&M 41, Mississippi 34

Going into The Grove will be no easy chore for the Aggies. It's their first true Southeastern Conference road experience as a member of the SEC, and Ole Miss showed some impressive fight against No. 1 Alabama last weekend. And after facing two top-25 teams in Texas and Alabama, the Rebels won't be intimidated by Texas A&M.

The Rebels also will provide a challenge with their read-option offensive attack. However, don't expect the Aggies to be caught off guard when Ole Miss goes up-tempo. Texas A&M is pretty familiar with that, since its own offense operates this way and practices are done at a high tempo.

The Aggies continue to grow as an offense with young stars such as Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans and an offensive line that's getting better by the game. And if the defense continues to play as it has, the Aggies should come away with this one, but not without a battle.

Player to watch: Toney Hurd, Texas A&M

The junior defensive back has come on strong early this season. He has been an asset to the secondary by having the ability to line up at the nickel cornerback position and at safety, where he'll likely line up again on Saturday.

Senior safety Steven Campbell missed last week's game with headaches and was tested for a possible concussion. Early this week, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said the Aggies would "wait and see" in regards to Campbell's status, but they would continue the week as if Campbell wasn't playing.

If he doesn't, Hurd will get the start at safety again, and last week he played well with a team-high 12 tackles and a tackle for loss. For the season, he has 25 tackles (third on the team) and three tackles for loss, second only to Damontre Moore in that category.