No. 10 Ole Miss beats Texas A&M on blocked field goal as time expires

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 04: Raymond Cottrell #11 of the Texas A&M Aggies carries the ball during the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Jordan Watkins sprinted into the end zone untouched on his touchdown catch in Ole Miss' 38-35 win over Texas A&M. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Ole Miss blocked a game-tying field attempt as time expired for a 38-35 win over Texas A&M.

The Aggies tried to send the game to overtime with a 47-yard field goal by Randy Bond. But defensive lineman Zxavian Harris appeared to get a finger on the ball as it crossed the line of scrimmage and the kick fell short and wide of the uprights.

No. 10 Ole Miss got the go-ahead score with 1:40 left on a one-yard run by RB Quinshon Judkins. That stopped a 21-3 run by Texas A&M that had flipped a 28-14 Ole Miss lead to a 35-31 deficit.

Aggies still aren’t bowl-eligible

The loss drops the Aggies to 5-4 overall and is Texas A&M’s ninth consecutive road defeat as the Aggies haven’t won a true road game since a 35-14 win at Missouri on Oct. 16, 2021.

The road struggles are a huge indicator of the regression the program has undergone in the last two seasons under Jimbo Fisher. A&M finished the 2021 season at 8-4 and is now 10-11 over the last two seasons. That’s simply an unacceptable result for a coach with a fully guaranteed $95 million contract through 2031 and a team full of top-tier recruiting classes.

Yes, it’s true that the Aggies are without starting QB Conner Weigman after he suffered a season-ending injury earlier in 2023. But Max Johnson has shown he’s more than capable and is one of the better backups in college football. On Saturday, Johnson was seemingly knocked to the ground after every fourth-quarter pass play but was 31-of-42 passing for 305 yards and a TD and an interception.

The bigger problem on Saturday was an A&M defense that allowed over 500 yards. Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart threw for 387 yards and two scores on just 33 passing attempts.

With games against Mississippi State and Abilene Christian remaining, A&M should get to seven wins. But an eight-win season may be out of the question with a game against No. 13 LSU to end the season.

Ole Miss heads to Georgia at 8-1

Ole Miss now has a massive chance to get into the thick of the College Football Playoff mix as it heads to Georgia in Week 11. But there are assuredly Ole Miss fans with some scars from the way last season unfolded.

The Rebels started the season 7-0 and were 8-1 after beating Texas A&M 31-28 in College Station. That was the team’s last win of the season as Ole Miss lost to Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi State to end the season before a 17-point loss to Texas Tech in the bowl game.

Next week is a great chance to prove how much different this Ole Miss team is. And even if the Rebels don’t win in Athens, a 10-2 season is still very much in play with remaining games against Louisiana-Monroe and Mississippi State. Ten wins will assuredly be enough for the program’s second New Year’s Six bowl game in three seasons.