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Instant Analysis: No. 3 Ole Miss 35, No. 14 Texas A&M 20

There was no letdown from the Magnolia State this week. Mississippi State got a big win Saturday afternoon, and Ole Miss followed suit with a dominant performance over Texas A&M in the nightcap. The Rebels scored first and never looked back in their 35-20 win.

How the game was won: The Ole Miss defense set the tone early, forcing a three-and-out on Texas A&M’s opening drive, and it never let up. The Rebels scored two defensive touchdowns, forced three turnovers and held college football’s most efficient offense in check for most of the night. At halftime it was 21-0, marking the first time a Kevin Sumlin-coached team has ever been shut out in the first half.

Game ball goes to: As good as Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace played in the second half against Alabama, there were still doubts heading into this game. When’s he going to throw that critical interception? Well, he didn’t. For the second straight game, he didn’t turn the ball over once. The senior threw for 178 yards, rushed for 50 yards and scored three touchdowns.

What it means: Mississippi State might be the best team in the country after Saturday’s win over Auburn, but Ole Miss isn’t far behind. The Rebels have the best defense in the SEC, if not the nation, and when Wallace is playing well they’re hard to stop. On the other side, we might have jumped the gun a bit on Texas A&M after the season opener. Kenny Hill might be a Heisman Trophy contender down the road, but not this year.

Playoff implication: After Saturday, the winner of the Egg Bowl looks like a shoo-in for the playoff. Heck, even the loser might get in. There’s still plenty of football left to be played, but the Rebels certainly helped themselves in the eyes of the committee. Texas A&M isn’t done, but the Aggies would have to win out and still get some help.

Best play: It’s fitting that the best play of the night came from the Ole Miss defense. With the game still in doubt and Texas A&M driving, Rebels safety Cody Prewitt intercepted a pass and took it 75 yards to the house. If the Aggies score, it’s a one-possession game. Instead, the lead went to 21 points, and there was no coming back from that.

What's next: Ole Miss heads back home to face a young and hungry Tennessee team, while Texas A&M has another difficult test on the road at Alabama next Saturday. The Aggies and the Tide will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.