- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has heard an awful lot about his offense in the past few weeks. But he's turned some of his focus to the offense he'll face this weekend in Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss might be coming off of a 19-point loss to No. 1 Alabama, but Sumlin isn't overlooking the ability the Rebels have in their offensive arsenal, saying the defensive preparation for this week has been "pretty tedious" with all the formations, shifts and movements he expects to see from the Rebels.
Currently, Ole Miss has the SEC's No. 4 offense (434 yards per game).
While the Rebels are dealing with yet another quarterback battle on their hands, Sumlin said there's potential for a lot of firepower out of Ole Miss' running game. The Rebels own the SEC's No. 4 rushing offense (224.2) and it is ranked 21st nationally.
Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti might be fighting for the starting spot at quarterback, but both can be very dangerous with their legs. Wallace has rushed for 165 yard this season, and Brunetti has rushed for 154.
"Randall Mackey and Jeff Scott back there can really fly," Sumlin said.
One thing that will help the Aggies is that Ole Miss' up-tempo, no-huddle offense is very similar to the one the Aggies run. Having to face that sort of offense every day in practice should prepare A&M for most of what they'll see from Ole Miss on Saturday.
"Fortunately, we're a no-huddle team, too," Sumlin said. "So the ability to adjust on the fly shouldn't be as difficult for us as it is for some."
Sumlin also expects his defense to continue its current run of keeping teams away from the end zone. In the past three games (all wins), the Aggies have allowed just 27 points. The Rebels might have some flash to their offense, but Sumlin is hoping his defense will help take some shine off the Rebels this weekend.
"Our defense has been pretty sound this year, and I don't expect that to change very much this week," he said.
2hMax Olson and Jake Trotter