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Ole Miss hosts Texas on Saturday in a game that can be seen on ESPN at 9:15 pm est. Texas is a -10 point favorite at 5 Dimes, down from an opener of 11, with a total of 47.5. Bettors at the world largest sportsbook, sportsbook.ag, have been backing Texas here to the tune of 74%, according to their publicly posted betting trends, which show you what percentage of the total bets taken are on each side.
Each team is looking to turn the tide and make their way back to relativity in the football world. Texas has not been a great team since making it to the National Championship game in the 2009 season. While finishing 8-5 last year, it was still a disappointing season with five losses in the Big 12. Ole Miss is also in the same situation, not having a winning record since 2009 when they beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. Texas is currently ranked No. 14 and Ole Miss already matched their win total from 2011, so things are looking up.
However, neither team has been tested yet. The Longhorns played Wyoming and New Mexico in their first two games. While Texas is still favored by about 10 points in this game, it will be their toughest task to date. The Rebels are coming off two unexciting wins as well against Central Arkansas and UTEP.
Both teams have been led by impressive rushing attacks thus far, but Texas has the leg up at the QB position with David Ash. While they haven't needed him much (377 yards, three TDs), he still has more experience than Bo Wallace of Ole Miss. Joe Bergeron will get a healthy dose of carries along with Malcolm Brown. Each RB has over 100 yards and averaging more than six yards per carry. Again, these numbers may be a little inflated at this point. Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis are the two main WRs to look out for as each have 70 yards and a TD.
Texas may have a more rounded and experienced team which is the edge in this game, but Ole Miss has been impressive with the play of quarterback Bo Wallace. The team wasn't expecting him to be a pure passer, yet he already has 438 yards and five passing TDs. In addition, Wallace is the Rebels leading rusher with 135 yards and two TDs. Next up is Randall Mackey who actually changed positions from QB to RB this year. He has surprised with 26 carries and 116 yards already. Last season's leading rusher, Jeff Scott, returned for the UTEP game and picked up a nice 13 carries for 113 yards. Donte Moncrief will be looked at often in the passing game, he has 11 grabs for 176 yards and a couple TDs this year.
Even at home, Ole Miss will need a special performance from Wallace if they want to be in this game. Texas was known for their defense last season and will be a tougher team to get by this year. Ole Miss on the other hand will most certainly have trouble with David Ash and the Texas offense. That said, this game can get ugly if Wallace can't put points on the board.
A ridiculous stat that you wouldn't expect from this Ole Miss team is that they are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games. As for the total, the Under has hit 6-1 in the Longhorns last seven games and 4-1 in the Rebels last five games.
Texas has the better program, no doubt. They routine won 11 to 13 games a year for most of the last decade. But the last two haven't been up to par and you could certainly make the argument that these two teams may be closer in talent, right now, that at any time in the recent past. Last year, both teams played BYU early in the year, a week apart from each other. Ole Miss lost 14-13 and Texas won 17-16. Ole Miss also came within 5 of Arkansas last year and stayed with Georgia all the way. On the flip side, they were blown away by Alabama, LSU and others.
Texas had similar results. They stayed with Kansas State and Missouri in losing efforts, but were blown out against the elite teams they faced, such as 55-17 to Oklahoma and 48-24 to Baylor. Texas likely is the more talented team and we'll also likely be hearing about Texas contending for another National Title long before we here the same for Ole Miss. But having said that, this one has the potential to be closer than many expect. We're going to go ahead and grab the points here. Ole Miss +10
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