Mississippi's prolific passing offense hasn't had any problems since backup quarterback Jordan Ta'amu took over for the injured Shea Patterson.
If anything, the Rebels might even be a little better.
Ta'amu will get his biggest test yet when Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) hosts Texas A&M (6-4, 3-3) on Saturday. The Aggies have a productive pass rush that leads the SEC with 33 sacks.
Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke said the number one way to keep Ta'amu protected is to limit third-and-long situations. The Rebels' offensive line has been solid in pass protection this season, but Luke said his team must be able to run some to keep the pressure off the pocket.
"You don't want to get in a drop-back game where you're throwing it and they know you're throwing it," Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said.
Ta'amu has been fantastic since Patterson injured his knee in October against LSU. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound junior has a 2-1 record as the starter and is completing more than 73 percent of his passes. He's also had experience in pressure situations, leading the Rebels on a last-minute touchdown drive to beat Kentucky.
Now he'll have a tougher assignment against Texas A&M, which beat New Mexico 55-14 last week to become bowl eligible.
"They're an aggressive, attacking defense and force you to make mistakes," Luke said. "It's important we play really well and limit the negative plays."
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