OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Chad Kelly threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns and No. 24 Mississippi used a dominant defense to beat No. 15 Texas A&M 23-3 on Saturday night.
Ole Miss (6-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from last week's loss to Memphis. Laquon Treadwell caught five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown and Jaylen Walton ran for 97 yards.
Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) has lost two straight. Sophomore Kyle Allen completed just 12 of 34 passes for 88 yards before being replaced by Jake Hubenak early in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss jumped out to a 16-3 lead by halftime and put the game out of reach with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Treadwell with 9:16 left in the third quarter.
Ole Miss then relied on its defense to coast to a surprisingly one-sided win.
The victory was vital for Ole Miss as it continues to control its own fate in the Western Division thanks to a win over Alabama in September. The Rebels are still a game behind first-place LSU, but host the Tigers on Nov. 21 in Oxford.
Ole Miss wasn't at its best offensively — Kelly threw three interceptions — but still pushed out to a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter following a 7-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Evan Engram and two field goals.
The final few minutes of the second half were eventful with three turnovers on three consecutive plays — two by Texas A&M and one by Ole Miss. The Rebels were able to convert the Aggies' second miscue into a field goal for a 16-3 halftime lead.
Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil started his first game of the season after serving a seven-game NCAA suspension for receiving illegal benefits. It appeared the All-SEC junior had an immediate impact — the Rebels ran for 141 yards in the first half after having just 40 yards on the ground total in last week's loss to Memphis.
It was the first true road game for Texas A&M this season and its offense looked disjointed for most of the night. It was a tough night for Allen, who was 0 of 13 passing in the third quarter, missing badly on several throws.
It wasn't immediately clear why the Aggies turned to Hubenak late in the game instead of listed backup Kyler Murray.
Ole Miss played without star defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who suffered a concussion last week against Memphis.
The Rebels didn't seem to miss him. Texas A&M managed just 192 total yards.
Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP .
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org.