Well, hello there, Auburn Tiger fans. Oscar Whiskey here, and I'd like to welcome you to another edition of Wednesdays with (Oscar) Whiskey. A lot took place over the weekend, and while our boys in Orange and Blue didn't see the field, hopefully the Tigers made the most of their time off. It was good to get a breather, and I don't know about you, but I am ready to get this show back on the road. Ole Miss comes to town and man oh man, am I ever riled up for this one because, I'm telling you do I ever ha -- I can't do it. Sorry, I just can't. I mean, really, it's Ole Miss. Sure, they got the No. 1 recruit in February and had the seventh-best recruiting class, but come on, it's Ole Miss. Who cares?
OK, wait, wait, let me start over. I care enough about Ole Miss because it is a conference game, and a conference win is better than no conference wins. I have respect for the Rebels, as they are improved compared to previous Ole Miss teams and can move the ball against crap-ass defenses (psst, we have one of those). I care about them enough as to not think victory is assured and trust that Auburn's coaches have prepped our players thoroughly to send the Rebels back to Oxford with another check in the "Loss" column. But to get amped up or excited, or trying to conjure taunts or smack talk against Ole Miss? Yeah, that's not going to happen.
What Will Happen
Side by side, offensively, these teams line up almost identically. Sure, one could point out the Rebels' previous opponent and say that has something to do with it, so we'll throw out those pesky fourth-game loses. Even without those Auburn still outperforms Ole Miss, 6.44 yards per play to 6.18. Granted, we are talking about a mere 9 inches of difference, but 9 inches is nothing to complain about.
However, defensively, Auburn has given up a lot more ground compared to Ole Miss. The Rebels biggest strength is their run defense allowing only 3.95 yards a carry. They've given up a few big runs, but trying to grind it out might not play to Auburn's advantage. Ole Miss' pass defense is what might give Auburn the edge, and by "edge," I mean "keep Auburn in the game if the Tigers' trend of allowing more and more rushing yards each game continues."
If the forecast holds, then we're probably in for a wet one under the lights. Dr. Bo's passing numbers have dropped off significantly since the Rebels took on Vanderbilt, so don't expect to see Freeze airing it out. Wallace has no problem keeping the ball and dashing up field, something Auburn's linebackers should be adequately prepared for (stop laughing!). If a shootout does ensue, expect trick plays galore, because the idea of this matchup between Freeze and Malzahn turning into a game of football HORSE would not surprise me in the least. "Ah, that's a pretty nice hitch-and-go route, Gus. But check out this inverted-veer flea flicker HAHA!" Diabolical, Freeze.
That's the number of combined football points scored by SEC teams last weekend. The most points scored by a single SEC team was Vanderbilt with 52. Now I don't know how that exactly compares all time, but doing a quick look of the same weekend 10 years ago shows that a total of 310 points were scored. The most points scored by a single SEC team that weekend in 2003 was Auburn with 48. Yes, sure, there are two more teams in the conference now than there were 10 years ago, but on Sept. 27, 2003, 11 SEC teams took the field. A whole decade later and one year after expansion, twelve SEC teams played. The average number of points per game scored 10 years ago on that weekend: 44. Fast forward to 2013, and that average moves up to 2 whole points to 46.
After Saturday, quite a few jokes were made about a few of the high scoring games being "classic SEC defensive struggles." Don't get me wrong, those jokes made me laugh, too, and when two games have combined scores of 85 and 78, that sounds more like numbers associated with an ACC basketball game than SEC football games. However, the average speaks for itself. So, rest your head easy, SEC-Defense-Fan, you're not in danger of a Pac-12itis outbreak happening in your beloved #SECMANBALL -- not yet, at least.
(Note: Both in 2003 and 2013, there were four conference games played on those weekends. Biggest disparities: Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. Vandy went from scoring 17 points on that weekend in 2003 to 52 points in 2013. Ole Miss went from scoring 45 points to 0 points on those respective weekends.)
That's the number of miles I'll be driving on Friday to see our Tigers take on Ole Miss. As I mentioned in my first edition of this series, I have found ways to keep myself entertained on these long car trips. I enjoy a good, long drive, though. Just you, your vehicle and the wide-open spaces. It's one of the true essences of Americana, and when your destination is a place like Jordan-Hare Stadium, well, 687 miles really isn't all that far.
Thanks for stopping by. See you all Saturday, and as always, War Eagle!
More from College and Magnolia:
- College football viewing guide, Week 6: Conference shake-up edition
- Auburn Tigers in the NFL: Week 4
- Undercover Barner: Bye week observations and Fighting Okra
- War Eagle Sports Radio: The College and Mag Show, Episode 5
- Auburn vs. Ole Miss: TV information, odds, key players and more