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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn vs Ole Miss

Rebels? Black Bears? Landsharks? Whatever.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a morning kick against a team that’s having a bit of an identity crisis.

Hey, I sympathize.

How many times have we had to grit our teeth when some idiot Bama fan goes “Herrrderrrrr what are yew guys anyway? Tigers or Wore Eagles or Plains-min or what?” before sighing exasperatedly to try and explain the difference between them. You can’t make them understand, it’s folly.

So we get it.

Now, Ole Miss people will have seen Colonel Reb, the Black Bear, and now a shark. I still remember the novelty of the Black Bear and its fun newness like it was yesterday. I was doing the radio broadcast for an Auburn-Ole Miss softball game right after that news broke, and for some reason our broadcast was being simulcast on a station in Mississippi. I called Ole Miss the Black Bears for a few innings before I was notified that I probably shouldn’t do that.

Either way, none of the replacements for Colonel Reb are anywhere as fun as what could have been.

And now tomorrow, it’s not the Rebel Bears that march into Jordan-Hare, but the Landsharks.

This season, Ole Miss has played less like the Landshark defense of 2014, and more like the Leftshark from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance. Not quite there, not quite ready for the scope of the situation. We hope that won’t change in just a couple of hours.

Yes, we’ve got a morning kickoff. That’s historically been trouble for the home Tigers. Arkansas 2002, Arkansas 2006, Georgia 2006, Utah State 2011, Jacksonville State 2015, just to name a few. Auburn has had a little bit of a problem with inferior opponents and a sleepy morning start. That has to change today. We’re looking across the field at an opponent that wants to find a reason to get to the offseason. They just lost by nine touchdowns. NINE. I don’t care if it’s the freaking Patriots across the line, that’s unbelievable. We’re three touchdown favorites today. This can’t be like those other morning kickoffs, not with the big play capability of our offense, and not with the stifling nature of the new Steele Curtain.

Our offense hasn’t run the ball well, it’s true. Ole Miss hasn’t stopped anyone from running the ball. They rank 112th in scoring defense. We’ve hit eight passes of more than 47 yards in our first two conference games. One of our tailbacks has eight touchdowns in that same time frame. The Rebels’ pass-happy offense has to face off against guys like Marlon Davidson, Derrick Brown, and Jeff Holland, who leads the SEC in quarterback hurries.

Ole Miss will get yards, but points won’t come easy. A couple big plays early by Auburn and this thing could be over quickly. Let’s do it, everyone. War Eagle.