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GAME RECAP: AUBURN 31, OLE MISS 16

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The Tigers find some efficiency on offense and run away in the second half against the Rebels.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

It took some time, but Auburn finally found some rhythm on offense, and the defensive line had a field day against Ole Miss’ offense as the Tigers rolled up the Rebels in Oxford 31-16. Auburn improves to 5-3 with the win, Ole Miss falls to 5-3 with the loss, and the Tigers will get a week off before November welcomes Texas A&M to the Plains.

Boobee Whitlow dominated the ground game with 170 yards on just 19 carries. He added another 38 yards and a touchdown through the air, and the Tiger defense notched four sacks while holding Ole Miss to just 6-16 on third down and 0-2 on fourth down. The third quarter in particular was one of the most efficient for the Tigers as they scored three touchdowns, recorded three sacks, and rolled up 228 total yards.

Ole Miss began the game with the ball, and a promising drive ended with Marlon Davidson blocking a field goal for the third straight game. He got a finger on the 40-yard attempt to hold the Rebels scoreless on the opening drive of the game. Auburn answered by turning to Boobee Whitlow, who had 43 total yards on the Tigers’ first possession, and he capped a 77-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown off of play-action from Jarrett Stidham. The key play on the drive was a third-and-fifteen conversion from Stidham to Darius Slayton, who made a great catch to keep the possession alive.

Trailing 7-0, Ole Miss moved the ball easily again thanks to the feet of quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who used his legs to drive the Rebels this time. They’d bog down in the red zone and Marlon Davidson blew up a third-and-long, but hit a short field goal to cut the Auburn lead to 7-3. It was an 11-play, 56-yard drive for Ole Miss as they got on the board with just under six minutes left in the first quarter.

However, the defenses ruled the remainder of the quarter, as Auburn went backward on its next two drives, and Ole Miss failed on third and short at the end of the period. They’d go for the fourth-down conversion on the first play of the second quarter, but the Tiger defense stood tall and prevented the gain. Malik Willis checked in at quarterback for the offense and Ole Miss promptly called a timeout due to the tweak.

Unfortunately, the Tiger offense stalled and Anders Carlson missed a 47-yard field goal wide to the right. Ole Miss answered with a field goal on the next drive after a 31-yard catch to Damarkus Lodge and cut the Tiger lead to 7-6 with nine minutes left in the first half. Auburn answered that field goal with one of their own after 15-play, 75-yard drive that milked five minutes off the clock. This time the 28-yard attempt was good from Carlson, and the Tigers led 10-6 with four minutes left in the first half.

Auburn’s defense gave up a 45-yard completion to A.J. Brown on the first play of the next drive, but then stood tall and moved the Rebels backward, forcing a punt in the final two minutes. Pinned deep, the Tigers were content to head to the locker room with the 10-6 lead.

Out of the intermission, the Tigers went back to work on offense and made things work. Seth Williams’ first catch of the day put Auburn in the red zone, then a sweep from Anthony Schwartz put the ball at the one, and Malik Miller finished the drive with a short touchdown. The seven-play, 68-yard drive put Auburn on top 17-6 just three minutes into the second half. Ole Miss notched a field goal on their first drive of the half, and the lead was back down to just eight points after the third make from Luke Logan.

It didn’t take Auburn long to answer, as Whitlow burst free from the Auburn 45-yard line, and weaved his way all the way to the end zone, but he fumbled at the goal line and Anthony Schwartz recovered for the score to put the Tigers up 24-9 midway through the third quarter. Ole Miss failed on another fourth down on its next drive, and Auburn took over in a hurry, hitting a 62-yard pass to Seth Williams before Malik Miller plunged in from two yards out for his second score. The scoring drive took less than a minute and gave the Tigers a 31-9 lead at the 3:00 mark of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Anders Carlson missed a field goal from 45 yards away, but Auburn cruised the rest of the way. Ole Miss did score a late garbage touchdown, but the outcome was never in doubt in the second half as the Tigers won 31-16.

Auburn improves to 5-3 overall, and will head into the bye week on the right note. With the uncertainty in Gus Malzahn’s future on the Plains, today’s game was definitely a nice positive way to answer some questions. The Tigers have Texas A&M at home for the final home SEC game after the week off.

TEAM OFFENSE

AUBURN

  • Total Yards: 484
  • Passing Yards: 215
  • Rushing Yards: 269
  • Penalties: 8-80
  • Third Down: 6-14

OLE MISS

  • Total Yards: 447
  • Passing Yards: 324
  • Rushing Yards: 123
  • Penalties: 6-35
  • Third Down: 6-17

STAT LEADERS

PASSING

AUBURN: Jarrett Stidham - 13-22, 215 yards, 1 TD

OLE MISS: Jordan Ta’amu - 27-46, 324 yards, 1 TD

RUSHING

AUBURN: Boobee Whitlow - 19 carries, 170 yards; Shaun Shivers - 10 carries, 45 yards; Kam Martin - 4 carries, 18 yards

OLE MISS: Jordan Ta’amu - 19 carries, 43 yards ; Scottie Phillips - 17 carries, 59 yards

RECEIVING

AUBURN: Boobee Whitlow - 4 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD; Anthony Schwartz - 2 catches, 16 yards; Ryan Davis - 2 catches, 12 yards; Darius Slayton - 2 catches, 62 yards; Seth Williams - 2 catches, 83 yards

OLE MISS: A.J Brown - 10 catches, 155 yards, 1 TD; Damarkus Lodge - 5 catches, 84 yards; Braylon Sanders - 3 catches, 18 yards

DEFENSE

AUBURN: Deshaun Davis - 12 tackles, 1 TFL; Daniel Thomas - 9 tackles, 2 QBH; Nick Coe - 43 tackles, 3 TFLS, 3 sacks; Marlon Davidson - 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, blocked field goal

OLE MISS: Mohammed Sanogo - 15 tackles; Zedrick Woods - 9 tackles, force fumble

SPECIAL TEAMS

AUBURN: Anders Carlson - 1-3 FGs (made 28; missed 45, 47)

OLE MISS: Luke Logan - 3-4 FGs (made 35, 36, 37; blocked 40)