Published October 13, 2012 - 4:26pm
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Here’s a couple quick thoughts on the Rebels’ 41-20 win over the Tigers.
What it means: Ole Miss is a rapidly improving football team in Oxford. Hugh Freeze has brought an energy that has been absent, and the Rebels snapped their 16-game SEC losing streak today at Homecoming. You have to travel all the way back to 2010 against Kentucky to find Ole Miss’ last SEC win. The streak is over. On the contrary, Auburn can’t buy a break. They had a better identity on offense today running the football and with Clint Moseley at QB, but the Tigers now have lost their last six SEC games. Auburn’s 0-4 SEC start is the worst since 1980.
What I liked: There is a reason why Ole Miss is ranked fourth in the SEC in rushing yards, averaging 213 yards per game. Today they ran for 200. So, they are right on that mark. Jeff Scott led the Rebels in rushing with 137 yards on the ground. Likewise, Auburn had success in the first half running the football with Tre Mason. He carried 18 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns and gave the Tigers a legit threat in the backfield. However, the Ole Miss defense stepped up in the second half and took away the ground game. The Tigers’ last five drives of the game went punt, punt, punt, INT and punt. That was the difference.
What I didn’t like: Auburn needs to find a way to win a football game. They have found multiple ways to lose this season but can’t find a way to win it. The players fought hard and never quit, but the Ole Miss defense just took their game to another level in the second half. Ole Miss scored 17 unanswered second-half points. Tigers’ offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler really struggled calling the plays down the stretch.
Who’s the man: Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace totaled four touchdowns today. He had two rushing, one passing and one receiving, and he played turnover-free football. Wallace had been on a short leash by Hugh Freeze, but he protected the ball much better today. He finished 17 of 22 for 226 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 39 yards and two touchdowns.
Key play: Jeff Scott’s 55-yard touchdown reception was a thing of beauty. Ole Miss faced third and 16, and Wallace completed the pass to Scott who looked like he would be dragged down short of a first down, but he never actually touched the ground. Scott kept running, and he took it to the house for a touchdown. It will remind you a lot of Michael Dyer’s touchdown run against Oregon in the national championship.
What’s next: Ole Miss keeps marching towards bowl eligibility, getting their fourth win heading into the bye week before traveling to Little Rock against Arkansas in another winnable game in two weeks. On the other hand, Gene Chizik has to beat Vanderbilt next week. If he doesn’t win against the Commodores, it could be the end of the road for Chizik at Auburn. The Tigers fall to 1-5 and 0-4 in the SEC. The pressure is mounting on the Tigers’ head man.