Rapid Reaction: Kamryn Pettway, Auburn keep rolling with win over Ole Miss
The storylines remain the same for Auburn and Ole Miss.
For the Tigers, the hot streak continued as No. 15 Auburn (6-2, 4-1) won its fifth straight with a 40-29 win over Ole Miss.
And the Rebels? They fell to 3-5 with their third straight loss, and in the process, look more and more like basically a one-man team as Chad Kelly took them as far as he could, but it wasn’t far enough.
What it means: Auburn’s surge continues. The Tigers win streak has included wins over LSU, Arkansas and now the Rebels. Ole Miss has gone the other direction with three straight losses. At one time, Ole Miss was Alabama’s primary challenger in the SEC West. Now it may be Auburn (with an argument to be made also for LSU).
What I liked: For Auburn, you had to like the balance Sean White gave the Tigers. After Auburn routed Arkansas 56-3 mostly running the ball, White balanced the offense against Ole Miss, throwing for 247 yards and a touchdown.
For Ole Miss, you have to love Kelly, who despite playing for a 3-5 team, deserves to be in the SEC Player of the Year conversation. He lit up a good Auburn defense for 465 passing yards, and again, was Ole Miss’ most effective rusher, going for 40 yards.
What I didn’t like: For Auburn, it was uncharacteristically suspect pass defense, allowing Kelly to have a a huge day after the Tigers had proven effective coming into the game, third in the league by allowing just 198 yards per game.
For Ole Miss, it was anything not Kelly. The defense gave up 554 yards, and the running game was non-existent if it wasn’t Kelly scrambling for yards.
Who’s the man: White was solid, but Auburn has an established star now in running back Kamryn Pettway, who went for 236 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. As the Tigers have surged to SEC contention, Pettway’s production has also gone up.
Key plays: With Auburn clinging to a 33-29 lead in the fourth quarter, Joshua Holsey picked off Kelly and returned it 47 yards to set up Kerryon Johnson’s 3-yard touchdown run. That was part of 13 unanswered points for Auburn, a stretch that started with two clutch Daniel Carlson field goals of 30 and 47 yards in the fourth quarter.
The 30-yard kick gave Auburn the lead for good at 30-29 early in the fourth.
What’s next: Auburn hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday while Ole Miss takes a break from SEC play to host Georgia Southern.