What happened and what mattered in the Auburn 31-16 win over Ole Miss?
Auburn 31, Ole Miss 16
Well hello, Auburn running game. Glad you could join us. The Tigers went on long drive after long drive, the defense held Ole Miss to three field goals on the way to a 31-9 lead, and finally, they had a good, easy win against a solid team. JaTarvious Whitlow ran 19 times for 170 yards, Malik Miller pounded away for two touchdowns, and Jarrett Stidham balanced things out with 215 passing yards and no picks.
Ole Miss got its normal big passing day out of Jordan Ta’amu – throwing for 324 yards and a late score to AJ Brown – but the offense couldn’t close out drives with touchdowns. The Rebels moved the chains, but settled for field goal after field goal, while Auburn was putting up six on drives.
The Tiger defense did a fantastic job of coming up with key third down stops, and Nick Coe cranked up an All-SEC-caliber performance with three sacks. Considering the two-game losing streak, and the road test against a high-powered offense, it was one of the team’s best defensive days of the year.
The SEC title dreams are still gone, but Auburn is at least back on track at the right time. With Texas A&M and at Georgia up next, a loss to the Rebels would’ve been devastating to bowl hopes. There’s still a date with Liberty to get that sixth win, but to truly turn this season around, there has to be a big win over at least two of the three big boys in November. There’s two weeks to rest up and get ready for the finishing kick.
Ole Miss can continue to try playing the spoiler role with no bowl game at the end fo the rainbow. A rested South Carolina team is up next, and road games at Texas A&M and Vanderbilt follow before the Egg Bowl vs. Mississippi State. A winning season is still possible, and while none of the remaining games matter in the SEC title chase, the Rebels can affect the bowl pecking order.