Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Rebels Drop a Heartbreaker to Auburn

Bo Wallace and the Rebels go toe to toe with the Auburn Tigers
Bo Wallace and the Rebels go toe to toe with the Auburn Tigers
The No. 4 Ole Miss football team played a hard-fought game against No. 3 Auburn on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but two fumbles on the Auburn 1-yard line in the fourth quarter proved to be too costly to overcome and the Rebels lost 35-31.
Trailing by four with less than two minutes to play, sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell caught a pass down the middle and broke for the end zone. Dragging a defender, Treadwell fought his way toward the goal line, but had his ankle rolled over and fumbled into the end zone, and the Tigers (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) recovered the ball. The play left the crowd of 62,090 in stone silence and the Rebels’ hopes of victory shaken.
Ole Miss got the ball back with 35 seconds remaining, but couldn’t advance the ball in the waning seconds.
“When you see your young men put so much into preparing for opportunities like we had tonight, you see the hurt they go through,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. “Whoever lost that game tonight was going to feel that way. It was a great college football game against two really good teams. It doesn’t take away any of the steam that’s in that locker room right now when you felt like you played well enough to win it. It’s disappointing. The message to our team was very simple. Our character trait this week was adversity. We’re staring it in the face a bit and that’s life. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. We have to be brothers right now as we stand together and get through a challenging time.”
Treadwell, a preseason first team All-SEC selection, finished the night with a career-high 10 receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown. The complete extent of his injury was not known immediately following the game, but Freeze did say it was definitely a fracture.
Though marred by 19 penalties, the game was highly entertaining as the two sides traded leads throughout the second half.
Ole Miss (7-2, 4-2 SEC) senior quarterback Bo Wallace completed 28-of-40 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another 61 yards and one touchdown on 14 rushes. In total, the Rebels accumulated 492 yards, while the Tigers had 507 – the most by an Ole Miss opponent all season.
In addition to Treadwell’s 103 yards receiving, sophomore tight end Evan Engram (123 yards, one touchdown) and senior Vince Sanders (105 yards) also topped the century mark. It is the first time Ole Miss has had three receivers top 100 yards in the same game in the Freeze era.
Auburn got on the board first, scoring a touchdown on its opening drive of the game. It was the first time all year the Ole Miss defense allowed a touchdown in the first quarter.
The Rebels responded with a 4-yard touchdown by I’Tavius Mathers and a 10-yard touchdown from Treadwell to take a 14-7 lead.
With the game tied, freshman kicker Gary Wunderlich hit a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the Rebels a 17-14 lead at the break.
The two teams exchanged leads three times during the second half, but a 6-yard run by Cameron Artis-Payne with 10:23 to go in the game proved to be the game-winner.
Ole Miss will remain at home for its next game, an 11 a.m. kickoff against Presbyterian. The game against the Blue Hose will be televised by the SEC Network.
–Ole Miss Sports Information

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