Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Homecoming: Can Ole Miss Pull Off a Win Against Auburn?

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss returns to the friendly confines of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for homecoming on Saturday as they play host to the Auburn Tigers. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on the SEC Network. 

Ole Miss (1-3, 1-3 SEC) looks to rebound from last week’s 33-21 loss at Arkansas. 

The Rebels signal-caller Matt Corral threw six interceptions in the contest. Corral ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency (172.1).

The Rebels defense forced the Razorbacks to punt seven times. 

Ole Miss’ wide receiver Elijah Moore continues to excel on the gridiron as he is the only receiver in Ole Miss history to tally 10 or more catches in four straight games. Moore is second in the nation in both receiving yards per game (143.8) and receptions per game (10.5).

Auburn (2-2, 2-2 SEC) dropped out of the polls for the first time this season after a 30-22 road loss to South Carolina.

“A great program coming in here,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “A lot of history and great teams. A big challenge for us as they have been recruiting at a high level.”

The Tiger offense ranks 10th in the SEC with 366.8 yards of total offense, with 217 yards through the air and 150 rushing yards per game. Sophomore Bo Nix has thrown for 869 yards with five passing TDs and four interceptions. 

“(Nix) is really competitive with a strong arm,” Kiffin said. “Can really take off and run with the ball too.”

True freshman Tank Bigsby leads the Tigers on the ground, averaging 76 rushing yards per game. Bigsby averages just over six yards a carry, second-best in the SEC. Wide receiver Anthony Schwartz has hauled in 27 catches for 256 yards and one TD.

Auburn is holding its opponents to 390 yards and is third in the SEC in scoring defense (24.5 ppg). Linebacker Zaokby McClain ranks sixth in the nation with 11.3 tackles per game. McClain is sixth in the NCAA with 6.8 solo tackles per game. Kicker Anders Carlson has made 89 percent of his field goal attempts this season and leads the SEC with 2.0 field goals per game.

“Defense Coordinator Kevin Stele has been around along time,” Kiffin said. “He seemed to always have elite defensive lineman and front seven players.”

Saturday’s game will be the 45th played between Ole Miss and Auburn in the history of both schools . The Tigers lead the all-time series at 33-10 over the Rebels. The original record is 33-11 in favor of Auburn, with Ole Miss’ win in 2012 vacated due to NCAA ruling.