If Ole Miss is to end a 16-game SEC losing streak today against Auburn, here’s how it will get done.
1. Get it done on the ground
Auburn has been successful on defense when the field shortens, but the Tigers overall have struggled to stop the run.
Run is what the Rebels have done best, fourth in the SEC in rushing offense this week.
Jeff Scott was able to post 105 yards against Texas A&M. He and the Ole Miss offense should be able to rip off nice gains, but they need to find the creases, finish with touchdowns and not leave themselves in positions of struggling to get across the goalline in short-yardage situations.
2. Be Emotional
This doesn’t make be over the top, fake, jumping on top of teammates all the time emotion. It means don’t be flat. As Hugh Freeze is prone to say, don’t let one game beat you twice, and last week’s 30-27 come-from-ahead defeat against Texas A&M – with the Rebels so tantalizingly close to breaking the SEC losing streak – has that potential.
The Rebels need to be focused, fast and on top of their game emotionally.
3. Win third downs
While it struggled in this category last year, the Auburn defense has improved to a 34.6 success rate for opponents which ranks the Tigers round the middle of the SEC.
That improvement is one factor in that helps Auburn rank No. 53 in scoring defense while it ranks No. 75 in total defense.
Ole Miss leads the SEC in converting third downs – 50.6 percent – but is next to last in stopping opponents on third down at 45.1 percent.