Success for the Rebels’ tempo offense is built around good yardage on first down. That keeps pressure on the defense and gives Hugh Freeze more play-calling options.
That didn’t happen at Auburn, and difficult distances on third downs were a factor in the six sacks given up by Ole Miss, Freeze said.
Four of those sacks were a result of Ole Miss offensive linemen losing 1-on-1 matchups with their Auburn counterparts, he said. The two others were the quarterback’s fault.
At Auburn, the Rebels were 5-for-19 on third downs with an average “to go” distance of 7.42 yards. Here’s a breakdown of the Rebels’ third downs and a look the at required distance for a first down:
6 … Wallace sacked minus 11.
6 … Wallace slant to Treadwell incomplete.
1 … Brunetti rush up middle 4 yards CONVERT
10 … Wallace pass to Moncrief for 14 yards CONVERT
1 … Wallace rush up middle for 2 yards CONVERT
9 … Incomplete to Scott, a drop. Would have had first-down yardage.
7 … Complete to Treadwell for 9 CONVERT
11 … Pass to Sanders for 10. (Followed this up with a 3-yard Brunetti rush on fourth-and-1)
8 … Scott TFL minus 1.
3 … Brunetti rush for 1. (Followed up with Wallace to Treadwell pass for 29 yards on fourth-and-2)
10 … Wallace sacked for minus 4.
Note: 4 of 11 on third downs at halftime
1 … Wallace minus 2. (Followed up by quick toss to Scott for 52 yards on fourth-and-2)
5 (goal to go) Incomplete to Treadwell
7 … Wallace rush for 3 yards.
0-for-3 on third downs in third quarter.
19 … Wallace sacked for second time in three plays.
10 … Wallace pass to Sanders for 12 yards. CONVERT
7 … Wallace pass intercepted by Ryan Smith.
10 … Wallace incomplete from his own 1 throwing to Moncrief.
10 … Wallace sacked. Wallace sacked again on fourth down, and Auburn runs out the clock.
Notes: 141 total third down “to go” yards. … The Rebels finished 3-for-5 on fourth-down conversions.