By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
When it looked like a change at quarterback might help Auburn awaken from its offensive doldrums, the Rebels’ defensive adjustments helped them hold Auburn to 60 yards and a field goal in the second half.
The entire Ole Miss offense played turnover-free. That’s especially important for QB Bo Wallace.
Wallace became the first Ole Miss player to score rushing, receiving and passing touchdowns in the same game. He completed 17 of 22 passes for 226 yards and a TD,rushed for two scores and caught another.
The Rebels still struggle in pass defense unless they’re getting a strong rush. Special teams play was spotty. Kicker Bryson Rose had a good day with three touchbacks and going 2 for 2 on field goals, but punter Jim Broadway was inconsistent, and kickoff coverage was weak.
Keys To Victory
Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday’s GameDay section:
1. Get it done on the ground. The Rebels rushed for 200 yards, including 137 on 21 carries from Jeff Scott, who also scored on a 55-yard pass play.
Bo Wallace didn’t break a big-gainer but his reads were a big part of Scott’s success.
2. Be emotional. The Rebels were focused when they could have been flat for a number of reasons, the biggest being the emotionally draining manner in which the SEC losing streak reached 16 games as a late lead was lost against Texas Aamp&M just seven days prior.
3. Win third downs. Auburn converted 4 of 8 third downs in the first half, a big reason the Tigers held the ball for more than 20 minutes as they rallied with 17 unanswered points.
But they were just 1-for-7 on third downs in the second half, as Ole Miss swung the possession stat its way in the fourth quarter when it scored 17 points to win going away.
RB Jeff Scott: The junior averaged 6.5 yards a carry, 137 yards on 21 attempts. He scored on a 55-yard pass play, one of his three catches, and finished with 207 all-purpose yards.
Auburn’s struggles have been well-documented, but the Tigers weren’t going to simply volunteer to be the opponent for Ole Miss to break a 16-game losing streak. Auburn delivered a first-half punch. The Rebels received it and punched back at a time when they could have been distracted on several fronts.