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October 30, 2009

Auburn-Ole Miss breakdown

I’ll be at a high-stakes showdown between Carver and LaGrange tonight in Columbus, Ga., but I know everyone needs their Auburn fix. So here is tomorrow’s breakdown:

No. 24 Ole Miss (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at Auburn (5-3, 2-3 SEC)

  • Where: Auburn, Ala.
  • When: 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network
  • Last meeting: Ole Miss 17, Auburn 7, Nov. 1, 2008, in Oxford, Miss.

Offense:

Ole Miss: Running back Dexter McCluster came to life last week against Arkansas, becoming the first Rebel in the modern era to top 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game. Quarterback Jevan Snead has 572 passing yards and five touchdown passes the last two weeks, suggesting he’s over his early-season struggles.

Auburn: The Tigers hit new lows last week at LSU, finishing with 10 points and only 193 yards of total offense. Quarterback Chris Todd might be making his last stand. Since starting the season on fire, the senior has thrown for only 260 yards the last three games, with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

EDGE: Ole Miss

Defense:

Ole Miss: Overshadowed by the Rebels’ offensive talents is a defense that is ninth nationally in points allowed (13.6 ppg) and 20th in yards allowed (300.0 ypg). Defensive end Kentrell Lockett and linebacker Patrick Trahan, a former Auburn player, are tied for the team lead with four sacks apiece. Ole Miss has 21 as a team, second in the SEC.

Auburn: The Tigers shored up their run defense at LSU, giving up just 122 yards. But the pass defense was suspect, allowing 254 yards as quarterback Jordan Jefferson had a career-best effort. Auburn is hurting on the turnover front. The Tigers have forced only two turnovers the last three games after forcing 13 the first five games.

EDGE: Ole Miss

Special teams:

Ole Miss: Joshua Shene is the only SEC kicker without a miss this season, perfect on eight attempts. Ole Miss is solid across the board on special teams, ranking third in the league on kick returns, sixth on punt returns and fourth in punting.

Auburn: The Tigers’ punt returner position might be open again after Philip Pierre-Louis muffed a punt last week at LSU. Anthony Gulley, Quindarius Carr and Travante Stallworth all remain options. Auburn is lagging in the return game, 11th in the SEC at taking back both punts (3.8 yards per return) and kicks (21.2).

EDGE: Ole Miss

Prediction: The edges don’t lie. The Rebels are simply a better football team right now. And there’s no way in good conscience I can pick a team that seems to be slumping to new lows against a team that appears to be hitting on all cylinders. I think Auburn finds it very difficult to move the ball against Ole Miss’ defense. And if that means some early struggles, it would not surprise me if Neil Caudle took the field in relief of Todd. Final score: Ole Miss 27, Auburn 20.

4 Comments

  1. gosh we suck. our OL sucks. Lee Ziemba costs us so many yards. They need to move him to DT if he is so aggressive!

    Comment by JunkerJorge — October 30, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

  2. I hear you, AB, but I am not listening. GM has more desire and motivation in this game than any other (Iron Bowl included). I see a mistake free offensive unit playing lights out with their backs against the wall in a "take no prisoners" grudge match. I see a defense that has a fired up Carter, Freeman, Coleman and McF. Daren will be much improved in run support and Buster McLuster could very well be injured in this one. Straight kicks and punts by AU will be enhanced by frenchy FINALLY getting the redemption he has soo desired for weeks.

    27-24 AU in a very sober and awakening game that will get us out of the Pizza Bowl and into the Casino Bowl in Shrev.LA.

    Comment by easyedwin — October 30, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

  3. Love your breakdown and prediction easyedwin! I hope your right! WDE!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — October 30, 2009 @ 8:23 pm

  4. North Carolina upset Virginia Tech. South Florida upset West Virginia last night. Tennessee was about to upset Alabama. Anyth9ing can happen.

    It seems when the critics love us, we choke. When everybody says Auburn has no chance, they guys pull it together and win.

    I think we're at the point of no return here, and agree with easywin. Today is the day our team is totally on their game.

    Comment by War Eagle AC-47 — October 31, 2009 @ 10:52 am

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