TUPELO, Miss. – First road trip in a month, and the schedule-makers forced us to become quite familiar with the state of Mississippi.
I’ll have my usual pregame video up around 11 a.m. ET, along with links from the week. But first, I owe my loyal readership some X-Factors.
Five X-Factors when the Tigers have the ball
#15 Clint Moseley, 6-4, 229, jr., QB, Auburn. Did he win the job? Or did it fall to him? Hashtag, #BurningQuestion.
#4 Quan Bray, 5-10, 185, so. WR/PR, Auburn. He’ll be welcomed back into this offense immediately. Jay Boulware says he’ll start going back there on kick returns, though he wasn’t sure if Bray will take punts (he should … Reed was shaky, quite uncomfortable against Arkansas.) And the last time Auburn was in the Magnolia State, he caught six balls for 50 yards, both career bests.
#73 Greg Robinson, 6-5, 311, fr., LT and #51 Patrick Miller, 6-7, 288, fr., RT, Auburn. We’re assuming Avery Young is too “banged up” to remove Miller from his post (but this same principle would apply to him). You beat Ole Miss by outrunning the edges, and while Onterio McCalebb and Tre Mason are quick, they’re not Usain Bolt. Perimeter blocking, gentlemen.
#25 Cody Prewitt, 6-2, 214, so., FS, Ole Miss. Thirteen tackles at Alabama. They’ll sneak him up in the box to stunt rush gaps, if Moseley doesn’t scare the Rebels with the deep routes.
Five X-Factors when the Rebels have the ball
#1 Randall Mackey, 5-10, 195, sr., RB, Ole Miss. They use him in all sorts of different ways: 47 rushes, eight receptions, four passes, one kick return. Aggregate 60 touches for 411 yards, including a 68-yard catch, 32-yard pass and 28-yard run.
#10 Vince Sanders, 6-1, 190, so., WR, Ole Miss. Role has expanded the past couple of weeks, twice in a row establishing career-high receiving yards. When Moncrief gets the attention, look for Sanders to get open underneath.
#10 LaDarius Owens, 6-2, 260, so., DE, Auburn. Gut feeling: Dee Ford plays. And plays well. But if he can’t, next man in.
#26 Justin Garrett, 6-1, 215, so., SLB, Auburn. Justin Garrett, come on doooooooowwwwwwn! You’re the next highly-hyped Auburn defender after one impressive game! Will you stay on the scene like Joshua Holsey? Or fade away like Kris Frost? Big part of this depends on whether Brian VanGorder sticks with base, which worked pretty well last week against Tyler Wilson and Arkansas.
#22 T’Sharvan Bell, 6-0, 190, sr., CB, Auburn. People like T-Bell. Rightfully. Every team needs a preacher who says what needs to be said. But talk is cheap. Chris Davis is questionable for this game, and while Jon Mincy and Josh Holsey will be heavily involved, nothing Bell could say into a voice recorder can lay the wood like making big plays.