No. 11 Auburn survives against Ole Miss

QB Nix has career night

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 11/3/19

AUBURN — Auburn was supposed to get its offense back in gear against an overmatched Ole Miss team Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

That was the plan.

Instead, the Tigers were pushed to the limit in a 20-14 victory.

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No. 11 Auburn survives against Ole Miss

QB Nix has career night

Posted

AUBURN — Auburn was supposed to get its offense back in gear against an overmatched Ole Miss team Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

That was the plan.

Instead, the Tigers were pushed to the limit in a 20-14 victory.

No. 11 Auburn had to thwart one last Ole Miss drive in the final seconds to earn a surprisingly hard-fought victory over the Rebels.

Despite holding a decided advantage in total yards (507 to 266) and time of possession (35:48 to 24:12), the Tigers were never able to pull away from the Rebels.

“We got off to a slow start. We had a lot of opportunities, we just weren’t able to seize many of them,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We had 500 yards of offense and 20 points — that doesn’t equal up. We moved the ball, we just didn’t get into the end zone.”

Quarterback Bo Nix set career highs across the board in the win, completing 30 of 44 passes for 340 yards. He also rushed eight times for 20 yards and a score. D.J. Williams led the Auburn ground game with 93 yards and a score on 24 carries. Anthony Schwartz had nine catches for 89 yards.

“The fact that you put up 500 yards against good defense, that’s good. We just have to finish some things and put points on the board,” Malzahn said.

Auburn now gets an off week before hosting Georgia on Nov. 16

“This was a big win for us. Now we have a week off. We need it. We need to heal up. It couldn’t come at better time,” said Malzahn, who was without star defensive end Marlon Davidson and defensive back Jeremiah Dinson on Saturday night.

Against Ole Miss (3-6 overall, 2-4 in the SEC), Auburn kicker Anders Carlson missed three field goals, including a 49-yarder that would’ve put the game out of reach with 1:14 left in the game. Down by six points, Ole Miss got as close as the Auburn 35-yard line with 17 seconds left before Christian Tutt picked off a John Rhys Plumlee pass, clinching the Tigers’ victory.

Auburn (7-2, 4-2), which was unable to get its offense in gear in a 23-20 loss to LSU last week, piled up yardage in the first half only to stall in the red zone.

Carlson missed a 42-yard field goal attempt to end Auburn’s first drive. The second drive resulted in Carlson’s first miss of 49 yards and the third drive ended with a Bo Nix fumble at the Ole Miss 38-yard line.

Auburn got on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a Carlson 20-yard field goal after the offense stalled at the 2-yard line. A 75-yard pass from Nix to Harold Joiner got Auburn to the Ole Miss 1-yard line with 2:34 left in the first half. D.J. Williams scored on the next play for a 10-0 lead.

A long punt return late in the second quarter led to Ole Miss’ first touchdown, a 4-yard run by Plumlee. The Tigers led 10-7 at the half.

The Tigers scored on their first two drives of the second half. Noah Igbinoghene set up Auburn at its own 46-yard line on a kickoff return. The Tigers went 54 yards in 13 plays with Nix scoring from one yard out for a 17-7 lead.

Auburn pushed the lead to 20-7 on Carlton’s 38-yard field goal with 4:15 left in the third quarter.

Ole Miss’ final score came on a Snoop Conner 1-yard run with 5:35 left in the game.