Ole Miss vs Auburn Preview: A Must-Win SEC West Showdown
Saturday's showdown between the 24th ranked Ole Miss Rebels and the Auburn Tigers is shaping up to be a must win game for both teams.
It will be interesting to see how Ole Miss responds in this game after being shutout last Saturday by the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. The fast paced Rebel offense, who going into the Alabama game was averaging close to 500 yards of total offense per game, managed to only have 205 yards of total offense.
Auburn comes into the game fresh of a bye week, but last played on September 21st when it was defeated on the road 35-21 by the LSU tigers.
The quarterback battle should be exciting to watch as both quarterbacks have the ability to pass and run. Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace has a lot to prove this week after his performance against Alabama and his comments about Alabama's defense.
The tough Mississippi defense will be a good test for Auburn's quarterback Nick Marshall, who has lead Auburn to a 3-1 record so far this season. Both Wallace and Marshall are former junior college quarterbacks and both have fairly similar numbers this year. In four games this year, Wallace has thrown for 807 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Wallace is also a threat with his feet as he has rushed for 125 yards on 44 attempts and has scored 4 times.
In four games this year, Marshall has completed 60 of 103 passes for 809 yards and four touchdowns but has also thrown four picks . Marshall is still working through the learning process in his first year starting at quarterback.
The other offensive match-up to watch is the running backs as both schools have a lot of speed in this position. Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott, just like Wallace, has a lot to prove in this game. Against Alabama, Scott only rushed for 28 yards. Despite last weekend's performance, Scott has really gotten off to a hot start. He has carried the ball 43 times for 358 yards with 2 touchdowns. The thing that makes Scott so dangerous is that he is averaging over eight yards per carry.
Auburn has a very explosive running back tangent in Tre Mason and Corey Grant. Mason gets the majority of the carries, rushing for 338 yards on 65 attempts along with four TDs.
Both teams like to spread things out on offense and are capable of putting up a ton of points on the board. But look for this game to feature very physical play on the defensive side of the ball. Both team have a lot of athletes on defense that can make big plays in big situations.
A victory will allow the winning team to keep pace in the SEC West standings.
This game will be on ESPNU at 7 pm ET.