FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Ole Miss - Auburn 1992

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Cassius Ware scores a 91-yard touchdown against Auburn.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Cassius Ware scores a 91-yard touchdown against Auburn.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 12, 2012

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the Rebels' 45-21 season-opening win over Auburn in 1992.

It's no lie: Rebs smash Auburn

By Ron Higgins
Commercial Appeal


September 6, 1992

OXFORD, Miss. – Somebody must have been tampering with the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium football scoreboard Saturday.

It read: Ole Miss 45, Auburn 21, but nobody really believed it. It was hard to tell who was more in shock - Auburn's team or Ole Miss's fans.

Like new Rebel defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dun's bizarre defensive alignments, the Rebels scored a season-opening victory - and a Southeastern Conference one at that - with an efficiency and intensity that came out of the blue considering last year's 5-6 record.

Ole Miss Coach Billy Brewer said he "thought it was going to be a close game." Auburn coach Pat Dye succinctly summed up the 24-point loss by his team, a 4 ½-point favorite - "Ole Miss took us to the woodshed."

From an offense that led the Rebels to a 21-7 halftime lead to a defense that forced six turnovers, scored two touchdowns, and held Auburn to a school-record minus 16 yards rushing was one of Ole Miss's most impressive season openers in recent memories. An estimated 40,000 watched.

The Rebel victory snapped a five-game losing streak that dated back to midseason in 1991 and broke a nine-game losing streak to Auburn. It gave the Rebels the early lead in the SEC Western Division with Alabama. It gave Ole Miss momentum heading into next week's game against Tulane, a 13-12 winner over SMU Saturday. And the win marked successful debuts for Dunn and offensive coordinator Larry Beckish.

Dunn's defense - which mostly featured three linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs, including two strong safeties - thoroughly confused Auburn quarterback Stan White. White threw for 314 yards and one touchdown, but had four passes intercepted and was sacked five times for losses of 42 yards.

"We put so much pressure on him that he (White) didn't have a clue," said Ole Miss cornerback Danny Boyd, who had two interceptions. "Every time he dropped to pass he was running trying to get out of there."

White could run but he could not hide, especially when the Tigers got in position to tie the game in the third quarter.

With Ole Miss leading, 21-14, and Auburn primed with a first-and-goal at the Rebels' 5-yardline, Dunn sent at least five players on a blitz. Linebacker Marquis Thomas steamrolled White, the ball squirted in the air, newcomer Cassius Ware grabbed it and ran 91 yards for a touchdown for a 28-14 lead with 4:36 left in the period. It was the longest fumble return for a TD in Ole Miss history.

"I got the ball, took off and kept looking at the goal posts," said Ware, a Northwest Mississippi Community College transfer who had team high 14 tackles. "It was a looonnnggg way. I never thought I would make it. I realized I was in the end zone when I thought I was dead."

After that, the Rebels scored 17 straight points, capped by safety Johnny Dixon's 54-yard scoring interception of a White pass with 6:19 left to play.

"The coaches told us to prepare for them bringing everything from the first play of the game," said White, who'll try to regroup his offense against Division 1-AA Samford next week. "We got a lot of blitzes, but we just didn't execute. I was going to throw the ball away (on his fumble for Ware's TD)."

Auburn outgained the Rebels, 334-325, through its passing game, but the Ole Miss offense was solid when it counted.

Rebels senior quarterback Russ Shows, erratic in the past, steadily got the Rebels out of the gate with first-half scoring drives of 74, 67 and 29 yards. He hit 8-of-18 passes for 170 yards, including a first-half TD to flanker Germaine Khon and a 65-yard pass to tailback Duo Innocent, who was tackled at the one-inch line.

"We came out and did what we had to do at the start - we hit them in the mouth and kept going," Shows said. "I felt like we could win big - I really wanted to show people we could do it."

There were heroes aplenty for the Rebels. Besides the obvious, such as Ware, Boyd, Dixon and Shows, a reshuffled offensive line that has little depth played almost the entire game with its starters. It allowed Shows to be sacked just twice and opened gaping holes that allowed fullback Marvin Courtney and tailback Corey Philpot to run for 68 and 54 yards respectively.

"Auburn's defensive front has been doing the same thing for 10 years," said Rebel left guard Everett Lindsay, who was shifted from left tackle just before kickoff. "We adjusted our scheme to throw them off."

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more