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
    • Freeze, Rebels Focused on Auburn Showdown

      Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Football

      Not only will Saturday's matchup between No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 Ole Miss feature the first-ever meeting of top-10 team in Oxford, but it will feature half of the top four of the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 9

      Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 9 -LSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 20-26, 2014)

      Monday, October 27, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 20-26, 2014Football- Ole Miss took its first loss of the season with a 10-7 defeat to No. 23 LSU in Baton Rouge.- The Rebels held LSU to 10 points and created four turnovers (two... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 26

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel... read more

    • Rebels Fall Short in Death Valley

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Football

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ole Miss had its chances. The Ole Miss defense made seven points stand up for the better part of four quarters, forcing four turnovers and limiting LSU to just three points on its first three trips... read more

    • Three and Out: Ole Miss-LSU

      Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 23 LSU for an SEC West Showdown on Saturday. Stopping The Run Not just this year, but throughout head coach Les Miles' tenure, LSU's running game has been... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-LSU Pregame

      Friday, October 24, 2014 - Football

      Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more

    • Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play

      Thursday, October 23, 2014 - Football

      Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 8

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 8 - Tennessee (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze, Miles Talk Ole Miss-LSU Rivalry

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more