GAMEDAY PREVIEW: Ole Miss At Auburn

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Donte Moncrief
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Donte Moncrief
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 29, 2011

Gameday Central | Gametracker

TV: ESPNU | Ole Miss Radio Network (Sirius 219, XM 199)

AUBURN, Ala. – Two teams looking to end recent struggles will clash on the Plains this evening at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Ole Miss Rebels (2-5, 0-4 SEC) will be searching for their first SEC victory of the year, while the Auburn Tigers (5-3, 3-2 SEC), who started the season 4-1, are looking to rebound from two losses in the past three weekends.

Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m.  The game will be televised on ESPNU.  

This will mark the 36th meeting all time between Ole Miss and Auburn dating back to 1928. Auburn leads the all-time series 26-9. The Rebels are just 2-11 all-time versus the Tigers in Auburn with their last win coming in 2003.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt is 6-7 against the Tigers in stops at Arkansas and Ole Miss.  The Tigers defeated the Rebels 51-31 last year in Oxford en route to an undefeated national championship season.  

The Rebels will face an Auburn offense that has struggled lately, averaging just 14.3 points in their last four games thanks in part to the loss of top receiver Emory Blake to an ankle injury.  

In addition to losing Blake, the Tigers made a midseason change at quarterback.  Sophomore Clint Moseley replaced Barrett Trotter two weeks ago in a loss to Florida.  Moseley completed 12-of-20 passes for 165 yards in his first career start last week against a relentless LSU pass rush that sacked him six times.

Moseley will face an Ole Miss secondary that turned in yet another impressive performance last week against Arkansas.  Despite losing starting safety Marcus Temple for the season a week before, the Rebels held the SEC’s top passing attack to just 232 yards through the air.  Razorback quarterback Tyler Wilson never got on track, completing just 13-of-28 passes.  

Charles Sawyer, who recorded four picks to begin the season at safety, moved back to his natural position at cornerback and did not miss a beat.  In addition to recovering a fumble, Sawyer broke up three passes and limited Jarius Wright, the SEC’s leading receiver, to one catch.  

With a shaky passing game, Auburn has leaned heavily on their running game, led by sophomore running back Michael Dyer.  The SEC’s third leading rusher is averaging 5.1 yards per-carry and has rushed for eight touchdowns after a stellar freshman season.

Nutt will look for improvement from his defense against the run, including a young defensive line that is without senior end Wayne Dorsey.  Last week, Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson averaged better than 10 yards per-carry en route to a 160-yard afternoon.  

 “We talked hard yesterday and today about being better tacklers and better run fits, especially against Auburn,” said Nutt.  “Michael Dyer is of course very good.  They have speed guys as well with him and you know they are going to run the football. That is no secret.  We have to do a good job with that. Everybody has to work hard to get better.  Not only our front, but also our linebackers and our safeties and corners. Everybody has to be good tacklers.”

 On offense, the Rebels look to build on a solid performance last week against Arkansas.  Randall Mackey had his best game in an Ole Miss uniform, completing 18-of-30 passes for 219 yards.  

Mackey found the freshman tandem of Donte Moncrief and Nickolas Brassell early and often against the Razorbacks.  Moncrief caught five passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns, while Brassell caught a team-high eight balls for 70 yards.

“The one thing that you love about them is whether we play Alabama, Arkansas or Auburn, they are ready to compete,” said Nutt.  “We saw that when they came here on campus in high school.  We saw the competitive spirit and the fight they had. They have to keep adjusting to the speed of the game. They cannot expect that the ball is going to come to them or that they are going to make a catch without looking it in.”

Moncrief currently ranks fourth among FBS freshmen with four receiving touchdowns.

With a young team that included five freshmen in the starting lineup last week, Nutt has shown no fear in giving his newcomers opportunities in spite of some growing pains.  

“There are no limitations in the game plan in regard to them,” said Nutt.  “We are throwing them out there and throwing the game plan at them.  They are learning and playing extremely hard with a competitive spirit. That is what we appreciate.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • New Hitting Coach Mike Clement Q-And-A

      Thursday, July 24, 2014 - Baseball

      On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more

    • UPDATED: Hugh Freeze's Day At ESPN Car Wash

      Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Football

      UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more

    • Freeze Visits ESPN Headquarters Monday

      Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Football

      All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss At SEC Media Days

      Friday, July 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more

    • Rebels Raise Expectations Entering Year Three

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more

    • Healthy, Confident Wallace Eyes Atlanta

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more

    • Freeze Meets With Local Media At Media Days

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more

    • What They're Saying: Day 3 Of SEC Media Days

      Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more

    • What They're Saying: Day 2 Of SEC Media Days

      Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more

    • Ole Miss In CFB 24/7 14 For '14 Series

      Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Football

      NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more

    • What They're Saying: Day 1 Of SEC Media Days

      Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more

    • Cozart Named Best Defensive SS Of First Half

      Sunday, July 13, 2014 - Baseball

      Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Baseball Postseason

      Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more

    • Ole Miss Preps For SEC Media Days

      Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - Football

      Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more

    • Ole Miss And The World Cup

      Thursday, July 3, 2014 - Athletics

      The United States' run in the 2014 World Cup came to an end with a 2-1 extra-time loss to Belgium in the Round of 16. For many fans, it's also the end of the road, but for a few Ole... read more