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OLE MISS

kae henderson / photographer

v.s.

saturday, oct. 7, 2017

The Auburn Plainsman

tiger walk 9 a.m. — four corners 9:45 a.m. — march around 10:03 a.m. — eagle flight 10:44 a.m. — pregame 10:47 a.m. ­— kickoff 11a.m.


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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

GAME PREVIEW

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Carlton Davis (6), Jarrett Stidham (8) and Steven Roberts (14) celebrate in the student section after the game.Auburn vs. Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn,Ala.

No. 12 Tigers riding momentum into home showdown with Mississippi Nathan King

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Fans of Auburn Tiger football have seen this movie before. With sophomore Sean White at the helm, Auburn snared off a six-game winning streak in the middle of the 2016 season, thanks to stellar offensive improvement. Those Tigers suffered a similar early-season fate as their 2017 counterpart — sluggish offense and lackluster play calling. For White’s offense, the turn-around came on the road at Mississippi State in week 6, after the Tigers had claimed their first two games of the winning streak at home against LSU and Louisiana-Monroe. Auburn was a favorite in the game against the Bulldogs, however, the offense had severely struggled against Power 5 competition early on, averaging 16 points per game against the likes of Clemson, Texas A&M and LSU. The contest that most considered a trap game got ugly fast. Auburn grabbed a 35-0 halftime lead and eventually took the game in Starkville, Mississippi, by a score a 38-14. Auburn narrowly climbed into the rankings at No. 21 following the win but had to turn right around and play No. 17 Arkansas in Jordan-Hare the next week. The Tigers blasted the Razorbacks, 56-3, putting up 543 rushing yards in the process, a SEC regular-season game record. To Auburn fans and to the team the Tigers were back and had a complete team with a newfound focus on their prolific offense. Jarrett Stidham’s offense faced a similar two-game gauntlet this season, leading off with a road matchup at Missouri. Auburn was again favored, but questions still remained as to how Stidham and company would perform following abysmal showings in the past two games against Clemson and Mercer.

Thanks to a newfound deep-ball threat in Stidham, the Tigers rolled over Mizzou to the tune of 51-14. Like Arkansas in 2016, Auburn was set to come home the next week to take on a ranked opponent. Auburn tore apart Mississippi State, 49-10, for the team’s first back-to-back 30 point wins over conference competition in over 30 years. Stidham looked the part of a true offensive leader and, with an already established defense, the Tigers can go nowhere but up for the rest of the year. Next on the chopping block for Malzahn’s squad is a reeling Ole Miss team, fresh off a 66-3 beatdown at the hands of No. 1 Alabama. “I think the biggest thing to get across to the team right now is we’re 2-2,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke following the loss. “We’re no better, we’re no worse than 2-2.” While Ole Miss’ record doesn’t yet signal complete panic mode, the Rebels haven’t had impressive showings in the two wins or the two losses. Sophomore quarterback Shea Patterson’s offense took care of business against South Alabama, however, South was within a field goal at halftime. The next week against the University of Tennessee-Martin, Luke’s team had a nearly identical game in which they clinged to a one-point halftime lead but pulled away against the FCS defense in the second half. Against a pair of Power 5 schools this season, Ole Miss has been outscored 93-19. In those two road losses to California and Alabama, Patterson turned in just two touchdowns to five interceptions. The Rebels lost head coach Hugh Freeze early in the offseason, and self-imposed a postseason ban this past February due to NCAA rule violations. Freeze had a 2-3 record against the Tigers

» See PREVIEW, 8


THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN3

11 A.M. KICKS: AU KRYPTONITE? ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Daniel Carlson (38) lines up for a PAT attempt in the first half.Auburn vs. Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn,Ala.

Zach Tantillo SPORTS WRITER

The biggest challenge the Tigers will face Saturday might not be a player or a matchup, but the time of kickoff. No. 12 Auburn is scheduled to take on the Rebels at 11 a.m., which could spell bad news for the Tigers. Recently after big games, Auburn has struggled playing in early kickoff games. Since 2015 in the regular season, the Tigers are just 3-3 in 11 a.m. kickoffs. After a big opening day win against Louisville, the early game struggles began when Auburn hosted Jacksonville State in 2015. The No. 6 Tigers struggled to hold on to the ball,

turning it over three times in the game. Auburn rallied late and narrowly escaped one of the worst upsets in college football history by squeaking out an overtime victory against the Gamecocks, 27-20. The struggles only got worse for the Tigers later in 2015, as they would go on and drop the next three 11 a.m. kickoff games bringing their 11 a.m. record to 1-3. In 2016, Auburn seemed to turn around the pre-noon struggles with a dominating win over Mississippi State, but the curse reappeared against Vanderbilt. The Vanderbilt game came the Saturday after a big road win against Ole Miss, unlike an easy victory over ULM before the Mississippi State game.

The Tigers were riding momentum and a five-game win streak into the game but struggled early against the Commodores — recording only nine yards passing in the first half. Thanks to the second-half spark from banged up Sean White and a late game interception from Josh Holsey, the Tigers pulled it out, 23-16. Back to 2017, Auburn is once again coming off of a big win and has to face another 11 a.m. kickoff. The game against Ole Miss is set up exactly like past games in which the Tigers have struggled. The No. 12 Tigers are three-touchdown favorites, but don’t expect Ole Miss to be uncompetitive. A few early turnovers, and this game could be closer than most expect.

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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

DEFENSE

QB Shea Patterson poses threat to Kevin Steele’s vaunted defense Peter Santo SPORTS WRITER

A week after shutting down Nick Fitzgerald and Mississippi State’s dynamic offense in a convincing 49-10 win, Auburn will face another test this week as Shea Patterson and the Ole Miss Rebels visit The Plains. With the Rebels self-imposing a postseason ban for 2017 after the scandal that led to the resignation of former head coach Hugh Freeze, the focus has shifted away from their on-field play. But there is no denying that Patterson still poses a threat to the Auburn defense. Tasked with replacing Chad Kelly, who ranked third in Ole Miss history in both passing yards and touchdowns before the Broncos picked him in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, Patterson has had an up-and-down season thus far. Patterson threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns in two consecutive games to start the season. Those games are easy to write off as they came against South Alabama and UT-Martin, but Patterson has shown flashes of the

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Carlton Davis (6) breaks up a pass in the first half.

play that made him the number one pro-style quarterback recruit in the 2016 class. It’s not just Patterson that will concern the Auburn defense, the Rebels’ receivers haven’t been afraid to stretch the field, with A.J. Brown, DaMarkus Lodge and D.K. Metcalf each averaging more than 15 yards per reception. Ole Miss also boasts depth at the position — five different receivers have over 10 catches through the first four games. “When you look at Ole Miss offensively, really the thing that stands out to me is their offensive skill,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “I think at receiver they are as good as anybody in the league.” Patterson is considered a pro-style quarterback, but he can make plays with his legs as well as his arm. He wasn’t afraid to get out of the pocket in the Rebels’ season opener against South Alabama. Patterson finished with just six rushing yards in that game, but he evaded rushers with ease and often ran circles around the defense as he searched for a running lane or an open receiver. Patterson has drawn comparisons to Johnny Manziel, and after he led Ole Miss to an upset of eighth-ranked Texas A&M last November, it was easy to see why. Trailing 21-6 through three quarters, Patterson and the Rebels outscored the Aggies 23-7 in the fourth as Ole Miss pulled out the win 29-28. The comeback began on a play that had to look familiar to Texas A&M fans. Facing third and goal at the Texas A&M 6 yard line, Patterson rolls to his right before cutting back the other way and throwing across his body to the wide open receiver for the touchdown.

When asked about Patterson, Malzahn also brought up Manziel. “I think [Patterson] is a guy that can really make things happen when things break down,” Malzahn said. “He has a little Johnny Manziel in him as far as being able to create things on his own, and he is a very good athlete.” His most recent outing was certainly one to forget. Patterson was 14-for-29 for 165 yards and two interceptions as Alabama blew out the Rebels 66-3 at Bryant Denny Stadium. Some of the poor play could be due to Alabama’s defense, but Patterson’s first interception was strictly on him. Facing 3rd and 4 from his own 30 in the first quarter, Patterson attempts to throw a quick slant route for the first down, but his throw is well ahead of his intended receiver and is easily picked off and returned for a touchdown. Patterson didn’t look much better in the second half. Trailing 52-3 in the third quarter, interim head coach Matt Luke elected to go for it on 4th and 11 at the Alabama 32 yard line. Under pressure, Patterson rolled to his right and threw off his back foot, underthrowing his intended receiver as his pass was easily picked off by Levi Wallace for his second interception of the game. Patterson—who wears number 20 (most quarterbacks wear No’s. 1-19) after his late grandfather, who wore the number with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons—clearly has the talent to give the Auburn defense a lot of trouble, it will just be a matter of which Shea Patterson shows up. This season, the QB has 11 touchdowns to six interceptions and has been sacked 13 times.

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Andrew Williams (79) tackles Aeris Williams (22) in the first half.Auburn vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn,Ala


THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

The Auburn Plainsman: GREEK LIFE5


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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

Behind enemy bylines: Ole Miss Nathan King

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Grayson Weir, sports editor at The Daily Mississippian, answered a few questions from The Auburn Plainsman ahead of Auburn’s matchup with Ole Miss this Saturday. 1. How does Ole Miss pick themselves up after the big loss to Bama? Does this team have the maturity and leadership to forget that game? How can you forget a 66-3 slaughter at the hands of the nation’s top program? You can’t. I don’t think “forget” is the right word. Coming off of such a demoralizing loss, the key is reevaluation. And that starts with the coaching staff, runs through the leaders and trickles all the way down to the practice squad. The team has been through so much already this year, there’s no doubt they have the individual mental wherewithal and leadership to move forward. 2. What are some keys to success for Shea Patterson and the offense against the SEC’s No. 1 all-around defense? With all due respect to Auburn and the tough Tigers defense, calling them No. 1 in the SEC is solely statistic-based. Alabama’s defense is, in my opinion, the best in the nation, and our offense couldn’t get anything going against them. Coming in to this weekend, I think the biggest key to success is a push from the big uglies. Our offensive line has lacked significantly, even though we have experience, size and talent. If the line can step up, the rest of the explosive offense should fall in to place from there. 3. Who is an X-Factor for the Rebels that Auburn fans should be on the lookout for? Outside of Patterson, the easy answer would be wideout AJ Brown. Prior to the loss at Cal, where he went down holding his knee, Brown led the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns. But his return last week saw tight coverage and a clear key on his routes, rendering him relatively ineffective (like most of our offense). However, the one positive from last weekend was running back Jordan Wilkins establishing himself as a factor, creating a run game. Look for Wilkins to play a big role. 4. What is the best position matchup for the Rebels? What Auburn weaknesses could they maybe expose? Defensively, the best position matchup is on the line. Our secondary is weak and the second level has struggled, but the big fellas in the trenches are a constant. The size, the speed and the athleticism are there, which can cause quite a disturbance in the middle. In an ideal world, the defensive line will force less time in the pocket, causing Stidham to rush his throws, and can keep Pettway, Martin and Johnson from getting past the first level or outside the tackles— because then god knows how far he will run. 5. Score prediction for Saturday? I prefer not to make score predictions regarding my own teams, I think it brings about bad “juju.” That being said, a road trip to the No. 12 team in the nation is a tough test for a team that was just demoralized by Saban. The Rebels have a chance in this game is if the weeks one and two offense shows up, starting with the line, and the defense can force two-plus turnovers. Otherwise, it could be a tough day at the office.

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Darius Slayton (81) catches a pass in the second half over Ole Miss’s Carlos Davis (23).Auburn vs Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Oxford, MS.


THURSDAY, OCT. 5 , 2017

The Auburn Plainsman: GREEK LIFE7

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze meet at midfield following Auburn’s 40-29 win over the Rebels.Auburn vs Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Oxford, MS.

Matt Luke leads reeling Ole Miss following Hugh Freeze scandal Bennett Page SPORTS WRITER

Interim head coach Matt Luke will lead his Rebels into Jordan Hare Stadium on Saturday. Luke was named interim head coach after Hugh Freeze was dismissed as the Ole Miss head coach in July of 2017. Freeze served as head coach from 2012 to 2016 after a short head coaching stint at Arkansas State, where Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn also coached. Freeze’s coaching career at Ole Miss was plagued with investigations of possible recruiting violations, leading to the university self-imposing a one-year postseason ban for 2017. Most people expected Freeze to eventually lose his job because of his recruiting scandals, but his dismissal was in relation to a series of calls made to an escort service. Over the summer, the NCAA began investigating phone calls made through university-provided phones as part of a lawsuit that former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt filed against the university. The lawsuit had nothing to do with the possible escort situation, but the calls were discovered in the investigation process. The investigation showed that Freeze’s university-issued phone had made calls to at least 12 different numbers associated with online escort services. These calls dated back to 2014. Malzahn, who is good friends with Freeze, openly defended him during the investigation. The university fired Freeze on July 20 and immediately named Luke as the interim head coach.

Luke played center at Ole Miss from 1995-1998 and served at Murray State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Duke as an offensive line coach before becoming the Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator in 2012. Prior to his current position as interim head coach, he had never held a position higher than co-offensive coordinator. Ole Miss began the season with two wins before a loss to California and an embarrassing 63-point loss at the hands of Nick Saban and Alabama. The Rebels have only scored three points in their last six quarters of football despite having Shea Patterson, who many see as one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. Auburn’s scoring defense is currently sixth in the nation with 11.0 points allowed per game. ESPN’s FPI gives the Rebels a 5 percent chance of beating the Tigers on Saturday. Following their poor offensive performance against Alabama, Luke emphasized a need to simplify the offensive game plan and focus on offensive speed. Ole Miss is waiting until the end of the 2017 season to begin its search for a permanent head coach, and it will take a dramatic turnaround for Luke to retain the position. Other names being considered are Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, who is expected to be fired after this season, former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Luke’s attempt at turning the season around will begin at 11 a.m. CT when the Rebels take on the Tigers in Jordan Hare Stadium.

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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

PLAINSMAN PICK ‘EM AU- Ole Miss

Morgan Gaston Miss Homecoming

Will Sahlie (17-8) Sports Editor

WVU - TCU

LSU - UF

MSU - Michigan

Miami - FSU

THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

PREVIEW » From 2

with the team’s last win in the series coming in 2015 on The Plains. Auburn has won 21 of the last 27 since 1990 and leads the all-time series, 30-11. Auburn is hitting their stride looking for their fourth-straight win, with an offense that is improving fast and a defense that ranks No. 9 nationally. Against a pass-happy Patterson and Ole Miss, Auburn ranks No. 5 in the country in fewest passing yards per game. Although the Tigers will be a three-touchdown favorite on Saturday, don’t expect the Rebels to lay down lightly. Ole Miss isn’t playing for a conference title or a bowl game, but Luke believes his young group can move on past the Alabama loss and make the most of the remainder of their season. “They have to keep their confidence. I think that’s the biggest thing,” Luke said. “We have to go back to simplify, we have to go back to work. That’s the only way to get the bad taste out of your mouth.” For Auburn to eclipse the largest margin of victory in the series’ history of 40 points, it’s going to take another near-perfect performance akin to the Mississippi State game.

Nathan King (17-8) Ast. Sports Editor

Tyler Roush (16-9) Sports Reporter

Sumner Martin (17-8) Sports Writer

Jake Wright (17-8) Sports Writer

Peter Santo (12-5) Sports Writer ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER


THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN9

Malzahn impressed by overall efficiency TYLER ROUSH SPORTS REPORTER

With a message of getting better each week, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn thinks his team is finally finding its stride. “We talked about that at the very first of the season,” Malzahn said. “That was one of our goals -- to be more balanced -- and the last two weeks we’ve done that. We were able to hit some explosive plays in the pass game and really play with tempo, too. I think that is a combination that was really good and we need to continue to build upon those things.” Since shifting starters on the offensive line two weeks ago in a definitive win over Missouri, Auburn has outscored opponents 100-24. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who struggled in his first two weeks, has completed 83.4 percent of his passes in his last three games. “That’s really, really high, but we knew he was a very talented quarterback when we recruited him,” Malzahn said. “He’s still like a freshman as far as game experience is concerned, and so we’ve got to keep that in mind, but I’ve been very impressed with him the last three weeks.” Stidham leads the SEC with a 72 percent completion percentage, 5.8 percent higher than Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson at No. 2. In addition to Stidham’s recent success, four wide receivers, Will

Hastings, Kyle Davis, Nate Craig-Myers and Darius Slayton, are averaging over 20 yards per reception. The four combine for 28 of Auburn’s 90 total receptions this season. “More than anything it is emphasis,” Malzahn said. “That is something [Chip Lindsey] has really emphasized. He wants more explosive plays. We have been able to do that the last two weeks and it has changed everything.” Auburn running backs Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway are also expected to be closer to 100 percent for Auburn’s game against Ole Miss, Malzahn said. He added that Kam Martin, who is second on the team in rushing yards with 210 with an average of 9.1 per carry, will be more involved. Johnson implied that he was less than 90 percent back to normal health in Auburn’s 49-10 win over Mississippi State while failing to get to full speed. Despite not being full health, he said, the wide receivers counterweighted Auburn’s depleted run game. “I think we’re coming along nicely,” Johnson said. “I think the biggest improvement in the shortest amount of time has definitely been the receivers in my opinion. We challenged them a lot, especially after the Clemson game, they were heavily challenged and I think they’re finally answering the call.” In a 6-14 loss to No. 2 Clemson, Auburn had 79 receiving yards. Since

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Kerryon Johnson (21) drags defenders for extra yardage in the first half.Auburn vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn,Ala.

then, Auburn is averaging 283.3 per game while outscoring opponents 124-34. “I think everybody that [plays for Auburn] understands that, for some strange reason, when people play us it’s the best game they’ve ever played,” Johnson said. “Really, I think it will be a good test for us,” Malzahn said. “I know they had a tough game last week. We are expecting their best. Our guys understand that they are talented and we’ve got to be ready to play.


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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017

Tight End: Jalen Harris - 85 Tucker Brown - 86 Wide Receiver: Darius Slayton - 81 Kyle Davis - 11 Nate Craig-Myers - 3 Ryan Davis - 23 Will Hastings - 33 Eli Stove - 12

OFFENSE

Center: Casey Dunn - 50 Right Guard: Braden Smith - 71 Wilson Bell - 74

Middle Linebacker: Deshaun Davis - 57 K.J. Britt - 33 OR Chandler Wooten - 17

Sam Linebacker: Darrell Williams - 49 Richard McBryde - 51 Field Corner Jamel Dean - 12 OR Javaris Davis - 31 Field Safety: Stephen Roberts - 14 Daniel Thomas - 24 Boundary Safety: Tray Matthews - 28 Nick Ruffin - 19 OR Jeremiah Dinson - 20 Boundary Corner: Carlton Davis - 6 Traivon Leonard - 21

Kicker: Daniel Carlson - 38 Anders Carlson - 26 OR Sage Ledbetter - 31 Punter: Ian Shannon - 43 Daniel Carlson - 38 Long Snapper: Ike Powell - 69 Bill Taylor - 60 Holder: Tyler Stovall - 29 Punt Returner: Stephen Roberts - 14 Ryan Davis - 23 Kick Returner: Javaris Davis - 31 Kerryon Johnson - 21 Devan Barrett - 6 Noah Igbinoghene - 4

Nickel: Daniel Thomas - 24 OR

OLE MISS DEPTH CHART Left Tackle: Gregory Little - 74 Royce Newman - 72

Running Back: Jordan Wilkins - 22 D’Vaughn Pennamon - 28 Eric Swinney - 24

Left Guard: Javon Patterson -79 Jack DeFoor - 54

Wide Receiver: DaMarkus Lodge - 5 Trey Bledsoe -81 DeKaylin Metcalf - 14 Tre Nixon -4

Defensive Tackle: Derrick Brown - 5 Andrew Williams - 79 Buck: Jeff Holland - 4 Paul James III - 10 OR T.D. Moultry - 55

Right Tackle: Darius James - 78 Calvin Ashley - 70

Quarterback: Shea Patterson - 20 Jordan Ta’amu - 10

Tight End: Dawson Knox - 85 Octavious, Cooley - 15 Ty Quick - 43

Defensive Tackle: Dontavius Russell - 95 Tyrone Truesdell - 94

Will Linebacker: Tre’ Williams - 30 Montavious Atkinson - 48

SPECIAL TEAMS

H-Back: Chandler Cox - 27

Left Guard: Mike Horton - 66 Marquel Harrell - 77

Defensive End: Marlon Davidson - 3 Nick Coe - 91 OR Big Kat Bryant - 1

Center: Sean Rawlings - 50 Jordan Sims -70 Javon Patterson -79 Right Guard: Daronte Bouldin -76 Alex Givens - 67 Right Tackle: Rod Taylor - 73 Alex Givens - 67

Defensive End: Marquis Haynes -38 Markel Winter -19 Defensive Tackle: Josiah Coatney -40 Breeland Speaks - 9

Sam Linebacker: Brenden Williams - 41 Cornerback: Jalen Julius - 7 Kendarius Webster - 5

Defensive Tackle: Benito Jones - 95

Strong Safety: Zendrick Woods - 36 Jaylon Jones - 31

Defensive End: Victor Evans - 14 Qaadir Sheppard - 97

Free Safety: C.J. Moore - 26 C.J. Hampton - 4

Will Linebacker: DeMarquis Gates - 3 Jarrion Street - 20

Cornerback: Myles Hartsfield - 15 Javien Hamilton - 21

Middle Linebacker: Detric Bing-Dukes - 43 Donta Evans - 35

SPECIAL TEAMS

Running Back: Kerryon Johnson - 21 Kamryn Pettway - 36 Kam Martin - 9

Left Tackle: Prince T. Wanogho - 76 Bailey Sharp - 66

DEFENSE

Quarterback: Jarrett Stidham - 8 Malik Willis - 14 Ryan Davis - 23

DEFENSE

OFFENSE

AUBURN DEPTH CHART

Kicker: Gary Wunderlich - 97 Logan Luke - 92 Punter: Will Gleeson - 94 Mac Brown - 96 Long Snapper: Jack Propst - 90 Chadwick Lamar - 57 Holder: Will Gleeson - 94 Mac Brown - 96 Punt Returner: A.J. Brown - 1 Van Jefferson - 12 Kick Returner: Jaylon Jones - 31 D.D. Bowie - 1


Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

The Auburn Plainsman: Greek Life

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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2016

Reliving Auburn’s dramatic victory over Ole Miss in 2014

FILE PHOTO

TJ Davis, D’haquille (Duke) Williams and Brandon King celebrate with fans after the win.

Caleb ductant SPORTS WRITER

An upstart No. 4 Auburn team rolled into Vaught-Hemingway stadium to try and beat the No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels, who were led by Robert Nkemdiche and Bo Wallace. It was a back and forth affair as Nick Marshall got the night’s festivities off to a hot start with a two-yard scamper for a score after leading a drive down the field. Ole Miss promptly answered with a touchdown of their own, as I’Tavius Mathers scored on a four-yard run to end the quarter. Current Chicago Bear and former Ole Miss standout Laquon Treadwell scored for the Rebels in the second quarter after receiving a great ball from Bo Wallace for a ten-yard touchdown catch. Auburn would not stay down for long, in typical Marshall fashion, the quarterback found Sammie Coates deep downfield for a 57-yard touchdown heave, torching the Ole Miss secondary. Ole Miss would respond with a Gary Wunderlich field goal at the end of the quarter however to end things in the first half, with the Rebels on top 17-14. After lulls in the first two possessions of the third by both teams. Ole Miss finally found some life, current New York Giant Evan Engram caught a bomb from Wallace to push things further in the Rebels favor 24-14. Auburn would respond with a march downfield that would culminate in another Marshall scamper to cut things to 24-21. After a subsequent failed possession by the Rebels, the Tigers would find a way to take the lead for the first time since the first quarter. After an 11-play drive Marshall would find Marcus Davis for a 17-yard touchdown catch, which gave Auburn a 28-24 lead. Ole Miss would not let up though, as the Rebels mounted a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a seven-yard touchdown run to bring Ole Miss in front once again 31-28. The Tigers would score the final touchdown of the night on a nine-play, 75-yard march down the field to seal things with a Cameron Artis-Payne touchdown that would end up proving vital to put the Tigers up 35-31. After posting a long drive that ended in a fumble, Ole Miss would get the ball back late in the game amid a six-play, 51-yard drive encroaching on the Tigers end zone.

But things just did not go the Rebels way, on the last play of the drive, Wallace threw a screen to Treadwell that seemed destined for a score. However, Auburn linebacker Kris Frost made a play that finally ended his run at the one-yard line, after an awkward landing that would cause Treadwell to break his leg. The receiver also fumbled the ball which Auburn linebacker Cassanova McKinzy would recover to kill the Rebels hopes in the ball game. Both teams were highly ranked in the AP Poll at the time, but both of these teams seasons would end in disappointment after hot starts. This still does not take away from one of the most exciting battles in SEC play in 2014, with two teams who took it to the wire on a chilly night Oxford, Mississippi that turned into an instant classic.

FILE PHOTO

Nick Marshall (14) stiff arms an Ole Miss defender.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2016

The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

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The Auburn Plainsman: OLE MISS VS. AUBURN

Kerryon Johnson hitting stride Sumner Martin SPORTS WRITER

Kerryon Johnson just keeps on scoring. Following a five touchdown performance at Missouri, Johnson stayed hot Saturday night against Mississippi State, scoring three more touchdowns in a 49-10 win, despite not being full speed. “The fact that he’s not 100 percent says a lot about him,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “I was proud of KJ and the job he did, especially on the goal line. There were a couple of tough runs that he found a way and willed himself to get in the end zone.” Auburn went to Johnson early and often, and never looked back. The offense opened the game with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown as Johnson had a 59-yard run up the middle that set up his first touchdown of the game on fourth and goal from the one-yard line. His second and third touchdowns were both tough, short runs in the red zone, set up by passes of over 50 yards, to Eli Stove and Kyle Davis. For a team that struggled with red zone efficiency last year and even this year against Clemson, Johnson has been an impact player that has proven he can put up six when called upon. As it usually is with most of Malzahn’s teams, the offense, and the running backs in particular, get

better each week and seem to really hit their stride midseason. Johnson seems to have hit his stride and, at least for the time being, stolen the spotlight from the SEC’s leading rusher of last year, Kamryn Pettway. Despite not being 100 percent, Johnson looks to be in great form after a hamstring injury earlier in the year left him sidelined for two weeks. “I feel good. That definitely puts a smile on my face. Like I said, I missed two weeks and missed the Clemson game, so I am just trying to get back out there and get back on track,” Johnson said. It’s safe to say the Tiger running back is back on track. The Auburn offense totaled 511 yards, and 244 yards were on the ground. Johnson rushed for multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He tallied 116 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns against the Bulldog defense. The Huntsville native now has eight touchdowns in his last two games. Tre Mason’s 22 rushing touchdowns in 2013, an Auburn record that at one point seemed untouchable, is now very much attainable for Johnson, who is averaging 1.8 scores per game. If that pace keeps up, Johnson is on pace to score 23 touchdowns in 13 games, assuming that Auburn holds steady and makes a bowl appearance.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2016

KERRYON JOHNSON

3 games played 300 yards rushing (5.3 ypc) 9 touchdowns (leads SEC)

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ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Kerryon Johnson (21) keeps the ball away from Johnathan Abram (38) in the endzone after a touchdown run in the first half. Auburn vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn,Ala.

ADAM SPARKS / PHOTOGRAPHER

Kerryon Johnson (21) is lifted by offensive lineman Darius James (78) after a first-half touchdown.Auburn vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Auburn,Ala.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2016

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Victory over Ole Miss, no extra charge. Get ready for the Fall 2018 leasing season! 319Bragg.com 319 Bragg Ave. Auburn, AL 36830 |

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THURS, OCT 5TH STUDENT CENTER 11 AM - 2 PM

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