Four things to know: Ole Miss vs. Auburn
Ole Miss and Auburn kick off at 11:00 a.m. CT Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. This is the 42nd meeting between the two schools, dating back to 1928, and the Tigers lead the all-time series 30-11, overall, and are 14-3 in Auburn. The road team has won this matchup each of the last three seasons.
Here are four things to know about the upcoming SEC matchup.
1. Rebels look to increase third down production
The Rebels’ offense needs to be productive on third down against the Tigers Saturday. Ole Miss was 0-for-13 on third down conversions at Alabama last weekend. On the season, the Rebels are 17-of-50, giving the Ole Miss offense a 34% conversion rate on third down. The Auburn defense has held opponents to 26-of-83 on third down conversions, a 31% rate.
2. Keep Stidham from spreading the wealth
Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham is doing an excellent job of seeing the field as evidenced by the fact that the Tigers have completed 90 passes to 15 different wide receivers. Of note is the fact that 11 of those players have notched a reception of over 10 yards, while five different players have made a catch of at least 40 yards.
Auburn is averaging 208.4 rushing yards a game, which has helped Stidham thrive in his first season at QB for Auburn. He has completed 72.03 percent of his passes (85 of 118) for 1,110 yards and five touchdowns.
“I think that is why their pass game is so good is because everyone is coming up to stop the run, and when you do that it makes you efficient in the passing game,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said. “I think that’s why they have scored so many points in the last two games. I think he is getting more of a comfort level in what they are trying to get accomplished. I think it is a huge challenge.”
3. Wesley McGriff’s familiarity with Auburn
Ole Miss defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff was the co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Auburn last year, making him quite familiar with the Tigers–and possibly giving Ole Miss an advantage in slowing down the Auburn attack.
“It helps. We’re very similar on defense. Where it helps the most is getting good-on-good looks versus what you’re going to see. Just having a similar scheme helps you in the good-on-good work because you’re getting what you’re going to see in the game.“
Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke
4. Patterson and Ole Miss receivers among nation’s best
Though the Rebels’ offense struggled at Alabama last weekend, Ole Miss still enters the game vs. Auburn with some impressive numbers:
• Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally in passing offense, averaging 361.5 yards per game, and leads the league and is 17th in the country in passing efficiency at 162.76.
• Sophomore QB Shea Patterson leads the SEC and ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game (361.5). He also leads the league and is 15th nationally in passing efficiency (162.76) and 17th in touchdowns (11).
• Sophomore WR A.J. Brown leads the SEC and ranks 22nd nationally in receiving yards per game (98.8) and is 18th nationally in touchdowns (4), while fellow wideout junior DaMarkus Lodge is second in the league and 30th in the nation in receiving yards per game (89.0) and is tied with Brown in touchdowns.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m. CT
Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium
TV: SEC Network
Live Stats: olemisssports.com
Live Audio: olemisssports.com