Moseley, Dyer Help Tigers Overpower Rebels

Auburn picked up its sixth win of the season as the Tigers took control vs. Ole Miss after halftime.

Auburn, Ala.--Michael Dyer rushed for 177 yards, Clint Moseley threw four touchdown passes in his second college start and the defense turned into Tigers in the third quarter as Auburn pulled away for a 41-23 SEC football victory on Saturday night.

"A lot of the credit goes to the line," Moseley said after the game. "I told them they won the game and I really mean that. To have as much time as I did on a few of those passes and a few of those running lanes for Mike and O (Onterio), when they are that big it makes it easy for us."

Dyer just missed topping his career-high rushing yardage total of 180 set last year as a freshman against Ole Miss. For the game the Tigers netted 254 rushing yards on 50 carries.

Asked what it is about seeing the Rebels that makes him put up big numbers, Dyer smiled and said, "We just came out and played a good game. The offense came out and did a great job. Our line came out and made some good pushes and we were able to run tonight."

The game wasn't an offensive masterpiece. The Tigers had their first two offensive fumbles of the season as they finished with 414 yards, but the 41 points scored was one off the season-high of 42 vs Utah State in the opener.

Auburn's total of 41 matched the combined number of points the Tigers scored in their three previous games vs. Arkansas, Florida and LSU.

Michael Dyer runs the football vs. the Rebels.

"At halftime we made a lot of great adjustments, adjusting defensively to some of the run game that we needed to get under control that in the first half got away from us a little bit," said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik whose Tigers improved to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the SEC.

"Coach Roof (defensive coordinator Ted Roof) and the defensive staff did a really nice job with that," Chizik added.

"Offensively, I felt like at that point we really kind of understood what their game plan was and really knew how to attack them in the second half both running and throwing the football," Chizik pointed.

With the game tied 17-17 at halftime, the Tigers took control with two third quarter touchdowns. In that period Auburn out-gained Ole Miss 141-22 to take command of the game.

The defense had plenty of shaky moments in the first quarter, but came up with a big play to set up the first points of the game.

Linebacker Eltoro Freeman, who led all tacklers in the game with nine solo stops and two assists, turned a completed pass to flanker Nickolas Brassell into a fumble that was picked up by Corey Lemonier, whose nine-yard return gave the Tigers excellent field position at the Ole Miss 40.

The Tigers cashed in the opportunity with a third down and four 13-yard touchdown pass to Philip Lutzenkirchen from Moseley. It was the first college touchdown pass for Moseley and the 11th career touchdown reception for Lutzenkirchen, the most for any tight end in Tiger history.

After two first downs Ole Miss punted the Tigers back to the eight-yard line, but Auburn went the distance in seven plays. The big one was a 45-yard touchdown pass to Quindarius Carr. Moseley had plenty of time to throw the football and after a pump fake he hit his senior receiver in stride for the touchdown. With Cody Parkey's PAT the Tigers were on top 14-0 4:21 left in the first quarter.

Ole Miss answered the Tigers with a long drive of its own. Using the speed of running back Jeff Scott and the power of running back Brandon Bolden, the Rebels moved 80 yards on eight plays.

Bolden, who rushed for 114 yards on 13 carries, ran through a tackle at the line of scrimmage by Neiko Thorpe to gain 38 yards to set up his one-yard TD run on the next play, cutting Auburn's lead to 14-7 with 1:09 left in the period.

The home team only got three possessions in the first quarter. The third one didn't last long as Dyer fumbled on first down after the kickoff, giving Ole Miss the football when Kentrell Lockett fell on the football at the 26-yard line.

The defense held on from there, forcing a field goal attempt on fourth and five. Bryson Rose made the 39-yarder to cut Auburn's lead to 14-10.

Auburn matched that field goal with one of its own from 40 yards out by Parkey. Those points were set up by a 41-yard interception return by T'Sharvan Bell, who picked off Randall Mackey's underthrown deep pass.

That seven-point advantage didn't last long as the Rebels found huge holes in the Auburn defense. Ole Miss drove 60 yards in nine plays to tie the score with 6:04 left in the half. Bolden scored at left tackle, unopposed, on a first and goal to make the score 17-17.

The Tigers came into the game without losing a fumble on offense all season, but had their second one of the first half when McCalebb mishandled a pitch that Lockett recovered at the Ole Miss 49-yard line.

The Auburn defense rose to the occasion and forced a punt, sending the teams to locker room at halftime with the score tied.

At the break Auburn had 196 yards of total offense on 33 plays. The Tigers ran the ball 23 times for 76 yards and Moseley completed 8-10 passes for 120 yards. Ole Miss gained 219 first half yards on 37 plays with 172 coming on 27 rushing plays.

Auburn regained the lead on its second possession of the third quarter following a short punt. Mostly on the ground, the Tigers drove 66 yards on eight plays.

The touchdown pass, like the first one, was on a third down play. Moseley patiently waited for Emory Blake to get behind the defense, which the junior wideout did, and the quarterback lobbed a pass into his arms in the end zone.

Emory Blake made his return from an ankle injury and scored a touchdown pass. He said he was about 70 percent of full speed.

A stop by the defense caused by third down pressure by Daren Bates on a blitz got the ball back for the Tigers late in the quarter.

Auburn's fourth touchdown drive featured the running of Dyer, who scored at left guard on the play of the third quarter from five yards out. Blocks from Lutzenkirchen, John Sullen and Jay Wisner helped clear the path to the end zone. It took the Tigers just six plays to go 70 yards with the big one a 48-yard run by Dyer

Auburn scored the next 10 points. Parkey kicked a 31-yard field goal with 11:47 left after Nosa Eguae recovered a fumbled on a botched handoff by the Rebels.

The Tigers made the score 41-17 with 4:49 left on a spectacular one-handed catch by Lutzenkirchen on third and goal at the four-yard line with 4:49 to play. That capped a drive that covered 58 yards in eight plays.

Playing against the Auburn backups, the Ole Miss first team scored on a 10-yard pass on the final play of the game to make the final score 41-23.

Moseley completed 12-15 passes for 160 yards without an interception. "I am really proud of him," Chizik said. "He didn't turn the ball over. I thought us throwing the ball vertically down the field, Emory (Blake) being back in the game and you can see the impact certainly that he has with our offense." Blake caught five passes for 71 yards.

"Philip Lutzenkirchen did a great job, and he scored two touchdowns tonight on different things, but just being able to have the ability to throw the ball some down the field..." Chizik added. "Emory is not 100 percent right now. He still has a long way to go to get to 100 percent, but I have to give him a lot of credit because you could see out there he still playing a little bit beat up and banged up, but he was ready to go."

Auburn out-gained the visitors 414-382. The Rebels rushed for 220 yards on 44 carries while Mackey hit 15-27 passes for 157 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His team lost its 11th consecutive game and dropped to 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the conference.

Auburn now has its first bye week of the season before heading on the road to play Georgia the following week.

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