Fourth Quarter Fade Bites The Tigers Again

The Auburn football team's struggles continued as Ole Miss pulled away in the closing minutes for an SEC football victory on Saturday.

Oxford, Miss.--Auburn's fourth quarter failures proved costly again on Saturday as Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers fell 41-20 to Ole Miss in an SEC football game the Tigers had a chance to win until the final minutes.

Auburn has now been outscored 62-3 in the fourth quarter of games as the team's record drops to 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the SEC.

Ole Miss ended a three-game losing streak to the Tigers and a 16-game overall SEC losing streak. The Rebels improved their record to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in league play.

Chizik called the game on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium a "total team loss" for his Tigers.

Auburn trailed 24-20 going into the fourth quarter. After falling behind 27-20 with 13:28 to play on a 39-yard field goal by Bryson Rose, the Tigers began to self-destruct.

With Ole Miss facing a fourth and six at its own 27, Auburn pressured punter Jim Broadway and caused him to shank the ball that traveled just 11 yards before going out of bounds. However, due to the Tigers lining up offsides the Rebels got a do-over and Broadaway nailed a 49-yard punt. Instead of starting at the Ole Miss 38, Auburn took over at its own 21.

On the next Ole Miss possession the Rebels faced a third down and 16. Bo Wallace completed a pass over the middle short of the first down marker. Auburn's defense thought Jeff Scott had been tackled, but he popped off the ground and raced to the end zone for a 55-yard scoring play. After a review it was determined neither his knee nor elbow touched the ground.

Trailing 34-20 the Tigers had one last chance for a comeback when C.J. Uzomah returned a pooch kick 38 yards to the Ole Miss 35 with 4:55 to play. However, on the next play, Clint Moseley suffered his only interception of the day. Ole Miss cashed in the mistake for a touchdown three plays later adding insult to injury for the Tigers.

Moseley made his first start of the season, filling in for Kiehl Frazier, who was nursing a sore throwing arm. Frazier was very limited in throwing the ball in warmups. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said considering Frazier's health, the decision was made to go with Moseley.

"I thought Clint did some good things," Loeffler said. "He definitely played with a lot of toughness. I was proud of him. He never gave in. He just kept fighting."

"The game plan was simply to run the ball and get the game to the four quarter and finish it, and we didn't," Loeffler said.

Moseley hit 11-18 passes for 112 yards. Tre Mason led the ground game with 82 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Wallace hit 17-22 passes for 226 for the Ole Miss offense that helped its cause by not making a turnover. Scott led the rushing attack with 137 yards on 21 carries.

"Our guys played hard," Chizik said. "We had our chances again in the fourth quarter to keep the game close enough to win it. We had some very unique things happen in the fourth quarter, and we didn't capitalize on what we needed to do when we had some opportunities."

Chizik added, "Obviously, it is a tough loss for us. We have got to find a way to come back next week and win our first SEC game."

First Quarter: Bad Start:

Auburn opened the game with the first possession and punted after gaining one first down. Ole Miss came out smoking as the Rebels moved 80 yards on nine plays. A throwback pass from Randall Mackey to quarterback Wallace scored the touchdown from 25 yards out.

The lead quickly doubled thanks to a big mistake by the Tigers. Moseley couldn't handle a shotgun snap rifled to him by Tunde Fariyike, who said the play was his fault. The ball rolled towards the AU goal line where it was recovered for a touchdown by C.J. Johnson.

Second Quarter: Recovery

The Tigers outscored Ole Miss 17-3 in the period to get into halftime with a tied score.

Auburn's first touchdown covered 74 yards on 13 plays. It was the longest scoring possession of the season for the Tigers in terms of plays.

Facing second and goal at the Ole Miss nine, Moseley found Jay Prosch in the flat for an eight-yard gain on his first Auburn reception. On the next play Tre Mason was untouched as his scored at left tackle to cut the lead in half with 13:56 left in the period.

Ole Miss finally got its second offensive possession, but went three-and-out. Auburn got the ball in good field position at the Ole Miss 45, but couldn't get a drive started. Steven Clark's punt was downed at the six.

Ole Miss managed a first down, but stalled at the 18. The Tigers got the football back at the Rebel 48.

On the next play Moseley threw deep and his high school teammate, Sammie Coates, was there to make a catch for 42 yards. From the six Mason ran up the middle for the touchdown to tie the game with 5:56 left in the half.

Sammie Coates makes a catch at the Ole Miss six-yard line.

Auburn then surprised the Rebels with a perfectly executed onsides kick that was recovered by kicker Cody Parkey.

Auburn took over at its 47 and moved to a first down at the Ole Miss 19, but stalled there and had to settle for a 46-yard field goal by Parkey to put the Tigers on top 17-14 with a minute left in the quarter.

Ole Miss ran its hurry-up offense and moved 64 yards on nine plays to set up a 28-yard field goal on the final play of the half to tie the contest at 17-17.

Halftime Stats: Auburn held the ball for 34 plays and netted 153 yards with 63 coming on 26 running plays, led by 46 on 13 carries by Mason. Ole Miss rushed for 76 yards on 15 carries.

Moseley hit 8-8 passes for 90 yards in the first half. The Rebels completed 10-12 passes for 110 yards.

Third Quarter: Not Enough Offense

Ole Miss took the lead with a quick drive to start the second half. The Rebels moved 73 yards on four plays.

Wallace scored on a keeper from one-yard out after throwing a long pass into coverage. Safety Jermaine Whitehead appeared to have a chance to make an interception, but Jas-Mes Logan came out of a crowd at the one-yard line with the football and a 46-yard gain.

Two series later, after a three-and-out for both teams, the Tigers drove 51 yards on 10 plays to set up a 46-yard field goal with 4:38 left in the quarter.

Fourth Quarter: Folding, Not Finishing

For the game the Tigers were out-gained 451 to 213 in total offense. A big chunk of that differential took place in the final period as Auburn was out-gained 149 yards to four.

The Rebels bumped the lead to 27-20 with 13:28 left on a field goal, stretched the lead to 5:02 on Scott's 55-yard pass play and Wallace scored on a two-yard keeper with 3:26 left after the Rebels intercepted Moseley.

Chizik said while Auburn's fourth quarter issues have been different things from week to week, there is a common theme. "We are not executing at a high-level in the fourth quarter and it is just disappointing."

Tunde Fariyike, who made his second start at center with Reese Dismukes out with an injury, said the loss was a tough one to take. "We are just going to pick ourselves up and go back to work tomorrow."

Asked what the Tigers need to do to have better results the redshirt sophomore said, "It's just execution. We fight, we definitely fight. It's not that. We have to definitely clean some things up."

Jonathan Mincy makes a QB sack for the Tigers. Each team finished with a pair of sacks.

Offensive Line Injuries: In addition to starting center Reese Dismukes missing the game, backup tackle Avery Young and backup guard Christian Westerman were not available due to injuries.

Happy Rebels: "Words cannot describe the feeling in that locker room and in the stadium," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said after the Rebels earned their first SEC win since the 2010 season."

Freshman Corners: Auburn opened the game with five defensive backs. Two of them, Jonathan Jones and Josh Holsey, are true freshman who made their first starts. Junior cornerback Chris Davis was not available due to an injury. Also not making the trip due to an injury was starting end Dee Ford.

Tackling Troubles: Auburn's head coach was not impressed with his team's tackling, which he called poor. "Any time a team runs for 200 yards on you, that is not good defense at all," he said.

Up Next: The Tigers will have a third straight morning kickoff as they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores next Saturday in Nashville. The game, which will be televised on the SEC Network, is set for an 11:21 start.

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