Loss on the Plains

Auburn 33, Ole Miss 20. Read the game story inside.

Two third-quarter touchdowns 12 seconds apart put a nail in Ole Miss' Halloween coffin. Not being able to capitalize following a couple of special teams touchdowns thereafter drove it in further.

Auburn (6-3 overall, 3-3 SEC) beat the Rebels (5-3, 2-3) by a final count of 33-20.

Leading 10-7 at halftime, the Tigers moved in for a touchdown on their second possession of the third quarter, a 14-yard pass reception from Chris Todd to Terrell Zachery with 11:37 to go.

On Ole Miss' first play after the kickoff, Jevan Snead was intercepted by Walter McFadden after the ball bounced off intended receiver Markeith Summers. McFadden took it all the way in for a score, some 29 yards down the sideline.

At that point the Tigers led 24-7, and the Rebels were in deep trouble. But not as much as they would be a possession later. Auburn got the ball back via punt, and three plays later Ben Tate's 53-yard rush gave the home team a 31-7 advantage.

The Rebels got back in it with a kickoff return of 82 yards by Jesse Grandy. When Auburn was forced to punt, Dexter McCluster took it 79 yards on the first play for a touchdown. The score was 31-20 but a bit of momentum shifted back to the Tigers when the extra point was blocked and Demond Washington returned it all the way for two points.

The Rebs then got it down to the Tigers' 26, but on third and 1, Brandon Bolden was stripped and the ball was recovered by Neiko Thorpe for Auburn.

The UM threat was thwarted. There was 3:18 left in the third. Neither team scored again.

Ole Miss took a 7-0 lead on the opening drive then did nothing else in the scoring department the entire half as Auburn's defense brought pressure and was effective.

The opening drive was a 94-yard, 10-play effort that took 4:29 and appeared to set a tone. But that was not the case.

Auburn went right downfield for a score of its one, but only via field goal. When the Rebel defense stood tall at the 19, Wes Byrum was good on a 36-yarder with 8:06 to go in the first period.

A couple of possessions later, Josh Shene missed a 44-yard field goal with 53 seconds left in the first.

In the second quarter, the Auburn defense continued to shine, sacking Ole Miss' quarterback Jevan Snead on a 4th and 6 at the Tiger 33 for an 11 yard loss. Two possessions later Auburn took the lead on a 28-yard pass from Chris Todd to Darvin Adams, capping a 90-yard drive with 5:23 to go in the first half.

Ole Miss dominated the states of the first half, racking up 14 first downs to 7 for the Tigers. Snead, however was but 10-of-22 passing for 107 yards and a touchdown. Todd was 7-of-12 for 125 yards and a touchdown.

The Rebels had 233 yards to 183 for the Tigers. Tate led Auburn on the ground with 44 yards, while McCluster paced the Rebel rushing attack with 86 yards. McCluster was also the Rebels' leading receiver with four catches for 17 yards.

Auburn ended the game with 401 yards of offense to the Rebels' 394. The Rebels ended up with 19 first downs to Auburn's 18.

The Rebels lost a fumble in the contest and Snead was intercepted twice. The junior quarterback finished 16-for-32 with the lone touchdown on the opening drive and two interceptions.

McCluster finished with 186 yards rushing on 22 carries. Shay Hodge was the leading receiver for the Rebs with seven for 105 yards.

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