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Rebels look to snap skid

After a 30-27 loss this past week to Texas A&M, Ole Miss hosts Auburn for Homecoming on Saturday. The Rebels look to end their 16-game SEC losing streak against a struggling Auburn team, which lost 24-7 to Arkansas this past week.
Quentin Winstine/The Daily Mississippian

 
Ole Miss enters Saturday’s Homecoming game seeking its first conference win since defeating Kentucky 42-35 in 2010, and Auburn may be the perfect opportunity for it to do so. 
 
The Rebels (3-3, 0-2 SEC) welcome a struggling Auburn team which got its only win of the season in week three against Louisiana-Monroe in overtime. The Tigers (1-4, 0-3 SEC) come into the game searching for an identity on the offensive side of the ball. The Tigers are currently running a two-quarterback system with sophomore Kiehl Frazier and junior Clint Moseley.
 
“Their program is kind of at a wall right now,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said in his weekly press conference on Monday. “They’re talking about their offensive identity. Exactly what that is, I don’t know. We’ve kind of seen the power game, and we’ve seen them try to spread it out a little more. I know they are working hard this week trying to figure out what is going to give them the best chance to win, and I have no doubts that they’ll come out fighting and swinging.”
 
Auburn currently ranks last in total offense per game in the SEC (302.4 ypg) and scoring offense (15.4 ppg), next to last in pass offense (172 ypg) and 12th in rushing offense (130.4 ypg). Despite the numbers, Freeze and his staff are preparing for the multiple looks that Auburn will throw their way.
 
“They concern me because they’ve got some talented guys running the ball back there,” defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said. “The line is young, but I think they are getting better each week. They’ve just got to find a plan and stick to it. For me, it is like watching five or six different offenses at times, and it is kind of hard to break down on.”
 
The Tigers are led by Frazier in the passing department with 664 yards through the air with two touchdowns and eight interceptions. Moseley, whom the coaches noted as mainly being in when the Tigers are trying to run the ball, has thrown for 163 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
 
“It seems to me like when (Frazier) is in the game, they were running more of the stuff like we run, with a stutter package read and all that,” Wommack said. “When the other quarterback was in, it wasn’t as much about that; it was more about the power, stretch game. Other than that, the pass game is the same.”
 
The Rebels are led on defense by redshirt freshman linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche and sophomore safety Cody Prewitt. Nkemdiche leads the team in total tackles (38) and tackles for loss (8) and is tied for the team lead with two sacks. He has also forced two fumbles and added an interception. Prewitt is second on the team with 35 tackles, which includes two tackles for loss. He also has two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, two interceptions and a sack. 
 
Through six games, the Ole Miss defense has more sacks (17) than all of last season (13), and no player has more than two sacks for the Rebels. 
 
Offensively, the Rebels will be led by sophomore Bo Wallace, who got the nod after his performance against Texas A&M. Despite the loss, Wallace had an efficient game and threw for 305 yards and a touchdown. On the year, Wallace has thrown for 1,145 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. 
 
Wallace and the Ole Miss offense knows what to expect and will look to take advantage of the Auburn defense, which ranks 12th in the SEC in total defense (419.2 ypg).
 
“They’re really good on defense,” offensive coordinator Dan Werner said. “You look at some of their scores; they’ve only given up a couple touchdowns all year long, so they’re really fast and really physical. It’s going to be a real good test for us.”
 
On the ground, Ole Miss is led by junior Jeff Scott, who has racked up 425 yards and five touchdowns in five games this year, and senior Randall Mackey, who has 227 yards and three touchdowns on the year. Sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief will be the main aerial threat for Wallace with a team-leading 27 catches for 453 yards and five touchdowns. The Rebels will also regain the services of junior wide receiver Korvic Neat, who has missed three weeks with a groin injury. Neat has 14 catches for 151 yards in three games played.
 
Kickoff for Saturday’s contest between the Rebels and the Tigers is set for 11:21 a.m. and will be televised by the SEC Network.
 
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