Initially, I had planned on attending this game, but the 11 A.M. Kickoff made the decision for me to remain in Birmingham to watch the game with some family. Auburn went into this game a 22 1/2 point favorite and came away with a decisive 44-23 victory. This game was never in question after Auburn ended the first half with a 35-3 lead. It was apparent that Ole Miss just did not have the talent to keep up with Auburn and I felt that their good players continued the fight only to showcase their talents for other teams next season. I doubt if many of the good SEC caliber players at Ole Miss will play there next season due to the NCAA sanctions and probation.
Here are the highlights of the game and commentary from Rod and Stan from the Auburn Network.
1) Auburn finished the game with 561 total yards. They had 326 yards running the ball and 235 yards passing. Auburn moved the ball at will in the first half and could have scored more points. It was obvious that the Ole Miss players were trying to just get through the game after Auburn put up 35 points on the score board. They should thank Gus Malzahn for putting in the backup players and going conservative in the second half.
2) Kerryon Johnson looked healthy in this game and put on a rushing clinic by running for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns. He now has 12 touchdowns this season.
3) The Auburn offensive line dominated the Ole Miss defensive front and Jarrett Stidham had plenty of time to find receivers. I feel that Auburn has now found the right mix of players on the offensive line.
4) The Auburn defense did surrender more than 14 points in this game. Of course, 20 of these points came in the second half after Auburn had already started to use back up players. It appeared to me that most of Auburn's defensive players were able to play in this game.
5) Jarrett Stidham continued to play well and was 14 of 21 for 235 yards. He has now completed 79 % of his passes. If Jarrett Stidham has the time, he can carve up a pass defense. I do like watching him throw the ball and he has great arm strength.
6) Stephen Roberts was on the receiving end of a "textbook" targeting hit. A coach could use the video of this hit to demonstrate targeting to his players. The hit actually broke his face mask and he did return to play in the game.
7) Daniel Carlson scored all of the points in the second half with 3 field goals and now leads the SEC in all time scoring with 413 points. I am sure that a lot of NFL teams have him on their prospect list for the next draft.
Auburn will now face LSU next Saturday in Baton Rouge and I am hoping for an afternoon kickoff. A night game in Baton Rouge can be tricky. As we know, Auburn has not defeated LSU in Baton Rouge since 1999 in the infamous "cigar" game. Auburn won that day 41-7. LSU is having issues this season and many of the fans are already calling for a new coach. Could this be the year that Auburn wins in Baton Rouge after 18 years?
Enjoy the week Auburn fans and War Eagle!