EditorsNote: 3rd graf, should be 1-yard TD run, not 4 yards; 5th graf, take out Carlson’s first name
Freshman quarterback Bo Nix passed for a season-high 340 yards and freshman running back D.J. Williams rushed for 75 of his game total 93 yards in the second half to key No. 11 Auburn’s 20-14 victory over visiting Ole Miss on Saturday night.
The Tigers (7-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) played without a pair of defensive starters, defensive end Marlon Davidson (back spasms) and safety Jeremiah Dinson (virus), but stifled a Rebels comeback bid when defensive back Christian Tutt intercepted quarterback John Rhys Plumlee’s fourth-down pass in the closing seconds.
The Tigers were up only a field goal at halftime but took command early in the second. Nix capped a 54-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter, and kicker Anders Carlson added a 38-yard field goal on the next series, giving the Tigers a 13-point cushion.
They needed that when the Rebels (3-6, 2-4) engineered their longest scoring drive of the season, going 91 yards in 15 plays to close the gap to 20-14 on running back Snoop Conner’s 1-yard run with 5:45 left in the final quarter.
Carlson missed a 49-yard field goal attempt with 1:14 to go to give the Rebels their last chance.
Plumlee passed for only 86 yards but rushed for a team-high 92 to give him the Ole Miss season rushing record by a quarterback with 600 yards. Jeremiah Masoli had the former record with 544 in 2010.
The Tigers finished the first half with 315 total yards but managed only 10 points. They got their only touchdown when running back Harold Joiner’s 78-yard reception set up Williams’ 1-yard touchdown plunge.
The Rebels had just 129 yards of total offense in the first half, but scored when Elijah Moore’s 55-yard punt return led to Plumlee’s 4-yard scoring scamper with just 44 seconds left in the second quarter.
—Field Level Media