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Montgomery

Auburn defeats Ole Miss 31-20

That game was a tale of two halves. Auburn and Ole Miss both had great success moving the ball in the first half. Auburn scored four touchdowns and Ole Miss scored two touchdowns and a field goal in the first two quarters, making it 28-17 at intermission.

Something happened at half time that boosted each defense and slowed down the offenses. The Tigers and Rebels mustered just a single field goal each in the second half, leading to a 31-20 victory for Auburn at home.

Auburn secured its second win in a row against a Top 25 opponent and keeps its hopes of winning the SEC Western division alive.

The Tigers defeated Ole Miss for the sixth consecutive time and likely put an end to Ole Miss’ quarterback Matt Corral’s Heisman trophy hopes.

Take a look at the three keys to Auburn’s win against 10th ranked Ole Miss.

Bo Nix outplayed Matt Corral

Matt Corral apparently got banged up early and is without several of his top playmakers. Those issues certainly made his job more difficult in Jordan-Hare Stadium tonight.

With that being said, Auburn quarterback Bo Nix clearly had the better performance. Nix completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, rushed for two touchdowns, and avoided any big mistakes.

On the other hand, Corral was more erratic and not quite as accurate delivering the football. Additionally, the Rebels’ signal caller threw a redzone interception in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the win for Auburn.

Nix has put together incredibly efficient and productive performances against consecutive Top 25 teams while leading his squad to victory.

If that continues, then Auburn will have a chance to win every game left on its schedule.

Auburn’s defense plays all four downs

The 2021 version of the Ole Miss Rebels are probably most known for their proclivity to go for it on fourth down instead of punting the football. That was no different tonight in Auburn.

The Tigers defense gave up some conversions and points in the first half to a very good Ole Miss offense. But, over the final two quarters of play, Auburn repeatedly forced turnovers on downs, punts, and even intercepted Matt Corral for just the second time this season.

The defense did concede some yardage in the second half, but they repeatedly made big plays as the game wore on and ultimately shut down the Rebels in the second half.

The Auburn offense and special teams had significant let downs in the final thirty minutes, but the defense stopped Ole Miss three different times on 4th down and never surrendered the lead.

What the Tigers did on defense in the second half made all the difference and secured the win at home.

Tank finds rhythm

Auburn tailback Tank Bigsby might be the most talented player on the roster. He exploded onto the scene last year as a true freshman and had very high expectations this season.

Early in the year he rolled up tons of yardage against inferior opponents, but he had an explosive game against an SEC opponent yet.

Tonight Bigsby returned to form and led his team to a critical victory. The offense featured Bigsby on the first drive with three carries and a catch. The Tigers drove straight down the field for a touchdown and set the tone for the night.

The sophomore standout finished the game with 23 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown, and he added two catches for ten yards as well.

Bigsby broke tackles, darted around the field, and wore down the Ole Miss defense for the second year in a row.

The Tigers need Tank Bigsby to string together more performances like tonight in order to weather the tough schedule ahead. If he can continue to be this effective over the next few weeks, then Auburn still has several wins ahead of them.

Zack Shaw is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and former walk-on for the Auburn Tigers.

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