Auburn survives heavyweight quarrel to kick Ole Miss, reason on to place in playoff race

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OXFORD, Mississippi — Auburn has grown accustomed to a pell-mell final moments of large games, to scraping and clawing and anticipating a approach to win heavyweight bouts in a SEC.

The Tigers, newly-minted as No. 3 in a College Football Playoff rankings, found themselves in another one Saturday night.

Fighting for the right to sojourn in a College Football Playoff picture, Auburn’s invulnerability forced dual fumbles late to hang on to a 35-31 highway feat over No. 4 Ole Miss on Saturday night. 

“It’s about players, they truly trust that if it’s close, they’re going to find a approach to win,” Auburn manager Gus Malzahn said “And they’ve finished it a final dual years in some of a many weird ways, though there’s a lot of champions in that group.”

A back-and-forth arrangement of gorgeous descent pyrotechnics and shining quarterback play by Nick Marshall and Bo Wallace came down to dual defensive stops.

The first, a head-up play by Auburn reserve Derrick Moncrief to punch a round out of a hands of Wallace deep inside a red zone, kept a Rebels during bay.

The second finished a diversion in freakish, hideous fashion. With Rebels far-reaching receiver Laquon Treadwell fighting for a finish section and a go-ahead score, Auburn linebacker Kris Frost wrangled Treadwell down from behind.

Replay suggested that Treadwell, who pennyless his fibula and dislocated his ankle on a play, fumbled a half-yard before he crossed a idea line, and Cassanova McKinzy recovered to radically sign a Tigers’ win. 

“Last year, we felt like each diversion was that close,” Frost said. “I knew when he got inside a 5, that we was usually perplexing to lift him behind during initial and keep him from going in a finish zone. … we wasn’t certain if a round was out until Cass pounced on it.”

Up until those dual stops in a fourth quarter, a diversion had been a back-and-forth conflict between dual of a SEC’s tip quarterbacks.

Wallace showed no signs of “Bad Bo,” a quarterback who finished usually 44 percent of his passes in a Rebels’ past dual games. Wallace scrambled for 59 yards to set adult one touchdown, marched Ole Miss 45 yards in 7 plays for a margin idea to give a Rebels a halftime lead and afterwards strike a wide-open Evan Engram on a 50-yard touchdown pass to give a Rebels a 24-14 lead mid by a third quarter. 

Marshall always came adult with an answer. 

Despite tossing a bad red-zone interception to Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson in a initial half, Marshall never wavered. Trailing 14-7 in a second entertain and in control of a struggling offense, Marshall strike Sammie Coates for a 57-yard touchdown pass that recaptured a movement Auburn’s offense had built on a opening drive. 

And he saved his best work for a 3 drives after Wallace gave Ole Miss a 10-point lead. On a indirect drive, Marshall incited a damaged slot on 3rd-and-11 into a 41-yard execution to D’haquille Williams that set adult his second touchdown run, afterwards finished 5-for-5 on a subsequent expostulate and strike Marcus Davis for a 17-yard touchdown to give Auburn a 28-24 lead. 

Wallace immediately took behind a lead with a rushing touchdown of his own, though Marshall responded by attack Coates for 41 yards on 3rd-and-9 to set adult a 6-yard touchdown run by Cameron Artis-Payne, who’d served as Marshall’s confederate in violence adult a SEC’s best invulnerability all night.

Artis-Payne rolled adult 143 yards on 27 carries, regularly gashing a Rebels’ vaunted invulnerability and providing a ideal element to Marshall’s best flitting diversion of a season. Auburn (7-1, 4-1 SEC) rolled adult 507 sum yards and 35 points, both numbers a many Ole Miss has authorised all season.

“We were fundamentally usually holding what a invulnerability gave us,” Marshall said. “As a dash got going, we saw a invulnerability get tired, and we were means to keep gashing them.”

With a win, Auburn adds another large highway win to a resume, flourishing a initial exam in a heartless Nov that sends a Tigers on a highway 3 times.

Down a stretch, with trips to Georgia and Alabama looming, Auburn will expected find itself in another heavyweight SEC hitch during one indicate or a other.

A place a Tigers already seem to feel during home. 

“It felt like a large game. … People were articulate about rejecting diversion and all that, though a bottom line is, No. 3 was personification No. 4,” Malzahn said. “Our guys keep battling.” 

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