The go-ahead score by Williams off the arm of Bo Nix ended what was a back-and-forth affair to the fullest on Saturday in Oxford. Both teams traded blows for the entirety of the game, damn near going tit for tat from bell to bell. It was a pretty enticing affair, even if some of the action proved sloppy at points. But nevertheless, the Tigers scored a pivotal victory as they continue to live right on the edge.
Both teams were nearly even in this game in a lot of categories. Auburn had 462 net yards to Ole Miss’ 44. The Rebels ran for 283 net rushing yards, while the Tigers posted 224 net rushing yards. Auburn had 26 first downs to Ole Miss’ 25; the Tigers had 6.0 YPP to the Rebels’ 5.6; both had four successful trips in the red zone, and each had double digit 3rd down conversions (11-10 in favor of Auburn). Auburn had more passing yards (238) than Ole Miss (161) but it wasn’t a sizable gap. Especially when you consider that Auburn’s yards per completion (10.3) wasn’t too far off of Ole Miss’ mark (9.5).
The one department that was won by Auburn was the takeaway department. Tigers defensive backs Roger McCreary and Jordyn Peters picked Matt Corral off both early in the game and on what was the Rebels’ final possession of the game. McCreary’s INT loomed large, as the Tigers were able to flip it into points, a Tank Bigsby rushing touchdown to be precise. While the teams went round for round, the deficit was seven points, so it is interesting to think about what might’ve been if McCreary didn’t get his hands on the ball in the end zone as he did.