How to watch Ole Miss vs. Auburn
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Watch Online: ESPN App
(via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Spread: Auburn -3 | Ole Miss +3
Moneyline: Auburn -150 | Ole Miss +130
Has Auburn made real progress?
The Auburn Tigers have had an interesting year. They kicked off the year by obliterating Akron and Alabama State, two teams they should obliterate.
In week 3, they lost a one-score game at Penn State. A disappointing loss that yet still inspired optimism amongst some Auburn faithful. Next came Georgia State, where they needed some last-minute heroics from TJ Finley after benching Bo Nix.
Since then, Auburn has picked up road wins at LSU and Arkansas and nobody is questioning whether Bo Nix should start.
Nix is having the best year of his career. That doesn’t mean he’s great, it just means he’s better than the Bo Nix we saw when he was a freshman and sophomore.
Last week against Arkansas, Nix arguably had the third-best game since he arrived at Auburn. He completed over 80% of his passes while averaging over 11 yards per attempt. That came against a Razorback defense that’s pretty respected against the pass.
The Ole Miss defense isn’t terrible, but a decent offense will be able to move the ball against them. If Nix has actually improved and this isn’t just a flash in the pan, we will see it on Saturday.
Matt Corral looking to add to Heisman campaign
Matt Corral may not be the best player in the country, but few are as impactful as him. Corral has improved on the game-changing ability that was seen last year while almost entirely eliminating the turnover issues.
Only Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett has more dropbacks while throwing just one interception or less. Corral has been dangerous on the ground as well, salvaging a struggling Rebel ground game at times.
This is the game of the week in the SEC and Corral is facing a good defense on the road. If he plays lights out here, helping Ole Miss get a big win and climb in the poll, he could solidify himself as a Heisman contender down the stretch.
Improvement of the Ole Miss Defense
Over the last two weeks, the Ole Miss defense has provided some reasons to be optimistic.
Against LSU, Ole Miss allowed just 1.11 points per drive. Against Tennessee, 1.85 points per drive. It was their two best performances since the Louisville game in week one.
In those two games, they have gotten great play from guys in the front seven like DE Cedric Johnson and LB Mark Robinson. CB Miles Battle may also be emerging as one of the better pass defenders in the SEC.
You’d still like to see more consistency over the course of a few more games, but Ole Miss has some playmakers emerging on defense for the first time in a long time.
Despite the improvement, I’d still be worried about Auburn being able to run the ball against an Ole Miss front that is lacking in the middle of that defensive line. If the pass rush and guys on the back end can make life hard for Bo Nix, that will go a long way to helping out that run defense.
I’m all aboard the Lane Kiffin and Matt Corral train right now. That offense is rolling and the defense is just good enough to force a couple of Bo Nix errors. Ole Miss 35-30 sounds about right to me.