The week 8 match-up against Auburn is not going to be an easy one for Ole Miss. A few weeks back Georgia sneaked past the Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. If the Rebels want to do the same, what things need to be done to get the victory?
Combating the rotation of QBs
One thing that the Auburn offense do, is rotate their quarterbacks throughout the game. Its something hey did last season under Bryan Harsin, continuing under Hugh Freeze in 2023.
The QB situation for Saturday is still up in the air, with all 3 guys in the room having news reports surface that they could start the game
Ole Miss have to be prepared for all scenarios. However, one thing that will likely stay the same is the rotation of QBs during the game. Payton Thorne has been starting the games so far, with back-up Robby Ashford coming in on various plays.
Thorne is a pocket passer, with better passing qualities than Ashford. Although, Thorne hasn’t been great since transferring to Auburn. In the starts we saw last season from Ashford, we saw a QB who struggled as a passer.
What Robby Ashford does bring is athleticism and speed as a runner. He has rushed 32 times for 153 yards, while scoring 5 rushing TDs. He can pass the ball, but as mentioned, does have accuracy issues.
The Ole Miss defense will need to be vigilante when Ashford is on the field, just like they have against dual-threat QBs all ready this season. While also understanding the threat Payton Thorne can posses.
Playing their own game
As it stands on paper, Ole Miss are the much better football team. We have seen in the past that doesn’t count for much, especially if opposition teams are taken lightly. Lane Kiffin is the type of head coach that wont let this happen.
It feels like one of the ways Auburn can win this game is making it ugly. Knocking the electric Ole Miss offense out of their rhythm, slowing the game down. Anything to throw the Rebels off their usual game.
The team need to stick to how they play, don’t let the crowd or the opposing players trigger them into a dog fight. You don’t want to see Ole Miss players losing their heads, resulting in bad plays and potential silly penalties.
The Rebels are the better football team, play their own game and they will win this match-up.
Run the ball
What did Ole Miss do well last season, especially in the Auburn game? Run the ball well. They ran all over the Tigers, rushing for a total of 448 yards, running the ball 69 times. Quinshon Judkins and now NFL player Zach Evans both had over 100 yards rushing, as did QB Jaxson Dart.
I don’t expect the Rebels to run the ball 69 times, but the running game is catching fire again after a slow start to the season. Judkins and Bentley IV are forming a beautiful 1-2 punch, mixed in with what Jaxson Dart can bring as a runner.
LSU had success on the ground against Auburn last weekend. However, the Tigers defense have been relatively good against the run this season. Although, they arguably haven’t played against a potent rushing game as good as Ole Miss have.