Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is safe — for at least one more game. With his job on the line, Malzahn led the Tigers into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday and earned a 31-16 win over Ole Miss to improve to 5-3 on the season.
Here are the grades.
Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham wasn’t masterful on Saturday by any means, but he managed the game, and more importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over.
Apart from a few overthrows and a wide-open miss on what should have been a touchdown for Sal Cannella, the junior was solid and put together a couple of quality drives to put the Rebels away in the third quarter. Stidham finished 13-of-22 for 213 yards and one touchdown.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Boobee Whitlow finally had his breakout game.
After being questionable most of the week, the redshirt freshman put on a show in Oxford and was the focal point of the Auburn offense all afternoon, catching balls out the backfield and making defenders miss on runs downfield. Whitlow finished with 19 carries for 170 yards, a career high, and one touchdown. Malik Miller also added six carries for 11 yards and two touchdowns.
There were a few drops Saturday, but other than that, the receiving core put in a solid performance. Freshman Seth Williams, who is starting to contribute more consistently, led the team with two catches for 83 yards, and Darius Slayton added two catches for 62 yards.
J.B. Grimes’ unit was better than expected. They weren’t great, but there was improvement, which there should have been considering Ole Miss has one of the worst run defenses in the country. The offensive line showed glimpses of solid run blocking, and also protected Stidham for the most part, only allowing one sack.
Some holding penalties which still need to be corrected held this group back from getting a more positive grade.
FRONT SEVEN: B+
Nick Coe and Marlon Davidson stole the show on defense Saturday afternoon. Coe had three sacks and Davidson blocked a field goal for the third straight game. The front seven held the Rebels to 123 yards on the ground and, other than the garbage time touchdown, held the Ole Miss offense to just three field goals the whole game.
The Auburn secondary came into the contest beaten up and very slim across the board. However, under the circumstances, the unit played solid and young guys like Jamien Sherwood and Smoke Monday stepped in and got valuable game experience on the road.
The unit didn’t give up any big touchdowns, but still gave up over 300 yards passing and had too many pass interference calls.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-
Marlon Davidson blocked his third field goal in as many weeks and Noah Igbinoghene showed some burst on kickoff return. But overall, it wasn’t a good day.
Shaun Shivers and Chandler Cox botched an attempted fair catch on a kickoff return, running into each other and fumbling the ball back inside Auburn’s five-yard line. And Anders Carlson missed two more field goals.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman