In No. 11 Auburn’s first home game in a month, the offense went off for 507 yards while Ole Miss was held to 266.
Yet the Tigers only won by six over the Rebels with a final score of 20-14.
“We had 500 yards of offense,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. “Five-hundred yards offense and 20 points, they don’t really equal up. That just tells you we had some missed opportunities. Offensively I think we were 12-for-21 on third down, and usually that equals a lot more points. So we moved the ball, we just didn’t get it in the end zone enough.”
Some of those missed opportunities stemmed from three dropped passes, two missed field goals and two fumbles.
“We felt like there were some opportunities throwing the ball,” Malzahn said. “We were off just a couple. We missed a couple, we had a drop or two and things like that.”
The Tigers were able to pull off the win despite the struggles. A couple of the leaders of the offense were freshman quarterback Bo Nix and freshman running back D.J. Williams.
Nix had a career-high 340 passing yards, as well as career-high in passing attempts and completions at 30-for-44. He threw no interceptions, and his longest pass was for 78 yards. He rushed eight times for a total of 20 yards. He lone touchdown of the night was a rushing one.
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“I felt like I was in a great rhythm,” Nix said. “We called some short passes and low-intermediate that I could feel comfortable with, and they were open. It was just playing catch with my guys. They did the rest. I feel like that really opened up the rest of the offense. We moved the ball great. We just got stuck there at the high red zone, which it happens sometimes.”
While Nix controlled the Tigers’ passing game, Williams led them on the ground.
With JaTarvious Whitlow out after having to have knee surgery in early October, Williams has seen more game time in the past couple of weeks.
Against Ole Miss, Williams had 93 rushing yards on a career-high 24 carries. He averaged 3.9 yards a carry, with his longest being for 9 yards. This is the second week in a row he has had the most carries for the Tigers. He also scored his first career touchdown against the Rebels.
“D.J. Williams really had some good, hard runs,” Malzahn said. “He protected the football. Real proud of the way he performed again.”
Auburn will have a bye week before facing No. 8 Georgia at Jordan-Hare on Nov. 16. The game time has yet to be announced.
“Big win for us and the great thing is that we have a week off,” Malzahn said. “We need it. We’re a little banged up, and we need to heal up. The off week couldn’t come at a better time.”
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