Auburn Football: Previewing Ole Miss, By the Numbers


The Auburn football team travels to Oxford, Mississippi Saturday for an SEC West slugfest against the Ole Miss Rebels.

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The Tigers, 6-1 overall and 3-1 in SEC play, are ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25 and the coaches poll, and were ranked third by the College Football Playoff Committee. The Rebels fell to 7th and 9th in the polls with a 10-7 loss to LSU last week, but were still among the top four in the playoff projections. Because of the nature of the matchup, many see it as an elimination game – not only in terms of the SEC championship race, for for inclusion in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

As we look ahead to the game, we examine Ole Miss’ season to date from a statistical standpoint.


  • Scoring Offense: 31.9 points per game, ranks 9th in the SEC and 47th nationally.
  • Rushing Offense: 149.5 yards per game ranks 12th in the SEC and 83rd nationally.
  • Passing Offense: 268.8 yards per game ranks 4th in the SEC and 36th nationally.
  • Total Offense: 418.3.9 yards per game ranks 9th in the SEC and 64th nationally.


  • Scoring Defense: 10.5 points allowed per game ranks 1st in the SEC and 1st nationally.
  • Rushing Defense: 118.0 yards allowed per game ranks 4th in the SEC and 23rd nationally.
  • Passing Defense: 187.0 yards allowed per game ranks 4th in the SEC and 16th nationally.
  • Total Defense: 305.0 yards allowed per game ranks 2nd in the SEC and 9th nationally.

The Good:

  • The Rebels lead the nation in scoring defense and have allowed just 10.5 points per game officially. However, the actual defense is even stingier. Because of an Alabama defensive touchdown and a Louisiana-Lafayette safety, the Rebels have really allowed only 9.4 points per game defensively.
  • Ole Miss has scored four defensive touchdowns (which is the third-most in the country) and have allowed only seven opponents’ TDs.
  • No opponent has scored more than 20 points this season on Ole Miss – a claim no one else can make. Also, the Rebels haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a game in their previous ten contests, which is the nation’s longest streak.
  • The Rebels do a great job causing turnovers, and rank second nationally with 24 takeaways. Ole Miss has intercepted 17 passes this season, which is tops in the nation. Senior cornerback Senquez Golson is tied for the national lead with eight picks.
  • Ole Miss has allowed 4.35 yards per play this season, which is the best average in the SEC and ranks fourth in all of college football.
  • The Rebels are second in the SEC and fifth in FBS in pass defense efficiency (97.7).
  • Ole Miss averaged 42.8 net yards per punt, which is second in the league and fourth nationally. Will Gleeson is the reigning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
  • Four Rebels have had 100+ receiving yards in a game. No other SEC team has accomplished that.
  • Ole Miss holds a 62-3 scoring edge in the first quarter this season. Three points allowed is the lowest total in the nation.

The Bad:

  • In the last two weeks, Bo Wallace has completed only 28 of 65 passes (43.1%). He also threw his first interception against a conference opponent on the final offensive play of the game last week in the 10-7 loss in Tiger Stadium, and his 176 passing yards against the Tigers were a season low.
  • The 313 yards of total offense Ole Miss recorded against LSU last week was the lowest total of the season for the Rebels.
  • With 255 points through the first eight games, Ole Miss has the lowest scoring total in the SEC West.

The Ugly:

  • Ole Miss has struggled running the football. Only two teams in the SEC have averaged fewer than the 149.5 rushing yards per games the Rebels have averaged through the first eight games of the season. Jaylen Walton leads the team with 376 rushing yards, an average of 47 yards per game.

As you can see, there is much more “good” to the Ole Miss Rebels through the first two-thirds of the regular season than there is “bad” or “ugly.” However, the defense has far outshined the offense to this point, and the Rebels are coming off their worst offensive performance of the season. Auburn will have their hands full with the highly ranked Rebels, especially on the road in Oxford, but it is certainly a winnable game for the Tigers.

Next: Gus Malzahn: Ole Miss is the Only Thing On Our Minds

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