Auburn Football: Scouting the Ole Miss Offense

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Oct 25, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Jaylen Walton (6) fights off LSU Tigers linebacker Kendell Beckwith (52) as he carries the ball in the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

The biggest difference between the 2013 Ole Miss offense and the 2014 Rebels has been the lack of a consistent rushing attack. Ole Miss wasn’t spectacular last year, but with a middle-of-the-pack 190 rushing yards per game, the Rebels at least had some semblance of a balanced offense. I’Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton combined for 1,086 rushing yards and nine touchdowns and Jeff Scott added 493 and two TDs.

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This season, Walton is the team’s leading rusher with 376 yards on 71 carries – an average of 5.3 yards per attempt – and four touchdowns. He is also a receiving threat with 13 receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns this year.

By contrast, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is the Tigers’ second leading rusher with 581 yards. Auburn makes a more concentrated effort to run the football, so the comparison isn’t exactly apples-to-apples, but it shows that an offense has a better chance for success if there is greater balance.

Mathers is second on the team with 221 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Neither he nor Walton are very physical runners, and both weigh less than 190-pounds, but they have plenty of speed. Wallace is a threat to run out of the quarterback position, and brings a more physical style at 217-pounds, as does Liggins. Third-string running back Jordan Wilkins – listed at 209-pounds – has 138 yards on 29 carries this season.

Next: Ole Miss Rebels Receivers