AUBURN, Ala. — A week-long focus of starting the third quarter strong and finishing out a game that ultimately led to a win didn’t materialize as planned for the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday night at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Despite another productive first half, Ole Miss was outplayed in the second half and eventually defeated by the Tigers 41-23.
Auburn (6-3 overall, 4-2 SEC) outscored the Rebels (2-6, 0-5) 14-0 in the third quarter to break a 17-17 tie at halftime. Ole Miss was held to just 22 yards on offense in the period, while Auburn, led by the powerful rushing of Michael Dyer, finished with 141 yards.
If those two third quarter touchdowns that put Auburn up 31-17 weren’t enough to break the Rebels’ back, a costly turnover on a botched handoff from quarterback Randall Mackey to Brandon Bolden early in the fourth quarter that led to an Auburn field goal, was.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt seemed perplexed as anyone about why his team can’t duplicate the success of the first half at the start of the third quarter, especially since extra measures, such as coming out earlier to stretch, were added to the game-day script. (October 31, 2011, Page 1B)