Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yet Another Thursday

Well it is Thursday again and it is time for my weekly Ole Miss prediction. The Rebels head to the Plains this weekend to take on the No. 23 ranked Auburn Tigers. The Tigers are 5-3 and
3-2 in the SEC. The Tigers have had an up and down year thus far with a win over Florida and loss to Mississippi State. They are a very talented team who have really not had it all together but for maybe two games this year.

We all know the Rebels story and it has been a bad season for them. They have been competitive in their two biggest games at home, but are coming off a week in which they played their worst football in the Coach O era.

While I think the Rebels will not play as bad as they did last week, I think they will have alot of trouble hanging with the Tigers. This is a very big game for the future of the season for the Tigers. With an early evening kickoff(UMAA does not know what that is), the atmosphere at Jordan Hare should be rocking and the fans should be pumped up.

All that being said, I think the Tigers will beat the Rebels by about two or three touchdowns. It will be interesting to see if Seth Adams will return to play similar to earlier this season or if he will continue his interception filled play as the past several games.

I always enjoy the trip to Auburn and look forward to another trip, however I am not looking forward to the game.

(UMAA Notes)
SERIES INFO: This meeting will be the 32nd all-time between the Rebels and Tigers dating back to 1928, and Auburn holds a 23-8 advantage in the series. The Tigers boast a 10-2 edge in games played in Auburn, although the teams have split the last four encounters on the Plains. The Rebels prevailed 24-20 there in 2003 and 24-17 in overtime in 1999. The Tigers pulled out a 23-17 victory last year in Oxford and have won 12 of the last 14 meetings dating back to 1993 and 21 of 24 dating back to Auburn’s 35-28 win in the 1971 Gator Bowl.

AUBURN SCOUTING REPORT: The Tigers had their four-game win streak snapped Saturday with a last-second 30-24 loss at fifth-ranked LSU. The balanced Auburn offense is averaging 157.0 yards on the ground and 173.2 through the air. Sophomore RB Ben Tate leads the rushing attack with 76.8 yards per game with four touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Mario Fannin adds a 41.2-yard average with a team-high five TDs. Senior QB Brandon Cox has completed 112-of-188 passes for 1,263 yards, seven TDs and six interceptions. Junior WR Rodgeriqus Smith has easily been the top target with 33 receptions for 453 yards and four scores. The Tiger defense is third in the SEC in rushing defense with just 116.8 yards allowed, and they surrender 305.1 total yards per game. Junior LB Chris Evans boasts team-high 47 total tackles, while senior S Eric Brock has tallied 44 stops, including 33 solos. Sophomore DE Antonio Coleman has registered 10.0 TFLs and four QB sacks, while senior DE Quentin Groves has seven TFLs, three sacks and 18 QB hurries. Senior CB Patrick Lee has recorded eight pass break-ups and three interceptions. Freshman K Wes Byrum has connected on 12-of-16 field goals and 23-of-24 PATs.

COACHING TIES: Besides his four-year stint as Ole Miss head coach, Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville worked with Rebel mentor Ed Orgeron from 1988-92 on the defensive staff for the Miami Hurricanes. Rebel associate head coach Art Kehoe also coached at Miami throughout Tuberville’s entire stint with the Canes, 1986-93. In addition, Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner was an offensive consultant for Tuberville at Auburn in 1999. Among the current Tiger coaches, there are five members who were on Tuberville’s staff at Ole Miss: Don Dunn (1995-98, DT), Eddie Gran (1994-98, RB), Greg Knox (1995-98, WR/Recruiting Coordinator), Hugh Nall (1995-98, OL) and Terry Price (1995-98, DE). In addition, Wes Yeary was Ole Miss’ FCA Campus Director and Team Chaplain from 1996-2005 and is now Auburn’s Director of Chaplaincy Training & Development.