Auburn looks to avoid upset at Ole MissPublished 7:56am Saturday, October 30, 2010
Auburn made it through a tough three-game stretch in its schedule unscathed and moved to No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings as a reward.
Now the Tigers must hold off its remaining opponents to preserve their ranking and play in the national championship game.
Ole Miss is the first opponent looking to knock Auburn from No. 1.
The Rebels opened the season with an embarrassing loss to Jacksonville State and has fallen to 3-4, but they are a scrappy squad capable of catching Auburn off guard.
The Rebels are ranked third in the Southeastern Conference in rushing offense, fifth in total offense and sixth in scoring offense thanks to dual threat quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli is second on the team with 400 rushing yards and is averaging 180 passing yards per game.
The Rebels have allowed only seven sacks all season
Auburn’s defense ranks third in the SEC against the run and 16th nationally. Led by Nick Fairley, who leads the league in tackles for a loss (17) and is for second in sacks (7.5), the Tigers are allowing 103.4 rushing yards per game.
If the Rebels want to beat Auburn, they will have to do something no other team has been able to do — stop Cam Newton.
Newton leads the SEC and is sixth nationally in rushing, averaging 134.6 yards per game and has a nation-best 14 rushing touchdowns. He also ranks third in the nation in passing efficiency (172.08).
The Rebel defense has recorded 19 sacks this season, but has allowed the most points in the SEC, surrendering 32 points per game.