By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss Rebels went down to the wire against the No. 11 Auburn Tigers on the Plains and came up short 20-14 of a come from behind win.
“Disappointing loss for our kids. Our defense played well and bowed their necks in the red zone and gave us a chance to win,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said. “Auburn is really good on defense that made it hard on us to run or pass.”
Ole Miss (3-6, 2-4 SEC) was driving at the end of the game to defeat the Tigers. The Rebels quarterback John Rhys Plumlee drove the offense down to Auburn’s 35-yard line as the clock was running down. On fourth down with 20 seconds remaining, Plumlee scrambled and threw an interception that ended up running out the clock.
“At the end of the game, the defense gave us an opportunity to have the ball and drive down to win the football game,” Luke said.
Plumlee passed for 86 yards and one interception he carried the ball for 92 yards and one touchdown in the game.
The Rebels defense held Auburn to only 167 yards on the ground. The Tigers gained most of there 507 total yards in the air by freshman Bo Nix went 33-of-40 threw for 340 yards.
“Credit (Auburn) as they made the plays to win the football game,” Luke said.
Coach Mike MacIntyre’s defense was led on the field throughout the 90 plays by Jon Haynes with 10 tackles, eight solo and two assists on the night.
On Auburn’s final possession, they converted on some big third-down plays that could have gotten the Rebels off the field.
“(Auburn’s offense) made some plays that were disappointing for us,” MacIntyre said. “Overall if you watched the game you can see how hard (our) kids fought and played their hearts out.”
The Rebels suffered an injury in running back Scottie Phillips early in the first half after one touch for yards that did not allow him to return.
“Phillips hurt his ankle and was unable to return to the game,” Luke said.
The Rebels wide receiver Elijah Moore and Jerrion Ealy had big nights in the return game as Moore gained 55 yards on a punt return and Ealy racked up 68 yards on three kickoffs. Ealy finished the night with 128 total yards with 44 on the ground and 16 through the air.
Ole Miss returns to Vaught-Hemmingway next Saturday as they play host to New Mexico State. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.