Auburn quarterback Bo Nix outplayed Ole Miss and Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Matt Corral for a 31-20 upset of the No. 10 Rebels at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, Saturday night.
Nix completed 22 of 30 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown while rushing eight times for 30 yards and another two touchdowns to lead No. 18 Auburn (6-2, 3-1 SEC) to its second straight win.
Corral fought off an ankle injury in the first quarter to complete 21 of 37 passes for 289 yards, but he threw no touchdowns with an interception. And the Rebels (6-2, 3-2 SEC) could manage only a field goal in the second half.
Ole Miss drew within 28-20 with 6:31 to go in the third quarter on a 49-yard field goal by Caden Costa, but that was it. Auburn added a 28-yard field goal with 10:52 to play by Anders Carlson for the 31-20 lead.
Nix was on fire in the first half, completing 12 of 15 passes for 150 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to tailback Jarquez Hunter with 11 seconds to go in the second quarter for a 28-17 halftime lead.
Nix rushed six times for 15 yards with an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead and scored on a 7-yard run to put his team up 21-10 with 6:20 to go in the second quarter.
Tailback Tank Bigsby led all rushers with 140 yards on 23 carries. He had 94 of those on 14 carries in the first half and scored on a 1-yard run to put Auburn up 14-3 with 1:49 to play in the first quarter.
Corral completed 12 of 15 passes in the first half for 123 yards and rushed five times for 18 yards. He left the game briefly late in the first quarter after aggravating the left ankle injury suffered at Tennessee two weeks ago. He was in obvious pain as he left the field.
“I thought we lost him there,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said at the half on ESPN. “It looked bad.”
Corral tried to stay on the sideline to work on the exercise bike, but was taken to the locker room. Luke Altmyer replaced Corral and completed 5 of 5 passes for only 18 yards. Corral returned early in the second quarter and looked healed on an 11-yard touchdown run to get the Rebels within 21-17 with 2:42 left in the first half.
Both teams scored all their points in the first half on long scoring drives. Auburn went 82 yards in 11 plays, 72 yards in 10 plays, 77 yards in five plays and 69 yards in 11 plays.
The Rebels went 61 yards in 12 plays for a 29-yard field goal by Costa to get within 7-3 with 6:31 to go in the first quarter. Ole Miss went 89 yards in 15 plays with tailback Snoop Conner scoring on a 13-yard run, cutting Auburn’s lead to 14-10 midway in the second quarter. Ole Miss went 75 yards in 10 plays for its last touchdown of the half.
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