No. 19 Ole Miss outlasted Auburn on the road Saturday, as the Rebels (7-2, 4-1 SEC) walked away with a 27-19 win at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Ole Miss led the entire first half, but a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Kelly to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell extended the Rebels’ narrow lead with just more than 10 minutes to go.
“It was a good SEC fist-fight,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze told reporters following the game. “That’s what you get when you go on the road. Really proud of our kids. They’ve really stayed the course. They converted some really big plays for us.”
Kelly threw for 381 and two touchdowns on 33-of-51 passing. He also had two interceptions. It was the sixth game this season that Kelly has eclipsed the 300-yard mark this season. Treadwell ended up with seven receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. It was Treadwell’s fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season, which ties a school record.
The Rebels defense held Auburn’s offense to 125 rushing yards, well below its season average. The Tigers did total 427 yards, but 162 yards came on four plays.
“I think they really only had one drive all game,” Freeze said. “We did give up some explosive plays. Our defense really rose up and played strong in the red zone to force field goals and that was really huge.”
With the win, Ole Miss goes at least one more week still in control of its destiny in the SEC West.
The Rebels will host Arkansas next week before getting a bye. A Nov. 21 showdown against LSU in Oxford could be a potential SEC West title game if Ole Miss defeats the Razorbacks.
“Coaches and players, we can’t function like the normal world does,” Freeze said. “With everything that’s being said about you, if you let that affect you, we can’t afford to do that. We are about building young men first and winning football games second.
“I think our kids are doing a pretty good job of blocking all the noise out and focusing on getting better. I’ve learned a lot about myself and our coaching staff. We don’t blink. Go on and play the next one.”