OXFORD, Miss. — The Ole Miss Rebels came out on the short end of Saturday’s game against the Auburn Tigers in a second half that featured four lead changes. Matt Corral accounted for three scores and 242 yards of total offense, but all to no avail as the Rebels fell 35-28 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Matt Corral completed 16 of 27 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown pass to Elijah Moore, who had five catches and 16 yards. Corral also led the Rebels on the ground with 88 yards on 10 attempts. Kenny Yeboah led the Rebels through the air with four catches and 83 yards. On the ground, Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy combined for 30 carries and 149 yards with Ealy getting a touchdown run. In total, the Rebels finished with 283 yards on the ground.
Defensively, the Rebels were led by Keidron Smith, who finished with 12 total tackles. Sam Williams, Jacquez Jones and Lakia Henry combined for 29 tackles. The Rebel defense surrendered 21 second-half points after yielding the fewest first-half points this season.
Following consecutive three-and-outs to open the game, the Rebels found their way to the Tiger four-yard line. Corral’s pass across the middle of the end zone was intercepted by Auburn’s Roger McCreary which set up an Auburn drive at their own five-yard line.
The Tigers proceeded to go 95 yards in 14 plays as Tank Bigsby found the end zone from four yards to give Auburn a 7-0 lead with 2:17 left in the first quarter.
Going into the second quarter, John Rhys Plumlee was used at quarterback to get the ground game going. Corral capped off a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore to tie the game at seven with 13:46 left in the second quarter. The Tigers used 10 plays of their own to retake the lead with 9:11 in the second quarter. Bo Nix capped off a 75-yard drive with a touchdown run from four yards out, giving Auburn a 14-7 lead.
The Rebels would again reach Auburn territory and also convert a fourth down on the Auburn 45-yard line. Seven plays later, Corral found the end zone with his legs from five yards out. The game was tied once again at 14 with 3:35 left in the first half. The score would remain knotted up going into the locker room at halftime.
Auburn received the football to begin the second half and would return it all the way to the end zone, but a holding penalty forced Auburn set up shop at their own 20-yard line. A.J. Finley broke up a pass on 3rd-and-long from midfield, and the Rebels got great field position at the Tiger 25-yard line after the Auburn punter could not cleanly field the long snap.
The Tigers held their ground. Ole Miss faked a field goal try with a toss back to Luke Logan, who was stopped short of the first down marker. The Tigers took over at their own 24-yard line with 9:49 left in the third quarter. The Rebels proceeded to force a three-and-out defensively.
Corral found Kenny Yeboah wide open on the sideline for a 60-yard gain, setting up a 10-yard touchdown run for Matt Corral untouched the very next play. The Rebels took their first lead of the game, 21-14, with 7:09 left in the third quarter. The Tigers answered with a 10-play, 88-yard drive capped off with a goal line touchdown run from Shaun Shivers. The game was tied at 21 with 2:57 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers regained the lead with 10:12 left in the game on Tank Bigby’s 18-yard touchdown run, capping off an 11-play, 80-yard drive. After a failed PAT attempt, Auburn had a 27-21 lead.
Ole Miss proceeded to move the ball down field mostly via run game and found the end zone with 5:43 left to play. Ealy capped off a 13-play, 77-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Logan’s successful PAT gave Ole Miss a 28-27 lead. The Rebel defense proceeded to force a three-and-out. After a few shaky plays, Ole Miss went three-and-out as well, giving Auburn the football on their own 20 yard line with 2:25 left to play. Auburn needed just six plays to respond. Bo Nix found Seth Williams on the sideline, who broke a few tackles and found the end zone from 58 yards out. After a successful two-point conversion, the Tigers had a 35-28 lead with 1:11 left in the game.
The Rebels drove just outside of the Auburn red zone on the final drive of the game, but Corral’s final pass attempt was intercepted by Jordyn Peters as time ran out.
The Rebels will travel to Nashville on October 31 to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. Kickoff time is set for 3 p.m. CT and will be televised by the SEC Network.