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Auburn Looking to Defend Tough Rebel Passing Game


Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics/Joshua McCoy)

The Ole Miss Rebels enter Saturday’s game with 15th-ranked Auburn at 1-3 in the SEC, and 3-4 overall. Auburn leads Ole Miss in almost every major category, with the exception of scoring offense, and pass offense. Ole Miss scores 1.3 more points per game than Auburn, and out passes the Tigers 304.1-198.1 yards per game. There are a few athletes to keep an eye on during this game, here is the rundown: Quarterback: 10 Chad Kelly

Entering the season, Kelly was regarded as being one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. So far this season, he averages 333.7 all-purpose yards per game, which is

12th in the nation. His best game came against Alabama on September 17, when the ended the day with 464 yards of total offense; 421 yards were through the air. He has completed 153 passes for 2,067 yards and 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Runningback: 21 Akeem Judd, 23 Eugene Brazley Ole Miss throws the ball more than they rush, but these two backs have contributed in many ways this season. Judd leads the team in yards with 382 on the ground and has not been tackled for a loss in 80 rushing attempts. Brazley right behind him with 209 yards. Wide Receiver: 8 Quincy Adeboyejo, 3 Damore’ea Stringfellow, 12 Van Jefferson, 1 AJ Brown, and 5 DaMarkus Lodge Stringfellow has had an impressive season, reeling in 26 passes for 423 yards and two touchdowns. Stringfellow has two games where he has recorded at least 90 yards, the last one coming against Memphis on October 1. For Adeboyejo, this will be his 46th start at receiver. He has started every game since arriving on campus. Tight End: 17 Evan Engram Engram is the leading receiver for Ole Miss, and the SEC, with 605 yards and 5 touchdowns on 40 catches. The senior is the career leader in receptions, receiving yards, and is tied for the career lead in touchdowns by a tight end. He caught three passes for 15 yards last week at LSU, which was his lowest output of the season. Offensive Line: 73 Rod Taylor, 79 Javon Patterson, 75 Robert Conyers, 70 Jordan Sims, and 50 Sean Rawlings The offensive line is a veteran unit, with 64 starts between them. The line has played a key role in the offense’s success this season, as they have allowed quarterback Chad Kelly to pass for an average of 304 yards per game this season. Defensive Line: 10 Marquis Haynes, 9 Breeland Speaks, 93 D.J. Jones, 94 Issac Gross, 38 John Youngblood The defensive line starts with end Marquis Haynes. Haynes leads the team in TFL (7), sacks (5), and forced fumbles (3). All of his stats go hand-in-hand, all three of his forced fumbles came from sacks. John Youngblood, a senior from Trussville, was the recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award for the 2016 season and wears number 38. His highlights include a “scoop-and-score” against Alabama, where he recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Linebacker: 3 Demarquis Gates, 43 Detric Bing-Dukes, 12 Tony Conner Detric Bing-Dukes has made an immediate impact since he arrived on campus. A former Georgia Bulldog, Bing-Dukes has recorded 31 tackles this season, with three being for a loss. In his last game against Ole Miss, he had a team-high 8 tackles and recorded 2 tackles for loss, which was a personal best. Demarquis Gates leads the Rebels in tackles with 44 and is behind Haynes in sacks with 4.0. Tony Conner began the season on the Preseason All-SEC team and is on the watch list for the Nagurski and Bednarik Trophies. Defensive Back: 1 Tony Bridges, 7 Jalen Julius, 15 Myles Hartsfield, 36 Zedrick Woods Free Safety Zedrick Woods is second in tackles with 42, and two games where he has recorded over ten tackles. He leads the team in interceptions with 2, one of those going for a touchdown against Memphis on October 1st. Hartsfield is a true freshman who enrolled at Ole Miss in January after being considered the number one prep safety for the 2016 class by 247sports. He has 24 tackles and a quarterback hurry this season. Special Teams: 97 Gary Wunderlich, 94 Will Gleeson Wunderlich is third in the SEC in field goals made. He enters the game with Auburn making 13-14 field goals, with his longest being from 46 yards. He is also 29/30 on extra point attempts. He shares punting duties with Will Gleeson. Gleeson averages 44.6 yards per punt, with his longest being a 60-yard bomb. SEC rankings: Scoring Offense- 2nd (37 PPG) Total Offense- 5th (454 YPG) Rushing Offense- 13th (150 YPG) Passing Offense- 2nd (304 YPG) Scoring Defense- 13th (31 PPG) Total Defense- 13th (445 YPG) Rushing Defense- 14th (226 YPG) Passing Defense- 10th (229 YPG)

Photo: Ole Miss Quarterback Chad Kelly (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics/Joshua McCoy)


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