Auburn vs Arkansas
 

No. 18 Auburn is preparing for a top-20 home matchup against No. 10 Ole Miss this Saturday, hoping to win its sixth-straight game over the Rebels. Here are some players to watch and keys to victory in what could be a high-scoring affair in Jordan-Hare.

Players to Watch

 

Auburn EDGE Colby Wooden

Wooden has put together an impressive season so far, sacking opposing quarterbacks four times, along with adding on 32 tackles and two passes defended. Against Arkansas two weeks ago, the Lawrenceville, Georgia native had two sacks and a quarterback hurry against the Razorbacks’ K.J. Jefferson. As a result, Wooden was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after the win, and will look to build off of that performance against Ole Miss.

 

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral

The junior from Ventura, California is off to an incredible start to 2021 and is a candidate for the Heisman trophy. Corral has the ability to make impressive throws as well as expose defenders with his running ability. Through seven games, Corral has thrown for 1,913 yards, 15 touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, he’s added a team-high 474 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, which is tied with running back Snoop Conner for the team lead. 

 

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix

Nix shined against Arkansas two weeks ago, completing 21 of 26 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, the junior quarterback added 42 yards and another touchdown on five rush attempts. The deep ball and explosive plays made a triumphant return, with Nix throwing both a 39-yard touchdown and a 71-yard score. Nix completed passes to 10 different receivers, successfully spreading the ball around across the field. Look for Nix to continue this on Saturday.

 

Keys to Victory

#1: Contain Corral

The junior Ole Miss quarterback has made impressive plays when both scrambling out of the pocket and on designed runs. Leading the Rebels in rushing yards, Corral will be an important piece of the Ole Miss offense; his performance will be indicative of the final score. If the defense is able to keep him in the pocket it will come down to whether the defensive backs are able to cover receivers.

 

#2: Watch out for trick plays

Defensive back Roger McCreary noted on Wednesday that the Ole Miss offense has the capability to run efficient trick plays, especially with the prowess of its receivers. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin has a tendency to include trick plays in his offense, including a play last week against LSU that saw a double-end-around pass to Corral. The Tigers will have to stay disciplined on defense and watch for these explosive plays. 

 

#3: Establish the run immediately

The Tiger offense has struggled at times this season to run the ball, including rushing for 135 yards on 35 carries against a low-tier run defense against Arkansas. The Rebels are second to last in the SEC in terms of run defense, allowing nearly 180 yards per game. The Auburn offensive line will have to step up and create rushing lanes for Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter.

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