No. 6 Auburn 46, Mississippi 13
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) _ Patrick Nix threw for a school-record 382 yards Saturday as No. 6 Auburn emerged from NCAA probation in impressive fashion, beating Mississippi 46-13.
Nix completed 28-of-39 passes, threw for one touchdown and ran for two as the Tigers unveiled a fearsome offensive arsenal that didn’t even need the help of Stephen Davis, the top rusher in the Southeastern Conferemnce last season.
Davis watched many of Auburn’s most impressive drives from the sidelines, though he capped two with short TD runs. Davis carried only 14 times for 70 yards, breaking one run for 32 yards.
Dou Innocent got loose for 137 yards on 22 carries for Ole Miss. It was Innocent’s seventh consecutive 100-plus rushing game.
Nix, a second-year starter, fired passes all over the field with deadeye accuracy to break the Auburn record of 366 set by Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan against Florida in 1970.
Auburn piled up 527 yards.
Nix answered the question of how Auburn will replace wideouts Frank Sanders and Thomas Bailey, who did most of the catching during Auburn’s 20-1-1 run while on probation the last two seasons.
Wide receiver Tyrone Goodson caught seven passes for 145 yards, and counterpart Willie Gosha had four catches for 77 yards.
The game began innocently enough for the Rebels. Auburn’s offense sputtered on its first possession, running only four plays before the Tigers were forced to punt. Ole Miss, by contrast, moved the ball easily on its first try. Both teams kicked field goals for a 3-3 tie after the first quarter.
The Tigers settled down, though, featuring a no-huddle look on scoring drives of 68 and 83 yards. Nix sizzled in the second quarter, completing 13 straight passes at one point to lead Auburn to a 20-10 halftime lead.
Nix continued to pick Ole Miss apart in the second half. He showed finesse, with soft passes to Fred Beasley and Harold Morrow out of the backfield, and strength, hitting Gosha for 49 yards and threading three defenders on a 13-yard pass to Goodson.
A 1-yard run by Nix gave Auburn a 26-10 lead with 6:04 left in the third quarter. Nix then capped a 62-yard drive by hitting Kevin McLeod with a 24-yard TD pass to make it 32-10.
Despite the rout, Auburn’s defense looked porous at times. With Innocent running over and around defenders and Josh Nelson throwing for 216 yards, the Rebels amassed 394 total yards. Ole Miss had little trouble moving the ball, but two of its first three drives of the second half ended with lost fumbles.
Auburn added another TD run by Nix and a scoring pass from backup Dameyune Craig to Willie McCovery.
Ole Miss’ big play was a 51-yard pass from Nelson to LeMay Thomas that set up a 1-yard TD dive by Moine Nicholson.
Auburn’s Matt Hawkins missed two extra points after missing only three in 43 attempts last season.