The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 12, 2012

Auburn, Mississippi working for first SEC victory

(Continued)

Auburn has won three straight games against Ole Miss, but has managed just 27 total points in three SEC games. The Tigers are dead last in almost all offensive categories, but have had an especially tough time throwing. Quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley have combined to throw three touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.

For a team that won the BCS national championship just two seasons ago, the dropoff has been steep.

"We've just got to be aggressive," Auburn receiver Travante Stallworth said. "We've just got to throw the first punch. We can't go out there lackadaisical and just try to find our way around. We just need to go out there and play the game that we know how to play."

Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Ole Miss is undersized at certain spots — most notably on the defensive line — but said Freeze has done a good job of getting the Rebels to play with passion and confidence.

"Just the energy of how they're playing, they just look like a different team," Chizik said. "They're young but they're very talented and they've got some players at key positions that are extremely difficult to defend offensively and defensively."

Now Ole Miss is focused on cutting down mistakes. Junior quarterback Bo Wallace threw for 305 yards and a touchdown against Texas A&M, but also had two crucial interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown and another that ended a potential game-winning drive.

Freeze said Wallace will be the starter against Auburn, but he wouldn't hesitate to bring in backup Barry Brunetti if the mistakes continue.

The Ole Miss defense is a work in progress as well. The Rebels forced six turnovers against Texas A&M, but gave up a 99-yard drive in just three plays during the decisive fourth quarter.

Freeze said he appreciates the defense's passion. But he continues to stress discipline.

"We won't slack off," Freeze said. "We'll continue to preach to them."

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