Nix finds Williams for game winner as Auburn tops Ole Miss

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Anthony Schwartz, Ze’Vian Capers

Auburn wide receivers Anthony Schwartz (1) and Ze’Vian Capers (80) both reach for an errant pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix directed two fourth-quarter

touchdown drives, capped by a 42-yard touchdown pass to Seth Williams with

1:11 left, to lift the Tigers to a 35-28 comeback win over Mississippi on

Saturday.

“Bo (Nix) and Seth (Williams) have a special bond,” Auburn coach Gus

Malzahn said. “It was down to the end and that’s the way this series has

gone.”

Auburn (3-2 Southeastern) rallied from a 28-27 deficit on its final

offensive series, covering 80 yards in six plays. Williams, finishing with

eight catches for 134 yards, caught Nix’s pass in front of the Auburn

sideline, twisted away from two tacklers and turned up the sideline to

easily race for the decisive touchdown.

“I looked around to see who was around me, and I saw the end zone and kept

running,” Williams said. “That last drive, everybody just came out with

the mind-set that we weren’t going to lose.”

Ole Miss (1-4) reached the Auburn 29-yard line in the final 10 seconds.

Auburn forced an incomplete pass and preserved the win on a game-ending

Ole Miss infraction as quarterback Matt Corral advanced past the line of

scrimmage before throwing a desperation pass that would have counted as a

Jordyn Peters interception without the penalty.

“There’s no pixie dust, you know? You’ve got to make more plays than they

do and execute the situation,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said.. “That’s

what winning teams do. It’s a very disappointing loss. Tough to swallow

because it was right there.”

Tank Bigsby had touchdown runs of 4 and 18 yards and finished with 129

yards on 24 carries as the Tigers finished with a turnover free 462 yards

of total offense. Nix finished 23 of 30 passing for 238 yards, with the

biggest plays reserved for Williams. Shaun Shivers and Nix had touchdown

runs over 1 and 4 yards, respectively.

“We knew with two minutes and 30 seconds, we could go down and make big

things happen,” Nix said. “Seth made a great play. We just never lost

hope.”

Corral had touchdown runs of 5 and 10 yards and was 16 of 27 for 154 yards

passing, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore. Jerrion Ealy

had a 5-yard touchdown run to give Ole Miss a 28-27 lead with 5:43 left,

setting up Auburns game-winning drive.

THE TAKEAWAY

Auburn: After two failed attempts, the Tigers won a road game. The Tigers

won with fourth quarter heroics for the third time this season, this time

on the strength of the Nix-Williams combination and a 4 for 4 performance

in the red zone. The special teams struggled with a pair of bad snaps in

kicking situations and had a kickoff return touchdown by Bigsby wiped out

on a holding penalty.

Ole Miss: The Rebels rolled up 444 yards, but finished 4 of 6 in the red

zone, including a turnover and an unsuccessful fake field goal attempt.

Sam Williams had 11 tackles, including a sack and three tackles for loss,

but the defense could not preserve a late lead. The remaining schedule

appears to lighten up a bit, as four of the remaining five opponents have

losing records.

BOUNCE BACK PERFORMANCE

Nix has had bouts of inconsistency but there were none against Ole Miss.

Nix directed touchdown drives of 95, 79, 88, 80 and 80 yards and did not

have a turnover after coming off a loss to South Carolina with three

interceptions.

“He responded like a champion. He came back. He fought his tail off,”

Malzahn said. “You protect the football, especially on the road and you’ve

got a real chance of winning and we did that.”

UP NEXT

Auburn: The Tigers host LSU on Saturday.

Ole Miss: The Rebels visit winless Vanderbilt on Saturday.

___

FBC: More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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