OXFORD • Like Ole Miss, Auburn is relying heavily on newcomers … at least on one side of the ball.
On its weekly depth chart Auburn, lists seven true freshmen or redshirt freshmen on the offense but just two on defense.
On the offense, true freshman running back D.J. Williams (5-10, 216) is the SEC’s freshman of the week after rushing for 130 yards on 10 carries at LSU. Seventy of those yards came on one run.
Williams also had two catches for 21 yards.
The Tigers list senior Kam Martin as the starter. They had been without regular starter JaTarvious Whitlow who sustained a knee injury in early October. Whitlow returned against LSU but carried just three times for 9 yards. He rushed for 170 yards on 18 carries against Ole Miss last year as a redshirt freshman slowed by a different injury.
Martin carried just once at LSU.
Auburn rushed 33 times for 130 yards in the game.
The Tigers lead the SEC in rushing offense at 239.6 yards a game. Ole Miss is third at 232.5 yards a game.
Ole Miss has rushed for 200-plus yards in four-straight games, something it had not done since 1998.
The Rebels lead the nation with 14 runs of 30 yards or more.
extra night to recruitRainy weather shuffled the high school football schedule last week, and that turned out to benefit Ole Miss coaches who were able to get to two nights of games and instead of just one.
“We went on the road recruiting. We were able to watch games Thursday and Friday nights. That was good. I spent the majority of time in Mississippi and enjoyed that part of it,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said.
McGriff MatchupWesley McGriff was fired as Ole Miss defensive coordinator last November after two seasons of struggle.
Not long after that McGriff was hired as defensive backs coach at Auburn, the position he held before being hired by former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
“He’s probably giving them some input, but (Auburn defensive coordinator) Kevin Steele does a great job and is an outstanding football coach. He’s got them playing really hard. They’re well-coached, and they’re schemed well,” Ole Miss offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said he hasn’t watched anything that Ole Miss did defensively under McGriff.
Auburn this season is No. 9 in the SEC with 224.7 passing yards allowed per game and No. 7 in team passing efficiency defense with a 116.14 opponent passer rating.