AUBURN, Ala. • Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee set a record in a losing cause Saturday night.
Plumlee, coming off arthroscopic knee surgery during the open date, needed just 37 yards to set the school’s single-season quarterback rushing record.
He finished with 92 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries with a long gain of 20 yards.
Plumlee started the game and played the first three series.
The previous quarterback rushing record was held by Jeremiah Masoli, the graduate transfer from Oregon, who rushed for 544 yards in 2010.
Offensive lineman Ben Brown and running back Scottie Phillips left the game with ankle injuries on back-to-back plays in the first quarter.
Both were listed questionable to return, and Brown did later in the quarter. Phillips did not return.
Phillips sustained a knee injury in the Texas A&M game but practiced both weeks leading up to the Auburn game.
Free safety Jalen Julius was injured on a deep pass completion by Auburn also in the first quarter. He hobbled off the field appearing to favor a hamstring.
Defensive tackle Josiah Coatney left the game with an injury in both the second and third quarters but returned each time.
Key Number: 64.7%
Auburn converted just one of its first four third-down opportunities but went on to convert 11 of its next 17 – 64.7 percent.
Auburn drove 53 yards in 13 plays to score on a 38-yard field goal by Anders Carlson. That gave the Tigers a 20-7 lead with 4:15 left in the third quarter and the Rebels struggling to gain footing against the Auburn defense.
The drive could have been a three-and-out, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Ole Miss end Qaadir Sheppard gave Auburn new life.
The Tigers, with a halftime lead of only 10-7, had already scored on their first drive of the third quarter with a 1-yard run by quarterback Bo Nix.
Ole Miss is at home against New Mexico State, the Rebels’ final non-conference game. It’s a 3 p.m. kickoff and will air on the SEC Network.
“Our kids just fought, fought and fought … competed, competed and competed. They gave us chances to win the game, but we didn’t get it done. We’ve got to find a way to get it done.” – Ole Miss defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre
Elijah Moore’s 49 catches going into the game ranked second among SEC slot receivers. Against Auburn Moore had three catches for 14 yards. … Ole Miss has forced at least one turnover in eight of nine games. … Jerrion Ealy began the day ranked No. 1 in the SEC in kickoff returns at 24.9 yards per attempt. He averaged 22.6 yards on three returns in the game. … Seven different players have at least one interception this season. … Juco transfer Lakia Henry began the day averaging 7.4 tackles to rank eighth in the SEC. He had nine tackles against the Tigers. … Keshun Wells, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship during the week, was a game captain along with Alex Givens, Jaylon Jones and Jacquez Jones.