When No. 24 Ole Miss collides with Auburn Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium, good friends Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn will aim to out-duel one another in a game expected to feature a plethora of offensive fireworks.
A win at Auburn this year would be the Rebels first win on the Plains since 2003 and only their third win there in 16 program appearances. Further, a 4-1 start to 2013 would be Ole Miss' first such start since the 2002 campaign.
Not only will the Rebels and Tigers enter the contest with the same 3-1 (1-1 SEC) record, but both squads will also be fighting for a much-needed W ahead of grueling SEC stretches.
While Ole Miss is coming off a 25-0 drubbing at No. 1 Alabama last weekend, the Tigers last outing resulted in a 35-21 loss at No. 10 LSU two weeks ago. While both the Rebels and Tigers fell handily on the road against quality opponents in their most recent games, Malzahn's team was able to benefit from an open date this past weekend.
As fast-paced and up-tempo as Freeze and Malzahn like to run their complex offenses, the last team standing at the end of this battle will likely be the one that played better defense and made fewer mistakes throughout the course of the game.
When: Saturday, Oct. 5; 6 p.m. CT
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama
Satellite Radio: Sirius 139, XM 198
Series History: Auburn leads 27-10
In Auburn: Auburn leads 13-2
Spread: Ole Miss (-2.5), per VegasInsider.com Consensus