The No. 23 Auburn Tigers got back on the winning track Saturday with a 41-23 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels. The win improves Auburn’s record to 6-3 (4-2 SEC).
Auburn entered the game coming off a brutal stretch where they faced four straight ranked opponents, and the offensive unit had felt the effects of the competition.
The Tigers had failed to score more than 17 points in any of those games, resulting in a change in starting quarterbacks to Clint Moseley. The team had also been hampered by the loss to injury of key wideouts Trovon Reed and Emory Blake.
Saturday’s game saw a return to form from the offense against a struggling Ole Miss team however. A weaker opponent, the return of Blake, and a more experienced Moseley combined to see one of Auburn’s best offensive days of the year.
Taking over for Barrett Trotter, Moseley made his first start at Jordan-Hare Stadium, tossing for four touchdowns and going 12-of-15 for 160 yards. The sophomore displayed some downfield zip as well as accuracy and has only thrown one interception in his first two starts.
Moseley’s job was made easier by the return to form of senior Emory Blake, who had been hampered the last few games by injury. Blake, who was on his way to being one of the top receivers in the SEC before the injury, returned to the end zone in the third quarter, helping Auburn break a 17-17 tie. Blake finished with 71 yards on five receptions.
On a day where the offense shined, it was only natural that mainstays Michael Dyer and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen also had very productive days. Dyer ran wild for 177 yards and a touchdown, while Moseley found Lutzenkirchen for two touchdown receptions.
Saturday’s victory can give Auburn more confidence in their offense heading into a big matchup at Georgia after a bye week for the Tigers. The next test will be to see if Auburn’s offense can be as effective on the road, which has not been the case thus far in 2011.