No. 12 Auburn looks to keep rolling on their hot streak vs struggling Ole Miss

Published 10:38 am Friday, October 6, 2017

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Matt Luke and Mississippi are banking on the fluctuating fortunes of college football for a fast rebound.

The 12th-ranked Auburn Tigers, on the other hand, are hoping their last two performances will carry over into Saturday’s game against the Rebels.

It’s no wonder the coaches and teams have a totally different perspective. Ole Miss (2-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) is stinging from a 66-3 loss to No. 1 Alabama and hoping the best medicine lies in the same border state.

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“The best way to get over it is to start focusing on the next opponent,” said Luke, the Rebels’ interim coach. “Probably more so than any other sport, college football is so week to week. You can totally change everything in one week just by going out and fighting and competing.”

The Tigers (4-1, 2-0) are fresh from a second-straight SEC blowout, 49-10 over Mississippi State . Now, they’re three-touchdown favorites in this one with one of the SEC’s best defenses and an offense that has been increasingly producing big plays.

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn, like Luke, isn’t pinning too much on the last games.

“You can’t buy into what last week was, not in this league,” Malzahn said. “We’re expecting their best and that’s our approach.”

This game pits quarterback Shea Patterson and the SEC’s top passing offense against an Auburn defense that is the only one in FBS to allow 14 or fewer points in every game.

Auburn tailback Kerryon Johnson said the Tigers can’t afford not to take the Rebels seriously, regardless of last week’s score.

“We realize Ole Miss has got some of the skill players and a very good quarterback in this league, so if we come in half-stepping, they’ll put up 50 points,” Johnson said. “And it’s hard to keep up with 50 points.

“Obviously our defense isn’t going to let that happen, obviously our coaching staff isn’t going to let that happen, but we have to make sure we come every week with, ‘Hey, this is a big game. This is a big game. This is a big game. This game is bigger than the last one.'”