Auburn survives thriller with Ole Miss

Oxford, MS ( – Nick Marshall accounted for four touchdowns
and Kris Frost forced a critical fumble at the goal line with 1:30 remaining
that preserved third-ranked Auburn’s 35-31 victory over No. 7 Ole Miss, as
well as the Tigers’ chances for a second straight appearance in the national
title game.

A showdown that was in essence a de facto elimination game for the College
Football Playoff saw three lead changes in the final 17 minutes, the last
Cameron Artis-Payne’s 6-yard run that put Auburn ahead with 10:23 left.

There was very nearly a fourth. The Rebels’ Laquon Treadwell took a slip
screen in the red zone and weaved his way toward the goal line with under two
minutes to play, but was dragged down from behind by Frost and lost the ball
just before crossing the plane.

Cassanova McKinzy recovered the fumble for Auburn (7-1, 4-1 SEC), which later
held off one last-ditch effort from the Rebels to assuredly keep its spot in
the coveted top four of the College Football Playoff rankings.

The defending BCS runner-up Tigers entered the colossal matchup third in the
first edition of the rankings, with Ole Miss (7-2, 4-2) one place behind in

Treadwell needed to be carted off the field on the pivotal play, ending an
otherwise sensational night for the sophomore in which he racked up 103 yards
and a touchdown on a career-high 10 catches.

Bo Wallace added 340 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-40 passing for the
Rebels, but also lost a costly fumble deep in Auburn territory in the fourth
quarter that helped send Ole Miss to a second straight loss following a 7-0

Marshall completed 15-of-22 attempts for 254 yards and two touchdowns with an
interception, and ran for two scores as well to trigger Auburn’s comeback from
a 10-point third-quarter deficit.

Artis-Payne had 138 rushing yards on 27 carries, with Sammie Coates
accumulating 122 yards and a touchdown on five catches for the Tigers.