The third down breakdown

Success for the Rebels’ tempo offense is built around good yardage on first down. That keeps pressure on the defense and gives Hugh Freeze more play-calling options.

That didn’t happen at Auburn, and difficult distances on third downs were a factor in the six sacks given up by Ole Miss, Freeze said.

Four of those sacks were a result of Ole Miss offensive linemen losing 1-on-1 matchups with their Auburn counterparts, he said. The two others were the quarterback’s fault.

At Auburn, the Rebels were 5-for-19 on third downs with an average “to go” distance of 7.42 yards. Here’s a breakdown of the Rebels’ third downs and a look the at required distance for a first down:

First Quarter

6 … Wallace sacked minus 11.

6 … Wallace slant to Treadwell incomplete.

1 … Brunetti rush up middle 4 yards CONVERT

10 … Wallace pass to Moncrief for 14 yards CONVERT

1 … Wallace rush up middle for 2 yards CONVERT

Second Quarter

9 … Incomplete to Scott, a drop. Would have had first-down yardage.

7 … Complete to Treadwell for 9 CONVERT

11 … Pass to Sanders for 10. (Followed this up with a 3-yard Brunetti rush on fourth-and-1)

8 … Scott TFL minus 1.

3 … Brunetti rush for 1. (Followed up with Wallace to Treadwell pass for 29 yards on fourth-and-2)

10 … Wallace sacked for minus 4.

Note: 4 of 11 on third downs at halftime

Third Quarter

1 … Wallace minus 2. (Followed up by quick toss to Scott for 52 yards on fourth-and-2)

5 (goal to go) Incomplete to Treadwell

7 … Wallace rush for 3 yards.

0-for-3 on third downs in third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

19 … Wallace sacked for second time in three plays.

10 … Wallace pass to Sanders for 12 yards. CONVERT

7 … Wallace pass intercepted by Ryan Smith.

10 … Wallace incomplete from his own 1 throwing to Moncrief.

10 … Wallace sacked. Wallace sacked again on fourth down, and Auburn runs out the clock.

Notes: 141 total third down “to go” yards. … The Rebels finished 3-for-5 on fourth-down conversions.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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