Oct. 29, 2005
Vaughn rebounded from a nightmarish outing to kick two field goals in the Tigers' 27-3 victory over Mississippi Saturday. Obomanu, meanwhile, made an acrobatic touchdown catch a few feet from the spot of his infamous drop in the Rebels' last visit.
"This was a pretty powerful, good experience," said Vaughn, who was 1-for-6 on field goals in last week's 20-17 overtime loss at LSU.
It wasn't quite that powerful a performance for the Tigers (6-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference), but the defense allowed only 23 yards rushing and had an early goal line stand.
"Their defensive front is the best we've seen," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. "They can get after it and gave us some fits. They weren't going to let us run the football.
"They couldn't get anything going on offense, but their defense gave us a fit."
The Rebels (3-5, 1-4) managed just 209 total yards and Ethan Flatt replaced Micheal Spurlock at quarterback in the fourth quarter. They had allowed only one TD in each of the last three games, but couldn't keep up that string against the league's top scoring offense.
"We didn't play well on the corners, and their receivers made plays we hadn't given up most of the year," Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron said.
Obomanu's 1-yard TD catch came on a fourth-and-goal play in the third quarter. He reached over a defender for the ball near the spot where he dropped a wide-open pass in the end zone late in a 24-20 loss to the Rebels two years ago.
This time around, instant replay officials reviewed Obomanu's catch before ruling it was a TD.
"That was pretty cool," he said. "There was no doubt."
Spurlock was 10-of-18 for 105 yards with an interception that set up another Auburn TD. Flatt twice led the Rebels into Auburn territory in the fourth quarter, going 11-of-17 for 81 yards.
"To give our offense a shot we needed to throw the ball and we feel he is better at throwing," Orgeron said, adding that Flatt would have a chance to compete for the starting job.
Mico McSwain gained only 48 yards on 18 rushes for Ole Miss against the nation's fourth-ranked scoring defense.
Both teams failed to convert on fourth-and-goal situations in the first half after having numerous kicking problems last week.
The Rebels drove inside Auburn's 1 on their opening drive. Then Brandon Jacobs couldn't handle the pitch from Spurlock on fourth down for a 12-yard loss.
"When you get down inside that 5-yard line, you need to make plays," Spurlock said. "You need to make something happen. We didn't do things the way we should have and all day long we didn't help our defense."
The Tigers then went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 3 on the following possession but Cox's pass fell incomplete under pressure to end a 16-play drive.
Its no wonder both teams were wary of relying on their kicking games. Ole Miss had a pair of field goal attempts blocked and missed four against Kentucky last week.
Vaughn rebounded to hit a 35-yarder and a 39-yarder in the final 3 minutes of the first half, the second set up by Steve Gandy's 29-yard return of a Spurlock interception.
"Its tough, but what an opportunity," said Vaughn, who drew considerable applause after both kicks. "I was just trying to move forward. Anybody can lay down after a rough night like that (against LSU)."
Matt Hinkle kicked a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter for the Rebels' only points.
That chance came after Ole Miss couldn't move the ball following Tre Smith's fumbled punt return at the 28 for another frustrating offensive series.