Preview capsule: No. 24 Ole Miss at Auburn - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Preview capsule: No. 24 Ole Miss at Auburn

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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn calls out to his team in the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. LSU won 35-21. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Auburn coach Gus Malzahn calls out to his team in the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. LSU won 35-21. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

No. 24 Mississippi (3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) at Auburn (3-1, 1-1), 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

Line: Mississippi by 2 1/2.

Series record: Auburn leads 27-10.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Both teams are trying to remain in position to finish in the upper half of the loaded SEC West and take another step forward for the programs. Auburn could top last year's win total with a victory.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn's running backs vs. Ole Miss defensive front. The Tigers' Tre Mason, Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne all have 200-plus rushing yards and eight combined touchdowns. With a shaky receiving corps, some combination of the trio is going to have to produce and help keep the defense off the field. The Rebels were gashed for two big touchdown runs by Alabama.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mississippi:

RB Jeff Scott. The shifty runner accounted for 207 yards of total offense against the Tigers last season. Now, he's coming off a 28-yard rushing effort against No. 1 Alabama but still averages 8.3 yards per carry.

Auburn:

QB Nick Marshall. Marshall has been intercepted four times in his first two SEC games, though he also led the game-winning touchdown drive against Mississippi State. The Tigers can't afford those kinds of mistakes from the junior college transfer, who has passed for 809 yards and run for 148.

FACTS & FIGURES

Auburn holds a 13-2 advantage over the Rebels in games played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Ole Miss hasn't won in Auburn since 2003. ... The Rebels are looking for their first 4-1 start since 2002. ... Auburn's Gus Malzahn replaced Ole Miss's Hugh Freeze as Arkansas State's head coach last season. ... Against LSU, Auburn's Mason and Sammie Coates became the first Auburn 100-yard rushing, 100-yard receiving duo since 2011 against Mississippi State. ... This is the first time since 1932 that Ole Miss has played back to back games in the state of Alabama.

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