- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

No. 4 Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC) at No. 7 Mississippi (7-1, 4-1 SEC), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Mississippi by 2 1/2.

Series Record: Auburn leads 28-10.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Ole Miss is fourth in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, and Auburn third. Both teams are trying to stay in position to make the four-team playoff and contend for an SEC title. Neither can bank on those two things happening with another loss.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn’s running game against the Rebels’ rush defense. The Tigers lead the SEC and are ninth nationally, averaging 281.0 yards per game on the ground behind QB Nick Marshall and RB Cameron Artis-Payne. They racked up a season-high 395 against South Carolina. Even after LSU produced 264 yards, Ole Miss opponents are still running for a modest 118.0 yards per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: Marshall makes the running game go and has experience in games of this magnitude. He has four 100-yard rushing games this season and ran for three touchdowns against South Carolina. Marshall often doesn’t throw many times in a game but is always a threat to go deep to D’haquille Williams and other receivers.

Mississippi: LT Laremy Tunsil missed much of the second half of the Rebels’ 10-7 loss to LSU because of an injury to his right bicep. It’s no coincidence that the Ole Miss offense struggled to move the ball and protect QB Bo Wallace during that time. Coach Hugh Freeze said he expects Tunsil to play on Saturday and the Rebels need him close to 100 percent.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the first Top-10 matchup in Oxford. … Ole Miss has the nation’s top scoring defense, giving up 10.5 points per game, and has allowed a national-low eight touchdowns. Auburn is averaging 39.3 points a game. … The Rebels lead the nation with 17 interceptions and Auburn is fifth with 13 picks. … The Rebels are off to their best start since 1990. … Auburn has held Ole Miss under 200 passing yards in seven of the last nine meetings. … The Tigers are 14-0 in the series when rushing for 200-plus yards going back to 1971. Auburn has topped that number every game this season except Kansas State.

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