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Auburn turns close game into rout of Ole Miss

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) scores a touchdown as Mississippi safety Frank Crawford defends in the first half Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) scores a touchdown as Mississippi safety Frank Crawford defends in the first half Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

AUBURN, Ala. — Clint Moseley, Mike Dyer and the Auburn Tigers rebounded nicely against less high-flying competition.

Moseley threw his first four career touchdown passes and Dyer rushed for 177 yards to lift the Tigers to a 41-23 win over Mississippi on Saturday night, a bounce-back from last week's 35-point humbling by No. 1 LSU.

"I'm really starting to settle into it," Moseley said. "Last week, the whole situation was just really surreal for me. It never really hit me how big it was, because I think it was that big.

"This game was a completely different feel for me, personally. It really helps to be at home and have the support of the fans. It really feels a lot different this week."

The Tigers (6-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to break a halftime deadlock and go up 31-17 in a matchup of the league's two bottom-dwelling defenses.

The Rebels (2-6, 0-5) have now dropped 11 straight league games, adding to their longest string since joining the SEC in 1933. They had rallied to send it into halftime tied at 17-17.

Moseley completed 12 of 15 passes for 160 yards in his second career start after debuting in a 45-10 loss in Baton Rouge. The Tigers had managed just 10 passing touchdowns in the first eight games.

They got a boost from the return of leading receiver Emory Blake, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury. He had five catches for 71 yards and a 25-yard touchdown.

"You could see the impact that he has with our offense," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "You could see he's still playing a little bit banged up. Clint did a great job of getting the ball where he needed to get it most of the time."

Blake said he knew coming into Saturday he was going to play and estimated that he's 75 percent healthy.

"I told (Moseley), 'Just throw it near my way and I'll make the play,' and he did that," the receiver said.

Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen caught two touchdown passes, including a one-handed snare late in the game.

Auburn has won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Rebels, who couldn't follow up a strong performance in a 29-24 loss to No. 8 Arkansas.

The Tigers dominated the third quarter with a 141-22 advantage in total yards. The Rebels gained only 42 yards after halftime before two final drives deep into Auburn territory in the closing 5 minutes.

Ole Miss finished with Randall Mackey's 10-yard touchdown pass to Nickolas Brassell on the final play.

Dyer, who had 27 carries, gained 115 yards in the second half after failing to reach 100 in the previous two games.

"I told him (Friday), 'Your time's going to come,'" Chizik said.

Moseley got the Tigers going with two first-quarter touchdown passes, including a 45-yarder to Quindarius Carr to make it 14-0. He sparked them again in the third after a Rebels comeback.

The sophomore hit an open Blake in the end zone for the touchdown on a third-and-8 play midway through the quarter. Then Dyer set up his own 4-yard touchdown with a 48-yard scamper down the right sideline and added a field goal early in the fourth.

Lutzenkirchen, who came in tied for fifth nationally among current tight ends with 10 TD catches, had an early 13-yarder and then added a more highlight-worthy 4-yarder.

He almost nonchalantly reached his right hand back for the ball on his way to the end zone.

Mackey was 15-of-27 passing for 157 yards with an interception on a badly underthrown ball downfield. He got 64 of those yards on the final two drives.

"They were not going to let us go deep," Rebels coach Houston Nutt said. "They really made us throw underneath, and he was a little off tonight. He missed some guys that he would normally hit."

The nation's No. 107 rushing attack had a big night. Brandon Bolden ran 13 times for 114 yards and two 1-yard touchdowns and Jeff Scott carried 14 times for 78 yards. The Rebels gained 220 yards on the ground, more than double their season average (108).

Nutt opted not to call time out and force Auburn to punt from deep in its own territory late in the first half, and then called two with the game all but over, drawing boos from Tigers fans.

"We had the momentum (in the first half), and one thing we didn't want to do is fumble the punt right there or have something go (wrong) when we have the momentum," Nutt said. "At the end of the game we were trying to stop them and get the ball."

Eltoro Freeman had 11 tackles and two sacks for Auburn, which racked up 254 yards rushing.

"We're just not matching the intensity we were coming out with," Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett said.

The Tigers finished a brutal October 3-2, with their other wins over South Carolina and Florida and losses at Arkansas and LSU.

"I'd like to say that our goal was always to be 5-0," Chizik said, "but we've lost three football games on the road to the No. 1 and the No. (6 Clemson) and the No. (8) team. We go into those games and expect to win them but we've come a long way."