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Ole Miss lost its second game of the season on Saturday, falling to Auburn 35-31, but it might have lost something greater in the process.
Receiver Laquon Treadwell, who has been the team’s best player all year, suffered a broken fibula and a dislocated ankle during one of the final plays of the game. Treadwell was running toward the end zone when linebacker Kris Frost pulled him down by his jersey and rolled Treadwell’s leg during the tackle.
It was a grisly injury.
Treadwell was writhing around in pain as the ball rolled into the end zone and Auburn’s Cassanova McKinzy eventually fell on it.
To make matters worse, a replay showed that Treadwell lost the ball before crossing the goal line, taking away what looked like a possible game-winning touchdown for the Rebels with 90 seconds remaining.
While Ole Miss did have one last series to attempt to win the game, it was clear they were shell-shocked by the turn of events. On their final play, the Rebels had a chance to get the first down, stop the clock, spike the ball and still have about five seconds to throw a Hail Mary. Instead, the team tried to do some trickery to get yardage and the clock ran out.
It was the second consecutive week a questionable play at the end of the game ruined a chance at a possible game-tying or game-winning score for Ole Miss.
But in the end, it was a compilation of unfortunate events that ended the Rebels' hopes of what started out as a dream season.
Ole Miss has now lost back-to-back games against ranked LSU and Auburn teams. While both could be considered “quality” losses because of the way they occurred, it’s going to be tough for the Rebels to stay in the running for the four-team playoff, especially with so many one-loss teams waiting in the wings.
Auburn, on the other hand, will solidify its status as the nation’s No. 3 team and could even move up depending on whether the committee values the Tigers’ win more than it values close wins by No. 1 Mississippi State and No. 2 Florida State.
Overall, it doesn’t really matter because both Mississippi State and Auburn still have the rest of their SEC gauntlet to complete. For Auburn, that still means games against Georgia (the return of running back Todd Gurley) and Alabama.
If you take away the injury, this was probably one of the best games of the year. Ole Miss had a 10-point lead early in the third quarter, but Auburn got some skillful and fortunate bounces and catches to take a 28-24 lead heading into the fourth.
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace answered with a run early in the fourth before running back Cameron Artis-Payne had a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers up for good.
For more Auburn news, visit AuburnSports.com.
For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.com.
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