Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Star WR steps up for Rebels

AUBURN, Ala. — With a defender draped over his back, Laquon Treadwell clutched the ball in both hands as he fell.

This touchdown, and this game, weren't slipping from the grasp of No. 19 Mississippi and the Rebels' star receiver.

Treadwell caught a 21-yard touchdown from Chad Kelly in the fourth quarter and Ole Miss kept its conference title hopes alive with a 27-19 victory Saturday over Auburn.

"In those situations, you want to step up," Treadwell said. "I think every player on our team wanted to make that play. So when you get that opportunity, you've got to make it. The team was counting on me. The ball came to me, and I just had to make a play."

It was even sweeter because Treadwell's 2014 season ended with a serious leg injury on a pivotal catch and fumble late in a loss to Auburn when both teams were gunning for the playoffs.

The Rebels made two straight defensive stands after grabbing the lead. Kelly hit Treadwell in the end zone with just more than 10 minutes left, and the league's leading receiver held onto it even with cornerback Carlton Davis trying to rip the ball out.

The catch stood after a replay review.

The Rebels defense stood firm after that. The Tigers failed to punch it into the end zone after a first down from the 3. Auburn drove across midfield again before failing to convert on fourth down, and Ole Miss ran out all but eight seconds.

Rebels coach Hugh Freeze wasn't about to punt after recent special teams breakdowns around college football.

"After watching all the games the last few weeks, I was not going to punt that thing," Freeze said. "I've seen too many bad things happen."

Auburn lost its second straight after falling to Arkansas in four overtimes. Strong-armed backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson was hit as he threw a desperation attempt, which fell well short of the end zone on the final play.

Treadwell had seven catches for 114 yards and completed a 21-yard pass to set up Gary Wunderlich's third-quarter field goal to snap a halftime tie at 10.

TEXAS A&M 35, S.C. 28: Touted true freshman quarterback Kyler Murray ran for 156 yards and threw for 223 in his first start for the host Aggies, who ended a two-game slide.

Tra Carson added 122 yards rushing and a touchdown and Donovan Wilson had a 60-yard interception return for Texas A&M.

Brandon Wilds ran for 128 yards and two scores for the Gamecocks in their second game under interim coach Shawn Elliott since the resignation of Gators legend Steve Spurrier. They won Elliott's debut 19-10 over Vanderbilt two weeks ago before an open date.

ARKANSAS 63, TENN.-MARTIN 28: Alex Collins ran for a career-high five touchdowns, and Brandon Allen threw for 265 yards to help the host Razorbacks overcome shoddy defense. Collins' five rushing touchdowns in a game tied for second most in program history.

TENN. 52, KENTUCKY 21: Joshua Dobbs accounted for four touchdowns, and the visiting Volunteers scored on both a kickoff and a punt return. Tennessee won 30 of its past 31 meetings with the Wildcats, whose victory during that stretch was a 10-7 decision in 2011.

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