Ole Miss Position Grades at LSU


Dropping a game in Baton Rouge is never fun but it’s not normally something Ole Miss fans expected until Coach Hugh Freeze came to town.  In 2 1/2 years this coaching staff has elevated the Ole Miss program to heights not seen since the early 1960’s.

The LSU game was complete taken over by the defensive lines on both sides which made for an instant defensive classic, but not one many Ole Miss fans will be watching again anytime soon.

Let’s take a look at how our guys performed position by position in the knock-down-drag-out game.

Quarterback  C

Bo Wallace was under a lot of pressure but he did a good job protecting the ball until the very end when it was time to go for broke.  LSU was in the backfield a lot and there was very little time for him to wait for receivers to get open.  It was an emotional game and Bo Wallace is an emotional guy and he let it effect his play on the field.  The short passing game should have been used more to avoid the LSU blitz and get the offense in a rhythm.

No matter what the defense is doing, Ole Miss has to score more than 7 points and Bo has to focus on his team and his progressions and not let the crowd or the opponents get him out of his game plan.

Wide Receiver  B

The Reb’s WR unit only caught 14 balls for 176 yards, slightly better than LSU’s allowed average of 158 but well below Ole Miss’ average of 269.  Treadwell had 4 catches for 71 yards and Cody Core had 4 catches for 45 yards.  Vince Sanders and Markell Pack only had one catch each.  While LSU has a great secondary, the players and coaches have to adjust to the defense they are facing.  Easy for me to say, right?

Running Backs  C

While Bo Wallace was under attack from the edge and the wide receivers were shadowed all night, the running backs could have saved the day, and it was attempted.  Ole Miss rushed the ball for 34 times for 137 yards which included 49 from Bo Wallace and 30 yards on a reverse from Cody Core.  That leaves 67 yards gained on 20 carried by Jalen Walton (29 yds on 12 carries) and I’Tavius Mathers (35 yards on 8 carries).  3.3 yards per carry is not terrible but not good enough to force LSU to shift to single coverage in the secondary and bring more defenders in for run support.

Ole Miss’ “big back” Jordan Wilkins, only got in for one play and that was a half back pass that fell incomplete.

Offensive Line  C

The O-line did not hold up well against the LSU front seven and when Tunsil went out with a bicep injury there was no replacement for him at left tackle, just as was the case last year.

LSU got two sacks and 9 total tackles for loss.  The lack of production in the running game is intertwined with the lack of production on the offensive line.  We knew this was the thinnest depth position on the team, so the scheme has to accommodate that.  Ole Miss is not a down hill running team.  This line should not be asked to line up and run head to head against the best teams in the league.  You have to play to your strengths and lining up and running against LSU is probably not the best game plan.

Secondary  A

Fantastic.  What else can you say?  LSU’s Anthony Jennings completes only eight passes for 142 yards, two interceptions and only one touchdown.  Senquez Golson notched his eighth INT on the season and Mike Hilton got his third.  Ole Miss now is your national leader in interceptions with 17.  Golson is second nationally individually with eight, 1st in the SEC and Hilton has the 4th most INT’s in the SEC.

Rover Trae Elston had a great game with 11 tackles.

Line Backers  B

Ole Miss linebackers combined for 28 tackles, as Serderius Bryant led with 11.  Detterian Shackelfor had 8 tackles and 1 tackles for loss.  Keith Lewis had 7 tackles.  The Tiger running backs pounded the Ole Miss defensive line with 55 carries and the Tiger running backs averages 4.8 yards per carry.  Some fortunate turnovers kept LSU’s 264 rushing yards from translating to several touchdowns.  They did a great job of slowing down a top running team and not giving up the big play.

Denzel Nkemdiche left with an ankle injury in the first half.

Defensive Line  B

The Ole Miss defensive line plugged holes all night but were pretty quiet in the backfield.  Issac Gross had 6 tackles, CJ Johnson had 5 and Robert Nkemdiche had 4 before he sat out with an unspecified injury.

Special Teams  B

Will Glesson could have been the player of the game had the game ended 7-3 in Ole Miss favor.  He had 6 kicks for 38 yards average.  Gary Wunderlich also punted twice for a long of 54 yards.

Much better game by Markell Pack who didn’t down any punts inside the Ole Miss 5 even though one he passed on did get downed at the two yard line.