It’s been a special week for Ole Miss football fans. We are coming off a big SEC/homecoming win over Vandy and are hosting SEC West rival LSU this weekend.
Also known as the ‘Magnolia Bowl’, the Ole Miss/LSU match-up is a huge part of Ole Miss football. Over the years the game has been a favorite for many older Ole Miss fans. LSU has dominated the series in recent years with a 19 game lead. However, we all know this is a LSU Tigers team which is still finding its way much like Ole Miss has been.
It hasn’t been an easy season for the LSU Tigers. After embarrassing losses to MSU and Troy the Tigers have rebounded to get wins over the Florida Gators and Auburn Tigers. Right now the Tigers come into Saturdays match-up with a 5-2 record and sit at 2-1 in SEC play.
Ole Miss Rebels Football
This is a well coached and talented team despite what some would have us believe. Coach Ed Orgeron has shown he can play defense with the best of the SEC and will have a strict game-plan for the Rebels.
Being a defense oriented coach we can expect to see a flurry of pressure on Shea Patterson. The LSU defense will hope disruption will force mistakes and/or turnovers by the Ole Miss offense.
However, the best way to truly gauge an opponent is to look at their stats and go from there. So let’s take a look at the LSU Tigers by the numbers on both sides of the ball.
The LSU Offense
Of course, we all know LSU has a very formidable rushing attack. They will try to dominate the line of scrimmage in order to establish the run early with a very talented stable of backs.
Derrius Guice is the Tigers leading rusher with 435 yards on 102 carries and 5 TDs. Darrell Williams is second on the Tigers offense with 79 carries for 373 yards. Williams also has 5 TDs. All total LSU running-backs have totaled 1,337 yards. LSU averages 191.0 yards rushing per game.
So much attention is placed on the running game their quarterback sometimes gets over-looked. However, they do have a veteran QB who has put up pretty impressive numbers. On the season Danny Etling is 84 of 142 for 1,252 yards passing and 7 TDs. His most impressive statistic is his 1 INT thru 7 games this season. Etling has a talented group of receivers in DJ Chark leads the team with 535 yards receiving but is deadly as a return specialist. He has 2 punt returns for TDs.
When LSU is on offense it will be critical for the Ole Miss defense to make tackles and stay in position in coverage. We saw improvement from the Crimedawg D last week against Vandy. However, they continue to give up big plays. LSU will try to take advantage of that in this game.
The LSU Defense
This is one area where the LSU Tigers have improved the most from week to week. They are the typical LSU defense. They are fast and very aggressive. We already know we are going to see a tremendous amount of pressure on Shea Patterson. This defense has three players who have been sack machines. Devin White, Christian LaCouture and Greg Gilmore have combined for 10.5 sacks thru 7 games.
Although they don’t create many turnovers in the ground game they are very aggressive in the secondary. Andraez Williams has 3 INTs and Kary Vincent Jr has 1 INT of his own. They are very fast in the secondary so there should be some exciting match-ups with Ole Miss receivers. The LSU secondary will certainly have their hands full this Saturday with the No.1 quarterback and No.1 receiver in the SEC.
The main question we are left with is which team shows up in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium this Saturday? Do we get the Ole Miss team from this past weekend or the first-half team against Auburn? The same question goes to LSU. Do they get the team which lost to Troy or the team which came back to beat Auburn this past weekend?
One thing is certain, we all know it will be a great game and the Vaught will be rocking. It doesn’t get much better than red and blue and the purple and gold banging it out in Oxford. Kickoff between the Ole Miss Rebels and the LSU Tigers is set for Saturday at 6:15pm CT. Be sure to wear red. Hotty Toddy!