Ole Miss got their campaign back on track with a 55-49 shoot-out win over rivals LSU. In what was a do or die game, the offense shrugged off the Alabama performance, while the defense stepped up to win a thriller.
Ole Miss started fast, going 75 yards in 14 plays, ending with a TD pass to RB Quinshon Judkins on 4th and goal from the LSU 4 yard line. It was a perfect response to last week’s poor offensive showing, with up tempo play calling, while also getting a handful of players involved.
The fast start continued on defense, when Daijahn Anthony walloped LSU QB Jayden Daniels to cause a fumble, recovered by Trey Washington. Three offensive plays later RB Ulysses Bently IV dashed through the LSU defense for a 43 yard touchdown.
LSU answered back with a Brian Thomas Jr TD, however, the Rebels were feeling themselves on offense. Four plays it took this time, Jaxson Dart dropping a pass over the Tigers linebackers to Jordan Watkins, who took it 63 yards to the house.
Everything was clicking on offense, Judkins was finding holes and Jaxson Dart was throwing like his arm was a heat seeking missile launcher. When the run game is working for Ole Miss, the play action plays are effective.
LSU answered back again to make it 21-14, but again Ole Miss marched down the field. Judkins broke off a 37 yard run to get the offense in the red zone. A few plays later a pair of crossing routes had the LSU defense confused, leading to a wide open Dayton Wade, who made it 4 TDs from 5 offensive possessions.
The 6th offensive possession ended with a field goal, after a big Judkins run was called back for offensive holding. The play would have put Ole Miss at 1st and goal, instead putting them in 1st and 20 at the LSU 25 yard line. A thriller of a half ended at 31-28, with another TD throw for Daniels.
Ole Miss surrendered the lead for the first time on the first possession of the second half. A couple of avoidable penalties from the Rebels, helped LSU on their way to the TD. The fans starting to get that dreaded deja vu feeling, after last season’s game in Baton Rouge.
The defense failing to halt the high powered LSU offense was becoming a huge concern. This, along with the penalty count creeping up, affecting offensive drives. It nearly happened again, after a holding call brought another positive Judkins play back. This time Ole Miss continued the drive, with Judkins getting in the end zone. The failed 2 point conversion kept it at a 2 point game.
Then, the Ole Miss defense finally got a stop, forcing a punt for LSU. However, the offense could not capitalize, turning the ball over on downs at the LSU 45. They were made to pay, with a very questionable TD call in favour of LSU. It clearly looked as though Thomas Jr did not have full control of the ball. The officials disagreed and the Rebels trailed by 9.
A quick reply from Ole Miss, courtesy of a QB sneak from Jaxson Dart, again made it a 1 score game. The defense used that momentum from the offense and got themselves another stop, giving the offense a chance to put together a winning drive .
This time the offense made no mistake, running the ball down the throats of the LSU defense and into the red zone. Jaxson Dart then found Tre Harris, who made a nice move on the defender and into the end zone for the TD. Judkins then ran in the 2 point conversion to make it a 6 point game.
Over to the Rebels defense, with 39 seconds on the clock for the LSU offense. The Tigers managed to get the ball into the red zone with 12 seconds left. 1st chance, broke up by Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, leaving one last play to hold onto a big win. They did just that to complete a big victory for Ole Miss and result in a storming of the field from the fans.
The win now has the Rebels sitting at 4-1, with a big conference win over LSU. The SEC West title is still not out of sight for Lane Kiffin’s side. The thriller was what fans expected from the game, with Ole Miss pleased they are on the right side of the result.