Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
In a couple of years, this will be the kind of game that Ole Miss might be able to win. But what about this season?
It's always nice to be able to give a big underdog facing a conference title contender (however long the odds) a real chance of winning the game. Perhaps even spring the upset, while warning that it might not happen.
Unfortunately, this isn't the kind of game where you would be wise to make that pick. A year or two down the road, and it wouldn't be a crazy thing to select Hugh Freeze's rising program to pull the upset against LSU. But LSU is just too good in too many places this year for a team that is still recovering from Houston Nutt.
The most daunting number for the Rebels going into this game might be three. That's how many of LSU's ten opponents that have been able to score more than 20 points this year. (Towson, South Carolina and Alabama, if you were wondering. No, even trends don't make sense when Les Miles is running the ship.) Ole Miss hasn't won game all year when the Rebels don't win at least 20 points.
In fact, offense is Ole Miss' calling card under Hugh Freeze. They're not world-beaters on that side of the ball or anything, but the Rebels rank sixth in the SEC in total offense and tenth in total defense. If Mississippi really hopes to win this game, it's going to have to turn it into a shootout, and LSU's defense really doesn't do shootouts.
At the same time, the LSU offense seems to be getting its act together. The Tigers have generated 392 yards or more of total offense in three of their last four games. Zach Mettenberger has looked markedly better the last two weeks -- including in his game against Alabama's defense -- and LSU is once again resembling the team we thought they would be at the beginning of the year. Too bad for Ole Miss, though we'll give them a consolation prize of sorts.
LSU 34, Ole Miss 20