In a game that was at times hard to watch but exciting at the end, LSU got a huge win by beating Ole Miss 10-7.
The Rebels' one and only score came shortly before the first quarter ended. It was an 80-yard drive that only took six plays and 1:12 on the clock thanks in large part to long completions from Bo Wallace to Jaylen Walton (43 yards), Laquon Treadwell (27 yards), and Cody Core (15 yards, TD). Ole Miss was able to get some chunks like that here and there, but only on that drive did they get enough to score. The resurgent LSU defense looked a lot better here than it did early in the season, harassing Wallace on drop backs and mostly stuffing the regular run game.
LSU wasted a pair of golden scoring opportunities in that first quarter, with Colby Delahoussaye missing a 28-yard field goal after a 63-yard drive and Leonard Fournette fumbling at the goal line after a 69-yard drive. They had four turnovers on the evening, in fact, which hampered their ability to get the scoreboard to match their big advantage in yardage and time of possession.
Besides those two early drives, the LSU offense could only sustain two other long drives. They were all they ended up needing though. They were both a tour de force of the old school power rushing game that Les Miles loves so dearly. The Tigers chewed up 9:07 of the second quarter on a 17 play, 90 yard drive where Delahoussaye did nail the field goal at the end. LSU ran it 13 times compared to only three passes (the 17th play being the field goal itself). Fournette and Terrence Magee did most of the work, with Magee even catching the one completed pass of the three.
They would outdo themselves in the fourth quarter, though. There they engineered a 13 play, 95 yard drive in 5:59 where every play was a run except for the touchdown pass at the end from Anthony Jennings to Logan Stokes. Fournette and Kenny Hilliard largely did the honors on this one. When LSU needed it most, its offensive line dominated the Rebels' front seven with the running backs breaking tackles as need be.
Ole Miss had a couple of chances late, as there was still a little over five minutes to go after LSU's go-ahead touchdown. On the first drive, Ole Miss got the ball at its own 32 and only made it 15 yards before turning it over on downs. On 4th-and-1 after an inside run, Hugh Freeze called for a hurry up quarterback sneak as he often does. The execution was poor though, as LSU's front flooded the line and prevented Wallace from getting anywhere. Ole Miss had all of its timeouts left, so after using them up after three ineffective LSU runs, the Rebels had one more chance.
Wallace was scattershot all night, and this drive was no different. He did manage to convert a 4th-and-9 with a nice 12-yard pass to Markell Pack, and he followed it up with a 13-yard completion to Treadwell. He made a terrible decision to chuck up a long pass on the next play, but LSU's Jalen Mills bailed him out by basically tackling the intended receiver Pack before it was picked off. A few plays later with nine seconds to go, the Rebels were too slow in getting the field goal unit out and incurred a delay of game. It pushed the try back from 42 yards to 47 yards.
Miles iced the kicker with a timeout, after which Freeze inexplicably sent his offense back out with another play. Wallace tried to be a hero instead of following his coach's instruction and made another terrible throw, one that Ronald Martin picked off cleanly this time. Ball game.
Bad Bo came out in this one, as he completed just 42% (14-for-33) for 176 yards (5.3 YPA) with a touchdown and the game sealing interception. Fournette lead LSU with 113 rushing yards, while Magee had 74 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving.
For Ole Miss, this is one that definitely got away. There is the matter of the delay of game in a pretty clear field goal kicking situation; it's unclear why it took so long for the offense to come off the field. There is the final offensive play instead of just kicking it. There is the matter of being unable to get the defense off the field when it mattered most in the fourth quarter. Overall though, Ole Miss's offense just never looked in sync or on the right track. For all the games to lay an egg, this was a bad one. Wallace looked like the guy who kept the team an also-ran the past couple of years, not the one who made them a contender.
For LSU, it's a real sign of progress. The young guys all over the roster are growing up, and they fulfilled some of their immense promise tonight. Quarterback is still a problem that won't get solved this year, but the defense has made some real strides and Fournette has turned into the workhorse he was billed to be.
Ole Miss might be the team coming out of this that still controls its destiny in the West, but it feels like a crushing blow to the team while LSU got some momentum. Strap yourselves in, folks. It's going to be a wild November in the West.