LSU did not enter the red zone until there were fewer than ten minutes remaining in the game, but rode a series of explosive touchdowns to a 38-21 win over Ole Miss Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
The spark for LSU came from Leonard Fournette who was playing his first game in October. The junior running back set an LSU record with 284 rushing yards, his fifth career 200 plus rushing yard game (breaking his tie with Kevin Faulk for 200 yard performances).
It was not so much the yardage but the explosiveness of Fournette’s carries that sparked the Fighting Tigers through a trio of touchdown runs of 59, 76 and 78 yards. Add onto that a 40 yard touchdown pass from Danny Etling to D.J. Chark and the Tigers rode those big scores to their win as the defense shut out Chad Kelly and the Ole Miss offense in the second half.
The first half of the game was a back and forth affair as the Ole Miss defense stiffled LSU on their first few series while the Rebels opened a 10-0 lead. LSU fought back to a 21-13 lead but the Rebels tied the game shortly before halftime on a short Akeem Judd touchdown run after Marquis Haynes forced a fumble in the LSU redzone.
The second half would be a different story as the LSU defense led by Jamal Adams clamped down and kept the Rebels from gaining more than 12 yards on any (non-complete junk time) drives in the closing half of the game.
1) Ole Miss Second Half Struggles Continue
While it will not garner the headlines the blown leads did earlier in the season against Florida State and Alabama, the Ole Miss offense struggled mightily in the second half. The offense accounted for 104 second half yards and 50 of those yards were on the final drive of the game with the winning margin secured. The Ole Miss offense was hampered by ankle injuries to Jordan Sims and Rod Taylor during tonight’s game, but failed to protect Chad Kelly adequately or open any rushing holes throughout the closing half of the game.
2) Leonard Fournette
These need no words...
3) LSU Still has a Chance in the West
With two weeks to prepare for Alabama at home and Florida to come at home along with roadtrips to Arkansas and Texas A&M, the Tigers could still be in the SEC West race if they can beat Alabama. They would need help, but would hold a potential tiebreaker over Alabama with a win November 5. The Iron Bowl is looking tougher and tougher as Auburn is coming on strong and while Alabama is still obviously the strong favorite in the West, LSU could offer the best chance for another team to make it to Atlanta.