When: Noon ET/11 a.m. CT, Saturday, November 4, 2017
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
TV coverage: SEC Network
Online stream: WatchESPN
All-time series: Ole Miss leads 4-0
Last meeting: 56-15 Ole Miss, 2015, Oxford
Odds (via oddsshark.com): Ole Miss -20, O/U 67
Coming off last week’s last minute win over Kentucky, Ole Miss returns home for their final non-conference game of the year as the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns travel to Oxford.
The Cajuns enter the game 4-4 and 2-2 in the Sunbelt with a win over (Ole Miss’ 2017 season opening opponent) South Alabama last week. For the year, like Ole Miss, defense has been a struggle for UL. Their S&P+ defensive ranking is 119th (of 130 teams) and no single defensive category ranks higher than 104th.
That struggling defense was apparent from the beginning of the year when FCS Southeastern Louisiana posted 48 points, 2-8 Tulsa posted 42 points and Texas A&M racked up 31 second half points after the Cajuns led 21-14 at halftime.
While Ole Miss has looked to stretch the field deep frequently under first year offensive coordinator Phil Longo, the running game has been somewhat productive in recent weeks. While only 91 rushing yards were picked up at Kentucky last week, the previous three SEC games had the Rebels post at least 5.46 yards per carry and more than 150 yards.
That relative success could play a role on Saturday. UL has given up more than 250 rushing yards four times in 2017 and has already yielded 25 rushing touchdowns. Look for Ole Miss running backs Jordan Wilkins, Eric Swinney and D’Vaughn Pennamon to get plenty of looks to establish a rhythm.
UL’s coaching staff is headlined by Mississippi natives including head coach Mark Hudspeth, a Delta State alumnus who previously coached at Mississippi State, and offensive coordinator Will Hall, a native of Amory whose father is a storied Mississippi high school football coach.
Ole Miss looks to establish the running game early, but has more success with the run game as the game goes on. UL moves the ball well against the Rebels in the first half, but Ole Miss pulls away in the second half.
Ole Miss 34, Louisiana-Lafayette 14