Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
OXFORD, MS: The Tigers went into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday afternoon hoping to build on last weekend's success by upsetting the #12 ranked Rebels. Instead they were embarrassed by a hungry team looking to not only establish themselves as one of the top teams in the SEC, but also as one of the top teams in the country.
Ole Miss dominated the Tigers at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Defensively the Rebels shut down the LSU running game, then began an all out assault on Max Johnson, sacking him five times and forcing three turnovers. On offense Ole Miss battering the LSU defense on the ground, rushing for 266 yards on their way to a 31-17 victory.
The Tigers actually started the game fast, taking an early 7-0 lead, then threatened to add to it. But a failed 4th and goal attempt from the three yard line, instead of settling for a Cade York field goal, opened an avalanche of 31 unanswered points by the Rebels.
Once again LSU was out-played and out-coached throughout the contest. With the loss the Tigers fall to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the SEC...
On their first possession LSU would drive 90 yards in nine plays to go up 7-0 as Ty Davis-Price would punch it into the end zone from 1 yard out with 8:29 to go in the 1st quarter. The Tigers picked up where they left off last week with the running attack, as they ran the ball successfully five times on the drive. But the highlight of the drive came on 2nd and 6 from their own 35 when Max Johnson would find Trey Palmer deep down the middle of the field for a 44 yard gain down to the Ole Miss 28 yard line.
The Tigers again put together a nice drive on their next possession going 72 yards on 14 plays, but on 4th and goal from the three, Ed Orgeron decided to go for it. Max Johnson rolled left and threw an interception to Tysheem Johnson at the half yard line to end the scoring threat.
The Rebel offense would finally show signs of life, starting their drive with three straight successful runs to move the ball out from the shadow of their goal post. The drive however would stall at the LSU 25 yard line, forcing Ole Miss to settle for a 43 yard field goal by Caden Costa, cutting the LSU lead to 7-3 with 10:44 to go in the first half.
The Tigers would miss out on another scoring opportunity as Cade York missed his first field goal of the season from 55 yards out after driving 38 yards on 9 plays with 6:23 left on the clock.
Ole Miss continued to run at the LSU defense on their next possession, finding room for huge gains by Jerrion Ealy as the Rebels would take their first lead of the contest. Matt Corral hit tight end Casey Kelly in the end zone for a two yard touchdown to end a 7 play, 63 yard drive.
After a quick three-and-out by LSU, the Rebels would respond with another scoring drive, going 80 yards in nine plays with Matt Corral running it in from 3 yards out to put Ole Miss up by ten at the half. 17-7....
Ole Miss would begin to pour it on in the second half, scoring two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter. One came on their first possession of the second half, going 66 yards on 10 plays with Henry Parrish scoring on a five yard run. The second would come on a 6 play, 62 yard drive, when Jerrion Ealy would break a 36 yard touchdown run on 3rd and 12.
Meanwhile LSU's offense sputtered throughout the quarter as the Ole Miss defense shut down the Tigers running game, then began to put heavy pressure on Max Johnson, forcing him to turn the ball over twice on fumbles. The game would head to the 4th quarter with the Rebels holding commanding 31-7 lead.
With 12:05 left in the contest, Ed Orgeron decided to insert Garrett Nussmeier into the game. Nussmeier would then lead the
Tigers on a 14 play, 51 yard drive, ending it with a 47 yard Cade York field goal, pulling LSU to within 31-10 with 7:28 left on the clock.
The LSU offense continued to show signs of life late in the 4th quarter with Garrett Nussmeier at the controls, this time going 80 yards in six plays, ending with Nussmeier firing a dart to Malik Nabers in the end zone for a 9 yard touchdown pass. 31-17 Rebels with 3:55 left.
*Max Johnson found himself under constant pressure after the Ole Miss defense made the necessary adjustments to shut down the LSU running game. He would finish 13-21, 146 yards passing, 1 interception before being replaced by Garrett Nussmeier early in the 4th quarter. Nussmeier played well on his two drives leading the offense to 10 points. He would go 7-12, 103 yards passing with 1 touchdown pass.
*Ty Davis-Price led the team in rushing with 53 yards on 17 carries and 1 touchdown. Corey Kiner had some nice carries late in the game as he finished with 49 yards on 10 touches. The Tigers managed only 77 total yards rushing in the game.
*Johnson and Nussmeier spread the ball around to several different receivers. Jaray Jenkins totaled 52 yards on four grabs.. Jack Bech added 41 yards on four catches.. and Malik Nabers finished with 30 yards on four catches and a touchdown.
*On defense Damone Clark had a fantastic game, finishing with a career high 20 tackles. He also added 2.5 TFL, and 1 sack. No doubt he was the player of the game... "I'm so proud of Damone Clark." Orgeron said. "He's playing like an All-American. So proud of Damone. He's all over the field making tackles. He's a tremendous leader. He's having a fantastic year and we're very proud of him."
Jay Ward and Micah Baskerville both added 9 tackles each, while B.J. Ojulari had 7 tackles and a sack.
Next the Tigers have a bye week before traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama on November 6th.. TBA