As Rebels prepare for LSU, here’s what we learned from Tigers’ win over Florida
Ole Miss has yet another off week late in the season, but there is still one regular-season game on the slate. The Rebels are scheduled to head to Baton Rouge next week to battle LSU for the Magnolia Trophy on December 19.
The Tigers did not have the advantage of having the day off Saturday. LSU had to go to Gainesville to take on No. 6 Florida. If the Gators thought it was going to be a walk-through before the SEC title game, LSU proved anything but a pushover.
A 23-point underdog, LSU stunned the Gators, 37-34, to likely end Florida’s chances for a berth in the college football playoffs.
LSU upset No. 6 Florida with this 57 yard field goal!
What a finish!
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) December 13, 2020
Any team that can pull off that kind of upset has heart and must be taken seriously.
What we learned from the Florida game: The cupboard is not bare for head coach Ed Orgeron. In his first career start, Max Johnson looked like an SEC quarterback and the Tigers’ defense frustrated Florida all night long. The defense used a combination of players that looked as if they came from the Island of Misfit Toys from ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’ Even though the LSU season can easily be called a disappointment, there are still athletes in Baton Rouge, and they are there for a reason.
The boys in purple and gold can still play SEC football.
What to look out for: In addition to the momentum of the biggest upset in the conference this season, LSU can have a “there is no tomorrow” attitude.
This will be the final game of the season for the Tigers, so look for Orgeron to throw the kitchen sink out on the Death Valley turf. With a long break ahead to get healthy – from injuries and COVID-19 layoffs – everyone is going to be available for the Tigers and even with a true freshman quarterback, LSU will not leave anything in its playbook.
What can be exploited: Attrition. LSU is low on numbers. There have been injuries, preseason opt outs and in-season opt outs. Saturday, Florida kept a more methodical approach to allow the Tigers to not expend a lot of energy. Ole Miss has a much more up-tempo offense that could wear the undermanned Tigers down in the second half.
Which Rebels could have a big day: The usual suspects. LSU is undermanned and they are young. Derek Stingley, Jr., is the best defensive back on the Tigers’ roster, but he missed the Florida game with an injury. Stingley, even when healthy, would have his hands full with Elijah Moore, Dontario Drummond, Jonathan Mingo, Braylon Sanders and tight end Kenny Yeboah. With Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner at his disposal in the backfield, Matt Corral might have his choice of weapons.
Matt Corral with a casual 55-yard flick of the wrist
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 28, 2020
Who to look out for in the white jerseys: On offense, Chris Curry wearing number 18. He is a punishing running back and what is scarier, he appears to enjoy the contact. The Ole Miss front seven will have to play more physically than it has so far this season to not only keep Curry from breaking tackles and gaining extra yardage, but on short third downs, he can easily gain three or four yards.
Defensively, linebacker Jabril Cox. Number 19 is a versatile player who can move from sideline to sideline. Not only is he agile and fast enough to stay with Ealy and Conner out of the backfield, but he could also put extra pressure on Corral in the pocket. Moreover, Cox is a graduate transfer from North Dakota State. During his time with the Bison, NDSU won three consecutive FCS national championships, so this season has not been acceptable to his standards. This will be his last college game since LSU has banned itself from a bowl this season, and bet your last dime this man wants to go out a winner.
Trends: Although prior to the win over the Gators. LSU had lost two straight, but they were to Alabama and Texas A&M. If a team is going to lose consecutive games, those two would be the logical candidates.
The Rebels have won three straight games on the field but probably felt as if they lost another one to the monotony of another open date.
What we can look for: A war of wills. Ole Miss wants to turn the game into a track meet to have the Tigers gasping for breath the entire time. LSU wants to force the Rebels into as many three-and-outs as possible so it can get the ball back and melt time off the clock.
Kickoff in Baton Rouge is set for 2:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. The contest will be televised by either ESPN, the SEC Network, or the SEC Network Alternate channel.