Three and Out: Clutch late drive, stout defense spur LSU to upset of Ole Miss
No. 24 LSU proved again Saturday why it’s hard to win a night game in Death Valley. The Tigers scored on a late drive and stepped up on defense to grab a 10-7 win over previously unbeaten Ole Miss. Here are three thoughts from LSU’s victory.
1. LSU’s go-ahead drive was vintage LSU
Down 7-3 with 11:06 to play, LSU set up shop at its own 5-yard line. The Tigers needed to move down the entire field against one of the toughest defenses in the country late in a game in which they hadn’t reached the end zone through three-plus quarters.
But Ole Miss’s defense, seemingly gassed, couldn’t get LSU off the field. The Tigers’ rushing duo of Kenny Hilliard and Leonard Fournette spearheaded a 13-play, 95-yard drive that included 12 straight runs. Once LSU reached the Ole Miss 3-yard line, Anthony Jennings dropped back and hit Logan Stokes from three yards out for the go-ahead score.
The Tigers dared Ole Miss and its front seven to stop their running game, and the Rebels couldn’t do it. This was the LSU power run game we'd come to expect in years past.
2. Bad Bo showed up for Ole Miss
For as long as anyone can remember, there have been two Bo Wallaces: Good Bo and Bad Bo. Good Bo can be as effective as any quarterback in the country. But Bad Bo? He can be one of the worst. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, Bad Bo showed his face a little too much Saturday night.
Wallace completed only 14-of-34 passes for 177 yards, one touchdown and one interception on the night. He overthrew receivers on a number of occasions and couldn’t keep the Rebels’ offense on the field (5-17 on third down). Though Wallace moved Ole Miss down the field on a potential game-tying drive, he essentially threw two picks on that series. The first was negated by an LSU penalty, but the final one -- a pick by Ronald Martin at the goal line -- sealed the game with two seconds to play.
LSU’s defense brought great pressure on Wallace. When the Ole Miss passer isn’t on, this Rebels’ offense can struggle. That's what happened in a hostile environment Saturday.
3. Suddenly, LSU isn’t dead
Most had written off the Tigers’ SEC chances prior to this weekend, as they hadn’t looked their usual dominant self. Now LSU appears more dangerous than ever.
The Tigers had already lost to two SEC West foes -- Mississippi State and Auburn -- currently ranked in the top five before Saturday. But LSU has looked like a revitalized team in the last two weeks. It enjoyed a 41-3 clobbering of Kentucky last week. This week, it was an upset of a national championship contender.
This win comes at a great time. The Tigers now enter a bye week before welcoming Alabama to Baton Rouge on Nov. 8. Maybe there’s still some magic left in coach Les Miles’s program, which suddenly looks like a spoiler -- and maybe more -- in the SEC West race.