The SEC West Championship and a trip to the conference title game in early December are still within reach for No.12 Ole Miss, and he will look to keep those hopes alive on Saturday when he hosts LSU in the Magnolia Bowl. The Rebels are coming out of a savage victory over Tennessee, which included a 20-minute delay after Volunteer fans dumped garbage on the pitch. Meanwhile, the Tigers knocked out Florida in Death Valley to break a two-game losing streak, but still fired coach Ed Orgeron the next day.
Make no mistake about it, however. This game is personal for players, coaches and respective fan bases. LSU is on a five-game winning streak in the series, but it’s the best chance Ole Miss has had since the Hugh Freeze era.
Let’s break the game down and make choices up and against the spread.
LSU vs. Ole Miss: need to know
Change of identity: LSU’s rushed offense was so bad that Orgeron essentially gave up trying at the start of the season. That has changed over the past two weeks, however. Tyrion Davis-Price rushed for 147 and two touchdowns in the loss to Kentucky, then a school record 287 yards and three touchdowns against the Gators. It couldn’t have happened at a better time, too. Star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is lost for the season due to an ankle injury, which has put enormous pressure on second-year quarterback Max Johnson. The emergence of the racing game is timely; if successful, he will keep the powerful Ole Miss attack on the sidelines.
Matt Corral Status: Rebels coach Lane Kiffin told reporters Corral’s status was uncertain after the star quarterback threw the ball 30 times against the Vols. Is it lip service? Orgeron appeared to think so during his media availability on Monday, but that doesn’t mean Corral is at 100%, either. It will be interesting to see if Kiffin releases his Heisman Trophy hope on the ground again or protects him by relying more on his running backs.
Feeling of relief? The inevitable became reality on Sunday when LSU announced it would be parting ways with Orgeron after the season. The two sides discussed how the divorce has been brewing for the past few weeks, which makes Florida’s win even more impressive. What does this mean, however? Did the LSU players have any idea what was to come and did they inspire their coach? Don’t be surprised if they play fast and freely now that a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
How to watch LSU vs. Ole Miss live
Dated: Saturday 23 October | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Site: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium – Oxford, Mississippi
TV: CBS | Direct: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (free)
LSU vs Ole Miss prediction, pick
Featured Game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. LSU Tigers
Davis-Price’s excellent back-to-back games give me confidence that, at the very least, the Tigers can hang on. The Rebels’ defense has been brutal this season and the best way to keep Kiffin’s offense close at hand is to keep it on the sidelines. When you ask about Corral’s health, it feels like it’s going to be a late-game headache – which is normal for the Rebels lately. Prediction: LSU (+9.5)
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