From the opening possession of the game, this one had the feeling of a big LSU win.

If you got that feeling early on, you were proven to be correct.

After the pregame honoring of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims, Sims was gunned down early Friday morning, setting the scene for an emotional evening but one that was also the scene for the latest showcase of Ed Orgeron’s improving football team. When the dust had settled in Death Valley, close to midnight local time, LSU stood tall with a 45-16 victory over SEC West foe Ole Miss.

On the first possession of the game, Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu threw an interception to LSU safety Grant Delpit, and it was pretty much all downhill for the Rebels after that initial turnover. Coach Orgeron got his third victory in a row against his former squad from Oxford, and the Tigers improved their record to 5-0 in Death Valley on Saturday night. On the flip side, Ole Miss drops to 3-2 on the season taking an 0-2 conference mark into October.

The game was a methodical performance from the Tigers’ offense, who went six plays for 81 yards, nine plays for 71 yards, 12 plays for 83 yards during the second, third and fourth possessions, respectively, of the game for LSU. Each possession ended in a touchdown and gave the Tigers an early 21-3 lead — one they would not cede for the rest of the game.

By no coincidence, LSU’s best offensive performance of the day coincided with Joe Burrow’s best performance of his young Tiger career. The team’s starting quarterback completed 18 of 25 throws for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He also nearly rushed for 100 yards, as he racked up 96 yards on the ground and another score.

In total, the Tigers finished with 573 offensive yards in the game — 292 passing, 281 rushing — against the defensively-challenged Ole Miss unit. LSU’s defense held Ole Miss to 178 passing yards and to five of 15 on third downs. Ole Miss also only scored one touchdown in the entire game.

Jordan Ta’amu finished the game completing 19 of 38 throws for 178 yards and was held without a touchdown. He threw only the one interception. Rebel running back Scottie Phillips nearly broke the century mark, going for 96 yards on 16 carries. He had the lone touchdown of the night for Ole Miss.

It’s difficult which part of this contest was most disappointing for the Rebels: the continued lack of success for the offense against a quality opponent, the lack of progress displayed by the defense (for what seems like the second consecutive season) or the massive amount of penalties in the game (17 for 167 on the night).

The win by LSU sets up a huge game next weekend as the Tigers travel to Gainesville to face a 4-1 Florida team. Ole Miss returns to Oxford next weekend to face Louisiana-Monroe.