Rapid Reaction: No. 12 Ole Miss shakes off slow start, whips LSU
No. 12 Ole Miss got off to a slow start, then rolled over LSU 31-17 on Saturday afternoon in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
It was Ole Miss’ first win over LSU since 2015.
The Rebels (6-1, 3-1) weren’t sure if quarterback Matt Corral would be able to play after being beat up in a victory at Tennessee a week earlier, but he led a 31-0 blitz after a scoreless first quarter.
Ole Miss celebrated the career of former quarterback Eli Manning, the school’s all-time passing leader, by painting “Manning” in both end zones and retiring his jersey No. 10 at halftime.
The celebratory tone was set when Corral had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown during a 17-0 second quarter that put the Rebels in control.
The Tigers (4-4, 2-3) were riding the momentum of a 49-42 upset win against Florida a week earlier, but couldn’t sustain it after a touchdown drive on their first possession of Ed Orgeron’s first game as the team’s lame-duck head coach.
Ole Miss held Ty Davis-Price, who rushed for a school-record 287 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Gators, to well under 100 yards and forced 3 turnovers.
LSU became more pass-oriented as the Rebels opened up their lead and Ole Miss, which had allowed an average of 531 yards in its last 3 games, harassed Max Johnson, who passed for 435 yards and accounted for 5 touchdowns in the Tigers’ 53-38 victory against the Rebels last season.
Freshman Garrett Nussmeier replaced Johnson in the 4th quarter and threw a late TD pass, the first of his career.
With the injured Corral more reluctant to run than normal, the Rebels leaned on Snoop Conner, Jerrion Ealy and Henry Parrish Jr., and wound up with more than 230 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Conner led the way with 117 yards. Ealy added 97, which included a 36-yard TD run.
Parrish ran 5 yards for a touchdown on Ole Miss’ first possession of the 3rd quarter to increase the Rebels’ lead to 24-7.
Ealy added a 36-yard touchdown run that gave Ole Miss a 31-7 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.
On LSU’s first possession, Johnson had completions of 4, 44, 44 and 9 yards, leading to Davis-Price’s 1-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers were poised to increase their lead on their next possession, but on 4th-and-goal from the 3, Johnson was intercepted by Tysheem Johnson, leaving the score at 7-0 at the end of the period.
The Rebels drove 74 yards in 13 plays and Caden Costa kicked a 43-yard field goal to pull them within 7-3 early in the second quarter.
LSU again moved into position to extend its lead, but Cade York missed a 55-yard field goal, ending a streak of 18 consecutive field goals he had made.
Ole Miss drove to set up Corral’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Casey Kelly for a 10-7 lead.
After the Tigers’ only punt of the half, Corral led an 80-yard drive, running 3 yards for a touchdown with 15 seconds left, giving the Rebels a 17-7 halftime lead.