10 bold predictions for LSU vs. Ole Miss
No. 5 LSU is 4-0 overall and trying to get to 2-0 in the SEC.
Ole Miss is 3-1 and trying to show it can be more competitive in the SEC than it was in a 62-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama in its conference opener two weeks ago.
The Rebels can throw the ball and the Tigers can defend.
It’s the end of September and the SEC race is heating up.
Here are 10 bold predictions for the 107th meeting in this historic rivalry, which takes place Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
LSU will start fast
It has happened every game. The Tigers led Miami 33-3. Led Southeastern Louisiana 24-0. Led Auburn 10-0. Led Louisiana Tech 24-0. But …
The fast start will be followed by a lull
This has happened every game too. Miami got within two scores with most of the fourth quarter left. SLU held LSU scoreless for nearly half the game after the early barrage. Auburn scored 21 consecutive points to take an 11-point lead before LSU rallied. Louisiana Tech scored 21 consecutive points to get within three points before the Tigers pulled away.
Nick Brossette and Clyde Edwards-Helaire will combine to rush for nearly 200 yards
Brossette was the dominant back for the first three games. Edwards-Helaire got more involved against Auburn. Both were effective against Louisiana Tech, Edwards-Helaire getting more than 100 yards and 2 touchdowns and Brossette scoring 3 touchdowns. The Tigers’ offensive line is beat up, but it should be fine against the Rebels undersized front, enabling both backs to have big nights. Still …
Ole Miss will get to Joe Burrow
The Tigers’ line will have more trouble with the Rebels’ quickness in the passing game than the running game. Ole Miss’ line produced 7 sacks and 13 tackles for loss against Kent State last week. Yeah, that was Kent State, but Burrow has faced pressure during the first four games. He has been sacked in each game, twice in each of the first three games and once last week. He generally has remained cool but will face some heat again.
Foster Moreau will get his first touchdown catch of the season
The LSU passing game remains a work in progress as the young receivers have been slow to evolve. Dee Anderson and Justin Jefferson have had a few moments and Derrick Dillon had the huge 71-yard touchdown against Auburn. But last week, Moreau stepped up to catch 4 balls after having just 2 through 3 games. The senior tight end might be the most dependable target for Burrow right now and he’ll be effective near the goal line. Speaking of the goal line …
LSU will remain perfect in the red zone
That doesn’t mean the Tigers will score a touchdown down every time they reach the red zone, it means they will score every time they reach the red zone, which has been the case in all 16 red-zone visits through four games. The Tigers were last in the SEC in red-zone efficiency last season, but Jerry Sullivan’s scheme, Steve Ensminger’s play-calling, Burrow’s efficiency, the run game’s productivity and Cole Tracy’s accuracy have all contributed to significant improvement. LSU will eventually come up short in the red zone, but not this week.
A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf will score touchdowns
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Ole Miss probably has the best receiving tandem the Tigers will face this season and they’ll show why. LSU had lapses against Louisiana Tech’s receivers last week and they won’t be able to contain Brown and Metcalf the whole time. But …
Greedy Williams will get an interception
He has a habit of making big plays in big games. This isn’t the biggest game of the season, but it presents perhaps the biggest challenge for Williams and he’ll respond with his third interception of the season somewhere along the way.
The LSU special teams will make at least one big play
It could be a Tracy field goal. It could be a big return. It could be a blocked kick or a takeaway. The Tigers’ special teams are vastly improved under first-year coordinator Greg McMahon and someone on one of the units will make a big play.
Tiger Stadium will be Tiger Stadium
Southeastern Louisiana and Louisiana Tech didn’t attract the best that LSU’s homefield advantage has to offer. But this game has all the necessary elements – SEC opponent, hated rival, kickoff after dark, national TV audience. It’ll start rocking well before kickoff and continue past midnight if necessary.