How it Happened
Well, it was a tale of two halves much like it was for LSU against Southern Miss. This time, it was a different team from Mississippi that came to town and got beat up in the second half by the Tigers. Ole Miss was tied with LSU at halftime 21-21, but Chad Kelly and the Rebels offense couldn't get things going in the second half. Ole Miss jumped out to a 10-0 lead by taking advantage of matchups and LSU's inability to get anything going on offense.
In the second half, the Tigers locked it down on defense en route to holding Kelly to his lowest passing total of the season (209 yards) and the Ole Miss offense to its lowest yardage total (325 yards). LSU's offense got just enough from Leonard Fournette to help get the Tigers past the Rebels. By just enough, that means 284 yards and setting the single-game rushing record for LSU. LSU's offense scored the final 17 points of the contest and cruised to a big win over the Rebels to retake the Magnolia Bowl trophy.
What it Means
The Ed Orgeron train continues as the Tigers move to 3-0 under Coach O with the team coming back down to earth a bit in the first half before dominating Ole Miss in the second half. LSU has some things to correct offensively. Namely, turnovers and inconsistency from Danny Etling, but as Etling started really his first big SEC game, there were some growing pains. Ole Miss was also able to take advantage of some miscues on defense early, but in general, the defense was stout, especially in the second half.
Player of the Game: Leonard Fournette
No secret here. In his return to his LSU team, Fournette set an LSU single-game rushing record with 16 carries for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Fournette averaged over 17 yards per play and also added three catches for 25 yards. Fournette was a monster for the Tigers as he scored on runs of 59, 76 and 78 yards on the night. The explosive running back that was hampered by an ankle injury was the workhorse that LSU needed.
After averaging over 10 yards per play on offense against Southern Miss, the Tigers averaged over eight yards per play. Ole Miss averaged just 4.8 yards per play.
A bye week for the Tigers before LSU hosts Alabama on November 5 in Tiger Stadium. It was a big game before, but it just got even bigger.