LSU rushing offense vs. Ole Miss rushing defense
The Tigers suffered through their worst rushing performance of the year against Alabama, but the Crimson Tide brought perhaps the nation's top front four to Baton Rouge last week. The talent Ole Miss brings to Tiger Stadium is not on the same level, but the Rebels could benefit if LSU becomes as predictable as they were last weekend.
LSU passing offense vs. Ole Miss pass defense
The timing and accuracy of Marcus Randall are nowhere near where they need to be for the LSU passing game to be at its most effective. Look for Rick Clausen to enter the game early and for LSU to keep things very simple, perhaps reverting back to the shovel and screen passes that worked well against Kentucky. The Rebels do not have the stingy pass defense they fielded a year ago, but they should still make trouble for the Tigers.
Advantage: Ole Miss
Ole Miss rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense
The Rebels have used a carousel approach in the backfield for most of the season, and Tremaine Turner appears to be the pony they will ride for the time being. Ponchatoula product Ronald McClendon provides a change of pace that could cause LSU trouble if they commit to hard to the straight-ahead approach of Turner.
Ole Miss passing offense vs. LSU passing defense
Eli Manning is not having the year most expected from him, but his problems stem mostly from the injuries that have ravaged his receiving corps. Still, the youngest of the Archie Who bunch is capable of breaking open a game at any time and could pick upon an LSU defense that is trying to get several bodies healthy.
LSU special teams vs. Alabama special teams
Domanick Davis didn't enjoy good blocking from the return units against Alabama, but he still brings more potential to the game that Rebel returner Jason Armstead. Donnie Jones is punting well, which greatly aids the Tigers in the battle for field position.
Bowl eligibility is at stake for Ole Miss, while LSU is playing to keep itself in the SEC West title hunt. The Rebels were able to take a win from Baton Rouge last year but know their current squad falls short of the one that beat the Tigers in 2001. If history is a good indicator, Nick Saban will once again find a way to get his team to play well with its back against the wall. It's a shame the Tigers can't do that before they get in that position.
Ole Miss will try to put LSU in the same tough predicament Alabama did last weekend. The Rebels need to force the Tigers to pass by shutting down the run, and then keep them off-balance with a pass-to-run approach on offense. The keys for LSU will be establishing some sort of passing game - with either Clausen or Randall - and containing the misdirection plays from the Rebels' running attack. The Tigers are the more talented and physical team here, and that should be enough to earn them the victory.
Predicted score: LSU 27, Ole Miss 13
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