LSU/Ole Miss pre-game notes

The Ole Miss Rebels (6-4, 3-3 SEC) travel to Baton Rouge on Saturday to take on the 18th ranked LSU Tigers (7-3, 3-3 SEC). Senior Day will see 20 players honored, making it one of the winningest graduating classes in the history of the LSU program.

Saturday's game will mark the 97th meeting between the two in a series that dates back to 1894.

 

The Tigers are coming off a 40-31 win over Troy last week, a game that saw LSU record the biggest comeback in school history. The Tigers trailed 31-3 in the third quarter before scoring 37 unanswered points on their way to the win.

 

The Rebels enter the game on a different note, shutting out Louisiana-Monroe 59-0 last weekend.

 

Ole Miss' four losses have come by a total of 19 points, including a four-point loss to Alabama.

 

On Oct. 27, the Rebels topped No. 4 Florida, 31-30, in Gainesville.

 

Ole Miss, led by first-year coach Houston Nutt, is bowl eligible for the first time since the 2003 season.

 

Last year, the Tigers beat the Rebels, 41-24, in Oxford for the Tigers' sixth consecutive win in the series, as well as the seventh in the last eight games.

 

The Tigers are averaging 32.1 points per game, good for 2nd best in the SEC.

 

Freshman quarterback Jarrett Lee continues to get the start. Lee has been good on 139-of-257 passing for 1,824 yards, 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The Brenham-native ranks fifth in the SEC in total offense with an average of 173.4 yards a game.

 

Junior wide out Brandon LaFell remains Lee's favorite target, pulling in 55 passes for 772 yards and seven touchdowns. The Houston-native leads the SEC in receptions (5.5) and is second in yards (77.2) per game.

 

Senior Demetrius Byrd, who started out the season with touchdowns in three of the first four games, has only managed one touchdown in the last six games. On the season, the Miami-native has caught 29 passes for 436 yards and four scores.

 

On the ground, junior Charles Scott remains the Tigers' work horse. Scott has scored a touchdown in all but two of the Tigers’ games, totaling 1,071 yards and 14 touchdowns on 180 carries. Scott ranks third in the SEC in rushing yards per game, averaging 107.1 yards an outing.

 

The Tiger defense ranks eighth in the league in total defense, allowing opponents and average of 311.1 yards a game. The Tigers rush defense ranks fifth in the conference in yards per game (104.8), while the pass defense ranks tenth (206.3).

 

Junior Harry Coleman continues to lead the defense in stops, recording a team high 55 tackles.

 

Junior defensive end Rahim Alem leads the way up front, totaling six sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss, both good for most on the team.

 

For the Rebels, sophomore Texas-transfer Jevan Snead will get the call at quarterback. Snead has completed 136-of-254 passes for 1,983 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Snead ranks third in the SEC in both passing yards per game (198.3) and passing efficiency (132.5).

 

Junior Shay Hodge leads the Rebels in receiving with 31 receptions for 545 yards and seven touchdowns.

 

Senior Mike Wallace and junior Dexter McCluster each sit within 50 yards of Hodge's mark, with Wallace pulling in 26 catches for 500 yards and two touchdowns and McCluster grabbing 34 passes for 498 yards and a touchdown.

 

Junior running back Cordera Eason is coming off back-to-back 100 yard games, carrying the ball 109 times for 545 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

 

McCluster has carried the ball 72 times for 457 yards and four touchdowns.

 

The Rebels rank third in the SEC in rushing yards (187.9) and fifth in scoring offense (29.4) per game.

 

Defensively, senior Jamarca Sanford's 71 tackles are good for best on the team, while junior Greg Hardy leads the Rebel line with 4.5 sacks for 33 yards.

 

The Rebel defense has recorded ten interceptions on the season, three coming by way of junior defensive back Kendrick Lewis.

 

On the season, the Ole Miss defense has allowed an average of 328.6 yards per game, good for 11th in the conference.

 

Kickoff is set for 2:30 pm Saturday in Tiger Stadium.


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