Bounced on the Bayou

BATON ROUGE, La. - Ole Miss dropped a heart-breaker, 43-36, Saturday at No. 5 LSU. Go inside for a detailed notebook, including notes on a a critical penalty, Brandon Bolden and Jeremiah Masoli.

Ole Miss' much-maligned defense was often put in precarious situations in Saturday's 43-36 loss to No. 5 LSU.

But the unit, which entered the game as one of the nation's worst, held its own at times, though it couldn't come up with one final stop when it needed it most.

After quarterback Jeremiah Masoli found Markeith Summers for a 65-yard touchdown with 4:57 remaining in the game, allowing Ole Miss a brief, 36-35 lead, LSU marched 51 yards in eight plays, capped by Stevan Ridley's career-high third touchdown of the game. It was the third multi-touchdown game in the career of Ridley, a Mississippi native.

Ridley scores the game's final touchdown

"Give (LSU) a lot of credit," sophomore D.T. Shackelford said. "They came out and played hard. They were able to come through with a win. We were always one stop away. We caught the bad side of it tonight but, man, we didn't quit."

Ole Miss surrendered 470 total yards of offense to LSU, including 228 yards rushing. Jordan Jefferson threw for a career-best 254 yards and one touchdown – a 27-yard pass to Michael Ford with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"We couldn't go out and get that one stop," senior defensive tackle Jerrell Powe said. "That one stop, and it'll probably be over with. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We did some things to shoot ourselves in the foot."

Ole Miss fell behind, 17-10, midway through the first quarter, but an impressive goal-line stand with LSU threatening at the Ole Miss 1-yard line swung momentum in the Rebels' favor. LSU also failed to convert on a third-and-1 as the second quarter wound to a close, instead having to settle for a field goal to keep Ole Miss within striking distance. Ole Miss trailed, 20-17, at halftime.

"We kept fighting, and that's something positive we can take going into our last game," Shackelford said. "Like I said, give LSU a lot of credit. They really played hard and were able to pull out the win."

Bolden approaching history:

Brandon Bolden inched closer to a 1,000-yard rushing season Saturday, as the junior running back tallied 91 yards on 18 carries in Ole Miss' last-second loss to LSU.

Brandon Bolden

Bolden, a native of Baton Rouge, also scored two touchdowns in the game, giving him 22 for his career. He moved into a tie for second all time with John Fourcade and Joe Gunn who also had 22 career touchdowns. Deuce McAllister is the Rebels' all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 37.

Bolden has 13 touchdowns this season, the second-most in school history.

"It was a tremendous effort on both sides," Bolden said. "We scored, they scored, they scored, we scored. It was back and forth all night. They came away with the win. I'm proud, especially of our offensive line, our wide receivers. Everybody was out there doing what they were supposed to do.

"I'm really proud of these guys. No. 5 team, coming into a tough environment – everybody played their heart out."

Bolden had nine carries in the first half for 65 yards and a touchdown, as Ole Miss scored the most points, 17, by an opponent against LSU in the first half this season. Ole Miss totaled 420 yards of offense, the most allowed by LSU this season.

LSU (10-1, 6-1 SEC) came into the game ranked No. 2 in the SEC and No. 6 nationally in total defense.

Masoli rebounds:

After his worst game statistically at Ole Miss, a 52-14 loss at Tennessee, Masoli bounced back with an inspired effort against LSU.

The senior quarterback, wrapping up his only season at Ole Miss, finished 15 of 23 for 177 yards and a touchdown. He also threw two interceptions, the first on Ole Miss' opening drive of the game. LSU scored on the following possession for a 7-0 lead.

Masoli also rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. He now has 531 yards on the season, needing only 12 more to break Norris Weese's single-season Ole Miss record of 542 yards rushing by a quarterback.

"He competed like a warrior," Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said. "I wish he wouldn't have had the first tipped ball, but, boy, he competed out there. He really competed.

Markeith Summers

"He felt really bad about last week, and that's what I love about Jeremiah. He doesn't want to hurt anybody, and he wants to work. He wanted to make up for Tennessee week, and he did."

Critical penalty aids LSU scoring drive:

Summers was penalized for diving into the end zone following his go-ahead touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.

"I didn't see it all," Nutt said. "I've seen that call go either way. I don't like that call, and I don't like what (Summers) did. I'm sure he could have just got in the end zone, but it's a critical time. Be consistent with that call."

The play forced Ole Miss (4-7, 1-6) to kickoff from the 15 instead of the 30. A 34-yard return by Patrick Peterson set LSU up at its own 49.

LSU scored the deciding touchdown eight plays later.

"What I was seeing when I was running, a guy was coming, so I ran to the pylon to dive so I didn't get pushed out," Summers said. "I was surprised that he threw the flag on me. I thought you could dive if there is somebody around you."

LSU defensive back Karnell Hatcher was two yards behind Summers when the senior wide receiver began to dive. He was flagged immediately.

"He wouldn't say nothing," Summers said of the explanation he was given by the referee for the flag. "It was excessive but I don't know what he means. I feel like I can dive when somebody is around me. I'm trying to score.

"I guess he's saying I flipped, but I ain't trying to flip. I was just diving in the end zone. My momentum carried me over, I feel like."

Scott makes impression returning kicks:

True freshman running back Jeff Scott was used as Ole Miss' primary returner on kickoffs, replacing sophomore Jesse Grandy. Scott responded with 188 yards on seven returns. His long was 41. Scott also carried six times for 35 yards.

"Up front, they were just doing their job and getting a good push," Scott said. "I was just looking for a seam. I just hit it."

"He has a real step, real speed," Nutt added. "For an 18-year-old to handle this type of atmosphere, he's going to be a really good player."

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