Historical Rivalry

Ole Miss travels to LSU for a Saturday night game, and unlike most years the past half a century, it’s the Rebels who are most highly ranked.

Ole Miss will be No. 3 in the AP and Coaches’ poll, while LSU is No. 24 and No. 23 in them respectively.

“It’s always an exciting time around this place when you head into a game that’s considered one of your historical rivalries like LSU,” said Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. “The respect we have for them as a coaching staff and as a team is great. Coach (Les) Miles has done a phenomenal job. They seem to be playing their best football of the year.”

LSU is 6-2 overall and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers are coming off perhaps their two best performances of the season with a 30-27 win at Florida and a 41-3 win against Kentucky at home.

So what’s been the difference in LSU lately and LSU just as short as three games ago when they lost 41-7 at Auburn?

“The last two weeks they have gotten back to their bread and butter and that’s being physical, controlling the clock, run the football with the outstanding backs they have. Defensively they've changed some things around and have become very multiple. More odd fronts. Different looks in the back end. In the past you didn't get all that. They’re making it even more difficult now by moving around and some of the things they’re doing now. Defensively we think it’s going to take a lot of extra time planning. It’s very difficult to stop them, but it’s not a lot of mystery to it. They can do that and still be successful.”

The Rebels are coming off a 34-3 win against Tennessee at home and are 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. They stand alone at the top currently among the 14-member league.

“There were a lot of great things on film (from the Tennessee game). I was proud of the way our kids continued to battle without getting frustrated when things were not going the way they wanted them to. They pushed through and pulled away at the end of another SEC battle.”

More From Hugh:

* On UM receivers: Real pleased with that group. I'm big on trying to find the best matchup for that group. Maybe that's why we have had different receivers do well each week. You have to decide if your best chance to win is the slot guy or the outside guy or the guy with his hand on the ground. You have to find which one is successful and why you see a different one in that group step up each week.

* On LSU youth: Definitely getting better every week. Recruited some of them. Quality kids and players. Coming into their own and doing what they're asked to do.

* On the landshark symbol as it relates to officials: Perfectly fine to do that as long as we don't draw attention to one individual and are trying to show up anyone else. Officials have the right that if we go overboard with it, they have the right to (penalize). We appreciate that. It keeps us in check. The last thing we want is a selfish penalty, and I appreciate the communication from them on it.

* On his coaching staff: This staff, the core of it, has been to together a long time. We get along. There's no egos. The chemistry is great. On the field, we adapt to what our strengths are. I think that is my high school background. All of us, we play to each others' strengths. Our kids feed off that and they see this staff is united. When they see us interact, they see those qualities. The longer you're together, the more that occurs. Helps with (team) chemistry also.

* On Senquez Golson: It doesn't surprise me. I can't say I always expected it. I saw in fall camp he had bought in and would likely have a much better year. The little things around his life and off the field are a direct correlation to how he has played. He's always had the talent and ability.

* On Marquis Haynes' weight and keeping the same speed: He's probably 220 now and I think he could get to 240 and keep his same speed.

* On game at LSU two years ago: I remember that game as having a blast. We had fun. Matt Luke was having fun on the sideline, which is rare. We were super competitive. If not for a punt return, who knows what the outcome would have been. At that point you would say that was a moral victory. I'm sure they were top ten and we go down there in year one and compete. I found myself thinking of a statement Coach Vaught said, and that was you really haven't coached the Rebels until you beat LSU in Baton Rouge.

* On Kailo Moore: Kailo Moore recovered a huge fumble against Alabama, and caused one the other day. He played corner last weekend. He's coming along nicely. On return unit he can help with his speed. We're thrilled with his development. On if Ben Still with a sprained MCL is injured and can't play: Robert Conyers will play, and he played almost all the second half last game.

* On other injuries: Collins Moore had surgery. It was not getting well. He will not be back this year. He is feeling much better. We’ve got Justin Bell and Aaron Morris with ankles that are sprained. Shoulder for Laquon (Treadwell). With the exception of Ben Still, I feel confident everybody will be ready to go. Not sure about Ben (Still).”

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