Rebels and Tigers Prepare to Tangle in the Vaught

Photo by Emily

The Ole Miss Rebels welcome the LSU Tigers into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night. Kickoff for the Bayou Bengals and the Rebels is set for 6:15 p.m. on ESPN.

Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2 SEC) is coming into this game after a 57-35 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Homecoming. Sophomore wide receiver A.J. Brown pulled in eight receptions for 174 yards in the win. Brown now has over 100 yards in four games this season.

“After reviewing the tape, I was really excited,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said. “Anytime you get a SEC win, it’s a good thing. Watching the tape, it was obvious. I’m really pleased with our balance offensively, and I thought that really helped.”

Former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron will bring his Tigers into the Vaught to face Ole Miss. This will be the first time Coach “O” will lead a team into Oxford as a head coach since 2007.

“I have a lot of respect for coach Ed Orgeron,” Luke said. “I worked for him for a year as his recruiting coordinator. He’s obviously a very energetic guy, and I learned a lot from him. I’ve been very impressed at how he’s rallied his team. Very impressive… their last two wins on third down — Auburn was 3 of 14 and Florida was 2 of 9. They did a good job getting off the field defensively.”

The LSU Tigers currently sit at 5-2 overall, 2-1 in SEC play and are ranked 24th in the AP Poll and 25th in the Coaches Poll. LSU is coming off back-to-back wins over Top 25 teams, including a 27-23 win over No. 10 Auburn Saturday that saw the Tigers rally from 20 points down. After suffering a 37-7 setback in its SEC opener against Mississippi State, LSU went into Gainesville and upset No. 21 Florida, 17-16. In its comeback win over Auburn, the LSU defense took over the game in the second half. Auburn scored a total of six points and averaged just 3.3 yards per play in the final three quarters on Saturday, after racking up 17 points and 9.9 yards per play in the first quarter.

The LSU offense averages 392.7 yards of offense per game, with 191 yards coming on the ground and 201.7 through the air. Senior signal-caller Danny Etling will lead the Tiger offense under center. Etling has thrown for 1,252 (178.9 ypg) yards and a completion rate of 59.2 percent, with seven touchdowns and just one interception. Etling’s favorite target is senior wideout DJ Chark. On the season, Chark has hauled in 22 catches for 535 yards. Russell Gage, Foster Moreau and Drake Davis each have two TD receptions to lead the Tiger receiving corps.

“Offensively, they give you a lot of schematic problems with their shifts and motions trying to out-leverage and out-flank you,” Luke said. “They have a lot of good players.”

Ole Miss and LSU have met on the gridiron 105 times prior to Saturday’s matchup. The Tigers hold a 60-41-4 advantage in the series, 9-8-1 in Oxford. The home team has won the last five games in this rivalry.

Fans can watch the game on ESPN at 6:15 p.m. or listen on the Ole Miss Radio Network.


Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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