Rebels Need Death Valley Win to Become Bowl Eligible

Photo Courtesy of University Communications

it’s a battle between the Rebels and the Tigers for the Magnolia Bowl 

By Adam Brown

adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

Compiled from Ole Miss Sports Information Press Releases

After losing by one point to Vanderbilt last week,  the prospects of becoming bowl eligible don’t get easier for the Ole Miss Rebels this Saturday, when they face their old football nemesis LSU in Death Valley for the fifth annual Magnolia Bowl trophy.

Ole Miss (5-5) is looking to find their sixth win on the year with the next two games they have left to play. One more win is likely to get them into a bowl, while two victories could secure them a Cotton Bowl or a Peach Bowl berth.

The Rebels are going into the game Saturday afternoon after losing two straight games to eastern division foes Georgia and Vanderbilt.  Ole Miss has played with passion in all ten games this season, and with a 5-5 record going into the matchup against the Tigers, the team is showing marked improvement on last year’s 2-10 record.

In 2008, the student bodies of both schools elected to christen the yearly game between Ole Miss and LSU as the “Magnolia Bowl,” in recognition of the flower shared by both states.  The first time the two teams played for the trophy was in Baton Rouge on Nov. 22, 2008, when the Rebels defeated the Tigers by a score of 31-13.

LSU (8-2) is coming into the game after a big 37-17 win last Saturday over Mississippi State.  In the win over the Bulldogs, Tigers quarterback Zack Mettenberger went 19 for 30 in passing and threw for 273 passing yards and two touchdowns.

The week before, the Tigers lost in a last minute drive to then No. 1 Alabama when Tide Quarterback AJ McCarron led his team deep into Tiger territory and threw a screen pass to running back T.J. Yeldon for a 28-yard touchdown run.

The Rebels are going to have to play soundly on both sides of the ball against the Tigers to have a chance to win.

In his weekly press conference on Monday, Coach Hugh Freeze lauded the LSU defense as a unit so talented physically that their mistakes do not show because of their speed and athleticism.

Bo Wallace and the offense have been able to score on their opponents all season.  And Wallace and his running backs and pass receivers are likely to do the same against LSU.

The Tigers have the all time series lead against the Rebels with a 57-39-4 record. In Baton Rouge, the Tigers have a twelve-game lead on the series at 37-25-1.

LSU has won the last three of five games against Ole Miss with the Tigers winning last year 52-3 in Oxford.

Fans can catch all of the action on CBS beginning at 2:30 p.m.