Ole Miss Prepares for Magnolia Bowl Showdown Against No. 1 LSU

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Coach Matt Luke. Photo by Talbert Toole.

On Monday, head coach Matt Luke met with members of the media to discuss the upcoming Magnolia Bowl where Ole Miss will battle the No. 1 LSU Tigers inside the Vaught Saturday night at 6 p.m.

“(We are) excited to come home and coach. This is why you play…for games like this,” Luke said. “It will be a great atmosphere in Vaught-Hemingway against the No. 1 team in the country.”

No. 1 LSU (9-0) is coming off a 46-41 victory over Alabama on the road in Tuscaloosa behind a strong performance by their quarterback Joe Burrow.

“Looking at the tape, LSU is what you expect,” Luke said. “Burrow has a 78.9 percent completion percentage and that is pretty amazing. He is a leader and a very good player.”

The Ole Miss defense will have to try and find a way to slow the Tigers’ offense down and hold them to field goals in the red zone, according to Luke.

LSU’s junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been tough for Power 5 defenses to bring down. He averages 87.33 yards per game and in nine games has carried the ball 135 times for 786 yards with 11 touchdowns.

“(Edwards-Helaire) plays with his heart you can see it on the sideline,” Luke said. 

This season, a strength for the Rebels offense has been a sound running game.

“Defensively, (the Tigers) have been very good at stopping the run,” he said.

Stepping back into conference action, Luke and the team hope Rebel staples Scottie Phillips, Tariqious Tisdale and Jaylon Jones will be back and healthy. 

“(Phillips) is still a little bit questionable. We will find out more tomorrow,” Luke said. “Tisdale and Jones will also be evaluated (on Tuesday). I would say they are probably right now.”

The Ole Miss vs. LSU rivalry has always been special to the two programs, especially for Luke and his family.

“For my dad, this was the rivalry for a long, long time,” Luke said. “The winner of this game was the SEC champion. It is very important to a lot of Ole Miss fans, and it is very important to us.”

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