Ole Miss Host No.1 LSU for Annual Magnolia Bowl

Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hotttoddy.com

Ole Miss steps into Vaught-Hemingway for the last time in the 2019 season as they play host to the No. 1 LSU Tigers in the annual Magnolia Bowl. Kickoff for this SEC West showdown is set for Saturday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

John Rhys Plumlee rushed for 177 yards against the Aggies and passed for 124. Photo by Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

“We’ve played several top-10 teams this season and played well against them,” head coach Matt Luke said. “I’m just excited about the opportunity and for our fan base. It will be packed with a bunch of recruits here. It’ll be a good night for Ole Miss.”

LSU (9-0, 5-0) is rolling into town after defeating Alabama 46-41 last Saturday night. In a game that saw the Tigers gain 559 yards, including 393 yards through the air. Four of LSU’s wins this season have come against teams ranked in the top 10.

The LSU offense ranks in the top 10 nationally in multiple offensive categories, including total yards per game (538.4), passing yards (379.3) and scoring offense (46.7). Joe Burrow, considered the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, leads the Tiger offense under center. Burrow ranks second nationally in passing yards (3,198) and passing touchdowns (33). Burrow’s completion percentage leads the NCAA at 78.9 percent. Burrow’s favorite target is junior wideout Justin Jefferson. On the season, Jefferson has hauled in 62 catches for 898 yards and nine touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall, Jr. have 10 and eight receiving touchdowns respectively. Clyde Edwards-Helaire leads the way for the Tiger rushing attack. Edwards-Helaire has rushed 83 times for 409 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Edwards-Helaire leads the SEC and ranks 14th nationally with 11 rushing TDs on the season. He’s carried the ball 135 times for 786 yards.

On the other side of the ball, LSU ranks seventh in the SEC in total defense (340.4) and second in the SEC and 13th nationally in rush defense (100.7). True freshman Derek Stingley, Jr. is second in the SEC and eighth nationally with four interceptions on the season. Junior Jacob Phillips ranks third in the SEC with 7.9 tackles per game.

“They have been very solid against the run and in most games, have played really good defense all around,” Luke said. “We’ll have our work cut out for us, but we’ll have to find ways to run the football and create some one-on-one matchups.”

Ole Miss (4-6, 2-4) is coming off of a 41-3 win over New Mexico State last Saturday.

Freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee’s 777 yards rushing on the season are a program record by an Ole Miss freshman and rank No. 3 in the country by a QB.

Prior to kickoff, the Rebels will honor 21 student-athletes who will play their final home game in the Vaught. Those players are: DT Josiah Coatney, P Spencer Cole, TE Octavius Cooley, OLB Vernon Dasher, DB Kweisi Fountain, OL Alex Givens, DB Myles Hartsfield, ILB Willie Hibbler, OL Michael Howard, DT Benito Jones, DB Jalen Julius, TE Jason Pellerin, RB Scottie Phillips, QB Grant Restmeyer, DE Ty Reyes, DE Austrian Robinson, OLB Qaadir Sheppard, OL KC Swaim, K Isaac Way, RB KeShun Wells, OLB Brenden Williams.

This game will be the 108 all-time meetings between the Rebels and the Tigers. Ole Miss trails LSU 62-40-4 in the series. In the last seven games, home time has won the game.

Fans can watch all the action ESPN or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Sports Network at 6 p.m.


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