Tell me if you’ve heard this about an LSU-Ole Miss game. Ole Miss comes out fired up, starts throwing punches, and LSU never really kicks it into gear but does enough to get the job done. When LSU came out the second half and got the quick turnover, but still had to settle for a field goal, you knew the game would end up your standard way-too-close LSU-Ole Miss tilt. You also knew that LSU was better than Ole Miss and the only possible outcome was a win for the Tigers.
It would figure just days after my first SNS article lauding Mettenberger’s recent turnaround that he’d cash in a so-so performance. First time since the South Carolina game Mettenberger throws an interception. Not only that, one of his two interceptions was in the red zone, loosing some of those early-season demons again. That one in particular reminded LSU fans of why the calls get so conservative inside the 20. Outside of those interceptions, Mettenberger was fairly efficient notching 282 yards (that’s three straight weeks over 270, when was the last time that happened?) and completing just under 60% of his passes. He missed on a couple deep balls that could have resulted in more, but it was still a decent night for him, especially if you consider the beating he took. This is the type of “meh game” LSU needs from their quarterback. If this becomes the lower-end of his performance spectrum, that’s a big positive down the road into next year.
Jeremy Hill continues to show that he’s the No. 1 guy in that backfield. I’m convinced he’s been playing close to 75% these past few weeks with a bum ankle, but he continues to get the yardage and results needed. Nothing really stands out, but his 3 TDs carried the day. One of those “just another day at the office” performances.
The defense just has not been the same since that last drive against Alabama. The DBs continue to get beat badly. Had Bo Wallace’s shoulder not been held together by duct tape and pixie dust, he would have hit on a couple of those deep balls when the receiver had beaten an LSU DB badly and the game could have gotten uglier. Ole Miss’ wide receivers pretty much played the entire game beyond the LSU defenders. This really could have been worse. It’s late in the year against a rival, so some of that is expected. But, next week is against an always pesky Arkansas team that still has a potent air attack. And the game is in Little Rock. We all know that stupid things happen in Little Rock. Tigers have to lock it up one last time in order to put themselves into postseason position.
In the end, though, LSU with one eye closed did enough to win the game. The defense showed up at the end with key sacks to end a promising Ole Miss drive and the offense wore out Ole Miss’ defense just enough to provide the correct dosage of points. Odell Beckham Jr.’s punt return was a thing a beauty, especially with all of those Billy Cannon parallels. That was probably your turning point and really gave LSU enough mojo to get the job done.
There’s one more game to get this team to 10 wins on the season. With No. 1 and No. 2 going down as well on this Saturday, who knows where LSU is going to end up when it’s all said and done. All the Tigers can do is notch that final win and wait for what may come.
Oh, and Les Miles was pretty fired up after the game. http://camr.co/21