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LSU VS OLE MISS (SUPER)PREVIEW

Updated: Oct 21, 2022


by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


Riding the euphoria of their stylish, against all odds win in the Swamp, Brian Kelly's LSU Tigers will be back at it again this Saturday afternoon against Lane Kiffin's top 10 Ole Miss.

Yet another high profile coaching matchup in the SEC West gauntlet (aren't they all?), Kelly vs Kiffin will provide plenty of fodder for national commentators, television analysts or social media hucksters, however the psychological battle between these two coaches won't play much of a role on Saturday.

The quarterback play between Jayden Daniels and Jaxson Dart alongside LSU's rushing defense vs Kiffin's balanced ground attack, or the open space tackling of Matt House's linebackers and Kerry Cooks' safeties are among a few decisive factors in this big league, high stakes matchup.

JOIN US ON A WILD RIDE AS WEEK 8 APPROACHETH:


INSIDE LOOK AT OLE MISS


Kiffin's Ole Miss have become the supreme SEC dark horse challenger, quietly building an undefeated record in the shadows of Tennessee's rise, Alabama's (temporary???) fall and Georgia's title defense.

But here they are.....an undefeated, top 10 ranked Ole Miss heading straight for the jaws of Death Valley; Regardless of this upcoming test, they've looked pretty good over their first half of 2022....in fact, their true quality is about to be determined:

Scoring 42+ points against 4 opponents (including Auburn, Vanderbilt and Central Arkansas), Kiffin's offense is defined by balance, the Rebels' usually suspect defense has improved (forcing critical turnovers vs Kentucky) and the difference makers are present at prime positions:


UTAH BOY GOES SEC


Transferring from USC this off-season, red shirt freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart may be young and still finding his identity as an SEC West signal caller, but he's shown a growing ability to throw off platform as well as on the run.

Out of my hometown of Kaysville, Utah, thus far Dart has been afforded plenty of opportunities to expand the pocket by Kiffin's motion & play-action heavy offense.

Overall, Dart has racked up just under 1,500 yards through the air, also being able to make plays with his legs, rushing for 371 yards off a whopping 53 carries (7.6 per game).

Continuing the balanced, deceptive Ole Miss offensive theme we witnessed from QB Matt Corral over the past 2 seasons, Dart's group actually have more playmakers on the outside or backfield to help their quarterback.


BEST WR CORPS IN YEARS AT OLE MISS?


Also transferring from USC after year one, "hybrid" tight end Michael Trigg followed his fellow freshman QB from So Cal chill to the blood-encrusted grind of the SEC West.

Hunted by LSU as a recruit & later again as a transfer possibility, Trigg is a weapon capable of hurting LSU's linebackers / safeties over the middle or down at the goal line.....a firm asset to an Ole Miss receiving corps possessing a trio of different Rebels with 3 TDs, headlined by leaders Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath (507 and 346 respectively).

I'm not worried about top dawg Mekhi Garner figuring it out or Jarrick Bernard-Converse squaring off against these receivers....(Colby Richardson can be hit or miss).....

The biggest question I have??
Who will be asked or tasked with covering Trigg????
Is this a job for Micah Baskerville?
Or versatile freshman LB Harold Perkins??
Or simply keep Jay Ward trained on Trigg, with the 2019 National Champion's length, aggression, veteran experience and playmaking prowess knocking the young tight end off his game.

DYNAMIC 1-2 PUNCH AT RB


The Rebels' biggest strength is their ground game....these two backs are Kiffin's metronome....and often the red zone finishers of his offensive strut.

Since this unit currently runs 73.6 plays per game, there is more than enough ball to go around:

Featuring freshman superstar Quinshond Judkins, already at 720 yards, 121 attempts and 10 rushing touchdowns through 7 games, while former TCU junior Zach Evans isn't far behind at 605 yards, 100 carries and 7 rushing scores, it's no wonder Kiffin rides or dies with his talented backs.


OLE MISS DEFICIENCIES


At the same time, when facing better all around opponents, Ole Miss weren't as explosive:

Held to 22 points vs then-ranked #7 Kentucky, Kiffin's outfit only just survived unscathed;

Prevailing over Troy thanks to a paltry 28-10 victory; Then, despite jumping out to a 21-0 lead, Dart and Co let Auburn back within a single score on multiple occasions, giving up 301 rushing yards in the process.

Hell, Ole Miss were losing 14-7 at the hands of Tulsa at one point, needing a wild 28 point 2nd quarter to outlast a team that ranks 10th in the American Athletic Conference....by a score of 35-27.

Ole Miss may be undefeated, yet they're not infallible....in fact, one could have a strong argument that they're weaker than an assorted group of 1 loss teams.

Can 5-2 LSU actually take down Kiffin's top 10 Rebels??

Most definitely they can.

To overtake Ole Miss, LSU will need to execute in a myriad of areas, with these five keys to the game being most imperative:


5. CONTROL THE TRENCHES = CONTROL THE TEMPO


If LSU's offensive line can pick up where they left off vs Florida, it won't just jettison Jayden Daniels and co's high octane dual threat action: controlling the tempo of proceedings will keep Kiffin, Dart and their nasty running game away from the field....plus, this also wears down Maurice Crum's defense.

Right now, Brad Davis' line may be playing their best football:

Miles Frazier stepped up in a massive way, taking over Garrett Dellinger's left guard slot with aplomb; Anthony Bradford played his most assured 4 quarters as a Tiger, and freshman Will Campbell returned with a vengeance, dominating his way into an SEC Offensive Lineman of the week honor, earned only 8 days after suffering a seizure.

On the other hand, if LSU's defense are also able to bottle up the Ole Miss ground attack, it'll force Jaxson Dart to throw 5-10 more passing attempts than Kiffin would want:

Across 7 games, Dart threw 6 interceptions, 3rd most in the SEC while tossing 163 total attempts, ranking 10th: that's not a very calming ratio for an Ole Miss supporter.

Dart also became erratic when pigeonholed in a collapsing pocket, lost between extending the play and tucking it.

Still, the former USC quarterback was hurried 21 times, hit on 13 other occasions and only sacked twice, the Rebels' offensive line standing as one of their key strengths. Compare Dart's infrequency of durress with Jayden Daniels: LSU's starter was pressured 39 times, sacked by 21 defenders while taking 6 hits. Although Jake Thornton's group are far better blocking for runners than protecting Dart, their pass protection grades are a little skewed....facing just one or two solid defensive fronts until now.

If LSU's offensive & defensive fronts can control the game early and destabilize the beating heart of Ole Miss, Kiffin will have to become extremely creative as the afternoon rolls along; additionally, Dart's limitations could be exposed.


4. DEFENSE: DON'T BITE!!!


Due to Ole Miss' multiple fake, heavy play-action offense, the spine of Matt House's defense must stay home, all while their edge men cannot break contain...keep all the action in front.

If House's unit bite on the Rebels' RPO play action / dual threat assault, as they have over the past 3 seasons, it could be a long night defensively, not only setting up a tiresome night but also creating deep shot opportunities over biting Tiger safeties.

Giving up 265+ rushing yards to Ole Miss in every meeting since 2019, including over 300 in 2019 & 2020, defensive tackle pairing Mekhi Wingo and Jaquelin Roy will be paramount in stopping that streak.

Look for LSU's defense to start slower, pick out Ole Miss tendencies and try to keep everything in front. Remember, Matt House's defense may surrender yards against certain opponents, but they've also clamped down inside the red zone, holding opponents to 9 scores from 20 trips.


3. EXPLOIT UNTESTED OLE MISS DBs


Over the course of their undefeated start, Chris Partridge's secondary haven't been tested by an elite receiver, let alone an entire corps of top rated wide outs.

Against LSU, coming off their fiery performance vs Florida, Partridge's secondary will have their hands full, especially trying to stop a resurgent Kayshon Boutte, always reliable Malik Nabers, the clutch Jaray Jenkins, nearly un-guardable Brian Thomas Jr (quickly becoming a special Tiger), alongside contributions by Jack Bech (if healthy) or Kyren Lacy.

If Daniels can continue his passing improvements, he will no doubt find windows in Partridge's secondary.....after being starved for nearly half of a season, LSU's hungry receiving corps are licking their chops.


2. SPECIAL TEAMS....COME ON


Brian Polian's special teams exist in an abominable twilight belonging to themselves....a dark abyss with nowhere to turn:

Two blocked kicks, four fumbles, 28 overall negative plays, countless penalties.....outside of kicker Damian Ramos or punter Jay Bramblett, LSU's special teams have been gravely terrible.

Playing a direct role in both LSU losses, Polian has no excuses heading into a game vs another top 10 squad possessing an offense built to cash in.

Simply put, if the Tigers' special teams becomes another glaring deficiency handing Kiffin early points, Ole Miss, a team who dropped 28 in a quarter this year already, won't look back....

This is the time to try Sage Ryan or Brian Thomas Jr back at returner while deploying their hungriest tacklers to solve these constant coverage issues....regardless of position.

Ryan and Thomas Jr were both star returners in high school, with Ryan taking punts and kickoffs during Spring and fall camp as well.

Sage Ryan specifically has the abilities to be a transcendent playmaker in the return game, or....we could bear witness to T-Bob returning punts!!!!


1 . JAYDEN DANIELS & THE PASSING GAME


Not much to be said here:

Last Saturday, the Tigers scored six touchdowns on six different drives of more than 70 yards, mostly due to their high octane offensive rhythm.............that is ridiculous reading.

The passing game also opened up LSU's rushing attack for both Daniels & Josh Williams while John Emery Jr became a constant threat in the flat.

If Daniels can continue his accuracy and rhythm against Ole Miss, LSU will be at a major advantage.


OUR PREDICTION

LSU 37

OMISS 35


2022 LSU may not be perfect or polished.....but they're more dangerous than trusting Urban Meyer with an NFL franchise.....

As such, even if LSU were to win by 10, I wouldn't even be shocked.

This one is a coin flip.....

The question is.....are Kelly's Tigers about to duplicate their Florida showing? Regress? Or build upon their multi-faceted offensive majesty?


POST YOUR PICKS, YOUR KEYS TO THE GAME, YOUR DIFFERENCE-MAKERS & YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW!!!!


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

©️ Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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3 Kommentare


Lonn Phillips Sullivan
Lonn Phillips Sullivan
21. Okt. 2022

Our Prediction is now officially changed to:

LSU 37

OLE MISS 35

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I am hoping Major Burns returns this week. If he does, I hope Ward or Brooks can key the tight end. I want Perkins harassing the hell out of Dart and the RBs. This game will turn on our defense. I think if we hold Ole Miss to 31, we win. Final LSU 38 Ole Miss 31 Also, praying for improved Special Teams play.

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Lonn Phillips Sullivan
Lonn Phillips Sullivan
21. Okt. 2022
Antwort an

Let's Geaux Louis! I love it! I just changed my pick to match my gut instinct. LSU will win this one

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