GAMEDAY PREVIEW: Ole Miss vs. LSU

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Brandon Bolden
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Brandon Bolden
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 19, 2011

Gameday Central | Scouting Report | Gametracker

TV: ESPN | Ole Miss Radio Network (Sirius 220, XM 199)

OXFORD, Miss. – The Magnolia Bowl trophy and a longtime rival’s national title hopes will be at stake this evening when the Ole Miss Rebels (2-8, 0-6) tangle with the No. 1 LSU Tigers (10-0, 6-0) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in the 100th game of the series.

Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.  The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Ole Miss and LSU rivalry dates back to 1894. The Tigers are the Rebels’ second-most played opponent behind Mississippi State. Ole Miss trails the series 56-39-4, and is 5-8-1 in games played in Oxford.

The Rebels fell just short of an upset in Baton Rouge last year, dropping a 43-36 decision to the then No. 5 Tigers.
Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt is 6-7 all time against LSU, but has won three of his last four against the
Tigers including a 50-48 win over then No. 1 LSU at Tiger Stadium in 2007 when he was the head coach at Arkansas.  Nutt is 2-1 against LSU since taking over at Ole Miss.

“I always love competing against them,” said Nutt. “They always look the same year in and year out.  They are always well coached. We have always enjoyed a competitive game against them. To me they are playing at a very high level right now, especially on defense.”

Minus starting quarterback Randall Mackey and running back Jeff Scott, the Rebels will turn to Zack Stoudt and Brandon Bolden against a powerful LSU defense.  

Last week against Louisiana Tech, Bolden received his first start since suffering an ankle injury in the season-opener and scored the Rebels’ lone touchdown on a 34-yard touchdown pass.  

For Bolden and his fellow seniors, this will be the final time that they step onto the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for a game.  

Trailing only Alabama in both categories, the Tigers rank second in the nation in total defense and scoring defense, surrendering just 253 total yards and 10.7 points per-game.

“Their defensive line, linebackers and secondary are all good,” said Nutt. “They have length and are taller guys, except for the honey badger, Tyrann Mathieu.  He is something else. What a ball player.  He is fun to watch. This guy will take the ball from you, knock the ball down, intercept the ball, disrupt the punt return guy and make him fumble and run it in. He is just a ball player.”

Mathieu has been the key to a Tiger defense that has forced 21 turnovers this season, recording four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions.  

Paced by a high-powered running game that rolls up nearly 200 rushing yards each game, the Tigers are racking up 36.5 points per-game.

“They will bloody your nose and they will throw you the ball to keep you off balance with Reuben Randle, who is an explosive receiver.  Both quarterbacks have looked very good.  [Jarrett] Lee took over first of the year and [Jordan] Jefferson adds athleticism.  He also can throw,” Nutt said.

Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue have each rushed for six touchdowns.  Ware and Ford have rushed for 580 and 575 yards on the season, respectively.

Randle ranks third in the SEC in receiving yards with 73.3 yards per-game and second in touchdown receptions (eight).  The junior has averaged a whopping 19.3 yards per-reception and has accounted for more than 40 percent of the Tigers’ receiving yards.

LSU quarterbacks have been careful and efficient when called upon, as Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson have combined for 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions.  

Lee, who has started every game under center his senior season, is the SEC’s second most efficient passer, having completed 62 percent of his passes and fired 14 touchdowns—third most in the conference.  But the dual-threat Jefferson took the majority of snaps in the last two games against Alabama and Western Kentucky.  

“Their guys are riding a big high and they have good things going for them,” Nutt said. “They know they are fighting for a National Championship berth.  We are on the flip side of that, but the bottom line is that we have an opportunity to play the best in the country in our last home game for the seniors. We have a lot to play for. I am expecting everyone to give everything they have.”

New for fans in 2011 is the “Rebel Fanfare,” sponsored by Baptist Hospital of North Mississippi. It opens three hours prior to kickoff and is located off All-American Drive, across the street from the Starnes Center. Admission is free for all ages. “Rebel Fanfare” includes inflatables, interactive games for kids, food vendors and the pre-game radio show which begins two hours prior to kickoff. It will also feature appearances by former players, cheerleaders, Rebelettes and Rebel.

Visit OleMissFB.com for all the information you need about Ole Miss gamedays this fall, and follow @RebelGameday on Twitter for the most up-to-date news and info each Saturday.
OXFORD, Miss. – The Magnolia Bowl trophy and a longtime rival’s national title hopes will be at stake this evening when the Ole Miss Rebels (2-8, 0-6) tangle with the No. 1 LSU Tigers (10-0, 6-0) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in the 100th game of the series.

Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.  The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Ole Miss and LSU rivalry dates back to 1894. The Tigers are the Rebels’ second-most played opponent behind Mississippi State. Ole Miss trails the series 56-39-4, and is 5-8-1 in games played in Oxford.

The Rebels fell just short of an upset in Baton Rouge last year, dropping a 43-36 decision to the then No. 5 Tigers.
Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt is 6-7 all time against LSU, but has won three of his last four against the
Tigers including a 50-48 win over then No. 1 LSU at Tiger Stadium in 2007 when he was the head coach at Arkansas.  Nutt is 2-1 against LSU since taking over at Ole Miss.

“I always love competing against them,” said Nutt. “They always look the same year in and year out.  They are always well coached. We have always enjoyed a competitive game against them. To me they are playing at a very high level right now, especially on defense.”

Minus starting quarterback Randall Mackey and running back Jeff Scott, the Rebels will turn to Zack Stoudt and Brandon Bolden against a powerful LSU defense.  

Last week against Louisiana Tech, Bolden received his first start since suffering an ankle injury in the season-opener and scored the Rebels’ lone touchdown on a 34-yard touchdown pass.  

For Bolden and his fellow seniors, this will be the final time that they step onto the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for a game.  

Trailing only Alabama in both categories, the Tigers rank second in the nation in total defense and scoring defense, surrendering just 253 total yards and 10.7 points per-game.

“Their defensive line, linebackers and secondary are all good,” said Nutt. “They have length and are taller guys, except for the honey badger, Tyrann Mathieu.  He is something else. What a ball player.  He is fun to watch. This guy will take the ball from you, knock the ball down, intercept the ball, disrupt the punt return guy and make him fumble and run it in. He is just a ball player.”

Mathieu has been the key to a Tiger defense that has forced 21 turnovers this season, recording four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions.  

Paced by a high-powered running game that rolls up nearly 200 rushing yards each game, the Tigers are racking up 36.5 points per-game.

“They will bloody your nose and they will throw you the ball to keep you off balance with Reuben Randle, who is an explosive receiver.  Both quarterbacks have looked very good.  [Jarrett] Lee took over first of the year and [Jordan] Jefferson adds athleticism.  He also can throw,” Nutt said.

Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue have each rushed for six touchdowns.  Ware and Ford have rushed for 580 and 575 yards on the season, respectively.

Randle ranks third in the SEC in receiving yards with 73.3 yards per-game and second in touchdown receptions (eight).  The junior has averaged a whopping 19.3 yards per-reception and has accounted for more than 40 percent of the Tigers’ receiving yards.

LSU quarterbacks have been careful and efficient when called upon, as Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson have combined for 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions.  

Lee, who has started every game under center his senior season, is the SEC’s second most efficient passer, having completed 62 percent of his passes and fired 14 touchdowns—third most in the conference.  But the dual-threat Jefferson took the majority of snaps in the last two games against Alabama and Western Kentucky.  

“Their guys are riding a big high and they have good things going for them,” Nutt said. “They know they are fighting for a National Championship berth.  We are on the flip side of that, but the bottom line is that we have an opportunity to play the best in the country in our last home game for the seniors. We have a lot to play for. I am expecting everyone to give everything they have.”

New for fans in 2011 is the “Rebel Fanfare,” sponsored by Baptist Hospital of North Mississippi. It opens three hours prior to kickoff and is located off All-American Drive, across the street from the Starnes Center. Admission is free for all ages. “Rebel Fanfare” includes inflatables, interactive games for kids, food vendors and the pre-game radio show which begins two hours prior to kickoff. It will also feature appearances by former players, cheerleaders, Rebelettes and Rebel.

Visit OleMissFB.com for all the information you need about Ole Miss gamedays this fall, and follow @RebelGameday on Twitter for the most up-to-date news and info each Saturday.


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