Ole Miss Rebels – Handing the SEC West to Alabama

Andrew Ritter scored a 41-yard field goal to give Ole Miss a 27-24 win over #6 ranked LSU.
Andrew Ritter scored a 41-yard field goal to give Ole Miss a 27-24 win over #6 ranked LSU.

If there was any chance to see anyone stopping Alabama on their way to another SEC championship game, Ole Miss handed LSU their second loss of the season and made it quite clear that the Crimson Tide aren’t going to have anyone get in their way this season, at least until the conference champions game.

Not that the Rebels don’t have goals of their own. Not just playing in a bowl game, but finishing with a record that’s good enough to position themselves as contenders next season. Having excellent recruiting classes isn’t enough, especially after failing in three consecutive games against Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M. LSU, however, proved a slightly easier challenge, succumbing to a very late field goal (2 seconds left) by Andrew Ritter, giving them the 27-24 win.

The same Ritter who had a 29-yard field goal blocked earlier in the fourth quarter. The senior didn’t feel too confident about his final kick either, as it almost drifted too far from the uprights. But LSU didn’t play well enough to deserve a win and remain on one loss, giving them hope that all their aspirations might be corrected as they head over to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama.

We didn’t do some of the things that we needed to come in here and do. I really thought we were going to throw those balls and complete them and I thought they were great calls.

With a second loss this season, the LSU Tigers don't seem good enough to challenge Alabama in the SEC West.
With a second loss this season, the LSU Tigers don’t seem good enough to challenge Alabama in the SEC West.

Miles talking about great callas was weird, as it was Zach Mettenberger playing an awful game, throwing three interceptions is what might have cost him the game. There weren’t great defensive plays by a supreme defense. It was a quarterback who hasn’t shown one sign of greatness his entire college career making bad choices and poor throws to shoot his team in the foot time after time. He did complete a pass to Jarvis Landry, who has been helping him look good all season, giving LSU a 24-24 tie just before the fourth quarter was over, but that was too little, too late. Ole Miss weren’t having an extremely impressive offensive day themselves (Bo Wallace with 0 touchdowns passes), but they did enough to deserve going above .500 once again.

Ole Miss were missing too many players to feel very confident about hosting the Tigers in a season that seemed to be going in a very wrong direction after a promising start. However, things are never that simply in College Football, as the re-shaping SEC is becoming less and less predictable before the end of the BCS era.

We sat in there on Sunday and said, ‘We got 14 players, not starters, 14 players for seven spots between the defensive line and the linebackers. We tried to make D.T. Shackelford do two different things, and he was able to do that. Fortunately, Tony Conner made a big difference because we were able to teach him some linebacker stuff. The kids are warriors. We needed that for our program. We ran the football against a really good defense. Our offensive line played against a good defensive front. I have great confidence in Jaylen and I’Tavius. Jaylen has quick acceleration. He did really well tonight and protected the ball.

Watson finished with 106 yards, scoring two touchdowns.

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