A painful, familiar feeling for Ole Miss, which lost a game in which it led with less than 2 minutes to play for the second time in two weeks and the third time this season.
Another chapter in the season story of coming close.
The Rebels go into the Egg Bowl still needing one win for bowl-eligibility.
Some high points for Ole Miss: The Rebels put up 35 points on an LSU team ranked No. 10 in scoring defense that was giving up 15.5 points a game.
Further, the Rebels put up 463 yards on a defense giving up just 262.9, third in the nation. And they did it with success in the run game that had vanished the last month.
Randall Mackey got more carries and showed up more than he has lately, finishing with 41 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and three catches for 44 yards.
His 37-yard gain to the LSU 16 with the clock rapidly running down was the last good play for Ole Miss on offense. It was followed by a tackle for loss and two sacks, and Bryson Rose miss from 53 yards.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said the first sack was Wallace’s fault, that there were places he could have gotten rid of the ball. The first one was simply being beaten at the line of scrimmage.
A mixed bag of results for Wallace. His three picks plus a muffed punt by Korvic Neat led to 13 points off turnovers for LSU. Wallace also had a pair of touchdown passes, strikes of 56 and 30 yards to Donte Moncrief, who finished with a career-high 161 yards on six catches, and ran for scores of 1 and 58 yards.
More in Day After Observations.
There’s a stunned silence from the LSU fans now, enough for the Hotty Toddy cheers to ring out loudly from the north end zone as the Ole Miss players ran off the field.
The Rebels outgained LSU 286-174 in the first half. Great half for the defense, which was put in a bad position by turnovers. LSU scored 10 points off turnovers, a statistic that could be the Rebels’ undoing later on. We’ll see.
The running game is back, at least for a half. The Rebels hadn’t reached the 100-yard mark since getting 200 rushing yards against Auburn. They rushed for 126 in the first half, much of it coming on a 58-yard TD run by Bo Wallace. He later scored on a 1-yard sneak and also has a TD pass to Donte Moncrief.
Much more of Moncrief in the first half, (3 catches, 98 yards, 58 on the TD) and of Randall Mackey (6 carries, 28 yards).
Wallace is 8-for-19 passing. He’s had a couple of drops. He threw an interception on a pass to Moncrief that wasn’t a bad decision but was a bad pass, behind Moncrief, who tipped it up and made an easy play for the LSU defender.
The Tigers turned into a 36-yard touchdown drive.
It’s been a really good half for the Ole Miss defense, which has really slowed down the LSU run game, holding the Tigers to 67 yards on 22 carries.
In the absence of C.J. Johnson, Channing Ward is getting to play a lot and is playing well.
LSU QB Zach Mettenberger is 7-for-15 for 107 yards. No picks. He was sacked once, by Uriah Grant, on the Tigers’ last drive, and resulting in Les Miles giving up on the idea of trying for points with time on the clock.
We’re about two hours from kick here.
Ole Miss support personnel are milling about the field at Tiger Stadium. I hear in the distance behind the south end zone what I assume to be the Rebels arriving.
LSU is a fun place to watch a game but is probably the most difficult maze of streets to wander to get to parking. That’s why I leave early — among other reasons — and it paid off. I have philosophical differences with football traffic.
The south end zone, by the way, was where the Tigers got one extra play in 1972 and made it pay off. The extra play in and of itself should never have happened, then add on top of that the fact that the pass was incomplete, says Ole Miss All-American DB turned radio analyst Harry Harrison, who tells the story here.
Good read here from Ted Lewis of the Baton Rouge Advocate — still seems strange to say that — on Ole Miss athlete Randall Mackey.
Ted filled a variety of roles for many years at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He has been able to continue his career as sports editor of The Advocate’s New Orleans bureau.
I will have live updates on Twitter. I’ll be back here at halftime and after the game.