The suspensions cast the game in a different light, but Brandon Bolden says it's important to remember the humanity of LSU.
“It's the same group of guys, some older than me, some younger than me. They put their pants on the same way I do. It's nothing special about them. They just got the title of No. 1,” he says.
A Baton Rouge native, Bolden has had some solid performances against the hometown school that showed him only scant recruiting interest. He scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run as a true freshman on an Ole Miss team in which he was less a focal point of the offense. The Rebels dominated that game with a 31-13 win at Tiger Stadium. Ole Miss ended the game taking a knee inside the LSU 5-yard line.
Bolden rushed for 40 yards on 14 carries in 2009, then last year as a junior and playing in Baton Rouge again, he rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. One of those was a 50-yard run in the first quarter as Ole Miss drew even at 7.
“It's always important playing against your hometown team. That goes for everybody,” he said.
This time the hometown team will play in Oxford in Bolden's final home game.
Bolden rushed for 976 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.
In a senior season marked by a fractured ankle in the opening game and his own suspension against Alabama, Bolden goes into the LSU game with 399 yards, trailing Jeff Scott's 529 yards for the team rushing lead.
With Scott out for LSU and most likely for the finale against Mississippi State, Bolden has a chance to finish as the Rebels' leading rusher for the second straight year. He needs 131 yards to get there.
Bolden just wants to see a winning effort, whether the Rebels win or not.
“It's the last time I get to dress out in a home Ole Miss uniform. It will be very emotional, and I'll try my hardest not to cry,” he said. “As long as I know every guy gave it his all out on that field, I'm fine with it.”