LSU-Ole Miss: It’s usually a close game | Ole Miss Sports

A few links of interest on No. 1 LSU, which visits Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for a 6 p.m. kick this Saturday …

Among the Tigers’ many strengths is depth at tailback. A third different back over the last four weeks led the team in rushing against Western Kentucky. Alfred Blue had 119 yards on nine carries as the Tigers awakened late to win going away.

It’s not the running backs rotation, but the quarterbacks rotation that has many LSU fans scratching their heads. Les Miles was not clear about whether Jarrett Lee or Jordan Jefferson would start against Western Kentucky. Jefferson started, and Lee didn’t appear until the game was well in hand.

No starter has been named for the Tigers’ trip to Ole Miss.

Running back questions aside, LSU showed it can be dominant even when not at its best.

LSU will catch Ole Miss coming off perhaps its lowest point under Houston Nutt, a 27-7 loss to La. Tech. Yes, lower than the Jacksonville State loss, because in the 2010 season opener, the Rebels were competitive and had a chance to win until the very last play.

That wasn’t the case against Tech, and the stadium was virtually empty, except for Tech fans, by the time the clock hit zero.

Traditionally, Ole Miss has played LSU close regardless of circumstances. Last year the Rebels were coming off a 52-14 loss to an average Tennessee team in Knoxville when they played the Tigers off their feet in Baton Rouge, losing 43-36.

Nutt is 2-1 against LSU at Ole Miss, a couple of memorable wins, 31-13 in Baton Rouge his first season and 25-23 in Oxford two years ago.

The last time Ole Miss was headed into coaching search – although Ed Orgeron’s dismissal had not been announced – the Rebels played well with the Tigers early before fading in a 41-24 defeat. LSU was also ranked No. 1 that season.

Since 2000, Ole Miss is 3-8 against LSU. The only game in that span in which LSU completely dominated Ole Miss was 2005, Orgeron’s first year, a 40-7 LSU win in Oxford.

The next season the Rebels had a chance to upset LSU in Baton Rouge but failed to recover a fumble late in regulation that likely would have sealed the win. LSU won 23-20 in overtime.

Will the simple fact of playing LSU bring a different level of focus and execution for Ole Miss this week? That’s a question we’ll ask later today.