By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack thought his final damage count with injuries was four starters lost.
Then came the suspension.
The Ole Miss Spirit reported Saturday morning that starting cornerback Senquez Golson would miss the game for an unspecified violation of team rules.
With Mike Hilton out with a hamstring injury and Golson suspended, the Rebels’ starting corners were senior Charles Sawyer – getting his first start of the year – and true freshman Derrick Jones.
Freshman Bobby Hill also played extensively, part of a defensive plan that was revised on the fly after Hugh Freeze told his staff about Golson’s suspension Friday morning.
“The freshmen stepped up,” Sawyer said. “This is a huge stage, probably the biggest we’re going to play on. They kept their composure and did what they had to do.”
Sawyer had one of three interceptions against LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the first half. Cody Prewitt and Chief Brown also had interceptions.
Golson had a big game against LSU last year with two interceptions.
The Rebels have picked off Mettenberger five times in the last two years.
Run game praised
The days of pitching wide to Jeff Scott have been in decline since the Alabama game, and the Ole Miss run game has sputtered.
The Rebels’ 176 rushing yards against LSU were their most in an SEC game this year.
“We ran the football against a really good defensive front. I want to say that again. We ran the football against a really good defensive front. Our offensive line blocked a really good front. I want to be very clear how I feel about that,” Freeze said.
The Rebels averaged 4.1 yards per carry as a team, 5.8 from Jaylen Walton and 4.0 from I’Tavius Mathers.
Key number – 3
With a depleted defense the Rebels sacked Mettenberger three times. Ole Miss went into the game with only six sacks this season.
After LSU drew to within three points at 17-14, Ole Miss moved 76 yards in seven plays capped by Walton’s 26-yard run. The drive included Bo Wallace completions of 17 yards to Ja-Mes Logan and 26 yards to Donte Moncrief.
“I’d like to congratulate Coach Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels. They played a hell of a game.” – LSU coach Les Miles
The Rebels are at home against Idaho with a 6:30 p.m., kickoff.
Bo Wallace passed Archie Manning for the seventh spot on the school’s career passing yardage list. … Moncrief had 107 yards on five catches … Logan and Laquon Treadwell had seven catches each. Logan went for 65 yards, Treadwell for 43.