Bo Wallace completed 30 of 39 passes for 346 yards and had no turnovers. Jaylen Walton rushed for a career-high 105 yards and two scores in the absence of starting tailback Jeff Scott, and kicker Andrew Ritter shook off an earlier miss to nail a 41-yard winning field goal on the next-to-last play of the game.
Penalties, mostly of the 5-yard variety, were a problem.
Keys To Victory
(Reviewing the scouting report from Saturday’s GameDay section.)
1. Gang tackling
It was a must, and a wounded Ole Miss defense was quick to the LSU backs after they reached the line of scrimmage. Missing key players the Rebels didn’t have the tackles for loss that they often do, but they didn’t allow big plays either. The longest LSU run was a 12-yard gain by Kenny Hilliard.
2. Catch the ball
There was much greater consistency by the Ole Miss wide receivers after the group had gone through a stretch with some highly visible drops in losses to Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M.
The Rebels’ only touchdown catch was by seldom-used tight end Nick Parker, but Ja-Mes Logan, Donte Moncrief and Laquon Treadwell had chain-moving catches throughout the night as Ole Miss was 11-for-18 on third-down conversions.
3. Fast start on offense
Actually, it was the Rebels’ defense that had the fast start, and the offense caught up. Ole Miss didn’t get its first first down until its third possession, but the Rebels’ offense finished with 525 yards.
Bo Wallace. The junior starting quarterback shook off criticism of his performance against Texas A&M and responded with his third-consecutive 300-yard passing game. He completed big passes at critical times. On the winning drive Wallace scrambled ahead for a first down and also found Logan for a 13-yard gain on third-and-9.
It was the signature win of the Hugh Freeze Era and should lift the Rebels’ spirits as they put the most difficult part of their schedule behind them, but the defensive injuries that remain should not be taken lightly. There’s more work to do to recapture the momentum created by three-straight wins to open the season.