Scouting report: LSU at Ole Miss

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger (8) celebrates a touchdown against Florida last weekend. (AP Photo/The Times-Picayune, Brett Duke)

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger celebrates a touchdown against Florida last weekend. (AP Photo/The Times-Picayune, Brett Duke)

KEYS FOR VICTORY

1. Gang tackling

LSU running back Jeremy Hill (6-2, 235) is a big boy, and he’s got plenty of help behind him.

The Rebels had been pretty good against the run before the last two weeks. Texas A&M ran for 241 yards, and all of that isn’t attributed to improvisation by Johnny Manziel. Aggie backs Ben Malena and Trey Williams gashed the Rebels, too.

Ole Miss may benefit from facing an offense with more traditional sets. Stopping the run – the first goal in every game – will depend on eliminating assignment busts and wrapping up at the point of attack.

2. Catch the ball

Throughout the A&M game, Bo Wallace’s comments regarding the Rebels’ having better receivers than the Aggies kept ringing in my head.

It sure didn’t look that way. This group has too many crucial drops over the last two weeks, a disturbing trend.

The talent is there, but the production hasn’t been.

Ole Miss receivers need to step up and play to their standard tonight.

3. Fast start on offense

LSU fixed some things against Florida. Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State, the Tigers’ three previous SEC opponents, had rushed for an average of 208.3 yards before they held Florida to 111 yards on 40 carries.

Ole Miss showed an improved run game last week, but it came against the worst run defense in the league, and the Rebels’ 133 yards still didn’t approach the 214 Texas A&M was allowing on average.

Ole Miss needs a fast start in the ground game to sustain possession and open up play-action passing.

WHAT TO WATCH

When LSU has the ball

The emergence of Zach Mettenberger at quarterback has magnified the skills of LSU receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

Beckham is averaging 104.7 receiving yards a game, Landry 96.3. It won’t be a problem figuring out who Mettenberger will target. Landry has 46 catches, Beckham 37. The next-leading LSU pass-catcher is running back Jeremy Hill with eight.

Speaking of the ground game. The Tigers are deep at running back as they usually are, but Hill – whose future was in jeoparday with legal problems in the off-season – is far and away the leader with 98 attempts and an average of 7.3 yards per carry.

Three other backs have carries ranging from 39-44.

Ole Miss did a good job against Hill last year limiting him to 77 yards on 20 carries. He’s tough to stop in close, however. Three of those carries were for touchdowns.

When Ole Miss has the ball

Backup quarterback Barry Brunetti was a bigger part of the offense against Texas A&M, completing 3-of-4 passes, two for touchdowns.

Brunetti remains the preferred option in the power run game, but the Rebels got more done between the tackles against A&M than in any other game this season as Jaylen Walton averaged 5.9 yards on seven attempts, I’Tavius Mathers 3.9 yards on eight carries.

The Rebels would like to see that kind of success again – and to revive the read option under Bo Wallace which has struggle of late – especially as Jeff Scott’s health is a bit of a question mark with a thigh bruise.

CRUCIAL MATCHUP

Ole Miss secondary vs. LSU receivers

The Rebels spent a week scheming for Texas A&M’s big guy, Mike Evans, and were able to limit his production in the game. Evans had just 46 receiving yards on four catches, less than half his weekly output.

Freshman Derrick Jones, the Rebels’ “bigger” corner, started the game but played very little. Holding Evans in check was done by the Ole Miss regulars. They’ll need a repeat performance tonight, and it’s not about stopping one guy. LSU has two equally dangers threats, but if you can cover them it’s unlikely the Tigers’ production will run as deep as did A&M’s.

Parrish Alford

  • Kevin

    Here’s my scouting report: LSU will punt the ball probably only once; Ole Miss might get one turnover. Messyburger will have at least 3 TD passes; and the Tigers will score at least two more on the ground. Bo Wallace will throw a pick 6 (or fumble, which will lead to an LSU TD); and the LSU defense will have at least four sacks. The running game will be seriously limited for the Rebs–maybe only 65 yards throughout the game–whereas LSU will rack up over 200 yards in total rushing. The Ole Miss player with the best stats on the evening will be our punter.

    So let’s all watch the game and see how it plays out before my fan club comes on here and tells me things like I need to see a psychiatrist. Really? A psychiatrist because my football team isn’t any good? Believe me, I have no respect for shrinks and I don’t think that they can make Ole Miss any better.

  • REB

    All some people know is to be a negative whiner. They pretend to be Ole Miss Fans but in reality are Mi$$ $tate trolls. They look only for the bad. Never mind Ole Miss is building it’s way up, through recruiting, to a level playing field. People should never concede a game or listen to goofs like this.

  • REB

    I think someone needs to see a psychiatrist don’t you?