Four downs: Scott Rabalais breaks down the LSU-Ole Miss game
For LSU, there are four keys to the Tigers beating Ole Miss in Oxford, says Advocate columnist Scott Rabalais...
1 UNWIND THE CLOCK
Remember the 2009 LSU-Ole Miss game in Oxford, when Les Miles motioned for his team to “clock” the ball at the end after squandering precious seconds earlier in the drive? This time, running time off the clock is a good thing. The longer LSU keeps the ball out of Shea Patterson’s hands the better. And the best way for the Tigers to do that is by controlling the ball with their running game.
2 SPEAKING OF THE RUN …
LSU’s youngsters along the offensive line are improving. But the fact remains that against Auburn, LSU often had to resort to sweeps, tosses and end-arounds to advance the ball on the ground. The between-the-tackles stuff, especially in the red zone, just wasn’t working. The Tigers don’t need to abandon the shape-shifting elements of Matt Canada’s offense. But a large dollop of power running against one of the SEC’s worst rush defenses is a must.
3 BE A MAN (TO MAN)
LSU eventually handled Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, allowing him just two completions and 6 yards passing in the second half. The Rebels’ Shea Patterson will take the threat level up another notch with his ability to run, throw and throw on the run. The Tigers are sure to stick to nickel man-to-man coverage, freeing up another lineman/linebacker to rush and/or contain Patterson. Another double-digit tackle week from Devin White would help immensely.
4 DON’T BE THOSE TIGERS
Ed Orgeron and his players said this week that the shocking loss to Troy helped spur the Tigers to big back-to-back victories over Florida and Auburn. Confidence is good, and it is plausible to imagine LSU building something like the 20-point lead Auburn had early in last week’s game against Ole Miss. But as this LSU team proved, a lead like that can be blown, especially on the road against a team with the Rebels’ firepower.