Tag Archives: #LSU

Former LSU star Landry wins AFC honor for October

Former LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry was named Thursday as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October.

Landry, a second-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins this spring, earned the honor after returning five kickoffs for 178 yards and averaged 35.6 yards per return with a long of 54 yards for the month.

Landry’s 35.6 average was the second-highest in the NFL in October. For the season, he has returned 16 kicks for 500 yards, including a long of 74, for an average of 31.3 yards per kickoff return to lead the league.

The former LutcherHigh School star is the first Dolphins player to win the monthly award since kicker Dan Carpenter earned it in October 2010.

Landry is also the first rookie to win the award since Oakland Raiders kick returner Jacoby Ford did it in November 2010.

Wednesday With Les: Failed QB sneak; Fan in heaven; Bye week comes at idea time; Quarterback play improving

IMG_2124LSU coach Les Miles, on Wednesdays during game weeks, speaks publicly three different times. Follow his comments here throughout the day. (It’s a bye week so Miles only speaks twice today)

Radio show

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace failed on a quick quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 from near midfield late in the loss to LSU. Ole Miss got to the line so quick that the Tigers couldn’t get in a defensive call.

It didn’t matter, though.

“The hurry-up sneak: we hurried up; there was no sneak,” Miles said.

More from the coach about that play: “Our two defensive tackles go right to the line of scrimmage. They didn’t get a call. When that ball was snapped, they hit it. That was as quality a play as I’ve seen.”

  • Several radio callers gave condolences to Miles for the loss of his mother, Martha. She died on Friday, a day before the game against the Rebels. Said Miles about the win over Ole Miss: “I think we had one more fan in heaven operating on our behalf.”
  • Miles on Logan Stokes, who caught his first career pass at LSU for that game-winning touchdown against Ole Miss: “Our tight end is a pretty talented guy and he’s not really had a lo tof receptions. I think he’ll remember it for a life time. He’s very deserving. It was just the right call.
  • Miles says he’s seen the now viral YouTube video of an Ole Miss fan shouting obscenities while her boyfriend, an LSU fan, video tapes the sequence. “It was a divided house,” the coach said. “My hope is it wasn’t real,” Miles added.
  • Miles to fans about the Alabama game: “Plan to stay late.”

SEC teleconference

The bye week is “exactly what (LSU) needed” after playing nine straight weeks and its timing is “ideal” for LSU coach Les Miles, the coach said Wednesday.

Miles lost his mother, Martha, on Friday. She was 91. He also learned Friday that his son Ben broke his leg during a football game.

No. 16 LSU meets No. 3 Alabama on Nov. 8.

“I think nine straight weekends and an opportunity to get fresh, really look at our offense, our defense and special teams in terms of moderate adjustment,” Miles said. “It’s exactly what we needed. The timing for me personally is ideal.”

  • Asked about improvements and changes in his team since that 41-7 loss at Auburn, Miles first mentioned the quarterback position. Anthony Jennings has started the last three games. Freshman Brandon Harris started the game at Auburn and hasn’t seen significant playing time since. “I think we’re improving some of the situations the quarterbacks are handling,” Miles said. “I think our defensive and offensive line have improved. We’re really kind of ironing out some issues with our team – offense, defense and special teams. I think personnel is improving.”
  • Miles said his team continue to improve as a whole, but that it’s not playing its best football just yet. “They’re a group of men committed to working hard, and they understand they’re not their best team just yet and they need to be,” the coach said. “They come to work every day with a real quality attitude. They look forward to finishing this year as a very strong capable team.”

Twitter Mailbag: The improving O-line; Jennings’ target-locking ways; and LSU’s finish

LSU's O-line has improved greatly since the game at Auburn. (Travis Spradling)

LSU’s O-line has improved greatly since the game at Auburn. (Travis Spradling)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

If a player isn’t seeing a lot of playing time and is healthy, it usually means one thing: Other players are better. That’s just the truth of it.

And, you’re right, LSU doesn’t pass the ball much so receivers – especially depth at receiver – aren’t a major concern. The Tigers have a handful of guys who they can rely on and that’s good enough. Those guys: Trey Quinn, Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural and John Diarse.

You’re noticing that the O-line is improving and thus want to see more passing? Think the opposite.

The O-line’s improvement will likely mean more running from LSU and its deep running back position. The Tigers linemen – for whatever reason – have started opening up holes like never before. That lends itself to more running. Les Miles isn’t going to stray from that scheme, especially if his O-line is playing well – which it is.

Jennings has struggled in several spots, and this is one. He hones in on a certain target (namely Travin Dural), but, just like several areas in Jennings’ game, that’s getting better.

We saw him, for instance, target Trey Quinn just as much Saturday as he did Dural. But on many of those throws, Quinn was the primary. Plain and simple: coaches are giving Jennings easy, high-percentage throws. They don’t want him thinking too much. Don’t expect that to change too much.

The SEC West is a hodgepodge for now. It’s crazy to think about, but LSU could finish in a five-way tie for the SEC West leave. It’s improbable, yes, but possible.

It’s tough to see LSU winning its final three games (that would mean its final six after a 4-2 start). The best scenario would be to split the two remaining road games against Arkansas and Texas A&M and hope the Tigers get some special teams help and assistance from the 102,000 to stun Alabama.

That would put the Tigers finishing at 9-3, which is where many fans had them projected before the season.

Oh, I think there will be a competition. This year’s quarterback battle stretched into the sixth game of the season (Brandon Harris started at Auburn). There’s no reason to think Harris won’t again challenge Jennings.

I’m gonna take a stab at it and say that a very similar competition will unfold over the off-season that unraveled this past spring and summer. And LSU may enter next season as it did this one – with Jennings as an unsteady starter and Harris as a talented backup who’s poised to take over mid-season.

Les Miles: Magee is “fine”; Valentine likely to redshirt

Running back Terrence Magee is “fine,” and freshman defensive tackle Travonte Valentine is likely to redshirt this season, coach Les Miles said after practice Tuesday.

Terrence Magee suffered an inadvertent poke to the eye against Ole Miss, Les Miles said. (Bill Feig)

Terrence Magee suffered an inadvertent poke to the eye against Ole Miss, Les Miles said. (Bill Feig)

Magee was inadvertently “gouged” in the eye in the win over Ole Miss. Miles suggested that the senior did not practice Tuesday but that he would later in the week.

Valentine, meanwhile, is set to be redshirted, the coach hinted. The Southeastern Conference has not ruled Valentine eligible, despite him being cleared by the NCAA. The four-star defensive tackle prospect from Florida is allowed to practice with the team but not play.

Asked if Valentine will be redshirted, Miles said, “I don’t imagine he’d see any action any time soon unless we get some unusual communicative information.”

Other notes from Miles’ address to reporters, the only time the coach will meet with the local media on this bye week:

  • Miles on having getting a bye before Alabama game (LSU has played nine straight games): “Nine straight games, correct? There’s some bumps and bruises there. Couple of extra days of non-practice really make a difference.”
  • DT Davon Godchaux has had a few personnel foul penalties this season. He picked up two against Ole Miss and was ejected late in the game after the second: “I think he enjoys the ability to communicate after the whistle. I think that that is generally a problem.”
  • LSU was given off Monday and practice Tuesday. The Tigers will practice Wednesday and Thursday and will have a “team run” Friday. Miles is allowing players off for the weekend.
  • LSU did not work out the Alabama game play at Tuesday’s practice, Miles said. Drills were conducted mostly focusing on special teams and the No. 1s vs. the No. 1s.
  • Miles on the death of LSU fan Brian Tingley in Tiger Stadium late during the win over Ole Miss (Tingley died of a heart attack in the north end zone stands: “What a tragedy to have a young man – 59-years old, Brian Tingley – pass away in our end zone, back end with three minutes left to go. Good news is the score was already established at that point, but, in some ways, may be the best place to be. Wish him well, wish his family well.”

Frank Wilson: “If La’el Collins is not a top-five draft pick, I’ll kiss my own ass”

La'el Collins had a "monstrous" game against Ole Miss, says Frank Wilson. (Travis Spradling)

La’el Collins had a “monstrous” game against Ole Miss, says Frank Wilson. (Travis Spradling)

LSU recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson says he’ll pucker up if LT La’el Collins doesn’t get drafted this spring in the top five, according to comments he made in a Fox Sports story posted Monday.

Wilson called Collins’ game in the 10-7 win over Ole Miss “monstrous” and added this:

“If La’el Collins is not a top-five draft pick, I’ll kiss my own ass,” he said.

LSU assistants aren’t usually made available to local reporters. Wilson and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were quoted in the Fox Sports story. Here are some other nuggets from the story:

  • Running back Leonard Fournette’s facemask was ripped nearly clean off on LSU’s game-winning drive. The running back arrived at the sidelined and said, “Hurry up so I can get back in there,” according to Wilson.

  • Wilson on Fournette, who has been noticeably more patient over the last month this season: “He’s being patient now and knows that every carry is not always gonna be (a) home run,” Wilson said. “Sometimes it may only be (a) six-yard run. Sometimes it may only go for three. He’s figuring out that he can’t always cut back across the grain, and that the defense is like a puzzle and they have their pursuit angles, and that our line is taught specifically about how they take their steps and what their hat place (needs to be on a certain play), so you can’t be on a different page from them. He gets that now.”
  • Cameron on Fournette, the former No. 1 recruit who leads LSU in rushing with 657 yards: “In my book, he’s even better than I thought.”
  • Wilson says LSU is “a different team” with Kendell Beckwith in at middle linebacker: “He’s 6-3, 250 and so physical. He’s a true Mike with 4.5 speed. He just needed to recognize what the offense was doing and now he’s playing fast because before he was thinking all the time.” Beckwith likely had the best game of his career against Ole Miss.

Film Room: LSU 10, Ole Miss 7

Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention.

(click photos to enlarge)

How They Happened (big-play analysis)

Touchdown to the … tight end: With 5 minutes, 59 seconds left in the game, quarterback Anthony Jennings hit tight end Logan Stokes for a game-winning 3-yard touchdown pass.StokesTD

  • LSU had run the ball on all 12 plays of the drive before offensive coordinator Cam Cameron called a play-action dive to Kenny Hilliard with a naked bootleg for Jennings. The Tigers sold it well. They had three tight ends in the gme with an I-formation. As would be expected, Ole Miss defenders bit on the dive play.
  • Stokes, lined up at right tight end, sold the run by acting as if he’s cut blocking CB Senquez Golson (two are circled in red). You can see in this shot that Stokes is on the ground after dropping to his knees faking the cut block – a block used to cut the legs from under a defender. Golson was fooled. He took one, critical step inside toward Hilliard’s fake dive as Stokes hits the ground.
  • The key to the play is the fake. Cameron and the Tigers fooled everyone. Just before the touchdown, ESPN color analyst Kirk Herbstreit mentions the Tigers had run on all 12 plays of the drive. Play-by-play man Chris Fowler responds: “The 13th is gonna be a run too.”

Behind the new guy: Three plays before the touchdown to Stokes, Leonard Fournette runs behind right guard Evan Washington for a 22-yard gain to inside the Ole Miss 15-yard line.

  • First off, Washington played one snap on offense in this game – this one. Center Elliott Porter was injured on the play before, shifting around the offensive line and bringing Washington off of the bench. Starting right guard Ethan Pocic moved to center for Porter while Washington replaced Pocic. Where does LSU run? To the right, naturally.FournetteRun
  • The photo to the right is just before Fournette made his cut to the right (red lines). He wanted to go left toward the middle of the field but Ole Miss LB Keith Lewis (red circle) prevented that from happening. So Fournette displayed his growing patience, waiting for the hole to open. It does, as Washington (black arrow) and Pocic (red arrow) – the two guys in new positions for this one play – got the springing blocks.
  • Washington did the job against Ole Miss DT Issac Gross, shoving him to the outside in a dominating display in his one offensive snap. Pocic bullied OM LB Serderius Bryant.

Not-so sneaky: On fourth-and-1 from the LSU 47-yard line, Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace is stopped for no gain with 1:44 left in the game.WallaceSneak

  • Three players get credit: DE Jermauria Rasco, DT Christian LaCouture and LB Kendell Beckwith. They seem to know what’s coming: a QB sneak. Wallace tried to run behind his center and right guard, but LaCouture (red arrow) took on both players with a low push, and Beckwith (black arrow) drove through the same hole, leaping over the top to force Wallace to the outside.
  • Rasco (red circle) is completely unblocked on the play. He wheeled around the outside and smacked Wallace as the QB attempted to slip to the outside. Rasco immediately recognizes the play and is in the backfield within a second of the snap.
  • What’s lost here is the critical tackle made by Beckwith on third-and-2 the play before this fourth-down stop. OM RB I’Tavius Mathers appeared to have a clear shot at the first down until Beckwith, at first coming on a blitz, read the run and dropped Mathers a yard short of the line to gain.

The wheel route: Late in the first quarter, Bo Wallace hits Jaylen Walton for a 43-yard completion on a wheel route out of the backfield. IMG_2109

  • This is a well-designed but illegal play. LB Kwon Alexander is picked on the play (red circle), blocked clean out of it. That’s illegal, but it isn’t often called. Ole Miss took advantage, and Wallace threw a perfect pass to Walton.
  • Jalen Collins (yellow circle) bit on the slant early (the receiver who set the pick on Alexander), and that left him behind on the play. He didn’t make up enough ground and took a poor angle on Walton. Meanwhile, safety Rickey Jefferson is too late on the tackle down the field. He’s seen on replay not running at full speed around the time Walton catches the pass. Jefferson was pulled for the next few plays.

Big Ugly Blips and Booms (O-line analysis)

  • LSU set a record in Film Room “booms” (booms are blocks that result in successful run or pass plays at the point of the ball). How many did they have? A whopping 23.
  • Sophomore right guard Ethan Pocic had the best game of his career: He had nine booms and just one “blip” (blips are missed blocks that result in an unsuccessful run or pass block play at the point of the ball).
  • LT La’el Collins didn’t have his best outing with a 3 to 3 boom-to-blip ratio – much of that because of Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche. Elliott Porter struggled again at times, getting pushed, somewhat, into the backfield, but he had a couple of booms, too. IMG_2116
  • Overall, the offensive line created holes all night. Here’s a great look at a key play in the win in which the O-line had multiple blocks. Kenny Hilliard ran for 18 yards on a second down and 8 with LSU backed up to its own 7. It was the second play of what would be the 13-play, 95-yard game-winning drive capped by Logan Stokes’ touchdown pass. The blocks in that Hilliard run came from Dillon Gordon (red circle), Vadal Alexander (blue), Pocic (black) and Porter (yellow).

Monday Morning Quarterback (QB analysis)

  • Anthony Jennings played one of his best first halves of the season, but he struggled at times late, including two poor throws on interceptions. On his three worst throws, he had an overthrow, an underthrow and then just made a poor decision.
  • Jennings, we believe, rolled out to pass on four of his 13 attempts. Expect to see more going forward. That’s where he’s most comfortable and that’s what he “likes,” OC Cam Cameron told color analyst Kirk Herbstreit, according to Herbsreit’s comments on air.
  • Jennings, like he did in the game at Florida, showed some flashes – plays that he might not have made just a month ago. Below is one to RB Terrence Magee. Jennings eludes pressure, steps up into a big hits and fires a pass to Magee on a key third down:

  • So here’s another thing we saw from Jennings and LSU’s offenseIMG_2111 that we haven’t seen a ton (if at all) this season: The read-option out of the Pistol formation. Check it out to the right. Jennings reads the defensive end well, and hands off to Fournette for a good gain to the left side. FB Connor Neighbors draws the linebackers to the right.

Backing It Up (RB/FB analysis)

  • Leonard Fournette continues to hit his stride on the ground, while occasionally missing an open hole. It’s not happening, though, as much as it did earlier this season. Fournette continues to make jaw-dropping plays for a guy weighing 230 pounds. For example, the run below. He kept himself up with his hand, but officials blew the play dead, and LSU had to replay the down.

  • During a 6-yard run inside the Ole Miss 10-yard line, Fournette IMG_2118had his facemask ripped off – like, completely ripped off. Check out the photo to the right. It was sitting on his head. Below is a replay of how it happened.

 

  • One more Vine of the kind of plays Fournette can make. Check out this move he makes on LB Denzel Nkemdiche and then his catch is a thing of beauty (Jennings threw  perfect ball).

  • Fournette had the most yards, but Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard ran just as hard and equally as well. Magee, it appears, suffered a cut on his eye and needed a knee brace late in the game, TE Logan Stokes said in interviews after the game. His status is uncertain.
  • Connor Neighbors appears to be fully – or close to fully – healthy for the first time in weeks. He had seven booms and zero blips. His shining moment came on a block up the gut on fourth down-and-1 on LSU’s game-winning drive. Check it out:

Five-yard Out (WR analysis)

  • Jennings seems to be beginning to spread the ball around more than ever. He targeted Trey Quinn just as many times as he did Travin Dural (four times each). Play-by-play man Chris Fowler mentioned that Quinn has learned all three receiver positions.
  • There were no dropped passes, and Dural had at least one boom on a running play.

Front Seven (D-line/LB analysis)

  • The front seven had a whopping 14 pressures in 13 plays on Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, and they batted down four passes.
  • Let’s take this bullet to focus on MLB Kendell Beckwith, who likely played the best game of his college career. Beckwith was sent on a center blitz at lest seven times in the game. We charted him for a whopping five quarterback pressures. Check out a few of those well-timed blitzed from Beckwith at Ole Miss center  Robert Conyers, the reserve center who replaced injured starter Ben Still:

  • The D-line played one of its best if not its best game of the season. Danielle Hunter had two pressures and two attacks (an attack is a great defensive play made resulting in a poor offensive snap). Jermauria Rasco continues to swarm. He had four QB pressures, as LSU harassed Wallace from the start. Here’s Rasco pressuring Wallace on Ole Miss’ last offensive snap – when Ronald Martin made the win-securing interception on an underthrown ball:

  •  It appears that DT Quentin Thomas has returned to full, or relatively full, health. He played more in this game than he has in the last few weeks. And he had three attacks, including a deflected pass late in the game. LSU played without starting DT Davon Godchaux on Ole Miss’ final drive. Godchaux had to leave the game for receiving two unsportsmanlike flags. Thomas played a ton late. Christian LaCouture was charted for a pressure and an attack.

Break It Up (DB analysis)

  • There were three busted coverages (a busted coverage just means a guy got open, not necessarily communication breakdown): Jalen Mills, Jalen Collins and Rashard Robinson each had one.
  • Jamal Adams followed two strong games against Florida and Kentucky with a solid outing against Ole Miss. He added another flop, too. Check it out:

  • On the telecast, the broadcasters said that DC John Chavis told them that Adams remind him of Eric Berry, his former All-American safety at Tennessee.
  • Sure Tre’Davious White didn’t have his strongest game as a punt returner, but, man, he made the play of the game for the secondary. It might have saved a touchdown. In one-on-one coverage with no safety, White batted down Wallace’s pass intended for WR Vince Sanders:

Throw it to the tight end

  • Here are a few shots of Stokes’ 3-yard touchdown catch – the before and after:
Stokes in the huddle when Jennings yelled the play call.

Stokes in the huddle when Jennings yelled the play call.

After:

Photos and video courtesy of ESPN/SEC Network.

How I Voted: Week 9

Dak Prescott, Josh Robinson and Mississippi State continued to roll Saturday (AP).

Dak Prescott, Josh Robinson and Mississippi State continued to roll Saturday (AP).

How I Voted will be a weekly blog in which Ross Dellenger reveals his AP Top 25 voting with a blurb on each explaining that team’s ranking.

1. Mississippi State

2. Florida State

3. Alabama (UP 1)

4. Auburn (UP 1)

5. Georgia (UP 1)

6. Notre Dame (UP 2)

7. Oregon

8. Kansas State (UP 1)

9. Michigan State (UP 1)

10. Baylor (UP 2)

11. TCU (UP 2)

12. Ole Miss (DOWN 9)

13. Ohio State (DOWN 2)

14. Nebraska

15. Arizona State

16. Arizona (UP 1)

17. Utah (UP 2)

18. LSU (UP 5)

19. West Virginia (UP 5)

20. Oklahoma 

21. East Carolina

22. Clemson

23. Marshall (UP 2)

24. Missouri (NR)

25. Wisconsin (NR)

  • Others considered: Colorado State, Louisivlle
  • Biggest jump: LSU and West Virginia both moved up five spots.
  • Biggest fall: Southern Cal fell from No. 16 to out of the top 25, a drop of nine spots. Ole Miss, after a loss at LSU, dropped nine spots to No. 12.
  • Questionable move: We dropped the Rebels pretty substantially – nine spots. They slipped past a host of one-loss teams, including Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. And they beat Bama earlier this season.
  • Newbies: Missouri (24), Wisconsin (25)
  • Dropped out: Southern Cal (16)

Postgame: LSU 10, Ole Miss 7

LSU TE Logan Stokes make his touchdown grab.

LSU TE Logan Stokes make his touchdown grab. (Angel Major)

The Game Story

The voice of public-address announcer Dan Borne boomed over Tiger Stadium’s speakers: “Please stay off of the field!”

Good luck, Dan.

No. 24 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss 10-7 on Saturday night in a heart-pounding, wild classic that returned this heated rivalry back to its golden years of the 1950s and ’60s.

How good was it?

LSU fans stormed the field for the first time in more than a decade. An estimated 15,000 — most from the student section — rushed onto the playing surface after a mad fourth-quarter comeback.

Read the rest here.

The Turning Point

LSU stopped Ole Miss on fourth-and-2 from the LSU 47-yard line. Bo Wallace’s quick sneak attempt failed as linebacker Kendell Beckwith, defensive end Danielle Hunter and safety Jamal Adams made the stop with 1:44 left in the game.

The Stars

  • LB Kendell Beckwith: Beckwith had a second straight game with at least 10 tackles. He made some solid plays, including that fourth-down stop. Beckwith usurped D.J. Welter as the Tigers’ starter a few weeks ago. Welter, at least from our observations, didn’t play at middle linebacker Saturday.
  • LSU’s offensive line: Maligned for not living up to expectations earlier this season, the Tigers’ front five moved around an Ole Miss front that’s talented but on the small size. The holes, at times, where massive.

    La'el Collins and Vadal Alexander celebrate with field-storming fans. (Travis Spradling)

    La’el Collins and Vadal Alexander celebrate with field-storming fans. (Travis Spradling)

  • RB Leonard Fournette: The former No. 1 recruit in the nation rolled up 113 yards, a 5-yard average. LSU rode him throughout the game, before he gave way late to a fresh Kenny Hilliard. Fournette has now run for more than 100 yards three times this season.

The Numbers

  • 762: Combined rushing yards for LSU over last three games.
  • 25: Anthony Jennings’ pass completions in the last three games.
  • 42: Bo Wallace’s completion percentage.

The Quote

“Miss you, mom.” – LSU coach Les Miles after the game. His mother passed away Friday night.

Game Day: LSU vs. Ole Miss

This blog will updated with pregame notes and news starting at about three hours before kickoff.

UPDATES

  • 5:45: Former LSU players Reuben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. are at Saturday’s game. They were shown on the jumbotron about an hour before kickoff to a rousing roar from Tiger Stadium.
  • 5:15: LSU quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris are not listed as co-starters on the depth chart. There is no “OR” between their names. That’s the first time the two have no been listed as co-starters this season on any LSU depth chart. Jennings is, of course, listed as the starter with Harris in the No. 2 spot.
  • 5:00: Miles and Freeze were seen talking with Duck Dynasty’s Jace Robertson, one of the two guest pickers on ESPN GameDay:

  • 4:40: LSU coach Les Miles spent time chatting with Hugh Freeze and his three daughters at midfield about two hours before kickoff. One of the daughters, Ragan, ranks Miles as her No. 1 coach, Freeze said at SEC media days this past summer.
  • 4:30: Les Miles arrived at Tiger Stadium for his pregame interviews with ESPN and LSU’s radio crew.

The Info

  • Match: No. 24 LSU (6-2, 2-2) vs. No. 3 Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0)
  • TDP: 6:21 p.m., Saturday, Tiger Stadium
  • TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
  • Series Record: LSU leads 58-40-4

Players To Watch (LSU)

  • C Elliott Porter: Porter has struggled more than any offensive lineman for LSU, and he may face his biggest test of the season so far, blocking Robert Nkemdiche, the former No. 1 recruit in the nation. LSU must run the football successfully to win, and that includes clearing the middle with Porter.
  • DE Danielle Hunter: LSU must pressure Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace. Hunter said earlier this week that the scouting report on the Rebels was that they’d pass 70 percent. That’s plenty of chances for Hunter and the entire D-line to force turnovers out of a guy who’s, in the past, been erratic with the ball.

    Anthony Jennings has thrown just three interceptions all season. (Travis Spradling)

    Anthony Jennings has thrown just three interceptions all season. (Travis Spradling)

  • Anthony Jennings: LSU won’t rely on Jennings to win this game, but it will need him to avoid turning the ball over and to make big, crucial plays when needed. Maybe that’s a 40-yard strike to Dural or a 20-yard scramble. He must make a handful of big plays in this game for the Tigers to win. They can’t only rely on the run.
Robert Nkemdiche is a force up front for Ole Miss. (AP)

Robert Nkemdiche is a force up front for Ole Miss. (AP)

Players To Watch (Ole Miss)

  • DT Robert Nkemdiche: As previously mentioned, Nkemiche is the former No. 1 recruit in the nation who has a pension of manhandling offensive linemen. Nkemdiche’s backfield pressure is key in this game – not only on Jennings’ 20ish drops a game, but on LSU’s run game.
  • QB Bo Wallace: Again, mentioned above, but Wallace has thrown 33 interceptions in his 33 starts at Ole Miss, a run spanning two and a half seasons. He doesn’t have to do too much in this game (LSU’s offense likely isn’t gonna score in gobs), but he can’t make the big turnovers.
  • Laquon Treadwell: The Rebels aren’t the power running team of Mississippi State and Auburn. In fact, Ole Miss’ run-pass split is 55-45 so they like to pass and they like to do it with Treadwell, who has 34 catches, 458 yards and four scores.

Key Matchup

  • LSU’s D-line vs. Ole Miss’ O-line: David Pollack, the former Georgia star who’s on ESPN GameDay, also mentioned this as the key matchup in the game. He called it “weakness vs. weakness,” a nod to these two teams’ weak points. For LSU, that’s a defensive line that’s been somewhat disappointing. For Ole Miss, that’s an offensive line that’s allowed 18 sacks in seven games.

The Opponent

  • Sagarin rating: No. 1
  • Best win: 23-17 No. 2 Alabama
  • Worst loss: None
  • Sagarin strength of schedule: No. 13
  • Record vs. Sagarin Top 30: 3-0

The Series

Last 10

  • 2013: Ole Miss 27-24 in Oxford
  • 2012: LSU 41-35 in Baton Rouge
  • 2011: LSU 52-3 in Oxford
  • 2010: LSU 43-36 in Baton Rouge
  • 2009: Ole Miss 25-23 in Oxford
  • 2008: Ole Miss 31-13 in Baton Rouge
  • 2007: LSU 41-24 in Oxford
  • 2006: LSU 23-20 (OT) in Baton Rouge
  • 2005: LSU 40-7 in Oxford
  • 2004: LSU 27-24 in Baton Rouge

Biggest series wins

  • LSU: 52-3 (49 points) 2011
  • Ole Miss: 32-0 (32) 1992

The Spread

Ole Miss -3.5

ESPN GameDay picker: Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson

Willie Robertson was on the field for LSU's win over Florida last season. (AP)

Willie Robertson was on the field for LSU’s win over Florida last season. (AP)

Willie Robertson, the bandanna-wearing, beard-sporting Duck Dynasty personality, will serve as the guest picker on ESPN’s College GameDay, according to a source at the network.

Robertson had been rumored to be the guy for the last couple of days. LSU and ESPN attempted secure commitments for the guest picker role from at least three other celebrities: former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, singer Britney Spears and actor John Goodman.

ESPN is not revealing its guest picker until Saturday morning, producer Lee Fitting said Friday.

The three- hour college football pregame show broadcasts from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  The guest picker is revealed, normally, toward the end of the show. The picker walks out of the GameDay truck to the set to pick the best games in college football that Saturday.

Fitting, who spoke to the media on Friday afternoon, called choosing a guest picker each week “grinding.” He would not reveal the guest picker, but said one is locked in.

Robertson is not an alumnus of LSU, something that doesn’t matter to GameDay.

“That’s another thing people get wound up over – has to have LSU ties,” Fitting said. “I missed the handbook on that one that that’s a rule. Our goal with the guest picker is to find a somewhat high-profile celebrity or someone we think can be entertaining. If it has a tie to the host school, that’s great. If not, who cares.

Katy Perry didn’t have a tie to Ole Miss. She was great. Most weeks it’s grinding to try to find someone who can do it. Sometimes we don’t know until Thursday or Friday.”

Read more from the GameDay crew here.