The No. 6 LSU Tigers suffered one of the biggest upsets of the college football season, bowing out at Ole Miss, 27-24. The Tigers came back from a 17-0 deficit in the second half, but after finally tying the game with 3:19 left, LSU couldn't get Ole Miss off the field, and the Rebels booted a 41-yard field goal in the dying seconds to take home the victory.
Ole Miss's offense was the star of the show, racking up 525 yards on LSU's vaunted front, and QB Bo Wallace connected on 30 of his 39 passes for 346 yards. The biggest damage came on third down, as Ole Miss was able to convert 11 of its 18 chances, including a pair of conversions deep in Rebel territory on the final drive.
LSU QB Zach Mettenberger had his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns in the loss. He did rack up 274 yards and sustain a few drives in the second half, but his turnovers and sacks doomed the LSU attack.
Brandon Larrabee of Team Speed Kills thought Mettenberger's number was called too often:
LSU, meanwhile, seemed to make a baffling array of coaching decisions at times, especially when they relied heavily on the passing game even as it became clearer and clearer that Mettenberger was struggling. If you count Mettenberger's sacks as passing attempts, which they are, LSU called 36 passes and 32 runs. Given LSU's running backs and adding how bad Mettenberger looked most of Saturday night, that's just not a play-calling mix that makes a lot of sense. Then again, the longest run of the night for LSU was 12 yards. So it's not like the running game was making a lot more progress. And the defense, which gave up a total of 522 yards, wasn't helping anybody.
Meanwhile, Poseur at And The Valley Shook thinks LSU's just not good enough:
This team lost for one simple reason: it's just not good enough. Mettenberger had a terrible first half and the running game never really got going, but the real weakness of this team is a defense that can't stop anyone when it matters,
We can point fingers until the cows come home, but Ole Miss was the better team tonight. The SEC West was there for the taking, but LSU failed to walk through that door because of all things, we can't play defense. It's that kind of year.
On the other sideline, Ole Miss is understandably jubilant, but things aren't all perfect for the Rebels. A pair of linemen sought out Hugh Freeze for a celebratory Gatorade bath, but...
Side note: the first team to ever do this for their coach must have been full of world-class a-holes. Anyway, we digress.
The Ghost of Jay Cutler at Red Cup Rebellion gave special recognition to a defense that was short-handed (a lot of that going around in the SEC this year) but still made the plays to win:
And for the defense to play as well as they did, considering the injuries this team has suffered over the past few weeks, was remarkable. Even though they were down six starters, including C.J. Johnson and Robert Nkemdiche, they put pressure on Zach Mettenberger, hauled in timely interceptions, and kept LSU from making any real big plays.
With that, Ole Miss is now on track to reel off a few wins in a row, with the next four games all at home and only a date with Missouri coming against a ranked opponent. The question shouldn't be whether the Rebels make a bowl game, it should be how good it'll be. That's a heck of a win.