It’s time for the Coach O bowl. Ed Orgeron cut his teeth as a head coach in Oxford with the Rebels from 2005-2007. It wasn’t pretty, and Orgeron only won 10 games at the helm. He’s already won two as the interim this season at LSU, half as many as his high watermark at Ole Miss. However, the competition ratchets up this week as the Rebels come to Death Valley and LSU gets its first shot against a ranked opponent during the Coach O era.
A methodical LSU attack will meet the feast-or-famine Ole Miss offense and who knows what will happen. Chad Kelly triggers the Rebels at QB and he’s mercurial at worst but brilliant with the deep ball at best. Ole Miss still struggles to get much of anything going when attempting to run the ball. The Rebels are No. 85 in the country in rushing offense and have seen running backs break the 100-yard barrier only twice this season (both happened in the same game). To their credit, Ole Miss doesn’t try what they aren’t good at and the Rebels are 112th in the country in rushing attempts per game with 33. But if they get ahead against the Tigers can they effectively salt the game away?
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. The broadcasters are Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer and Kaylee Hartung.
Online streaming: WatchESPN.
Spread: LSU is a seven-point home favorite on a Saturday night in Death Valley.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation's team blog chats for this game at Red Cup Rebellion (for Rebels fans) or And The Valley Shook (for Tigers fans).
Three big things to know
Three big things to know
- Leonard Fournette is back. Not only will he play, Orgeron went on the record this week saying the feature running back will start. An ankle injury has dogged Fournette all season but it seems like he’s ready to put it behind him heading into the Ole Miss game. Make sure you watch how the offensive line in front of Fournette deals with a fearsome Ole Miss front seven.
- If Ole Miss loses, it will likely spell doom for any outside chance the Rebels have at making the SEC championship game. The Rebels already have two losses in conference play, and a third would make it nearly impossible to get to Atlanta. A second conference loss wouldn’t be the end for LSU but it certainly won’t make things any easier. The games following this one are Alabama (in two weeks), Arkansas, Florida, and Texas A&M.
- The Rebels don’t let you get many, but if you can avoid a fair catch situation and return punts against them there is green grass to be had. Tre'Davious White has already brought one back to the house this season, and he’ll be looking for another Saturday night.