LSU Football 3 Keys: Ole Miss

LSU football Three keys

It was a wild week in LSU football, on and off the field. The Tigers were 12-point underdogs at home against the Florida Gators, marking the second straight year in which they were double-digit underdogs to Florida.

By Matt Zemek

For the second straight year, the Tigers ambushed the Gators and picked up a satisfying win. As it turned out, the win didn’t save Ed Orgeron’s job – people didn’t expect it to – but it did allow Coach O to finish the 2021 season with this team. Had Orgeron and the Tigers lost to Florida, the hammer might have come down immediately, with no glide path to late November or the bowl game for the 2019 national championship head coach whose one year to remember will coexist with several forgettable seasons. The trade was worth it, but O did have to go. Now the Tigers can move forward with fewer distractions as they go to Oxford to face Ole Miss. Will Lane Kiffin be LSU’s next head coach? Probably not, but we will see where – and how – the coaching carousel spins in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Ed Orgeron will try to beat his former colleague at USC under Pete Carroll (and then his boss when Kiffin became USC head coach just over a decade ago). Let’s see how it can happen.

1 – Pound Matt Corral

Lane Kiffin sounded a note of caution about Matt Corral’s health. The Ole Miss quarterback got injured late in the Rebels’ win over Tennessee. LSU’s defense has to punch Corral in the mouth (not literally; figuratively) and make sure Corral knows that if he stands in the pocket to deliver a downfield throw, or if he runs for a first down on third and 8, he will pay a physical price for that. Sending that message to Corral (assuming he plays) will be a core part of a winning performance for LSU.

2 – Pound the rock

Tyrion Davis-Price – TDP for short – was outstanding against Florida. This was a coming-out party for a player who had suffered earlier in the season due to LSU’s inability to run block. Davis-Price went for 287 yards on 36 carries against Florida. LSU will want to keep Ole Miss’s offense off the field and still score touchdowns. Giving TDP the ball and leaning on an improved offensive line represent the right approach for the LSU offense.

3 – Red-zone defense

We know Ole Miss will move the ball. LSU simply has to avoid the home run, the 80-yard touchdown play, and stand tall in the red zone. Ole Miss is almost certain to gain at least 400 yards in this game. LSU simply needs to turn all those collected yards into field goals and not touchdowns. LSU can win if it forces a bunch of 3-pointers, though Kiffin will likely go for it on fourth down as much as he possibly can. Timely plays will save LSU, though Ole Miss is going to move the ball between the 20s for most of this game.

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