courtesy Ole Miss Sports
EDITOR’S NOTE: Counting down to the first week of Ole Miss football practice the week of August 15, HottyToddy.com’s own Collin Brister, former sports editor of the Daily Mississippian, will bring you exclusive “5 at 5” analyses of either A) the opponents Ole Miss will be facing this season or B) some background on Ole Miss’ players at each position. It’s being called “5 at 5” because each original piece will give you 5 key things to know, and we will post these stories at 5 p.m. every Monday-Friday.
The Rebels and the Tigers have had some battles the past four seasons since Hugh Freeze has taken over at the helm. In Freeze’s first year he took an undermanned team into Baton Rouge and almost shocked the Tigers falling just short at 41-35. The next year an undermanned Ole Miss team upset LSU as Andrew Ritter hit a game winning field goal as the Rebels won 23-20. The Tigers ended Ole Miss’ undefeated season in 2014 as Ole Miss fell short 10-7. Ole Miss dominated LSU last year reclaiming the Magnolia Bowl with a 38-27 victory.
Fournette is one of, if not the, best players in the country. Fournette is a force every time he takes a hand off. The junior from New Orleans native will likely be the first running back selected in the 2017 NFL draft. The Rebels contained Fournette last season, a majory key in the victory and he still gained over 100 yards. The Tigers rely heavily on Fournette, as their pro style system hinges on him being able to garner yards and set up Brandon Harris.
The Tigers will host Ole Miss a week after hosting another Mississippi school in southern Mississippi. The Tigers will have played four SEC games (Mississippi State, Auburn, Missouri, Florida) before taking on the Rebels. While the Tigers do have a bye week after the Ole Miss contest, Alabama immediately follows so the Tigers could be looking ahead when Ole Miss rolls into Baton Rouge.
While, yes, the Rebels have had success in Baton Rouge, they’ve won only one game in the Bayou since 2003. The Rebels came close In 2006,2010, 2012 and 2014, but all came up less than a touchdown short from winning. The Rebels dominated LSU in 2008, as Jevan Snead had his coming out party in a 31-13 victory. In 2014, Ole Miss led 7-3 the entire game but gave up a late touchdown and Bo Wallace threw a late interception to wrap the game up for the Tigers.
Analysis and Pick
There hasn’t been a team go undefeated in the conference since conference expansion in 2012. It’s extremely hard to win 8 conference games, and it’s extremely hard to win in Baton Rouge, especially on a Saturday night. The Rebels have had moderate success in keeping the games they play there close recently, but they haven’t quite gotten over the hump in Baton Rouge in the Magnolia Bowl. While LSU doesn’t have much quarterback play, the Rebels will have a tough time stopping Fournette as the junior will have something to prove in the wake of last year’s defeat.
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.