Usually when teams have to face off against coach Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels, they need to be prepared for a sophisticated aerial attack. BetOnline patrons know that the LSU Tigers often come to the table with a lot of athletes on the defensive side of the ball. On Saturday, these teams will meet at 6 PM ET at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium in Oxford, MS.
LSU lost its season opener when it virtually stopped playing in a 45-24 defeat to Florida State. They have come back with three consecutive victories, two of which came against SEC teams (Miss.St. and Arkansas). Ole Miss, after an "exhibition" win against Mercer, scored double-digit wins over Tulane and Georgia Tech, then lost 24-10 to Alabama.
Ole Miss' big gun at quarterback is Jaxson Dart, a USC transfer who produced decently last year, with 2363 yards and 16 TDs, with 552 yards on the ground. Dart currently leads the team in rushing.
And Ole Miss is getting healthier in the wide receiver corps. One of the guys who should be ready to contribute is Tre Harris, who's caught eight passes for 188 yards (23.5 yards per catch). With more depth on hand, that supports the three and four-WR sets Kiffin like to throw out there.
In the SEC football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetOnline, the Tigers are the favorites:
LSU Tigers -2.5
Ole Miss Rebels +2.5
Over 67.5 points -110
Under 67.5 points -110
What's kind of interesting about this matchup is that LSU has been kind of vulnerable to the pass, as they have yielded 8.2 yards per attempt. At the same time, the Rebels have had a difficult time extending drives, converting only 24.3% on third down.
The questions some people may want to ask involve whether the Ole Miss defense can hold up here (for instance, they've permitted 47% on third down); whether Jaxson Dart is capable of pulling off an upset over an SEC team like this; and whether there is some kind of "X-factor" that would have an impact on this game.
That X-factor might be Harold Perkins, who is one of the more talented linebackers in the country. in last year's meeting, he had six quarterback pressures in LSU's 45-20 victory. In fall camp, coach Brian Kelly pointed out that Perkins was moving to an inside linebacker position.
Perkins has the potential to be an All-American linebacker, but the general consensus is that he is not nearly as effective on the inside as he is on the outside. Kelly is amenable to taking his guy to the outside again, where he can harass quarterbacks - specifically, in this case, Dart.
What Kiffin does certainly works, but we're not so sure OIe Miss is solid enough in the other areas to get a recommendation from us, even as a home underdog.
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