Both LSU and Ole Miss have not had the season both were hoping for, but there is still plenty left for both teams to prove this Saturday. Both teams had dreams of making it to Atlanta for the SEC Title Game, but with how great Alabama is playing right now there is no shame in not ACComplishing that goal. With the way the SEC is shaking out it seems like the winner of this Game will be in the driver’s seat for the Capital One Bowl, so we expect both teams to be ready to play and to leave it all on the field which should make for a great Game. LSU has two losses on their record, but both of their losses came to the arguably the Top 2 teams in the country Alabama and Florida. This team has been very hard to figure out and it seems like they are still trying to find out their identity on the offensive side of the ball. QB Jordan Jefferson had to sit out last week against Louisiana Tech and it showed. The Tigers struggled to put the ball into the endzone for much of the Game and squeeked out a 24-16 win. It looks like Jefferson is going to be able to play this weekend so that is very good news for Tiger fans because they are going up against a very good offense with Ole Miss. The Rebels were the talk of the town coming into this season and found themselves all the way down to #4 in the country early in the year before falling to South Carolina. This team hasnt lived up to those lofty expectations, but they have still had a solid year, but if they want to look back on this season as a success they really need to close out the year strong and that starts Saturday against LSU.
THE PRIMETIME MATCHUP
The turning point for this Ole Miss offense was when Coach Houston Nutt decided to the Gameplan would be to get Dexter McCluster as many touches as possible. He has been used more like a RB then a WR which has been very successful for the Rebels in their last few Games. In Ole Miss’ first 6 Games McCluster only got 38 carries for 164 yards and 1 TD, but in his last 3 Games he has gotten 69 carries for 591 yards and 5 TD. He is the whole key to this Rebel offense. When he gets his carries and can be effective this Ole Miss offense is effective, and when he doesnt they aren’t. QB Jevan Snead has had problems getting things going this season, but ever since McCluster has stepped up and taken this offense and put it on his shoulders it has taken the pressure off of Snead and he has been playing much better which is even more reason why Ole Miss has got to make sure they get McCluster involved early and often, because so far this year Snead has shown that when he has to carry this team on his shoulders he is not as effective, and you know LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis knows it too. LSU’s defense struggled for the first part of the year, but they have really turned things around in their last several Games. LSU is ranked 3rd in the SEC in scoring defense and 4th in total defense. We expect the Tigers to stack the box and do whatever they have to to try and stop Dexter McCluster and if they are successful they will be in control of this Game all night.
THE FINAL VERDICT
This will be a Game that is won in the treNChes and which ever line is able to control the line of scrimmage will control this Game. Is it going to be the Ole Miss offenseive line or the LSU defensive line? This was a very difficult Game to figure out because both teams can look so good at times and they can look so bad at times. We dont believe that LSU can completely stop McCluster. McCluster is a special player so he should have some success on Saturday, but we do believe LSU has the advantage in the treNChes with their defensive line which will help them slow down this Ole Miss rushing attack. We believe they will be able to slow down McCluster enough to force Jevan Snead into the leader role, and Snead still hasnt shown us that he can put this team on his shoulders and win the Game. This should be a very hard fought battle that could go either way, but we believe this LSU defense is going to win this Game, and will put their offense into good situations to come away with points in the 2nd half. LSU +4.5