BATON ROUGE -- Coming off its biggest comeback in school history, the 18th-ranked LSU football team fell behind the Ole Miss Rebels 21-3 and weren't able to mount a similar offensive rally. Ole Miss defeated LSU, 31-13, on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
LSU (7-4, 3-4 SEC) completes regular-season play on Friday, Nov. 28, when the Tigers travel to Little Rock for a 1:30 p.m. CST kickoff against Arkansas. The game will be televised nationally by CBS.
With the Tigers offense struggling for any positive yardage early, starting quarterback Jarrett Lee was knocked out of the game late in the second quarter. His replacement, freshman Jordan Jefferson, led LSU to its only touchdown drive of the game just before halftime.
However, after completing 5-of-7 passes in the first half, Jefferson was only 5-of-13 for 46 yards in the second half. He finished 10-of-20 for 129 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
LSU's running game was also unable to find any traction, as the Tigers netted only 37 yards on 21 carries including minus-35 yards on four sacks. Jefferson led LSU with 23 yards on 10 carries, while Keiland Williams (4 carries, 11 yards ) and Charles Scott (10 carries, 10 yards) were held in check by the stout Ole Miss front.
Ole Miss (7-4, 4-3 SEC) outplayed the Tigers in every aspect of the game, including outgaining LSU, 409-215.
Quarterback Jevan Sneed passed for two first-half touchdowns and finished 16-of-25 passing for 274 yards. Sneed was sacked twice by the Tigers but didn't make any critical mistakes.
His favorite target, Mike Wallace, had all five of his catches in the first half. Wallace finished with 99 yards receiving and two touchdowns of 34 and 25 yards.
Cordera Eason led the Rebels with 60 yards rushing, while Dexter McCluster lined up behind center in the "Wild Rebel" formation several times, two of which led to scores.
Ole Miss scored twice on the opening drive of the game, with a 26-yard touchdown run by Sneed being nullified by an illegal shift on Wallace. The Rebels receiver made up for the error two players later, running a post route down the middle against LSU's two deep safeties. Rather than picking up Wallace, LSU's Chad Jones ran to his right and left him wide open inside the 10. Sneed hit him in stride for a 34-yard score. The third-and-17 conversion gave Ole Miss a 7-0 lead with 11:00 to play in the first quarter.
A slow start by the LSU offense yielded only 35 yards on 14 first-quarter plays. With little positive yardage in the running game, LSU went to the air late in the quarter for its first first down of the game to Toliver. A pass interference call against Ole Miss kept Toliver from catching a 34-yard touchdown, but gave the Tigers a first down in the redzone.
Jefferson entered at quarterback on the final play of the first quarter and was tripped up just before getting past the Rebels defensive front. From there, two plays went for minus-13 yards and LSU sent placekicker Colt David onto the field for a 46-yard field goal. The attempt split the uprights and cut the Ole Miss lead to 7-3 with 13:37 left in the half.
Ole Miss first-year head coach Houston Nutt took a few plays from his Arkansas playbook to give the Rebels another touchdown. In punt formation on fourth-and-4 at the LSU 38, Nutt called for a fake and fullback Jason Cook passed to a wide open Kendrick Lewis. Lewis was tackled at the 5 by Jones. Two plays later, Brandon Bolden lined up behind center, and the "Wild Rebel" scored from the 3, pushing the lead to 14-3 with 9:01 to play in the half.
After a three-and-out by LSU, the Rebels were pinned at their 11-yard line. However, Sneed took to the air once again, completing a 13-yard pass to Wallace to the Ole Miss 24 and passes of 20 and 33 along the right sideline to get into LSU territory. At the LSU 25, Sneed went to the other side of the field where Wallace worked one-on-one against cornerback Chris Hawkins. His pass to Wallace in the right corner of the endzone was perfect. Ole Miss led 21-3 with 5:36 left.
Lee's struggles continued, as he was intercepted by Lewis near midfield on the next play. However, Ole Miss went three-and-out for the first time and actually punted this time from the LSU 45.
With 4:21 remaining in the half, the Tigers took over looking leave the half on a positive note. Faced with third-and-5 at its 21 after a wide-open drop by tight end Richard Dickson, Lee found LaFell over the middle for a 19-yard gain.
Lee was injured on the play, and left the game. He did not return.
Jefferson's first pass of the game went for 37 yards to LaFell down the left sideline to the Ole Miss 23. A pass interference penalty against Marshay Green on third-and-7 from the Rebels 20 gave the Tigers an opportunity at the endzone. Jefferson wasted no time, throwing a high fade that only the 6-4 Toliver could come down with. David's point after touchdown cut the Rebels lead to 21-10 with 2:13 left in the half.
A quick three-and-out by Ole Miss -- with three LSU timeouts -- gave LSU an opportunity to maintain momentum and add another score.
A 48-yard punt by Ole Miss' Rob Park landed in front of Holliday, and the speedy returner waved off his teammates. However, the ball bounded toward him and he picked up the ball at the LSU 29. Holliday dodged a couple tackles and made it to the LSU sideline where he had a host of blockers an Park to beat. His 71-yard touchdown was called back however, as his wave was ruled to be an illegal fair catch signal and, therefore, delay of game for running after the signal.
The Tigers still had an opportunity to move into Ole Miss territory with just under a minute to play, but a 9-yard scramble by Jefferson was called back due to holding. Jefferson's 21-yard connection with Jared Mitchell got the Tigers across midfield, but he was sacked and time ran out in the half.
LSU was outgained 250-130 in the first half, and entered the lockerroom trailing 21-10.
With Jefferson behind center to start the second half, LSU quickly marched to the Ole Miss 45 on runs of 20 and 8 yards by the quarterback. A 12-yard receptions by Byrd on second-and-11 gave LSU a first down on the 32. The next three plays went for minus-2 yards, and David entered to made a 52-yard field goal.
LSU trailed 21-13 with 11:11 to play in the third quarter, but got no closer.
After running the "Wild Rebel" only twice in the first half -- once for a 3-yard touchdown -- Nutt returned to the running back-under-center formation three times on the first drive of the half including a 13-yard touchdown run on an end around by Markeith Summers. After Hawkins missed a would-be interception, the short field was setup by a 39-yard catch from Sneed to wide receiver Lionel Breaux on second-and-15.
Ole Miss extended its lead to 28-13 with 7:53 left in the third quarter.
After the teams traded punts on five-straight possessions, Ole Miss gave the Tigers a break with their first turnover. Jones jarred the ball from McCluster and safety Curtis Taylor recovered at the Ole Miss 40.
LSU went backward with two false start penalties, a Holliday run for minus-2 yards and a sack on fourth-and-22.
The Rebels took over and grinded the clock inside five minutes to play, scoring the game-clinching 19-yard field goal with 4:23 to play. A 3:43 drive put Ole Miss ahead 31-13.
Jefferson was intercepted by Green with 3:15 to play. His 49-yard return put the Rebels at the LSU 13. Sneed knelt the ball at the 2 to end the game.
The paid attendance was 92,649.
LSU Postgame Notes
1. LSU’s game captains were 79 Herman Johnson, 99 Marlon Favorite, 93 Tyson Jackson, 74 Brett Helms and 6 Colt David.
2. LSU won the toss and deferred to the second half. Ole Miss received the opening kickoff.
3. Tigers extending their notable consecutive starts streak tonight were: LT Ciron Black (38), DE Tyson Jackson (38), LG Herman Johnson (34) and C Brett Helms (27).
4. LSU is wearing a ceremonial 50th anniversary patch on its jersey to commemorate the Tigers’ 1958 national championship. The 1958 national championship team was recognized on the field at halftime.
5. A sign honoring Billy Cannon, LSU’s 1959 Heisman Trophy winner, was unveiled in the southeast corner of Tiger Stadium after the first quarter. Cannon is the only player in LSU football history to have his number retired.
6. LSU honored 19 seniors prior to the game who are playing in their final game in Tiger Stadium. They include: 2 Demetrius Byrd, WR; 5 Chad Moody, DB, 6 Colt David, PK; 17 Josh Graham, PK; 27 Curtis Taylor, S; 38 Brady Dalfrey, P; 40 Caleb Angelle, TE; 45 Quinn Johnson, FB; 47 Tremaine Johnson, DE; 48 Darry Beckwith, LB; 49 Kirston Pittman, DE; 50 Phillip Pigott, FB; 63 Ryan Miller, C; 74 Brett Helms, C; 79 Herman Johnson, OG; 91 Charles Alexander, DT; 93 Tyson Jackson, DE; 94 Donald Hains, DL; and 99 Marlon Favorite, DT.
7. LSU saw its streak of 31-straight games scoring at least 21 points snapped by Ole Miss on Saturday. The last time the Tigers did not score at least 21 points in a game was at Florida on Oct. 7, 2006.
8. Today’s attendance of 92,649 is the sixth-largest crowd in the history of Tiger Stadium. Four of the top 10 attendances in Tiger Stadium history have come during this season.
9. WR Brandon LaFell has now caught a pass in 26 straight games dating back to the 2007 Sugar Bowl versus Notre Dame.
10. QB Jordan Jefferson threw his first career touchdown pass on a 9-yard throw to Terrance Toliver with 2:13 remaining in the second quarter.
11. WR Terrance Toliver hauled in his first TD pass of the season and the fourth TD reception of his career on a 9-yard throw from Jordan Jefferson with 2:13 left in the second quarter.
12. DE Rahim Alem tallied his SEC-leading seventh sack of the season with 1:46 left in the second quarter.
13. DT Marlon Favorite recorded his second sack of the season and fourth of his career late in the first quarter.
14. PK Colt David connected on a 46-yard field goal with 13:37 remaining in the first quarter and a 52-yard field goal with 11:11 to go in the third quarter. It represented his 11th and 12th made field goals of the season and 49th and 50th of his career.
a. Of David’s 50 made field goals in his career, 17 have come from 40 or more yards. David’s 52-yarder tied a career high.
b. David joins Chris Jackson as the only two kickers in school history to make three or more 50-yard field goals in school.
c. By scoring seven points on Saturday, David breaks into the top-five all-time in career scoring in the Southeastern Conference. David moved up one spot to No. 5 on the SEC’s all-time scoring list as he has now scored a total of 349 points for his LSU career. David kicked two field goals and added an extra point against Ole Miss.
15. WR Demetrius Byrd has now caught a pass in 21 straight games dating back to last year’s Tulane game on Sept. 29.
16. S Chad Jones forced the third fumble of his career and second of the season midway through the fourth quarter.
OLE MISS POSTGAME NOTES
GAME #11 * VS. #18 LSU * NOVEMBER 22, 2008 * 2:30 P.M. CT * CBS
• This game was the 97th all-time between the Ole Miss Rebels and LSU Tigers dating back to 1894 and first in the new Magnolia Bowl series, established by the schools’ student governments ... LSU is Ole Miss’ second-most played opponent besides Mississippi State.
• The Rebels end the Tigers’ six game win streak in the series ... LSU holds a 55-38-4 advantage in the series and a 36-25-1 edge in Baton Rouge.
• Ole Miss moves to 2-2 against top-25 foes this year, and all four games were on the road ... Ole Miss is 55-128-2 all-time versus ranked teams.
• Ole Miss is off to its best start and is riding its longest win streak (4) since 2003.
• Sophomore QB Jevan Snead posted his seventh game with multiple TD tosses and fifth performance of 200-plus passing yards, completing 16-of-25 passes for 274 yards with two TDs ... Snead has no interceptions in the last three games.
• Senior WR Mike Wallace equaled his career high with two TD catches ... He finished with five grabs for 99 yards, just one yard away from registering his second straight 100-yard receiving day, fourth of the year and sixth of his career.
• Junior WR Markeith Summers picked up his first career TD on a 13-yard end around .... It was only his second career rush ... Summers also collected his second reception of the year on a 33-yarder.
• Freshman RB Brandon Bolden earned his third rushing TD of the year on a three-yard run.
• Ole Miss limited LSU to 37 rushing yards, which was the lowest by a Rebel foe since ULM ran for 29 yards in 2003 ... The Rebels have held the opposition under 82 rushing yards six times this season for the third straight game.
• The Rebels contained the Tigers to 178 total yards and has allowed a total of 309 yards in the last two games ... The opposition has been held under 200 yards of total offense three times this season.
• With two interceptions today, Ole Miss has posted multiple picks in the last three games and four times this year.
• Junior S Kendrick Lewis registered his team-leading fourth interception of the year ... He also led the team with eight total tackles with a TFL.
• Senior DT Peria Jerry posted three TFLs and a sack.
• Junior CB Marshay Green recorded his second career interception ... He was also credited with four tackles.
• Junior DE Greg Hardy’s fourth-quarter sack raised his team-high total to 5.5 ... He has sacks in back-to-back games.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
• On a faked punt, senior FB Jason Cook tossed a 33-yard pass to Kendrick Lewis down to the LSU five yardline ... It was the first career pass for Cook, and Lewis' first reception since his freshman year, when he played wide receiver and hauled in six passes ... Ole Miss is 3-for-3 on fakes this year, with two faked punts and a faked field goal.
• Junior K Joshua Shene extended his streak of successful PATs to 62, which passes Steve Lavinghouze’s 59 straight (1973-75) for second on the all-time Rebel charts ... Shene also drilled his lone FG attempt from 19 yards out.
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES
“I thought our opponent played extremely well. Their quarterback (Jevan Snead) was again, an on-fire quarterback in Tiger Stadium. Hats off to them. We knew they were pretty good on defense. I’m surprised at how well they threw the football on offense. I felt like we would stop the run and did not expect them to throw the football as well. I felt like we had a pass rush at times. I felt like that quarterback was running for his life. I felt like we might defend the pass as the ball was thrown. We made a change at quarterback based on injury. Jordan Jefferson comes in and does a heck of a job. He gave his team a real lift with his feet and the throws, and it appears to me that will be the direction we go in as we go into the future. We look at next week. Certainly, Jarrett (Lee) is questionable. (Andrew) Hatch may be back but may not. We look forward to seeing more of Jordan Jefferson.
“They beat us in all three phases. That fake punt really got us. Our defense was playing extremely well against the run and really good against the pass for a stretch, and they hit that fake punt. Certainly, we were unable to answer. That really distanced our opponent from us. We couldn’t come back. We didn’t expect that. I expected to play better. As we go forward, it will be really interesting to see how this team responds. I want them to want victory. I know we have a short week, and we’re preparing for a team (Arkansas) that we play on Friday. We don’t want to go weeks without victory.”
On if Lee could come back in the second half...
“He was much hindered by injury. It will be interesting to see how he goes. I hope like heck that he’s available this week. I suspect not.”
On the offensive line’s struggles this afternoon...
“They (Ole Miss) moved around the front. They gave us some good stunt, and they really stunted the front. Our offensive line didn’t play their best, certainly, but their defensive line played good too.”
On if this was the second straight game LSU came out flat to start...
“We’re just not catching fire on the offensive side. Certainly, if we catch fire on the offensive side, that gives our defense a little bit more momentum.”
LSU OFFENSIVE QUOTES
WR Terrance Tolliver
On tonight’s game...
“It was obviously a disappointment. We went out there and played hard and competed for the win, but we came up short.”
On tonight’s performance...
“Ole Miss is a good team. They didn’t back down just because it was LSU. They came out here and played hard and got the win.”
On next week’s game against Arkansas...
“We have to get ready for that game. We have to put this game behind us and get ready for Arkansas next week.”
On last home game of season...
“We were trying to win this for the seniors because it was their last home game. They won’t play with us next year, so we were just trying to win it for them.”
PK Colt David
On disappointment after tonight’s loss...
“It hurts. You want to come out strong for your last game in Tiger Stadium. You want to finish big with a strong performance. We just couldn’t pull it off tonight.”
On 52-yard field goal...
“It’s a nice accomplishment to tie my career-long tonight, especially my last game here. I’m happy with that.”
On finishing the rest of the season...
“We still have two games left. We have a lot that we can prove to ourselves. We have to start tomorrow. We have to turn things around and work hard. We have a good team and we have to come and prove it to everyone.”
LSU DEFENSIVE QUOTES
On the disappointment of the outcome of the game ...
“Things definitely did not go the way we wanted today. We played hard and they played hard as well. We just fell behind early.”
On the abilities of Ole Miss ...
“They are a very good football team. They have changed up their offense a lot from last year. They have a new offensive and defensive coordinator and also brought in some big time players. They were definitely up for the challenge today and they came out on top.”
On how this game affected the seniors ...
“I don’t think we let them down. We were all on the field at the same time and we all feel the same way. We definitely wanted to have a great game for the seniors but it did not happen.”
On the team’s mentality for the next game ...
“We are going to Arkansas and we are going to fight. We want to beat them and get in a good bowl game. There is still a lot to play for this year.”
On his thoughts about the game ...
“It is disappointing but we came out today and fought hard. We gave it our best shot. We had 20 seniors that tried so hard to win their last game. The rest of the young guys fought just as hard. Ole Miss played a wonderful game and we tried to get a win. Unfortunately we ended up on the bottom of this one.”
On rebuilding process ...
“As I leave this program, I think we are going to have a great team. There are a lot of young guys that will be ready to step up. We have some interior defensive guys coming back. In the secondary we will have some new starters. On offense we will have some key losses but the young guys will have a chance to step up and perform to the best of their ability. I think it will be a great rebuilding year with exciting players.”
OLE MISS HEAD COACH HOUSTON NUTT QUOTES
Opening statement ...
“I’m really proud of our team. I always love coming down here, I love this atmosphere. It is big-time football and I always enjoy playing down here and coaching here. To see the players and the joy on their faces, to me, that is why you are in it. There are some seniors in there that love football right now. I just love their attitudes and their hunger and leaving everything on the field. That is all we have asked from them, to leave their heart on the field and play the greatest game there is in the world to play and play hard. Our defense did a remarkable job and that is why we won. They stopped (LSU) in the trenches and stopped the run, that was the key thing we had to do and to not give up the big play. Offensively, we didn’t get much movement in the first half, (LSU) was so good.
“We knew how good they were, but Jevon Sneed came to play today. He really had a breakout game and was so accurate. He was hitting some passes that were awesome. Critical first downs, touchdown throws and then just handling the offense from traffic to changing the play. He is starting to come on as a real quarterback right now and I’m excited about that. Also, right now we can’t forget our special teams. A year ago, this special teams was very different and they have a lot of pride in what they are doing from covering kicks and punts , kickoff returns, fake punts and field goals, everything is needed and everything is important. You have to give a lot of credit to James Shibest.”
On the fake punt ...
“We ran the reverse against Florida, so we have been working on this for about six weeks. We were just trying to find a time. We thought we were going to run it against Auburn but it didn’t work out.”
On Ole Miss overcoming adversity in Tiger Stadium ...
“Whenever you answer in someone else’s back yard with this type of hostile crowd, it sends a real message that they aren’t going away. Our guys really had that type of attitude and execution. They were coming back and kept fighting. Whenever you answer like that, it just gives your team a lift.”
On the members of the team from Louisiana ...
“No question that they have been talking about this game all week long. They have been talking about going to see mom and going home to the state of Louisiana. All those things were mentioned all week long and they were so excited.”
OLE MISS OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
QB Jevan Snead
On his emotions after the victory ...
“It’s a great feeling. It’s exciting to be able to come on the road to such a great place and play such a great team and be able to pull off a victory.”
On getting off to a fast start ...
“It felt great. It’s been awhile since I got off to a great start like that, but it felt good to get off rolling. I just have to thank my offensive line for allowing me to do that and my receivers that made some great catches.”
WR Dexter McCluster
On his feelings about the game ...
“One heartbeat came together and played together as a team. The defense did a really good job of stopping the run. A couple of interceptions turned the game around. Offensively, Jevan (Snead) threw some deep balls to receivers and the line blocked well tonight.”
On if he knew the deep ball would work in the game ...
“Yeah I knew I would be there. We know Mike (Wallace) can run and we know Jevan (Snead) can throw it and they were on the same page and connected.”
On being a receiver when Jevan Snead is playing well ...
“It’s great. You know you’re going to get the ball no matter what. Like I said, Jevan (Snead) is a great quarterback and we have a lot of trust in him and he let it show tonight.”
FB Jason Cook
On moving the ball against LSU’s defense ...
“Give all credit to LSU. Their front four and their front eight are incredible. Those guys really played hard. We couldn’t get anything going with the run at first then Jevan (Snead) picked it up and really played well. He made some really big throws that got us going and we were able to close it out at the end.”
OLE MISS DEFENSIVE QUOTES
S Kendrick Lewis
On the fake punt...
“We knew LSU had been watching film. We lined up in a different formation where the action would be else where. I knew I had a big opening so I took the chance. I was able to make the play.”
On the pass that Jason Cook threw to him...
“Cook threw a wonderful pass. We’ve been practicing the play at every practice. He made a great play and it paid off.”
On preparing for LSU...
“We were really excited all week coming into this game. Our practices were really intense all week long. We knew that LSU was coming out strong to protect their house. We just made really great plays and came out with a victory.”
DT Peria Jerry
On preparing for next week...
“We will hit the field next week and get prepared to play Mississippi State.”
On the celebration after the game...
“It was a very exciting moment for our team. We’ve been working hard and we feel that we deserve this. We prepared all week to play LSU and worked hard in practice. All the hard work paid off.”