Published on October 19th, 2016 | by Kevin Williams0
Ole Miss Football Forecast: LSU
The atmosphere going into Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge this year will be different. There will be no Mike the Tiger on the sidelines. The beloved mascot has cancer. At the time of this writing, he was set to be euthanized soon. Also for the first time since 2004 the LSU Tigers will not be led to the field by Les Miles. It ends a chapter in the Ole Miss/LSU rivalry and begins a strange new one. Miles is gone but the man who will be standing on the opposite side of the field will not be a stranger to Rebel fans.
Former Ole Miss “coach” Ed Orgeron is the interim coach at LSU. You may remember the last time we saw Orgeron on the field as a head coach in a game in which we were a part. It was at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville as we topped a sad 3-9 season with a blown lead loss to Mississippi State.
However, now he dons the purple and gold of the Tigers. He brings to the field a vastly more talented team than he had in Oxford. A team with a new lease on life. A team supposedly rejuvenated with the exit of Miles. Miles’ offensive game plan had become stagnate and predictable. Orgeron has vowed to the LSU fans that he will open up the offense.
This is where quarterback Danny Etling comes in. He replaced struggling QB Brandon Harris earlier in the season. Etling has improved the passing game but the Tiger’s offensive focus will continue to be their running game. The combination of Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice in the backfield creates a problem for defenders. Both running backs have the ability to take over a game.
Last year the Rebels were able to keep both backs relatively under control on their way to 21 points win. The real concern is the LSU defense. They are loaded in every area. Defensive End Arden Key is an SEC leader in sacks. Linebacker Kendall Beckwith is a dangerous tackling machine.
But the Tigers will face the toughest offensive team they’ve seen this year. As I have said many times before, I will take the Rebel offense over anyone’s defense. This offense only played one half of good football against both Florida State and Alabama and the Rebels still scored 34 and 48 points respectively.
Plus, I’m not sold on this new LSU offense just yet. No Mike the Tiger, no Les Miles no bueno for LSU. Ole Miss 31 LSU 24