Believe it or not, the box score this week isn't horribly depressing. Just the scoreboard. This is a box score that brings up the old saw about three types of lies, and in this case, yes, the stats do lie. The box tells a story of a competitive game. No, your eyes didn't deceive you, but the stats are trying to.
508. LSU's total yards of offense. That should be a good day at the office and result in more than 17 points. LSU had more yards, more rushing yards, more passing yards, AND more first downs than Ole Miss. They also had 21 less points. I've ranted against yardage zealots for years, and this is the tour de force. Yards are not points.
13-95. LSU got flagged 13 times for 95 yards, including four times on the opening drive (actually five, as a penalty was declined). LSU kept killing itself with self-inflicted wounds, and even took a huge Leonard Fournette run off the board on the first drive thanks to a hold. I'll let Billy break down the film to tell you precisely how bad the calls were, but the fact of the matter was that penalties helped put LSU in a huge hole and torpedoed any chance at a comeback. The mistakes were killer.
8. Ole Miss punts, three more than LSU. Again, LSU seemed to have the edge in the box score despite spending most of the game in a deep hole on the scoreboard. The offense gained a bunch of yards and the defense forced a bunch of punts. That's usually a pretty good combination.
36:15. LSU won the time of possession battle as well, normally a good sign for the Tigers, given our offensive philosophy. In fact, LSU won the possession battle in every individual quarter as well. LSU had more TOP in the second half than Ole Miss had in the first three quarters combined. LSU titled the clock in its favor in a major way.
5-5. Now we get to the problems. Ole Miss made five trips to the red zone, and scored five times, four of them touchdowns. LSU only made three red zone trips, only converting once. Ole Miss had too many chances, but they also cashed in on every single one. LSU kept stalling out, and when they did make the red zone, couldn't score touchdowns.
3-12. At least we stopped them on third down!
57. Ole Miss' longest play from scrimmage. The Rebels had three more plays of 20+ (20, 27, and 36), but no more huge gainers like that one. Heck, LSU had five plays of 20+ as well, with a long of 46. So Ole Miss didn't even win on the huge-play-o-meter. From a purely statistical standpoint, this blowout is baffling. It doesn't seem like it should have happened, but it did.
14. Deion Jones' tackles. At least someone had a good day.