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STAT Watch: Ole Miss

Taking a look at the advanced stats to take a deeper look at the Rebels.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

We’re into the second week of the advanced stats we take a look at including just results from this season’s play. Last week’s indicated that Southern Miss was not a good team with a poor defense but somewhat dangerous offense. That played out a bit in the first half with the Golden Eagles being able to sustain two scoring drives and especially in the second half where LSU tore apart their defense. This week we dive into LSU’s toughest opponent of the Ed Orgeron Era so far, the Ole Miss Rebels.

This Season

A note on these stats: The offensive and defensive S&P+ marks are calculated as adjusted scoring averages and for the situational ratings, above 100 is good and below 100 is bad. Links to an explanation on the various stats here:

  • S&P+ (Percentile): 92.2% (10th in FBS)
  • Offensive S&P+: 43.6 (3rd in FBS)
  • Offensive Rushing S&P+: 109.3 (45th in FBS)
  • Offensive Passing S&P+: 134.3 (7th in FBS)
  • Defensive S&P+: 26.7 (53rd in FBS)
  • Defensive Rushing S&P+: 105.3 (54th in FBS)
  • Defensive Passing S&P+: 110.3 (39th in FBS)
  • FEI: .207 (10th in FBS)
  • F/+: 41.2% (10th in FBS)

Despite their three losses, the Rebels are rated very highly overall by the advanced stats. In fact, LSU hasn’t faced a team ranked as highly at the time of when they played as Ole Miss is. Part of this is that even though they’ve lost three times, they rated very well in their loss to Alabama (98% percentile performance) and were very, very impressive in two blowout wins over Georgia and Memphis. But the Arkansas loss was the worst performance of the season for them (47th percentile performance); the offense not clicking as well as usual and the defense being mediocre once again. And the defense does not reflect well in the stats. Outside the Top 50 overall, they’re even worse against the run and just sneak inside the top third of teams in FBS against the pass. This is why as much as everyone is loving Coach O for opening up the offense and going with so more pass friendly formations, the best bet for LSU on Saturday night may be a heavy dose of the run again with how much the Rebels struggle against it. Ole Miss’ offense is tremendous and why they rank so highly. As deadly as any unit, especially through the air where there’s plenty of talented receivers for Chad Kelly to sling it around too. Ole Miss will pose as big a test as LSU has seen this season perhaps, but S&P+ says LSU is about a five-point favorite, in line with the betting spread and that seems like a likely margin of victory for the Tigers.