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Behind the Box Score: Ole Miss

The LSU offense is a real life cheat code

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi
“You’re awesome.” “No, you’re awesome.” “No, you.”
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

No one is going to put last weekend’s game into a museum or anything, but it was a win over Ole Miss, and it is always great when Ole miss loses on simple general principle.

The game also has a pretty darn weird box score, as LSU built a huge lead early on its total domination of the first half, only to let Ole Miss back in the game before eventually closing the door. It resulted in some weird numbers that don’t quite make sense. Like..

614. Ole Miss’ total offense. Ole Miss gained 614 yards, averaging 8.6 yards per play, and spent the majority of the game down by at least 20 points. It’s almost impossible to have such a huge offensive output and still make almost no threat to actually win the game. It’s almost impressive, honestly.

212. John Rhys Plumlee rushing yards. Plumlee rushed for four touchdowns, only one of them under ten yards. His TD runs went for 5, 46, 60, and 35 yards, respectively. So, 146 of his rushing yards were on TD runs. On the flip side, Plumlee threw for 9-16 for 123 yards and an interception. Imagine if he was a passing threat. Speaking of passing threats…

489. Joe Burrow passing yards. Burrow nearly set the LSU single game record and he didn’t have a particularly good game by his standards. He threw two interceptions, increasing his season total by half, and committed those errors on consecutive possessions. He threw 10 incompletions in the game, for only the third time this year. This is what a BAD Joe Burrow game looks like, in which he sets all storts of records and throws for nearly 500 yards.

8-227-3. Ja’Marr Chase receiving line. It helps to have awesome receivers. Both Justin Jefferson and Chase topped 1000 yards on the season, becoming just the third duo in SEC history to pull off that feat, and they still have two regular season games to go. I’d also point out that one of those duos is Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, so perhaps we need to tap the brakes on the “LSU has never seen a decent passing offense” narrative just a tad. Burrow is clearly better, but the Mett Show wasn’t chopped liver.

0. LSU punts. Every LSU drive ended with either a score, a missed field goal attempt (once), or a Burrow interception (twice). Ole Miss, simply put, could not stop the LSU offense. LSU racked up 714 yards and had TEN drives of 49 yards or more (they had two drives of exactly 49 yards). Ole Miss doesn’t have the Landsharks anymore, but that’s ridiculous.

0. LSU sacks. Come on, y’all. That’s embarrassing.

2-11. Ole Miss third down conversion rate. How do you gain 600+ yards and only convert two third downs? Seriously, that seems impossible. The Rebels additionally went 1-4 on fourth downs. The LSU defense is up for criticism for its effort on Saturday, but not for its third down defense. They closed out drives and got off the field routinely. They failed on third down on each of their first four drives, leading to one field goal attempt missed and then three punts. By the time Ole Miss got its offense together, they were down too far to come back.