So we have reached the final game of this terrible zombie season. There isn’t much here to be honest. Ole Miss just lost Kenny Yeboah and Elijah Moore, their top two pass catchers to opt out before this zombie game and LSU is coming off the high of having upset Florida. It is, however, a chance for LSU to finish .500 and avoid a losing season, so let’s get into it.
A very real concern this coaching staff should have is a potential hangover from last week. This is normal after big wins in college athletics, but considering it’ll be December 19th, long after the regular season should have ended—and in the pandemic season no less— it’ll be hard to focus. Frankly I wouldn’t blame them if they got caught in it and lost, but the coaching staff’s job is to ensure that doesn’t happen.
I had this game circled for a while for TJ Finley when it looked like he was the guy, but now it’s Johnson. Ole Miss’ defense is awful, and this is a terrific opportunity for Steve Ensminger to open things up a little bit and see what he can really do. Maybe hold his hand a bit less, and throw the ball a lot more. All the more considering one of your top two backs (Ty Davis-Price) is out and the other (John Emery) is banged up. I’m really interested to see if Johnson’s cut loose a little against this Ole Miss defense, and what that may look like in terms of concepts and play calling tendencies.
The Run Defense
Micah Baskerville is supposed to be back after a non-COVID illness and Damone Clark is coming off his best game of the year. They will run up against an extremely effective zone heavy rushing attack
Stat Leader Predictions for LSU
Passing: Johnson, 23/38, 278 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT.
Rushing: Emery, 13 carries, 51 yards.
Receiving: Boutte, 8 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD.
For Ole Miss
Preview of Next Year
With Moore and Yeboah having opted out, the Rebels will get an early taste of what it’ll be like replacing them. How will it alter Lane Kiffin’s schemes? Will Matt Corral implode as a result? He is a great thrower, but a sketchy processor at times, and losing your best targets can result in you being forced to work deeper into progressions and be more patient. We’ll see how their replacements fare.
This guy is freakishly talented and extremely explosive. He is accurate, athletic, and rocket-armed. He is the biggest attraction in this game, and it’s a safe bet he makes several insane throws tomorrow. He’ll be one to watch against a still awful LSU defense.
Stat Leader Predictions for Ole Miss
Passing: Johnson, 31/41, 415 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT.
Rushing: Ealy, 23 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Mingo, 7 catches, 120 yards, 2 TD.