The game started almost perfectly for LSU. Ole Miss didn’t exactly go three and out on its opening drive, but it was close. LSU took over at their own 10, and drove 90 yards with relative ease for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
Things seemed to continue on this track, as Ole Miss really did go three and out on its next possession, followed by a 14 play, 72 yard LSU drive which… ended with a failed fourth down conversion inside the three yard line.
And at this point, things flipped. Fans always want to go for it on fourth down, and it has sort of become the de facto smart guy opinion. And heck, I liked going for it, too. Go for the jugular. But we pretend that there is no downside to such a decision, and there most certainly is.
That downside is the crowd can wake back up and will their team back in the game. LSU held the tide for a bit, but after a missed 55-yard field goal, Ole Miss took the ball over and went down the field for a touchdown and their first lead of the game. Suddenly, right before the half, it was LSU scrambling to make it a game while Ole Miss was protecting a lead, massively outplaying the Tigers.
Ole Miss would finally find the end zone with 3:12 left in the half. They would score again three minutes later, and the Rebels turned what seemed like a floundering effort into a comfortable 17-7 halftime lead.
The good news is, LSU would get the ball to start the second half. They would have time to regroup, plan some plays, make adjustments, and come out and make this thing a ball game.
Or they could go three and out, then give up a touchdown on Ole Miss’ first possession of the half. And it didn’t just feel like ball game, it felt like the end of Orgeron’s tenure. Notably, Ole Miss converted a fourth down attempt inside the red zone to keep the drive alive. When things are going your way, they go your way.
From there, things just got out of hand. LSU gained 144 yards in the first quarter, and just over the next two. Yeah, they rallied a bit in the fourth to make the score look a prettier, but the game was lost in those middle frames, when LSU couldn’t do squat.
LSU managed to avoid abject humiliation with a late score with the scrubs for sides in the game, but make no mistake. LSU was blown out by Ole Miss. The Orgeron era has been marked by the highest highs and lowest lows.
This weekend, obviously, was one of those lows. The final scores by LSU was simply lipstick on a pig. It was still a pig.