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NCAA Football: Arkansas at Louisiana State Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

Magonolia Bowl Preview: The three things LSU must do well to defeat Ole Miss

If LSU does these three things, their chances of winning in Oxford will go up dramaticcaly.

The No. 13 LSU Tigers (3-1) will take on the No. 13 Ole Miss Revels on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. CT at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.

Since the two schools first met up in 1894, this season’s meeting is the 112th meeting. This is also the first time since 2016 that LSU and Ole Miss were ranked in the Top 25. In last year’s matchup, LSU scored 31 points in the second half to upset then-No.7 Ole Miss 45-24.

LSU’s secondary is going against one of the best passing offenses in the country.

With SEC West title implications on the line, let’s look at three things LSU must do to steal a victory.

Win the time of possession

Ole Miss is one of the fastest teams in the country in terms of time of possession as they are a fast-paced, no-huddle offense. If you want to know how little they have the ball, they are second to last in time of possession.

Because of the Rebels’ fast-paced offense, LSU needs to hold the ball for as long as they can without throwing away what they do best. The easiest thing they can do is to try to run the ball more. Logan Diggs is a pro-caliber back who can do it all for you from the backfield and you also have two great backs Josh Williams and Kaleb Jackson in the rotation as well.

LSU will keep throwing the ball down the field because of how well quarterback Jayden Daniels and the wide receivers are playing. However, running the ball effectively will take the ball away from the Ole Miss offense and keep its defense honest.

Don’t Let the Rebs Get Hot

This statement is probably reserved for the Ole Miss baseball team, but don’t let the Rebs get hot when they have the ball.

When Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart and the Rebel offense are clicking, they are very hard to stop. Although the Rebels are having issues with their run game at the moment, they are still averaging 470 yards per game which is best for the 22nd-best offense in the country. Ole Miss also has the 13th-best passing offense in the country and third-best in the SEC as it is averaging 323.5 yards per game.

However, its offense can be streaky as evidenced in some of their games this season, especially against Alabama last week. It was also streaky last season as Ole Miss did not score a single point in the second half last season after leading 20-17 at the half en route to a 45-20 loss to LSU.

Despite its struggles this season, LSU’s defense is good enough to cause problems for the Ole Miss offense. If Ole Miss does not have consistency against LSU, it’s going to be deja vu for the Rebels.

Be the better team on third down

The most critical key to victory for LSU has to be its defense in third-down situations. LSU is 100th in third down conversion defense. Opponents have converted 44.2 % on third down against this LSU defense.

However, the good news for the Tigers is that Ole Miss is one of the worst teams in the country in third-down offense. The Rebels have a third-down conversion percentage of 35.4%, which is 106th in the country.

This seems like a good matchup for LSU’s defense. However, will they step up to the task?