It was just two weeks ago that LSU hosted a top-10 team in a Southeastern Conference game.
Things didn’t go well for the Tigers, as then-No. 8 Tennessee rolled to a 40-13 victory.
But LSU (5-2, 3-1 SEC) has a chance to redeem itself on Saturday when No. 7 Ole Miss (7-0, 3-0) makes the trip to Baton Rouge, La.
“Nobody really wants to be learning lessons after a loss,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “But they learned a lot about intentionality and purpose in terms of their preparation.
“I think two weeks later, it’s — I don’t want to say a different team, but it’s a team that has confidence. It’s a team that knows that if they don’t play clean, if they don’t have an attention to detail, they’ll have similar results that they did against Tennessee.”
The Tigers bounced back from the loss to the Volunteers to win on the road against Florida last week, 45-35, in what Kelly called the team’s “best performance offensively.”
Jayden Daniels threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more.
“Now we got to be consistent,” Kelly said. “Can’t do it one week and then turn it off the next week and expect to win.”
The Tigers had a 528-395 advantage in yards but allowed enough explosive plays to keep the Gators in the game.
LSU gave up a 51-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the contest and a 39-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter. An 81-yard TD scramble by Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson on the first play of the fourth quarter helped cut a 42-21 deficit to 14 points, and the Gators brought it to within seven before the Tigers kicked a late field goal.
“We just have to be better at tackling,” Kelly said.
If LSU doesn’t tackle better, it’s going to have a difficult time slowing down Ole Miss’ high-powered offense. The Rebels lead the SEC in rushing offense (271.4 yards per game) and are fourth in total offense (502.9).
Ole Miss had 448 rushing yards and three scores on the ground in a 48-34 victory against visiting Auburn last Saturday.
“Obviously, you’ve got to be realistic at any level, but especially the SEC,” Rebels coach Lane Kiffin said. “That’s not going to happen (every week).
“We’ve got to be consistent and run the ball really well. The numbers aren’t going to be like that every week. People coach. They gear up to stop certain plays once you run them. It’s not like we were just running normal inside zone and making all those yards.”
Ole Miss, like LSU, allowed a series of big plays that kept its opponent in the game. The Rebels saw a 21-0 lead shrink to four points before they regained control.
Auburn’s Tank Bigsby ran 50 yards for a touchdown and had another 50-yard run that led to a field goal.
Additionally, Auburn had pass completions of 32, 46 and 28 yards that led to touchdowns.
“We jumped out of some gaps and missed some tackles,” Kiffin said. “That’s usually what goes on in the run game for explosive runs.”
The Rebels are the only team in the SEC West that hasn’t lost a conference game, but LSU (tied with Alabama at 3-1) can match their record with a victory Saturday.
–Field Level Media