The second half of the 2013 season begins tonight for the Ole Miss Rebels, who are hosting No. 6 LSU at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Ole Miss (3-3 overall, 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference) is very beat up heading into the contest. A total of five defensive starters are not available. Outside of injuries, the latest subtraction to the lineup is junior cornerback Senquez Golson, who will miss the contest due to a suspension. It’s not known who will replace Golson in the lineup. Senior Charles Sawyer is the most reasonable candidate to fill that void.
Along with Golson, Ole Miss will be without Mike Hilton at the boundary cornerback spot. Linebacker Serderius Bryant, who suffered a concussion against Texas A&M, is out as is defensive end C.J. Johnson, who will be out the rest of the year due an ankle injury that requires surgery. The other Ole Miss starter on defense that will not play is freshman lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who suffered a pulled hamstring against the Aggies.
LSU leads the series between the two 58-39-4. Ole Miss has not defeated LSU since 2009, a 25-23 win in Oxford. Tonight’s game is on ESPN2. Kickoff is set for 6.
Ole Miss gets on the scoreboard first thanks to a well executed 17-play, 69-yard drive. Unfortunately for the Rebels, they had to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Andrew Ritter. Ole Miss 3, LSU 0. 1:23.
Ole Miss’ defense ends the first 15 minutes of action with a sack of LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Ole Miss leads 3-0.
Ole Miss scored the only points of the period when Barry Brunetti hit tight end Nick Parker on a 3-yard pass for a touchdown. Ritter added the extra point to give the Rebels a 10-0 lead. That’s how the first half came to an end. Mettenberger had three interceptions in the opening quarter, the most he’s had in a single game all season.
The Tigers roared to life, scoring back-to-back touchdowns after the Rebels took a 17-0 lead on 2-yard run by Jaylen Walton. Both touchdowns for LSU were provided on the ground. The first from Kenny Hilliard on a 1-yard run and the second on a 3-yard run by Jeremy Hill. Ole Miss 17, LSU 14.
Ole Miss regained momentum just before the fourth with an explosive 26-yard run by Walton capping a seven-play, 76-yard drive. Ole Miss 24, LSU 14.
Ole Miss held on to defeat the Tigers by making enough plays. After Mettenberger tied the game with 4-yard TD pass to Jarvis Landry with 3:19 left, the Rebels responded with a game-winning 61-yard drive. The 14th play of the drive was a 41-yard field goal from Andrew Ritter with two seconds left on the clock.
Final, Ole Miss 27, No. 6 LSU 24.
The Rebels are now 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. LSU falls to 6-2 and 3-2. Ole Miss returns to action Saturday at home against Idaho. (October 19, 2013)