National powerhouse LSU hits the road in Week 8 to take on Ole Miss in a good old-fashioned SEC scrum that should feature plenty of big plays from both teams.
Both teams took on ranked opponents last weekend, but only one came away victorious.
Ole Miss played Texas A&M tough at home, but Johnny Manziel and the Aggies proved too stern a test, dropping the Rebels to 3-3 on the season and just 1-3 in the SEC.
LSU, on the other hand, handled Florida at home, thanks to a stellar effort on defense. The Gators were held to just 240 yards of total offense and failed to score a single touchdown.
Heading into the critical second half of the season, LSU is right where it wants to be at 6-1, with a fighting chance to win the SEC with a strong push toward the finish.
When: Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 60 pts.
- Spread: Ole Miss (+8)
LSU Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Zach Mettenberger||QB||Prob Sat - Shin - 10/15/13|
|Jeryl Brazil||DB||Ques Sat - Personal - 10/13/13|
|Armand Williams||WR||Out for season - Knee - 9/6/13|
|Avery Peterson||WR||Out for season - Ankle - 9/6/13|
|Josh Williford||G||Out indefinitely - Concussion - 8/14/13|
Ole Miss Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Barry Brunetti||QB||Ques Sat - Shoulder - 10/15/13|
|Chief Brown||DB||Ques Sat - Undisclosed - 10/15/13|
|Temario Strong||LB||Ques Sat - Neck - 10/15/13|
|Issac Gross||DT||Ques Sat - Shoulder - 10/15/13|
|C.J. Johnson||DE||Ques Sat - Ankle - 10/13/13|
|Carlos Davis||DB||Ques Sat - Suspension - 10/13/13|
|Jeff Scott||RB||Doub Sat - Thigh - 10/15/13|
|Aaron Morris||OL||Out for season - Knee - 8/31/13|
Can Ole Miss Shut Down Zach Mettenberger?
The Rebels have done an outstanding job against opposing quarterbacks throughout this season, allowing just 212.3 passing yards per game and just five passing touchdowns all season long.
Johnny Manziel passed for 346 yards last weekend, but he couldn't connect for a single touchdown pass, and A.J. McCarron was shut down a few weeks earlier by Ole Miss.
Mettenberger was shut down for the most part against Florida last weekend, but he's been on a tear this year, passing for 1,890 yards with 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
With all the other great college quarterbacks playing right now, he went under the radar early in the season, but he's starting to get recognized. Scott Bischoff of New Era Scouting recently said Mettenberger might be the best quarterback in college football right now:
I like Teddy Bridgewater more than most, but LSU QB Zach Mettenberger might be the best QB in college football right now.— Scott Bischoff (@Bischoff_Scott) October 12, 2013
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron trusts his quarterback to make the right decisions and let the ball fly when he's got an open window. However, there haven't been many open windows available to opposing quarterbacks against Ole Miss this year.
This battle should be fun to watch.
As good as the Rebels have been against the pass this year, Ole Miss has struggled to shut down the run, allowing 186.7 rushing yards per game and 14 rushing touchdowns in six games.
Jeremy Hill should have a huge game for LSU, and his ability to make big plays on the ground will open up passing lanes for Mettenberger.
But the real issue Ole Miss has in this contest is on offense.
Which team will win?
LSU's defense has gotten progressively better since being dismantled by Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs, and this unit held Florida to just six points last weekend.
Bo Wallace is in for a long game against this feisty defense, and he'll be forced into a couple critical mistakes that will doom the Rebels to their fourth straight loss.
LSU wins 38-20.
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