The Ole Miss Rebels will put their SEC West aspirations to the test once again on the road Saturday, heading to Death Valley for a big-time meeting with the LSU Tigers.
Hugh Freeze's third-ranked Rebels have set the SEC on fire this season with an upset over Alabama, and they have since validated that victory with blowouts over Texas A&M and Tennessee. But LSU is feeling confident as well, coming off victories over Florida and Kentucky.
To make the battle even bigger, ESPN's College GameDay will be on hand:
The Tigers have had a rough go of things in an SEC West that they usually dominate, falling to both Mississippi State and Auburn in distasteful defeats. But while their College Football Playoff hopes might be dashed, they'll be hungry to prove themselves and spoil the Rebels' season.
All the talk in the SEC West is about everyone other than LSU, but Death Valley will be at the center of the college football world Saturday to give the Tigers a chance to thrust themselves back into the conversation.
Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know for College GameDay.
ESPN College GameDay Info
When: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Time (ET): 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (preview show)
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Ole Miss vs. LSU Game Information|
|Date||Matchup (Spread)||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|October 25||No. 3 Ole Miss (-3.5) at No. 24 LSU||7:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
Note: Spread courtesy of Odds Shark, last updated Oct. 23 at 11 p.m. ET
Ole Miss Bound for Another Statement Win vs. LSU
The signs were there regarding Ole Miss' impending emergence into the college football elite the last time these Rebels played in Baton Rouge.
It was a team flooded with youngsters that hadn't even finished locking down the No. 1 recruiting class it would later land, but the Rebels still took a 28-20 lead into the fourth quarter. Then, Odell Beckham Jr.'s punt-return touchdown paved the way to late LSU dramatics and a Tiger win.
Every stride Freeze's team has needed to make since then, it has. Young playmakers have developed into senior leaders, and the touted recruits are now sophomores dominating the toughest conference in college football.
“I remember the atmosphere,” Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace told ESPN's Greg Ostendorf of the 2012 game. “We were playing really well. We were young and really didn’t realize what we were doing. To us, it was almost like a moral victory that we went into LSU and we played against those guys the way we did with all of the NFL talent they had on their team.”
That 2012 loss was nearly the statement victory Ole Miss chased, but after a win over LSU last year followed by beating Alabama in 2014, that jump has already been made.
Now, there's no such thing as a moral victory for Wallace and the Rebels. They have gone from the hunter to the hunted, and LSU is hungry to do some hunting after being knocked from its perch somewhat this season.
Folks should expect to see the Tigers try and continue pounding the rock. In the last two games, LSU has rushed for a combined 498 yards.
But Saturday might be LSU's toughest test yet in terms of running the ball. As a unit, Ole Miss is magnificent on defense, holding opponents to 4.15 yards per play—third-best in the nation.
The Rebels' ball-hawking secondary will keep LSU chasing rushing success that won't come. Meanwhile, Ole Miss' less-than-stellar running game should receive a boost going up a Tigers defense that gives up more than 160 rushing yards per contest.
From top to bottom, Ole Miss is a much superior team in 2014, and that will show on the gridiron Saturday night—despite playing in a raucous Death Valley.
Prediction: Ole Miss 30, LSU 24
Note: All stats courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted.