LSU vs. Ole Miss: Top Prospects, Storylines, Odds for B/R's Game of the Week

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2021

LSU vs. Ole Miss: Top Prospects, Storylines, Odds for B/R's Game of the Week

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    Lane Kiffin
    Lane KiffinRogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    In a relatively tight race, the B/R Game of the Week features the LSU Tigers and 12th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels.

    LSU's trip to Oxford garnered 33.5 percent of your 5,796 votes, defeating a couple of rivalry games and a critical Pac-12 matchup. The other choices in Week 8 were USC at No. 13 Notre Dame (23.6 percent), No. 10 Oregon at UCLA (23.4) and Tennessee at No. 4 Alabama (19.5).

    And this SEC contest is loaded with intrigue.

    Though the Rebels improved to 5-1 last time out, they are dealing with major injury concerns. LSU, meanwhile, upset Floridathen reached a "separation agreement" with head coach Ed Orgeron, yet he will be roaming the sidelines Saturday.

    Rest assured, those storylines will be covered in our community-chosen preview for B/R's Game of the Week.

Top NFL Draft Prospects

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    Derek Stingley Jr.
    Derek Stingley Jr.Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

    One of the more discouraging pieces of Orgeron's tenure is LSU's lack of top-rated NFL prospects just two seasons removed from winning the national title. Derek Stingley Jr. is basically the only one, and the 2019 first-team AP All-America choice is likely to miss the rest of the season with a foot injury.

    LSU's potential draft-worthy candidates include, among others, offensive guard Ed Ingram, edge-rusher Ali Gaye, linebacker Mike Jones Jr. and nickelback Cordale Flott.

                    

    Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

    Whether he plays Saturday is unknownmore on that shortlybut Matt Corral has engineered a breakout year. Through six games, he ranks seventh nationally at 9.4 yards per pass attempt and has posted 1,728 yards with 14 touchdowns to just one interception. He's also scampered for 450 yards and eight scores.

                        

    Jerrion Ealy, RB, Ole Miss

    After two straight 700-yard seasons, Jerrion Ealy hasn't quite lived up to expectations. He's managed 223 rushing yards and caught 10 passes for 90 yards. Still, Ealy's versatility and relatively light college workload will intrigue NFL teams.

Coach O Is Gone, but He's Here, so Now What?

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    LSU separating with, not firing, Ed Orgeron is a technicality worth exploring later. But we're not diving into that today.

    Strictly on the field, this is a strange situation. Saturday marks the first of fiveor, depending on how Orgeron and the administration handle bowl season, sixgames in which he's overseeing the Tigers while moving closer to his exit.

    College football is already hard enough to predict. Throw in the uncertainty of each player's response to the news, and expectations for LSU in Week 8 are probably all over the board.

    That's on top of the roster's existing inconsistencies.

    To begin October, LSU mustered 33 rushing yards in a 24-19 loss to Auburn. Then the Tigers surrendered 330 yards on the ground to Kentucky in a dreadful 42-21 result. And with Orgeron's hot seat sizzling, LSU shredded Florida for 321 rushing yards and held the Gators to just 3.9 yards per carry.

    If you're confident in how LSU will perform, good for you. Because the Tigers are like a Build Your Own Adventure book, and Orgeron's delayed dismissal only adds to the guesswork.

Matt Corral Might Not Play—Unless He Does

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Very informative headline, right? Based on what Lane Kiffin has shared, though, it's the present view of the situation.

    In his Monday presser, Ole Miss' second-year coach expressed concern about Matt Corral's availability. He logged 30 carries in the victory at Tennessee, and the workload took a heavy physical toll.

    "He's not in very good shape," Kiffin said of Corral, according to Nick Suss of the Clarion-Ledger. "He hasn't been for the last two days. You guys know how we are on injuries. Hopefully he will play, but I don't feel good about that right now."

    Kiffin provided even less information Wednesday.

    "Yeah, I've never spoke in detail about injuries," he said, per David Johnson of 247Sports. "So I'm not going to start now, because what I always say is that I hope everyone plays. But, that's hope."

    LSU is undoubtedly preparing as if Corral will play. Plus, since betting odds haven't gone off the boardand, more notably, DraftKings continues to favor Ole Miss by 7.5 pointsit suggests Vegas knows something too.

    But if he's limited or unavailable, the Rebels will likely be leaning on an inexperienced quarterback for a key game. Luke Altmyer, the expected understudy, has only attempted four passes in his college career.

Game Information and Odds

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    Jerrion Ealy
    Jerrion EalyJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    When: Saturday, Oct. 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET

    Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi

    TV: CBS

    Stream: CBS Sports

    Spread (via DraftKings): Ole Miss -9

    Total: 76

    Moneyline: Ole Miss -365 (bet $365 to win $100); LSU +280 (bet $100 to win $280)

                

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