For LSU to go where it hasn’t gone in three years, the Tigers will have to accomplish something they haven’t done this season.
The Tigers reeled off a modest four-game winning streak with two of those victories coming against Southern University and New Mexico at home.
LSU answered a 40-13 home defeat against Tennessee on Oct. 8 with a promising 45-35 road win at Florida last Saturday, improving the Tigers to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
That sets up Saturday’s 2:30 contest at Tiger Stadium where LSU can gain a share of the SEC’s Western Division lead against No. 7 Ole Miss (7-0, 3-0).
The game will be televised by CBS and broadcast locally by 98.1-FM.
“Consistency and performance, you know, we want to be able to put good performances back-to-back,” LSU football coach Brian Kelly said during the SEC Coaches’ Teleconference on Wednesday. “We haven’t been able to do that yet. It’s been kind of grind it out games. We haven’t put together a full four quarters of football yet. So, we’ll have to do that against an outstanding football team and Ole Miss.”
To Kelly’s point, LSU trailed 13-0 in the second quarter of a Sept. 17 home game with Mississippi State before rallying for a 31-16 victory. The Tigers trailed 17-0 three weeks ago in a road contest against Auburn but registered a 21-17 come-from-behind win that was aided by a defensive touchdown and late turnover that helped seal the game.
Even in last week’s 10-point road triumph, LSU fell behind 7-0, 14-7 and 21-14 before rattling off 21 unanswered points behind quarterback Jayden Daniels, who accounted for 393 yards and six touchdowns.
Here’s what else Kelly had to say:
“It’s certainly a home game that we’re trying to rebound from a poor performance last time at home but playing with some confidence after a really good road win against Florida. We’re a football team that’s looking to play with more consistency. I think from an offensive standpoint, we got some really good performances from our best players. I think that’s obviously going to be needed here against an outstanding Ole Miss football team. Lane’s (Kiffin) got a really good club that’s balanced offensively. They play a very good defensive structure that we don’t see it very often. You’ve got to know in terms of protections and understanding what you’re getting each and every snap. Jaxson Dart at quarterback, they’ve got two outstanding backs, (Zach) Evans, (Quinshon) Judkins, the freshman, is doing an outstanding job and (they have) big body receivers. (Jonathan) Mingo is one that wins one-on-one matchups and defensively, a structure you don’t see a lot. So, really a good football team deserving of the ranking they have, and we’re excited about the challenge and being on CBS.”
Injury updates on Jack Bech and Armoni Goodwin?
“Jack was out there yesterday, but he’s day-to-day. We’re going to continue to use him, and Greg Clayton will be back there. Armoni practiced yesterday, held the volume pretty good. We’ll see how we feels today. I think that will be the big test. He had a pretty good amount (volume) yesterday and really felt pretty good after I talked to him after practice. We’re hopeful that will continue to trend where he can get some playing time this weekend.”
On performance last week of Jayden Daniels?
“He’s in a new offense. He’s starting to see things more clearly. I think confidence level with his receivers, a new group of receivers for him coming in as a transfer, it’s much easier if you’re just in a running game situation than a passing game. The passing game takes a little bit longer and I just think what we’re seeing is a connection with his receivers, the timing’s coming together and then just a more confident, assertive quarterback that is understanding the offense a whole lot better and being aggressive and pushing the ball down the field.”
On sharing history of Ole Miss-LSU rivalry with new players?
“We mentioned the history of all of the rivalry games, the Magnolia Bowl history. You know what it is means to the university and I like to because it’s new for me, too. I’d like to look it up and learn a little bit more about each and every game. So, we discussed it on Monday and talked about it because there’s a traveling trophy with it.”
Update on injury to Major Burns?
“Major Burns practiced in non-contact (Tuesday). He’s on the scout team, he looks really good. This is just now medically a matter of time from a healing perspective. Our hope from day one was to get him back for Alabama. We seem to be on track for that. But you know, he looks really good being out there every day.”
Does Sevyn Banks have to serve suspension for targeting call against Auburn?
“I would assume that the case and the protocol for that. I’ll check with the SEC to give you an affirmative on that. But that would be my understanding.”
On impact of wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr.?
“He’s done a lot of different things for us. His production, in terms of targets to completions is somewhere in the 80 percentile which is really good. He’s a guy that you know, obviously can do a lot of different things is his ability to run after the catch but also go up and get the football. So again, a big body guy that has proven to be an effective weapon force. I think Jaden’s starting to feel really comfortable with him. There’s so many different moving parts out there, whether it’s (Jaray) Jenkins or it’s Brian Thomas or Malik Nabers. Kyren Lacey’s gotten into the action and come up with some big plays. So, as you can imagine, this been a lot of trying to get the timing down with all of these guys and I think it’s starting to come together.”
On the uniqueness of Ole Miss’ defense?
“They operate out of three-down (linemen) but they’re playing with six defensive backs and one of the defensive backs (Otis Reese) is 225 pounds. The Reese kid is really an unusual player, he can play back on the hash, he can come down and play at the linebacker position. It gives them great versatility where they can move the people around and give you a multitude of different looks. I think it’s the versatility of their personnel. That makes it probably a unique defensive structure more than anything else.”
On the improvement you’ve seen from Ole Miss since opening week?
“Well, I think it’s settling in on their structure offensively in terms of what they want to do, and the good sequential play calling and setting things up. I think they’re really comfortable in terms of what they’re doing. offensively. I think it’s like any other team really, they have a lot of new players and everybody’s kind of being asked to do something and they’re much more accustomed to what their roles are. Defensively, I think they obviously are doing a pretty good job of playing good football, so I think it’s more anything else. It’s similar to us in a sense that we had a lot of new players transfer, a lot on defense, and are more accustomed to the new roles that they’re playing.”
On difficulty of cohesiveness with six different starting offensive lines?
“We’re playing two freshmen. There’s moving pieces around and not having that consistency and communication with two young players, makes it even more difficult.”
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