LSU Tops Ole Miss 43-36, Improve To 10-1
BATON ROUGE -- Jordan Jefferson threw for a career-best 254 yards while running back Stevan Ridley ran for three touchdowns as the No. 5-ranked LSU football team came back three times in the final 20 minutes to beat rival Ole Miss, 43-36, at Tiger Stadium.
LSU (10-1, 6-1 SEC) completed an undefeated season in Tiger Stadium for the 13th time in school history. The Tigers also won 10 games for the fourth time in six seasons under head coach Les Miles.
The Tigers will complete the regular season No. 13-ranked Arkansas in Little Rock on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
LSU had lost its past two games against Ole Miss (4-7, 1-6 SEC). The loss took the Rebels out of bowl eligibility with one game remaining in the regular season.
Jefferson completed 13-of-17 passes including a 27-yard shuffle pass by running back Michael Ford. He ran nine times for 45 yards with a 3-yard touchdown. He also had a two-point conversion that gave LSU the final advantage, capping LSU's 20-point performance in the fourth quarter.
Ridley ran 18 times for 89 yards and scored three times for the first time as a Tiger. Ford finished with nine carries for 58 yards.
LSU's 470 yards of total offense was the most since the Tigers had 497 against Georgia on Oct. 25, 2008 -- a span of 30 games.
Ole Miss' offense used the same approach as No. 2 Auburn -- put the ball in the hands of an elusive quarterback and a tough running back, and hope LSU can't keep up. The Rebels rolled up 420 yards of total offense including 236 on the ground.
Rebels quarterback Jeremiah Masoli scored twice on the ground and once through the air -- a 65-yard pass and run on a busted blitz coverage in the Tigers secondary. Masoli added 64 net yards rushing on 11 carries. Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden, a Baton Rouge native, also scored twice and tallied 91 yards on 18 carries.
The see-saw game included four consecutive failed two-point conversions before Jefferson's successful run with 44 seconds remaining that gave the Tigers the final advantage.
With a field goal kicker who had limited range -- a season long of 41 -- Ole Miss used all four downs when it entered LSU territory. The Rebels converted their first four fourth-down conversions.
A fourth-and-10 in the first quarter led to a field goal that tied the game at 10-10; a fourth-and-8 pass from Masoli to Logan led to a Masoli 4-yard touchdown run just before halftime that cut the LSU lead to 20-17; a 2-yard run by Masoli on fourth-and-1 at the LSU 35 on a drive that gave the Rebels their first lead in the third quarter, 24-23; and a 7-yard run by Bolden on fourth-and-1 from the LSU 34 that later put Ole Miss ahead 30-29 with 7:30 to play.
Fortunately for LSU, the Rebels go-for-it menality came to an end in the game's final drive.
When it looked like the team with the ball at the end of the game would claim victory, a fourth-down heave by Masoli as time expired was intercepted by LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson at the LSU 33.
Just another day in the SEC. Ole Miss always gives LSU their best shot. Today LSU took it, but ended up throwing the knockout punch.