Football Falls to No. 20 Ole Miss in Offensive Shootout, 55-49
OXFORD, Miss. — LSU and Ole Miss combined for 1,343 yards of total offense on Saturday night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but the No. 20 Rebels came out victorious, 55-49, as quarterback Jayden Daniels‘ final attempt into the end zone as time expired fell incomplete.
Tonight marked a record for combined total yardage (1343) in a game that LSU was involved in (previous was 1328, LSU at Ole Miss 2019).
While Saturday positioned the Tigers’ offense among the elite in college football, it was the lack of stops from the defensive side of the ball that proved to be critical.
“That’s not the way I like to play football,” head coach Brian Kelly said postgame. “Hats off to Ole Miss. They made a couple of plays at the end that they needed to and deserved to win.”
It was a back-and-forth shootout in Oxford, for better or worse. Daniels was exceptional, finishing 27-of-36 for 414 yards and four touchdowns, leading LSU to 637 yards of total offense, 414 coming through the air and 223 coming on the ground. Daniels has now accounted for at least four touchdowns seven times in his LSU career and in four straight games this season.
“He threw some incredible passes,” Kelly said of Daniels. “He dropped some passes in there that were just terrific. The receivers obviously made big plays. We ran the ball effectively. Wish we could have made a couple more plays.”
The dynamic duo of Brian Thomas and Malik Nabers has provided the Tigers with two No. 1 receivers at their disposal. Thomas was unstoppable yet again for LSU’s passing game, tallying eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns, adding to an already-impressive 2023 campaign. Nabers recorded another 100+ yard outing as well, posting eight catches for 102 yards with a long of 39.
Running back Logan Diggs continues to solidify himself as LSU’s featured back, leading with a team-high 19 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per touch. Daniels also rushed for 99 yards on 15 carries, most of which from a career-long 55-yard rush.
Defensively, LSU was unable to contain Jaxson Dart and the Ole Miss offense for most of the night, surrendering 706 yards of total offense to go along with 55 points.
The Rebels found production everywhere. At receiver, Tre Harris and Jordan Watkins had eight catches for 153 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, respectively. Running back Quinshon Judkins was hard to bring down all contest, garnering 177 yards on 33 carries for a score.
Dart found Harris for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds left in the game, which ultimately served as the game-winning play that handed the Rebels the victory.
“That’s not a standard of play that’s acceptable,” Kelly said. “I expect the guys to respond the right way. They’ve got a lot of pride. They play for LSU. They know that’s not the standard. I expect them to come back Monday ready to make sure that they address, and we as coaches address, the things we need to do better.”
The Tigers will return to action next Saturday in Columbia, Missouri for a 11 a.m. kickoff against No. 23 Missouri on ESPN.