Outside of the top-ranked team in the nation’s run defense, there was no hangover from its huge win over Alabama. That “outside of,” though, looms large perception-wise moving forward.
The good: No. 1 LSU went into Oxford and held serve, heading back to Baton Rouge with a 58-37 win over Ole Miss (4-7). The bad: LSU allowed 402 yards rushing after coming into the game 13th nationally in rushing yards per game at 100.7. The ugly: THE NO.1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY ALLOWED 402 YARDS RUSHING.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not many, if any, teams that have allowed 400-plus yards on the ground in a single game have gone on to win the national championship in the same season. I’ll also go out on an even sturdier limb and state that the College Football Playoff selection committee will be forced to think long and hard about keeping the Tigers at the top when its latest rankings are released Tuesday night.
John Rhys Plumlee was the main ground agitator for the Rebels, with the freshman quarterback rushing for 212 yards and four touchdowns in the game. Plumlee scored on runs of 60, 46, 35 and five yards in becoming just the fifth SEC quarterback — Nick Fitzgerald, Cam Newton, Jesse Palmer, Tim Tebow being the others — to account for four rushing touchdowns in a single game.
Entering Week 12 as the overwhelming Heisman favorite, Joe Burrow did nothing much to hurt that standing as he passed for a career-high 489 yards and five touchdowns in the win. He did, though, throw a pair of interceptions after coming in with just four total on the season.
With the win, LSU is a step closer to wrapping up the SEC West and a spot in the conference championship game opposite Georgia, which won the East earlier in the day. With two conference games left — home tilts with Arkansas and Texas A&M — LSU needs to win just one of those games to book its early-December trip to Atlanta