LSU shows Rebels have long way to go|[11/21/2005]

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 21, 2005

OXFORD – The gap between the newly third-ranked LSU Tigers and the offensively challenged Ole Miss Rebels appears as wide as Saturday night’s final 40-7 score indicates.

The Tigers, now 9-1 overall, left quite an impression on Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron, who knows all about LSU’s lore, having been born and raised in South Louisiana.

&#8220They are tough. We knew that going in. I didn’t think it would be that bad. I was hoping we could do a better job, but we didn’t,” Orgeron said in his post-game press conference.

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&#8220We know that we have to get bigger, stronger, faster and more physical to play a team like LSU, who can win the SEC West. They are a lot farther along than we are. We have a ways to go to catch up with LSU.”

Ole Miss’ anemic special teams helped put its equally bad offense in terrible field position all night while, conversely, putting LSU on a short field. Eleven of the Rebels’ 13 possessions started on their own 16-yard line or worse.

LSU managed to cash in a late first quarter safety, after Rebel quarterback Ethan Flatt fell down flat in the endzone. The Tigers then used a short field after the free kick to go up 9-0 when quarterback JaMarcus Russell hit Craig Davis on a 3-yard TD pass.

It only got worse from there. The Tigers got short running scores from Joseph Addai and Justin Vincent to sandwich a 20-yard Russell TD pass to Early Doucet and a 48-yard field goal by Chris Jackson to build a commanding 33-0 lead a play deep into the fourth quarter.

By then, almost all of the 59,543 fans had said goodbye to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

&#8220Before the game, our guys were fired up,” Orgeron said. &#8220Offensively, we couldn’t get anything going. Defensively, we struggled a little bit again with the passing game. On special teams, we did nothing.”

Ole Miss, which was without its leading rusher in Mico McSwain, was limited to just 7 yards net rushing.

LSU, meanwhile, rushed for 178 and had another 203 passing, 55 of it on backup quarterback Matt Flynn’s TD pass to Bennie Brazell that made it 40-0 with 11 minutes to play.

&#8220They just beat us from beginning to the end,” added Rebel quarterback Micheal Spurlock, who led Ole Miss on its only scoring drive in the waning minutes. The end zone cannon finally got to go off after Spurlock’s 7-yard TD pass to Taye Biddle.

&#8220I think this was one of our best games,” said LSU defensive tackle Kyle Williams. &#8220If we can keep winning, bigger things are coming. We’ve just got to beat Arkansas and then go on to the SEC Championship.”

With Miami’s surprising 14-10 loss to Georgia Tech, one hurdle to a possible BCS title game was removed for the Tigers.

Like his coach, Ole Miss offensive tackle Andrew Wicker was full of praise for the Tigers.

&#8220They were good. Had they not given up those points to Tennessee, they’d be right in the hunt for the BCS. Their defense was pretty solid and it just wasn’t our night.”