OXFORD, MS (WAFB) - The question is where do you start after another disaster in Oxford?
With five starters out on defense, the chances of Ole Miss beating LSU looked to be slim to none. But the Rebels came together as a young defense that was hungry to beat a superior Tiger team and they ended doing just that.
LSU was held scoreless in the first half, helped in part by two Zach Mettenberger interceptions in the end zone. LSU was down 10-0 at half and at 17-0 in the 3rd period before the offense woke up and scored to make it a 17-7 game.
LSU continued its late game comeback and tied the score at 24 with just over three minutes left.
Ole Miss faced a crucial third down and long and Beau Wallace escaped two Tiger tackles for first down yardage and the dagger-to-the-heart drive for LSU fans continued for the Rebels ending with the game winning field goal.
Missed tackles continue to haunt the LSU defense. Ole Miss ran the ball at will for 176 yards on 43 carries. Wallace added 349 passing yards, completing 30 of the 39 passes. Total yardage for the Rebs, a whopping 525 yards. Did I mention that the Ole Miss offense was without starting running back Jeff Scott?
What is baffling is that a decimated Ole Miss defense gave up a total of 388 yards to a potent and superior Tiger offense.
Tiger fans continue to be told about a young defense getting stronger in the past two games. While holding struggling Miss. State and Florida to no touchdowns in the last six quarters played, let's face it, it was Miss. State and Florida.
The Tiger defense might take a look at how freshman after freshman stepped up against LSU and held the Tigers to 24 points, just enough to allow a mediocre offense to run up and down the field and score 27 points and pull off the upset.
Last question is about the timeout called with six seconds left in the game. Les Miles said he wanted to make sure the block was setup for the field goal.
But why not call a timeout when there was 20-25 seconds left in the game, giving Mettenberger, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry a chance to make a big play? Instead the kick was good, the game was over, and the Tigers came home with their second three point defeat of the season. The end of the game was a cruel reminder of the last minute debacle against Georgia "Between the Hedges" in Athens.
Oh, and it isn't good timing for LSU to lose with an increase in ticket prices on the horizon and lowly Furman coming to Tiger Stadium Saturday.
And speaking of what's on the horizon, LSU still has to play Texas A&M, Alabama and Arkansas after sleeping through the Furman game.
The Tigers need to win out for a 10 win season, but could just as easy finish with a four loss season.
It's time for LSU to put a complete game together and prepare in a way that will have the offense and defense ready to beat Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron. Does that plan include a bigger role for players like Kendell Beckwith, Lamar Louis and Rickey Jefferson?
Who knows, with the way Auburn is playing a two loss team might very well end up in the SEC Championship and that could include LSU, if the team can hold up its end of the bargain.
Let that late season run start with spreading the offense and blitzing and tackling on defense and playing like an LSU team should play.
As badly as LSU played, the Tigers had a realistic shot of winning the game against Ole Miss in the fourth quarter and it just makes you wonder what might have been if the first half would not have not been another disaster in Oxford.