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Season in Time 2005: Game 10 - Ole Miss

Ed Orgeron

Patrick Willis

Ethan Flatt

Micheal Spurlock

Michael Espy

Mario Hill

Robert Lane

Larry Kendrick

Michael Oher with Sean and Leighanne Touhy

Charles Clark

Kevin Steltz

Patrick Fisher

Taye Biddle

After beating Alabama, the #4 Tigers (9-1) had a clear path to the SEC Championship Game.
  • Beat Ole Miss on the round and Arkansas at home.
  • Even if Bama won its remaining game against Auburn November 19, LSU would end in a tie with the Tide at 7-1 in the conference.
  • The Tigers would win the tiebreaker by virtue of their triumph at Tuscaloosa November 12.

The Rebels were enduring a miserable season under new coach Ed Orgeron.

  • Ole Miss had fired David Cutcliffe after he went 4-7 the season after Eli Manning's graduation after the 2003 season.
  • The '05 Rebels won only three of their first nine games - Memphis 10-6, The Citadel 26-6, and Kentucky 13-7.
  • The good news for Orgeron was the return of MLB Patrick Willis after multiple injuries. His presence made the Rebs strong against the run.
  • Mississippi had problems through the air, allowing five passing TDs the past two weeks.
  • On the other side of the ball, the Rebels had major problems. Ethan Flatt would start his third game after taking over for Michael Spurlock at QB. But a signal-caller needs a strong running game, and that's what his mates couldn't supply even before TB Mico McSwain got hurt.
  • Flatt's best bet was to throw the ball quickly to capable receivers Mike Espy, Mario Hill, and TE Robert Lane, who started his college career as a QB at LSU.

The temperature was 41 degrees at the ESPN2-mandated game time of 6:45, by which time Alabama had lost to Auburn 28-18.

  • Q1: Receiving the football when Ole Miss deferred, the Tigers made one first down at the 45 Dwayne Bowe's 32nd catch of the season. But after JaMarcus Russell's 3rd down pass to Skyler Green missed the 1st down by 2y, Chris Jackson, with a 42y average for the season, punted dead on the 14.
    Ethan Flatt, starting his third game under C for the Rebels, quickly connected with WR Mike Espy, who eluded Chevis Jackson for a 1st down at the 38. But a block in the back on the next play set the home team back 15. On 3rd down, Flatt fell on his backside as he pulled out from C in a play reminiscent of the Tigers' last visit to Oxford in '03 when Eli Manning did that on a crucial play late in LSU's 17-14 victory that paved the way for the Tigers to win the SEC and BCS Championships.
    Starting from their 42, the Bengals again picked up a 1st down on Joseph Addai's 10y run.
    Addai had carried the ball only eight times the previous three games because of an ankle injury.
    But two short runs and an incompletion brought Jackson back out for a punt to the 11.
    Ole Miss went backward from there. After a false start flag put the ball on the 6, Chase Pittman tackled Larry Kendrick for a loss of 2. LB Kenneth Hollis then smashed Kendrick down a half-yard from the goal on a pitchout. Trying to pass out of danger, Flatt again got his foot stepped on by freshman G Michael Oher as he retreated from C. He stumbled backward and fumbled but got the ball back just before Melvin Oliver swooped in. LSU 2 Ole Miss 0 (5:27)
    Oher would become famous as the subject of the 2009 movie The Blind Side.

    Tigers celebrate safety over QB Ethan Flatt.
    Green returned the free kick 23y to the Rebel 48. But the Tigers could not take advantage of the field position thanks to a holding penalty. Three possessions, three punts.
    Another three and out for Ole Miss, including Flatt dropping the snap to negate another play, necessitated a punt that Green returned 17y to put the Tigers back in business at the Reb 47.
    Russell rolled right and tossed to WR Buster Davis, who made a rolling catch at the 15. The Tigers added to their SEC-best red zone scoring average (27-of-30 for 90%). Three runs by Justin Vincent gained 10 for a 1st-and-goal. A 1y gain by Justin ended the period.
    END Q1: LSU 2 Ole Miss 0
  • Q2: The Tigers dodged a bullet when Russell threw into a crowd for Bowe in the EZ. Sensational LB Patrick Willis nearly snagged the INT. On the next play, JaMarcus lofted a pass to Davis in the back of the EZ for Buster's first TD of the year. Colt David converted LSU 9 Ole Miss 0 (14:50)
    Espy was smothered at the 16 on the return but that was the Rebs' best starting position so far. Flatt threw three straight passes, with two complete for a loss of 5y.
    LSU started a possession in enemy territory for the third straight time - at the 45 this time. Not finding an open receiver, Russell rambled up the middle for 9.5y. Addai then moved the chains to the 25 over RT. Three snaps later, Vincent gained another 1st down at the 13. A look-in to Davis made it 1st-and-goal from the 3. Joe barreled to within inches of the goal. So he waltzed in on the next play. LSU 16 Ole Miss 0 (9:42)
    The Rebs' bad field position (the 14 this time) and futility continued, as Flatt dropped the ball again on 2nd down. When a 3rd down completion fell short, the punt went out on the Ole Miss 44.
    But on 2nd down, JaMarcus threw long down the middle to Davis at the goal line. The ball bounced off his hands to S Charles Clark in the EZ.
    With the touchback giving the Rebels their best position at the 20, Claude Wroten burst through and sacked Flatt for a loss of 7. A completion gained back some of the loss, but LSU blew up the screen on 3rd down, and the QB threw the ball into the ground as the crowd booed. The punt finally went into LSU territory, bouncing to the 46.
    Stung by the interception on the last possession and sensing that the defensive front was lagging, O-coordinator Jimbo Fisher called for four straight runs by Vincent. He roared through big holes to the Ole Miss 44, then the 29. But on 2nd-and-5, the Rebs stripped the ball from Justin. Russell fell on the loose pigskin but couldn't corral it. Ole Miss recovered at the 35.
    After a good run and an offside penalty produced a 1st down, the Rebels finally crossed midfield to the LSU 47. With the crowd imploring them to go for it on 4th and 4, Ole Miss called timeout and decided to go for it. Flatt hit Espy in front of Jackson to move the chains to the 40 with 50 seconds left. But Jesse Daniels picked off the next pass at the 18, and LSU ran out the clock. The INT was LSU's first takeaway in eleven quarters.
    The Rebels gained a paltry 36y the first 30 minutes.
    Halftime score: LSU 16 Ole Miss 0
Bo Pelini's defense continued to dominate after the break.
  • Q3: Ole Miss tried again to run back a kickoff but got only as far as the 13. On 1st down, DT Kyle Williams pushed his blocker into Kendrick as he received the handoff for a loss of 4. But a 3rd down interference call on S LaRon Landry provided a 1st down at the 26. Flatt got flattened after throwing the ball and had to leave. Micheal Spurlock completed his first pass for 7y, but the Rebs couldn't get the remaining 3 and had to punt again.
    Coach Orgeron explained after the game why he took Flatt out. A couple of our linemen were getting knocked back into him, and he was getting shook up. He took a couple of hard knocks that way.
    LSU started from their 32, their worst position since the opening kickoff. No problem - let's go on an eight-play, 68y TD drive. After a run and a short reception by Addai produced a 1st down, Bowe dropped a TD pass at the 11. A sack seemed to take the starch out of the advance, but Russell hit Benny Brazell on 3rd for 25y to the Ole Miss 40. Addai rambled for 17, then 3 to the 20. Using play action, Russell rolled right and shot the ball to Irly Doucet at the goal line. LSU 23 Ole Miss 0 (8:36)
    Bowe played sparingly the rest of the game after missing his second pass of the evening. Dwayne's streak of consecutive games with at least one TD reception ended at seven.
    The Rebs' comedy of errors continued. First, a block in the back made the home team start from the 8 before a false start moved the pigskin to the 4. The inevitable punt reached the 42.
    The possession started promisingly with two Vincent runs for 14y. But the Tigers bogged down at that point. So Chris Jackson kicked a 48y FG that barely cleared the crossbar. LSU 26 Ole Miss 0 (4:04)
    LSU's tremendous special teams play continued as Espy was smothered at the 13. On the first snap, LB Cameron Vaughn roared through and pulled Spurlock down by the shoulder pad at the 2. After the backup QB hit TE Robert Lane to regain the penalty yardage, the Rebels converted their first 3rd down of the evening after nine failures on a pass to Mario Hill to the 33. But the euphoria didn't last long as a heavy blitz up the middle caused Micheal to throw the ball hurriedly over the receiver right into the hands of DB Jonathan Zenon at the 48. He ran down the sideline to the 15.
    After a 3y pass to TE David Jones, Russell ran out of the pocked to the 3. Addai then plunged right to the goal line. But on 2nd down, he hit a stonewall at LT and lost a half-yard to the 1.
    END Q3: LSU 26 Ole Miss 0
  • Q4: Vincent took a pitch off LT behind FB Kevin Steltz into the EZ. LSU 33 Ole Miss 0 (14:53)
    Guess what? Ole Miss couldn't run the kick back to the 20. From the 16 against many LSU second stringers, Spurlock ran out of the pocket to the 28. But three incompletions brought out overworked punter Rob Park.
    Matt Flynn came in to lead the second unit. Shyrone Carey ran twice for 12y. Then Flynn dropped back and threw down the left sideline to a streaking Brazell who ran into the EZ. LSU 40 Ole Miss 0 (11:44)
    The only question was whether the Rebels would avoid a shutout. Or whether they could start a drive outside their 20. The return fell 3y short. After an end-around gained 9y, the Tiger back-ups stuffed two runs and forced a punt.
    After one first down, LSU had to punt, Patrick Fisher booting to the 14.
    The Rebs finally surpassed the 100y mark of offense and got on the scoreboard with a 86y TD drive. The biggest advance came on a 21y catch and run by Espy to the LSU 49. Two plays later, a completion and a forward fumble made it 1st-and-10 at the 21. After three incompletions, Orgeron decided to go for it on 4th-and-10. Spurlock hit Espy to the 7. Then he threw to the flat WR Taye Biddle, who ran into the EZ. LSU 40 Ole Miss 7 (2:28)
    The onside kick went right to Jacob Hester, who returned to the Ole Miss 43. From there, Hester and Carey ran repeatedly to the 25 to end the game.
    FINAL: LSU 40 Ole Miss 7
  • The Tigers outgained the Rebels 381-175, with almost half (86) of the 175 coming on the scoring drive against LSU's second string D.
  • Ole Miss gained 7y on 22 rushing attempts (since sacks count against rushing totals in the NCAA).
  • Russell completed 13 of 22 for 142y.
  • Addai led the rushers with 70y on 14 carries. Vincent gained 54 on the same number of carries.
  • The victory tied Miles with Bernie Moore for the best 10-game start for a first-year coach in school history. Bernie did it in 1935.
  • The loss was the Rebels' worst in Oxford in 56 years.


  • Miles: I felt like we came into this game to get a win. Now we get to move forward and focus on Arkansas and winning the SEC West. We played a great game. Our offense, defense, and special teams complemented each other. On his QB: JaMarcus has put together several quality games in a row. He is putting the ball where the receivers can catch it. He has learned how to throw the ball away and when to pull it down and scramble. ... I knew it would take some time to get the defense where it needs to be. But I think we are in a good position right now.
  • Cameron Vaughn: We did what we had to do tonight. Our defense and our offense played great. We have some guys out there on defense that our opponents should be afraid of, and it is an honor to be out there with them.
  • Addai: My ankle feels a whole lot better. I made a couple mistakes, but everything went pretty good. I feel like our offense left some points on the field in the first half, but once we got in a rhythm and established ourselves in the second half, we played well.
  • Russell: We played a great game tonight. We left some points on the field in the first half, but we came out in the second half and did what we do best.

Ole Miss

  • Orgeron: Give LSU credit. That is an excellent football team, a well-coached football team,. very talented. They were physical, they were fast, they knew what they were doing. He admitted that injured TB McSwain wouldn't have made much difference. Mico has made a lot out of nothing this year, actually. I think he might have been able to pop a couple of runs. But we are not gong to be able to have an offense until we get better on the line of scrimmage. We were not very good on the line of scrimmage tonight. We can figure out what they're doing. We've just go to block the guys. ... We've got to get bigger, stronger, and faster. Obviously, when you play a team like that, I believe that's the eam we've got to play every year to win the SEC West. They're a lot further along than we are. We have a ways to go to catch up with them.
  • Willis: We knew coming into the ballgame it would be a tough ballgame, but we didn't figure we'd get handled like this. I mean, LSU's a good team, and we didn't come to play the way we should against a good team. ... You can't give up big plays. That's been part of our success on defense this year, not giving up big plays for touchdowns. We did today. He praised LSU's balanced attack. They can run the ball. They can pass the ball. It's tough when you've got a balanced team like they have to run the ball the way they can and then play-action pass. They've got good receivers, too. They just throw it up and let them go get it.
  • Flatt on his woes under C. A lot of that was due to their defensive line push. We tried to switch centers. It just wasn't working for us. They've got a great defensive line. Some plays are going to be like that. ... That's the best defensive line I've played this year. They've got speed, a lot of speed that we really haven't seen that much of.

Continue with Game Eleven: Arkansas

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Season in Time: 2005

Tiger Den Archives – I

First LSU Football Game
One-Game Sensation
Tigers Invade Ebbets Field
Dazzling Debut: Tommy Hodson
Streak Buster: LSU vs Alabama 1993
Dazzling Debut: Cecil Collins
Tiger First: Notre Dame Game
Memorable Game: Alabama 1945
Tiger First: UAB Game

Tiger Den Archives – II

Origin of the Chinese Bandits
Leave Coach Dietzel Alone!
Six Straight TD Catches
How Addai Ended Up at LSU
LSU AD on His Coaches
Pro Football Hall of Famers
Streak Buster: UNC 1949
Streak Buster: Alabama 1982

Tiger Den Archives – III

First College Replay
Memorable Game: Tulane 1949
Profile: Robert Dugas
First Big Ten Opponent
Profile: Michael Mahtook
Memorable Game: Tulane 1965
Profile: Alvin Roy
Memorable Game: Ole Miss 1959
Interesting Story: Andre Lafleur

Tiger Den Archives – IV

Firsts: Victory, Home Victory, Winning Season
You Can't Keep a Good Man Down
First NFL Draftee
It's a Miracle!
Dazzling Debut: Alvin Dark
Dazzling Debut: Charlie McClendon
Memorable Game: Tulane 1972
Memorable Game: Tennessee 2000
Dynamic Duo

Tiger Den Archives – V

LSU Lost a Game and a Coach
The Night Big Ben Came to Tiger Stadium
Profile: Tommy Casanova
Profile: Richard Dickson
Memorable Game: Oregon 1932
Buckeyes First LA Invasion
From Braces to All-America
Memorable Game: Georgia 1935
"The Year of the Extra Point"
Brodhead Takes Over

Tiger Den Archives – VI

First Southern Team to Fly to a Game
Memorable Game: Florida State 1991
7-0 in 1973
Profile: John Ed Bradley
Super Bowl Bengals
Recruiting Tales
Memorable Game: Tulane 1937
Scoreless String
Profile: Dub Jones

Tiger Den Archives – VII

Dietzel Returns
Profile: Bert Jones
Largest Crowd in SEC History
Win One for the Bear
Profile: Ken Kavanaugh
Why Didn't He Go to Florida?
No Married Players

Tiger Den Archives – VIII

First Appearance of Mascot Mike
Faust Fever
Profile: Alvin Dark
"LSU is not a class team"
Saban's First Rematch
But Did He Beat Tulane?

Tiger Den Archives – IX

"Give Them My Regards in Baton Rouge"
"Football Is Strictly an Afternoon Game"
When Washington Came to Baton Rouge
Tigers vs Badgers I & II | Profile: Y.A. Tittle

Tiger Den Archives – X

Streak Buster: LSU @ Auburn 1970
Dazzling Debut: Coach Jerry Stovall
Profile: Leonard Fournette
Terry Bradshaw: "I know how it all got started."
Profile: Young Bussey I-VI

Tiger Den Archives – XI

Streak Buster: LSU @ Auburn 1970
Dazzling Debut: Coach Jerry Stovall
Profile: Leonard Fournette
Terry Bradshaw: "I know how it all got started."
Profile: Young Bussey I-VI


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