BATON ROUGE — Leonard Fournette set a school record with 284 rushing yards, as 25th-ranked LSU pitched a second-half shutout of No. 23 Ole Miss, 38-21, on a late Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
LSU (5-2, 3-1 SEC), which was tied 21-21 at the half, dominated the final 30 minutes of play, allowing only 54 yards of total offense in the second half until the game’s final drive. With the game decided, Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3 SEC) added 50 more as fans poured to the parking lots during the game’s final drive.
“Tremendous effort by the football team,” LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron said. “That was a good football team tonight. It’s a good quarterback. We knew they were going to make plays. We had to battle and came out in the first
quarter. We had some mistakes. We missed some coverages but we hung tight together — Dave Aranda, the coaching staff, hung tight together.”
Fournette, who has missed the Tigers’ two previous games with an ankle injury, needed only 16 carries to break Alley Broussard’s 2004 record of 250 yards, which was also set against Ole Miss. He scored on runs of 59, 76 and 78 yards, averaging a school-record 17.8 yards per carry (minimum 15 carries).
“You know, you can never tell but Monday he looked awfully good when he came back and he was ready to go,” Orgeron said. “He looked fresh and ready, and obviously our offensive line must have blocked tremendously well.”
Meanwhile, quarterback Danny Etling completed 19-of-28 passes for 204 yards with a 40-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Chark. Malachi Dupre caught a game-high five passes for 52 yards, while Travin Dural added four catches for 48 yards.
After allowing 221 yards in the opening half, LSU’s defense gave up only 37 in the third quarter while building a 10-point advantage. Derrius Guice slammed the door shut with a 6-yard touchdown run that capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive that lasted 6:03. Guice also had 16 carries for 67 yards.
LSU outgained Ole Miss, 515-325.
Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly, the SEC’s leading passer, was held nearly 100 yards below his season average of 308.2 by a swarming LSU defense. The senior finished 19-of-32 passing for 209 yards and a touchdown on his first drive of the game. He ran 12 times for 56 net yards including two sacks.
Bill Franques, LSU Associate SID; feature photo by Chris Parent/LSU