Entering their game with the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday, the LSU Tigers offense was averaging 41.4 points per game. Much of the Tigers success this season was due to the play of senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger. On the year, Mettenberger had thrown for 15 touchdowns and two interceptions and was considered a possible Heisman Trophy contender. However, in Oxford on Saturday night, the Rebels secondary shut down the Tigers high-octane aerial attack upsetting the No. 6 ranked LSU Tigers 27-24.
LSU trailed 10-0 at halftime and the Tigers were shut down by the Rebels attacking defensive schemes. The Rebels secondary mixed up coverage and double teamed LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Rebels used both a safety and a cornerback to spy Beckham Jr., which forced Mettenberger to throw into double coverage most of the evening.
Mettenberger’s favorite targets entering this game were his two big-play wide receivers Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Both Landry and Beckham had accounted for 13 of Mettenberger’s 15 touchdowns and had over 71 percent of Mettenberger’s total completions on the year. The duo had combined for over 1,300 receiving yards and were the Tigers most lethal offensive weapons.
The Rebels secondary was aggressive in bumping both receivers off of their routes and forcing them to work to get open. The Rebels attacking style disrupted the timing of the passing game and forced Mettenberger into making three costly mistakes on the evening (three interceptions).
The Rebels defense set the tone right from the onset as they held the Tigers to 388 total yards of offense. Mettenberger completed 19 of 33 passes for 274 yards with 1 touchdown and three interceptions.
Ole Miss moved to 4-3 on the year and 2-3 in the SEC. LSU fell to 6-2 and 3-2 in the SEC.