LSU’s first defeat of a ranked opponent under first-year coach Brian Kelly didn’t start particularly pretty.
But the Tigers (6-2, 4-1) quickly and frequently more than made up for a slow first quarter with an eventual _45-20 dismantling of No. 7 Ole Miss (7-1, 3-1).
After falling behind, 17-3, in the opening moments of the second quarter, LSU all but shut out the typically high-powered Rebels for more than two and a half quarters.
And junior quarterback Jayden Daniels — on a record-setting afternoon — and the purple-and-gold offense began rolling in impressive fashion to 35 of the next 38 points.
Daniels finished 21-for-28 (75%) with 248 yards and two passing yards.
And his 23 carries for 121 yards and three scores broke the Tigers’ record for most rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback.
The transfer from Arizona State has now run his way to the end zone nine times in eight games, surpassing a previous best of seven by an LSU passer.
National champion Joe Burrow was the most recent of five players to have reached
Ole Miss and LSU’s own penalties put the Tigers quickly into tenuous footing.
The Rebels cruised 70 yards to a 6-yard Quinshon Judkins touchdown run on the game’s first five plays, held the Tigers to a 23-yard field goal in the red zone and then marched back downfield for another eventual Judkins score.
Three flags on LSU’s coverage helped sustain the second Ole Miss drive — including one pass interference negating a Greg Brooks Jr. interception and another a fourth-down stop.
The Tigers then missed a 42-yard field goal attempt on their second possession, and Ole Miss began moving swiftly to extend its 14-3 lead.
LSU held the Rebels to a 32-yard field goal to start the second quarter, though, and then found its offense in efficient, if not impressive fashion the next two possessions.
Daniels led back-to-back touchdown drives of 75 and 78 yards capped by a 34-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jaray Jenkins and then 3-yard quarterback keeper to pull back even.
Ole Miss added a 48-yard field goal to take a 20-17 lead into the half.
But the Tigers only continued to take further control from there.
Daniels found Mason Taylor for a 1-yard touchdown, the freshman tight end’s first, with 8:25 remaining in the third quarter.
And seniors Micah Baskerville and Joe Foucha teamed up for a quarterback hurry and one-handed interception in the other end zone to end the Rebels’ once-promising push for an answer.
Daniels added rushing touchdowns of 11 and 17 yards in the fourth quarter to break and extend the program record.
And junior running back Josh Williams added a goal-line exclamation mark in the final minutes as the Tigers continued to flex their muscles.
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