Published October 26, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Jennings' 3-yard touchdown pass to Logan Stokes with 5:07 remaining provided the winning points as No. 24 LSU dealt third-ranked Ole Miss its first loss of the season with a 10-7 decision at an emotional Tiger Stadium.
Held to just a field goal while turning the ball over four times through three-plus quarters of play, the Tigers went ahead by putting together a 13- play, 95-yard drive that ended in Stokes -- a seldom-used senior tight end -- making his first career catch.
Jennings was intercepted twice earlier and completed just 8-of-16 passes for 142 yards, but got plenty of help from a ground game that churned out 264 yards and a defense that stifled Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace all game long.
Leonard Fournette rushed for 113 yards on 23 carries and Terrence Magee added 74 on 12 attempts in a game LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) virtually needed to win to keep its SEC West title chances intact.
The comeback victory also capped a roller-coaster weekend for head coach Les Miles, who was on the sidelines less than 24 hours after his 91-year-old mother, Martha, passed away.
"I'd like to thank the people who have found it in their time to wish me well and send their condolences for my mom (Martha Miles). I had a rough night last night," Miles said.
Wallace got Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1) down as far as the LSU 25 in the closing seconds, but his final pass was intercepted by Ronald Martin near the goal line to seal the result.
"Our kids fought, I thought our defense gave us a chance to win the game. We just could not manage any points," Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze said.
The pick finished off a rough night for the senior quarterback, who went just 14-of-33 for 176 yards with a touchdown and the one interception.
After squandering opportunities left and right all throughout the night, LSU's offense finally rose to the occasion after getting the ball on their own 5- yard line while trailing 7-3 with just over 11 minutes left.
The Tigers proceeded to run the ball 12 consecutive times, including a 4th- an-1 conversion from Kenny Hilliard that preceded Fournette's 22-yard burst to the Ole Miss 13. A face mask penalty on the Rebels on the following snap created a 1st-and-goal from the 3, where Jennings faked a handoff and rolled right before tossing the ball to a wide-open Stokes for the go-ahead touchdown.
Mississippi was able to cross midfield on the subsequent series, but Wallace was stuffed on a sneak attempt on 4th-and-1 to give LSU back the ball with 1:44 left.
The Tigers managed to whittle just 25 seconds off the game clock, however, as Ole Miss used all three remaining timeouts while forcing a quick punt. Two Wallace completions and a pass interference penalty on LSU helped bring the Rebels to the opposing 25-yard line, where head coach Hugh Freeze initially brought out Gary Wunderlich for a 42-yard field goal try with nine seconds to go.
Ole Miss was called for delay of game, however, and decided to run a play following the penalty. Wallace threw deep down the left side, but the ball was underthrown and picked off by Martin at the 2-yard line.
The first half was full of frustrating results for the LSU offense, beginning with a 28-yard field goal miss by usually reliable kicker Colby Delahoussaye on the team's opening drive.
LSU had a 1st-and-goal from the Ole Miss one on its next series, which was highlighted by a 40-yard catch-and-run from Fournette. However, the freshman running back lost the ball on second effort while trying to cross the goal line and the Rebels' Cody Prewitt recovered the loose ball in the end zone.
Wallace then hit on two big pass plays, the first a 43-yarder to Jaylen Walton that was originally ruled an 80-yard touchdown before replays showed Walton stepped out of bounds at the Tigers' 37. Laquon Treadwell then hauled in a 27- yard strike to give Ole Miss 1st-and-goal at the 10.
After a pair of incompletions and a penalty, Wallace found Cody Core in the right flat for a 15-yard touchdown just prior to the expiration of the first quarter.
Magee fumbled in Ole Miss territory on LSU's next drive before the Tigers finally got on the board with a massive 17-play, 90-yard sequence that was anchored by the running of Fournette and Magee. The Tigers ultimately settled for Delahoussaye's 21-yard field goal after stalling near the end zone.
Both defenses dictated play for most of the second half, as the Rebels were forced to punt on their first four possessions and LSU had two drives end on Jennings interceptions, the last coming from Mike Hilton at the Ole Miss 35 with 12:47 left to play.
The fourth-quarter comeback was LSU's 16th in Miles' 10 seasons as head coach, with the team 16-19 under such circumstances ... Delahoussaye entered the game 20-of-21 on field goal attempts for his career ... Ole Miss was seeking its first 8-0 start to a season since 1962 ... Rebels defensive back Senquez Golson intercepted Jennings in the third quarter for his eighth pick of the season ... The Tigers held Ole Miss to a 5-of-17 success rate on third downs.