No. 6 LSU can't overcome Mettenberger's bad day, Tigers fall 27-24 to Mississippi

LSU's Zach Mettenberger had his first bad game of the season. The Tigers simply couldn't overcome it.

Mississippi's Andrew Ritter kicked a 41-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining to beat No. 6 LSU 27-24 on Saturday night.

Mettenberger threw three interceptions in the first half — after throwing just two in the first six games combined — and the Tigers gave up 525 total yards.

"I think we had a good game plan going in, we just failed to execute," Mettenberger said. "Obviously, you can't go anywhere in this conference, turn the ball over and expect to win. This game is really on me."

LSU (6-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) fell into a 17-0 hole by early in the third quarter, but rallied with short touchdown runs by Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill to pull within 17-14. The Tigers' tied the game at 24 with 3:19 remaining when Mettenberger hit Jarvis Landry with a 4-yard touchdown pass.

But the Rebels responded with a methodical, 14-play drive that ended in Ritter's field goal.

"We didn't do some of the things that we needed to come in here and do," LSU coach Les Miles said. "I really thought we were going to throw those balls and complete them and I thought they were great calls."

It capped a remarkable day of upsets across the league. LSU joined Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida and South Carolina as ranked SEC teams to lose Saturday.

It was another thrilling game for the Rebels, who lost last week to Texas A&M on a last-second field goal.

"What (the team) went through this week, with the outside world having their opinions, you can imagine how proud I am," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

Bo Wallace completed 30 of 39 passes for 346 yards and Jaylen Walton rushed for a career-high 105 yards and two touchdowns for the Rebels (4-3, 2-3), who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Ole Miss finished with 525 total yards. LSU had 388.

The winning field goal was redemption for Ritter, who had a 29-yard attempt blocked earlier in the fourth quarter.

LSU moved the ball fairly well in the first half, especially on the ground, but Mettenberger's bad decisions and poor throws cost the Tigers dearly.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound senior came into the game leading the SEC with 1,890 yards, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions. But he had a brutal first half, throwing three interceptions, including two in the end zone.

All three were thrown into tight coverage. Mettenberger finished 19-of-33 passing for 274 yards and a touchdown.

While Mettenberger was struggling, Wallace started hot, completing 16 of 23 passes for 200 yards in the first half. Ritter kicked a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter to put Ole Miss ahead 3-0 and Barry Brunetti's 3-yard touchdown pass to Nick Parker gave the Rebels a 10-0 halftime lead.

The Rebels' defense was surprisingly stout. They were missing five starters, including linebacker Serderius Bryant, the team's leading tackler.

But Ole Miss used a no-name bunch to stop LSU consistently. Chief Brown, Cody Prewitt and Charles Sawyer had the three interceptions.

"I'm really not surprised at all that we won this game," Prewitt said. "I feel like it's the first time this season we played for 60 true minutes."

Ole Miss announced a crowd of 61,160, which is the ninth-largest in school history. And the place was rocking by the time Walton broke through for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give the Rebels a 17-0 lead.

The Rebels had a 24-14 lead and all the momentum early in the fourth quarter, but Korvic Neat dropped a punt and LSU recovered on Ole Miss 13. The defense managed to hold, but LSU's Colby Delahoussaye hit a 41-yard field goal to pull the Tigers within 24-17.

Ole Miss squandered another opportunity a few minutes later when Ritter's 29-yard field goal was blocked by Ego Ferguson.


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