BATON ROUGE, LA (WLOX) - They say it never rains in Death Valley - if that’s the case, someone forgot to fill in Mother Nature - but when it rains, it pours. Aside from being out-gained, outscored and outmanned by #5 LSU in their 45-16 loss, an avalanche of penalties ultimately doomed Ole Miss Saturday night. The Rebels (3-2) suffered 17 infractions for 167 yards, for which Gulfport native Matt Luke placed the blame on himself and his coaching staff.
“The false starts and the playing on the road, and then probably the after-the-whistle penalties, the unsportsmanlike conducts, those things are the things that can’t happen," Luke said. “We have to eliminate those. Some of it can probably be attributed to frustration, but obviously you’ve got to be able to (handle) that. But again, that’s coaching. That’s not on the players, that’s on us.”
On the other sideline, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow fully lived up to the billing, hitting 18 of his 25 throws for 292 yards and three touchdowns, on top of leading the Tigers in rushing yards as well.
Burrow’s 388 yards of total offense was the sixth-best single-game performance in LSU program history.
“You saw that Thursday Night game between the Browns and the Jets, right? How (Baker Mayfield) came in and he energized that offense? Joe does that for us in a big way," LSU tight end Foster Moreau said.
“We were figuring out who we were as an offense early in the season," Burrow said. "Once you get through those growing pains, in practice, in games, we’re starting to really click. You’d like to be one mind as an offense, coaches and players, and I think we’re getting there.”
And so, for the third season in a row, the Magnolia Bowl trophy remains in Baton Rouge. Ole Miss returns home to host ULM on Saturday, while LSU (5-0) hits the road to take on Dan Mullen and his Florida Gators in the Swamp.