Ole Miss-LSU grades: O-line paves way for Fournette's big game
Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Tigers’ 38-21 win over the Rebels.
Quarterback grade: Danny Etling, 52.6
Etling’s stat line doesn’t look too bad, but once again he failed to challenge the opposing defense downfield. Despite three coverage busts by the Ole Miss defense in the first half, Etling completed just four of the 10 passes he attempted travelling 10 yards or further downfield. On throws 20 yards or more downfield he completed just one, for a wide-open touchdown after one of those coverage busts.
Top offensive grades
FB Bry’Kiethon Mouton 78.2
G Josh Boutte, 77.3
T K.J. Malone, 77.1
WR Malachi Dupre, 75.9
TE Colin Jeter, 75.1
An easy 284 yards for Fournette
The narrative after the game will be about how Leonard Fournette is back and as dominant as ever. That might be true, but in truth this was as easy a 284 yards as Fournette will ever run for, with the Ole Miss defense putting up little resistance. Fournette’s 74.5 grade might seem harsh for a running back who rushed for 300 yards, but when you consider that he ran for 237 of those yards on just four of his 16 carries, working out at 83.5 percent of his yardage on just 25 percent of his carries, it’s not quite as impressive. 194 of his yardage came before contact, while Fournette needed to break just two tackles on runs. Let’s not take too much away from Fournette, who took advantage of good blocking and bad defense, but as impressive a performance as it was, he owed a lot to his offensive line, especially on his long second quarter touchdown run, which was blocked perfectly.
Top defensive grades
LB Kendell Beckwith, 86.3
S Jamal Adams, 86.1
LB Duke Riley, 80.2
CB Tre’Davious White, 79.8
DT Davon Godchaux, 75.2
White, Beckwith and Adams combine to slow Engram down
Knowing how much of a favored target of Chad Kelly tight end Evan Engram is, LSU did a fantastic job keeping him out of the game, with the combination of cornerback Tre’Davious White and Jamal Adams essentially covering him out of the game. Engram saw two passes thrown his way in White’s coverage, netting just five yards, while he had two catches against Beckwith, who broke the other pass thrown to Engram in his coverage up. With Adams helping out from his safety spot too, Engram finished the game with just 15 receiving yards, his lowest since the opening game of the 2015 season.
Ole Miss Rebels
Quarterback grade: Chad Kelly, 72.9
For the most part, Kelly didn’t play badly against LSU, but has often been the case, inconsistency and an ill-timed throw helped doom Ole Miss to a loss in this game. Kelly finished the game with an adjusted completion percentage of 68.8 percent, completing 20 of the 32 passes he attempted, with two drops and one pass thrown away. He did make the terrible decision to attempt to throw the ball across his body under pressure for an interception though, and it’s those types of mistakes that will raise doubts about his prospects for the NFL.
Top offensive grades
G Daronte Bouldin, 81.2
G Javon Patterson, 77.8
T Greg Little, 72.0
WR Damore’ea Stringfellow, 71.0
WR Van Jefferson, 68.1
Stringfellow tough to handle for Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver
On the surface, the fact that LSU cornerback Donte Jackson held Stringfellow to just one catch for 15 yards seems impressive, but it’s a lot less so when you consider that Jackson committed to defensive pass interference penalties against the Ole Miss receiver. Toliver didn’t commit any penalties, but did allow three catches for 77 yards to Ole Miss’ top receiver, and it would have been even more if not for a dropped pass. It was a frustrating evening for Ole Miss, but Stringfellow frustrated Jackson and Toliver when they were matched up against him too.
Top defensive grades
LB Detric Bing-Dukes, 80.4
S Zedric Woods, 80.0
CB Tony Conner, 76.8
S Myles Hartfield, 76.2
ED Marquis Haynes, 76.0
Bing-Dukes comes up big against the run
The Ole Miss defense didn’t play well as a team against the run, in particular on Leonard Fournette’s four long runs, but linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes actually played pretty well as an individual. On the field for 29 snaps against the run, he made five tackles, all of which resulted in a defensive stop, giving him a run stop percentage of 17.2 percent. Adding a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on coverage, produced his highest graded game of the year so far.