Check out the top plays from Week 9 of college football.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Egg Bowl still might decide the SEC West champion, but the dream matchup between unbeaten Ole Miss and unbeaten Mississippi State won’t happen.

LSU made sure of that with its 10-7 comeback win on Saturday night. Tiger Stadium, after all, is where LSU coach Les Miles often says that opponents’ dreams go to die.

No. 3 Ole Miss’ dreams aren’t entirely dead, but the Rebels must regroup in a hurry with No. 5 Auburn coming to Oxford next week.

“They’re hurt. They’ve got to figure out how they’re going to handle it,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said after his team’s loss left Mississippi State, Florida State and Marshall as the nation’s only unbeaten teams. “They’re not the only team in America that is going to go through this. If you’d have told me this team was going to be where we are right now in August, we’d be pleased. We’re obviously not pleased to leave here after the season we’ve had."

[+] EnlargeLSU defense
Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsAn interception by Ronald Martin, No. 26, with two seconds left sealed Ole Miss' first loss of the season.
Ole Miss fans hadn’t been this enthusiastic about their program in years, especially after they made it through the first three-quarters of a tough October stretch -- versus Alabama, Texas A&M and Tennessee -- unscathed. But LSU safety Ronald Martin ruined the Rebels’ chances at a perfect season when he picked off a Bo Wallace pass at the Tigers’ goal line with two seconds to play.

Frequently plagued by poorly timed turnovers earlier in his career, Wallace hadn’t turned the ball over once in Ole Miss’ first four SEC games. He picked an awful time for his first of 2014 -- particularly since Freeze instructed him to either throw into the flat so the receiver could get out of bounds or throw it away, leaving open the possibility for a game-tying field goal try.

“I think Bo would tell you, I thought we were pretty clear we were either going to take the flat throw or throw it out of bounds and try the field goal,” Freeze said. “He must have felt like he had a shot at the touchdown play there. … I wish I could do that over for sure.”

Wallace fought back tears after the game when asked about his decision on the final throw.

“I’m not going to talk about it,” he said. “One-on-one, threw it up -- [it’s] done.”

The common refrain from the Rebels afterward was that this game might be done, but their division title hopes are not. At 7-1 (4-1 SEC), they own a head-to-head advantage over Alabama (7-1, 4-1) and still must face Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0) and Auburn (6-1, 3-1). Win out and they will represent the division in the SEC championship game.

“We’ll bring them in [Sunday] and we’ll sit down and have a heart-to-heart,” Freeze said. “Again, we’re not the only team in this league -- I don’t know if anybody’s going to go through it unscathed, it’s that tough. But you have to respond to adversity the right way.”

That’s what LSU has done. Three weeks ago at Auburn, the Tigers (7-2, 3-2) suffered possibly the ugliest loss of Les Miles’ tenure, 41-7. They’re 3-0 since then and entered a bye week preceding Alabama’s Nov. 8 visit by posting easily their most impressive win of the season.

“One thing about these Tigers, you put them in Tiger Stadium and give us a little bit of time to fix things, they can be very special,” Miles said. “This team wanted to make this night special and they did.”

Beyond what the win means for his team’s season, it was special for another reason entirely to Miles. His mother, Martha, died Friday night at age 91, and Miles said he struggled to determine the proper way to inform his team without affecting the players’ psyche before one of their biggest games of the season.

“I spent time thinking about the way that I need to tell them that when they see me on the sideline, it has not to do with who’s passed and what’s going on,” Miles said. “It has only to do that I’m looking for every opportunity and advantage for us to win, and they need to see me as an aggressive man.

“After the game, I can’t tell you the number of young men that put their arms around me and said they love me, Coach, which is as touching as anything I’ve had happen.”

The players presented Miles with an honorary game ball, an award only given out after victories. Those are always difficult to come by in the SEC West, but this one was unique even by the standards of college football’s toughest division.

There’s a reason why some of the first words out of Freeze’s mouth in his postgame news conference were, “This league is brutal.”

Everyone knew that already, but Saturday’s game was just another reminder of the peril that awaits SEC West teams each Saturday on their division schedule. As Freeze noted, the odds are against anyone in the division finishing with a spotless record. If his team can refocus quickly, the Rebels are still in the thick of the West race.

“It wears on you physically and mentally, but the thing is we still can control everything we want with the schedule that lies ahead,” Freeze said. “We’re going to have to play really good football. They’re sore, they’re down, they’re disappointed, but hopefully we’ll respond in the correct way.”

Fan dies during LSU game

October, 26, 2014
Oct 26

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU officials say a man has died of a heart attack at Tiger Stadium during the school's 10-7 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night.

Officials said emergency medical personnel responded, but were unable to resuscitate the man.

The man was sitting in the lower bowl of the south end zone when the health emergency happened.

Officials have not released the man's identity.

The victim was part of a Tiger Stadium record-tying crowd of 102,321.

The game's result was in doubt until LSU safety Ronald Martin's interception of Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace on the 1 with 2 seconds left.

(Read full post)

The unforgettable images from LSU's win

October, 26, 2014
Oct 26
[+] EnlargeLeonard Fournette
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
There's nothing quite like a Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.

On this particular Saturday night, LSU upset third-ranked Ole Miss 10-7 and a few stunning images really caught our eye.

First, let's start with something many of us had never seen before: A facemask that was literally displaced. It happened as Tigers running back Leonard Fournette was being tackled and the result was the picture you see on the right.

Then there was the celebration after the game. Oh, the celebration. No one has ever accused LSU fans of not being able to party.

Check out the crowd-surfing of LSU receiver Trey Quinn and the mascot Mike the Tiger (don't worry, not the real one).

Trey QuinnCrystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY Sports
Mike the TigerAP Photo/Jonathan Bachman
LSU Tigers celebrateChris Graythen/Getty Images
Look at that Tiger Stadium field after the game. Not an inch of grass can be seen.

LSU TigersCrystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY Sports

And finally, we can't leave without including the great Les Miles. The victory must have been especially touching for the longtime LSU coach, whose mother passed away on Friday night. The postgame interview was classic Miles, in every way possible. Just watch:


What we learned in the SEC: Week 9

October, 26, 2014
Oct 26
Imagine that. Last week, there wasn't a single competitive game on the SEC slate. This Saturday, every game was must-see TV, even though Alabama-Tennessee lacked the fourth-quarter drama of the other games.

With three primetime games going bonkers, to the delight of three terrific crowds, you could have made a serious case for an SEC RedZone channel. Picture-in-picture just wasn't enough.

Hugh Freeze is kicking himself: No. 3 Ole Miss fell to No. 24 LSU 10-7 when the Tigers intercepted a Bo Wallace pass with two seconds left. Freeze has to live with a couple bad decisions that cost the Rebels a shot at overtime. First, a mind-numbing delay of game pushed their freshman kicker back from a 42- to a 47-yard field-goal attempt. Then Freeze chose to have Wallace sneak in a pass with nine seconds left in figuring they'd either get something underneath and out of bounds to set up an easier field goal or Wallace would take a shot at the end zone, where only his receiver could catch the ball. Technically, there was enough time to go for the win and, if it fell incomplete, kick the game-tying field goal. Neither scenario happened, and now Ole Miss has to live with a haunting first loss of the season. With more SEC West bloodletting to come, the possibility of getting two teams into the playoff took a serious hit.

[+] EnlargeTrey Quinn
Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsNo. 24 LSU upset No. 3 Ole Miss by limiting the Rebels to just seven points and controlling the time of possession.
Here's to old-school football: As expected, the Rebels' Landshark defense shut down the airways and owned the takeaway advantage (four to LSU's one). What wasn't expected, however, was the Tigers' success running against a unit giving up an average of 97.1 yards a game. LSU piled up an astounding 264 yards on the ground and gradually wore down Ole Miss. The Tigers defense also played its best game of the season and thrived in an electric Death Valley atmosphere. The Rebels led for most of the game, until a 13-play, 95-yard, fourth-quarter drive by LSU that featured only one pass attempt -- the game-winning touchdown. It was Les Miles' 24th fourth-quarter win at LSU. The man is a warlock.

Mississippi State looks vulnerable: It would be so easy to devote this space to some well-deserved gushing over MSU's unstoppable dynamic duo -- running back Josh Robinson (198 yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Dak Prescott (216 yards passing with one touchdown and 88 yards rushing with two scores). It's only fair to give Mark Stoops and his Wildcats all the credit in the world for Kentucky's improvement. But the story of this game with lasting implications concerned the Bulldogs' leaky defense. Mississippi State came into Saturday's game ranked 121st in passing yards allowed and gave up 401 yards to UK. Having your defense exposed in your first game as the No. 1 team in the land is not the best look for the playoff committee.

A desperate Spurrier is a dangerous Spurrier is an entertaining Spurrier: Steve Spurrier definitely put the fun back in the Fun n' Gun offense Saturday night on the Plains in a 42-35 loss to Auburn. The Gamecocks came in with a 2-3 record in the SEC, and Spurrier called plays like he had nothing to lose. And you know what? It worked. South Carolina's defense is still a disaster in cleats, but Riverboat Steve dialed up an epic shootout. Reverses, double reverses, quarterback throwbacks, wildcat bombs, onside kicks, fourth-down insanity ... it was all on glorious display. This was vintage Spurrier. The Gamecocks went for it on fourth down six times and converted five. For their part, the Tigers looked comfortable all night. They know a thing or two about winning with offense, so this one felt a lot like 2013. Auburn isn't in control in the West Division but has to like its chances to still get to Atlanta or slip into the playoff as a worthy one-loss team.

Lane Kiffin makes for great theater: Neyland Stadium was packed with Big Orange fans thirsting for some revenge against their former coach in his return. But on Alabama's first play, Kiffin dialed up a bootleg perfectly executed by Blake Sims and Amari Cooper, who ran 80 yards for a touchdown. Kiffin ran with Cooper down the Bama sideline for a bit before flashing a sly grin under his visor. On the Tide's next drive, Cooper continued to dominate and caught three more passes for 75 yards. After Cooper's second score, he shoulder-bumped Kiffin, who was smiling broadly this time. Vols fans probably doubled over with nausea. The Crimson Tide never lost the lead in the 34-20 win over Tennessee. What we really learned in this one was just how good Cooper is. His 185 yards in the first quarter were the most for any SEC receiver in a quarter in the past 10 seasons. When it was over, Cooper had 224 yards to break Julio Jones' single-game school record of 221 yards receiving (also against the Vols, in 2010).

The Tigers staved off a late drive by the Rebels and defeated third-ranked Ole Miss 10-7.
A breakdown of LSU's 10-7 upset win over Ole Miss on Saturday night.

How the game was won: Defense. LSU held Ole Miss to 313 offensive yards and got two critical stops in the final two minutes. The first came with 1:44 remaining on a fourth-and-1 try in which the Tigers stuffed the Rebels, and the second came with two seconds left when, instead of trying a 47-yard field goal, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze elected to try one more play. The Tigers made him pay for the decision. LSU senior safety Ronald Martin intercepted a pass from Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace with two seconds left to seal the upset win.

Game ball goes to: Leonard Fournette. The true freshman running back, who was the No. 1 recruit in the 2014 class, came up big after Terrence Magee left the game with an injury. Fournette finished with 113 yards on 23 carries, including some critical runs in LSU’s final scoring drive. He even got his face mask ripped off by an Ole Miss defender, but his work on the last scoring drive help set up the game-winning score. Give the LSU defense a ton of credit also for keeping the Tigers in it even though they turned the ball over four times.

What it means: We have a big shakeup near the top of the rankings and in the College Football Playoff race. Previously undefeated Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1 SEC) will drop and LSU, a team that is in the midst of what many have called a "rebuilding year" seems to be getting stronger. The Tigers (7-2, 3-2 SEC) have now won three in a row and are building momentum.

Playoff implication: Ole Miss’s chances take a hit. How much of a hit? We’ll find out when the playoff selection committee’s rankings are released on Tuesday. But a team that once controlled its own fate no longer does.

Best play: Without a doubt, the play that sealed the win for LSU ... Martin intercepting Wallace:

What's next: Ole Miss must regroup quickly as it returns home to Oxford to host No. 5 Auburn a week from today. LSU has an open date next week and doesn’t return to the field until Nov. 8 when it hosts No. 4 Alabama in Baton Rouge.

Bo Wallace picked late as No. 3 Ole Miss falls to No. 24 LSU

October, 25, 2014
Oct 25

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Bo Wallace's pass was intercepted by Ronald Martin in the final seconds, and No. 3 Mississippi lost for the first time this season, 10-7 to 24th-ranked LSU on Saturday night.

Ole Miss was lining up for a potential tying field goal from 42 yards, but was called for delay of game. So the Rebels decided to run a play instead and Wallace threw his first interception in a Southeastern Conference game this season.

Soon after, fans were streaming onto the Tiger Stadium field.

Leonard Fournette ran for 113 yards, and LSU (7-2, 3-2) finished with 264 yards rushing against defense that came in allowing 97.1 per game. Anthony Jennings' short touchdown pass to tight end Logan Stokes gave LSU the lead late in the fourth quarter.

Mississippi (7-1, 4-1) led most of the way, but mainly because LSU turned the ball over four times and missed a short field goal.

(Read full post)


Bo Wallace pass intercepted Ronald Martin return for 1 yd to the LSU 2


October, 25, 2014
Oct 25


LSU Penalty, Defensive Pass Interference (Jalen Mills) to the LSU 33 for a 1ST down

Bo Wallace pass complete to Markell Pack for 12 yds to the Miss 39 for a 1ST down

Bo Wallace run for no gain to the LSU 47


College Football Top Plays: Week 9
Check out the top plays from Week 9 of college football.