Ole Miss vs. LSU Prediction: Picks, betting odds, analysis, more

 Brandon Eisenman   in Football

LSU and Ole Miss meet on Saturday in Oxford, Miss. in one of the SEC's best rivalry match-ups. 

The recent news of Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron being dismissed at the end of the season could have an impact on the team's play this week. The embattled Oregon stunned everyone with an upset of Florida last week, putting LSU above .500 at 4-3 this year. 

One other storyline to follow leading up to the game is the injury to Rebels signal-caller Matt Corral. Corral was tremendous in last week's win over Tennessee, but a 31-carry load left him vulnerable to hits and the consequence of that is he may not be available this week. 

LSU offense

The rushing attack could be the key to a win against Ole Miss. Tyrion Davis-Price exploded for 287 yards against Florida en route to setting a school single-game rushing record. The Tigers have struggled to run the ball between the past two seasons after he ran for 147 yards against Kentucky the week before.

Quarterback Max Johnson will again be without wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, who suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the year. However, Johnson has been a solid player under center for the Tigers. While his numbers (1,863 passing yards, 20 TDs, four interceptions) are nowhere near Heisman Trophy-worthy, the sophomore has set LSU in a good position to win games when he is on his best game. 

LSU defense

LSU had four interceptions against the Gators. However, Florida backup quarterback Anthony Richardson was able to keep his team going toe to toe with LSU. 

This week, LSU has to protect against the pass better and contain Corral, should he play. The unit has been exposed many times in 2021. With star corners Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks out, the defense has to step up in a big way this week. 

The good news: LSU's front seven has done a great job of getting pressure. The Tigers have 21 sacks this season and the school's official site also credits the defense with 15 pressures. 

Ole Miss offense

The Rebels' play depends on whether Corral is healthy and ready to go. If he can't, Luke Altmeyer (0-of-4 passing this year) will earn the start. 

Ole Miss averages 553 total yards and 290 passing yards per game. That total comes mainly from Corral, who's throw for all but 13 of the team's passing yards this season.

Fortunately for coach Lane Kiffin, the Rebels have run the ball well and have a number of players who are good in space. Wide receiver Dontarrio Drummond has been explosive (28 catches, 528 yards); he's one of five Ole Miss players with at least 10 catches. 

Running backs Henry Parrish Jr., Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy have split the backfield load almost evenly; the trio combines for 164 carries for 910 yards (5.5 per carry).

Ole Miss defense

Ole Miss can attack an offense in many ways. 

Senior defensive lineman Sam Williams has 6.5 sacks in 2021. Chance Campbell leads the team in tackles with 46. The Rebels have players who can can swarm to the ball and get into the backfield, as evidenced by their 18 sacks and 29 stops for loss. 

For the unit to be effective, stopping the run against LSU is key. Ole Miss also needs to win defensively is in pass coverage and pressuring Johnson to scramble out of the pocket and rush his passes. 

LSU vs. Ole Miss Prediction

Nick Cole and Christopher Smith share their Ole Miss vs. LSU prediction and betting picks for Week 8 of the 2021 college football season.