"Saturday Night in Death Valley."
I thought it was some bullshit mystique perpetuated by both LSU fans and college football media to explain something no more complicated than good LSU teams being not-so-good opponents. And maybe there really isn't something to it at all, and it's just a confluence of coincidence and good scheduling that has allowed LSU to win so many home games over the years, but that's something that's really hard to believe after watching Ole Miss struggle so much last night.
It isn't enough to simply say that it's "loud." Kyle Field is certainly loud, but it didn't slow the Rebels down much at all. Tiger Stadium is more than that when 100,000+ boozed up LSU fans fill the place to the brim. It's raucous, intimidating, and downright harrowing, it seems. It both throws the opponent - our Rebels - off center and forces them to play below their capabilities and enables LSU to play aggressive, inspired football.
For much of the night, the Ole Miss defense struggled to get a push against the LSU offensive line while the Ole Miss offense was shaky, inconsistent, and undisciplined. It was an uncharacteristic performance for both teams this season, something which can best be credited to the bourbon-soaked atmosphere of Baton Rouge in late October.
"That Didn't Sit Well"
Bad(ly Behaved) Bo
Bo Wallace's disappointing play isn't at all the worst part about the quarterback's performance on Saturday. His behavior both on the field and on the sidelines - jawing with LSU fans, running straight to the locker room after his game-sealing interception, and acting with a general petulance - weren't exactly becoming of a fifth year senior quarterback starting in his third season. We all know that Bo's a cocky, competitive guy, but he was that to a fault this weekend.
So, uh, what was that exactly?
Get in position to kick a field goal, get a delay of game penalty, then run a play to get the ball downfield (something that does make sense when nine second are left) only to have a quarterback go rogue and throw a pretty amazingly stupid interception. The end of that one was, dare I say, Miles-ian in its execution.
Laremy Tunsil, both Nkemdiches, Cody Prewitt... Oh, and we've gotta turn around and play Auburn? Yeah, it's fair to worry at this point that we might have let LSU beat us twice if we're heading into this weekend so badly banged up.
A lot of things
Really, this bit could go on for a while. I'm stopping because I'm sure there's something you're going to add in the comments thread anyway.
"Going Back for Seconds"
If there's anything we can hang out hats on after Saturday night it's that this Rebel defense is continues to excel at causing opposing offenses to make mistakes. LSU's passing attack obviously leaves a lot to be desired, but it still helped the defense tremendously in the second half that they were able to force LSU to run. It was also more than helpful that, in the first half, the defensive front helped force two fumbles to keep LSU from scoring early. More simply and important than all of that, they held LSU to just 10 points. They did their part.
On a brighter side, and just for the sake of our own entertainment, I do look forward to some of us likely being featured on This Week in Schadenfreude. Maybe then it'll be okay to laugh.