No. 1 LSU cruises to 52-3 win over Mississippi
OXFORD, Miss.—Ron Brooks returned an interception for a touchdown 28 seconds into the game and top-ranked LSU piled up 353 yards rushing on the way to a 52-3 rout of Mississippi on Saturday night.
The Tigers (11-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) matched their best start since 1958.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson started his second consecutive game, completing 7 of 7 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Alfred Blue led the Tigers with 74 rushing yards while Spencer Ware added 70 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers built a 35-3 halftime lead and the game was so out of hand in the fourth quarter that LSU started taking a knee on offense with more than five minutes remaining, giving the ball back to Ole Miss on downs instead of trying for another touchdown.
Ole Miss (2-9, 0-7) has lost six straight games and a school-record 13 straight conference games. Barry Brunetti rushed for a team-high 74 yards as the Rebels managed just 195 total yards.
LSU completed all eight of its pass attempts -- seven by Jefferson and one by Jarrett Lee -- but was content to run the ball for most of the game after building a 21-0 lead with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Kenny Hilliard rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown and Terrence Magee added 55 yards as LSU emptied its bench early and recovered from a lackluster effort in last week's 42-9 win against Western Kentucky. Now the Tigers can concentrate on next weekend's showdown with No. 6 Arkansas.
Ole Miss continued a miserable season that seems to find a new low each week.
The already outmanned Rebels were further crippled when coach Houston Nutt suspended starting quarterback Randall Mackey and leading rusher Jeff Scott for violating team rules. Without them, the game turned ugly in a hurry.
Ole Miss started with the ball, and its first three plays were a disaster. Starting quarterback Zack Stoudt bounced an incompletion on the first play, Brandon Bolden dropped the next pass and then Stoudt threw a wild lob on a screen pass that was picked off by Brooks and returned 46 yards for a touchdown.
It never improved for the Rebels, who are 0-2 since it was announced on Nov. 7 that Nutt would not return for a fifth season. Nutt agreed to stay for the remainder of the season, and now Ole Miss must win next week's game against Mississippi State to avoid its first 10-loss season in program history.
The Rebels' lone score came on a 39-yard field goal by Bryson Rose, which was set up by Brunetti's 47-yard run.