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Mettenberger Falters As Ole Miss Stuns LSU

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Was quarterback Zach Mettenberger's performance last night just a blip on an otherwise impressive season, or a sign of things to come? Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.
Was quarterback Zach Mettenberger's performance last night just a blip on an otherwise impressive season, or a sign of things to come? Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

In a day full of SEC upsets, perhaps the most shocking was unranked Ole Miss taking down a Top-10 LSU team. The Rebels, fresh off three consecutive losses, kicked a late field goal to down the Tigers, who were the highest-rated one-loss team in the country. Tigers Nation will need some time to lick their wounds after this one.

Here are five takeaways from last night’s loss:

Time Heals All Wounds

The good news for LSU is that they have a two-week breather before the showdown with Alabama. Up next for the Bayou Bengals is a home game against Furman, then a bye week to rest and prepare. The only thing that could make fans forget about the deflating loss to Ole Miss would be a victory in Tuscaloosa.

What Happened To Mettenberger?

The Zach Attack threw three interceptions in the first half. It was almost like watching the Mettenberger of old, not the masterpiece that he and coordinator Cam Cameron have put together so far this season. Even in the loss to Georgia earlier this year, at least the LSU offense produced yards and points, and looked good doing it.

Mettenberger completed just 58 percent of his passes against a depleted Ole Miss defense and was sacked three times. Most of his 274 passing yards came in the second half when the Tigers had to pass to catch the Rebels.

Defense Finally Shows Its Age

Mississippi ran 84 plays Saturday evening for 525 yards while keeping the ball for nearly 33 minutes. Surprisingly, the Rebels rushed for more than four yards per carry and quarterback Bo Wallace was 30 of 39 for 346 yards. Ole Miss seemed to move the ball at will on its final drive (14 plays, 61 yards) to set up the game-winning field goal.

The Tigers defense seemed out of place at times and had some issues tackling. These deficiencies could be attributed to all the youth and inexperience on the LSU defense. LSU’s offense had been bailing out the defense, except in the last contest against Florida, which can't score.

Give The Tigers Credit For Fighting Back

They’re not called the Fighting Tigers for nothing. It would have been easy for LSU to fold under pressure when they went down 10-0 at halftime or trailed 17-0 in the third quarter. Instead, the Tigers outscored the Rebels 24-7 during the latter part of the game to even the scoreboard.

Some of the highlights of the comeback included a fumble recovery off a mishandled punt and a blocked field goal. This young LSU team showed resolve despite the loss.

No Longer In Control

LSU no longer controls its own destiny. Winning out won’t guarantee them a division crown and trip to Atlanta to play for the conference championship. Now they must win out and hope Alabama and Auburn lose at least one more contest.