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Ole Miss vs. LSU 2012: Tigers struggle to last-second win over Rebels

The LSU Tigers needed an 89-yard punt return from Odell Beckham and a last-second touchdown plunge from Jeremy Hill to grab a 41-35 win over the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday night. The Rebels let Tiger fans know their intentions early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter and building a 21-17 lead at the half.

LSU managed to finally tie the game early in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run from Hill. Ole Miss struck back just 18 seconds later, as Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace hit Donte Moncrief with a 30-yard touchdown pass to build the lead back to 35-28.

With nine minutes to play, LSU returner Odell Beckham took a 51-yard punt from Jim Broadway on his own 11 and returned it for a Tiger touchdown, tying the game at 35. Ole Miss went three-and-out, but recovered a Jarvis Landry fumble at their own 32-yard line with 7:18 left to play.

Wallace drove the Rebels to the LSU 16, but the Tiger defense recorded back-to-back sacks, forcing Ole Miss into a 52-yard go-ahead field goal attempt that sailed wide left. The Tigers then masterfully ran off 4:00 of clock, setting up the game-winning 1-yard plunge with just seconds left.

SB Nation's LSU blog And the Valley Shook was unimpressed with the Tigers' effort:

What is it about Ole Miss on Senior Day that just seems to bring out the worst in the Tigers? Is it the mascot confusion? Senioritis? A dramatic aversion to the sound of gnats buzzing around the face? The Runts didn't just out-gain and out-rush LSU, they completely dominated the line of scrimmage at times, hanging a season-high in offensive yards and the highest point total anybody has put up on the Tiger since...yep, the last time Ole Miss came to Baton Rouge. Frankly, the Rebels looked like they wanted this game more for most of the afternoon, and persevered in spite of what should have been some back-breaking mistakes early on. But again, no moral victories, no moral losses, and this one still counts.

LSU finishes its season next week against Arkansas.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.