LSU vs. Ole Miss score, takeaways: Jayden Daniels' five TDs lead Tigers in beatdown of No. 7 Rebels

LSU picked up a signature win for first-year coach Brian Kelly by running through previously unbeaten No. 7 Ole Miss 45-20 in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. The Tigers trailed 17-3 early in the second quarter but outscored the visiting Rebels 42-3 from there in a critical SEC West showdown behind five touchdowns from star quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Now 6-2 (4-1 SEC), LSU remains in the hunt for a division title entering a showdown with No. 6 Alabama on Nov. 5 after a bye next week.

Daniels was exceptional all afternoon for the Tigers, terrorizing the visitors on the ground (121 yards, three touchdowns) and through the air (21 of 28, 248 yards, two touchdowns). The senior signal caller surpassed the 100-yard mark as a rusher for the fourth time in his career and second time this season. With his third rushing touchdown, Daniels set a school record for most such scores in a season by a quarterback with eight.

The day went much differently for Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart, who completed nine of his first 10 passes before going cold against an LSU defense that found its groove in the second half. After scoring on their first three possessions, the Rebels struggled without star running back Zach Evans, who did not play because of a knee injury.

Ole Miss sputters

The absence of Evans hardly seemed to matter for Ole Miss on its first three possessions as the Rebels jumped out to an early two-possession lead. But after piling up 206 yards on those first three drives, Ole Miss totaled just 198 more over eight possessions the rest of the game.

While Quinshon Judkins ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin appeared hesitant to run the freshman back too much amid Evans' absence. Much of the offense's weight fell on Dart, and the LSU secondary rose to the occasion. So did its pass rush, which kept Dart off balance all afternoon as LSU defenders swarmed the backfield. Following his hot start, Dart completed just 10 of his final 24 attempts.

Jayden Daniels shining

LSU already had three scholarship quarterbacks on its roster when Daniels committed to LSU in March. The Arizona State transfer was great for the Sun Devils as a freshman in 2019 but struggled the past two seasons and seemed like damaged goods when he entered the transfer portal after his junior season.

Still, he broke through to the top of the depth chart over Myles Brennan, Garrett Nussmeier and Walker Howard, started the season opener for the Tigers and has never relinquished the job. All the while, Daniels has quietly compiled impressive numbers through eight games, throwing 12 touchdowns to just one interception and completing 69.9% of pass attempts.

With LSU's talent-rich roster around him, Daniels has reclaimed the career trajectory he showed in 2019 and helped position LSU as a threat in the SEC West. A great example of that came in the second quarter with the Tigers facing a 14-point deficit. Daniels undershot Jaray Jenkins, who was wide open down the left sideline. But Jenkins showed his athleticism by coming back to the football and shirking a pair of Ole Miss defenders for a critical LSU touchdown.

SEC West race

A loss would have all but ended LSU's chances of winning the SEC West, but the win keeps it a three-team race for the right to appear in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss each have one SEC loss, and the Crimson Tide must play both the Tigers and Rebels over the next two weeks.

Assuming Alabama wins at home as a three-touchdown favorite against Mississippi Sate on Saturday, those next two games appear to be pivotal in deciding the SEC West. It's clear after Saturday that the Tigers should be regarded as a legitimate threat, especially considering how vulnerable Alabama has looked at times this season.

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Statement made

Final: LSU 45, Ole Miss 20

LSU just made a LOUD statement about its arrival under first-year coach Brian Kelly. Jayden Daniels looked like an absolute star today as the Tigers roared back from a 17-3 deficit to close the game on a 42-3 run against the nation's No. 7 team. LSU has been lights out offensively the past two weeks, and its defense was impenetrable for the final three quarters.

October 22, 2022, 11:02 PM
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October 22, 2022, 11:02 PM
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Follow the money

Given how vulnerable the LSU defense has looked at times this season, this seemed like it could have been the case of the wrong team being favored as the line closed with LSU as a slight favorite. But the markets knew there was something brewing with these Tigers, and it's been an impressive showing today in the national spotlight. Brian Kelly has this squad looking a whole lot better than it did just two weeks ago.

October 22, 2022, 10:57 PM
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LSU pass rush

It's been a difference maker in the past couple quarters, and it's a sack that may have just cemented the outcome here. Dart goes down on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter, turning the football over to LSU with an 18-point lead. What a display from the Tigers over the past three quarters.

October 22, 2022, 10:48 PM
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October 22, 2022, 10:46 PM
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October 22, 2022, 10:44 PM
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Knockout punch?

Daniels just scored his FIFTH touchdown of the game and third on the ground to inflict what could win up as a knockout punch in this game. It's a three-possession lead for LSU now as the Tigers continue a 35-3 run. This team is growing up in front of our eyes in Year 1 under Brian Kelly.

October 22, 2022, 10:40 PM
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Ole Miss on the ropes

The unsportsmanlike call does not end up costing LSU as Ole Miss commits a critical penalty of its own to wind up behind the sticks. The longer this game goes, the more it's apparent how missing Zach Evans hurts this offense. Ole Miss has nothing working right now and may be down for good if LSU scores on this possession.

October 22, 2022, 10:31 PM
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Drought continues

Ole Miss just got second life after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Harold Perkins Jr. Woof. Rebels were struggling and about to punt it away. All the sudden, Ole Miss has a second chance. Dart had just missed Mingo on a downfield shot and the Tigers were about to get it back.

October 22, 2022, 10:26 PM
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