Defenders to the end
If you like your football free and easy, with long passes, wide sweeps and tall scores, better change channels. This should be a defensive game, conservative, fundamental. The two teams met earlier this season, you may recall, and LSU won 7-3 when Billy Cannon returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown late in the game. Cannon was picked on every All-America team, so he alone should be worth watching. He is a brutal runner, strong and fast. His favorite play is a smash over his own right tackle, unspectacular but effective. Because the Ole Miss line puts strong pressure on passers, Quarterback Warren Rabb, whose injured knee should be fit again by New Year's Day, will probably pass just often enough to keep Ole Miss from overloading against Cannon. LSU's greatest asset is its depth. Coach Paul Dietzel still uses three distinct squads—the White Team, the Go Team and the Chinese Bandits—and again has a marvelous defense. Only two of LSU's 10 opponents this season were able to score touchdowns. Therefore it will probably be LSU's tactics to wage a careful battle and wait for—hope for—Ole Miss to make a mistake, like punting to Billy Cannon.
Opening up, should win
In nine of their 10 games this season, the Rebels played dazzling football with dazzling results. Using three or four sets of backs, they presented a supremely balanced attack, complete with long and short passes, quarterback options and blasts into the middle of the line by Charlie Flowers, their All-America fullback. In those nine games Ole Miss scored 326 points while giving up only 14. But on the evening in October when they played LSU the Rebels were a different team. Scoring on a field goal early in the game, their 3-0 lead made them cautious. Three times during the third period they punted on first down. When Cannon made his long touchdown run to put LSU ahead, Ole Miss came charging back, its caution gone. But LSU stopped the drive a yard short of the goal 18 seconds before the game ended. Now Ole Miss gets a second chance. Although its backs, led by Flowers and Quarterback Jake Gibbs, are outstanding, Mississippi won't score anything like the 33 points a game it averaged against the tough LSU line. But, assuming Ole Miss has stopped punting on first down, it should score enough—twice should do—to win.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]