Pasquali’s Pix: Dawgs, Tide to claim hard-fought wins

Ole Miss Athletics photo / Ole Miss football fans swarm the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium following last Saturday's 55-49 comeback triumph over LSU.
Ole Miss Athletics photo / Ole Miss football fans swarm the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium following last Saturday's 55-49 comeback triumph over LSU.

To storm or not to storm.

That is the question.

Ole Miss and LSU put on quite the entertaining show last Saturday night before a Vaught-Hemingway Stadium record crowd of 66,703, with Lane Kiffin's Rebels scoring the final 15 points to turn a 49-40 deficit into a 55-49 upset triumph over Brian Kelly's Tigers. Jubilant Rebels fans quickly stormed the field, which resulted in Ole Miss having to pay a $100,000 fine to LSU per the new policy by the Southeastern Conference.

The fine was announced Monday, which was followed by a message from Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter.

"As our program continues to experience big wins like Saturday, our fans should be more accustomed to those moments and avoid field-storming situations," Carter said. "There are fines involved, but more importantly, there are safety concerns that come with that. We have the most passionate fans in college athletics, but we must reserve the playing field for our student-athletes and coaches."

Kiffin was unaware of Carter's comments when asked about them during Wednesday's SEC teleconference. He also was asked if he was surprised by the field-rushing given that Ole Miss topped LSU 31-17 two seasons ago in Oxford.

"I think the fan thing is usually the product of not just winning a big game but winning at the end of it like Tennessee-Alabama a year ago," Kiffin said. "If you come from behind like in our game there is so much excitement, but whatever he said, I agree with."

Ole Miss was assessed a $75,000 penalty Wednesday after a portion of Saturday's fourth quarter was delayed by fans throwing objects onto the field.

"The disruption and delay of Saturday night's game must never be part of any SEC event," league commissioner Greg Sankey said in a released statement.

In addition to that fine, Ole Miss is required to use all available resources, including security, stadium and television video, to identify the individuals who threw objects. Those who are identified will be prohibited from attending Ole Miss athletics events for the remainder of the 2023-24 academic year.

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Missouri is hosting LSU on Saturday with Mizzou redshirt junior quarterback Brady Cook having thrown 348 consecutive passes without being intercepted.

Cook is now the SEC record-holder in that category, having broken the 325 set by former Kentucky quarterback Andre' Woodson.

"It's really good, but at some point he's going to throw one," Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz said. "It's just a matter of when, but he's been very good at valuing the ball and knowing when to put it in tight places and when not to."

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Auburn is off this week, but first-year coach Hugh Freeze created a stir Monday in Birmingham.

When discussing future scheduling within the league, Freeze said, "I'm pretty confident that the SEC is pretty solid on where we are," before adding, "I'll miss playing Georgia every year."

Should the SEC remain at eight league games in 2025 and beyond and implement a 1-7 model featuring one permanent opponent and seven rotating foes, rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia would take place twice every four years.

Freeze backtracked from those comments during an event in Mobile and again on the SEC teleconference.

"I know that the SEC office and our ADs and presidents will let us know when it's time to have a conversation about those things," Freeze said. "None of that has come to me at this point other than next year's schedule being released. Who knows what's going to happen two years from now.

"There are a lot of great rivalries that our fans love and our players love, and certainly there are going to be great games added, but should the new scheduling miss a year of one of these great rivalries, that obviously is something that will be talked about."


Pasquali's Pix

Oklahoma vs. Texas: How awkward will the Big 12 front-office folks feel at this matchup of undefeated teams? Longhorns 34, Sooners 31.

LSU at Missouri: That LSU scores 44 points a game is entertaining. That LSU allows 31 points a contest is frightening. LSU 35, Mizzou 30.

Alabama at Texas A&M: The Aggies have allowed only one offensive touchdown in their last 12 quarters. Crimson Tide 20, Aggies 17.

Western Carolina at UTC: The 49th meeting between the Catamounts and Mocs is the first with both teams ranked. Mocs 26, Catamounts 24.

Vanderbilt at Florida: The Gators are 21-1 against the Commodores in Gainesville since 1960, and it's a revenge game. Gators 31, Commodores 17.

Kentucky at Georgia: The Bulldogs have won 13 consecutive series meetings, including nine of the past 10 by double digits. Bulldogs 26, Wildcats 13.

Arkansas at Ole Miss: The Rebels are the only FBS team this season with a 500-yard passing game (Mercer) and a 300-yard rushing game (LSU): Rebels 38, Razorbacks 31.

Georgia Tech at Miami: Nothing sets a rebuilding project back more than allowing 38 consecutive points to Bowling Green. Hurricanes 37, Yellow Jackets 22.

Other picks:

Mississippi State 35, Western Michigan 26

Ohio State 49, Maryland 22

Wisconsin 28, Rutgers 19

Iowa 21, Purdue 18

Michigan 42, Minnesota 21

Virginia 26, William & Mary 15

N.C. State 27, Marshall 20

Florida State 44, Virginia Tech 17

North Carolina 33, Syracuse 14

Clemson 30, Wake Forest 13

Notre Dame 31, Louisville 24

Army 17, Boston College 16

Colorado 34, Arizona State 29

Oregon State 23, California 12

Southern California 56, Arizona 31

UCLA 32, Washington State 27

Fresno State 45, Wyoming 30

Last week:

Winners — 21

Super Bowls — 4

Pasquali is 107-18 (85.6%) this season.

Contact David Paschall at [email protected].

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