Five takeaways from LSU’s 45-20 win over No. 7 Ole Miss

LSU handed Ole Miss its first loss of the year on Saturday.

After a slow start that saw the Rebels jump out to a 17-3 lead, the Tigers floored it, going on a 42-3 run. LSU’s offense found success on the air and on the ground. The defense took some time to make adjustments, but Matt House’s group didn’t allow a single point over the final two quarters.

LSU, now 6-2 and sitting atop the SEC West, has an open date before Alabama comes to town in two weeks. Expect to see LSU in the top 25 when the rankings are released on Sunday.

Here are five takeaways from LSU’s win over Ole Miss.

LSU doesn't quit

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Slow starts had been a habit for LSU this year. The Tigers were better out of the gates against Florida, but found themselves in another hole today, down 17-3.

For a second, it looked like this was going to be a replay of the Tennessee loss. A high-flying offense comes in and scores at will. LSU halted the Ole Miss momentum, eventually tying it at 17.

Ole Miss tacked on three more, to make it 20-17 at halftime, but that would be the last Rebel score of the day. LSU finished by scoring 28 unanswered points.

Some of this is LSU’s fight, but the coaching staff deserves a lot of the credit for continually making adjustments.

Jayden Daniels stays sharp

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Prior to the win at Florida, [autotag]Jayden Daniels[/autotag] was having a solid year. He didn’t make mistakes and would make a big play here and there.

The last two games have shown us a different version of Daniels. He’s become a dynamic player, looking sharp on a consistent basis and making plays in all phases of the game.

He’s still protecting the football, but he’s also pushing the ball down the field. He’s still using his legs, but he’s keeping his eyes downfield longer and showing more patience.

After a six total touchdown performance against the Gators, Daniels followed it up with five more today. He threw for 248 yards and subtracting sack yardage, ran for 137 more.

Efficiency in the run game

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LSU’s offense consistently stayed on schedule due to an efficient run game.

73% of LSU’s runs were four yards or more and LSU had a success rate of 63% on rushing plays.

[autotag]Josh Williams[/autotag] and [autotag]Armoni Goodwin[/autotag] both averaged over 4.0 yards per attempt. The offensive line was getting a decent push and the Tiger running backs were patient behind it and showed strong running in front of it.

At QB, Daniels was sharp with his reads, knowing when to give it and when to keep it. There was never a period in this game where LSU struggled to run the ball.

Defensive adjustments

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Ole Miss came out hot, with two big plays to set up a score on the opening drive. After taking a 20-17 lead into the half, LSU pitched a shutout in the second half.

Ole Miss had a negative EPA/play on the day and went 4/13 on third downs. The defining moment for the Tiger defense may be Joe Foucha’s interception that prevented Ole Miss from jumping back in front.

LSU would score on the ensuing drive to put itself firmly in the drivers seat.

LSU generated seven tackles for a loss on the day and kept Ole Miss off schedule in the second half. The defense had more opportunities to get after Dart in the second half and took advantage.

A signature win

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This is, by far, the best win LSU’s recorded all year.

The Mississippi State win has aged well and the offensive performance at Florida was impressive, but this was the most complete game LSU has played against a legit opponent.

Ole Miss was 7-0 and No. 7 in the country. LSU had been looking for a win that mattered on a national scale. LSU got one here.

If the [autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag] era turns out to be a success, we might look back at this win as the one that got the ball rolling.

LSU is now in a position where it can afford another loss and still finish the year with 10 wins. A New Year’s Six Bowl is now a possibility.

Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire