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Ole Miss vs. LSU: History of rivalry between Rebels and Tigers

Saturday’s college football slate will feature the latest chapter of one of the deep south’s oldest rivalries being played at Tiger Stadium. We’ll look into the history of their matchups.

Sporting News Archive Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

On the surface, Week 8 of the college football season is light on marquee matchups. However, a classic rivalry in the SEC West will unfold its next chapter as the No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels head down to Baton Rouge, LA, to meet the LSU Tigers.

Chants of “Go to Hell Ole Miss” and “Go to Hell LSU” have echoed through Tiger Stadium and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for decades as both of these border rivals have engaged in the Magnolia Bowl throughout the years (yes, yes, I know that no one actually calls it the ‘Magnolia Bowl’. Do not @ me, LSU and Ole Miss fans). While this isn’t necessarily THE marquee rivalry game for either program, there’s enough history and bad blood that will get a rise out of older fans of both schools. Below, we’ll take a look back at the history of this matchup.

History of Ole Miss vs. LSU

Total games played: 110
Record: LSU is 64-42-4 (Yes, I’m counting the 2013 win Ole Miss had to vacate. I’m not an NCAA cop.)
Last game: 2021. Ole Miss won 31-17 in Oxford.

Ole Miss and LSU first met in 1894, where the Rebels toppled the Tigers in a 26-6 victory. That game carries significance for being the first game to be held on LSU’s campus, played at old State Field. Afterwards, the Tigers mostly had the upper hand in the rivalry for the first half of the 20th century, with a few pockets of success for the Rebels sprinkled in.

The rivalry magnified in intensity in the 1950’s and ‘60’s as the two schools emerged as national powers during that time. LSU won the AP national championship in 1958 under head coach Paul Dietzel before Ole Miss claimed titles in 1959, 1960, and 1962 under head coach Johnny Vaught. These matchups regularly had SEC championship stakes in the era immediately preceding Bear Bryant’s run of dominance at Alabama.

The late 60’s and early 70’s brought the Archie Manning era during the rivalry. The Rebels won in 1968 and 1969 before the Tigers buried Manning and Ole Miss in a 61-17 beatdown at Tiger Stadium in 1970. To pour salt in the wound, an LSU fan recorded a diss track about the game afterwards.

From that point onward, LSU would mostly have control in the series as Ole Miss faded in national relevancy. The Rebels would take four out of five off the Tigers at the turn of the century, a brief run that coincided with the rise of dynamic running back Deuce McAllister and program legacy Eli Manning. The rivalry has seen some explosive showdowns in recent years, including a 58-37 LSU victory in 2019 where Joe Burrow and the eventual national champions had to sweat a little bit.

Biggest game in series history: 1959

The lore of this entire series centers around the 1959 game on Halloween night, best remembered for Billy Cannon’s legendary run.

Down 3-0 late in the fourth quarter, the LSU halfback housed an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown to to put the reigning national champions on top for a 7-3 victory in Baton Rouge.

The punt return effectively wrapped up the Heisman Trophy for Cannon, who stood as LSU’s lone Heisman winner until Burrow won the award 60 years later. The atmosphere and intensity around the game itself also added to aura of night games at Tiger Stadium for LSU.

Odds for 2022 game via DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: LSU -1.5
Total: Over/Under 65.5
Moneyline: LSU -125, Ole Miss +105

LSU is a slight favorite at home despite Ole Miss being 7-0 and ranked No. 7 in the AP poll. The success of the Rebels’ offense this season has been routed through its run game, led by the two-headed monster of running backs Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans.

Meanwhile, LSU has been figuring things out in the first year of the Brian Kelly era and sit at a respectable 5-2 late into the month of October. The Tigers have shown their resiliency, shaking off a blowout home loss to Tennessee by going on the road and defeating Florida 45-35 last Saturday.

This edition of the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry should be a fun one.