For the season coming into Saturday’s game with Ole Miss, LSU tight ends had caught a total of nine passes.
Sophomore Travis Dickson did his best to tilt the numbers in the tight end’s favor. He caught a team high five passes for 69 yards, his first receptions of the season, in the No. 8-ranked Tigers’ dramatic 41-35 victory over the Rebels.
“He’s a program guy,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “He’s waited his turn and he makes plays.”
Dickson’s role in the offense was even more pivotal going into Saturday’s game considering fellow sophomore Nic Jacobs was suspended for violating an unspecified team rule.
Younger brother of former LSU tight end Richard Dickson, the Ocean Springs, Miss., native had a 23-yard reception in the first half and also had a 5-yard catch early in the Tigers’ game-winning touchdown drive capped by Jeremy Hill’s 1-yard scoring leap with 15 seconds left.
LSU welcomed three key official visitors for Saturday’s game according to 24/7 Sports: wide receiver Avery Johnson, wide receiver Courtney Gardner and cornerback Artie Burns.
Johnson (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), younger brother of former LSU All-American Patrick Peterson, recently made a qualifying test score that will allow him to enroll at LSU in January. Johnson signed with LSU in February but was declared academically ineligible and is currently attending Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy.
Gardner (6-3, 215), who is from Sierra (Calif.) Community College, has been committed to Oklahoma, but some recent reports say he will enter the 2013 NFL draft.
Burns (6-0, 183) is a four-star prospect from Miami Northwestern and is committed to the Hurricanes.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger was shaken up with 10:57 left and walked off after being hit following a pass attempt. Redshirt freshman Stephen Rivers had to come in on third-and-5 at the Tigers 30 but threw incomplete.
Mettenberger returned later in the fourth quarter.
“How do I look?” Mettenberger said when asked how he felt afterward. “I feel great. Look great. We got the win.
“One of our offensive lineman missed a guy and ... I got the wind knocked out of me.”
Ole Miss cornerback Charles Sawyer was injured in the first half and did not return.
Jones and Davis
LSU recognized Bert Jones and Brad Davis on the field at the end of the first quarter in honor of the 40th anniversary of their 10-yard touchdown pass to beat Ole Miss 17-16 in 1972.
Some other famous faces seen at the game Saturday included political consultant James Carville, former LSU All-America tailback Charles Alexander and Cooper Manning, brother of Peyton and Eli Manning.
Les has Moore
Miles recorded his 84th career win at LSU, breaking out of a tie for second place among the school’s winningest coaches with Bernie Moore.
Miles is 84-20 in his eighth season while Moore was 83-39-6 from 1935-47.
LSU’s winningest coach is Charles McClendon, who was 137-59-7 from 1962-79.
LSU honored its 15 seniors on the field before Saturday’s game. ... The announced crowd of 92,872 gave LSU a school record season attendance of 741,005. ... The Tigers are now 58-39-4 against the Rebels, including a 3-2 mark since this game was named the “Magnolia Bowl” in 2008. ... Drew Alleman’s two field goals gave him 34 for his career, moving him past Mike Conway and Pedro Suarez for seventh place in school history. ... Defensive end Sam Montgomery recorded his 18th career sack, moving into a tie for eighth in LSU history with James Gilyard and Michael Brooks. ... Middle linebacker Kevin Minter had 11 tackles and now has 101 this season. ... The Tigers wrap up the regular season at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Arkansas in Fayetteville. The game will be on CBS.