LSU cornerbacks Kevin Toliver and Donte Jackson wrapped their arms around one another in front of a scrum of reporters after the 40-24 win over Ole Miss.
They spent several seconds trading compliments in a conversation with TV cameras and tape recorders rolling.
“He did his thing today!” Toliver said of Jackson.
A smiling Jackson fired back at Toliver, who snatched an interception out of the hands of an Ole Miss receiver just two hours before: “He’s taking the ball from people these days!”
“I was starving out there, man,” Toliver responded. “Got to eat!”
The banter carried on.
“All flights canceled today,” Toliver said, the secondary’s motto after swallowing Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson and his receivers.
Added Jackson: “Shea a pretty good little quarterback, but it was us.”
“Yeah, he’s nice,” Toliver chimed in, “but only so much you can do. It was us.”
The DBs had reason to gloat on this night. They suffocated one of the nation’s most talented quarterbacks and pass-heavy offensive units, continuing a torrid stretch.
Can't see video below? Click here.
During this three-game winning streak, Auburn, Florida and Ole Miss quarterbacks have completed 47 percent of their passes for an average of 155 yards. They’ve thrown three interceptions, all by Patterson, and just one touchdown. LSU defensive backs added four pass breakups Saturday night to their 13 over the previous two games.
They’ve held three straight SEC opponents to less than 200 yards passing for the first time since 2014, shutting down the Gators, Tigers and Rebels by using swarming man-to-man defense and a tweaked rotation.
Coaches shifted Donte Jackson inside to nickel at the start of this three-game run, putting on the field what many believe are LSU’s top three cover guys: Jackson inside and Greedy Williams and Toliver out wide.
“Things changed a lot,” Toliver said. “Best 11 on the field. You can see that.”
Toliver spent much of the first month of the season in a rotational role while coaches used true freshman Kary Vincent at nickel, with Jackson and Williams out wide. Toliver blames himself for the slow start.
Toliver, a junior and projected starter during camp, missed the season opener on suspension, and he made several gaffes in a 30-point loss at Mississippi State.
“It was a really all my fault. I made a mistake,” he said. “I had to bounce back and recover. That’s what I’m doing.”
LSU coach Ed Orgeron noticed a difference about his team during Tuesday’s practice.
Culp: ‘You have a kicker’
Connor Culp no longer shakes when he approaches a field goal try, but there was a time when that did happen.
“I remember going back to my first kick in the spring game,” LSU’s redshirt freshman kicker said after the Ole Miss win. “I was shaking and really nervous.”
No shakes here.
Culp has made seven straight field goals, a first in his career at any level, booting kicks of 47, 32, 35, 36, 42 and two from 38 yards. His four field goals against the Rebels were the most by an LSU kicker since Drew Alleman’s four against Mississippi State in 2011.
LSU kickers began the season 3-for-7 before Culp’s run began with coach Ed Orgeron claiming on his radio show that he did not have a kicker on his roster.
“I think I just went out and started working hard and got the chance to get on the field and ever since then have been kicking with confidence,” he said. “I wanted to set out to prove to him, ‘You have a good field goal kicker.’”
WR catches: zero
LSU rolled up 593 yards of offense without completing a pass to a receiver.
Quarterback Danny Etling’s fired his nine completions to backfield players or tight ends: RB Darrel Williams (4-105), F-back JD Moore (3-26), TE Foster Moreau (1-60) and RB Derrius Guice (1-9).
Etling targeted Stephen Sullivan once and Russell Gage twice. A completion to Chark was wiped out after the Tigers accepted an offsides penalty on Ole Miss.
"That’s Coach Canada and that’s the guys on this team," Etling said afterward. "It was one of those days where everything is clicking. Receivers maybe didn’t catch a ball but did a great job on perimeter blocking."
For the fourth year in a row, The Advocate's Ross Dellenger is one of 60 national sports rep…
Moore scored his first career touchdown on an 11-yard shovel pass completion from Etling in the second half Saturday. “I’m proud and happy to be a Louisiana boy who grew up watching LSU football,” he said afterward. “To be able to tote the rock into the end zone for the first time in my career is a lot of fun.” … Patterson played the entire second half against LSU on a ruptured ligament in his right knee. The quarterback is out for the season, Ole Miss announced Sunday morning. Patterson suffered the injury on a non-contact play during a heave downfield that was intercepted by safety Grant Delpit in the second quarter.