OXFORD • Few families have as much sweat equity in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry as the Lukes.
Head coach Matt Luke will be competing in the series for the 17th time as either a player, assistant coach or head coach.
Luke’s father Tommy Luke was a defensive back on John Vaught’s teams from 1964-1966.
Matt Luke’s older brother, Tom Luke, was an Ole Miss quarterback from 1989-1991, and Tom Luke’s son, Cale Luke, a wide receiver, was a team member from 2013-2017.
Saturday’s game will mark the 28th time a member of the Luke family has been involved in the rivalry.
“For my dad this was the rivalry for a long, long time. The winner of this game was the SEC champion. Just hearing stories of coach Vaught and growing up with the Billy Cannon run, him playing against LSU. I grew up watching it. It’s very important to a lot of Ole Miss fans, and it’s very important to us,” Matt Luke said.
The Rebels and No. 1LSU is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 and was No. 2 in the season’s initial College Football Playoff rankings which do not reflect the Tigers’ 46-41 win over Alabama.
The new CFP rankings will be released tonight.
The last visit by a No. 1 team to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was Sept. 15 of last season when Alabama defeated Ole Miss 62-7.
The last time Ole Miss defeated a team ranked No. 1 by any notable body was 2014 when Bo Wallace quarterbacked the Rebels to a 23-17 comeback win against the Crimson Tide. That Alabama team was ranked No. 3 by AP but was ranked No. 1 in the USA Today-ESPN coaches poll.
The last time LSU was ranked No. 1 when it faced Ole Miss was 2011. The Tigers won 52-3 in Oxford that season, one of three games after Houston Nutt had been told he would not return as Ole Miss coach.
Injury updateRunning back Scottie Phillips, the Rebels’ leading rusher until just recently, is questionable for the LSU game, Luke said.
Defensive end Tariqious Tisdale (ankle) and cornerback Jaylon Jones (knee) will be evaluated as the week rolls along.
For now Luke lists them as probable.
Phillips sustained a knee injury against Texas A&M on Oct. 19 then an ankle injury at Auburn two weeks later.
He did not play last week against New Mexico State nor did Jones.
Tisdale was injured in the first half of the New Mexico State game.
Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who made his first appearance in the final minutes against Cal in Week 4, leads Ole Miss with 777 rushing yards followed by Phillips with 542, Jerrion Ealy with 499 and Jarod “Snoop” Conner with 436.