As Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson set LSU records: ‘We’re going to keep dancing’

4 weeks ago The Advocate 0

OXFORD, Miss. — The sight has become routine, two wide receivers who may finish this season as the most productive pair in LSU history dancing whenever they reach the end zone. They slide their feet. They rock their hips. They wiggle their arms, smile and shake hands.

They love dancing after touchdowns, and Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson danced often on Saturday night against Ole Miss. They used the Beenie Weenie, the New Orleans Bop and their favorite, the Griddy — all moves they had planned before the 58-37 win.

The duo scored five touchdowns inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Locked in a season-long bet, they knew their stats before the game. Then Jefferson scored twice and Chase three times, setting the LSU record for receiving touchdowns in a season with 13.

“It’s something big on my part to say I made history,” Chase said.

As No. 1 LSU beat Ole Miss, hanging on in the second half despite porous run defense, Jefferson and Chase became the third teammates in Southeastern Conference history to each eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in a season. They prevented an upset loss and they danced, their moves now synonymous with success.

“They’re special players that are going to play for a long time,” quarterback Joe Burrow said. “I’m lucky to have them on my team.”

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Chase and Jefferson have pushed each other throughout the season for the team-lead in touchdowns and receiving yards. Jefferson entered the game with 898 yards and nine scores. Chase had 889 yards and 10 touchdowns. They had climbed the LSU record books and they knew it, motivated by their personal competition. They love each other, but they want to beat each other.

“It’s time to set a record,” Chase yelled before the game.

Their historic night began when Chase caught a 34-yard touchdown on LSU’s first possession. He has reached stardom in his sophomore season, and early in the second quarter, he slipped behind Ole Miss’ defense for a 51-yard score. He had 152 yards by halftime. His second touchdown tied Dwyane Bowe’s school record with 12 this season.

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Jefferson didn’t want to fall behind. He caught a touchdown in the second quarter. He added another one after halftime. Once a lightly recruited receiver known as the brother of two former LSU players, he finished with 112 yards on nine catches — his fifth 100-yard game this season.

Jefferson and Chase have created an almost unbeatable combination in the passing game, forcing defenses to pick between them. Before they arrived, one LSU duo had reached 1,000 yards receiving in the same season: Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in 2013.

“Stop one side or stop the other side,” said Chase, who finished with 227 yards. “I don’t think you can do both.”

With two games left in the regular season, Chase and Jefferson can set themselves at the top of the LSU record books. Josh Reed’s school record for receiving yards in a season (1,740) may fall in the postseason.

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Chase and Jefferson carved Ole Miss’ secondary throughout the night. Combined, they finished with 17 receptions and 339 yards. And when LSU needed to seal the game, Chase broke the touchdown record.

On third-and-6 with about five minutes left, Chase ran a slant. He caught the football near the first down marker and shed a tackle. As Chase sprinted toward the end zone, another touchdown looked inevitable. He weaved through the defense, a 61-yard score that set a school record.

When Chase reached the end zone, he waved his arms. Jefferson, now two touchdowns behind his friend, joined him. They danced together, the duo celebrating once again.

The referees didn’t tell them to stop. They never have.

“We’re going to keep dancing in the end zone,” Jefferson said, “as long as they don’t tell us anything.”