OXFORD -- Three weeks ago, LSU was the second ranked team in the country and running back Leonard Fournette looked nearly unstoppable.
Following Saturday's 38-17 loss at No. 25 Ole Miss, the No. 17 Tigers' third straight defeat, you could practically see the smoke billowing from coach Les Miles' seat from the Gulf Coast.
News began circulating earlier in the week that Miles could be coaching for his job. If the rumors are true, Saturday's face plant in Oxford certainly didn't quell the LSU natives.
LSU was flagged 13 times for 95 yards in the game, several coming at inopportune times -- like on the Tigers' first offensive play of the game, when a long Fournette run was called back for holding.
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The penalty set the tone for the Tigers for the rest of the night, and perhaps Miles' final weeks in Baton Rouge, La.
Asked about his status, Miles said he didn't feel his job was in jeopardy.
"Eleven years when I first came here, we beat Arizona State, lost our second game and I knew we were soon to be fired," a mostly somber-toned Miles said with a laugh. "So, what I've always done is a strength and a weakness. I put my head down and I work and try to do the best things. If I can get that done, we have success.
"If I don't, you'll all be writing a bunch of other stuff."
While LSU (7-3, 4-3 SEC) struggled to find the end zone consistently, the Rebels (8-3, 5-2) scored at will. Ole Miss jumped out to a 24-7 lead at halftime on a Gary Wunderlich 32-yard field goal, runs of 2 and 5 yards from running back Jaylen Walton and quarterback Chad Kelly, respectively, and a 11-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell.
LSU showed life early in the second half, kicking a 43-yard field goal on its first possession and forcing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Fournette fumbled the ball into the end zone five plays later, but lineman William Clapp fell on the ball for a touchdown to put the Tigers down 24-17.
It was pretty much all Ole Miss from there on out, however, as the Rebels scored two more touchdowns by the end of the half.
Kelly ran for an 11-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter and then threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram. Kelly rolled to the right, threw back across the field to Engram and the tight end followed a convoy of blockers to the end zone.
Kelly finished with 280 yards passing, 81 rushing and four total touchdowns. With the performance, Kelly set the the school's record for total offensive yards in a season (3,857) and touchdowns responsible for (34).
"Chad Kelly has done really well all year," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. I think the thing he's done well the last two games is that I do not think he has had a turnover. That is the key.
"He is a talented kid and we have a good scheme for him that he understands."
Harris had a solid night passing for LSU, throwing for 324 yards, but he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble to end the first half.
Although Fournette broke the 100-yard plateau for the first time in three games with 108 yards on 25 carries, he was kept out of the end zone for the first time this season.
"Our guys bought into loading up on the run. We had to take the approach of letting the quarterback beat you and play some one-on-one on those great receivers out there at times," Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said. "It worked out the way it needed to."
Fournette's best chance at a touchdown came late in the fourth quarter. LSU set up with first-and-goal from Ole Miss' 1. Fournette bobbled a direct snap on second down and then couldn't handle a poor pitch from Harris two plays later.
"I promise you, those plays were practiced," Miles said. "I think they were distracted in that position for whatever reason. It's pretty simple execution."