NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi

No. 9 Ole Miss survived a scare from Auburn in Oxford, Mississippi, but held on to secure a 48-34 win and keep pace in the College Football Playoff race. The win moves the Rebels to 7-0 overall for the second time since 1962. It also dealt a staggering blow to Auburn's season, and perhaps coach Bryan Harsin's job stability.

Once again, it was the Ole Miss rushing attack that stole the show. Freshman Quinshon Judkins rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns, Zach Evans had 136 yards rushing and one touchdown and quarterback Jaxson Dart added 115 yards on the ground in one of the most dominating rushing performances of the season. 

Auburn kicker Anders Carlson hit a 28-yard field goal with 9:05 to play in the fourth quarter to make it a one-score game at 41-34 before lightning in the area caused a weather delay. The Rebels came out of the break with a bang, moving 75 yards on eight plays, the last of which was a 41-yard touchdown run by Judkins to ice it away. It was a wild ending to a game that seemed like an easy Ole Miss win early on. 

Believe in Ole Miss

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin is pegged as a genius in the passing game, but that really isn't what has made him so successful. It's the running game that's leading the way for a team that has shown multiple times this year that it is as far from a finesse team as humanly possible.

The Rebels came in averaging 242 rushing yards per game (second in the SEC) and 5.56 yards per carry. Those two stats will make tremendous jumps this week after Kiffin's crew racked up 448 yards and 6.5 yards per rush on Saturday. Dart hasn't exactly had a great season through the air, but his work on the ground -- specifically his decision-making on zone read calls -- has made this Ole Miss team a force to be reckoned with. 

There is a natural concern about the defense, of course, especially after giving up 34 points to a mediocre Auburn team. But the Rebels had seven tackles for loss and two interceptions against the Tigers, which has been a trend for a defense that has created havoc all year. Believe in Ole Miss. It's a complete team.

Bryan Harsin's final chapter?

The Rebels jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter led by a defense that was living in the Tigers backfield. Harsin even pulled quarterback Robby Ashford in favor of TJ Finley for a drive before inserting Ashford back into the lineup. The dual-threat transfer from Oregon settled down and finished the afternoon with 140 yards passing, 35 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns to keep them in it. 

That might not be enough for Harsin to stay employed at Auburn, though. The Tigers are 3-4 (1-3 SEC) this year, and Harsin is 9-11 (4-8 SEC) through 20 games on the Plains. He might not have a chance to coach a 21st game.

Harsin was nearly ousted in February after several powerful people within the Auburn power structure grew frustrated with his lack of recruiting prowess, inability to keep coaches and players on the roster and overall direction of the program. When a coach is on the hot seat, and bye week is his worst nightmare. The last thing that Harsin needs is powerful people with time to debate the pros and cons of his employment. 

That'll likely happen this week, and it'll be interesting to see where they land on potentially making a change.