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LSU wide receiver Deion Smith (6) and LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (1) celebrate an apparent touchdown by LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) in the first half against Florida, Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Tiger Stadium on the campus on LSU in Baton Rouge, La. Thomas ran the ball into the end zone but the apparent score was called back on a holding penalty.

Barring a sudden improvement in their health, LSU freshman wide receiver Deion Smith and senior right guard Chasen Hines won't play against No. 12 Ole Miss.

"Unless something miraculous happens tomorrow," coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday evening, "but I don't think so."

Hines was injured during pregame warmups last weekend, Orgeron said, and quickly left the game after trying to power through against Florida. Hines, who has five starts, didn't appear during an open period of practice Thursday.

Even without Hines, LSU's offensive line played one of its best games in the upset win. Sophomore Marlon Martinez stepped in at right guard, and he will likely start against the Rebels.

"We're really excited about him," Orgeron said. "I thought he did well. The gap play was really good. He's growing up. Coach Brad Davis has done a tremendous job with him."

Smith has 11 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns this season. He appeared to suffer an injury two weeks ago against Kentucky and wore sweats while LSU faced Florida.

Solid starters

LSU continues to impress on the opening drives of the first and second halves — on offense and defense.

Offensively, LSU has put up a touchdown and extra point on its initial drive of the game in four of seven games for 28 points. The Tigers have been slightly better on their opening series of the second half with 31 points on four touchdowns, four PATs and a field goal.

Defensively, LSU has allowed just one touchdown in seven game-opening drives by its opponents, and two TDs on the first series of the second half.

LSU’s offense has piled up 364 yards on the first drive of the game, and 389 on the first possession of the second half for a total of 753. Conversely, the defense has given up 153 yards on the opening series of a game and 244 to start the second half for a total of 397 yards. 

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Give and take

Thanks to four interceptions off Florida’s Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson, and no giveaways by its offense last week, LSU is among the FBS leaders in turnover margin going into Saturday's game at Ole Miss.

The Tigers are tied for 10th nationally at plus-7 through seven games. They have 12 takeaways on seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries, while the offense has given the ball away just five times on four interceptions and a fumble.

Ole Miss is plus-5 with four giveaways and nine takeaways. Quarterback Matt Corral has thrown only one pick.

The LSU-Ole Miss series

The Tigers and Rebels meet Saturday for the 110th time, LSU’s second most-played rivalry behind only its series with Mississippi State (115 games).

LSU holds a 64-40-4 lead in the series (the NCAA forced Ole Miss to vacate a 2013 victory), including a dramatic 53-48 win last year in Tiger Stadium that was the highest-scoring game in the history of the series.

This will be only the 20th official meeting between LSU and Ole Miss in Oxford, however, where the Tigers lead 11-7-1. LSU and Ole Miss often used to play in Jackson, Mississippi.

This will be the final game as LSU’s coach against Ole Miss for Orgeron, who coached the Rebels from 2003-05. Orgeron is 5-0 against his former school at LSU.

Staff writers Scott Rabalais and Sheldon Mickles contributed to this report.

Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com