Saturday, November 18, 2017

LSU's dramatic TD comes just a tick too late against Auburn


AUBURN, Ala. — Gus Malzahn was ready to try anything to get a win for his Auburn Tigers.

Malzahn relinquished offensive play-calling duties. Following his daughters' advice, he traded his usual game-day visor for a cap. Then, when the clock expired and LSU players celebrated an apparent last-second win, he put all his faith in a ruling he couldn't control.

Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals and Auburn beat No. 18 LSU 18-13 Saturday night after officials ruled Danny Etling's last-gasp touchdown pass came after time expired.

Malzahn said he knew there were only zeroes on the clock before the snap to Etling.

"I was pretty confident time had expired," Malzahn said. "It was just a matter of going to the booth and confirming it."

Etling rolled right and found D.J. Shark, who tiptoed the sideline in the corner of the end zone on a 15-yard pass, setting off a short-lived celebration by LSU.

"I don't know if I've ever come as close to winning a game and finishing second as today," LSU coach Les Miles said.

LSU center Ethan Pocic said he it was "unbelievable" to briefly believe his team won.

"One second you do but then one second you don't, but that's college football," Pocic said.

Malzahn gave play-calling responsibility to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and said Lashlee will retain the role even after Auburn failed to score a touchdown.

No. 23 Miss. 45, No. 12 UGA 14: Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly faked the handoff then took off running toward the end zone. A few seconds and 41 yards later, the quarterback had cruised through the middle of the Georgia defense and into the end zone untouched.

It was pretty much that easy for the host Rebels all afternoon. Ole Miss finally built a lead it couldn't give away.

The Rebels led 31-0 at halftime and 45-0 midway into the fourth quarter. Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Ole Miss broke a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996.

"I can't think of a time in my lifetime where a team has done that to Georgia," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

Georgia lost its first game under new coach Kirby Smart and looked overmatched. Worse, star running back Nick Chubb sprained an ankle in the second quarter and didn't return.

"There are a lot of mistakes being made out there," Smart said. "Lot of young guys making bad mistakes. They will have to grow up."

No. 1 Alabama 48, Kent St. 0: Alabama didn't miss a beat after tailback Damien Harris went down early in the game. The youngsters made sure of it.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed the opening drive with a 20-yard touchdown run and fellow freshman Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns for the host Crimson Tide.

The Tide dominated coach Nick Saban's alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to linebacker/short-yardage blocker Mack Wilson — another freshman.

"The goal going into this game was to play a complete game, start fast, finish, and I think we probably did that as well as we've done all year," Saban said.

Kentucky 17, S. Carolina 10: Benny Snell got the go-ahead touchdown from 1 yard midway through the fourth and Boom Williams ran for a 43-yard score as the host Wildcats held on for their third straight series victory. Inconsistent offensively in the first half, Kentucky got going after halftime with another strong performance by their backfield tandem. Williams rushed 15 times for 123 yards.

Miss. St. 47, UMass 35: Aeris Williams ran for a 16-yard score and Jamoral Graham returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage to help the Bulldogs erase a third-quarter deficit in Foxborough, Mass. "It's hard to get a win. But we were way superior to them," Williams said of the Minutemen, an independent after departing the MAC.

Missouri 79, Delaware St. 0: Drew Lock threw for five touchdowns, tying a school record, as the host Tigers broke their school scoring record against a Division I-AA foe. Mizzou has scored 69 three times.

Vandy 31, W. Kentucky 30, OT: Vanderbilt turned away a two-point conversion play at the end of the first overtime as the visiting Commodores escaped. Kyle Shurmur's 5-yard pass to Nathan Marcus to start overtime gave Vanderbilt its first lead.


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