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With another late escape, LSU finally solves Ole Miss

BATON ROUGE, La. — As the student section in Tiger Stadium chanted his name, Jordan Jefferson hopped on a box near the stands and stretched his arms above his head. Having endured criticism for LSU's inconsistent passing game, the quarterback was ready to soak in the praise.

"I have definitely been waiting on a night like this," said Jefferson, who was 13-of-17 for a career-high 254 yards. "I'm just glad that (the passing game) finally came through when we needed it."

Jefferson threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and No. 5 LSU beat Mississippi for the first time in its past three meetings, 43-36 Saturday.

LSU trailed 36-35 with 4:57 left when Patrick Peterson returned a kickoff 34 yards to midfield, setting up a winning drive that ended with Stevan Ridley's third touchdown rushing.

Ole Miss still had 44 seconds in a game that featured 890 yards of offense, but LSU's defense held, and Peterson intercepted Jeremiah Masoli's desperation pass.

LSU was heavily favored, but coach Houston Nutt found a way to make the Tigers nervous. In his first season at Ole Miss, the Rebels dominated the Tigers 31-13, then last season upset LSU 25-23 after the Tigers ran out of time on the Rebels 5.

On Saturday, Masoli hit Markeith Summers for a 65-yard score to give Ole Miss a 36-35 lead before Ridley's winner.

No. 13 Ark. 38, No. 22 Miss. St. 31 (2 OT): Ryan Mallett threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, including the winner to Knile Davis in double overtime, and the visiting Razorbacks won their fifth in a row. Mallett got going in the third quarter with an 89-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright, the second-longest in school history. The junior completed 17-of-26 and found Davis for a 7-yard touchdown in double overtime. The Bulldogs had a chance to tie, but Chris Relf was hit as he tried to complete a fourth-down pass. The teams combined for 974 yards; MSU ran 100 offensive plays.

No. 17 S.Caro. 69, Troy 24: Marcus Lattimore had three touchdowns and 102 yards rushing by halftime against Troy to lead the host Gamecocks to their biggest point total under coach Steve Spurrier. A month ago, the Gamecocks stunned then top-ranked Alabama 35-21. Then they blew a 28-10 halftime lead to lose at Kentucky. Before Saturday's game, which came a week after locking up the SEC East title with a victory at Florida, many at Williams-Brice Stadium wondered, would South Carolina flop?

"Practice was a lot better, a lot more focused," said Stephen Garcia, a Jefferson High grad, who completed 9 of 12 passes for 198 yards in a half. He threw two touchdowns and ran for a third as South Carolina topped its best point total under Spurrier (57 in 2006 vs. Middle Tennessee State).

Tenn. 20, Vanderbilt 10: Tauren Poole rushed for 99 yards and the clinching touchdown as the visiting Vols kept their slim bowl hopes alive. The Commodores threatened after a late touchdown, but Poole took advantage of a failed onside kick to rip off a 28-yard touchdown run with 1:11 left. Tennessee must beat Kentucky to clinch bowl eligibility.

No. 5 LSU 43

Ole Miss 36

With another late escape, LSU finally solves Ole Miss 11/20/10 [Last modified: Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:10am]
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