Poor clock management does in Tigers
Time ran out on No. 10 LSU before it could attempt a short, potential game-winning field goal and Dexter McCluster and Mississippi survived a frantic final minute to come away with a 25-23 victory Saturday in Oxford, Miss.
After LSU pulled within two points on Jordan Jefferson’s touchdown pass to Rueben Randle with 1:17 left, the Tigers failed to convert the tying two-point conversion on a fade pass into the corner of the end zone.
But LSU wasn’t done.
Brandon LaFell recovered the ensuing kick at the LSU 42 and got his team into Ole Miss territory with a 26-yard reception that included two broken tackles and 20 yards after the catch.
But Ole Miss sacked Jefferson for a 9-yard loss, then snuffed out a screen pass, and left the Tigers with fourth-and-26 from the Ole Miss 48 with 9 seconds left after a timeout.
The Tigers could have – should have – had a lot more time. They wasted about 17 seconds before calling a timeout after the third-down play.
After the timeout, Jefferson hit Toliver on a 43-yard in-traffic pass down the right side to the 6 and the team rushed down the field. There appeared to be confusion among the chain gang and it took several seconds for the first-down marker to be placed.
LSU did not send out its field goal team and was not completely lined up when the referee signaled for the clock to start and Jefferson had no options as the time expired before he could spike the ball.
The win likely gives Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3) second place in the SEC West with a game left to play, and an edge over LSU (8-3, 4-3) when bowl invitations are handed out.
Before the craziness at the end, McCluster was the story. He ran for 148 yards and passed for a touchdown, a 27-yarder to wide-open Shay Hodge for the first completion of his career midway through the fourth quarter.
(1) Florida 62, Florida International 3: At Gainesville, Fla., Tim Tebow tossed a pair of TD passses and ran for another score and Brandon Spikes returned an interception for a touchdown as the Gators (11-0) moved another step closer to perfection with a rout of the Golden Panthers (3-8).
Florida extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games.
(2) Alabama 45, Chattanooga 0: At Tuscaloosa, Ala., Mark Ingram ran for 102 yards and two long touchdowns in the first half and the Crimson Tide (11-0) thumped the Mocs (6-5).
Alabama held Chattanooga to 84 yards of offense.
(3) Texas 51, Kansas 20: At Austin, Texas, Colt McCoy set an NCAA record with his 43rd career victory as a starter, passing for 396 yards and four TDs as the Longhorns (11-0, 7-0) wrapped up the Big 12 South title with a win over the Jayhawks (5-6, 1-6).
McCoy is 43-7 in his career, breaking the wins record he shared with former Georgia QB David Greene (2001-2004).
(4) TCU 45, Wyoming 10: At Laramie, Wyo., Matthew Tucker and Joseph Turner each ran for two TDs, and the Horned Frogs (11-0, 8-0 Mountain West) rocked the Cowboys (5-6, 3-4).
The last time TCU started 11-0 was in 1938. The capped it off by beating Carnegie Tech for the national championship.
(9) Ohio State 21, Michigan 10: At Ann Arbor, Mich., Tate Forcier threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in his own end zone, and the Buckeyes (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) took advantage to beat the Wolverines (5-7, 1-7) for the sixth straight time.
Michigan has endured consecutive losing years for the first time since the 1962-63 seasons.
(13) Penn State 42, Michigan State 14: At East Lansing, Mich., Daryll Clark passed for 310 yards and four TDs as the Nittany Lions (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) wrapped up their regular season with a victory over the Spartans (6-6, 4-4).
(15) Iowa 12, Minnesota 0: At Iowa City, Iowa, Daniel Murray kicked a pair of field goals and Brandon Wegher scored on a 1-yard plunge to propel the Hawkeyes (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) past the Golden Gophers (6-6, 3-5).
(16) Virginia Tech 38, North Carolina State 10: At Blacksburg, Va., Ryan Williams ran for 120 yards and four touchdowns and Jarrett Boykin had six catches for 164 yards and a score to spark the Hokies (8-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a win over the Wolfpack (4-7, 1-6).
Northwestern 33, (17) Wisconsin 31: At Evanston, Ill., Mike Kafka hit Andrew Brewer with two first-half touchdown passes and Brian Peters and Jordan Mabin made key defensive plays late as the Wildcats (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) upset the Badgers (8-3, 5-3).
(18) Clemson 34, Virginia 21: At Clemson, S.C., C.J. Spiller scored a touchdown and broke the ACC record for all-purpose yards in a season to power the Tigers (8-3, 6-2) past the Cavaliers (3-8, 2-5) and into the conference title game in two weeks where they will face Georgia Tech.
(19) BYU 38, Air Force 21: At Provo, Utah, Max Hall threw for five touchdowns and broke Ty Detmer’s school record with his 30th career win as the Cougars (9-2, 5-1 Mountain West) beat the Falcons (7-5, 5-3).
(21) Miami 34, Duke 16: At Miami, Jacory Harris threw for 348 yards and two TDs, Darryl Sharpton capped his final home game with a 73-yard interception return for a score, and the Hurricanes (8-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast) topped the Blue Devils (5-6, 3-4) for the fourth straight year.
Thaddeus Lewis became Duke’s all-time leader in passing yardage after his 303-yard effort left him with 9,678 career yards.
(23) Utah 38, San Diego State 7: At Salt Lake City, Eddie Wide rushed for 84 yards and two TDs and the Utes (9-2, 6-1 Mountain West) scored all their points in the first half and coasted to a win over the Aztecs (4-7, 2-5).
(24) Houston 55, Memphis 14: At Houston, Case Keenum threw for 405 yards and five TDs in just more than two quarters, and the Cougars (9-2, 5-2 Conference USA) routed the Tigers (2-9, 1-6).
Keenum set a school record for career touchdown passes with 94, surpassing David Klingler’s 91.
Syracuse 31, (25) Rutgers 13: At Syracuse, N.Y., Greg Paulus had 142 yards passing and a TD and the Orange (4-7, 1-5) upset the Scarlet Knights (7-3, 2-3) for their first Big East win of the season.
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