For most of the day, it was a defensive struggle. Then, with the clock winding down, LSU and Georgia started trading touchdowns as though the defenses weren’t even on the field.
The Southeastern Conference rivals combined for three TDs in the final three minutes, but Charles Scott scored the one that mattered most on a 33-yard run with 46 seconds remaining to give No. 4 LSU a wild 20-13 victory over 18th-ranked Georgia in Athens, Ga.
Next up for LSU: a showdown with top-ranked Florida in Baton Rouge on Saturday night.
Scott appeared stopped at the line, hemmed in by at least three Georgia tacklers. But he stumbled out of the pack, putting down a hand to stay up, and didn’t stop running until he got to the end zone.
Neither team reached the end zone through the first three quarters, but they sure made up for it in the fourth.
In the end, LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC) benefited from an excessive-celebration penalty after A.J. Green came down with a brilliant catch to put Georgia (3-2, 2-1) ahead with 1:09 left. The Tigers got good field position on the ensuing kickoff and won it on Scott’s hard-nosed run.
(3) Alabama 38, Kentucky 20: At Lexington, Ky., Mark Ingram ran for a career-high 140 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide past the mistake-prone Wildcats.
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy added a pair of scoring passes as the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) pulled away from the Wildcats (2-2, 0-2) during a dizzying stretch in the second and third quarters when it scored 24 points in just more than 5 minutes.
(6) Virginia Tech 34, Duke 26: At Durham, N.C., Tyrod Taylor threw two long TD passes and the Hokies dodged a letdown in a win against the Blue Devils. Taylor was 17 of 22 for a career-high 327 yards, with TD tosses of 36 yards to Danny Coaleand 28 yards to Jarrett Boykin. Josh Oglesby had two late TD runs for Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0 ACC).
The Hokies claimed their ninth straight victory over the Blue Devils (2-3, 0-1).
(9) Ohio State 33, Indiana 14: At Bloomington, Ind., Terrelle Pryor threw three TD passes and rushed for another score in the Buckeyes’ big win over the Hoosiers (3-2, 0-2).
The Buckeyes (4-1, 2-0) gave up their first points in nine quarters, but ran away with their 16th straight Big Ten road win, one short of tying the conference record.
(10) Cincinnati 37, Miami (Ohio) 13: At Oxford, Ohio, Jacob Ramsey ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns in Cincinnati’s pass-oriented offense, and the Bearcats (5-0) broke open a close game in the fourth quarter in a victory over the Redhawks (0-5).
Tony Pike had a so-so game, going 23 of 42 for 270 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The senior came in with 70.5 percent completion percentage, but repeatedly forced throws against a defense stacked to stop the pass.
(11) TCU 39, SMU 14: At Forth Worth, Texas, Jeremy Kerley returned a punt 71 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and the 11th-ranked Horned Frogs overcame three first-half turnovers to avoid another letdown against the Mustangs.
Antoine Hicks had a 2-yard TD run and caught a 28-yard scoring pass from Andy Dalton for TCU (4-0), which averted a repeat of four years ago against SMU (2-2).
Dalton completed 12 of 20 passes for 189 yards with two touchdown and an interception.
UTEP 58, (12) Houston 41: At El Paso, Texas, Donald Buckram ran for a career-high 262 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Miners to an upset of the No. 12 Cougars.
Miner fans stormed the field seconds after the unranked Miners (2-3, 1-0 Conference USA) won, beating a ranked team for the first time in 12 years.
The Cougars (3-1, 0-1) lost despite a career night from Case Keenum, who threw for 536 yards and five touchdowns.
(13) Iowa 24, Arkansas State 21: At Iowa City, Iowa, Ricky Stanzi threw for a season-high 296 yards and three touchdowns to give the Hawkeyes their best start since 1995 with a victory over the Red Wolves.
Marvin McNutt caught two touchdown passes for Iowa (5-0), which allowed the Red Wolves (1-3) to hang around far too long – much like it did in a narrow win over Northern Iowa in the opener.
(15) Penn State 35, Illinois 17: At Champaign, Ill., Evan Royster and Stephon Green each ran for more than 100 yards and Darryl Clark added a pair of TDs rushing on a wet, windy day to lead the Nittany Lions (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) past the Illini (1-3, 0-2).
Green had 120 yards on 13 carries and Royster added 105 on 17. But it was Clark who led a pair of third-quarter drives that decided the game. He scored 1-yard touchdowns to end each and stretch what had been a 7-3 halftime lead to 21-3.
(21) Mississippi 23, Vanderbilt 7: At Nashville, Tenn., Jevan Snead passed for three touchdowns to overcome his three interceptions and the Rebels (3-1, 1-1 SEC) bounced back after last week’s loss to South Carolina with a win over the Commodores (2-3, 0-2).
Snead matched his season high with three TDs. Vanderbilt picked off four Snead passes a year ago in Oxford, Miss. They nearly matched that with Jamie Graham, Casey Heyward and Myron Lewis each intercepting a pass.
But Ole Miss’ Marcus Temple intercepted Larry Smith in the end zone with 10:55 left to help preserve a 23-7 lead.
Michigan State 26, (22) Michigan 20 (OT): At East Lansing, Mich., freshman Larry Caper ran for a 23-yard touchdown in overtime, giving the Spartans a win over the Wolverines for their first consecutive victories in the series since 1967.
Chris L. Rucker had intercepted Tate Forcier in the end zone on the Wolverines’ overtime possession to keep Michigan (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) from scoring.
Forcier had led the Wolverines on yet another last-minute touchdown drive to tie the game at 20 with 2 seconds left in regulation.
(25) Georgia Tech 42, Mississippi State 31: At Starkville, Miss., Josh Nesbitt threw for a career-high 266 yards and the Yellow Jackets (4-1) converted three Bulldog turnovers into touchdowns in a victory.
The Yellow Jackets (4-1) and Bulldogs (2-3) both scored on reverses and converted a combined six fourth downs, including a fake field goal by Mississippi State. The Bulldogs’ Leon Berry had an 89-yard kickoff return score and Tech’s Jerrard Tarrant returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown.