(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: (4) LSU 20, (18) Georgia 13
Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Charles Scott rushed for two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the game, the latter a 33-yard score with 46 seconds left that gave No. 4 LSU a dramatic 20-13 victory over 18th-ranked Georgia in a classic SEC battle.
Scott finished with 95 yards on 19 carries for LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC), while Jordan Jefferson passed for 212 yards with an interception on 18-of-27 attempts in the win, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
"Our opponent played awfully hard today. Our football team will beat you up and steal the game if you turn your back on them. I am so proud of our football team and it is fun being undefeated at this time," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "The most important characteristic of a football team is to find a way to win."
The Tigers get an even stiffer test next week when they host defending champion and top-ranked Florida.
Georgia's A.J. Green caught five balls for 99 yards and a go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute to play, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the score allowed LSU good field position to steal the win in the waning seconds.
Joe Cox threw an interception in a last-gasp drive, finishing with two touchdowns and 229 yards on 18-of-34 attempts for the Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1), who had won three straight since a season-opening loss to Oklahoma State.
LSU used a 13-play, 88-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to go ahead. On second down from the two, Scott ran off-tackle right and bounced into the end zone with 2:53 remaining. The two-point try failed when Rennie Curran sacked Jefferson, keeping it a 12-7 game.
On the fourth play of the ensuing possession, Tavarres King was left open down the left sideline, and a shoe-string tackle saved a touchdown. The 46-yard gain moved the ball to the LSU 16, where two plays later Cox allowed his receiver to make a play in the end zone.
LSU's Jarred Joseph had position on Green, who jumped over the defender, came down with the ball and managed to keep his right foot inbounds for the highlight-reel touchdown with 1:09 to play. It remained 13-12 in favor of Georgia after Cox's two-point pass fell incomplete.
An unsportsmanlike conduct after the score in addition to Trindon Holliday's 40-yard kickoff return gave the Tigers possession in enemy territory. On the second play of the drive, Scott broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and rumbled 33 yards for the go-ahead TD. Brandon LaFell caught a pass from Jefferson on the two-point try, making it a seven-point game.
LSU was also assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty after the score, but Cox's interception capped a wildly entertaining fourth quarter and kept LSU in the national title picture.
Jefferson was picked off deep in Georgia territory on LSU's first touch of the game. Later in the opening quarter, consecutive incompletions made the Tigers settle for a 23-yard Josh Jasper field goal with 3:51 remaining in the frame.
While Georgia's offense ran in place, the Bulldogs defense continued to bend but not break. Scott was tackled for a loss on 3rd-and-1 from the Georgia 22, and Jasper was true from 42 yards out early in the second quarter.
LSU had the ball again in the red zone later in the half, but Jefferson was stuffed on 4th-and-1 from the Georgia nine, turning the ball over on downs.
"We had a rough first half to say the least," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "Offensively, we didn't get anything going. To be down six at the half was a pretty good victory, considering what was going on. We were bound to get something sparked offensively in the second half."
A pair of sacks forced a quick LSU punt out of the break, and Green's 32-yard reception had the Bulldogs moving. Blair Walsh, though, pushed a 32-yard chip shot wide right after the drive stalled.
Four third-down conversions on Georgia's next possession moved the ball inside the enemy's five-yard line. After Michael Moore was tackled just short of the goal line on 3rd-and-goal, the Bulldogs went for it on fourth.
A play-action rollout allowed Shaun Chapas to break open in the right flat and Cox hit him for the touchdown 45 seconds into the final stanza. The meticulous, 60-yard march lasted 18 plays and nearly eight minutes.
Georgia plays at Tennessee next week...LSU owns a 15-12-1 series lead over Georgia...Georgia had just one first down in the opening 30 minutes, finishing with 11, compared to 19 for LSU...Washaun Ealey led Georgia with 33 rushing yards on eight carries...Terrance Toliver had a team-high six grabs for 76 yards for LSU...Curran logged 16 tackles in defeat.
10/03 20:59:09 ET