BEAUMONT, Texas -- Shelton Eppler teamed with Jazz Ferguson for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, but it was a blocked PAT in the final minutes that turned aside Lamar for a 49-48 win to open Southland Conference play with a shootout on Saturday night.
Eppler threw for a school-record six touchdown passes, the last two to Ferguson, and he smashed the single-game record with 474 yards passing. Ferguson finished with four catches for 142 yards.
The teams combined for 1,055 total yards.
Darrel Colbert ran for three touchdowns and passed for four as Lamar (1-2-0-1), which trailed 28-0 midway through the second quarter came roaring back. Northwestern State (2-1, 1-0) broke away from a 35-35 tie thanks to a pair of terrific TD catches by the 6-fooot-5 Ferguson.
He stretched for a leaping pirouette to pull in a one-handed catch and outran a defender for a 70-yard TD, then pulled in a 9-yarder as the Demons surged ahead 49-35 .
Time to breathe easy? Of course not, Colbert escaped a collapsing pocket to score from the 8, then fired a 37-yard jump ball in the end zone for Dorian Gaston and the Cardinals were within a point.
But O'Shea Jackson got a piece of the PAT kick and sent the ball wide left, preserving the 49-48 win.
The USC defense was dealt a major blow Sunday, when coach Clay Helton announced that senior outside linebacker Porter Gustin would miss the remainder of the season with a fractured ankle.
Tennessee State says linebacker Christion Abercrombie, in critical condition since he collapsed during a game on Sept. 29, has been upgraded to stable condition.
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt says outside linebacker Jonathan Kongbo has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the remainder of the season.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has a first-degree sprain in his throwing shoulder, according to an MRI performed Sunday, the team announced.
Mike Jinks is out as Bowling Green's head coach after a 1-6 start for the Falcons. Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini will take over the duties in the interim.
A chaotic Week 7 has shuffled our bowl projections, resulting in plenty of new possible matchups.