Home, sweet home: LSU 8-0 with OT win over Mississippi

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- JaMarcus Russell and Dwayne Bowe could

not have chosen a more crucial moment to become the most prolific

touchdown combination in LSU history.

On fourth-and-goal with 14 seconds remaining in regulation,

Russell drilled a slant pass to Bowe in traffic. The 5-yard

touchdown pass marked the 22nd time the pair combined for a score,

the most in school history.

It also tied the game, setting the stage for Colt David's

26-yard field goal in overtime that allowed No. 9 LSU to escape

with a 23-20 victory over upset-minded rival Mississippi on

Saturday night.

"JaMarcus told me before the play, 'Go to the left and I need a

big one out of you," Bowe recalled. "I told him, 'Just put it in

my reach and I promise I will come through for you.' As we lined up

for the play, we both looked at each other because we knew we could

do it."

But Mississippi wasn't through.

Home-field advantage

LSU Tigers
LSU beat Mississippi 23-20 in overtime to finish with an 8-0 home record for the first time in school history. Here are the numbers for LSU at home this season:

Opp. PPG8.8
Total YPG427.3
Opp. Total YPG222.9

The touchdown tied the game, and LSU (9-2, 5-2 SEC) only needed

an extra point for the win. The crowd gasped when Mississippi burst

through the middle of the line and John Jerry blocked David's extra


Mississippi (3-8, 1-6) opened overtime on offense. They came

away with no points, however, when LSU's Daniel Francis forced Ole

Miss quarterback Brent Schaeffer to fumble and Tyson Jackson

recovered for the Tigers.

It was a crushing loss for the Rebels, who were 27-point

underdogs and were in position to pull out a shocking victory.

"In some ways we're proud off our football team, but in other

ways we're very disappointed that we didn't find a way to win the

game in the fourth quarter," Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron said.

"There's no way we're going to stay satisfied about just coming in

here and going to over time. I feel bad for my young men. They

played their hearts out for our fans and we came here to win."

LSU trailed 20-7 when the Tigers opened a drive on their own

41-yard line with 11:13 to play.

Russell marched LSU down the field in 2:27, hitting Early Doucet

for a leaping grab in the end zone on a 4-yard pass to make the

score 20-14. Russell completed five passes for 46 yards on the

drive, misfiring only once.

LSU's game-tying drive began at the Tigers' 42 with 2:35

remaining. Russell drove quickly drove LSU downfield with a pair of

completions and scrambles of 15 and 12 yards to set up a

first-and-goal at the 5.

But three straight incompletions left Mississippi one play from

victory when Russell and Bowe connected for the second time in the

game, breaking a school record that had been held by Tommy Hodson

and Wendell Davis, who combined for 21 touchdowns in the late


"That's what big games are for. You can't be nervous. You go

out there and make plays," Russell said. "I always just think,

never give up. ... As a team, I think we stepped it up, looked at

one-another, knew what we had to go out there and do, and just made

it happen."

Russell, a junior who could turn pro and may have played his

last game in Tiger Stadium, finished 19-of-35 for 217 yards and

three touchdowns. Bowe had seven catches for 64 yards.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the load for Ole Miss, using

powerful, tackle-breaking runs for 96 yards and a touchdown. Ole

Miss' two quarterbacks, Schaeffer and Seth Adams, combined for only

95 yards passing and one touchdown from Schaeffer to Bruce Hall.

Ole Miss held the Tigers to a scoreless tie through the first

quarter, even converting a fake punt on fourth-and-1 on its opening


But the Rebels paid for trying a second fake punt in their own

territory late in the first quarter. It failed and led to LSU's

first score off the game as Russell hit Bowe on a third-and-goal

from the 13 for a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The ensuing kickoff went into the end zone for what should have

been a touchback, but LSU was called offsides. On the rekick,

Marshay Green found an opening on the left side, then cut right for

a 53-yard return to the LSU 34. Six plays later, Hall took a screen

pass 22 yards for a score.

Ole Miss gambled again, recovering an onside kick on the LSU 39.

After a 15-yard personal foul took Ole Miss to the LSU 19,

Green-Ellis carried five times in a row, the last a soaring dive

over a pile at the goal line to put Mississippi up 14-7 before a

shocked crowd of 92,449 in Death Valley.

It was the first time all season LSU had found itself trailing

in eight games in Tiger Stadium.

Green came up with anther big return, this one for 62 yards, as

Ole Miss opened the second half on the LSU 33. Kicker Joshua Shene,

who missed a late field goal from 37 yards late in the first half,

hit from 38 to put Ole Miss ahead 17-7.

Riding the back of Green-Ellis' powerful runs again, Mississippi

took a 20-7 lead on Shene's 45-yard field goal late in the third


"Everything that could have happened in the benefit of Ole Miss

happened in the first half and they played well," LSU coach Les

Miles said. "Their effort was tremendous. But it wasn't going to

be. Our football team understands how to come from behind. There

wasn't a question. Our defense was going to stop them and we were

going to have enough time to come back and win it."