Sept. 20, 2008
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Auburn, Ala. (AP)
- Another LSU-Auburn thriller goes to the Tigers from Louisiana.
Jarrett Lee and Brandon LaFell connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:03 left to lift No. 6 LSU to yet another dramatic comeback win over No. 10 Auburn, 26-21 Saturday in an SEC West showdown that once again produced a fantastic finish and wild momentum swings.
The only major difference in this one was the road team came out on top. The last eight games in the series had gone to the home team.
Lee took over for an injured Andrew Hatch in the third quarter and produced a series of big plays to make up for a lousy start for LSU (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference). Lee missed his first five throws, with an interception returned for a touchdown.
Auburn (3-1, 1-1) moved to LSU's 47 on the final drive, with help from Rahim Alem's roughing the passer penalty. Alem atoned with a sack of Chris Todd to recoup the 15-yard loss.
Todd's desperation fourth-and-25 pass to Rod Smith came up short of the first down.
LSU won last year's meeting on Demetrius Byrd's last-second touchdown catch from Matt Flynn, and Byrd came up big again.
He pulled in a 22-yard halfback pass from Keiland Williams on the final play of the third quarter for a 17-14 lead. Colt David added a 32-yard field goal with 8:27 left.
Todd and Auburn's offense had kept the team alive. He hit Robert Dunn for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 6:40 left on third-and-9. It was set up by a 58-yard heave to Tim Hawthorne when Todd rolled left, turned around and saw Hawthorne running free near the right sideline.
Lee, who had been platooning with Hatch, was 4-for-4 on the winning drive for 43 yards. LSU had taken over near midfield after Ryan Shoemaker's 34-yard punt.
It was the first major test for the defending national champions, who opened with wins over Appalachian State and North Texas.
Once again, LSU passed. And ran, too.
Charles Scott rushed for 132 tackle-breaking yards against an Auburn defense that was virtually untouchable in a 3-2 win at Mississippi State last weekend but appeared to weaken under the 233-pounder's barrage.
Lee was 11-for-22 for 182 yards and two touchdowns, including a 39-yarder to Chris Mitchell in the third.
Todd had his most productive game as Auburn's starter, going 17-for-32 for 250 yards. But he was intercepted twice.
Auburn's Ben Tate was held to 45 yards on 19 carries. Fellow tailback Brad Lester left with a right leg injury in the third quarter.
Hatch was only 2-for-6 for 16 yards for LSU, but ran for 51 yards. He looked wobbly after his final run and was helped off the field after going to the ground while trying to walk to LSU's sideline.