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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.

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
point.

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
1980s.

"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
drive.

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
quarter.

"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."