ATHENS, Ga. – Two out of three ain’t bad.
Georgia is certainly not complaining.
Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes, including a 25-yarder to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining, and the No. 9 Bulldogs rallied to beat No. 6 LSU 44-41 in a thrilling game between Southeastern Conference powerhouses Saturday.
The Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0 SEC) completed their opening-month run through a gauntlet of top teams with a victory that propelled them back into the national championship race.
“We’ve played some hard teams,” Scott-Wesley said. “It just shows we’re a great team. We can handle anything anybody throws at us.”
Georgia was only the fourth team since the BCS began in 1998 to face three top-10 teams in the first four games of a season. The Bulldogs opened with a 38-35 loss to Clemson but came back to beat South Carolina 41-30 and now LSU.
LSU (4-1, 1-1) got a career-best 372 yards passing from former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger, and the Tigers went ahead 41-37 on Jeremy Hill’s 8-yard touchdown run with 4:14 to go.
But that was plenty of time for Murray and the high-powered Bulldogs on a day when neither defense had much success. He completed three straight passes to quickly move the Bulldogs into LSU territory, and freshman J.J. Green broke off an 18-yard run to the 25. Scott-Wesley then broke wide open behind the secondary, hauled in a pass and tiptoed just inside the pylon for the winning score.
Murray ran for Georgia’s other touchdown on a sneak and finished with 298 yards passing.
(1) ALABAMA 25, (21) MISSISSIPPI 0: T.J. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards, Kenyan Drake gained 99 and a dominating defense powered the Crimson Tide (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) past the Rebels (3-1, 1-1) at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(3) CLEMSON 56, WAKE FOREST 7: Tajh Boyd joined Philip Rivers as the only Atlantic Coast Conference quarterbacks to account for 100 career touchdowns, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another as the Tigers (4-0, 2-0 ACC) routed the Demon Deacons (2-3, 0-2) at Clemson, S.C.
Boyd has a total of 102 TDs. He passed for 311 yards and ran for 69 to surpass Charlie Whitehurst as Clemson’s total offense leader.
(4) OHIO STATE 31, (23) WISCONSIN 24: Braxton Miller threw a career-high four touchdown passes in his first game in three weeks, and the host Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) ran the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with a victory over the Badgers (3-2, 1-1).
(8) FLORIDA STATE 48, BOSTON COLLEGE 34: Jameis Winston threw for four touchdowns, including a 55-yard Hail Mary as time expired in the first half to help the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 ACC) beat the Eagles (2-2, 1-1).
Winston had first-half touchdown passes of 56 and 10 yards to tie the game after Boston College opened a 17-3 lead. The desperation heave to Kenny Shaw made it 24-17, then Winston added a fourth TD pass in the second half. The freshman completed 17 of 28 passes for 330 yards and ran 14 times for 67 yards.
Chase Rettig had a career-high four touchdown passes for BC.
(10) TEXAS A&M 45, ARKANSAS 33: Johnny Manziel accounted for 320 total yards of offense and threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans as the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) pulled away from the Razorbacks (3-2, 0-1) at Fayetteville, Ark.
Manziel was 23 of 30 passing for 261 yards and rushed for 59 yards.
WEST VIRGINIA 30, (11) OKLAHOMA STATE 21: Clint Trickett threw a touchdown pass in his first start for West Virginia, Ishmael Banks returned an interception for a touchdown and the Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) shocked the visiting Cowboys (3-1, 0-1).
(12) SOUTH CAROLINA 28, CENTRAL FLORIDA 25: Mike Davis rushed 26 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the visiting Gamecocks (3-1) overcame four turnovers and an injury to quarterback Connor Shaw, who sprained his right shoulder in the first quarter.
(14) OKLAHOMA 35, (22) NOTRE DAME 21: Blake Bell threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter as the Sooners (4-0) held off the Fighting Irish (3-2) at South Bend, Ind.
(15) MIAMI 49, SOUTH FLORIDA 21: Stephen Morris threw for two touchdowns before limping off with an ankle injury, and Duke Johnson scored a TD in his eighth consecutive game, helping the visiting Hurricanes (4-0) beat the Bulls (0-4).
(16) WASHINGTON 31, ARIZONA 13: Bishop Sankey carried a school-record 40 times for 161 yards and a touchdown to help the Huskies (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) beat the Wildcats (3-1, 0-1) at Seattle.
(20) FLORIDA 24, KENTUCKY 7: Matt Jones rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown, and Tyler Murphy threw for 156 yards and a score as the visiting Gators (3-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) got their 27th straight win over the Wildcats (1-3, 0-1).