Louisiana State came a long way to start its season, and JaMarcus Russell made the trip worthwhile.
Russell passed 39 yards to Early Doucet for a climactic touchdown that handed the No. 5 Tigers a 35-31 victory over No. 15 Arizona State last night in Tempe, Ariz., giving Coach Les Miles a victory in his LSU debut.
Doucet went high to pull down Russell's pass on the left side of the end zone and got one foot in at landing. It was the Tigers' fourth touchdown in a furious fourth quarter that began with them trailing, 17-7.
The Tigers' defense still had to stop the Sun Devils (1-1) one last time after Sam Keller threw passes of 27 and 25 yards to start a final drive, and it accomplished that at its own 28-yard line, as Keller threw four straight incompletions. LaRon Landry got between the ball and Arizona State's Derek Hagan on third down, and Ronnie Prude went to the ground with Terry Richardson after a low pass on fourth down with 31 seconds to go.
* GEORGIA 17, SOUTH CAROLINA 15: Thomas Brown scored on a five-yard run with 111/2 minutes to go, the Gamecocks failed to convert a two-point conversion and the No. 9 Bulldogs held on at home.
The Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) lost 11 times in 12 years to South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier when he was at Florida.
Clinging to a 10-9 lead, Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley scampered 14 yards, Danny Ware broke off a 16-yard gain and Brown did the rest, carrying five times for 33 yards on the drive, capped by his score with 11 minutes 24 seconds remaining.
Brown finished with 144 yards on 20 carries, leading Georgia's 238-yard effort on the ground.
But the Gamecocks weren't done.
On third and 18, Blake Mitchell connected with Syvelle Newton for a 34-yard pass, then threw a 24-yarder to Sidney Rice. Finally, Mitchell found Rice on a four-yard touchdown play with 6:52 to play.
The Gamecocks, who earlier missed an extra point, went for two, but Mitchell overthrew Rice. South Carolina got the ball once more with just over a minute to go, but went four-and-out deep in Georgia's territory.
Mitchell completed 22 of 34 for 236 yards, but also was intercepted twice. South Carolina (1-1, 0-1) managed just 43 yards rushing.
* GEORGIA TECH 27, UNC 21: Reggie Ball threw for two touchdowns and a career-high 320 yards, including eight passes for 131 yards to Damarius Bilbo, for the host No. 17 Yellow Jackets.
After North Carolina pulled to within six points late in the fourth quarter, the Tar Heels stopped Tech on three plays and took possession at its 41 with 2:51 left to play. Tech's Dennis Davis intercepted a long pass from Matt Baker near the goal line to end the threat.
The Tar Heels (0-1, 0-1 ACC) got the ball again at their 19 with 44 seconds left, but Baker's third interception of the game ended the comeback hopes.
Ball also ran for a nine-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the ACC opener for both teams.
In his first start, North Carolina's Baker completed 18 of 39 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score.
For Tech (2-0, 1-0), Calvin Johnson added six catches for 114 yards and P.J. Daniels rushed for 103 yards as Georgia Tech finished with 475 total yards.
Lewis intercepted Baker in the end zone with 6:47 left to play, but Lewis was beaten on a 17-yard scoring pass from Baker to Jawarski Pollock, pulling the Tar Heels to within six points at 27-21 with 4:16 left.
Ball's previous high was 288 yards passing against Connecticut in 2004. The junior had to protect his starting job in spring practice after throwing 18 interceptions last season, but -- thanks in part to the league's new instant replay rule -- he did not have a turnover against the Tar Heels.
On his first pass attempt, Ball threw low for Johnson and officials ruled North Carolina cornerback Cedrick Holt intercepted the ball. The ruling was overturned following the video review.
Able to retain possession, Tech took a 7-0 lead on Ball's five-yard pass to Daniels following Daniels's 36-yard run.
Tech pushed its lead to 14-0 in the second quarter on Ball's 48-yard touchdown pass to Bilbo, who lost his helmet while falling backward in the end zone.
* SMU 21, TCU 10: DeMyron Martin ran for two touchdowns and caught a 22-yard touchdown pass, leading Southern Methodist (1-1) to an upset of No. Texas Christian in Dallas, the Mustangs most important victory since coming off the death penalty in 1989.
SMU hadn't beaten a ranked team since Oct. 11, 1986. That was only part of the humiliation for the Horned Frogs (1-1), who had vaulted into the rankings following a 17-10 win at Oklahoma the previous weekend.
* CALIFORNIA 56, WASHINGTON 17: Joe Ayoob overcame a shaky start, picking apart the Huskies' secondary for four first-half touchdown passes to lead the No. 16 Golden Bears in Seattle.
Coming off an 0-for-10 debut against Sacramento State, Ayoob was intercepted by Darin Harris on the game's opening play and missed on his first three attempts.
Once the junior found Robert Jordan on an 11-yard completion with 9:47 left in the first, Ayoob settled into a rhythm. He finished 17 of 27 for 271 yards for California (2-0, 1-0 Pacific-10). Jordan had 11 catches for 192 yards.
Isaiah Stanback finished 22 of 39 for 301 yards for Washington (0-2, 0-1).
* OKLAHOMA 31, TULSA 15: In Norman, Okla., Adrian Peterson ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns and made the 18th-ranked Sooners' passing game unnecessary as Oklahoma avoided a second stunning loss.
With new starter Rhett Bomar struggling at quarterback, Oklahoma (1-1) didn't even attempt a pass in the second half. The Sooners' recipe for success was to give the ball to Peterson.
After Tulsa (0-2) pulled ahead 9-7 in the third quarter on Brad DeVault's third field goal, Peterson took over. He ate up all 58 yards as the Sooners marched downfield to regain the lead.
* FLORIDA 41, LA. TECH 3: DeShawn Wynn, back from a one-game suspension for violating an unspecified team rule, ran 16 times for 101 yards and scored three touchdowns, powering the 10th-ranked Gators at home.
Florida Coach Urban Meyer accomplished something that his predecessor, Ron Zook, never did: start 2-0. Chris Leak finished 13 of 22 for 219 yards and two touchdowns for Florida.
* PURDUE 49, AKRON 24: Jerod Void ran for 101 yards and a score, and Dustin Keller caught two touchdown passes to lead the No. 13 Boilermakers at home.
Brandon Kirsch completed 22 of 34 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns for Purdue (1-0), which had 267 yards passing and rushed for 211. Dorien Bryant caught nine passes for 70 yards.
Luke Getsy was 25 for 44 for 283 yards and two touchdowns for the Zips (0-1).
* BOSTON COLLEGE 44, ARMY 7: In Boston, Will Blackmon ran across the field and turned the corner for a 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter to spark the No. 19 Eagles.
Boston College (2-0) hosts No. 11 Florida State next Saturday in its first Atlantic Coast Conference game since leaving the Big East. Quinton Porter was 15 for 20 for 206 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles. Zac Dahman was 17 for 32 for 154 yards and two interceptions for Army (0-1).
* FLORIDA STATE 62, THE CITADEL 10: Drew Weatherford bounced back after struggling in his first collegiate start to throw for 342 yards and two touchdowns to lead the No. 11 Seminoles at home. Weatherford completed 26 of 37 passes, a vast improvement from Monday's 7-of-24 showing for just 67 yards against Miami.
* TEXAS TECH 56, FLORIDA INTL. 3: Cody Hodges threw for 454 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another to lead the 21st-ranked Red Raiders in their opener at home.
Texas Tech running back Taurean Henderson moved three catches closer to becoming the NCAA leader in receptions for a running back. He now needs 24 to break Mark Templeton's 262 receptions for Long Beach State.