Ole Miss vs. LSU 2012 Final Score: Tigers avoid upset, escape with 41-35 win

Crystal Logiudice-US PRESSWIRE

A seesaw SEC battle ended with the Tigers narrowly avoiding a major upset.

The No. 7 Tigers got more than they bargained for on Saturday, as it took a 1-yard touchdown run from Jeremy Hill with 15 seconds remaining to avoid an upset at the hands of the Ole Miss Rebels. Here's the play that'll be talked about for years to come, an Odell Beckham punt return with nine minutes left that tied it up for LSU:

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Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5 SEC) struck first, at the 10:16 mark of the first quarter on a 58-yard run by sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace. LSU struck back immediately, on a 27-yard run by freshman running back Jeremy Hill to tie the score at 7.

Wallace took to the air for his second strike of the first quarter, throwing a 56-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief to pull the Rebels ahead 14-7.

LSU (9-2, 5-2 SEC) answered back in the second quarter with a 22-yard field goal by Drew Alleman, and followed with a 1-yard touchdown dive by junior Spencer Ware to take a 17-14 lead with 9:57 to go in the half.

The resilient Rebels secured a lead heading into the half, when Wallace scored on a 1-yard run with 50 seconds remaining on the clock to give Ole Miss a 21-17 lead.

A 24-yard field goal by Alleman narrowed the Rebels' lead to 21-20 with 11:42 left in the third quarter, but a 6-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Randall Mackey late in the third gave Ole Miss a 28-20 cushion.

LSU threw a counter punch early in the fourth quarter when Hill scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and added a 2-point conversion to tie the game at 28, but Ole Miss answered back immediately on a 30-yard pass from Wallace to Donte Moncrief to pull ahead 35-28.

The seesaw battle continued, as Odell Beckham returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown to even the score at 35 with 9:10 remaining.

LSU managed to avoid a major upset with 15 seconds remaining, as Hill punched in a 1-yard run for a touchdown -- his third of the game -- to give the Tigers a 41-35 win.

Box Score Hero: It was all about the freshman, Jeremy Hill, who rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns -- including the game-winner -- on 21 carries.

Rankings Ramifications: It's highly unlikely that the Tigers will make a move up in the rankings, as No. 6 Florida, No. 5 Georgia and No.4 Alabama all posted convincing wins on Saturday, but it is possible they could slip a spot or two after floundering against the Rebels. Especially after No. 8 Texas A&M's 47-14 blowout of Sam Houston State. Ole Miss is not in consideration for the Top 25.

But Did They Cover?: The Tigers did not come close to covering, as they were 18.5-point favorites heading into the game.

For More On This Game: For more on Tigers football, visit LSU blog And The Valley Shook, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills. For more on Rebels football, visit Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

Next Week's Schedule: LSU squares off against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on CBS. Ole Miss will play host to the Mississippi St. Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. ET Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN U.

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