ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes, including a 25-yarder to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining, and No. 9 Georgia 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 10 teams with a victory that propelled them back into the thick of the national championship race.
LSU (4-1, 1-1) got a career-best 372 yards passing from former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger in his return to Athens, 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 Tigers 25. Then it was Scott-Wesley, breaking wide open behind the secondary to haul in a pass and tiptoe just inside the pylon for the winning score.
Murray ran for Georgia's other touchdown on a sneak and finished with 298 yards passing in Georgia's second victory over a top 10 team after a season-opening loss to Clemson.
Two out of three against top 10 opponents? Georgia will take it.
About 10 minutes after the game, dozens of Georgia players ran back on the field to celebrate with their fans along the famed hedges at Sanford Stadium.
Murray and Mettenberger were in the same recruiting class at Georgia, contending for the starting job in the spring of 2010 until a criminal case ended the competition.
Mettenberger pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery charges and was kicked off the team that summer. His mother, Tammy, still works in football operations for the Bulldogs, though coach Mark Richt gave her the week off because of all the attention surrounding her son.
The former teammates did all that could be expected of them.
Mettenberger had three touchdowns on 23-of-37 passing, continually burning the Bulldogs on third down. He completed a 25-yard pass on Odell Beckham on third-and-22 to improbably extend an LSU drive that led to Hill's go-ahead touchdown.
But Murray delivered the final blow.
Georgia did plenty of damage on the ground in the first half, but star running back Todd Gurley sustained an apparent left ankle injury on a 25-yard run. He didn't return, watching the second half while wearing a windbreaker and walking boot.
The Bulldogs weren't nearly as effective on the ground with Keith Marshall handling the load, but Murray and his receivers took up the slack. Chris Conley had five catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Michael Bennett hauled in a pair of scoring passes.
Georgia finished with 494 yards, though the bulk of those came in a back-and-forth first half that ended with Georgia on top 24-17.
Little-used Kadron Boone had two early touchdown catches for LSU, but Jarvis Landry turned out to be Mettenberger's go-to receiver. The junior had 10 catches for 156 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown that tied the game at 27 late in the third quarter.
After facing Clemson, South Carolina and LSU, Georgia has a much easier schedule the rest of the way, with only one more ranked team in the regular season -- injury plagued Florida. That sets up the Bulldogs to make a run to their third straight SEC East title and trip to the conference championship game.
LSU has a much tougher road, with games still remaining against top-ranked Alabama and No. 10 Texas A&M.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 25, NO. 21 MISS. 0
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- T.J. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards, Kenyan Drake gained 99 and a dominating defense powered No. 1 Alabama to a 25-0 victory over No. 21 Mississippi on Saturday night.
Yeldon scored on a 68-yard run and Drake added a 50-yard scamper to revive a struggling running game for the Crimson Tide (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), which outgained the Rebels 434-205.
Ole Miss (3-1, 1-1) was seeking its first 4-0 start in 43 years but instead was shut out for the first time since Arkansas did it in November 1998.
AJ McCarron completed 25 of 32 passes for 180 yards with an interception for Alabama, which came in ranked last in the league in rushing. Alabama was held to 36 rushing yards in building a 9-0 halftime lead but gained another 218 on the ground in the second half.
Bo Wallace was 17-of-30 passing for 159 yards for the Rebels.
NO. 3 CLEMSON 56, WAKE FOREST 7
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Tajh Boyd became the second Atlantic Coast Conference quarterback to account for 100 career touchdowns and got No. 3 Clemson's offense back on track in a victory over Wake Forest.
Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another score. He stands at 102 TDs in college, joining former North Carolina State quarterback Phillip Rivers in the ACC's century club. Boyd passed for 311 yards and ran for 69 to surpass Charlie Whitehurst as Clemson's total offense leader.
The Tigers (4-0, 2-0) have won their first four games for the second time in Boyd's three seasons as starter. He had been out of sync the past two games, but found his rhythm quickly against Wake Forest (2-3, 0-2).
Boyd had touchdown throws of 64 yards to Sammy Watkins, 75 yards to D.J. Howard and 14 yards to Mike Williams as Clemson took a 35-7 halftime lead.
NO. 8 FSU 48, BOSTON COLLEGE 34
BOSTON -- Jameis Winston threw for four touchdowns, including a 55-yard Hail Mary as time expired in the first half to help No. 8 Florida State rally from a slow start and beat Boston College.
Winston had first-half touchdown passes of 56 and 10 yards to tie the game after BC, coming off a 28-point loss to Southern California, 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 as the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled away.
In all, the Florida State freshman completed 17 of 28 passes for 330 yards and ran 14 times for 67 more.
Chase Rettig completed 19 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a career-high four touchdowns for BC (2-2, 1-1).
W. VIRGINIA 30, NO. 11 OKLA. ST. 21
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Clint Trickett threw a touchdown pass in his first start at West Virginia, Ishmael Banks returned an interception for a touchdown and the Mountaineers shocked No. 11 Oklahoma State, 30-21
Josh Lambert kicked three field goals for West Virginia (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), which rebounded from its first shutout loss in 11 years to outlast the mistake-prone Cowboys.
Trickett became West Virginia's third starting quarterback this season after Ford Childress was injured last week. Trickett finished 24 of 50 for 309 yards.
But after taking a 24-14 halftime lead, West Virginia was held out of the end zone in the second half and relied on its defense to slow down J.W. Walsh.
Walsh threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted twice.
The Cowboys (3-1, 0-1) were penalized 10 times for 96 yards and had four turnovers -- more than their first three games combined.
NO. 12 S. CAROLINA 28, UCF 25
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mike Davis rushed 26 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns, as No. 12 South Carolina overcame an injury to its starting quarterback, four turnovers and a 10-0 halftime deficit to beat UCF.
Davis picked up the slack for a Gamecocks' offense that played the final three quarters without starting QB Connor Shaw. He left the game with a sprained right shoulder following a hard tackle during South Carolina's first offensive series of the contest.
The Knights were sharp early, but failed to convert all but one of the Gamecocks' miscues into points.
UCF rallied late, but had four turnovers of its own, two of which set up South Carolina scores.
Knights' quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 358 yards and two touchdown passes, but had two interceptions and a fumble.
NO. 15 MIAMI 49, S. FLORIDA 21
TAMPA, Fla. -- 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 No. 15 Miami roll past winless South Florida.
Miami (4-0) is off to its best start in nine years heading into next weekend's Atlantic Coast Conference opener at home against Georgia Tech. At 0-4 under first-year coach Willie Taggart, USF is off to the worst start in school history and has dropped 13 of 14 dating to last season.
NO. 20 FLORIDA 24, KENTUCKY 7
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Matt Jones rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown and Tyler Murphy threw for 156 yards and a score as No. 20 Florida beat Kentucky, its 27th straight win over the Wildcats.
Murphy also rushed for a 3-yard TD in his first career start for the Gators (3-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), who closed a difficult week on a high note after losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and defensive tackle Dominique Easley to season-ending injuries.
Joe Mansour's 25-yard run on a fake field goal was the only TD for Kentucky (1-3, 0-1), which was outgained 402-173.
N. ILLINOIS 55, PURDUE 24
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Jordan Lynch threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns, and Northern Illinois scored on a kickoff return and an interception return to rout Purdue 55-24.
It's the first time a Mid-American Conference team has beaten two Big Ten foes in the same season, and the Huskies (4-0) made it look easy, tying the MAC record for victory margin over a Big Ten school. Toledo beat Minnesota by 31 in 2001.
Northern Illinois scored on its first four series, forced five turnovers and led 27-10 at the half as Lynch became the 26th player in Football Bowl Subdivision history to top 4,000 yards passing and 2,000 rushing in his career. He was 18 of 25 and had nine carries for 35 yards and a score.
Purdue (1-4, 0-1) was so bad, coach Darrell Hazell yanked starting quarterback Rob Henry and inserted true freshman Danny Etling late in the first half.
ILLINOIS 50, MIAMI (OH) 14
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 278 yards and five touchdowns and Illinois used a 29-point second quarter to blow by Miami of Ohio.
The senior quarterback had all five touchdown throws for Illinois (3-1) by halftime. He finished 19 of 24 for 278 yards with one interception
Illinois took a 36-0 lead into halftime on Scheelhaase's 45-yard touchdown pass to Matt LaCosse with just over five minutes left in the second quarter.
The Illini got their third win of the season early after finishing 2-10 a year ago and closing with nine-straight losses.
Miami lost its third-straight game to a BCS school after falling to Cincinnati last weekend and Kentucky two weeks ago.
The RedHawks were down 43-0 before they scored a point.
Quarterback Austin Boucher finished 7 of 13 for 95 yards and a touchdown. Fellow signal-caller Austin Gearing carried the ball 16 times for 81 yards.
IOWA 23, MINNESOTA 7
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jake Rudock threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Iowa beat Minnesota on both sides of the ball in a 23-7 victory.
Mark Weisman rushed for 147 yards on 24 carries, and Mike Meyer made three of his four field goal attempts to help the Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0) start the Big Ten with a bang. After losing their opener to Northern Illinois, they've outscored their last two opponents 82-10.
Senior linebackers Christian Kirksey, James Morris and Anthony Hitchens led a stifling effort on defense, including interceptions by Kirksey and Morris of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson. Nelson hadn't played in two weeks because of an injury, but he started ahead of Mitch Leidner for the Gophers (4-1, 0-1).
Nelson lost 18 yards on nine rushes and completed 12 of 24 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown to Derrick Engel, who had 67 yards on five catches.
BOWLING GREEN 31, AKRON 14
BOWLING GREEN -- Travis Greene rushed for 142 yards and one touchdown, leading an explosive Bowling Green offense to a victory over Akron in a Mid-American Conference game.
Greene had 24 carries for the day and leads the Falcons (4-1, 2-0 MAC) running game in 2013 with 409 total yards for an average of 5.5 yards per carry.
Matt Johnson was also proficient, completing 18 of 24 passes for 229 yards and two Flacon touchdowns. Johnson has one of the best pass completion records in the conference this season, hitting 65 percent of his intended targets.
Akron (1-4, 0-1) started with a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter including a touchdown pass from Kyle Pohl to wide receiver L.T. Smith. But the Zips were shut out for the rest of the game. Following today's loss, Akron's offense drops to 89th overall in the FBS and 105th in rushing.
N. CAROLINA ST. 48, C. MICHIGAN 14
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes each had long scoring runs during North Carolina State's four-touchdown second quarter, and the Wolfpack routed Central Michigan, 48-14.
Thornton finished with 71 yards and his 29-yard scoring run came shortly before Dayes' 42-yard TD for N.C. State -- which scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.
D.J. Green returned an interception 37 yards for the first score and Rashard Smith brought a punt back 67 yards for a TD to help N.C. State (3-1) build a 35-0 halftime lead.
Pete Thomas was 14 of 20 for 244 yards with a late 80-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Underwood. He also capped the Wolfpack's big second quarter by running 8 yards for a score.
Cooper Rush threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Titus Davis on the first play of the fourth quarter for the Chippewas (1-4), but also was intercepted three times.
BALL ST. 31, TOLEDO 24
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Jahwan Edwards rushed for three touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner as Ball State held on to defeat Toledo.
The game was tied twice in the fourth quarter before Edwards' third touchdown capped a 71-yard scoring drive with 3:01 to play. Edwards finished with 20 carries for 89 yards.
Ball State (4-1, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) quarterback Keith Wenning rushed for a 7-yard TD to put the Cardinals up 24-17 with 12:11 to play. The Cardinals then regained possession after Toledo turned the ball over on downs on their next offensive series.
The Cardinals were looking to put the game away before Ross Madison picked off a Wenning pass and returned it 21 yards to the Ball St. 34. David Fluellen's 1-yard TD run finished a 6-play Rockets' drive to tie the game at 24 with 6:20 to play.
Fluellen had 129 rushing yards to lead Toledo (2-3, 1-1).
BUFFALO 41, UCONN 12
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bulls beat the Connecticut Huskies for the first time in a dozen years with a 41-12 win, increasing the pressure on third-year Connecticut head coach Paul Pasqualoni.
Buffalo (2-2) scored through the air, on the ground and on defense in building a 28-12 halftime lead while the Huskies (0-4) committed 2 turnovers and had a field goal attempt blocked.
Bulls quarterback Joe Licata led the way with 177 yards passing and three touchdowns, connecting with Fred Lee, Alex Neutz and Mason Schreck for scores.
Huskies quarterback Chandler Whitmer turned the ball over 4 times, including a second-quarter interception that Buffalo corner Najja Johnson returned 33 yards for a touchdown.
Kicker Patrick Clarke hit field goals of 49 and 50 yards for Buffalo.
Receiver Geremy Davis was a bright spot for the Huskies, with 5 catches for 102 yards.