BATON ROUGE, La. (Sports Network) - Stevan Ridley's touchdown with no time remaining lifted 12th-ranked LSU to a 16-14 victory over Tennessee at Tiger Stadium.
LSU appeared to have lost the game with 3rd-and-goal and the ball on the Volunteers' one as time wound down, having no ability to stop the clock except for a spike. Jordan Jefferson was under center but the snap eluded him by a good 10 yards as the clock expired.
A wild celebration by Tennessee coaches and players was interrupted, though, as the Vols were called for having 13 men on the field during that play. LSU was given the ball on the one-yard line and no time left. Ridley then powered through the line for the winning score.
Jarrett Lee was 16-of-23 for 185 yards and one interception while Ridley finished with 123 yards on 22 carries for the Tigers, (5-0, 3-0 SEC), who face Florida at the Swamp next Saturday.
Jefferson added 100 rushing yards on five carries, including an 83-yard TD on the first play of the game. Terrence Toliver had three catches for 52 yards in the shocking victory.
Matt Simms finished 12-of-23 for 121 yards and appeared to have rushed for the winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter for the Volunteers (2-3, 0-2), who have dropped three of four.
Tauren Poole posted 109 yards and a score on 24 carries, while Gerald Jones added five receptions for 46 yards in the setback.
Trailing 14-10, Lee was picked off by LaMarcus Thompson in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter, but LSU held Poole to no gain on a 4th-and-1 from its own 31 with 5:41 to play.
Lee hit Reuben Randle to convert a third-and-short, then found Toliver to convert a 3rd-and-13 from the Tennessee 48 inside of two minutes to play. However, another third-down try to Toliver failed. On 4th-and-9 from the 33, a delay-of-game pushed the situation to 4th-and-14 from the 38, but Lee connected with Toliver for 21 yards and a first down.
Deangelo Peterson caught a seven-yard pass and Ridley rushed for a first down to the Volunteers' seven. A pass interference penalty on the next play placed the ball on the two and after an incompletion, Jefferson rushed to the one. That set up the final chain of events.
Jefferson exploded for an 83-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to give LSU the lead. Tennessee responded late in the first quarter on a one-yard plunge by Poole.
LSU coughed up a chance to score early in the second when Peterson lost a fumble at the Vols' 28, but neither team contributed much offensively for the rest of the half.
An interception by Nick Reveiz at the Tigers' 38 gave Tennessee possession early in the third quarter. The drive stalled at the LSU 28 after a sack of Simms, then Michael Palardy missed a 45-yard field goal wide right to keep the game deadlocked.
LSU took a 10-7 lead on the second play of the fourth quarter as Josh Jasper booted a 31-yarder to cap an eight-play drive. Tennessee struck on the following series when Simms rolled in from the three for a 14-10 Vols edge.