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Auburn miracle sets up Iron Bowl showdown

November 17, 2013

A stunning touchdown reception on a ‘Hail Mary’ pass gave Auburn a 43-38 victory over Georgia on Saturday to revive its chances of a Southeast Conference championship and maybe even college football’s national title.

With Auburn facing a fourth-and-18 play with 25 seconds left, quarterback Nick Marshall heaved the ball downfield with two defenders around Ricardo Louis, and it bounced off the safety into Louis’ hands and his juggling 73-yard reception produced a memorable win.

Auburn finishes the season against No. 1 Alabama and a victory in the Iron Bowl would put the Tigers in the SEC championship game. They have one loss this season, but an SEC championship might be able to get them to the BCS championship game.

However the other contenders were dominant as usual on Saturday.

Alabama overcame four turnovers to beat Mississippi State 20-7, with T.J. Yeldon rushing for 160 yards and A.J. McCarron throwing two touchdown passes.

Florida State cruished through the Atlantic Coast Conference game to beat Syracuse 59-3, with quarterback Jameis Winston — who is under investigation for alleged sexual assault — completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns while Braxton Miller had another 184 yards rushing and two scores as the Buckeyes beat Illinois 60-35.

Baylor’s Bryce Petty threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Bears stayed undefeated and overcame their first double-digit deficit of the season to beat Texas Tech 63-34.

Stanford was on the wrong end of an upset, beaten 20-17 by the University of Southern California, with Andre Heidari kicking a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play.

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns and the Ducks rebounded from last week’s loss to Stanford by beating Utah 44-21.

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