AUBURN, Ala. — Nick Marshall ran for three touchdowns and passed for a score and No. 5 Auburn survived a 42-35 scare from South Carolina after Steve Spurrier made a succession of gambles pay off.
The Tigers (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) finally stopped the onslaught of Spurrier, Dylan Thompson and fourth-down magic late in the game. Auburn burned off four-plus minutes from the clock after the first unsuccessful gamble before the Gamecocks (4-4, 2-4) made a stop at midfield for one more shot.
Thompson, who threw five touchdown passes and helped convert five straight fourth-down tries, took over at his own 15 with no timeouts and 1:08 left. Jonathan Jones made his second interception in the end zone on Thompson’s last-play heave to preserve the Tigers’ SEC and national title hopes.
The 18-point underdog Gamecocks converted an onside kick and four fourth-down plays in their own territory.
Missouri 24, Vanderbilt 14: In Columbia, Mo., Bud Sasser scored two touchdowns and Russell Hansbrough added another to lead Missouri past Vanderbilt and end a two-game home losing streak.
After scoring twice apiece on special teams and defense last week at Florida, the Tigers (6-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) used three touchdowns by their offense against the Commodores (2-6, 0-5).
Missouri gained 385 total yards, easily eclipsing its combined total of 266 yards in its last two games. Maty Mauk completed 11 of 23 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns while Marcus Murphy added 93 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Johnny McCrary completed 17 of 31 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start for Vanderbilt, becoming the team’s fourth quarterback to start this season because of injuries.
Missouri leaned heavily on its rushing attack, running 46 times for 244 yards compared to 23 passing attempts.
Arkansas 45, UAB 17: In Fayetteville, Ark., Jonathan Williams rushed for a career-high 153 yards and had two touchdowns, and even 350-pound offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola had a part in the fun as Arkansas rolled over Alabama-Birmingham.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Razorbacks (4-4), who led 35-0 at halftime and outgained the Blazers 484-195.
Tretola, the heaviest player on the Arkansas roster, provided the biggest highlight for the Razorbacks with his 6-yard touchdown pass to Alan D’Appollonio in the second quarter.
Williams topped his previous best of 151 yards rushing, set last year against Louisiana-Lafayette, while Brandon Allen added 205 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns.
Alabama-Birmingham (4-4), which had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by J.J. Nelson, played without injured quarterback Cody Clements.