Mike Archer said he had a feeling a missed field goal would finally go his way, and it did Saturday night.
Robert McGinty's 37-yard attempt into a brisk crosswind sailed right with 15 seconds remaining at Baton Rouge, La., enabling No. 7 Louisiana State to defeat No. 19 Florida, 13-10, in the Tigers' Southeastern Conference opener.
"We've missed our share," said Archer, at 34 the youngest head coach in Division I-A football. "It's nice to see somebody else miss it."
Archer recalled a missed field goal last year costing LSU a victory over Mississippi and another the previous season preventing a tie with Alabama.
"Breaks balance out," he said.
The Tigers had to overcome a 10-3 deficit in the final quarter as they began defense of their SEC championship.
David Browndyke's 24-yard field goal with 5:34 remaining broke the 10-10 tie. It was set up on runs of 16 and 23 yards by Sam Martin.
"I didn't hit the ball that well, and with that wind, a ball could go either way," McGinty said of the try that would have tied the game.
McGinty also missed a 42-yard attempt in the third quarter.
The Tigers had gained a 10-10 tie less than five minutes into the final quarter when Harvey Williams ended a 74-yard drive with a 2-yard scoring run.
The Gators had built their 10-3 lead on McGinty's 50-yard field goal in the opening quarter and freshman Emmitt Smith's 7-yard run in the second period.
Smith went over the 100-yard mark for the fourth game in a row for the Gators, tying a school record set by Jimmy DuBose in 1975. He finished with 184 yards in 32 carries.
Tom Hodson provided most of the LSU offense, completing 20 of 31 passes for 223 yards.
It marked the first time since LSU won in 1979 that the home team had prevailed in this series. LSU is 4-0-1. Florida fell to 3-2 and 1-2.
Georgia 31, Mississippi 14--The Bulldogs put it all together at Oxford, Miss., but the debut of freshman tailback Rodney Hampton overshadowed everything else.
Hampton played a key role for the 20th-ranked Bulldogs, who played without injured star tailback Lars Tate. Tate sprained a knee in last week's game against South Carolina.
"Hampton really showed us a lot today," Georgia Coach Vince Dooley said. "I knew he had the moves and was a fine runner in the open field. But today, he showed us that he can stick his helmet in there and pick up yards the tough way."
Hampton rushed for 227 yards in 34 carries and scored on an 8-yard pass from quarterback James Jackson.
Dooley said Georgia played "a pretty complete game--offensively, defensively and in the kicking game. I'm also pleased with the way the offense blocked for Rodney."
Mississippi Coach Billy Brewer said his team "just couldn't execute as well as we would have liked. I guess Georgia had something to do with that. The effort was there."
In addition to the fourth-quarter scoring pass to Hampton, Jackson had a hand in two other touchdowns. The 175-pound senior threw a nine-yard scoring pass to Kirk Warner in the first quarter and scored on a four-yard run in the third quarter.
Jackson completed 8 of 15 passes for 141 yards for Georgia (4-1) in its conference opener. Mark Young provided most of the offense for Ole Miss (4-1), completing 26 of 41 passes for 207 yards.
Alabama 38, SW Louisiana 10--At Birmingham, Ala., Vince Sutton, starting his first college game since 1984, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the 17th-ranked Crimson Tide defeated the Ragin' Cajuns, despite committing five turnovers.
The junior quarterback, replacing injured starter David Smith, completed 7 of 15 passes for 166 yards. He threw one interception. Pierre Goode caught both of Sutton's touchdown passes on plays of 40 and 46 yards. Sutton's scored on a 17-yard run.
The Crimson Tide is 4-1, while the Ragin' Cajuns are 1-3.
Mississippi St. 9, Memphis St. 6--Freshman Joel Logan capped a 57-yard drive with his third field goal as the Bulldogs edged the Tigers at Starkville, Miss.
The Bulldogs (3-2) had led, 6-0, at the half after Logan field goals of 43 yards in the first quarter and 39 yards in the second, and Memphis State (1-3) saw its scoring opportunities killed by mistakes. In all, the Tigers fumbled six times, losing four of those.
Tulane 27, Vanderbilt 17--At New Orleans, Terrence Jones ran for 76 yards and 3 touchdowns and passed for 148 yards to lead the Green Wave (3-2) to its best start since 1979. It was the second victory in a row for Tulane Coach Mack Brown over his brother, Vanderbilt Coach Watson Brown.
The loss dropped Vanderbilt to 1-3. Jones' touchdowns came on runs of one, six and three yards. Fullback Rodney Hunter led Tulane in rushing with 111 yards.
Kentucky 28, Ohio U. 0--Mark Higgs rushed for 3 touchdowns and 169 yards in 19 carries to power the Wildcats to victory in a nonconference game at Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky (3-1) amassed 400 yards on the ground as fullback Andy Murray added 96 yards, and tailback Ivy Joe Hunter had 85.
Higgs has rushed for 2,104 career yards, becoming only the third player in Kentucky history to go over the 2,000-yard mark, joining Sonny Collins and George Adams.
Kentucky quarterback Kevin Dooley left the game in the first quarter with a bruised kidney and didn't return to action.