With a running game like LSU's, maybe it doesn't matter who plays quarterback.
Charles Scott rushed for a career-high 160 yards on 16 carries, including touchdowns of 8 and 29 yards, and No. 7 LSU rolled to 41-13 victory against Appalachian State on Saturday.
LSU coach Les Miles finally answered the question of who his starting quarterback would be when Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch took the field on the Tigers' opening three series, which produced 17 points. Miles also gave redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee a chance to run the show. Both threw their first touchdown passes as Tigers, but the real damage was done while they handed off.
LSU finished with 266 yards rushing. Hatch was seven of 14 passing for 77 yards, including a 17-yard TD to Demetrius Byrd. He also ran for 43 yards. Lee was six of 10 for 116 yards with scoring passes of 31 and 39 yards to Brandon LaFell. Lee also threw an interception that set up a Mountaineers' field goal.
As Hurricane Gustav approached the Gulf coast, kickoff was moved up from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. so the game would end well before authorities planned to initiate one-way traffic along major evacuation routes away from Louisiana's coast. With LSU leading big and the midday sun baking the stands, Tiger Stadium looked deserted by the end of the third quarter.
This matchup between the national champions of college football's top two tiers only served to highlight the gaps in size, speed and talent between the Bowl Subdivision and the Championship Subdivision, much unlike the Mountaineers' captivating 34-32 triumph at Michigan a year ago.
LSU quickly squashed any notion Appalachian State had of using Death Valley to stage an encore to their upset at the Big House a year ago. The Tigers raced to a 31-0 lead in the opening half and maintained a comfortable lead as reserves filtered in the rest of the way.
The Mountaineers didn't score until 6:06 remained in the third quarter, when Edwards found Robert Welton deep down the middle for a 44-yard score.
NO. 1 GEORGIA 45,
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 21
ATHENS, Ga. - The collar fit, and for at least one game, so did the crown.
Knowshon Moreno ran for three touchdowns and Georgia, ranked No. 1 to start a season for the first time, beat Georgia Southern, giving new mascot Uga VII a win in his debut.
Moreno needed only eight carries for 59 yards to tie his career best with three touchdowns. He added two catches for 53 yards.
Georgia led 38-0 before Georgia Southern scored on a 1-yard run by quarterback Lee Chapple late in the third quarter. The Eagles added two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Uga VII, a white English bulldog and son of Uga VI, who died this summer, drew a standing ovation and University of Georgia president Michael Adams and athletic director Damon Evans slipped a red collar over the dog's head in a pregame ceremony.
Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and was 13-for-21 passing for a career-high 275 yards.
From the opening minutes, Stafford found open receivers as Georgia Southern focused on Moreno and the Georgia running game.
Freshman receiver A.J. Green made a 36-yard catch to set up Moreno's first touchdown, a 2-yard run. Green added a 3-yard touchdown catch from Joe Cox for Georgia's final touchdown in the fourth quarter.
NO. 10 AUBURN 34,
AUBURN, Ala. - Ben Tate ran for 115 yards on 13 carries and No. 10 Auburn scored touchdowns on defense and special teams in a win against Louisiana-Monroe.
The Tigers scarcely needed to pass in debuting Tony Franklin's new spread offense, resorting to a still punishing ground game and defense while alternating quarterbacks on every series for much of the game.
Michael Goggans scored on a 9-yard fumble return and Robert Dunn added a 66-yard punt return for a TD in the first quarter - the latter breaking the nation's longest drought. It was more than enough to ensure that the Warhawks wouldn't duplicate last season's upset at Alabama, which had been only their third win in 33 tries against Southeastern Conference opponents.
Kodi Burns opened the game at quarterback in a decision coach Tommy Tuberville kept under wraps all week, but he headed to the locker room midway through the third quarter with a cut on his leg and didn't return. Burns' status for next week's game wasn't known.
Burns and Chris Todd combined for a paltry 28 yards passing in the first three quarters.
The running game remained the offensive forte for the Tigers with 321 yards. Tate had a 49-yard run while freshman Eric Smith gained 66 yards and Brad Lester finished with 52, including a 3-yard touchdown.
OXFORD, Miss. - Jevan Snead hit Shay Hodge with touchdown passes of 64 and 15 yards and Mississippi beat Memphis in Houston Nutt's debut as Rebels coach.
With all eyes on Snead, making his first start, and Nutt, it was Dexter McCluster who provided the spark with 125 total yards and a touchdown run out of Ole Miss' new Wild Rebel formation.
Despite Snead's long touchdown to Hodge in the first quarter, the Rebels struggled early. McCluster, working out of the shotgun in the same "Wildcat" role played by Darren McFadden under Nutt the last two seasons at Arkansas, got Ole Miss rolling with a 32-yard run around the right end for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter.
It was the first time Ole Miss scored 40 points against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since a 43-40 win over South Carolina on Nov. 1, 2003.
WESTERN ILLINOIS 24
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Casey Dick scored on a 4-yard run with 1:49 remaining, and Arkansas avoided disaster in Bobby Petrino's first game as coach, rallying to beat Western Illinois.
The Razorbacks trailed 24-14 in the fourth quarter, but Dick found Greg Childs over the middle for a 26-yard touchdown, then led an 83-yard drive for the winning score. Arkansas faced fourth-and-10 at the Western Illinois 33, but rather than attempt a field goal with strong-legged Alex Tejada, Petrino decided to go for it.
Dick completed a pass to Carlton Salters, who just barely picked up the first down. The Razorbacks moved all the way to the 4, where Dick took a shotgun snap and ran left into the end zone.