AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Ryan Smith stopped Chris Relf at the goal line on the final play to preserve Auburn's 41-34 win over No. 16 Mississippi State on Saturday.
Relf kept the ball on an option and headed for the end zone before Smith went low and brought the 240-pound quarterback down for the Tigers (2-0), who had gone from defending national champions to unranked underdog after needing a furious rally to beat Utah State.
This time they held on against the Bulldogs (1-1), who nearly pulled off a similar comeback.
They marched 66-plus yards in the final 2:52 with only one passing play. Before the game's last play, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen raced to an official, signaled timeout, and managed to get three seconds put back on the clock.
All 10 remaining ticked off when Relf came up short.