Freshman running back Gene Jelks, starting his first game for Alabama, ran for one touchdown and threw for another Saturday as the 20th-ranked Crimson Tide tied No. 15 Louisiana State, 14-14, in a Southeastern Conference game at Baton Rouge, La.
"A tie is better than a loss," Jelks said. "I don't really know how to feel, but I know that I feel better than I would if we'd lost."
Garry James, who ran 49 yards for an LSU touchdown, said he too was disappointed at the stalemate.
"A lot of my teammates are walking around with their heads down, and I know what they feel like. I don't like it."
LSU lost a chance to win the game when sophomore kicker Ron Lewis missed a 24-yard field goal with five seconds remaining.
Trailing 14-7 with 1:23 left, Jelks threw a flea-flicker touchdown pass to quarterback Mike Shula from the two-yard line. After a timeout, Coach Ray Perkins sent in Van Tiffin to kick the extra point.
Perkins said he considered a two-point conversion attempt but thought better of it. "I chose the one-point conversion because I thought we had time possibly to get down there and cause a turnover. As it turns out, we didn't."
LSU then marched downfield, but Lewis missed wide right on his field-goal attempt. It was Lewis' third miss of the game; he had had one blocked and was wide on another attempt. Tiffin also failed on two field-goal tries.
Jelks, who ran 15 times for 87 yards, scored Alabama's first touchdown on a 33-yard run.
Shula, the nation's most efficient passer entering the game, completed 12 of 21 passes for 157 yards.
Both teams are now 3-1-1 in the crowded SEC race for the Sugar Bowl. LSU is 5-1-1 overall and Alabama 6-2-1.
Auburn 35, E. Carolina 10--Led by tailback Brent Fullwood, who ran for three touchdowns and 153 yards, the 13th-ranked Tigers romped to a homecoming win at Auburn.
Fullwood, a 6-foot, 198-pound junior, scored on touchdown runs of 4, 45 and 12 yards. Starting tailback Bo Jackson failed to score a touchdown for only the third game this season. He gained 73 yards in 14 carries.
The nonconference victory lifted Auburn to 7-2, while East Carolina fell to 2-7. Free safety Tom Powell ran back an interception 52 yards for an Auburn touchdown, and Kyle Collins scored the Tigers' final touchdown on a four-yard run that was set up by another interception.
East Carolina's only touchdown came on a five-yard run by tailback Tony Baker, who picked up 69 yards on 11 carries on the day.
Starting Auburn quarterback Pat Washington completed 11 passes in 18 attempts for 119 yards, and was sacked 3 times. He was replaced in the start of the fourth quarter by sophomore Jeff Burger, who completed 3 of 6 passes for 24 yards.
Vanderbilt 31, Kentucky 24--Freshman John Gromos threw three touchdown passes at Nashville, Tenn., and Everett Crawford had 312 combined yards rushing and receiving to lead Vanderbilt to a Southeastern Conference upset victory over Kentucky.
The Commodores, 3-5-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the SEC, led, 31-13, late in the third quarter, but had to stave off a late rally by the Wildcats.
Gromos connected on scoring passes of 15 yards to Tony Pearcey, 11 yards to Gerald Mitchell and 66 yards to Crawford. Crawford also scored on a 9-yard run and Alan Herline kicked a 44-yard field goal.
Kentucky, 5-4 and 1-3, got field goals of 32, 33, and 32 yards from Joe Worley. Mark Higgs scored on a 2-yard run, and Bill Ransdell fired a 4-yard pass to Matt Lucas for Kentucky's other scores.
Crawford gained 113 yards in 19 rushing attempts and caught 9 passes for 199 yards.
Tennessee 17, Memphis St. 7--At Memphis, Tenn., Daryl Dickey threw two touchdown passes as the 19th-ranked Volunteers defeated Memphis State.
Dickey completed 8 of 16 passes for 128 yards, with seven of his completions coming in the first half as all the scoring came in the first half. Dickeys's only second-half completion lost three yards.
The victory, before 49,617 fans at the Liberty Bowl, boosted the Vols to 5-1-2 for the season. Memphis State fell to 2-6-2.
Dickey threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to wingback Tim McGee and rifled a nine-yard scoring strike to split end Eric Swanson.
Memphis State's lone score came in the first quarter when linebacker Clarence Haver blocked Bob Garmon's punt and safety Dan Harkins carried the ball 24 yards into the end zone.