By John Zenor
AP Sports Writer
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Nick Marshall hit C.J. Uzomah for an 11-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left to lift Auburn to a 24-20 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night, ending the Tigers’ 10-game Southeastern Conference losing streak.
Marshall led the Tigers (3-0, 1-0 SEC) down the field with big running and passing plays in easily his best game.
The junior-college transfer completed his first five passes for 55 yards in leading Auburn 88 yards over the final 1:56. He then ran 11 yards on 3rd-and-10 before lofting the decisive throw to the right corner of the end zone.
The play was reviewed and instant replay officials ruled that the 6-foot-4 tight end, Uzomah, was pushed out of bounds, enabling him to come back.
Subbing for an injured Tyler Russell for a second straight game, quarterback Dak Prescott ran for 133 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 213 for Mississippi State (1-2, 0-1). Russell sustained a concussion in the opener against Oklahoma State.
With the game on the line, Marshall suddenly looked like anything but a guy who’s had six weeks to learn an offense.
He hit freshman Marcus Davis on three straight passes to cover 29 yards, then had a 17-yarder to Jaylon Denson. He also salvaged short gains with a couple of runs before heading out of bounds.
Tre Mason’s 3-yard run pushed it to the 11 before Auburn called timeout with 15 seconds left.
Marshall was 23-of-34 passing for 339 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice. He passed for just 246 yards and two TDs in his first two games as starter combined.
Marshall showed a knack for turning potential miscues into big plays. He dropped the shotgun snap, collected it on the bounce and hit a wide-open Quan Bray downfield for a 76-yard touchdown on the opening drive. Ryan White then hit Brandon Fulse for the two-point conversion.
In the third quarter, Marshall caught his own batted pass and raced for a 37-yard gain. The Bulldogs forced the Tigers to settle for Cody Parkey’s 47-yard field goal after Jamerson Love tackled Corey Grant for a loss.
Parkey also had a 40-yarder and 19-yarder.
The Bulldogs were able to keep in check Auburn tailbacks Corey Grant, Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne, who had been the strength of the offense.
Prescott completed 15 of 28 passes and carried 22 times. LaDarius Perkins gained 36 yards after he was one of seven starters held out of a route of FCS team Alcorn State.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen gambled on fourth-and-2 from his own 29 late, and Prescott delivered with a 3-yard gain. That enabled the Bulldogs to burn off another two minutes before punting, though they couldn’t get another first down.
It proved just enough time for the Tigers.
Mississippi State twice forced turnovers in Auburn territory in the second half, but failed to produce points both times.
The Bulldogs stalled after reaching Auburn’s 32 midway through the fourth quarter even after Prescott converted a fourth-and-2. A false start penalty helped push the Bulldogs out of field goal range.