BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Marcus Randall and David Jones picked the perfect time for their first connection of the game.
Trailing late in the fourth quarter, Randall hit Jones with a 30-yard touchdown pass with 2:18 to play to lift No. 17 Louisiana State to a 24-20 victory over Troy.
Randall completed 24-of-37 passes for a career-high 328 yards but was intercepted three times. He threw the winning pass to Jones after Greg Whibbs kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Trojans a 20-17 lead with 3:59 remaining.
"When my number's called, I've got to take it and roll with it," said Jones, the son of former NFL defensive end Joe "Turkey" Jones. "It was a wheel route right up the sideline. (The defender) bit on a fake and I got behind him. I just concentrated on catching the ball."
It was the third time this season and the second consecutive game that Randall rallied the Tigers with a late touchdown. His five-yard run in overtime helped LSU (5-2) beat Oregon State, 22-21, in the season opener, and his 10-yard pass to Joseph Addai with 27 seconds remaining gave the Tigers a 24-21 victory at Florida two weeks ago.
"I told Marcus that he's the man at quarterback," said LSU coach Nick Saban, who used Randall exclusively against Troy after alternating the fifth-year senior with redshirt freshman JaMarcus Russell the first six games. "He made some mistakes, but he made the plays at the end."
LSU committed four turnovers, which the Trojans (3-4) converted into 17 points and nearly gave them their second upset of the season against a ranked team. Troy knocked off then-No. 17 Missouri, 24-14, on September 9.
LSU outgained Troy, 386-150, but picked up only 57 rushing yards on 36 carries and managed only 114 yards in the second half.
"We just weren't blocking," Saban said of his team's inability to run the ball. "We're going to have problems offensively if we don't get that fixed."
Before Whibbs' fourth-quarter field goal, the Trojans appeared to score a go-ahead TD when Jason Samples caught a 15-yard pass from D.T. McDowell, but the play was nullified by an illegal motion penalty and the Trojans had to settle for three points.
LSU moved 79 yards on the opening possession and took a 7-0 lead on Alley Broussard's one-yard run, but Leverne Johnson's fumble recovery at the LSU 20 set up McDowell's four-yard touchdown pass to James Earl Cray.
The Trojans led 10-7 on Whibbs' 25-yard field goal, which was set up by Bernard Davis' 40-yard interception return to the LSU seven.
The Tigers scored twice in the final eight minutes of the half, on Addai's one-yard run and Ryan Gaudet's 23-yard field goal, to take a 17-10 lead into the break.
Defensive end Marcus Spears had six tackles for losses for LSU, including two sacks, and broke up a pass.
McDowell, a freshman making his first collegiate start, was 7-of-14 passing for 60 yards and was sacked four times.
"I thought we had a chance to play with them," Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. "Our kids gave it a tremendous try. We had (LSU) on the ropes. We had a chance."
LSU has not lost a non-conference home game since 2000.