Ed Reinke, Associated Press
LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith can hardly believe the scoreboard. His top-ranked Tigers fell to 17th-tanked Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As a blue stream of Kentucky fans poured from the stands to celebrate the Wildcats' biggest victory in decades, Andre Woodson was in the middle of the party calmly talking about taking down No. 1 LSU.

"It proved we're a team that obviously earns a lot more respect now," Woodson said after No. 17 Kentucky upset the Tigers 43-37 in triple overtime Saturday. "We've come a long way from being a doormat in the SEC to competing with the best teams in the SEC and getting some wins."

The Wildcats became the latest team to shake up the national title race and the first in nearly four years to take down the top-ranked team in the regular season.

Woodson found Steve Johnson open in the end zone for a 7-yard score in the third extra period. The 2-point conversion, required after two overtimes, failed but it didn't matter.

With a chance to win it, LSU couldn't get a first down on four straight running plays. Charles Scott was stopped by Braxton Kelley a yard short on fourth-and-2.

"He came out of nowhere," said Scott, who came off the field in tears. "I thought I was close."

Close but not enough, and Kentucky (6-1, 2-1 SEC) had its first victory over a No. 1 team since 1964, when it beat Mississippi.

"We are shocked," LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith said. "Anytime you lose, it hurts. We just have to keep our heads up."

Kelley called it another clutch play from an underdog in a season of surprises.

"Football is football," Kelley said. "Each player has the drive to make plays, and all around the nation right now, people are doing that."

However, Kentucky topped them all by toppling No. 1.

No highly ranked team seems to be safe this season. It started with Appalachian State knocking off No. 5 Michigan in Week 1. In the previous two weeks, nine teams ranked in the top 10 have lost, including No. 2 USC falling 24-23 to Stanford last week.

No. 1 had been safe though, until now, the day before the first Bowl Championship Series standings come out.

The last time a No. 1 team was beaten during the regular season was Dec. 6, 2003, when Kansas State upset top-ranked Oklahoma 35-7 for the Big 12 title.

Another group of Wildcats pulled it off this time, led by a Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback.

Woodson wasn't sharp early but completed 21 of 38 passes for 250 yards, throwing for three TDs and running in another. He largely had to carry the load with top rusher Rafael Little sidelined with a bruised thigh.

On the final touchdown, Johnson was wide open because defender Jonathan Zenon tripped and fell down. Woodson double-pumped before firing a strike.