Monday, October 28, 2002

In SEC play, Georgia came from 24-21 down at Kentucky to whack the Wildcats 52-24. The Dawgs' passing attack in the second half was otherworldly; both David Greene and DJ Shockley directed scoring drives and threw TD passes; they combined for "only" 357 yards passing but with a big fourth-quarter lead didn't need to put the ball in the air. They also added 172 yards rushing without Musa Smith, who was held out with an injury. As for Kentucky, they looked terrific on offense in the first half but weren't able to sustain it, and their explosive return game was held in check. They're still a fine team, but Georgia is the class of the SEC. The Bulldogs can clinch the division with a win against Florida this week.

Alabama broke a seven-game losing streak to Tennessee, 34-14 in a game largely marked by Tennessee fans and players whining that they only lost because of one Alabama drive where the Tide got the benefit of a bad call and later kicked a fieldgoal. After playing tough early in sloppy conditions that led to five Volunteer fumbles, Tennessee looked nothing like a football team for the last 35 minutes of the game. Tennessee did score a TD late in the first half on a kickoff return (Alabama's special teams are pitiful) but had only one touchdown drive. Though Casey Clausen was still hurting, it really didn't matter; with their running game AWOL the entire game Tennessee couldn't have won with Brett Favre at QB. Alabama played both Tyler Watts and Brodie Croyle again, but Watts was largely ineffective other than a short TD run. Croyle accounted for all 128 of Alabama's passing yards on 5-7 passing. The RB-by-committee provided most of the offense with 172 yards rushing.

Auburn shocked LSU 31-7 at Auburn and threw the SEC West race into total disarray. LSU turned the ball over five times, four on interceptions, and dug itself a 17-0 halftime hole. LSU is not a good passing team even with Matt Mauck in the lineup. With him hurt they're hopeless. Despite playing catchup the entire game Marcus Randall could only throw for 79 yards on 9-20 passing; he was more valuable on the ground where he ran for a team-high 74 yards. Auburn shut down Domanick Davis, while Ronnie Brown ran for 95 yards and two TDs against the formerly strong LSU defense. Jason Campbell finally got the QB job after relieving Daniel Cobb three games in a row, but he didn't have to do much.

Arkansas hammered Ole Miss 48-28 and the Rebels appear to be setting out on their annual downhill slide. Once again, turnovers were the story, as Ole Miss turned it over five times to once for Arkansas. Eli Manning did rebound fairly nicely from last week's abuse at the hands of Alabama, throwing for 414 yards and being sacked only once, but the Mississippi running game was absent again. Arkansas, meanwhile, pounded out 257 yards on the ground, led by Fred Talley's 136... Vanderbilt managed to avoid yet another depressing nadir by coming back to beat UConn 28-24. Yes, UConn has a football team! And Vandy only beat it by four thanks to a late TD run by Jay Cutler! You know it's a matchup of bad teams when you start thinking that a game between the schools' women's basketball teams would be more interesting.


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