After a 34-14 victory over Ole Miss, Tennessee Coach Johnny Majors couldn't help but look forward to the next obstacle to a trip to the Sugar Bowl for his 18th-ranked Volunteers.
"When you play Kentucky, you better be ready to go to war," Majors said of the Volunteers' next opponent. While Tennessee was beating Mississippi at Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Kentucky lost to 11th-ranked Florida, 15-13.
"I know our players have had a lot of respect for Kentucky over the years, and they should be ready to play," Majors said after Tennessee pounded out its victory on a two-touchdown performance by Sam Henderson.
Henderson, a 250-pound fullback moved to tailback, scored on runs of one and two yards. He carried 15 times for 45 yards.
Also, Daryl Dickey hit 11 of 17 passes for 203 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Tim McGee, who had 7 catches for 117 yards.
Mississippi was held to 253 yards as freshman quarterback Chris Osgood, playing for the injured Kent Austin, hit only 4 of 20 passes for 49 yards and threw 2 interceptions.
Tennessee is 6-1-2 overall and 3-1 in the SEC. With victories in their final two games, the Volunteers can clinch their first SEC title since 1970.
Ole Miss fell to 3-6-1 and 1-4.
Florida 15, Kentucky 13--At Gainesville, Fla., Kerwin Bell threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Frankie Neal, and Jeff Dawson kicked three field goals, including a game-winning 19-yarder with 20 seconds to go, for 11th-ranked Florida.
Dawson also made kicks of 34 and 22 yards, and Neal Anderson rushed for 134 yards as the Gators bounced back from a 21-point loss to Georgia that cost them the top spot in the Associated Press poll.
The victory, before a crowd of 73,672, improved Florida's record to 8-1-1 and assured Coach Galen Hall's team of at least a tie for the best record in the SEC. The Gators, 5-1 in the SEC, are ineligible for the conference title, however, because of NCAA probation.
LSU 17, Mississippi St. 15--Dalton Hilliard ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns at Baton Rouge, La., as 19th-ranked LSU snapped a five-year, five-game losing streak to Mississippi State.
Hilliard scored on a four-yard run in the second quarter, and his 33-yard touchdown run with 2:05 left in the game gave LSU the points it needed to improve its record to 6-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the SEC. Mississippi State is 5-5 for the season, 0-5 in the SEC.
Ronnie Lewis, the sophomore kicker who was the goat of the game a week earlier, kicked a 25-yard first-quarter field goal and Jeff Wickersham, who was 16 of 31, threw for 248 yards in other key performances for LSU.
Alabama 24, S. Mississippi 13--At Tuscaloosa, Ala., 20th-ranked Alabama came from behind in the fourth period to defeat Southern Mississippi.
Mike Shula, the junior quarterback who leads the nation in passing efficiency, passed for two touchdowns and hit 13 of 23 attempts for 122 yards.
His first scoring pass, a five-yarder to Al Bell on the Crimson Tide's first possession, gave him 15 touchdown passes for the season, breaking a team record set by Walter Lewis in 1983. Shula added a four-yard touchdown pass to Angelo Stafford on the first play of the final quarter.
Gene Jelks scored for Alabama on a four-yard run, and Van Tiffin kicked a 41-yarder for Alabama as the half ended.
The victory puts Alabama's record at 7-2-1, with its season finale coming against Auburn in two weeks. Southern Mississippi (6-4) ends its season next week against Tulane.
Virginia Tech 38, Vanderbilt 24--Virginia Tech quarterback Mark Cox closed out his college football career by running for two touchdowns and passing for another at Nashville, Tenn.
The victory allowed Virginia Tech to finish its season at 6-5 after a 1-4 start. Vanderbilt is 3-6-1 with a Nov. 30 Southeastern Conference date with Tennessee remaining.
Cox scored on runs of 8 and 1 yard, and also threw a 26-yard scoring pass to Earnie Jones.