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Southeast Roundup : Florida Wins Again in Comeback

November 09, 1986|From Times Wire Services

After a disastrous first half of the season, Florida's Kerwin Bell is again beginning to look like one of the best college quarterbacks in the country.

The junior from Day, Fla., led the Gators to their second straight come-from-behind win over a top 20 opponent Saturday, passing for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 31-19 Southeastern Conference victory over 19th-ranked Georgia at Jacksonville, Fla.

Highly regarded when the season began, Bell saw his stature drop when the Gators got off to a 1-4 start. Then he was sidelined for three weeks with a knee injury.

He returned last week to lead an 18-point fourth-quarter rally that beat then-No. 5 Auburn. He teamed with wide receiver Ricky Nattiel on Saturday to bring Florida back from a 16-3 deficit against Georgia.

Nattiel, playing with a shoulder separation, caught all three of Bell's touchdown passes, covering 8, 9 and 42 yards.

Bell completed 20 of 31 passes, while Nattiel caught 7 for 97 yards.

The victory before a Gator Bowl crowd of 81,957 boosted Florida's record to 5-4 overall, 2-3 in the SEC. Georgia, which had won three games in a row, is 6-3, 3-2 in the SEC.

Auburn 52, Cincinnati 7--The ninth-ranked Tigers, the third top 10 team that Cincinnati has met this season, left the mistake-prone Bearcats still looking for a giant to slay.

At Auburn, Ala., tailback Brent Fullwood, who passed for a touchdown, sparked the Tigers with 120 yards rushing in 11 carries, but a number of Cincinnati miscues also helped bury the Bearcats by a larger margin than in previous losses to No. 1 Miami (45-13) and No. 2 Penn State (23-17).

"It's difficult to compare teams," Cincinnati Coach Dave Currey said. "Sometimes it's not who you play but when you play them. When we played Penn State, they were not coming off a big upset loss.

"Auburn is a very good football team. Beyond that, I'll let you do the comparisons."

Auburn Coach Pat Dye, whose Tigers seemed out for revenge after last week's 18-17 loss to Florida, had only a spree of Auburn penalties to complain about against Cincinnati.

"I believe when you're playing hard, you sometimes get over-aggressive and that creates some problems," he said.

But the problems mostly were on the Cincinnati side, as Auburn's swarming defense kept the Bearcats caged offensively, and the Tiger attack piled up 491 yards in total offense.

Cincinnati tailback Reggie Taylor rushed for 153 yards in 23 carries to become the first runner this year to get more than 100 yards against Auburn (8-1). But quarterback Danny McCoin was stifled much of the game as the independent Bearcats fell to 5-5.

Kentucky 34, Vanderbilt 22--Sophomore tailback Ivy Joe Hunter rushed for a career-high 238 yards and 4 touchdowns at Lexington, Ky., to power the Wildcats to an easy victory.

Hunter scored on two 1-yard runs and scampers of 9 and 13 yards as the Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak.

Hunter, who had 30 carries, became the first Kentucky runner to go over the 200-yard mark since Sonny Collins had 229 yards against Mississippi State in 1973.

Kentucky is 4-4-1 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. Vanderbilt, losing for the fifth straight time, is 1-8 and 0-5.

Tennessee 33, Memphis St. 3--Jeff Francis connected with Anthony Miller on a 44-yard pass play, and the Volunteers ran for three more touchdowns to rout the Tigers in a nonconference game at Knoxville, Tenn.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Volunteers (3-5). The Tigers are 1-8.

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