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Southeast Roundup : Burger Helps No. 4 Auburn Rout Kansas, 49-0

September 13, 1987|From Times Wire Services

The fourth-ranked Auburn Tigers raced past Kansas, 49-0, Saturday night at Auburn, Ala., and Kansas Coach Bob Valesente saw one reason for the rout.

"Our players looked like they were playing in quicksand compared with their speed," he said.

Valesente said Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger was impressive, looking like "a street fighter . . . a tough competitor."

Burger turned mostly to the air as he passed for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns, helping Auburn build a 28-0 first-quarter lead on the way to the romp.

"I really don't have any explanation for what happened tonight," Auburn Coach Pat Dye said. "I think Kansas was outmanned in some areas. I don't think we're that much better than Kansas."

"I'm proud of our players' effort," Valesente said. "But I wasn't proud of the way we played in the first quarter."

Auburn, of the Southeastern Conference, won its second game in two starts, while Kansas, of the Big Eight, picked up where it left off last year, when it was outscored 118-0 in its final two games.

The Auburn defense shut down the Kansas running game, limiting the Jayhawks to 31 yards on 16 rushes, and didn't give up a first down until the closing moments of the first half.

Kansas, relying on the passing of quarterback Kelly Donohoe, never got closer than the Auburn 46.

Burger, playing only sparingly after the first quarter, completed 12 of 15 passes, including touchdowns of 5 yards to Freddy Weygand and 51 yards to Alexander Wright. In the first quarter alone, Burger completed 8 of 10 passes for 131 yards.

Tennessee 38, Mississippi St. 10--Red-shirt freshman tailback Reggie Cobb scored three touchdowns, and quarterback Jeff Francis passed for 227 yards as the 14th-ranked Volunteers won a Southeastern Conference opener at Starkville, Miss.

The victory pushed Tennessee to 3-0 for the season with its eighth straight win over the last two years. It also marked the first victory in four games for Coach Johnny Majors against Mississippi State, where he once was an assistant coach.

Mississippi State fell to 1-1 as the Bulldogs were unable to repeat the 27-23 upset of Tennessee a year ago.

Cobb, who had 169 yards in total offense, scored on runs of 23 and 9 yards and added a third touchdown on a 39-yard pass reception from Francis, who completed 13 of 23 attempts.

Mississippi State's only points came on a 31-yard field goal by Joel Logan in the third quarter and an 80-yard run by freshman David Fair with 2:57 to play.

Reserve running back Roland Poles added a one-yard touchdown run, and backup quarterback Sterling Hinton ran four yards for another in Tennessee's 21-point final quarter.

Arkansas 31, Mississippi 10--Strong safety Steve Atwater scored on a 16-yard pass interception, and 13th-ranked Arkansas' defense set up another touchdown as the Razorbacks beat Mississippi at Jacksonville, Miss.

Arkansas, the Southwest Conference title favorite, used a 21-point second quarter and a big-play defense to hand Ole Miss its second loss in as many games.

The Razorback defense forced four turnovers.

Junior quarterback Greg Thomas paced Arkansas' flexbone attack with 73 yards in 17 carries, including several scrambles to keep drives alive.

Florida 52, Tulsa 0--Freshman Emmitt Smith ran for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns at Gainesville, Fla., as Florida rebounded from a poor season-opening performance and buried Tulsa before a rain-soaked crowd of 72,172.

The Gators, coming off a 31-4 loss to Miami, broke the game open in the second quarter when Smith scored on a 66-yard run, and the Florida defense held Tulsa's pass-oriented offense to just one first down.

Smith, one of the nation's top recruits after rushing for 8,804 yards and 106 touchdowns at Pensacola Escambia High School, also scored on a 1-yard run during the Gators' 21-point second quarter. The 5-foot-10, 201-pound running back, with only 10 carries, posted the first 100-yard game of his college career.

Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell, coming back from a slight shoulder separation suffered against Miami, completed 11 of 14 passes for 148 yards and 1 touchdown.

Florida finished with 319 yards rushing and 217 passing for a total of 536 yards offense, while Tulsa managed only 163 yards.

Kentucky 41, Utah St. 0--At Lexington, Ky., Mark Higgs and Dee Smith scored two touchdowns apiece as the Wildcats rolled to a 35-0 lead at halftime.

Higgs, who finished with 158 yards in 11 carries, ran 85 yards and 13 yards for touchdowns. Smith scored on a 6-yard run and broke away on a 64-yard punt return. Ivy Joe Hunter gave Kentucky its 35-0 lead on a 20-yard run.

Joe Worley added field goals of 42 and 31 yards and became the school's all-time scoring leader with 189 points.

Utah State quarterback Brent Snyder connected on only 14 of 28 passes for 128 yards and had two intercepted. He was sacked four times by Kentucky's blitzing defense.

Kentucky tackle Oliver Barnett intercepted one of the passes and cornerback Chris Tolbert picked off the other as the Aggies were held to only 153 total yards.

Kentucky's Kevin Dooley completed 7 of 14 attempts for 151 yards. Tight end Charlie Darrington caught 3 for 68 yards, and Smith added a 50-yard reception.

Hunter finished with 73 yards in 12 carries, Al Baker had 60 in 10 rushes and Tim Smith ran 9 times for 54 yards as Kentucky piled up 373 rushing yards.

Brett Payne topped Utah State with four carries for 29 yards.

Kentucky entertains Indiana next Saturday while Utah State takes a weekend off before playing host to Cal State Fullerton.

Vanderbilt 27, Memphis St. 17--Fullback Mark Johnson, whose first-half fumble led to a Memphis State touchdown, charged up the middle for a 14-yard score in the fourth quarter to help the Commodores beat the Tigers at Nashville, Tenn.

Johnson's touchdown and Johnny Clark's extra point gave Vanderbilt a 21-17 edge after trailing 17-0 at halftime in its season opener. Clark added two 20-yard field goals late in the game to end the scoring.

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