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Southeast Roundup : Tennessee Plays Odds, Ties No. 3 Auburn

September 27, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Coach Johnny Majors of 11th-ranked Tennessee stood by his decision to go for a tie Saturday at Knoxville, Tenn., when the Volunteers scored with 1:20 remaining in a 20-20 tie with third-ranked Auburn.

"There are three things you can do," Majors said. "Kick for the tie, go for two and make it or go for two and not make it.

"The percentage of making it is about 42%," he said. "This early in the season, a team coming from behind 6 in the first half and 10 in the fourth quarter has played too hard to take a chance on losing the game."

The Vols battled back from the 20-10 deficit to gain the tie when red-shirt freshman Reggie Cobb scored on a seven-yard run with 1:20 remaining. Phil Reich kicked the extra point.

Auburn Coach Pat Dye said, "We came away with an empty feeling," alluding to a drive that reached the Tennessee 33, but found the Tigers unable to stop the clock with an out-of-bounds pass in time to attempt a field goal.

Auburn planned to bring on kicker Win Lyle if Jeff Burger had been able to stop to clock in time.

The tie ended Tennessee's eight-game winning streak and left the Vols at 3-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the conference. Auburn fell to 2-0-1 in its conference opener.

Georgia 13, South Carolina 6--The Bulldogs' Lars Tate rushed for 118 yards and scored the game's only touchdown, on a 7-yard run at Athens, Ga., but it was the defense that won the praise of Georgia Coach Vince Dooley.

Despite allowing 306 passing yards to South Carolina quarterback Todd Ellis, who completed 29 of 51 passes, the 20th-ranked Bulldogs (3-1) stopped two fourth-quarter scoring threats with a fumble recovery and an interception. They also intercepted Ellis on South Carolina's final possession with 1:17 left.

"Sometimes when the offense doesn't have a good day, the defense has to rise to the occasion," Dooley said, "and that's what happened today."

Georgia managed only 241 yards, and allowed 374.

Alabama 30, Vanderbilt 23--Bobby Humphrey returned a kickoff 54 yards to start Alabama's final drive, which he finished with a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 42 seconds remaining in the Southeastern Conference game at Nashville, Tenn.

Humphrey amassed 35 yards--including 24 on a pitch--on the final drive to boost his rushing total to 162 yards. He had two first-half touchdowns on runs of 8 and 9 yards and had 70 return yards.

Vanderbilt, trailing 23-17 entering the fourth quarter, had field goals of 39 yards and 27 yards by Johnny Clark to tie the score with 3:32 left.

The second field goal was set up by an interception of the first pass thrown by reserve quarterback Vince Sutton, who was brought in to replace starter David Smith, who suffered a broken collarbone and will miss at least four weeks.

Alabama is now 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the SEC. Vanderbilt is 1-2 and 0-1.

Florida 38, Mississippi St. 3--Gator freshman Emmitt Smith followed last week's record-breaking performance by rushing for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns in a Southeastern Conference game at Gainesville, Fla.

Smith, who set a school record with 224 yards against Alabama in his first college start last week, carried 20 times. He scored on runs of 4 yards, 42 yards and 20 yards.

Smith has gained at least 100 yards rushing in 30 straight starts dating back to his sophomore year at Pensacola Escambia High School.

In beating the Bulldogs (2-2) for the 11th consecutive time at Florida Field, the Gators amassed 573 yards in offense. Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell completed 11 of 18 passes for 205 yards before being replaced late in the third period.

Tulane 31, Mississippi 24--At New Orleans, Terrence Jones passed for 358 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead Tulane (2-2) past Ole Miss (1-3).

Two of the the touchdown passes went to Mark Zeno, one of 5 yards and one of 13 yards. Zeno had 8 receptions for 85 yards, moving him into seventh place in the all-time NCAA career receiving standings with 2,906 yards.

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