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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Southeast Roundup : Wendell Davis Is the Key as LSU Beats Georgia

October 11, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Although he scored no points Saturday, wide receiver Wendell Davis was the key to No. 7 Louisiana State's 26-23 victory over No. 16 Georgia.

Davis, already the leading receiver in the Southeastern Conference, caught 11 passes for 128 yards and was a factor in every LSU scoring drive.

Tommy Hodson threw a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brian Kinchen with 3:36 left to play for the winning points, but the touchdown was set up by two diving 11-yard catches by Davis during the crucial drive.

Georgia, trailing 16-3 at halftime and 19-9 entering the final quarter, had taken a 23-19 lead with 6:58 left on a 14-yard run by freshman Rodney Hampton.

The Tigers, aided by a 15-yard penalty for a late hit on Hodson, came back on the passing of Hodson, who was 4 of 5 during the drive and 21 of 31 for 209 yards in the game.

"I feel like I'm 34 years old going on 60," said LSU's Mike Archer, who is the nation's youngest major college football coach. "I was really feeling my age that last drive. We let them back in the game with the big plays, but our kids showed a lot of heart and desire.

"A lot of people doubted if we could come back," Archer said. "But we kept our poise, and it feels good to see our kids react like that."

"I'm proud of the way we fought back and got ourselves in a position to win the game," Georgia Coach Vince Dooley said. "But, to LSU's credit, they came back after we had gone ahead and made some big plays to take the lead.

"It was a great game for everybody involved," Dooley said. "Unfortunately, someone had to lose, and this time it was us."

The victory, LSU's 11th straight on the road in regular-season play, lifted the Tigers to 5-0-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC. Georgia fell to 4-2 and 1-1.

Auburn 48, Vanderbilt 15--Jeff Burger completed 14 of 18 passes for a career-high 282 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the No. 5 Tigers to an SEC victory at Auburn, Ala.

Auburn improved to 4-0-1 and 1-0-1 in the SEC. Vanderbilt is 1-4 and 0-2.

Burger, the SEC's leading passer, completed scoring plays of 33 yards to Lawyer Tillman in the first quarter and 22 yards to Scott Bolton in the second.

Burger's previous career high was 245 yards last year against Tennessee-Chattanooga. His 282 yards have been topped at Auburn by only Pat Sullivan, a Heisman Trophy winner who threw for more yards six times in 1970 and 1971. Sullivan is now an Auburn assistant who works with the Tiger quarterbacks.

Auburn's defense, which has allowed only 48 points in five games, held Vanderbilt in check throughout the game, although the Commodores used a ball-control offense of short passes and the 227-pound McCarroll's bruising inside rushing to control the ball three minutes longer.

The Tigers held Vanderbilt to just 282 yards total offense--135 passing and 147 rushing--while piling up 470 yards. Stewart led the Tigers in rushing with 61 yards in 12 carries, and Iasenda came off the bench for a game-high 69 yards.

Vanderbilt leads the series 19-11-1 but has not defeated the Tigers since 1955 and has been outscored, 180-66, during the four-game period.

A bright spot for the Commodores was linebacker Chris Gaines, who had a game-high 21 tackles.

Kentucky 35, Mississippi 6--Senior tailback Mark Higgs rushed 14 times for a career-high 192 yards, including touchdown runs of 22 and 40 yards, to lead the Wildcats to an easy victory.

Kentucky improved its record to 4-1 and 1-0 in the SEC. Ole Miss, dropping its third straight game, fell to 1-5 and 0-2.

The Wildcat defense also was dominating, intercepting four passes and recovering one of four fumbles, all of which led to Kentucky scores.

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