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SOUTHEASTERN ROUNDUP : Tide Rallies Behind Barker to Win, 21-10

October 23, 1994|From Associated Press

Neither a 10-0 halftime deficit nor a severe lightning storm at Tuscaloosa, Ala., could fluster Jay Barker, who calmly rallied No. 8 Alabama to a 21-10 victory over Mississippi on Saturday as the Crimson Tide remained in contention for the national championship.

In the process, Barker became the winningest quarterback in Alabama history, improving his record to 31-1-1 in four years as the starter.

Barker eclipsed the record of 30 victories set by Harry Gilmer from 1944-47. Barker already had the best winning percentage in school history; it now stands at .955. Barker also extended his school-record string of passes without an interception to 147.

The game was halted for 25 minutes in the second quarter--a rare occurrence in football--because of the lightning. An Ole Miss assistant coach and two employees for ABC, which televised the game regionally, sustained minor injuries.

The Tide, 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference, once again struggled to beat an outmanned opponent. Ole Miss is now 2-5, 1-5.

Trailing 10-7, Alabama was penalized 25 yards for holding and committing a personal foul on the first play of the fourth quarter. On second and 35, a pass interference call on the Rebels' Alundis Brices resulted in an automatic first down for Alabama.

Then, after the Tide drove inside the Ole Miss one but failed to score, Michael Proctor kicked a 20-yard field goal to tie the game. But Brice collided with Proctor for a personal foul that gave the Tide first down at the one.

Two plays later from the two, Barker rolled out to his right and scored to give the Tide a 14-10 lead.

Sherman Williams (118 yards in 32 carries), who scored Alabama's first touchdown on a two-yard run in the third quarter, added a three-yard scoring run with 16 seconds remaining after Ole Miss quarterback Josh Nelson had fumbled the ball away at his six with about two minutes to go.

Georgia 34, Kentucky 30--Eric Zeier threw 55- and 28-yard touchdown passes to Hason Graham, and Carlos Yancy came up with an interception in the final minute as the Bulldogs held off the Wildcats in an SEC game at Lexington, Ky.

Kentucky (1-6, 0-5), losing its fifth consecutive game, rallied from a 27-16 deficit in the fourth quarter to go up, 30-27.

But Georgia (5-3, 3-3) came back on the pinpoint passing of Zeier. After Zeier threw to Graham for a three-yard gain, he connected on a 30-yarder to Jeff Thomas and completed two passes for 28 yards to Terrell Davis to the Kentucky 28.

Zeier, who tied his school record by completing 36 of 51 passes for 420 yards, then connected with Graham on a crossing pattern for the touchdown with 4:08 to go.

Kentucky moved the ball to the Georgia 25 on Jeff Speedy's 28-yard pass to Moe Williams and then called its last timeout with 55 seconds to go. On the next play, the snap sailed over Speedy's head. He was able to recover the ball and throw an incomplete pass, but the Wildcats were assessed a 21-yard penalty for holding.

Speedy then completed a 15-yard pass to the 31 to Leon Smith, who failed to run out of bounds to stop the clock. On the next play, Yancy intercepted a pass at the 15 to finish Kentucky.

South Carolina 19, Vanderbilt 16--Reed Morton kicked four field goals, the last a 41-yarder that provided the difference in the Gamecocks' victory over the Commodores at Nashville, Tenn.

Vanderbilt (3-4, 1-4) pulled within 19-16 on Ronnie Gordon's three-yard touchdown run with 3:13 left, but South Carolina (5-3, 4-2) ran out the clock.

South Carolina shut down the SEC's top rushing team, holding Vanderbilt to 184 yards. The Commodores finished with 269 yards on offense.

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