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SOUTHEASTERN ROUNDUP : Florida Wins East With Rout of South Carolina

November 13, 1994|From Associated Press

With an opportunity to clinch its third consecutive Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title, fourth-ranked Florida left nothing to chance against South Carolina on Saturday at Gainesville, Fla.

"Coach (Steve) Spurrier told us to get ready for a championship-type game. We came in with the attitude that we had to win it," defensive end Kevin Carter said after a 48-17 victory assured the Gators a trip to Atlanta for the SEC championship game on Dec. 3 against sixth-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide clinched the Western Division title Saturday with a 29-25 victory over Mississippi State.

Florida, 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the SEC, improved its record at home to 29-2 under Spurrier, who noted this division title is different from the others because the Gators clinched before their last conference game of the season.

Danny Wuerffel passed for 357 yards and four touchdowns, including two second-quarter scoring passes to Jack Jackson, who became Florida's career touchdown reception leader with 26.

Jackson, returning to the starting lineup after being benched for what Spurrier said was a sub-par performance against Georgia two weeks ago, caught his 11th and 12th touchdown passes of the season to tie the school mark set by Carlos Alvarez in 1969.

South Carolina (5-5, 4-4) led, 10-7, before Florida scored 31 consecutive points. The Gamecocks finally answered with Steve Taneyhill's 12-yard touchdown pass to Boomer Foster in the fourth quarter.

Jackson's six-catch, 80-yard performance capped a tumultuous week in which he criticized Spurrier's coaching after a 55-17 victory over Southern Mississippi.

The receiver not only was unhappy about being benched and later suspended for a half for missing a team meeting, but voiced concern about Spurrier's handling of the Gators' much-publicized quarterback controversy.

Wuerffel replaced one-time Heisman Trophy contender Terry Dean as Florida's starter three games ago. Jackson said that decision, and others, have players wondering about job security.

The receiver apologized for his comments after a meeting with Spurrier and was back in the starting lineup on Saturday.

"It doesn't bother me when a player gets mad at his coach," Spurrier said. "He maybe went a little overboard, but you've got to know how Jack is and that when he's upset he says some things that maybe he wishes he didn't."

Tennessee 24, Memphis 13--Nilo Silvan set up all of Tennessee's points with punt returns and the Volunteer defense did the rest at Knoxville, Tenn.

Silvan's 136 yards on four punt returns broke the school record of 135 set by Bert Rechichar in 1950 and helped the Volunteers (5-4) improve to 15-0 against Memphis.

The loss means that Memphis (6-4) will have to beat East Carolina next week to gain a berth in the Liberty Bowl.

Arkansas 30, Northern Illinois 27--Barry Lunney Jr. scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 8:11 to play at Fayetteville, Ark., four plays after Del Delco recovered Sean Algood's ill-advised pitch.

Northern Illinois (4-7) led, 24-14, early in the third quarter and Arkansas (4-6) wasted two excellent opportunities prior to Delco's recovery. Allgood made the pitch while in the grasp of defensive back Dean Peevy, and Delco recovered at the Northern Illinois 20.

Northeast Louisiana 21, Kentucky 14--Raymond Philyaw connected with Stepfret Williams on a 54-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter at Lexington, Ky., as the Indians (2-8) sent the Wildcats to their ninth consecutive loss.

Northeast Louisiana stopped Kentucky (1-9) at the Indians' two-yard line as time expired.

Southern Mississippi 20, Louisiana State 18--Chris Pierce made up for misses from 40 and 37 yards by kicking his second field goal of the fourth quarter, a 52-yarder with two minutes left, to give the Golden Eagles (6-5) a victory over the Tigers (2-7) at Baton Rogue, La.

LSU quarterback Jamie Howard, who threw for two touchdowns, took the Tigers to the Southern Miss 28 before a penalty halted the drive, and Andre Lafleur missed a 50-yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds left.

Mississippi 38, Tulane 0--Dou Innocent ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns and the Rebels' defense forced seven turnovers at New Orleans. Ole Miss (4-6) had five interceptions, two by Alundus Brice, and recovered two fumbles. Tulane fell to 1-9.

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