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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996 | SOUTHEASTERN ROUNDUP

Florida Has a Field Day in Defeating Kentucky

September 29, 1996|From Associated Press

Top-ranked Florida had not returned a punt for a touchdown since 1984 until Saturday. The way the defense has been playing, the Gators are getting plenty of chances this year.

Jacquez Green returned consecutive punts for touchdowns, and the defense held Kentucky to 67 yards and only five first downs in a 65-0 Southeastern Conference victory at Gainesville, Fla.

Freshman quarterback Tim Couch's first start at Kentucky was one he would like to forget. He completed only six passes for 13 yards and failed to get a first down on the Wildcats' first seven possessions.

"We measure our defense game by game," said defensive coordinator Bob Stoops, whose Kansas State team last year led the nation in defense. "We need to get the offense the ball back, we need to get a loss of yardage when we can and we need to win. The bottom line is, we've done that."

But the Gators' offense didn't always get the ball back, thanks to Green.

Danny Wuerffel threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns in the first half to lead Florida (4-0, 2-0) to a 41-0 lead at halftime.

The next time the offense got the ball, the lead was 55-0.

On Kentucky's first punt of the second half, Green got out of the grasp of Leman Boyd on the sideline, picked his way laterally through a huge pile and then coasted down the opposite sideline for a 66-yard touchdown return.

On the next punt, he made the first defender miss badly and zig-zagged the final 50 yards to finish off a 79-yard touchdown.

No. 17 Louisiana State 63, New Mexico State 7--Rondell Mealey scored four touchdowns and ran for 124 yards for the Tigers at Baton Rouge, La.

LSU is 3-0 for the first time since 1987.

The Aggies (0-5), the lowest-scoring team in the nation with only 28 points, got 164 rushing yards from Devin Means in 31 carries, but little else.

Mississippi State 14, South Carolina 10--Izell McGill returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown and the Bulldogs had eight sacks in a Southeastern Conference game at Columbia, S.C.

Mississippi State (2-1, 1-0) got both of its touchdowns off interceptions.

South Carolina (2-2, 1-1) threatened in the fourth quarter, driving to the Mississippi State five before stalling. Reed Morton's 22-yard field goal made it 14-10 with 5:48 to play.

Arkansas 38, Northeast Louisiana 21--The Razorbacks took advantage of great field position in the first quarter and avoided its worst start since 1958 at Little Rock, Ark.

The Razorbacks (1-2) got the ball at the Northeast 41 on a fumbled punt, the Northeast 26 on an interception and the Northeast 43 on a short punt in taking a 17-0 lead.

Northeast Louisiana is 2-3.

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