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Manning Passes for 523 Yards in Tennessee Win

November 23, 1997|From Associated Press

Peyton Manning had five touchdown passes against Kentucky and probably also scored points with Heisman voters.

Manning bolstered his bid at being named college football's best player by passing for a school-record 523 yards in leading No. 5 Tennessee to a 59-31 victory before a record Commonwealth Stadium crowd of 61,076 in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday at Lexington, Ky.

"This is the kind of game you work for," Manning said. "The great atmosphere. The hostile crowd. They react and you try to respond."

Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer said Manning got the most out of the offense as the Volunteers rolled up a season-high 695 total yards.

"He ran our offense as well as it could be run," he said. "This should help him as far as individual honors."

Jamal Lewis scored four touchdowns, helping Manning and the Volunteers hold off Kentucky's Tim Couch.

Couch broke his school record with 476 passing yards, completing 35 of 50 passes for two touchdowns. He set a school record with 13 consecutive completions and also had three passes intercepted.

"They just had too many weapons for us to handle," Couch said of the Volunteers.

Manning connected on 25 of 35 passes, completing a school-record 12 in a row at one point, as Tennessee, 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the SEC, beat Kentucky (5-6, 2-6) for the 13th consecutive time.

"It is exciting to be one win away from the SEC championship [game]," Manning said. "One down and one to go. This was a big win on the road and with us playing well, it will be great to take on Vanderbilt at home."

Lewis rushed 21 times for 128 yards and became the first true freshman in Tennessee history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

Lewis had a 21-yard touchdown run and a two one-yard scores, and also scored on a 50-yard pass play from Manning. Lewis has run for 1,021 yards this season.

Couch set the SEC single-season records for passing yardage with 3,884 yards, total offense with 3,759, and total offensive plays with 613.

Besides the scoring pass to Lewis, Manning had touchdown pass plays of 59, 66 and 31 yards to Marcus Nash and 17 yards to Andy McCullough in tying a Tennessee record for scoring passes.

The teams combined for 1,329 yards, including 999 through the air.

Arkansas 17, No. 15 Mississippi State 7-- Quarterback Clint Stoerner directed two touchdown drives that consumed almost 14 1/2 minutes as the Razorbacks won at Fayetteville, Ark, as Bulldogs' hopes for a trip to the SEC championship game were ended. Auburn won the SEC Western Division title with an 18-17 victory over Alabama.

Arkansas, one of the worst offensive teams in the SEC, went 91 yards in 17 plays and then traveled 78 yards in nine plays for a 14-0 halftime lead. At that point, Mississippi State (7-3, 4-3) had two first downs.

"Arkansas' quarterback did a good job, especially controlling the clock," Mississippi State Coach Jackie Sherrill said.

Todd Latourette's 25-yard field goal made it 17-0 with 13 minutes to play. The field goal was set up by one of two interceptions by Ontraia Moss for Arkansas (4-6, 2-5).

No. 14 Georgia 21, Mississippi 14--Robert Edwards rushed for 180 yards, scored once and set up Georgia's other two touchdowns as the Bulldogs won at Oxford, Miss., to maintain a shot at the SEC.

Georgia (8-2, 6-2) scored on its first two possessions, taking the lead for good when Edwards broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and scored from 10 yards out to make it 14-7 late in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs, who play at Georgia Tech in their regular season finale, will pull for Tennessee to lose to Vanderbilt next weekend. That would force a three-way tie in the SEC East, which Georgia would win on the strength of its 37-17 victory over Florida.

Ole Miss (6-4, 3-4), still in the chase for its first bowl game since 1992, closes its regular season next weekend at Mississippi State.

Stewart Patridge set Ole Miss single season records for completions (208) and yards (2,433) while completing 33 of 43 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns.

Clemson 47, South Carolina 21--Nealon Greene's three touchdown passes lifted the Tigers (7-4) past the Gamecocks (5-6) at Columbia, S.C.

Greene, a senior quarterback, brought the Clemson back from a 14-3 deficit with touchdown pass plays of seven yards to Brian Wofford and 15 yards to Tony Horne and Mal Lawyer.

Horne added a 39-yard punt return for a touchdown and Antwan Edwards ran one two interceptions back from 42 yards.

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