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100-Yard Return Is Timely for Tennessee

COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 7 | SOUTHEAST

October 10, 1999|From Associated Press

No. 6 Tennessee seemed to have things well in hand Saturday night before No. 10 Georgia suddenly got back in it. Then the Volunteers' Leonard Scott took off, and Tennessee won, 37-20, at Knoxville, Tenn.

Scott's 100-yard kickoff return came after Georgia had trimmed Tennessee's lead to 30-20 with 12 1/2 minutes left.

"That was a huge lift. It was getting real interesting all of a sudden," Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer said.

Scott, the NCAA 60-meter champion in indoor track, shook off one tackle and once he got in the open no one was going to catch him.

"Once I got past the guy who hit my leg I looked downfield and only saw one guy left," Scott said. "I saw one of our guys in front of him. I said, 'I've got to set him up some kind of way.' I dipped inside, went back outside, and went on by."

The return was a back-breaker for the Bulldogs, who trailed, 30-7, before two quick touchdowns early in the fourth quarter pulled them within striking distance.

"Our kickoff coverage stinks," Georgia Coach Jim Donnan said. "It's been bad all year. That was depressing."

Tee Martin ran for three touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Volunteers, 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference, to their ninth straight victory over the Bulldogs (4-1, 2-1).

The Volunteers are in a three-way tie at the top of the SEC Eastern Division with Georgia and Florida.

Martin, who left because of a slight concussion and an injured wrist in the fourth quarter, was 21 for 35 for 283 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. The full extent of Martin's injuries was not immediately known.

No. 8 Florida 31, Louisiana State 10--Robert Gillespie scored two touchdowns, including one with 45 seconds to play, as the Gators bounced back from their loss to Alabama and beat the Tigers in an SEC game at Baton Rogue, La.

A pounding rain fell for much of the second quarter and halftime, turning the Tiger Stadium field into a flooded, muddy swamp in the second half. That prevented a Florida blowout but did not completely stop Coach Steve Spurrier's high-powered offense.

Gillespie, who ran for 108 yards in 21 carries in the slop, was recruited by LSU and was on the LSU sideline two years ago when the Tigers upset then-No. 1 Florida. But he chose to play for Florida after visiting the campus in Gainesville.

Florida (5-1, 3-1) had not lost consecutive games since 1992.

LSU (2-3, 0-3) lost the game in the first half, picking up only 32 yards in 35 plays while allowing the Gators to gain 251 yards in 37 plays.

LSU finished with a minus-seven yards rushing in 37 carries.

Florida's offense, which averaged more than 500 yards in the first four games, was slowed in the second half as much by the dismal conditions as the Tigers. Florida gained only 345 yards, but LSU had only 165.

Kentucky 30, South Carolina 10--Dusty Bonner passed for one touchdown and ran for another at Columbia, S.C., as the Wildcats (4-2, 2-1) extended the Gamecocks' losing streak to 16, longest in Division I.

South Carolina is 0-6, 0-4 under new Coach Lou Holtz.

Bonner finished 23 for 34 for 263 yards and South Carolina fumbled twice inside its 35.

Mississippi 20, Tulane 13--The Rebels scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Green Wave at Oxford, Miss., to come from behind and improve to 5-1 for the first time since 1990.

Tulane (2-3) trailed, 13-10, in the fourth quarter when receiver Kerwin Jones fumbled and Ole Miss defensive tackle Anthony Sims recovered at the Tulane 19. Five runs by Joe Gunn, the last one from eight yards out, and Ole Miss had a 20-10 lead.

Vanderbilt 58, The Citadel 0--Rodney Williams ran for four touchdowns in the first half at Nashville as the Commodores (4-2) breezed in their first game against a Division I-AA school since 1985. The Citadel fell to 1-4.

Arkansas 58, Middle Tennessee 6--The Razorbacks (3-2) led, 21-0, with 3:34 left in the first quarter and, 44-0, at halftime against the outmanned Blue Raiders (1-5), who rank last among 114 teams in Division I-A. This is Middle Tennessee's first year in Division I-A.

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