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Alabama Reaches Another Low in 30-28 Loss at Louisiana State

November 05, 2000|From Associated Press

Mike DuBose's bad week got a lot worse.

Told earlier in the week to find another job once the season is over, DuBose oversaw Alabama's first loss in Tiger Stadium in 31 years Saturday at Baton Rouge, La.

Josh Booty passed for four touchdown as Louisiana State rallied for a 30-28 victory over the Crimson Tide.

The loss assured Alabama, 3-6 overall and 3-3 in the Southeastern Conference, its second losing season in four years. Alabama had not lost in Baton Rouge since 1969, going 14-0-1 over that stretch.

LSU (6-3, 4-2), rebounding from last year's 3-8 record, tied Auburn atop the SEC West. The victory secured the Tigers' first winning season since 1997 and gave them their first three-game winning streak in the conference since 1988.

The victory sent the crowd onto the field where it toppled one of the goal posts and carried it to midfield and dismantled it. Fans toppled both goal posts and ripped sod from the field early this season when LSU upset then-No. 11 Tennessee.

Booty completed 18 of 31 passes for 275 yards. Josh Reed and Robert Royal each had two touchdown catches.

LSU opened the scoring with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Booty to Reed in the first quarter. Booty and Reed connected again in the second quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass.

In the first half, Alabama looked like a demoralized team stumbling through the season. The Crimson Tide had only 69 yards in offense and six first downs. Three of Alabama's seven first-half possessions ended in negative yards.

Alabama's 72-yard second-quarter touchdown drive--its only drive of more than 19 yards in the half--was fueled with 26 yards in penalties on LSU.

No. 6 Florida 43, Vanderbilt 20--Rex Grossman survived some early mistakes to pass for a career-high 334 yards and two touchdowns as the Gators (8-1, 6-1) rolled at Nashville, Tenn.

Florida also intercepted five passes to clinch its 10th consecutive victory over Vanderbilt. The Gators will play No. 22 South Carolina on Saturday for the SEC's Eastern Division title.

Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-6) took advantage of Florida's problems with penalties and an interception and led twice in the first half, the last at 13-10 after a 21-yard field goal by John Markham with 2:39 to play before halftime.

Then Grossman took over.

The redshirt freshman completed five consecutive passes for 51 yards, the last a two-yard toss to Reche Caldwell that gave Florida a 17-13 lead 27 seconds before halftime.

Florida never trailed again and scored the next 19 points, including a seven-yard touchdown pass from Grossman to Jabar Gaffney in the third quarter. Jeff Chandler, who kicked a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter, added field goals of 34 and 18 yards in the quarter.

No. 18 Mississippi State 35, Kentucky 17--Dicenzo Miller and Dontae Walker each ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown as the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-2) romped at Lexington, Ky.

The Bulldogs forced seven turnovers and returned two for scores as they held the Wildcats (2-7, 0-6) to 386 total yards.

Miller carried 19 times for 117 yards and had an 11-yard touchdown run, and Walker ran 15 times for 101 yards and a one-yard score. Wayne Madkin completed 11 of 20 passes for 212 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Freshman Jared Lorenzen, the SEC's leader in passing yards and total offense, completed 23 of 54 passes for 264 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions for Kentucky, which lost its last six games.

Freshman Chad Scott also carried the ball 21 times for 119 yards and a touchdown.

Mississippi 38, Arkansas 24--Robert Williams returned a kickoff 97 yards, and Mississippi scored two touchdowns in 66 seconds at Fayetteville, Ark.

Williams' return tied the score at 7-7 only 19 seconds after Arkansas (4-4, 1-4) went 80 yards with John Rutledge at quarterback and scored on Fred Talley's 30-yard run at 7:37 of the first quarter.

Romaro Miller's nine-yard touchdown pass to Doug Zeigler capped an 80-yard drive and put the Rebels in front, 14-7, with 12:21 to play in the second quarter.

Tennessee 19, Memphis 17--Alex Walls kicked a 34-yard field goal with 13 seconds to play at Memphis, Tenn., giving the Volunteers their second last-minute victory in two weeks and second in a row over the Tigers.

Memphis (4-5) took a 17-16 lead on Scott Scherer's 24-yard touchdown pass to Billy Kendall with 2:56 remaining.

Tennessee's Leonard Scott returned the kickoff 44 yards to the Vols' 48. Travis Henry carried on four consecutive plays to the Memphis 37, and Casey Clausen completed three short passes to David Martin to move the ball to the 17. Walls kicked the winning field goal on second down.

Tennessee (5-3) rallied to beat South Carolina last week on a touchdown with 26 seconds left.

The victory was the second in row the Volunteers have pulled out late against Memphis; last year, Tennessee scored with one minute left in a 17-16 victory.

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