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Mississippi State Rips Florida, Spurrier Offers No Defense

October 01, 2000|From Associated Press

Steve Spurrier couldn't understand all the fuss about Mississippi State beating his third-ranked Florida Gators.

"Mississippi State ought to be embarrassed tearing down the goal posts after beating this team," the Florida coach said.

But down they went Saturday, both of them, after Mississippi State defeated the defenseless Gators, 45-35, in a Southeastern Conference game at Starkville, Miss.

Florida scored on the game's last play but couldn't even attempt a conversion.

Spurrier openly questioned his defense's effort after last week's poor performance against Kentucky, and saw no improvement against the Bulldogs, 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.

Dicenzo Miller ran for 172 yards and Dontae Walker 156 for Mississippi State.

Mississippi State gained 517 yards, 351 on the ground. Miller and Walker each had a touchdown run, and Wayne Madkin ran for two scores and passed for one.

It was the most yards rushing and points given up by Florida since a 62-24 loss to Nebraska in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. The Gators (4-1, 2-1) had minus-78 yards rushing, the lowest ever under Spurrier.

The Gators turned the ball over three times, gave up seven sacks and missed three fourth-and-one attempts in the first half.

It was Mississippi State's first victory over a top-three team since beating No. 1 Alabama in 1980.

The Bulldogs were coming off a 23-19 loss to South Carolina that knocked them out of the top 25.

Florida trailed, 31-23, and was driving with 10 minutes to play when the Gators' shotgun formation misfired--on consecutive plays. Two consecutive snaps by David Jorgensen sailed over Rex Grossman's head, resulted in a third and 56. Spurrier elected for a safety, having Grossman run through the end zone.

Louisiana State 38, No. 11 Tennessee 31--Rohan Davey threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Robert Royal on the first play of overtime to give the Tigers (3-2, 1-1) a thrilling victory over the Volunteers (2-2, 0-2) at Baton Rogue, La.

It was the first overtime game in the Tiger Stadium history, and sent the victory-starved LSU fans swarming onto the field after the game where they quickly toppled both goal posts. It was LSU's first victory over a ranked team since 1998.

After LSU scored in the overtime, Tennessee drove to the three, but third- and fourth-down passes to the end zone were broken up by linebacker Bradie James.

Alabama 27, No. 23 South Carolina 17--Milo Lewis intercepted two fourth-quarter passes and backup quarterback Andrew Zow revived a sputtering offense as the Crimson Tide (2-3, 2-1) beat the Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1) at Tuscaloosa, Ala., to avoid its first 1-4 start in 43 years.

Alabama Coach Mike DuBose said his team drew inspiration from the movie "Remember the Titans." He took the players to see it Friday night.

South Carolina Coach Lou Holtz, who has resurrected a program that entered the season on a 21-game losing streak, said, "I'm upset because we're better than that. I think we're a pretty competitive SEC football team. But you can't make stupid mistakes."

No. 19 Auburn 33, Vanderbilt 0--Ben Leard passed for two touchdowns and Rudi Johnson ran for 128 yards as the Tigers (5-0, 3-0) breezed past the Commodores (1-4, 0-3) at Auburn, Ala.

No. 25 Georgia 38, Arkansas 7--A 35-yard interception-return touchdown by cornerback Jamie Henderson on the game's first play got the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1) off to a fast start and they routed the Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1) at Fayetteville, Ark. The Razorbacks had won 15 in a row in Arkansas.

Mississippi 35, Kentucky 17--Romaro Miller completed 15 of 25 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns as the Rebels (3-1, 2-1) defeated the Wildcats (2-3, 1-2) in at Oxford, Miss.

Kentucky's Jared Lorenzen was only 17 for 42 for 192 yards and he threw three interceptions.

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