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Georgia Finally Finds Offense

October 20, 2002|From Associated Press

Mark Richt walked into the postgame news conference with a smile.

"Finally," the Georgia coach said, "we got some offense going."

Sure, the opponent was lowly Vanderbilt, but the fifth-ranked Bulldogs weren't complaining after a 48-17 victory Saturday at Athens, Ga. Everything clicked: David Greene's passing, Musa Smith's running and Terrence Edwards on the receiving end.

"I don't care who you're playing," Richt said. "If you don't execute well, you're not going to move the ball downfield and score. We executed well."

Georgia (7-0, 4-0 in conference) had been getting by with defense and special teams, winning four games by a total of 16 points. The offense began the game ranked 11th in the Southeastern Conference and 94th nationally in yards.

The Bulldogs piled up 606 yards -- the highest total in nine years and seventh-most in school history.

Greene threw for 319 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Smith rushed for 102 yards and scored twice. Edwards caught seven passes for 163 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown on a perfectly executed trick play.

Vanderbilt (1-6, 0-4) was relieved just to make it to Sanford Stadium. One of the buses carrying players and coaches was involved in a wreck, but no one was seriously hurt.

"We tried not to let it affect us," Coach Bobby Johnson said. "I don't see that it had much to do with the game."


No. 24 Alabama 42, No. 21 Mississippi 7 -- Santonio Beard rushed for 138 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown runs for the Crimson Tide (5-2, 2-1) at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide held Eli Manning to one completion for one yard in a six-possession stretch beginning in the second quarter. Manning was sacked three times and pressured into a fumble and interception.

The Rebels (5-2, 2-1) blew a chance for their first 3-0 conference start since 1970 and have lost 19 of 20 in Tuscaloosa and 16 of the last 18 meetings. It was Mississippi's worst defeat since falling, 45-7, to Alabama on the Rebels' previous visit in 2000.


No. 14 Louisiana State 38, South Carolina 14 -- Making his first start at quarterback because of an injury to Matt Mauck, Marcus Randall completed four of 10 passes for 52 yards and ran five times for 39 yards and a touchdown and the Tigers (6-1, 3-0) scored 25 unanswered points in the third quarter at Baton Rouge, La.

Demetrius Hookfin had two interceptions, and the Tigers outgained South Carolina (5-3, 3-2) in yardage, 132-1, during the third quarter, and LSU held the ball for 10:52.


Florida 30, Auburn 23 -- Throwing off his back foot just as he was hit, Rex Grossman passed to Taylor Jacobs for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime to lift Florida (5-3, 3-2) to a victory at Gainesville, Fla., after the Gators had blown a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Clint Mitchell stopped quarterback Jason Campbell on fourth down in Auburn's overtime possession.

Auburn (4-3, 2-2) scored two touchdowns and two two-point conversions to erase a 23-7 fourth-quarter deficit. After Florida missed on fourth and one from its own 42 with 3:39 left, Damon Duval had a chance to win it with a 23-yard field-goal attempt with 30 seconds left in regulation. But Bobby McCray blocked it.


Kentucky 29, Arkansas 17 -- Jared Lorenzen threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (5-2, 1-2) in a victory at Fayetteville, Ark.

Derek Abney returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown, and the Wildcats had two more touchdowns in a 29-second span after turnovers for 20 third-quarter points.

Arkansas (3-3, 1-3) led ,10-9, at halftime, but Matt Jones' pass was intercepted by Mike Williams on the first play of the third quarter, and running back Artose Pinner gave the Wildcats a 16-10 lead on the next play with a 12-yard touchdown.


Mississippi State 29, Memphis 17 -- Fred Reid scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter and the Mississippi State defense scored twice as the Bulldogs (3-4) won at Memphis, Tenn. Mississippi State's 16 fourth-quarter points erased a 17-13 lead by Memphis (2-5).

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