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SOUTHEASTERN

No. 9 Arkansas Puts the Boot to Alabama

September 28, 2003|From Associated Press

A game of big plays, bigger comebacks and gut-churning mistakes came down to one backup kicker with a pressure-packed chip shot.

Chris Balseiro's 19-yard field goal in the second overtime completed No. 9 Arkansas' rally from a 21-point deficit in a 34-31 victory over Alabama on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

"Oh my goodness," Razorback Coach Houston Nutt said. "We all saw an awesome game. We had some guys who refused to quit."

The Razorbacks (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) trailed, 31-10, midway through the third quarter, but tied the score on Matt Jones' three-yard touchdown pass to Richard Smith with 27 seconds to play.

Arkansas then nearly blew it in the first overtime, but a penalty by Alabama (2-3, 1-1) and a missed 38-yard field goal by Brian Bostick gave the Razorbacks another chance.

The Crimson Tide has lost five of its last six games against ranked teams in Tuscaloosa and is 0-3 there this season.

Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle returned from an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder to throw touchdown passes of 71 and 12 yards to Dre Fulgham in a 98-second span early in third quarter.

Shaud Williams had an 80-yard scoring run with 7:21 left to give Alabama a 31-10 lead.

Cedric Cobbs, who had 198 yards in 36 carries, capped a 12-play, 87-yard Arkansas drive with a five-yard touchdown run to make it 31-17. Mark Pierce's two-yard run with 8:31 left cut the deficit to a touchdown.

Cobbs also lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, the first by an Arkansas running back in 18 games and 609 carries.

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No. 7 Louisiana State 41, Mississippi State 6 -- Matt Mauck passed for 171 yards and a touchdown in less than three quarters at Starkville, Miss., as the Tigers improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1973.

LSU, 2-0 in the SEC, has won four in a row and 11 of 12 against Mississippi State (0-4, 0-1). LSU has outscored Mississippi State, 83-6, in their last two games at Scott Field.

Mississippi State has lost nine consecutive conference games.

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No. 8 Tennessee 23, South Carolina 20 -- Casey Clausen's four-yard touchdown pass to James Banks in overtime gave the Volunteers the victory.

South Carolina had the ball first in overtime and Daniel Weaver made a 24-yard field goal. Then on a third-down play, Clausen found Banks in the corner of the end zone for the winning score.

South Carolina (3-2, 0-2) is 0-12 at Neyland Stadium and has lost 11 in a row to Tennessee (4-0, 2-0).

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No. 25 Florida 24, Kentucky 21 -- Johnny Lamar's 35-yard interception return set up Ron Carthon's one-yard touchdown run with 3:15 remaining at Lexington, Ky., as the Gators (3-2, 1-1) rallied from an 18-point deficit.

Trailing, 21-3, after three quarters, the Gators scored three touchdowns in the fourth to complete the biggest road comeback in school history. Florida's largest previous road rally was from 17 points in a 1993 victory at South Carolina.

Kentucky's Taylor Begley missed a 50-yard field-goal attempt with 44 seconds left that could have forced overtime. The Wildcats (2-3, 0-2) haven't defeated a ranked team at home since 1999 and hadn't even led Florida at halftime since 1988.

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Georgia Tech 24, Vanderbilt 17 -- Reggie Ball scored on a 25-yard run on the first play of overtime and James Butler ended the game with an interception as the Yellow Jackets (2-3) handed the Commodores (1-4) their third loss in a row at Nashville, Tenn.

Vanderbilt led, 17-10, on Norval McKenzie's two-yard touchdown run with 2:02 left, but Georgia Tech forced overtime on Ball's six-yard pass to John Paul Foschi with 32 seconds left in regulation.

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Auburn 48, Western Kentucky 3 -- Brandon Jacobs rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown in 10 carries at Auburn, Ala., as the Tigers ended the Division I-AA Hilltoppers' 13-game winning streak.

Western Kentucky (3-1) came into Jordan-Hare Stadium giving up 15.7 rushing yards a game, but it took Auburn (2-2) only two plays to eclipse that mark.

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