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SOUTHEASTERN

Tennessee Outlasts Florida, 30-28

September 19, 2004|From Associated Press

Making up for a missed extra point earlier in the game, James Wilhoit kicked a 50-yard field goal with six seconds left to give No. 13 Tennessee a 30-28 victory over No. 11 Florida on Saturday night at Knoxville, Tenn.

Tennessee was trailing, 28-21, in the fourth quarter when freshman Erik Ainge completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jayson Swain with 4:17 left. But Wilhoit, a sophomore who had never missed an extra-point attempt in his career, was wide right on the kick.

"When I missed the extra point for a second I didn't believe it.... I guess I just assumed it would go in," Wilhoit said. "I just had to believe that I would get another opportunity, and when I did I knew I had to make it."

After the miss, all Florida had to do was run out the clock, but the Gators, 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Southeastern Conference, had to punt with 55 seconds left.

It was enough time for the Volunteers (2-0, 1-0) to rally for their first win over Florida at home since 1998, the year they won the national championship.

"This was certainly a character fight, but the team's attitude is just so good," Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I knew we could come through it with a win."

Ainge completed passes of 21 and seven yards to Chris Hannon to set up the field goal.

The loss overshadowed a fine performance by Florida's Chris Leak, who rebounded from an interception in the first quarter to complete 22 of 31 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns.

No. 3 Georgia 13, Marshall 3 -- The Georgia defense made up for another lackluster offensive showing, holding Marshall to seven first downs at Athens, Ga.

Marshall shut down a Georgia running game that was without its top two backs. The Bulldogs (3-0) had 41 carries for 146 yards, most coming late in the game.

Freshman Thomas Brown finally began to wear down the Marshall defense as the Bulldogs held the ball most of the fourth quarter. Brown had 18 carries for 81 yards. Marshall is 0-3 for the first time under ninth-year Coach Bob Pruett.

Mississippi 26, Vanderbilt 23 -- Jonathan Nichols' 35-yard field goal in overtime lifted Mississippi to the win at Oxford, Miss.

The Rebels (1-2, 1-1) went on defense first in overtime and stopped Vanderbilt, forcing four incompletions. Ole Miss then called three straight running plays to set up Nichols' winner.

Nichols, who won the Lou Groza Award last year as the nation's best kicker, was mobbed by his teammates, while the Commodores (0-2, 0-2) crumpled to the ground after Nichols' fourth field goal of the game sailed through.

South Carolina 34, South Florida 3 -- Troy Williamson set a school record with 210 yards receiving, including three touchdowns for the Gamecocks (2-1), at Columbia, S.C.

South Florida (1-1) fell to 0-4 against SEC opponents.

Alabama 52, Western Carolina 0 -- Alabama lost quarterback Brodie Croyle to a season-ending knee injury early in the third quarter in the Crimson Tide's win at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Croyle was injured when he was tackled at the end of a short run with Alabama leading, 31-0. Backup Mark Guillon, who led the Crimson Tide (3-0) on two second-half touchdown drives, will take over the starting spot.

Alabama quickly pulled away from the overmatched Catamounts (2-1) and finished with 478 yards of total offense to 191 for Western Carolina.

Arkansas 49, Louisiana Monroe 20 -- Matt Jones threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns -- two each to Steven Harris and Marcus Monk -- and the Razorbacks (2-1) shut out Louisiana Monroe (0-2) in the second half at Little Rock, Ark.

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