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Alabama Improvises to Overcome Arkansas

September 25, 2005|From Associated Press

It was supposed to be a draw play, but then Alabama's Brodie Croyle saw receiver D.J. Hall standing by himself at the line and wisely changed his mind.

Hall slipped into the end zone with no Arkansas defender anywhere near him and caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Croyle in the final minutes of the Crimson Tide's 24-13 Southeastern Conference victory Saturday at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

"I tried not to get too excited and give it away," said Hall, who also had a 43-yard touchdown catch. "I looked at Brodie and gave him a little signal. He looked at me and just nodded his head. All I was thinking was, 'Don't drop it.' "

He didn't drop it and No. 20 Alabama (4-0, 2-0) didn't fumble away its first 4-0 start since 1996. Arkansas (1-3, 0-2) lost its third game in a row.

Juwan Simpson's interception at the Arkansas 40 set up the late scoring drive capped by Hall's touchdown catch on third and goal.

Ken Darby rushed for 98 yards in 18 carries, gaining 22 on the final drive, for Alabama.

Croyle completed 13 of 27 passes for 173 yards.

No. 5 Florida 49, Kentucky 28 -- Chris Leak threw four touchdown passes, all in the first half, and DeShawn Wynn scored four touchdowns to lead the Gators (4-0, 2-0) over the Wildcats (1-3, 0-1) at Lexington, Ky.

After a blocked punt led to an early Kentucky touchdown, Florida scored on seven straight possessions and led, 49-7, at halftime. Leak, who made his first collegiate start two years ago at Kentucky, completed 25 of 32 passes for 319 yards.

No. 7 Georgia 23, Mississippi State 10 -- D.J. Shockley passed for a career-high 312 yards in the first road start in his career, leading Georgia (4-0, 2-0) over Mississippi State (2-2, 0-2) at Starkville, Miss.

Shockley, who's finally enjoying a chance to start after spending four years as David Greene's backup, also set career highs with 20 completions and 33 attempts despite gusty, hurricane-related winds and occasional showers. Shockley also had touchdown passes to Danny Ware and Leonard Pope.

Vanderbilt 37, Richmond 13 -- Jay Cutler threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns and the Commodores improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1984 after a victory over the Spiders (1-3) at Nashville.

Cutler, who completed 28 of 40 passes with no interceptions, set the school's total yardage record with 6,769 and also broke the touchdown record with 44 in front 38,446, the largest crowd at Vanderbilt Stadium in four years.

Auburn 37, Western Kentucky 14 -- Blake Field completed 13 of 20 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start to lead the Tigers (3-1) over the Hilltoppers (2-1) at Auburn, Ala.

Kenny Irons rushed 18 times for 111 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers, who finished with 209 yards on the ground.

South Carolina 45, Troy 20 -- Blake Mitchell threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns before leaving because of an injury and 40-year-old walk-on Tim Frisby caught a nine-yard pass late as the Gamecocks (2-2) beat the Trojans (1-3) at Columbia, S.C.

Wyoming 24, Mississippi 14 -- Corey Bramlet threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns, and Wynel Seldon rushed for 124 yards and had 78 yards receiving to lead the Cowboys (3-1) over the Rebels (1-2) at Oxford, Miss.

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