With Florida’s top offensive weapon helplessly pacing the sideline in shorts and sunglasses, Auburn’s imposing defense had it easy Saturday.
The No. 9 Tigers registered their 3rd consecutive shutout and sophomore Stacy Danley rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown to lead Auburn to a 16-0 win over Florida at Gainesville, Fla.
The Tigers (7-1 overall, 4-1 in the Southestern Conference), who ended a 7-game losing streak at Florida Field, are tied for 1st place in the SEC with LSU, Georgia and Alabama.
“We’re a solid defensive team and I know we’re going to play some defense any time we go on the road,” Auburn Coach Pat Dye said. “We knew Florida was struggling offensively and I’m not surprised they didn’t have a great deal of success today. I knew they’d have a difficult time moving the football.”
Auburn led the nation in scoring defense (7.3 points per game) and completely shackled a Florida rushing attack sorely missing injured tailback Emmitt Smith, who was sidelined with a knee injury.
The Gators (5-3, 3-2) ran for just 13 yards and gained only 7 first downs while losing their 3rd straight. The SEC’s top rusher with an average of 125 yards per game, Smith is expected back for next week’s game against Georgia in Jacksonville, Fla.
Tackle Tracy Rocker and linebacker Quentin Riggins paced Auburn’s swarming defense, which yielded just 116 yards overall. The Tigers intercepted 3 passes and forced 11 punts as Florida suffered its 1st home shutout since a 40-0 loss to Alabama in 1979.
Alabama 52, Mississippi State 34--David Casteal scored 4 touchdowns and David Smith threw for 290 yards and 2 touchdowns as 19th-ranked Alabama beat Mississippi State in an SEC game at Starkville, Miss.
Casteal scored his 3rd touchdown on a 28-yard sweep around the left side with 6:44 to play to halt Mississippi State, which scored on consecutive possessions to pull within 40-34.
The victory improved Alabama’s record to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the SEC and kept Mississippi State, 1-7, winless in the conference at 0-5.
LSU 31, Mississippi 20--Tommy Hodson threw for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns as the 13th-ranked Tigers pounded Mississippi at Baton Rouge, La.
LSU improved its record to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi is 4-4 and 2-3.
Hodson’s touchdown passes went for 39 yards to Eddie Fuller in the 2nd quarter, 6 yards to Tony Moss in the 3rd quarter and 13 yards to Moss with 3:06 left in the game.
Mississippi coach Billy Brewer said his team had an off day.
“We’ve pushed real hard the past weeks, and I think it caught up with us,” he said. “The alertness wasn’t there today, and that has been the key for us lately.
“LSU has an outstanding chance to be conference champs. They are by far the best defensive team we’ve played. They really pounded us out there.”
Georgia 59, William & Mary 24--Tim Worley ran for a pair of touchdowns and Greg Talley threw for 2 others as 18th-ranked Georgia exploded for 35 2nd quarter points at Athens, Ga.
Worley rushed for 115 yards in 13 carries, boosting his season total to 975 yards. Rodney Hampton added 118 yards in 11 carries and scored a touchdown.
The Bulldogs are 6-2, while William and Mary, a Division I-AA school, fell to 4-3-1.
Kentucky 24, S. Illinois 10--Alfred Rawls ran for 2 as Kentucky whipped Southern Illinois in a non-conference game at Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky improved its record to 4-4 while Southern Illinois, an Division I-AA school, fell to 4-4.