Memphis Stuns No. 6 Tennessee; Alexander Is Great for Alabama
Memphis had almost no offense until it mattered, then the Tigers had enough to beat No. 6 Tennessee for the first time ever, 21-17, Saturday in a Southeastern Conference game at Memphis, Tenn.
“We preached all week long that big-timers make big plays in big games,” said Memphis Coach Rip Scherer, whose team was a 26-point underdog. “It was time for the offense to step up.”
When the Tigers took over at their 30 with slightly under six minutes left, they had managed just 83 yards of offense all day. Undaunted, the Tigers marched 70 yards in 5:20, getting the winning score on Qadry Anderson’s three-yard touchdown pass to Chris Powers with 34 seconds remaining.
The Tigers (4-6) had lost to the Volunteers (6-2) in all 15 previous meetings dating back to 1968.
“I compliment Memphis. They made the plays when they had to,” said Volunteer Coach Phillip Fulmer. “We’ve been trying to get the running game going for weeks. It’s been about ready to bite us in the butt, and it bit us tonight.”
The Volunteers gained 85 yards in 49 carries.
No. 10 Alabama 26, No. 11 Louisiana State 0--Shaun Alexander scored four touchdowns, including runs of 73 and 72 yards, and set a school record with 291 yards in only 20 carries to lead the Crimson Tide at Baton Rouge, La.
“He just made some great runs,” said Alabama offensive tackle Pete DiMario. “We’d sit there, block and turn, and he was gone. I’ve never seen anyone run like that in my life.”
The victory puts Alabama (8-1, 5-1) in first place in the SEC West. LSU (6-2, 4-2) is tied with Auburn for second place.
Alexander broke the Alabama single-game rushing record of 284 yards, set by Bobby Humphrey in a 1986 game against Mississippi State. Alexander is the first Alabama freshman to rush for 100 yards since 1990. His 73-yard touchdown is the third-longest play for the Tide since Gene Stallings became coach.
Alexander, a redshirt freshman, had scored only one touchdown in his first seven games,
No. 22 Auburn 28, Northeast Louisiana 24--The Tigers weren’t acting as if they won this nonconference game at Auburn, Ala., having barely gotten past a 41-point underdog.
Auburn (7-2) needed a late, 70-yard touchdown drive, capped by Kevin McLeod’s six-yard scoring run.
The Indians (4-5) lost, 59-0, to Mississippi State last week and had been outscored by Auburn, 82-26, in the last two meetings between the teams. The lost, 44-0, to UCLA early in the season.
McLeod got a key block from Craig for his touchdown run with 1:44 left to give the Tigers the lead for the first time since the first quarter.
Until then, it looked like Northeast Louisiana’s game, as quarterback Raymond Philyaw passed for 308 yards, including 46- and 48-yard completions to Marty Booker on fourth-quarter scoring drives.
Arkansas 13, Mississippi 7--Wide receiver Anthony Eubanks eluded linebacker Walker Jones and caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Pete Burks that lifted the Razorbacks (3-5, 1-4) to a victory at Fayetteville, Ark.
John Avery had 155 yards in 20 carries for Mississippi (4-4, 1-4).
Kentucky 24, Mississippi State 21--Billy Jack Haskins passed to Norman Mason for a 24-yard touchdown with 7:03 to go as the Wildcats (3-6, 2-4) beat the Bulldogs (3-5, 1-4) at Lexington, Ky.