Florida Routs South Carolina
Rex Grossman turned “Black Out Florida” into knock South Carolina out of the Southeastern Conference race.
Grossman had his school-record ninth consecutive 300-yard game, passing for three touchdowns and running for a fourth as the fourth-ranked Gators beat No. 14 South Carolina, 54-17, on Saturday night.
Grossman and his teammates were more amused than overwhelmed when much of the record 84,900 at Williams-Brice Stadium turned out in black.
“It was fun,” Grossman said. “It was like they weren’t even there. They were blacked out. Then we drove them out, they left.”
Even Florida Coach Steve Spurrier chuckled at the sight. “One of our receivers said, ‘Coach, it was nice of them to wear all black so we can pick the ball out of the sky,”’ he said.
The Gators, 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the SEC, who scored on their first nine possessions, can reach the SEC championship game by beating Tennessee on Dec. 1.
All week, Florida heard how South Carolina was no longer the SEC pushover it has generally been since joining the league in 1992. But after the Gamecocks (7-3, 5-3) took a 10-3 lead on Derek Watson’s seven-yard touchdown and Daniel Weaver’s 32-yard field goal with 5:12 to go in the opening quarter, it was a Florida romp like so many times before.
It was the most points allowed by South Carolina in Coach Lou Holtz’s three seasons.
No. 6 Tennessee 49, Memphis 28--Casey Clausen threw five touchdown passes, including three to Donte Stallworth, as the Volunteers won a nonconference game at Knoxville, Tenn.
The Volunteers (7-1) scored four times in the first half for the first time all season.
But the Tigers (5-4) made Tennessee sweat in the fourth quarter by scoring three touchdowns to cut the lead to 14.
So after an on-side kick, Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer put Clausen back in, and Stallworth caught his third touchdown pass, a 35-yarder from Clausen with 2:24 remaining.
No. 24 Auburn 24, No. 19 Georgia 17--Freshman Carnell Williams ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for Auburn, which held on for the victory at Athens, Ga., by stopping the Bulldogs at the one-yard line on the final play.
Williams scored the winning touchdown for Auburn (7-2, 5-1) on a one-yard run with 6:47 left, setting up the play by taking a screen pass 61 yards.
Georgia (5-3, 4-3) twice drove inside the Auburn 10 but couldn’t get the tying touchdown. The first drive stalled at the nine when David Greene threw three straight incompletions.
The Bulldogs forced Auburn to punt and, with no timeouts, Greene guided the Bulldogs to the Auburn one with 16 seconds remaining.
Trying to catch Auburn off guard, Coach Mark Richt called an off-tackle run to Jasper Sanks. He was stopped for no gain and Georgia didn’t have time for another play.
Alabama 24, Mississippi St. 17--Santonio Beard rushed for a 14-yard touchdown, and backup quarterback Andrew Zow threw a scoring pass in the fourth quarter as Alabama rallied to win at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Crimson Tide (4-5, 3-4) ended a three-game losing skid, while the Bulldogs (2-6, 1-5) will have their first losing season since 1996.
Zow, who entered after Tyler Watts pulled his groin in the first quarter, led the Tide to all 24 points.
Kentucky 56, Vanderbilt 30--Jared Lorenzen threw for a career-high 453 yards and six touchdowns at Nashville.
The victory was the first conference win for first-year Coach Guy Morriss and ended a 15-game league losing streak for the Wildcats (2-7, 1-6).
Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-6) lost the final home game for Woody Widenhofer, who resigned Thursday, effective at the end of the season.
Two of the worst defensive teams in the nation lived up to their billing as Kentucky and Vanderbilt piled up 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Louisiana State 30, Middle Tennessee 14--Rohan Davey passed for 318 yards and two touchdowns to set a pair of school records at Baton Rouge, La.
Davey completed 26 of 37 passes and set LSU season records for yards passing with 2,659 and total offense with 2,643 yards, breaking marks set by Tommy Hodson in 1989.
LSU (6-3) had little trouble with the Blue Raiders (7-3).
Arkansas 27, Central Florida 20--Fred Talley’s second long touchdown run, a 38-yarder in the third quarter, put Arkansas (6-3) ahead to stay at Fayetteville, Ark.
Talley finished with 189 yards in 27 carries.
Central Florida is 5-5.