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SEC: Texas Tech sets Big 12 mark against Ole Miss

©Associated Press

September 15, 2002

LUBBOCK, Texas -- On a day when Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury became the Big 12's career-leading passer, it was fitting he put the finishing touches on a 42-28 victory over Mississippi on Saturday.

LUBBOCK, Texas -- On a day when Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury became the Big 12's career-leading passer, it was fitting he put the finishing touches on a 42-28 victory over Mississippi on Saturday.

The Rebels (2-1) rallied from a 21-point deficit to cut the score to 35-28 in the fourth.

Then Kingsbury answered with an 84-yard drive for Tech (2-1), capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass to Nehemiah Glover with 3:21 left.

"I didn't say anything to Kliff in particular; I did talk to the offense (before the drive)," coach Mike Leach said. "They responded by being as good as they had been all day."

Kingsbury completed 25-of-38 for 270 yards to extend his career yards to 8,392. He passed Texas' Major Applewhite, who had 8,353, for the conference mark.

"It's a great honor," Kingsbury said. "I passed a guy I've looked up to for a long time in Major Applewhite. I'm sure someone else will break it, but it's a big honor."

Tech scored on offense, defense and special teams to hand Mississippi its first loss in 25 nonconference games.

"We did a good job of rising on all three sides of the the ball today," Leach said. "When you do that, you're tough to beat."

Wes Welker's 71-yard punt return late in the third put Tech up 35-14 and appeared to seal it.

But Mississippi's Eli Manning, who was 34-for-57 for 374 yards, threw two touchdowns in the fourth.

Field position aided Texas Tech throughout as punter Clinton Greathouse put the Rebels inside their 20 three times and inside the 5 twice. He averaged 52 yards and hit a 67-yarder that forced Mississippi to start at its 1.

Greathouse said he struggled in the first two games, so he concentrated on his drop in practice.

"I had been hurrying the kick instead of just getting it off," he said. "I surprised myself, honestly, today because they were good kicks."

The Red Raiders scored twice in the final five minutes of the second quarter for a 28-7 halftime lead.

The first came when defensive end Adell Duckett, making his first career start, intercepted a pass by Manning and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.

"He's played off and on up until now," Leach said. "He just had a tremendous day. He batted several balls down and got the interception. Just a great day."

Then after going three-and-out, Rebels punter Cody Ridgeway could not handle a high snap and was tackled on his 11. Kingsbury ran in from the 2 to give Tech a 28-7 lead.

* * *

ALABAMA 33, N. TEXAS 7: Tyler Watts passed for 161 yards and ran for 64, and four players ran for touchdowns for the host Crimson Tide. Watts completed 12-of-15, but he had one costly fumble.

Watts' backup, Brodie Croyle, got his first substantial playing time and led Alabama on two scoring drives. Croyle was 2-for-4 for 37 yards with an interception.

Alabama's defense bottled up North Texas most of the night, holding the Mean Green (1-2) to 50 yards rushing and 91 passing. Cornelius Wortham led the Tide's defense with nine tackles, six solo.

The attendance of 79,818, 4,000 short of capacity, ended a string of 56 sellouts at Bryant-Denny since its expansion after the 1986 season.

* * *

LSU 33, MIAMI (OHIO) 7: Matt Mauck threw three touchdowns for the host Tigers. LSU was in no danger of losing, but had problems against the overmatched RedHawks. LSU had trouble with penalties, committing nine for 87 yards.

In the third quarter, LSU had six for 60 yards. The Tigers had first and goal on the Miami 6-yard line, only to back up to third and goal on the 46 and settle for a 41-yard field goal by John Corbello, his fourth of the game.

LSU was dominant on the ground as running back LaBrandon Toefield, who had offseason knee surgery, seems to have regained his 2001 form, when he was a first-team All-SEC selection.

Toefield rushed for 111 yards on 17 carries, as LSU outgained the RedHawks 207 yards to 29 rushing. Domanick Davis had 51 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving and 116 yards on five punt returns.

Mauck completed 15-of-26 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions.

* * *

KENTUCKY 27, INDIANA 17: Jared Lorenzen threw three touchdowns and Artose Pinner rushed for 141 yards for the host Wildcats. Lorenzen completed 19-of-32 for 183 yards with TD passes of 12, 7 and 6 yards to lead Kentucky, which improved to 3-0 for the first time in four years. Pinner rushed 25 times and caught 10 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman tailback Yamar Washington carried 32 times for 163 yards to lead the Hoosiers (1-2). Quarterback Gibran Hamdan completed 13-of-38 for 234 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in his first career start.

Trailing 14-3 at halftime, Hamdan connected with Glenn Johnson for a 67-yard touchdown to cut the lead to three with 3:07 left in the third.

On Kentucky's next possession, Joe Gonzalez picked off Lorenzen and returned the ball 36 yards for another score to give Indiana its first lead at 17-14.

The Wildcats answered with a touchdown drive as Pinner ran 55 yards to the Indiana 6, and Lorenzen found Chase Harp in the end zone for a 21-17 lead with 14:54 left. Quentus Cumby sealed it with an 82-yard interception return with 2:46 left.

* * *

AUBURN 31, VANDY 6: Carnell Williams rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns, and host Auburn returned two fumbles for scores in the SEC opener for both teams. On Williams' 20th and final carry, he ran for a 65-yard touchdown late in the third to help Auburn win its 10th straight conference opener and 11th straight against Vandy.

The Commodores blew any chance at a comeback when Auburn's Mayo Sowell knocked the ball loose from redshirt freshman quarterback Jay Cutler early in the fourth. Spencer Johnson picked it up and ran 27 yards for the score. Cutler was 11-for-22 for 120 yards but was intercepted twice, one week after he accounted for five touchdowns in a win over Furman.

* * *

MISS. ST. 51, JACKSONVILLE ST. 13: Kevin Fant threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, including the longest in school history, to lead the host Bulldogs.

Division I-AA Jacksonville State pulled within 19-13 in the first half, but Mississippi State scored 32 in a row to end the game. Ray Ray Bivines caught a a school-record 89-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

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