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SEC: Georgia gets feel-good rout of Northwestern St.

©Associated Press
September 22, 2002

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia's offense needed a confidence boost. The opponent didn't matter.

The Bulldogs took out two games worth of frustration on Division I-AA Northwestern State, routing the Demons 45-7 Saturday as David Greene tied a school record with four touchdown passes.

"I-AA or I-A, it really didn't matter," offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. "It was really good to go out and have a positive game."

The Bulldogs raced to a 31-0 halftime lead against outmanned Northwestern State, which bused in from Louisiana to save money and held out its best player to save him for the conference schedule.

Georgia's offense was sluggish in victories against Clemson and South Carolina, scoring three touchdowns. The special teams and defense accounted for more points.

"We won the first two games, but we'd still be scratching our heads after looking at the film Monday morning," Stinchcomb said. "Hopefully, this will serve as a catalyst, something we can build from."

Greene, who averaged 118 yards passing in the first two games, completed 26 of 43 passes for 346 yards, including two touchdowns to Terrence Edwards.

Greene joined four other Georgia quarterbacks who have thrown four touchdowns in a game. The most recent was Cory Phillips -- now Greene's backup -- two years ago.

"We had some momentum," Greene said. "We just kept on going and were able to put some points on the board."

Northwestern State blitzed often, so the Bulldogs unveiled a four-receiver set. Greene took solid hits, but Georgia took advantage of single coverage on a number of plays.

Overall, the Bulldogs threw for 394 yards, on 47 passes. Fred Gibson had eight catches for 134 yards -- his second 100-yard game in a row.

"We could tell on film that they like to bring the heat," Greene said. "They were taking a chance that they could get to me before I got rid of the ball."

The Demons might have been weary after a two-day bus trip from Natchitoches, La. The school wanted to save its travel budget for a charter flight later in the season to meet conference foe Jacksonville State.

* * *

ALABAMA 20, SOUTHERN MISS 7: Shaud Williams rushed for 135 yards, and Ahmaad Galloway added 89 yards rushing and a touchdown for the host Crimson Tide.

Alabama resorted to a ground-based attack after quarterback Tyler Watts left with a sprained left foot in the first quarter, handing off repeatedly to a quartet of running backs.

The Golden Eagles, who were going for their first 4-0 start since 1981, had far less success with Derrick Nix, an Alabama native who came in as the nation's No. 2 rusher and gained 57 yards on 14 carries. The normally potent Southern Miss running game was held to 35 yards on 26 carries.

The Tide is off to its first 3-1 start since 1999.

KENTUCKY 44, MID. TENN. 22: Jared Lorenzen threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns as the host Wildcats started 4-0 for the first time since 1984.

Artose Pinner, the SEC's leading rusher, ran 24 times for 163 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard game. He scored on runs of 54, 13 and 9 yards, and caught a 13-yard pass for another score.

Lorenzen completed 22 of 31 passes, including touchdowns of 72, 33 and 13 yards, with one interception.

After the game, a raucous Kentucky crowd chanted "Beat the Gators," referring to the Wildcats' conference opener Saturday at No. 10 Florida.

MISSISSIPPI 45, VANDERBILT 38: Eli Manning threw for a career-high 386 yards and two touchdowns, and Ronald McClendon's 23-yard touchdown run late in the fourth sealed it for the host Rebels.

Ole Miss beat Vanderbilt for the ninth time in the past 10 meetings but blew a 38-17 fourth-quarter lead.

Kwane Doster and Norval McKenzie each ran for more than 100 yards to lead the Commodores, who scored touchdowns on three possessions in a row to tie it at 38 with 6:51 left on a 3-yard run by Matthew Tant.

The Rebels answered, marching to the Commodores' 23, with Manning completing all five of his passes on the drive. On second down, McClendon took a handoff up the middle, spun from a tackler at the line and raced in for a touchdown to put Ole Miss up 45-38 with 3:12 left.

SOUTH CAROLINA 42, TEMPLE 21: Corey Jenkins threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others for the host Gamecocks.

Jenkins was 18-for-23 for 198 yards, and the Gamecocks solved their turnover problem. After giving the ball away 12 times in their first three games, South Carolina had one against the Owls, while picking off two passes.

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