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SEC: Vols use six overtimes to knock off Arkansas

©Associated Press
October 6, 2002

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Jason Witten caught a 25-yard touchdown from Casey Clausen in the sixth overtime Saturday night to give 10th-ranked Tennessee an exhausting 41-38 win against Arkansas.

The Razorbacks, who beat Mississippi 58-57 in a record-setting seven-overtime game last season, had to settle for a 47-yard field goal by David Carlton in the sixth OT before the Volunteers got their last chance.

The teams kicked field goals in the first two overtimes and were held scoreless in the third.

Arkansas scored in the fourth OT, on Matt Jones' run, but the Razorbacks couldn't get the two-point conversion. Under NCAA rules, teams must go for two after touchdowns starting with the third overtime.

Tennessee scored on Clausen's 25-yard pass to Tony Brown, but the Vols also failed on the conversion.

Jabari Davis, who scored two TDs in regulation, ran in from 12 yards to start the fifth overtime. He fumbled, but the ball was recovered in the end zone by Troy Fleming. Clausen was stopped on the conversion attempt. De'Arrius Howard scored for Arkansas, whose pass attempt was intercepted by Tennessee's Julian Battle at the goal line.

Arkansas scored two touchdowns in a 4 1/2-minute span of regulation to tie at 17 with 3:30 to go.

* * *

GEORGIA 27, ALABAMA 25: In the end, the smallest man on the field showed how tough Georgia is.

Billy Bennett kicked a 32-yard field goal with :38 left as the Bulldogs blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead before recovering.

"I was just thinking that we do this in practice every day," the 5-foot-8, 168-pound Bennett said. "I saw time running down and I thought, "Oh, goodness, this is coming down to me.' "

Thomas Davis picked off Brodie Croyle's pass on the next play from scrimmage to seal the win for Georgia, the last remaining unbeaten team in the SEC.

The Bulldogs are off to their first 5-0 start since 1982 and snapped a seven-game losing streak in Tuscaloosa.

"It's just a great victory," coach Mark Richt said. "I'm proud to be with a group of men that made some history here."

The Crimson Tide scored two touchdowns in a 63-second span midway through the fourth to take its first lead at 25-24 with 8:24 left. Croyle was stopped short on the two-point conversion, but wasn't sure he didn't make it.

"That's the ref's opinion," the redshirt freshman said. "I had to have been pretty close."

Damien Gary's 15-yard punt return gave Georgia the ball at the Alabama 34 with 3:45 to play.

The Bulldogs' Musa Smith rushed six times in a row for 19 yards against the SEC's top run defense, setting up Bennett's kick.

Last week, former Auburn coach and Georgia All-American Pat Dye said the Bulldogs weren't "man enough to beat Alabama."

"Did it help, all the things being said?" offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb said. "Sure did. Any time someone questions your manhood you go out there with all you got."

LSU 48, LA.-LAFAYETTE 0: Matt Mauck threw three first-half touchdowns for the host Tigers.

LSU allowed the overmatched Ragin' Cajuns six first downs. Louisiana-Lafayette had 17 yards rushing and 53 yards passing. The Tigers had 205 yards rushing, 154 passing.

The only time Louisiana-Lafayette reached LSU's side of the field in the first half was when it recovered a fumble on the Tigers 44 late in the first quarter. The Cajuns fumbled it back on the next play. Nine plays later, Domanick Davis ran for a 1-yard score -- the Tigers' fourth of the game and the first of the second quarter -- to make it 27-0.

USC 34, MISS. STATE 10: Corey Jenkins threw for one touchdown and ran for another as the host Gamecocks beat the Bulldogs for the third time in a row. The Gamecocks held the Bulldogs to 97 yards of offense in the first half and did enough after halftime to win their third consecutive game.

Like last year, Mississippi State had no answer for Jenkins. As a little-used backup quarterback in 2001, he rushed for 75 yards and led South Carolina to its decisive field-goal drive in a 16-14 win at Mississippi State.

Jenkins didn't need any late-game surprises this time.

He had a 16-yard run as part of an 89-yard first-quarter drive that ended with Andrew Pinnock's 1-yard touchdown.

The next possession, Jenkins ran into receiver Ryan Brewer after the snap, stayed up, looked around and found Hart Turner for a 26-yard touchdown.

Two series later, Jenkins stretched the ball across the goal line for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Gamecocks ahead 21-0. The touchdown was set up when safety DeAndre Eiland picked up a fumble by fullback Justin Griffith -- the first of five Bulldog turnovers -- and returned it 32 yards.

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