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SEC: Beard, 'Bama ground Rebels

©Associated Press
October 20, 2002

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Santonio Beard isn't used to spending this much time in the end zone.

Beard rushed for 138 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns as the Crimson Tide pounded Eli Manning and beat Mississippi 42-7 on Saturday.

"I'm still in shock," said Beard, who had two TD runs in the first six games.

So were the Rebels, who were aiming for their first 3-0 SEC start since 1970.

Manning had one completion for 1 yard in a six-possession stretch beginning in the second quarter. He was sacked four times and was pressured into a fumble and interception.

"I don't think I've seen him pressured any more than he was today," Alabama coach Dennis Franchione said. "We made him throw off his back foot. We made him throw off rhythm."

The Rebels are 1-19 in Tuscaloosa and have lost 16 of the past 18 against the Tide overall. It was the team's worst defeat since falling 45-7 to Alabama in 2000.

"It is not fun coming out and losing," Manning said. "It makes it worse when the score gets like that."

Alabama also got a rare win over a Manning, moving to 3-6 against Eli, Archie and Peyton.

Manning finished 18-of-32 for 219 yards and did not have a TD pass for the second time this year. He had been sacked only four times in the first six games.

Alabama's Tyler Watts limped off after a sack early in the second and didn't return. He aggravated a sprained left foot that caused him to miss the past two games but said he could have returned.

Backup Brodie Croyle was 6-for-11 but threw for 179 yards, including a 51-yard TD to Dre Fulgham and a 64-yarder to Sam Collins that set up another score.

He mostly played a supporting role to Beard. The junior tailback had scored six times in two-plus seasons and was held to 23 yards in the Tide's last outing, a loss to Georgia two weeks ago.

"Coach challenged me for the last two weeks," Beard said. "I wanted to do something to help the team win, but I never dreamed it would be five touchdowns."

Beard scored on his first two carries with runs of 25 and 35 yards and tied the mark Shaun Alexander set against Brigham Young in 1998.

GEORGIA 48, VANDY 17: David Greene threw for 319 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, and Musa Smith rushed for 102 yards and scored twice for the host Bulldogs. Terrence Edwards caught seven passes for 163 yards, including a 65-yard TD on a trick play.

The Bulldogs scored on their first eight possessions in their highest-scoring game of the season. They led 31-10 at halftime, piling up more yards in the first half than they had in four previous games.

"I don't care who you're playing," coach Mark Richt said. "If you don't execute well, you're not going to move the ball downfield and score. We executed well. I'm thankful we did. It was getting very frustrating."

Frustrating indeed, though the Bulldogs are the last unbeaten team in the SEC.

Georgia had been getting by with defense and special teams, winning four games by 16 points total. The offense entered ranked 11th in the SEC and 94th nationally in total yards.

That changed against the worst defensive team in the conference. The Bulldogs had 606 yards, the highest total in nine years and seventh-most in school history.

"This is what everybody has been waiting for," Edwards said. "Hopefully, we'll keep playing like this and get even better."

Greene completed his first 11, the streak broken on a drop late in the first half. Greene, who was averaging 208 yards, had 270 by halftime on 16 of 18 passing. He finished 20-for-23, throwing two TDs and scrambling for an 11-yard score on his final play.

Georgia's D.J. Shockley, who missed the previous month with a broken foot, was 7-for-9 for 94 yards.

Former Robinson star Kwane Doster rushed for 118 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown for the Commodores.

LSU 38, SOUTH CAROLINA 14: Making his first start at quarterback because of an injury to Matt Mauck, Marcus Randall completed 4-of-10 for 52 yards and rushed five times for 39 yards and a TD in the third as the host Tigers scored 25 unanswered.

After trailing 14-6 at the half, the Tigers scored on their first possession of the second half. The 58-yard drive included three third-down conversions before Randall scored on a 12-yard run. A two-point conversion tied it. Randall completed 12-of-23 for 183 yards total.

After giving up an average of 207.8 yards in the first six games, the Tigers allowed South Carolina to gain 212 by halftime, including 139 yards rushing.

Because of the second-half turnaround, LSU outgained the Gamecocks 414 to 275.

Corey Jenkins completed 5-of-12 for 62 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted twice, sacked twice and ran for 41 yards on 15 carries.

KENTUCKY 29, ARKANSAS 17: Jared Lorenzen threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns, and the visiting Wildcats took advantage of Arkansas' third-quarter mistakes. Derek Abney returned a punt 86 yards for a TD, and the Wildcats added two TDs in a 29-second span after turnovers for 20 third-quarter points. Arkansas outgained Kentucky 515-332, and Fred Talley had his second straight plus-100 game with 182 yards on 24 carries.

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