© St. Petersburg Times, published November 18, 2002
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Alabama might be going nowhere, but the Crimson Tide made the road a little more difficult for LSU.
Santonio Beard ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama beat the Tigers 31-0 Saturday night.
"We played well in some tough situations," Alabama coach Dennis Franchione said. "This was a tough environment, but we've played well on the road all season long."
In a game featuring two of the nation's top defenses, Alabama's ground game was the difference. The Crimson Tide ran for 300 yards and held the ball for 34:37. LSU rushed for 65 yards.
"We could not stop the run," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "And we could not play with any consistency on offense."
The Tigers were shut out for the first time since Alabama beat them 26-0 in 1996. It was LSU's most lopsided shutout loss since 35-0 to Oklahoma in the 1950 Sugar Bowl.
Alabama is banned from bowl participation and can't win the SEC West. But the Tide, which has won five straight, hurt LSU's bid to return to the conference championship game. The Tigers must win both remaining games to be sure of making it.
"This was a big win for us," Alabama quarterback Tyler Watts said. "We wanted to have the best record in the SEC, and we knew we had to go through LSU."
The Tigers had the No. 1 overall defense in the nation, allowing 246.4 yards a game. Alabama was No. 3, giving up 249.1.
Miami was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll again, while Ohio State remained second despite a shaky win and Texas tumbled out of the Top 10.
The Hurricanes, who did not play Saturday, received all 74 first-place votes and 1,850 points from the AP panel. Miami hosts No. 17 Pittsburgh on Thursday night and has games left against Syracuse and No. 13 Virginia Tech.
Texas was upset by Texas Tech 42-38 and fell to No. 11 from a co-No. 4 ranking.
Boise State, Texas Tech and UCLA entered at Nos. 23, 24, and 25, respectively. Auburn, North Carolina State and Oregon dropped out.
FLORIDA CLASSIC: The 23rd annual game between Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M will not be televised. Tickets for the game, scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Florida Citrus Bowl, are available through Ticketmaster, (813) 287-8844 or (727) 898-2100 or www.ticketmaster.com; and at the Florida Citrus Sports ticket office, (407) 423-2476 or www.fcsports.com.
JC QB PASSES FOR 781 YARDS: College of Marin quarterback Geary Davenport passed for 781 yards and nine touchdowns Saturday, though the junior college in Kentfield, Calif., lost 72-69 to Solano Community College of Suisun City, Calif. National community college records were not available.
CLEMSON: Defensive tackle Todd McClinton sprained his neck in Saturday's loss to Maryland, tests revealed.
COLORADO: Running back Chris Brown was released from the hospital after bruising his sternum against Iowa State on Saturday. Brown, the nation's leading rusher, was hospitalized so he could rest more comfortably. A team spokesman said it was only a precaution.
KANSAS STATE: Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, celebrated the school's victory over Nebraska. Myers, a 1965 graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, was dressed in his civvies when he visited the locker room and spoke to the Wildcats after their 49-13 win.
OREGON: Star tailback Onterrio Smith has a cartilage tear in his left knee. He is scheduled for surgery today and will miss Saturday's game against Oregon State.
TENNESSEE: Starting safety Rashad Baker tore a ligament in his right knee over the weekend and will miss the rest of the season.
WISCONSIN: Tight end Rob Tucker was suspended for his involvement in an altercation Saturday night. Tucker's suspension is the latest problem for the Badgers, who have had several brushes with the law lately.