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SEC: Arkansas survives in 7 OTs

By Wire services
Published November 2, 2003

LEXINGTON, Ky. - DeCori Birmingham scored on a 25-yard run in the seventh overtime, and Arkansas stopped Kentucky on a fourth-down play as the Razorbacks won 71-63 on Saturday night.

The game matched the longest in NCAA history. Arkansas also won that game in 2001, beating Mississippi 58-56. Arkansas played a six-overtime game last season, losing to Tennessee, and beat Alabama this season in two overtimes.

Birmingham, a converted wide receiver forced to play tailback because of injuries, ran for 196 yards and two touchdowns for Arkansas. Jason Peters caught a two-point conversion pass from Matt Jones after Birmingham's score.

Kentucky had fourth and 3 at the 5 in the seventh overtime, but quarterback Jared Lorenzen failed to make a first down when he fumbled on a keeper.

Kentucky forced overtime with a 13-yard touchdown from Lorenzen to Chris Bernard with 1:38 left in regulation. That tied the score at 24 and capped a 14-point Kentucky rally.

Until the seventh overtime, both teams scored touchdowns in every overtime except the third, when they both kicked field goals.

OLE MISS 43, S. CAROLINA 40: Eli Manning threw 391 yards and three first-half touchdowns and the host Rebels withstood a late 26-point outburst.

Mississippi remained first in the West and improved to 5-0 in the conference for the first time since 1963, the last time it took the league title.

The Rebels' next games are against Auburn and LSU, their closest competitors in the West. They know three quarters of good football won't be enough against either Tigers.

"I think it was a wakeup call that we needed," defensive tackle Jesse Mitchell said. "To let ourselves know we've got to work and get better, because things like this can happen."

The Rebels took a 43-14 lead in the third quarter before South Carolina scored touchdowns on four straight possessions.

"I was trying to figure out what was going on. What we needed to do," said Rebels running back Tremaine Turner, who ran for two touchdowns.

Dondrial Pinkins led South Carolina, going 14-for-32 for a career-high 298 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

TENNESSEE 23, DUKE 6: Chris Hannon caught a 4-yard touchdown from Casey Clausen as the host Vols overcome a lackluster effort. Tennessee, leading 9-6 early in the fourth quarter, finally took control when Duke's Jamin Pastore fumbled on a punt return and Corey Larkins recovered it at the Duke 37. Clausen capped a six-play drive with the touchdown to Hannon with 11:10 left.

The loudest cheers came when Florida's 16-13 win over Georgia was announced with 21/2 minutes left. The Gators' win tied them with Georgia and Tennessee for the lead in the East.

Gerald Riggs, the third-string tailback, scored on a 12-yard run with 4:20 left to seal it for the Vols, who were a 241/2-point favorites. The Blue Devils have not beaten a ranked team since 1994's victory over then-No.23 Virginia.

Chris Douglas finished with 128 yards on 29 carries, his fourth game with 100 yards or more, as the Blue Devils rolled up 299 yards on offense. The Devils had two fourth-quarter drives reach inside the Tennessee 20, but they missed two field goals.

LSU 49, LA. TECH 10: Matt Mauck was 14-of-14 for 277 yards and four touchdowns in the first half for the host Tigers. It was the second time this season Mauck passed for four touchdowns. He was replaced by Marcus Randall late in the first half and again early in the second and finished 18-of-20 for 311 yards.

The 49-3 halftime lead marked the most points the Tigers scored in a half since 1958. The Tigers had 653 total yards to Tech's 341. Tech's Luke McCown, who has thrown more than 12,000 yards and 82 touchdowns during his career, is on pace to finish as the No.2 passer in NCAA history behind BYU's Ty Detmer. McCown averaged 311 yards in the first eight games, but completed 11-of-28 for 152 yards and a touchdown against LSU.

AUBURN 73, LA.-MONROE 7: Carnell Williams and Brandon Jacobs each ran for two touchdowns and the host Tigers set up three more with blocked punts. The Tigers led 45-0 at halftime, and Louisiana-Monroe fell to 2-22-1 against SEC teams. It was the most points by Auburn since a 76-10 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1995 and the most against a I-A team since getting 77 against Washington & Lee in 1920. Williams finished with 113 yards on seven carries, all in the first half.

[Last modified November 2, 2003, 07:26:04]

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