SEC: Vandy puts up a fight, but Vols clinch the East
By Associated Press
Published November 21, 2004
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee was more relieved than jubilant after the Vols wrapped up the Eastern Division title Saturday with their 22nd straight win over Vanderbilt.
"We dodged a bullet," Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer said.
Cedric Houston had touchdown runs of 6, 11 and 5 yards and Gerald Riggs Jr. added 149 yards rushing as the Vols beat the Commodores 38-33 after jumping out to a 28-6 lead.
Tennessee plays Kentucky next week, then faces Auburn in the conference championship game Dec. 4 in Atlanta. It will be Tennessee's fourth trip to the title game since 1997.
Jay Cutler was 22-of-33 for 314 yards and three TDs for Vanderbilt. Tennessee opened the second half with 10 consecutive points to take a 38-20 lead. But Vandy, which came in being outscored 78-7 this season in the fourth quarter, pulled within 38-26 on Jeff Jennings' second scoring run.
Then the Commodores got lucky. Brandon Smith tipped a pass from Cutler and Marlon White made an off-balance catch for a 62-yard completion. White, who finished with seven catches for 118 yards, caught another pass four plays later on fourth and 6 that set up Dustin Dunning's diving 3-yard TD reception.
LSU 27, MISSISSIPPI 24: Alley Broussard ran for a school-record 250 yards with three touchdowns for the host Tigers. Broussard topped the mark of 246 yards Kevin Faulk set against Houston on Sept. 7, 1996. Joseph Addai rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries for LSU.
With LSU trailing 24-20 in the fourth quarter, the Tigers drove 61 yards, with Broussard rushing for 27, Addai adding 19 and a pass interference call netting 15 more. Broussard gave LSU the lead with a 7-yard run with 10:51 left.
ARKANSAS 24, MISS. STATE 21: Matt Jones passed for 215 yards and Pierre Brown returned a blocked field goal 76 yards for a touchdown to lead the visiting Razorbacks. Jones was 18-of-27 for Arkansas, which beat the Bulldogs a sixth straight time and remain in the hunt for one of the league's eight bowl spots. Arkansas must defeat LSU next week in Little Rock - where they are 17-0 under coach Houston Nutt.
Omarr Conner pulled the Bulldogs within three with his 2-yard touchdown pass to Eric Butler with 10:44 left. The Bulldogs got the ball back with 5:38 left when Darren Williams intercepted Jones at the Mississippi State 18. But Arkansas forced a three and out, then ran out the clock.