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SEC: Big sacks, big start lift Auburn
Published November 20, 2005
AUBURN, Ala. - Unleashing a relentless pass rush, No.11 Auburn sacked Brodie Croyle 11 times in a 28-18 victory over No.8 Alabama on Saturday, its fourth consecutive win in the Iron Bowl.
It's the first time since 1986-89 Auburn has won four in a row against Alabama, which is 9-2 after starting 9-0.
"I think they got full of themselves," Auburn linebacker Travis Williams said. "They won some games ... by the skin of their teeth. We were like, "Man, these guys keep escaping.' We really wanted them to be undefeated coming into this game so we could really make them look bad."
Croyle was sacked twice on the game's first series, and after a punt, Auburn started at the Alabama 40. It scored six plays in on Ben Obomanu's 7-yard catch.
After a three-and-out, Jeremy Schatz's 23-yard punt gave Auburn the ball at the Alabama 32. Three plays later, officials ruled Kenny Irons lost the ball after crossing the goal line on an 8-yard run, and a replay review allowed the call to stand.
The Tide's next possession included a botched handoff and another sack. The Tigers took over at their 45, and on the fourth play, Obomanu went 45 yards on a reverse to make it 21-0.
"Two weeks ago, we were 9-0 and we felt like we were knocking on the door," Tide coach Mike Shula said. "Now we feel like we are trying to find the right address."
No. 4 LSU 40, Ole Miss 7
OXFORD, Miss. - JaMarcus Russell threw two touchdowns for LSU, which clinches the West by beating Arkansas on Friday.
Late in the first quarter, Mississippi quarterback Ethan Flatt stumbled then fumbled in the end zone, falling on the ball for a safety. After punting on the ensuing series, the Tigers scored twice in the second quarter. Two plays in, Russell's 3-yard pass to Craig Davis made it 9-0. Joseph Addai capped LSU's next series with a 1-yard touchdown run.
No. 14 Georgia 45, Kentucky 13
ATHENS, Ga. - D.J. Shockley threw four touchdowns as the Bulldogs clinched the East.
Down 3-0 early in the second quarter, Georgia had fourth and 3 from its 47 when punter Gordon Ely-Kelso ran 34 yards on a fake. Three plays later, on fourth and 1 from the 10, Shockley hit an open Leonard Pope for a touchdown.
Georgia scored on its next two possessions as well, on Brannan Southerland's 2-yard catch and Danny Ware's 52-yard run. It was the longest run by a Bulldog since Patrick Pass' 58-yarder against LSU in 1999.
Clemson 13, No. 19 South Carolina 9
COLUMBIA, S.C. - James Davis rushed for 145 yards and the winning score in the Tigers' eighth win in nine games against the Gamecocks.
Trailing 9-6 and facing first and 35 after two penalties, Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst completed consecutive passes of 9 yards to Davis, 14 yards to Chansi Stuckey and 28 yards to Curtis Baham to reach the South Carolina 27.
Davis then burst through for 23 yards and, two plays later, bulled into the end zone from 2 yards with 5:58 left.
Vandy finally beats Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Earl Bennett caught a 5-yard touchdown with 1:11 left as Vanderbilt ended a 22-game losing streak, dating to 1982, to Tennessee 28-24. The Volunteers will not play in a bowl for the first time since 1988, four seasons before Phillip Fulmer became coach.
"This is rock bottom," he said.
The Commodores won in Neyland Stadium for the first time since 1975, and their overall losing streak was the second longest in a continuous I-A series, 20 fewer than Notre Dame over Navy.
"You see grown men crying, and you realize how long it's been since we've won," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "It tells us how much it means to this program."
Down 24-21, Vandy took over at its 37 with 1:40 left. Consecutive catches by Bennett moved it to the 17. Bennett, who had 14 catches for 167 yards, drew a pass interference then caught the touchdown on the next play.
Tennessee got to the Vanderbilt 16, but three incompletions set up fourth and 9 on the final play, Jared Fagan's interception.
ARKANSAS 44, MISS. ST. 10: Darren McFadden rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns for the Razorbacks, who improved to 19-1 in Little Rock under coach Houston Nutt. McFadden scored on runs of 1 and 21 yards in the first quarter. Casey Dick's 15-yard pass to Peyton Hillis made it 27-0 in the second quarter. Adam Carlson made a 39-yard field goal for the Bulldogs, but Felix Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.