SEC football recap (11-5-11)

FLORIDA 26, VANDERBILT 21

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jeff Demps ran for a career-high 158 yards and two touchdowns, shouldering the load because of Chris Rainey's ankle injury, and Florida beat Vanderbilt 26-21 Saturday to end a four-game skid.

The Gators now have won 21 in a row against the Commodores, extending their dominance in a series that has been one-sided since 1989.

The latest one was one of the closest in recent years.

Florida (5-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) led 17-0 at halftime and could have been up more had it not been for a missed field goal and a fumble at the goal line. But Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-5) scored on consecutive drives in the second half, cutting the lead to 20-14, and had a chance to move ahead.

It didn't happen. Florida took advantage of two penalties to keep a drive alive, and Demps went untouched for a 52-yard score with 2:13 remaining.

LSU 9, ALABAMA 6 (OT)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- No. 1 LSU gained the inside track to the BCS title game, beating No. 2 Alabama 9-6 on Drew Alleman's 25-yard field goal in overtime after a fierce defensive struggle in which neither team reached the end zone Saturday night.

The Crimson Tide missed four field goals, including Cade Foster's 52-yard attempt after Alabama got the ball first in the extra period. LSU appeared to win the game on Michael Ford's run around left end after taking a pitch, but he stepped out of bounds at the 7.

After two plays gained nothing, LSU (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) sent on Alleman to attempt his third field goal of the game on third down. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) tried to freeze him by calling timeout, but he calmly knocked it through to set off a wild celebration by the visiting team.

KENTUCKY 30, OLE MISS 13

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Maxwell Smith threw for 283 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as Kentucky beat Mississippi 30-13 on Saturday.

Smith, a freshman, was forced to start because of an injury Morgan Newton sustained last Saturday against Mississippi State, and he was steady in his first career start. He had 128 yards passing at halftime, but the Wildcats couldn't quite reach the red zone as four drives ended between the Ole Miss 30-yard line and the 50.

Using deep passes in the second half, the Wildcats (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) took a 16-13 lead on Smith's 38-yard touchdown to La'Rod King with 12:22 left.

After forcing the Rebels (2-7, 0-6) into two punts, Smith put the game out of reach with a 56-yard pass to King that set up an 8-yard touchdown throw to Gene McCaskill.

CoShik Williams had 111 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Kentucky.

MISSISSIPPI STATE 55, UT-MARTIN 17

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Vick Ballard rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to a 55-17 victory over Tennessee-Martin Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (5-4) posted 570 yards of total offense in the game and averaged 8.3 yards per play.

The Skyhawks (5-4) racked up 454 offensive yards, but struggled on third down.

In the first quarter Mississippi State marched 80 yards in 13 plays and Ballard scampered in for a 5-yard touchdown, the Bulldogs' first on an opening drive this season.

Jonathan Banks returned a Tennessee-Martin punt 65 yards for a touchdown on the next possession. Dueling quarterbacks Tyler Russell and Chris Relf each threw a touchdown passes for the Bulldogs in the first half, and Mississippi State led 28-3 at the break.

Relf finished 5 of 6 for 61 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Kenny Jones scored both Tennessee-Martin touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.

GEORGIA 63, NEW MEXICO STATE 16

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Aaron Murray threw five second-quarter touchdown passes, former walk-on receiver Brandon Harton ran for 98 yards and No. 18 Georgia won its seventh straight game by cruising past New Mexico State 63-16 on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (7-2) turned to Harton this week after Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas were suspended one game for failing a drug test. Georgia was also without top reserve tailback Richard Samuel, who will miss the next month after undergoing ankle surgery.

But with Murray running the offense, Georgia had little reason for concern against New Mexico State (3-6).

Murray, who played only the first half, completed 18 of 23 passes for 238 yards, five TDs and no interceptions.

ARKANSAS 44, SOUTH CAROLINA 28

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Tyler Wilson threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns as No. 8 Arkansas held on for a 44-28 win over No. 10 South Carolina on Saturday.

Jarius Wright added four catches for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Dennis Johnson had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Razorbacks, who won their fifth straight.

Arkansas (8-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) outgained the Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2) 435-207, but a pair of missed field goals and key dropped passes kept the Razorbacks from securing the win until late.

The Razorbacks led 24-14 at halftime, but South Carolina pulled within 30-28 early in the fourth quarter on a touchdown run by quarterback Connor Shaw.

Arkansas answered with a pair of late touchdown runs by Ronnie Wingo and Broderick Green to pull away and keep their hopes alive for a return trip to a BCS bowl game.


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