Dale Carter's 91-yard return of the second-half kickoff sparked a 28-point third quarter -- which included a 47-yard touchdown pass by the tight end -- and No. 5 Tennessee crushed No. 9 Florida, 45-3, in a Southeastern Conference showdown last night in Knoxville, Tenn.
Carter's return gave Tennessee (4-0-2, 2-0-1) a 14-3 lead in what had been a fierce defensive struggle.
Florida (5-1, 3-1) fumbled on its next possession. Tennessee drove 68 yards in 10 plays, taking a 21-3 lead on Tony Thompson's 13-yard run. Then tight end Von Reeves took a handoff from Andy Kelly, faded back and hurled a strike to Carl Pickens for a 28-3 lead.
Florida tried to rally behind reserve quarterback Brian Fox, but he was intercepted on three consecutive possessions. Tennessee's Reggie Ingram returned one 42 yards for a touchdown for a 35-3 lead to cap the four-touchdown quarter. The final points came on 38-yard field goal by Greg Burke and a short touchdown run by reserve quarterback Sterling Henton.
The homecoming game drew the second-largest crowd in school history, 96,874. The loss ended Florida's four-game winning streak in the series and was its first defeat under Coach Steve Spurrier.
Mississippi 28, Georgia 12: Randy Baldwin scored two touchdowns as No. 24 Mississippi beat Georgia in Athens, Ga., for the first time in 20 years and nine games. The Rebels (5-1, 2-1 SEC) built a 21-3 lead in the first half, before Georgia (3-3, 1-2) cut the lead to 21-12 six minutes into the second quarter.
Tom Luke scored on a 31-yard keeper, capping an 80-yard Rebels drive from the opening kickoff. Then came Baldwin's runs of three and 13 yards as he rushed for 106 yards. Ole Miss drove 80 yards to put the lead at 16 with 10:47 to play, on Russ Show's 12-yard run.
Miami 34, Kansas 0: A fight broke out 30 minutes before the game in Miami when Miami players walked through the Jayhawks' warmup area. No penalties were assessed, and no one appeared hurt.
There were no fights during the game as the No. 3 Hurricanes' defense, which had given up more than 20 points each game this year, dominated after a first-quarter goal-line stand. With Craig Erickson completing 15 of 29 for 229 yards and a touchdown, Miami (4-1) scored on six consecutive possessions to lead by 34-0.
Kansas fell to 1-4-1.
Auburn 56, Vanderbilt 6: Stan White threw touchdown passes of 18 and 59 yards to Greg Taylor as the host No. 6 Tigers (4-0-1, 2-0-1 SEC) totaled 518 yards.
The Commodores (1-4, 1-2) fumbled the opening kickoff, then things got worse. Quarterback Mike Healey, starting for injured Marcus Wilson, was hit after a handoff and was helped from the field. He didn't return; his status was not available. That meant the Commodores brought in freshman Jeff Brothers, whose father died of a heart attack Tuesday. Brothers completed three of 10 for 38 yards and was sacked three times.
South Carolina 37, East Carolina 7: Freshman Rob DeBoer rushed for 165 yards and touchdowns of 19 and 25 yards as South Carolina (4-1) limited visiting East Carolina (2-5) to 115 yards.
Duke 49, Western Carolina 18: Billy Ray threw three touchdown passes and Dave Brown two as Duke (3-3) overcame three lost fumbles and two interceptions to win at home. Ray's scoring passes included a 57-yarder to Walter Jones, the Blue Devils' longest scoring pass play this season. Jones also scored on a five-yard reverse and a 17-yard pass from Ray.
Kentucky 17, Mississippi St. 15: Noseguard Joey Couch deflected a field-goal attempt with 3:26 left, and the Wildcats (2-4, 1-1 SEC) blocked two other kicks against Mississippi State (2-3, 0-3).
Louisville 19, Memphis St. 17: Ray Buchanan of host Louisville (5-1-1) blocked a 30-yard field goal try with 1:31 left. The Tigers (3-2-1) had a chance for their first lead after Glenn Rogers picked off a Browning Nagle pass at the Louisville 45 with 2:02 left. But Joe Allison's kick was batted down.
S. Mississippi 20, Tulane 14: Tony Smith returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown and Brett Favre threw a 23-yard pass to Greg Reed as Southern Mississippi (5-2) scored second-half 17 points in 5:33 in New Orleans on the Green Wave (2-5).