Arkansas's Clint Stoerner completed 7 of 10 passes on one touchdown drive and threw a 33-yard pass to Anthony Lucas to set up a second score, and the Razorbacks defeated Mississippi State, 14-9, Saturday night in Little Rock.
Matt Wyatt guided the Bulldogs (8-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) to the Arkansas 18 with 20 seconds remaining. However, Wyatt misfired on second down, Carlos Hall hit the quarterback's arm on third down and Orlando Green defended a pass to C.J. Sirmones to end the drive.
"I thought our defense did a marvelous job to hold 'em, hold 'em, hold 'em," said Arkansas Coach Houston Nutt, whose team moved from No. 22 to No. 17 in the Associated Press top 25 rankings.
The Razorbacks (7-3, 4-3) remained in contention for the Cotton Bowl by winning for the fifth time in six games. Mississippi State fell from No. 12 to No. 18.
Alexander the Great
Shaun Alexander rushed for 182 yards and scored three touchdowns, and Alabama rallied past Auburn, 28-17, in an SEC game in Auburn, Ala.
Alexander, who has 3,468 career rushing yards, moved past Bobby Humphrey (3,420 yards) to become the school's career rushing leader. The Crimson Tide (9-2, 6-1)--who remained at No. 8--clinched the SEC West title and earned a trip to the league championship game for the first time in three years. Alabama will play No. 5 Florida (9-2), which lost to No. 1 Florida State, 30-23. The Tigers fell to 5-6, 2-6 and suffered consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1980-81.
Footing the Bill
Georgia place kicker Hap Hines was on the mark at the right moment. He kicked four field goals, including the winning 48-yarder with 5 minutes 24 seconds remaining, to lift the Bulldogs (7-3, 5-3) to a 20-17 SEC victory over Mississippi (7-3, 4-3) in Oxford, Miss.
"It was a clutch field goal he made at the end there," said Georgia Coach Jim Donnan, whose team moved from No. 21 to No. 16. The Rebels fell from No. 16 to No. 23.
Hines also was good from 51, 27 and 23 yards, tying a school record for field goals in a game.
Irish Eyes Crying
Notre Dame's season, which started with a bang, ended with a thud.
The Fighting Irish trounced Kansas, 48-13, in their opener at the Eddie Robinson Classic but finished their schedule out of contention for a bowl game after losing to then-No. 25 Boston College (8-2), 31-29, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame is 5-6 and is not eligible to play in a bowl for the first time in 13 years. The Eagles moved to No. 22.
"I think we're beat up emotionally more than anything," said Notre Dame quarterback Jarious Jackson, who was a sophomore in 1996 when the school opted against playing in a bowl game despite an 8-3 record. "It hurts badly. I can't put it into words."
Kavin Gailliard rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns and set the NCAA all-division single-season rushing record in American International's 41-20 win over visiting C.W. Post in the Eastern Football Conference's Division II non-scholarship title game. Gailliard rushed for 2,653 yards, breaking Barry Sanders's record of 2,628 yards set in 1988. . . .
Nevada's Trevor Insley caught 14 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns and became the first NCAA receiver to reach the 2,000-yard mark in a season in a 37-35 loss to visiting Utah State (3-7, 2-3 Big West).
Insley, who finished with 2,060 yards, also set the NCAA Division I record for career receptions with 298. The Wolf Pack finished 3-8, 2-4.