ATHENS, Ga. — Mark Richt's belly slide across Georgia's locker-room floor had a good start and painful finish — just the opposite of his team's path to the SEC title game.
Georgia's defense made up for a struggling offense Saturday as the No. 13 Bulldogs beat Kentucky 19-10 to win the SEC's East.
This is Georgia's fourth trip to the title game in Richt's 11 years but first since 2005. Richt was a little rusty on his postgame celebration technique, as he found out when he tried to slide across the plastic which covered Georgia's water-soaked locker room.
"I thought it would be great to run across and slide like back in the day," he said. "What I didn't realize was the other side of the plastic was dry, and I stuck."
Richt said he couldn't breathe, then players jumped on top of him. "It was a bad idea," he said with a painful smile. "It hurt."
Georgia has won nine straight after an 0-2 start that included a home loss to South Carolina.
Plant High product Aaron Murray threw a touchdown to Marlon Brown on the first play of the fourth quarter and Blair Walsh hit four field goals.
NO. 6 ARKANSAS 44, MISS. ST. 17: Tyler Wilson had a school-record 32 completions (Joe Ferguson had 31 against Texas A&M in 1971) and threw for 365 yards and three TDs for the host Razorbacks, who travel to No. 1 LSU next week for a game with conference and national title game implications. "There's no beating around the bush anymore," Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette said. "We've got a huge game on Friday, and we'll have the whole country watching.
NO. 1 LSU 52, MISSISSIPPI 3: Ron Brooks returned an interception for a touchdown 28 seconds into the game for the visiting Tigers, built a 35-3 lead by halftime and rushed for 353 yards. LSU won its first 11 to match its best start since 1958, when its national title team finished 11-0.
NO. 3 BAMA 45, GA. SOUTHERN 21: Trent Richardson rushed for 175 yards and scored three TDs for the host Crimson Tide against a Division I-AA opponent. Alabama seniors set a school four-year mark for wins with their 46th. But Georgia Southern's triple option burned the nation's top defense for 302 rushing yards.
NO. 14 S. CAR. 41, CITADEL 20: Alshon Jeffery's one-armed grab, his first touchdown in a month, helped the host Gamecocks to reach nine wins for just the fourth time. "It was a great throw and I just made a great catch," said Jeffery, who grew up about an hour's drive from campus.
AUBURN 35, SAMFORD 14: The host Tigers reeled off 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to close out their I-AA foe, which is coached by Pat Sullivan, a former Auburn legend. Sullivan was honored before the game to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his 1971 Heisman Trophy win.
TENNESSEE 27, VANDY 21, OT: Eric Gordon intercepted a pass by Jordan Rodgers and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown in overtime for the host Volunteers, who tied it at 21 with 6:27 left in regulation on Tyler Bray's 2-yard touchdown to Da'Rick Rogers.