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Razorbacks' gamble keeps BCS hopes alive

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Bobby Petrino saved his toughest call for Arkansas' biggest game of the season.

The coach went for it on fourth and 3 in the fourth quarter Saturday, and Ryan Mallett made the move pay off with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Joe Adams. The play paved the way for the No. 12 Razorbacks' 31-23 win over No. 6 LSU and kept alive their chances for the school's first BCS bid.

"We didn't come to punt," Petrino said. "We came to win the game."

The Razorbacks led 21-20 early in the fourth when their drive stalled at the LSU 39. After a timeout, Adams lined up in the left slot and used a stop-and-go move to get behind cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.

Mallett, who threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, lofted the ball perfectly over Mathieu for the touchdown.

"It's a play we've been working on since LSU last year," Mallett said. "I could have checked out of that play. But it was man coverage, and Joe made a great play to make his man miss."

Arkansas finished second in the SEC West and could be on its way to the Sugar Bowl. The Razorbacks likely still need Auburn to win the SEC championship next week against South Carolina, but losses by Alabama and Boise State on Friday helped its case.

Meanwhile, Les Miles' team is likely out of the running for a BCS berth.

"I'm not happy," he said. "It's not how it was supposed to end for us."

Gamecocks rip Tigers

CLEMSON, S.C. — Stephen Garcia threw two touchdowns to lead South Carolina past Clemson 29-7.

The Gamecocks have nine wins for only the third time in school history (10-2 in 1984 and 9-3 in 2001) and consecutive wins over Clemson for the first time since 1968-70. Next up? Going for their first SEC title against unbeaten Auburn.

"We've done some firsts this year," said Steve Spurrier, in his sixth season as South Carolina's coach. "There's another first out there we're going to try to do next."

Trailing 7-3, the Gamecocks' Brian Maddox pounced on a ball that got away from Clemson's punter Dawson Zimmerman. Garcia hit fullback Patrick DiMarco for a 5-yard touchdown on the next play. On his next series, Garcia hit Alshon Jeffery for 39 yards and a 37-yard touchdown. He finished with five catches for 141 yards, his seventh 100-yard game this season.

No. 25 Miss. St. 31, Miss. 23: Chris Relf threw for a career-high 288 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who won at Oxford for the first time since 1998. Just two years ago in Oxford, Ole Miss routed Mississippi State 45-0, helping end coach Sylvester Croom's tenure. Down 31-9 in the fourth, the Rebels got to 31-23 with 4:21 left. But the comeback ended when Jeremiah Masoli was sacked on fourth and 24 with 59.4 seconds left.

Georgia 42, Ga. Tech 34: Aaron Murray threw three touchdowns for the host Bulldogs. The Yellow Jackets cut it to 35-34 on Anthony Allen's 8-yard run with 4:57 left. But Scott Blair missed the extra point. Georgia added a 20-yard touchdown run by Washaun Ealey with 1:29 left that wasn't contested by Georgia Tech, which stood around so it could get one more shot on offense.

Tenn. 24, Kentucky 14: Tyler Bray threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns as the host Vols won their 26th in a row against the Wildcats, the longest active streak in Division I-A. The Vols followed a four-game skid in October with a perfect November. "Sitting there at 2-6 and people are talking about us being the worst football team in Tennessee history and nobody in the organization flinched," coach Derek Dooley said. "I'm real proud of them for that. We never got affected by the results. We kept improving each week."

Vandy loses coach, game: Saying the program "had not progressed like we had hoped," Robbie Caldwell resigned as Vanderbilt's coach before a 34-13 loss to visiting Wake Forest. Caldwell was assistant head coach and offensive line coach before taking over for Bobby Johnson, who retired in July. The Commodores lost their final seven games, finished 2-10 and went 0-8 in the SEC. Saturday, the Demon Deacons, who ended a nine-game skid, blocked two punts. Three plays after C.J. Washington got the first, quarterback Tanner Price ran for a 3-yard touchdown that made it 24-3 with 2:28 left in the first half.

No. 12 Ark. 31

No. 6 LSU 23

Razorbacks' gamble keeps BCS hopes alive 11/27/10 [Last modified: Sunday, November 28, 2010 12:12am]
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