Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Vols keep a promise, stun South Carolina

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Michael Palardy lived up to his word.

Palardy made a 19-yard field goal as time expired Saturday for a 23-21 victory over No. 11 South Carolina that ended the Volunteers' 19-game losing streak against ranked teams. Palardy had predicted such a scenario a day earlier in a conversation with Tennessee coach Butch Jones.

"I said, 'You've got the game-winner tomorrow, right?' " Jones said. "And he said, 'I got you, Coach.' "

The loss may have proved doubly painful for South Carolina, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Quarterback Connor Shaw left the game after being sacked by defensive linemen Marlon Walls and Daniel McCullers with less than five minutes left. Coach Steve Spurrier said afterward that Shaw had a sprained knee.

"I think he sort of got tackled on it," Spurrier said. "It collapsed under him, he said."

Tennessee got into field-goal range on a spectacular 39-yard catch by freshman Marquez North, who snared the ball with his left hand at the South Carolina 26 while being closely covered by cornerback Ahmad Christian down the left sideline. Four straight Marlin Lane runs got the Vols to the South Carolina 2 and set up the field goal.

Palardy celebrated his winning kick by racing to join his teammates on the sideline closest to the Tennessee locker room, where they gathered to celebrate at about the 15-yard line. They later ran to the other side of the field to celebrate with Tennessee's band and students.

Vols coach Jones chest-bumped athletic director Dave Hart on his way off the field.

"It meant everything, to be honest with you," Palardy said. "It's been a long time coming."

Mike Davis rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown for South Carolina, which erased a 17-7 halftime deficit before falling. Shaw had a touchdown run and pass, though he also was 7-of-21 and threw his first interception of the season, ending a string of 177 passes without one.

"They came out, played fast, did the things we expect them to do," Davis said. "We just didn't execute."

About 250 former Tennessee players, including All-Pro selections Al Wilson and Jamal Lewis, joined the team in going through the "T" and onto the playing field before the game.

Vandy stuns No. 15 Georgia

NASHVILLE — Vanderbilt finally has its first upset of a Top 25 team under coach James Franklin, a win that had the Commodores singing with the band and dancing in the end zone.

For good measure, they likely ended No. 15 Georgia's faint hopes of a trip back to the SEC title game.

Jerron Seymour ran for a 13-yard score with 2:53 left, and Vanderbilt rallied from a 13-point deficit by scoring 17 in a row in the fourth quarter for a 31-27 victory.

The Commodores hadn't beaten a Top 25 team since Oct. 4, 2008, when they edged then-No. 13 Auburn in Nashville. They also beat Georgia in Nashville for the first time since 1991.

"When you take over a program like we did … every win has been unbelievably significant to us and every win should be significant to our fan base and to our community and to our alumni because it's an opportunity," Franklin said when asked about the meaning of the biggest win since he took over in December 2010.

Vanderbilt lost quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels in the second quarter with an injured left leg that had him on the sideline on crutches for the second half. Franklin did not have an update.

Receiver Jordan Matthews said it was tough to see Carta-Samuels hurt and replaced by Patton Robinette.

"At the same time in the game, you got to stay focused on the mission," Matthews said. "I knew Patton was going to come in and do his job."

Georgia failed to hold a 27-14 lead with 6:24 left in the third quarter following Marshall Morgan's second field goal of the game. The Bulldogs had chances to rally, but Brendan Douglas fumbled after a catch with 1:59 left, and former Plant High standout Aaron Murray was intercepted on the final play.

NO. 1 ALABAMA 52, ARKANSAS 0: AJ McCarron threw three touchdowns and Kenyan Drake rushed for 104 yards and two scores to lead the host Crimson Tide. Alabama rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead and easily avoided catching the upset bug that struck other SEC powers. The Tide has won by the same margin over the Razorbacks two years running. It's the first time Alabama has shut out an SEC opponent two years in a row since wins over Mississippi State in 1973-74.

Comments
Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Rays’ plan

That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Rays’ plan

Jonathan ErlichmanFor a moment Friday, it looked as if a young businessman, accountant or computer guy had won one of those charity auctions to spend a game in uniform in the Rays dugout.Actually, it was Rays analytics director Jonathan Erlichman, a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

TAMPA — The only other time Taylor McDowell ran the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K, he came in 10th place. So as this year's event neared, the Tampa resident created a training plan, and he stuck to it.McDowell, who competed in cross cou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

It is an encouraging sign for the Lightning that wing Ondrej Palat is back on the ice, even if it's just light skating.Palat is arguably the team's best two-way forward, someone who plays in all situations, so Tampa Bay has missed him big-time.But Pa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

TAMPA — Initially, Tampa's Paige Howard was a little reticent about joining the pre-dawn throng at the starting line of Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K.On a morning when temperatures began in the mid-60s and climbed, Howard's ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

UPDATE, 11:36: Manager Kevin Cash said the plan is to play Duffy on back to back days a couple times early in spring, believing the short bursts of activity will best help him build up after missing all of 2017. … Matt Andriese will come out of...
Updated: 6 hours ago
The truth about the Tampa Bay Rays’ reset

The truth about the Tampa Bay Rays’ reset

The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to be very good this year.We already knew that.They have gutted a team that won 80 games last season. Among those sent packing: Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi and team MVP Steven Souza Jr.Yeah, this thi...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays Saturday scheduleAt Red Sox1:05, JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort MyersPitchers: Rays – RH Jake Faria, RH Matt Andriese, RH Dustin McGowan, LH Ryan Yarbrough, RF Chaz Roe, LH Jose Alvarado, RH Evan Scribner, RH Jose Mujica; Red...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marlins treat Stoneman Douglas players to an afternoon of baseball

Marlins treat Stoneman Douglas players to an afternoon of baseball

BY CLARK SPENCERMiami HeraldJUPITER – A player for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team politely asked Marlins outfielder Monte Harrison if he would mind giving him a bat as a souvenir."Not only will I give you one of my bats,...
Updated: 12 hours ago