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Wildcats' huge rally stuns Gamecocks

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Steve Spurrier worried about the hangover against Kentucky. He kept reminding his South Carolina players not to get too high after an upset of defending national champion Alabama the previous week.

The No. 10 Gamecocks seemed as if they'd keep it together before freshman running back Marcus Lattimore went down with an ankle injury.

Then they could only watch as Randall Cobb caught a 24-yard touchdown with 1:15 left and added the two-point conversion to cap a rally and give Kentucky a stunning 31-28 win.

"Give Kentucky credit, they kicked our tails," Spurrier said.

Mike Hartline threw for a career-high 349 yards and four touchdowns for the Wildcats, who had lost 10 straight to the Gamecocks and had never beaten Spurrier in 17 tries.

It appeared Spurrier was ready to make it 18-0 when the Gamecocks stuffed Cobb for a 4-yard loss, setting up fourth and 7 at the South Carolina 24.

Hartline faked a slant to Chris Matthews. The South Carolina defense bit and Cobb found himself wide open at the goal line. He then swept over left tackle for the 2-point conversion to put Kentucky up three.

South Carolina drove to the Kentucky 20 in the final minute but quarterback Stephen Garcia's heave into the end zone was intercepted by Anthony Mosley with 4 seconds remaining.

Lattimore had 212 yards of total offense and three touchdowns but spent most of the second half on the sideline after rolling his left ankle early in the third quarter.

"I just heard it crack and I thought something really bad had happened, but it's just a sprain," Lattimore said.

Kentucky shut the Gamecocks down over the final 30 minutes, holding them to 103 yards while chipping away at the lead.

"We challenged our guys at halftime, that we were in a street fight," Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said. "… I want to see who has my back."

Hartline hit LaRod King and Matthews for scores to get within 28-23.

Garcia, the former Jefferson High star who finished with 382 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, quickly moved the ball to the Kentucky 20 with 11 seconds left. He threw to 6-foot-3 receiver Lamar Scruggs but the ball was tipped and Mosley snagged it out of the air.

"I should have thrown it a little further outside," Garcia said. "I don't know. The guy made a good play."

No. 9 LSU holds on

BATON ROUGE, La. — Ninth-ranked LSU remained unbeaten yet managed to leave its fans grumbling in the process.

Stevan Ridley rushed for two touchdowns, Michael Ford added the first two scoring runs of his career, and the Tigers eventually wore down feisty McNeese State 32-10.

They'll need a much better performance next week against No. 7 Auburn, and the crowd at Tiger Stadium must have realized it. The fans booed more than once, though the Tigers pushed their victory margin to double digits in the second half.

The Division I-AA Cowboys repeatedly frustrated LSU's offense and stayed within six until late in the third quarter. LSU's Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combined for only 103 yards passing, with Lee leading all four TD drives.

McNeese State led twice in the first half before Ridley's second TD on a tackle-breaking, 10-yard run in the second quarter put LSU up for good at 14-10.

Ridley's other score was a 2-yard plunge on fourth and 1, which LSU needed to tie it late in the first quarter.

GEORGIA 43, VANDERBILT 0: Georgia hit its stride. Vanderbilt hit bottom.

Carlton Thomas ran for the first two touchdowns of his career, and Aaron Murray passed for two touchdowns as the host Bulldogs continued their midseason recovery.

Georgia has consecutive routs, including 41-14 over Tennessee, since a four-game losing streak.

Vanderbilt suffered its 15th loss in the past 16 meetings and narrowly avoided its worst defeat in the series. Georgia beat Vanderbilt 45-0 in 1976.

"We got whipped in every phase of the game — offense, defense, special teams," Commodores coach Robbie Caldwell said.

Murray, a freshman from Plant High, threw for a career-high 287 yards.

"It's a long season," Murray said. "You can't lose four games and think the season is over."

Kentucky 31

No. 10 S.C. 28

Wildcats' huge rally stuns Gamecocks 10/16/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 17, 2010 12:18am]
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