Originally created 10/07/01

SEC roundup



BATON ROUGE, La. - Rex Grossman passed for a Florida-record 464 yards and five touchdowns as the No. 2 Gators beat No. 18 LSU 44-15 on Saturday.

Grossman broke the mark of 462 yards set by Danny Wuerffel against Arkansas in 1996.

Grossman passed for 319 yards and four TDs in the first half as he topped the 300-yard mark for a school-record fifth straight game. He was 22-of-32 when he left with 11:02 remaining.

Florida (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference), which has surpassed 500 yards in each of its first five games, averaged over 10 yards a play in the first half and finished with 632 yards of total offense.

LSU (2-2, 0-2), which entered the contest ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense, finally slowed the Gators in the second half, but the Tigers could not get past Florida's defense, which has given up just 45 points in five games this season.

Florida has beaten LSU 13 of their last 14 meetings and is 6-1 in their last seven trips to Baton Rouge.

LSU quarterback Rohan Davey completed 7 of 17 passes for 154 yards before hyperextending his left knee when he was sacked in the second quarter. He was replaced by freshman Matt Mauck, who completed 11 of 22 passes for 132 yards.

Florida executed its game plan to shut down the Tigers running game, limiting LSU to 137 yards on 41 carries. Mauck was LSU's second leading rusher with 37 yards on seven carries. LaBrandon Toefield gained 40 yards on 19 carries.

It didn't take long for Florida to show the Tigers what they were facing. Three minutes after the Gators took the opening kickoff, Grossman hit Taylor Jacobs with a 13-yard touchdown pass to put Florida up 7-0.

On their next possession the Gators needed only two minutes to hit the end zone as Grossman tossed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Reche Caldwell.

The third time Florida got the football it took them 28 seconds and two plays to score with Grossman hitting a streaking Jabar Gaffney for a 63-yard touchdown strike.

On LSU's first possession, the Tigers drove to the Florida 14 before settling for a 44-yard field goal, their only score of the quarter.

Toefield picked up a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter to cut Florida's lead to 21-9. It was only the second touchdown Florida has allowed in the first half this season.

Grossman threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Gaffney in the second quarter and the Gators led 27-9 at the half.

In the third quarter, Jeff Chandler hit a 42-yard field goal for Florida. In the fourth quarter, Grossman threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Walker to make it 37-9. Brock Berlin, who completed 4 of 9 passes for 40 yards, closed out the Florida scoring with an 8-yard TD pass to Kelvin Kight to make it 44-9

LSU scored a final touchdown on Domanick Davis' 1-yard touchdown run that made it 44-15.

Alabama 56, UTEP 7

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Tyler Watts ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more as Alabama beat Texas-El Paso 56-7 on Saturday for its first nonconference victory in nearly two years.

Watts scored on runs of 16 and 9 yards and connected with Triandos Luke on TD passes of 10 and 2 yards.

Alabama (3-2) had lost five straight nonconference games dating to the 1999 Orange Bowl, a 35-34 loss to Michigan. Its last victory outside the Southeastern Conference was 35-14 over Southern Mississippi on Oct. 30, 1999.

Alabama, which gave up two late touchdowns in a 37-36 loss to South Carolina last week, held UTEP (2-3) to 232 yards, only 133 on the ground. Most of that came on a late, 74-yard touchdown run by Jon Schaper.

Freddie Milons caught four passes for 74 yards to become Alabama's career reception leader with 135 catches, three more than the previous mark set by David Bailey.

Watts followed up his 393-yard performance against South Carolina with 248 yards against UTEP. He rushed nine times for 101 yards and completed 12 of 18 passes for 147 yards with no interceptions.

Watts' 9-yard scoring run was set up by Kindal Moorehead's interception of Wesley Phillips, which gave the Crimson Tide the ball at the UTEP 25.

UTEP's next possession also ended in a turnover, with Todd Bates recovering a fumble by Rovann Cleveland at the Miners 32. Watts threw to Luke on a crossing pattern from the 2 for a TD six plays later.

Fullback Donnie Lowe, who was injured early in the year, had touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards for Alabama despite having only one carry for 3 yards in his two previous games.

Marvin Brown added a 13-yard scoring run, and Ray Hudson ran 2 yards for a score.

Penalties continued to be a problem for the Crimson Tide. Alabama, which had 15 penalties in a season-opening loss to UCLA, was flagged 14 times for 121 yards. UTEP was penalized five times for 40 yards.

Alabama returns to the SEC next week at Mississippi. UTEP travels to Hawaii for a Western Athletic Conference game.