Southeastern Conference news and notes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Southeastern Conference news and notes

ALABAMA: Mark Ingram rushed for 150 yards and scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide to a 34-24 victory over Virginia Tech in a matchup of college football heavyweights. Ingram had a rushing and receiving score, chipping in three catches for 35 yards. Quarterback Greg McElroy, in his first collegiate start, managed the game effectively, throwing for 230 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 15-of-30 passing for Alabama, which last year ran the table in the regular season before losses to Florida and Utah in the SEC title game and Sugar Bowl, respectively. The Crimson Tide are certainly expected to move to 2-0 this Saturday, as they will face an inferior Florida International team.

ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks passed for a school-record 447 yards in Saturday's 41-10 romp over Missouri State to open the season. Starting quarterback Ryan Mallett, a transfer from Michigan, connected on 17-of-22 pass attempts for 309 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Tyler Wilson also saw time under center in the blowout, and he went 13-of-19 for 138 yards. Arkansas finished the lopsided affair with 591 total yards, 144 coming on the ground. Dennis Johnson took the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, and the Razorbacks never looked back. They will not play this coming weekend, giving them two weeks to prepare for their SEC opener against Georgia.

AUBURN: Gene Chizik's first game as head coach at Auburn was a memorable one, as the Tigers knocked off Louisiana Tech in a 37-13 final. Chris Todd threw for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Auburn. The signal caller completed 17-of-26 passes for the Tigers (1-0), while Onterio McCalebb generated a game-high 148 yards rushing to become the first Auburn freshman since Bo Jackson in 1982 to rush for at least 100 yards in a season opener. Not to be overlooked was Ben Tate who added 117 yards on 20 carries. The Tigers jump right into SEC play this weekend, as the Mississippi State Bulldogs are on the schedule.

FLORIDA: Jeff Demps ran for 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns as top-ranked Florida crushed FCS foe Charleston Southern as expected by a 62-3 final. Senior quarterback Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, played the first half and completed 10-of-15 passes for 188 yards and a score. Defending its third national title in school history, Florida extended its SEC-best opening- day winning streak to 21 games. Brandon James returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown for the Gators (1-0), who displayed a tremendous amount of team speed at every position. They will play another seemingly inferior opponent on Saturday, as the Troy Trojans will attempt to shock the champs.

GEORGIA: In what was widely regarded as the most intriguing game of the opening college football weekend, Georgia fell to Oklahoma State by a 24-10 final. Joe Cox started under center for the departed Matthew Stafford, who was the No. 1 pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft, and went 15-of-30 for 162 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Bulldogs, who finished last season 10-3, including a win over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl. Richard Samuel carried the ball 20 times for 87 yards for Georgia, which opens league play this weekend against visiting South Carolina. Offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant suffered a serious knee injury in the setback to OSU, and he will miss the remainder of the season -- the second consecutive year that has happened to him.

KENTUCKY: Mike Hartline completed 18-of-27 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a 42-0 romp over the Miami-Ohio RedHawks in a non-conference showdown to open the campaign. Randall Cobb led the Wildcats' receiving corps, hauling in seven passes for 96 yards and a score, while adding another touchdown on the ground. Kentucky dominated the RedHawks in every facet of the game, tallying 488 yards of total offense, while limiting Miami to just 188 yards. The Wildcats are one of two SEC teams that will not be in action this week.

LSU: Jordan Jefferson threw three touchdown passes as LSU beat Washington, 31-23, in the season opener for both teams. Jefferson connected on 11-of-19 passes for 172 yards for LSU, which got four receptions for 117 yards from Chris Toliver. The Tigers won despite being outgained in the contest, 478-321. LSU has won 20 straight games against non-conference foes, dating back to 2005. The Tigers improved to 5-0 in season-openers under head coach Les Miles. They will now clash with SEC rival Vanderbilt this Saturday, and the Commodores are coming off a rare shutout victory.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: Dan Mullen's debut as the new coach at Mississippi State was a successful one, as the Bulldogs knocked off Jackson State in a 45-7 final in Starkville. MSU outgained its overmatched opponent, 359-194. The Bulldogs racked up 20 first downs and 202 rushing yards, led by backup quarterback Chris Relf's 82 rushing yards. He also connected on 7-of-10 passes for 75 yards, while starter Tyson Lee was 8-of-13 for 82 yards. Mullen became the fourth consecutive MSU coach to win in his debut, joining Rockey Felker, Jackie Sherrill and Sylvester Croom. The Bulldogs will do battle with Auburn on Saturday in what will be the SEC opener for both squads.

OLE MISS: The Rebels played a rare Sunday game against Memphis to open the 2009 campaign, and the result was a 45-14 victory. Jevan Snead, the Heisman hopeful quarterback for Ole Miss, threw for 175 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions on 12-of-22 efficiency. Brandon Bolden gained 71 yards and a TD on nine carries for the Rebels (1-0). Dexter McCluster added 50 yards and a score on nine totes, and 65 yards and a touchdown on six catches. Enrique Davis found the end zone in the win and Markeith Summers also had a TD catch. The Rebels won't play again until September 19th when they take on Southeastern Louisiana.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Brian Maddox scored the only touchdown of the game as the Gamecocks held on to defeat the NC State Wolfpack, 7-3, in non-conference action to kick off the 2009 campaign last Thursday. Maddox finished with 66 yards rushing on 23 attempts, while quarterback Stephen Garcia converted 13- of-22 passes for 148 yards, tossing one interception while being sacked three times in the hard-fought effort. The USC defense limited the home team to a mere 133 yards of total offense. The Gamecocks will face SEC rival Georgia this Saturday, and the Bulldogs are undoubtedly desperate after losing their season opener.

TENNESSEE: The Vols didn't score in the first quarter of new coach Lane Kiffin's debut, but they certainly picked up the pace from that point and rolled to a 63-7 victory over Western Kentucky. Jonathan Crompton tossed five touchdown passes to lead the Vols, as he completed 21-of-28 passes for 233 yards with two interceptions. Montario Hardesty carried 18 times for 160 yards and a score for the Volunteers, while Bryce Brown logged 11 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. The Volunteers clearly dominated the contest, totaling 657 yards of offense and 34 first downs, while holding the Hilltoppers to just 83 yards and a mere six first downs. The competition increases significantly for Tennessee this weekend, as the UCLA Bruins are on the docket.

VANDERBILT: The Commodores held an opponent scoreless for the first time since 1999 with a 45-0 romp over Western Carolina in Saturday's opener. Warren Norman, a freshman tailback, rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Zac Stanley, another freshman, added 133 rushing yards on 20 attempts, giving Vandy its first pair of freshman running backs in program history to run for 100 yards in the same contest. Larry Smith connected on 10-of-18 passes for 153 yards and one score, but he did leave with an arm injury. Pitching another shutout this weekend seems highly unlikely, as the opponent for Vanderbilt will be LSU.

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