The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on September 25, 1988 · Page 30
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 30

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Nashville, Tennessee
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Sunday, September 25, 1988
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Page 30
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4C BASKBALL SECTION 5CNFL C 14COUTIX)ORS The Sunday TENNESSEAN SEPTEMBER 25, 1988 JOHN. BIBB Sports Kdilor octores; Tide swamps rT1 v ''A : facto ty Alabama loses Humphrey, Jelks I.AKKV WOODY Sj'urls Uriter TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Vanderbilt's football team should've followed the example set by weather-wary Ala-oama last week and stayed home yesterday. Instead, the Commodores waded into a high Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium, where both Vandy and its 2-0 reason start were washed up, 44-10. But the 13th-ranked Crimson Tide paid a dear price for the Southeastern Conference win. Alabama tailback Bobby Humphrey, one of the leading Heisman Trophy candidates, and defeasive bacK Gene Jelks received season-ending injuries. Humphrey re-fractured a bone in his left foot and Jelks received a torn ligament in his left knee. The 13th-ranked Crimson Tide held Vandy's normally-potent offense to zero yards rushing to set the stage for the SEC hammering. "They stopped the run and if your offease doesn't have balance, you lose," said Commodore quarterback Eric Jones, whose Heisman hopes were severely jolted by a so-so performance. Jones hit 18 of 39 passes for 327 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted three times and he fumbled once. He netted four yards rushing on seven carries. Fumbling Vols e nwmniMiR Sports Writer ' . AUBURN, Ala. It was a real football game. For a half. Then it turned into the Ugliest Pillage on the Plain as fourth-ranked Auburn whipped self-destructing Tennesee 38-6 yesterday. With a Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd of 83,687 and a national television audience watching, Auburn took advantage of three third-quarter fumbles by Tennessee to turn a close game into a rout. . .The Vols' fast fade in the second half sent the team to its fourth loss in as many games, match- . vi. . IHHMHtfqJUwiy "u J"'MM' Boston's Jody Reed sits dejected after making an error in the bottom of ninth to allow New York to win 5-4. Baseball report 4C. Yanks rally for 2 in 9th to escape Red Sox, 5-4 NEW YORK (AP) If the Boston Red Sox had any margin for error in the American League East, they've used it up. The division that no team seems ' willing or capable of winning took another strange twist yesterday when Boston shortstop Jody Reed's bases-loaded misplny with two outs in the ninth inning helped the New York Yankees rally for two runs and a 5-4 victory. . The Red Sox seemed ready to cut their magic number to three after Jim Rice, in some odd strategy, pinch hit for major league batting leader Wade Boggs in the ninth and got an RBI grounder for a 4-3 lead. But the Yankees, shocked Friday night when the Red Sox took advantage of a ninth-inning mistake and rallied for three runs to win 1 0-9, struck back and closed within 4 't games of Elliott tries to costly ON 6C:Vanderbilt notes. The Heisman hopes of Alabama's Humphrey ended when he went down early in the fourth quarter, having gained 1 07 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns on 27 carries. Humphrey has scored a school-record 40 career touchdowas. "We got beat by a good team," said Vanderbilt Coach Watson Brown. "We just ran into a buzzsaw today." A Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd of 70,123 turned out to watch the Tide continue its mastery of Vandy, boosting its series edge to 44-18-4. The Commodores try to get back on track Saturday when they host 4-0 Duke. Alabama, which stirred controversy by failing to show for a game last week at Texas A&M due to a hurricane, boosted its record to 2-0. The Tide travels to Kentucky this week. "I tried not to let myself get distracted," said Alabama Coach Bill Curry, whose no-show last week was blasted by A&M Coach Jackie Sher-rill. "I was proud the players kept their m;inds on their business." Vanderbilt started sharp, driving downf ield for a 43-yard Johnny Clark field goal on its opening possession. I I urn to PAGE 7C, Column 4 ON 20 Stewart continues Vol Vigil atop billboard ing the worst start in the school's 92-year football history. Only twice before, in 1893 and 1962, has a UT team opened 0-4. "All we can do," said Tennessee Coach Johnny Majors, "is stick together and try to get better. We've got to hang tough." Auburn is now 3-0 and unbeaten in two Southeastern Conference games. While Auburn's defense was coaspicuous at AP the leaders. "We should've buried them today. We had our chances," Boston manager Joe Morgan said. "They might have been buried if they had lost today." Instead, Claudell Washington's run-scoring double off relief ace Lee Smith tied it in the ninth. Then, with the bases loaded and two outs, Willie Randolph hit a routine grounder at Reed. "I thought I hit a ground ball, but it must have had a funny spin," Randolph said. It did. The ball took a high hop, skipped over Reed's glove and hit him the chest. Reed sat in the dirt as Washington scored the winning run. "We let them off the hook today like they did to us yesterday," Morgan said! keep NASCAR l.W.;il)),IWUIH.m. W IJI. I ""' 1 " O "I I... Ill tIJH.n);,i;in,u,iiiIJiiin, urn,,,!!,..,,,,, , 4& II' - t M ' ' ftP Vanderbilt's Brad Gaines is hauled qual worst start in 92 years every turn, the Tiger offense ran smoothly under the control of quarterback Reggie Slack, who completed 1 2 passes in a row during one stretch and finished 1 4-of-l 8 for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee's Jeff Francis opened the game with eight straight completions and finished 16-for-22 for 1 40 yards. He was sacked four times and ran for his life on a half-dozen other occasions. To its credit, Tennessee didn't play like a two-touchdown underdog during the first half, hanging within 10-6 at halftime and causing more than a little concern in the Auburn dress COLLEGE FOOTBALL I. Miami 23, Wisconsin 3 5. Southern Cal 23. 3. Oklahoma 7 8. Notre Dame 52, Purdue 7 9. Florida State 30, Michigan State 7 10. Nebraska 47, Arizona State 16 II. West Virginia 31, 16. Pitt 10 12. Clemson 30, Georgia Tech 13 Rutgers 21, 15. Penn State 16 17. Washington 35, San Jose State 31 18. Oklahoma St. 52, Texas A&M 15 19. Michigan 19, Wake Forest 9 4. Auburn 38, Tennessee 6 14. South Carolina 23, 6. Georgia 10 Ohio State 36, 7. LSU 33 13. Alabama 44. Vanderbilt 10 20. Florida 17, Miss. State 0 Kentucky 38, Kent State 14 MTSU 26. Georgia Southern 10 Florida A&M 23. TSU 6 UT-Chattanooga 41, Tenn. Tech 0 Nevada-Reno 28, Murray State 18 tiberty 34, Morehead State 9 W. Kentucky 16, E. Kentucky 14 Tulane 20. Memphis State 19 Central Florida 23, ETSU 17 Miss. College 24, UT-Martin 21 Sewanee 14, Earlham 3 Top20,8C SEC.9C OVC, 10-11C estate, 11C J Got a question for Tennessee coach Johnny Majors. Vanderbilt coach Watson Brown or any of the state's Ohio Valley Conference coaches about yesterday's games? Call the number below between 1 1 a.m. and 2 p.m. and leave your question, along with your name and phone number. Weil ask the coaches the best questions and their responses will be in tomorrow's Tennessean. Watson Brown: 259-8023. Johnny Majors: 259-8299. Ohio Valley Conference: 259-8012. Bill Thomas. TSU Boots Donnelly. MTSU Jim Ragland, Tennessee Tech; Paul Brewster, Austin Peay. points lead, 3C down by Alabama's John Mangum Rain, FAMU overwhelm mistake-ridden Big Blue JOF. Bl RRIS Spurls Writer First the rains came, turning Vanderbilt's Dudley Field into a multipurpose swimming pool. Then Florida A&M, which in the past has had trouble defeating Tennessee State by land and by air, dropped the Big Blue by sea. FAMU defeated TSU 23-6 at Dudley Field last night, taking advantage of TSU's rain-created miscues and surviving their own to register its first win over the Big Blue in eight tries. A crowd of 1 7,434 watched as both teams struggled offensively in rains that fell hard at times. FAMU, which improved to 2-1 fumbled six times, losing three. TSU, which fell to 1-2-1, fumbled 10 times, losing five. In the past, FAMU has had trouble defeating TSU with its rushing and passing attack. But in the wet stuff, the Rattlers excelled. While the Tigers kicked up water, Florida A&M kicked four field goals, scored one rushing touchdow n and collected two safeties for the win. "I was impressed with our intensity MTSU posts over Georgia TOM WOOD Spirts H rilt-r MURFRF.ESBORO Middle Tennessee finally put it all together last night, winning one for the seniors, the defense and placekicker Joe Lisle. Five interceptioas, including three in the second half, and a record-setting four field goals by Lisle carried MTSU to a 26-1 0 victory over nationally-ranked Georgia Southern. Lisle, a junior from Father Ryan, kicked field goals of 32, 24. 20 and 40 yards to become the first place-kicker Hillsboro wins Bridges cross after a long pass pla . ing room. "We weren't scared," said Auburn quarterback Reggie Slack, "but we knew we were in a ballgame." The Vols were confident. There was a hint of upset in the wind. "Randy Sanders came over to me at half-time," recalled UT quarterback Jeff Francis, referring to one of his backups, "and he said, if we don't turn the ball over, I don't think we can lose.'" So what did Tennessee do? Right, it turned Turn to lA(.E 71), C olumn I a - J Robert Johnson butt TSU's Mehin Waters charges for yardage in the first half of last night's loss to Florida A & M at Vanderbilt Stadium. on defense and the fact that we did not lose our composure despite the turnovers," said Florida A&M Coach Ken Riley. TSU was hurt by its kicking game, particularly on its center to punter ex- lurntol'M.h IIK,(olunui 4 26-10 win Southern in MTSU history to make four field goals in one game. "It's the best thing that ever happened in my life," said Lisle, who prior to last night had made only one of four field goal attempts this seaon. "There was a lot of pressure on me in this game. I just had to stride through the adversity and kick my way out of it. That's the only way to get your confidence back." MTSU Coach Boots Donnelly Iurn to PACE 10C, Column 4 Bama used double-dare on Vandy TUSCALOOSA. Ala Vanderbilt took Alabama's dare here yesterday, and the resulting challenge led to the Commodores absorbing their worst beating since mid-season a year ago. The Tide stacked a formidable 8-and 9-man defensive front against the Vanderbilt offease, designed to force quarterback Eric Jones to lift the Vandy offease off the ground. Actually, it put Jones and his Vandy buddies into a darned-if-we-do, darned-if-we-don't predicament. If the Commodores tried to put their option offense in motion, Bama's swift, mobile defenders strung out the motion until quarterback Jones or any of his potential pitchout targets were smothered. ON THE other hand, if Jones ordered runners up the middle, the Vandy ball carriers were stymied by a wall of red-shirted traffic. So, taking the only route available, Vandy went to the air. It was the Commodores' last resort, and it proved to be a futile, desperate attempt. Watson Brown, a recognized master of the forward pass, admitted the choice left his Commodores with little opportunity to extend their winning streak to three games. "I knew we were going to have a tough time, because whatever defense Alabama uses, it's going to put plenty of pressure on you. They lined up in what I call 'cat coverage', meaning they faced us one-on-one up front We jast couldn't handle it. That's all there is to it. Believe me, this is a very, very strong defensive team. "You cannot beat any football team, Alabama in particular, by -: throwing the ball every down. In this game, Alabama wouldn't let us run " our outside stuff. They wouldn't let us run up the middle. They wouldn't let us pick at them anywhere along the line of scrimmage. "So, we had to try the one thing left That was to throw the ball. It's easy to see what happened when we tried . that. I haven't seen the figures, but I'm guessing we didn't gain more than 15 yards rushing." NOT A BAD guess, although the official statistics show 1 5 yards was a little high. Vandy's runnning game was at ground zero. For the Commodores' 26 rashes, the net result was zero gam. Brown, declining to pin-point any single play, or any particular segment of the 60 minutes as the critical, game-turning moment also wouldn't accept alibis that perhaps the 90-de-gree heat hurt his younger, less-deep Commodores more than the talent-laden Crimson Tide. "Heat? You betcha. There was a ; plenty of heat. Most of it generated by Alabama. They can put some heat on you," Brown said. "There's j list one answer to this game Alabama whipped up on us big time. Period." ASIDE h KOM the impregnable - defensive fort Alabama built along the line of scrimmage, the Tide's other massive advantages showed in the kicking game and it's ability to storm through the Commodore defeases. Bama outrushed Vandy, 237-0, and a fumbled punt, a miss-played kickoff and an Alabama punt return for a touchdown, added to the rout. "I've said it before, so I'll say it one more time. We try to play at a level so that w hen something like this happens, w e don't droop our jaws. We'll get back on the field Monday and start working for our fourth straight undefeated team. Duke. We've learned some things from this beating, and this one is behind us," Brown said. Bama's Coach Bill Curry, after saying he feels Brown and his staff is doing one of the better coacing jobs in America, said staff is doing one of the better coaching jobs he was delighted with the victory, but that he saw areas where the Tide needs improvement "We made enough mistakes to lose to a championship caliber team. We ; did some things that are not acceptable. It's not acceptable to have penalties for late hits or holding. Our short yardage offease is way below what ' needs to happen." country, 12C 1

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