- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Reserve quarterbacks Mike Mann and David Dukes led Auburn and Georgia to victory. The Tigers' Mann, a senior making the second start of his career—first-teamer Pat Washington was injured—completed his first 10 passes as Auburn amassed 349 yards and a 41-0 lead over Georgia Tech by halftime. Tech, however, didn't roll over. John Dewberry, who was 0 for 5 passing before intermission, completed 12 of 16 for 260 yards and two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets outscored the Tigers 34-7 in the second half. All told, Mann connected on 11 of 17 passes for 241 yards as Auburn won 48-34.
Dukes, a redshirted freshman filling in for the injured Todd Williams, led the Dawgs to a team-record 42 first-half points en route to a 62-35 romp over Vanderbilt. Georgia scored 21 points in four minutes late in the second period as Dukes ran for one TD and threw for two to break open a 21-21 game.
LSU and Florida also coasted. At Kentucky, the Tigers led only 9-3 at the half, but then Dalton Hilliard raced for three of his four touchdowns and the Wildcats fell, 36-10. Hilliard wound up with 164 yards on 32 carries. In the Gators' 48-17 rout of Cincinnati, three runners gained more than 100 yards: John L. Williams rushed for 111, Neal Anderson 105 and James Massey 120.
Bernie Kosar had another big day, completing 29 of 42 passes for 351 yards to lead Miami to a 27-7 win over Pitt. It was Kosar's sixth 300-yard game of the season, and he broke his own school records, for completions in a game and for touchdown passes in a season. His one TD throw brought his total to 16.
Florida State's offense didn't score a touchdown until the final 1:32 of a 27-6 defeat of Tulane. By then, though, Derek Schmidt had booted two field goals and the Seminoles had converted two consecutive blocked punts into touchdowns.
Houston's strength in its stunning 29-20 victory at SMU was its ability to minimize the deleterious effects of its mistakes. The Cougars fumbled seven times, the Mustangs thwarted five Houston drives and a Cougar ballcarrier was stopped behind the line on a third-and-one at his own 37. But Houston recovered all those fumbles, and Mike Clendenen kicked a school-record five field goals after those drives fizzled. One of those three-pointers put the Cougars in front 19-7 in the third quarter after Raymond Tate was collared behind the line on that third-down play. Tate turned the apparent loss into a first down by flipping the ball to surprised quarterback Gerald Landry, who went 16 yards.
Arkansas and Texas coughed up the ball six times apiece on the wet, steamy artificial turf in Austin, where the Longhorns prevailed 24-18. Brad Taylor of the Hogs, who had four of his first 10 passes intercepted, completed his first with 13:21 remaining and Texas ahead 24-3. Altogether, Taylor made good on 12 of 22 attempts for 201 yards in a frenetic fourth period. The Horns' worst miscue came when Terry Orr dived into the end zone from the Arkansas one without the ball, which he had fumbled away. Taylor then took the Razorbacks 99 yards and threw for a two-point conversion to make the score 24-18 with 4:50 left. Although time ran out on Arkansas' final march, offsetting penalties gave the Hogs one more chance after what would otherwise have been the last play. So Taylor fired again and completed an 18-yarder to Jamie Lueders, who was brought down at the Texas four.
TCU and North Texas State, which are just 35 miles apart, met for the first time in 49 years. The visiting Mean Green came up lean as Kenneth Davis ran 16 times for 219 yards to lead the Horned Frogs to a 34-3 rout. Davis had runs of 51 and 59 yards and equaled a team record with an 82-yard scoring jaunt. For the season Davis, the nation's No. 2 rusher, has 861 yards on 103 tries for an 8.35 average.