- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"Houston had two receivers on my side, and the tight end cut back inside. We had worked on that situation in practice. I just stepped in and Wilson threw it right to me." That was Arkansas Cornerback Danny Walters' description of how he intercepted a pass from Houston's Lionel Wilson and ran it back 93 yards for a TD. By so doing, Walters, who moved in front of Tight End Carl Hilton to make that grab, put the Razorbacks ahead 7-3 midway through the first period.
In the second period, Quarterback Brad Taylor of the Hogs scored twice on one-yard runs and teamed up with Derek Holloway on a 56-yard scoring pass. Arkansas' 38-3 win in this Southwest Conference matchup was its first over the Cougars since 1977. The Razor-backs, who intercepted four passes, have allowed an average of only 5.8 points a game. That's the stingiest average in Division 1-A.
Texas Christian ended a "Dry" spell by beating Baylor for the first time since 1973, 38-14. It was the third triumph for the Horned Frogs, marking the first time they have had more than two during any of the six years that Coach F.A. Dry has been in charge. TCU broke the game open with 17 points in the final two minutes of the first half.
Coach Jackie Sherrill knew that Texas A&M backers would let out a howl if he lost to 0-7 Rice. No sweat. The Aggies, who until Saturday hadn't been overly impressive during the first year of Sherrill's lavish long-term contract, thrashed the Owls 49-7. When A&M defenders weren't busy picking off six Rice passes, Gary Kubiak of the Aggies was completing 24 of 37 tries for 306 yards and five touchdowns. Three of those scoring throws were hauled in by Don Jones.
When Herschel Walker was a freshman at Georgia, he consented to having a horse named in his honor. Herschelwalker, a thoroughbred son of Bold Hour who never ran as well as his namesake, suffered a knee injury and was prematurely retired to stud this year. However, Walker himself last week took his powerhouse running to horse country and propelled the Bulldogs past Kentucky 27-14. The winless Wildcats led 14-3 after scoring on a 56-yard pass from Quarterback Doug Martin to Fullback Shawn Donigan and on a 13-yard run by Tailback Lawrence (Choo Choo) Lee. Then Walker began galloping, hauling in a screen pass from Quarterback John Lastinger and turning it into a 64-yard scoring play that cut the Wildcats' lead to 14-10 shortly before halftime. That touchdown, the 43rd of Walker's career, broke the SEC record that he had shared with former LSU star Charles Alexander. Two more scoring passes by Lastinger and Kevin Butler's field goal enabled Georgia to pull away in the second half. In addition to rushing for 152 yards on 34 carries, Walker picked up 79 yards on three catches.
Vanderbilt scored twice in the fourth period to upend Mississippi 19-10, and Auburn swept past Mississippi State 35-17. Alabama and Louisiana State were at-home winners in non-conference games. The Crimson Tide led Cincinnati only 7-3 at the half. Despite 513 yards in total offense, 'Bama labored before finishing off the Bearcats 21-3. No one knew better than Tide Quarterback Walter Lewis how tough Cincinnati was; he was sacked four times for 32 yards in losses. Nonetheless, Lewis kept bouncing back. Before leaving the game with a bruised left shoulder suffered on the final play of the third period, he had carried 21 times for 156 yards and had completed six of seven passes for another 61. Not until Linnie Patrick scored the final TD on a 45-yard run midway through the fourth quarter could Alabama breathe easy.
With Linebacker James Seawright making 16 tackles, 10 unassisted, South Carolina shut down LSU's outside running and kept the Tigers from converting a third-down play until the final period, on their 12th attempt. Despite all that and despite outrushing LSU 145 yards to 129, the Gamecocks lost. What made the Tigers 14-6 winners was that they didn't commit a turnover and scored twice in the first half after recovering a South Carolina fumble and stealing a pass. Quarterback Alan Risher turned both turnovers into TDs by rifling passes of six and 25 yards to Eric Martin. LSU might have lost, though, had it not been for Linebacker Al Richardson's 18 tackles, which tied a team record.
"When we win, we get the least credit. When we lose, we take the most blame," said Offensive Guard Kenny Howell of Georgia Tech, whose offensive line had been taking considerable abuse, particularly after the previous week's 24-0 loss to Auburn. On Saturday, however, those linemen received heaps of praise after a 31-21 defeat of visiting Tennessee, which the week before had upset Alabama 35-28. Sophomore Tailback Robert Lavette of the Yellow Jackets scored three TDs in a game for the second time this season as he rushed for 139 yards. Jim Bob Taylor added variety to the offense by passing for 202 yards in a 12-for-19 performance.