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Mississippi Defeats Wildcats 42-31

Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning grimaces as he is hit by Kentucky defenders Dewayne Robertson, left, and Jamal White after a short ground gain during the first half.

Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning grimaces as he is hit by Kentucky defenders Dewayne Robertson, left, and Jamal White after a short ground gain during the first half.

Sept 29, 2001

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By STEVE BAILEY
AP Sports Writer

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Eli Manning threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns as Mississippi held off Kentucky 42-31 Saturday.

Manning completed 19 of 36 passes, including 26- and 5-yard scores, as the Rebels (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) beat Kentucky for the fifth time in the last six meetings.

Chris Collins had seven receptions for 119 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown catch, and scored on a 38-yard reverse. Toward Sanford scored on three 1-yard runs as Mississippi racked up 497 yards of offense.

Artose Pinner rushed 17 times for a career-high 130 yards and scored twice to lead the Wildcats (1-3, 0-2), who lost their 11th consecutive conference game dating to the 1999 season.

Backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen entered the game late in the third quarter and led Kentucky on two scoring drives to pull the Wildcats to 35-31 with 7:39 to play.

But Manning drove the Rebels 74 yards on Mississippi's ensuing possession, and Sanford scored his third touchdown with 4:06 remaining to end the threat.

Joe Gunn rushed 13 times for 113 yards to become the fifth player in Mississippi history to rush for 2,000 yards in a career.

Kentucky starter Shane Boyd finished 7-of-21 passing for 72 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Lorenzen was 5-of-13 for 32 yards.

The Rebels scored on their first three possessions, which included Manning's two TD passes.

Kentucky answered on two of its first three possessions as Boyd scored on 20- and 1-yard runs to pull to 21-14 at halftime.

Each team wasted little time finding the end zone in the second half.

On Mississippi's first possession, Gunn had runs of 17, 36 and 24 yards to the Kentucky 1 before Sanford punched it in to put the Rebels up 28-14.

 

 

On the next play, Pinner took a handoff up the middle and scampered 66 yards to the end zone untouched to cut the margin to 28-21 with 13:06 to play in the third quarter.

Down 35-21, Lorenzen replaced Boyd and, on his second possession, led the Wildcats to the end zone.

Following Derek Abney's 42-yard punt return to the Mississippi 22, Pinner scored from a yard out to pull Kentucky to 35-28 with 12:18 left in the game.

Hanson's 31-yard field goal cut it to 35-31 with 7:39 remaining, but the Wildcats would get no closer.

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