The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC x CFB 150: 2001-2006

119 days ago
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As part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, the Southeastern Conference is recognizing 150 of the greatest games and moments in the history of the 14 institutions of the SEC.

Each of the SEC's 14 members submitted to the Conference Office 10 great games or moments, and the SEC added 10 conference-wide highlights to produce a total of 150 great moments to be celebrated throughout the 2019 football season. To view the other weeks, click here.

Week 11 - SEC Football 150 Greatest Moments (2001-2006)

Final Score: South Carolina 24, Ohio State 7
Date: January 1, 2001
Site: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Head Coach: Lou Holtz
Title: Gamecocks Take Outback Bowl
South Carolina capped off an amazing turnaround season with an impressive 24-7 win over Ohio State in the 2001 Outback Bowl. Claiming only the second bowl victory in the program's history, the Gamecocks ended the season at 8-4 and ranked No. 19 in the AP poll. That came on the heels of a 21-game losing streak over the 1998 and '99 seasons. Sophomore running back Ryan Brewer had a day to remember. The Troy, Ohio, native dismantled the Buckeyes with 19 carries for 109 yards and three receptions for another 92 yards. Named the game MVP, Brewer was responsible for all of Carolina's touchdowns.

Final score: Arkansas 58, Ole Miss 56
Date: November 3, 2001
Site: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Mississippi
Head Coach: Houston Nutt
Title: Seven Overtimes
The NCAA changed overtime rules in college football in 1996 to eliminate ties, then made an important tweak in 1997 that forced teams to go for two points following touchdowns beginning in the third overtime. However, no one imagined what would happen this night in Oxford, Miss. The Razorbacks and Rebels traded scores in a defensive game with Ole Miss QB Eli Manning connecting with Jason Armstead with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter to pull even at 17-17 to eventually send the game to overtime. That's when things got crazy. Arkansas was up first in OT and scored in four plays on a Cedric Cobbs 16-yard run. The Rebels answered but amazingly neither team scored in the second OT to send it to a third, when both teams had go for two after a TD. True freshman Matt Jones took over beginning in the third OT, scoring on the first play of the period on a 25-yard run. He threw a TD pass to George Wilson in the fourth OT and ran for an eight-yard score in the fifth. The two teams traded TDs and two-point conversions in the sixth. Mark Pierce's one-yard run and the following two-point conversion capped a seven-play, 25-yard drive in the seventh OT for Arkansas to make it 58-50. Manning found Armstead again in the Rebels' half of the seventh OT but Jermaine Petty tackled Doug Ziegler two yards short of the endzone to end the marathon and etch the Hogs' name in the record book. The game set then-NCAA records for overtimes (7), overtime points by a team (41), total overtime points (80) and total plays (198).

Final Score: LSU 35, Alabama 21
Date: November 3, 2001
Site: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Head Coach: Nick Saban
Title: Davey-Reed Combo Keys LSU Win at Bama
Rohan Davey threw for an LSU record 528 yards on a school-record 35 completions, while Josh Reed shattered both the school and SEC marks records with 19 receptions for 293 yards as the Tigers upended Alabama, 35-21, in Tuscaloosa. The game saw LSU rack up 611 total yards - the most ever for a Tiger squad against the Crimson Tide - and 30 first downs. LSU moved the ball up and down the field at will with Davey and Reed combining for the most prolific passing day in school history. LSU scored the first 14 points of the game and led 14-10 at halftime. Alabama tied the contest late in the third quarter before the Davey-to-Reed combo struck again, this time it was a 25-yard TD reception putting the Tigers up for good at 28-21. LaBrandon Toefield scored three short yardage touchdowns on the ground and put an exclamation point on his day with a 6-yard score midway through the fourth quarter to provide the final margin of victory. Defensively, linebacker Bradie James led the Tigers with 14 tackles, 13 of which were solo, while Jarvis Green added seven tackles and a pair of sacks in the victory.

Final Score: Georgia 24, Auburn 21
Date: November 16, 2002
Site: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn Alabama
Head coach: Mark Richt
Title: Dawgs Beat Tigers On Way to SEC Title
After trailing the entire game, Georgia quarterback David Greene hit wide receiver Michael Johnson with a fourth down, 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:25 remaining to give Georgia a 24-21 victory and the SEC Eastern Division championship. The win propelled the Bulldogs into the SEC Championship Game for the first time and the Georgia responded with a triumph over Arkansas to claim its first SEC title since 1982. The 'Dogs went on to defeat FSU in the Sugar Bowl game and finish the season 13-1 and ranked No. 3 in the final polls.

Final score: Arkansas 21, LSU 20
Date: November 29, 2002
Site: War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Arkansas
Head Coach: Houston Nutt
Title: Miracle on Markham
The Razorbacks rolled into Little Rock for their end-of-season rivalry game with LSU in the Battle of the Boot with a trip to Atlanta as the SEC West champ on the line. The No. 18 Tigers scored first and held the Arkansas offense in check in the first half to take a 10-0 lead into the break. The Hogs finally got on the board in the third quarter on a Mark Pierce one-yard plunge, but the Tigers responded to push the lead back to 10 entering the fourth quarter. With under seven minutes remaining in the game, Arkansas' Fred Talley capped a quick strike five-play, 80-yard drive to bring the Razorbacks within three points again. And again, LSU answered with a 13-play drive that drained nearly six minutes off the clock but settled for a John Corbello 29-yard field goal to make it 20-14 with under a minute remaining. QB Matt Jones' magic was needed again despite having completed just two passes all day. The Arkansas drive started with 40 seconds on the clock and at their own 19-yard line. The drive started with a bang as Jones found Richard Smith for 50 yards to set up the Hogs inside LSU territory at the 31. After an incompletion, just 17 seconds were left on the clock. On 2nd & 10, Jones took the snap, dodged an LSU defender, rolled right then fired a bullet into the endzone for DeCori Birmingham. Birmingham found himself behind the Tigers' defense but still had to leap to catch Jones' pass in the back corner of the end zone to come down with the ball and pull Arkansas even for the first time with nine ticks left on the clock. The Razorbacks were then flagged for excessive celebration forcing David Carlton's PAT to be 15 yards further. On a wet and windy day, Carlton's kick wobbled through the uprights to give Arkansas' its second SEC Championship game appearance. The next day the headline in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette read "Jones to Birmingham to Atlanta."

Final Score: Missouri 41, Nebraska 24
Date: October 11, 2003
Site: Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Missouri
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel
Title: "A Long Time Coming"
Mizzou and Nebraska fans enjoyed a spirited and even-handed rivalry during the 1960s and 70s, with the Midwest programs each winning half of the 20 matchups in that timeframe. Fast forward to October of 2003, and it had somehow been 25 years since the Tigers had beaten the Huskers - and Mizzou's third-year Head Coach Gary Pinkel and company were determined to put an end to that frustrating streak. The task wouldn't be easy, as Nebraska came to Faurot Field 5-0 and ranked 10th, and the Tigers were coming off a bye week that followed a disappointing upset loss at rival Kansas. Mizzou took a 14-10 lead into half, thanks in large part to a thrilling trick play that saw QB Brad Smith take a throwback pass from former QB-turned-WR Darius Outlaw for a 47-yard touchdown. The Huskers owned the third quarter, however, and Mizzou opened the final quarter staring a 10-point deficit in the face, and with it, the prospects of a 25th-straight loss in the series. However, lightning struck on the first play of the fourth period, as Smith broke loose for a 39-yard touchdown run, and on MU's next possession they would take the lead on yet another exotic play. A promising Tiger drive stalled out on the Nebraska 14-yardline, and MU lined up for an apparent 31-yard field goal to tie game. Not content to settle for the tie, Mizzou ran a fake field goal, and reserve QB Sonny Riccio lofted a perfectly-placed pass into the corner of the end zone for TE Victor Sesay for a touchdown that lit a fire in the sellout crowd and gave MU a 28-24 lead with 11:21 to play. Mizzou's defense took over from there, stoning the Husker offense while forcing consecutive turnovers in Nebraska territory. The Tiger offense capitalized both times with a pair of Smith keepers for TD runs, and Mizzou's 27-point explosion in the fourth quarter broke the game open on the way to a 41-24 victory that was quite sweet, and a long time coming, indeed.

Date: December 2, 2003
Site: Starkville, Mississippi
Head coach: Sylvester Croom
Title: Sylvester Croom Introduced as 31st Head Football Coach
With hundreds in attendance, Director of Athletics Larry Templeton introduced 49-year-old Sylvester Croom as Mississippi State's 31st head football coach on Dec. 2, 2003. Croom became the first African-American head football coach in the then-71 year history of the SEC. "We went after the best football coach, and we're confident we found that individual in Sylvester Croom," Templeton said. "The issue of opportunities for minority coaches to become head football coaches is an issue for everybody, all the conferences in the country. The fact that the SEC has now provided that opportunity makes it an historic day for the conference and for Mississippi State," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said that day. Croom, the starting center on Alabama's 1973 national championship team, arrived after 17 consecutive years as an NFL assistant coach.

Final Score: LSU 21, Oklahoma 14
Date: January 4, 2004
Site: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: Nick Saban
Title: LSU Wins First National Title Since 1958
With a mix of guts, will, heart and talent and spurred by a home-state crowd that was the largest to watch a sporting event in the Louisiana Superdome, LSU (13-1) won its first football national championship in 45 years by pounding Heisman Trophy winner Jason White and topping his Oklahoma Sooners (12-2), 21-14. LSU's speedy defense harassed and sacked White all night holding him to just 13 completions on 37 attempts for a mere 102 yards and two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. The Tigers sacked the Oklahoma signal caller five times for 46 lost yards. White's last eight pass attempts fell incomplete, ending any chance for the Sooners to overcome a 21-7 early second-half deficit. The Sooners, touted to have the best offense in all of college football, amassed just 154 total yards against the stingy Tigers. Oklahoma averaged just 2.2 yards gained per play. LSU's offense, while not overwhelming, managed to gain more than twice the yards per play in comparison on its way to 312 total yards, splitting those almost evenly at 159 yards on the ground, 153 in the air. Tiger quarterback Matt Mauck was efficient in completing 13-of-22 passes for 124 yards and two interceptions. But it was freshman tailback Justin Vincent who amazed with his speed and maneuverability. Vincent, fresh off of his most valuable player performance in the SEC Championship game, grabbed another MVP trophy by rushing for 117 yards on 16 carries and one stupendous touchdown run that gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. LSU's Marcus Spears increased the lead to 21-7 early in the third quarter, returning an interception 20 yards for a touchdown, giving the Tiger defense all the cushion that they would need.

Final score: Vanderbilt 28, Tennessee 24
Date: November 19, 2005
Site: Nashville, Tennessee
Head Coach: Bobby Johnson
Title: "The Last Cutler Is the Deepest"
Jay Cutler finished his Commodore career with a 28-24 win at Tennessee, marking Vanderbilt's first over the Volunteers since 1982, the year before Cutler was born. The win also marked Vanderbilt's first victory over Tennessee on the Volunteers' home field in Knoxville since 1975. Cutler passed for three touchdowns and 315 yards in the game, becoming the first quarterback in school history to record four consecutive 300-yard passing performances. Cutler's final play in college was the game-winning -- and streak-ending -- touchdown pass to Earl Bennett. Cutler was unanimously voted the SEC's Offensive Player of the Year.

Final score: Kentucky 28, Clemson 20
Date: December 29, 2006
Site: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
Head coach: Rich Brooks
Title: Music City Bowl Upset Sparks 5 Straight Bowl Appearances
In a game featuring dynamic energy both on the field and in the stands, Andre' Woodson threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns to lead an upset of Clemson in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. Leading 7-6 late in the first half, backed up at its own 20-yard line, a successful fake punt set up a 70-yard touchdown bomb from Woodson to Demoreo Ford. In the second half, the Wildcats built a 28-6 lead with TD tosses to Dicky Lyons and Jacob Tamme. UK withstood a fourth-quarter rally to secure its first bowl victory in 22 years. That set off a wild(cats) celebration among the players and the 50,000-plus UK fans who packed LP Field, part of a bowl-record sellout crowd of 68,024.