No. 8 Tennessee 22, So. Carolina 7
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Peyton Manning completed just eight passes in his worst performance in three years, but Jamal Lewis ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as No. 8 Tennessee beat South Carolina 22-7 on Saturday.
Lewis’s second 200-yard game in four starts included a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Volunteers (6-1, 4-1 SEC) ahead 19-0 against the Gamecocks (5-4, 3-4). The freshman carried 24 times.
Manning, a top contender for the Heisman Trophy, finished 8-of-25 for 126 yards, was sacked twice and threw an interception that bounced off a receiver’s hands.
Manning, the most accurate passer in SEC history (63.5 percent coming in) completed just one of eight passes the second half. He hit five of his first seven throws, then was 3-of-18 the rest of the way.
It was the fewest passing yards for Manning since the sixth start of his freshman season, 32 games ago. It broke his streak of seven consecutive 300-plus yard passing games.
The Tennessee defense was superb, though, shutting out the Gamecocks until Victor Penn threw a 23-yard TD pass to Jermale Kelly with 36 seconds left in the game.
Between a missed field goal on their first possession and the TD on their last, the Gamecocks punted 11 consecutive times, six times after just three plays.
The Vol defense tied a school record with eight sacks and held the Gamecocks to 168 total yards, more than half of those (86 yards) on the final drive against second- and third-team defenders.
South Carolina quarterback Anthony Wright left in the second quarter with ligament damage in his knee. He is probably lost for the rest of the season.
The Vols led 9-0 at the half and made it 12-0 on Jeff Hall’s 34-yard field goal on their opening possession of the second half. It was one of three field goals for Hall.
After that the teams slugged it out at midfield until Lewis broke free on a sweep around the left side and raced 65 yards to make it 19-0 with 14:48 left.
Hall added his third field goal with 4:34 remaining before the Gamecocks scored.
Tennessee went 79 yards to score on Lewis’ 1-yard run in the first quarter. The big play was a 43-yard pass from receiver Jeremaine Copeland to Peerless Price.
Manning then hit Price for 13 yards and Copeland for 10, and Lewis did the rest. The point-after kick failed, leaving it 6-0.
Tennessee drove to the South Carolina 3 on its next possession, but a 15-yard sack of Manning by John Abraham forced the Vols to settle for Hall’s 36-yard field goal.
South Carolina had 21 total yards in the first half. They had minus-5 yards when Wright left after being sacked by linebacker Al Wilson.