Cats Fall In Four Overtimes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Sorry Georgia, resilient Tennessee is back on top in the SEC East.

The Volunteers stuffed a scrambling Andre Woodson on a 2-point conversion attempt in the fourth overtime to secure a 52-50 victory Saturday against Kentucky and a spot in the Southeastern Conference title game.

No. 19 Tennessee's 23rd straight win over the Wildcats handed the Volunteers (9-3, 6-2) the division title and a shot at LSU in next week's SEC title game.

Tennessee and Georgia finished tied atop the East, but the Volunteers earned the title thanks to their 35-14 win over the Bulldogs on Oct. 6.

Erik Ainge threw for a career-high 397 yards and seven touchdowns and running back Arian Foster had 216 total yards for the Volunteers.

Woodson matched Ainge throw for throw, throwing for 430 yards and six touchdowns, but the Wildcats (7-5, 3-5) let a chance to beat the Vols for the first time since 1984 get away.

Tennessee's winning streak over the Wildcats is the longest active winning streak by one team over another in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Kentucky trailed by 17 points in the second half but had its chances late, none better than in the second overtime after Sam Maxwell intercepted Ainge near the goal line.

The Wildcats ran the ball on three straight plays to set Lones Seiber up for a 35-yard field goal. But the kick was blocked by Dan Williams.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third overtime, but the Wildcats stuffed Foster's 2-point conversion. A personal foul on the Volunteers following the conversion attempt pushed Tennessee back to the Kentucky 40 instead of the Kentucky 25 at the beginning of the fourth overtime.

No matter, Ainge hit a wide-open Quinton Hancock on the first play to put the Volunteers in front. Ainge then found Austin Rogers for the conversion over the middle.

Kentucky responded with a 2-yard touchdown run by Derrick Locke, but Woodson was stopped at the Tennessee 3 caught in between trying to find a receiver and taking off the for the end zone.

The victory capped an improbable run by the Volunteers, who seemed out of the race after being crushed at Alabama last month. Tennessee has now won five straight while Kentucky, which was on the fringe of the national championship hunt after upsetting No. 1 LSU in mid-October, has lost four of its last five.

It wasn't easy. Kentucky trailed 31-14 in the third quarter, but rallied to tie the game on a 20-yard field goal by Seiber on the last play of regulation.

That was just the start of the fun.

Yet whenever the Wildcats seemed to grab control, Ainge or Foster would step up and make a play. Foster ran for 118 yards and caught nine passes for 98 yards and a score.

Rafael Little had 77 yards rushing and caught 11 passes for 108 yards for the Wildcats. Jacob Tamme, Steve Johnson Keenan Burton - who helped usher the Wildcats into the Top 10 earlier in the season - combined for 23 catches, 273 yards and five scores.

The trio is part of a class of 16 Kentucky seniors who had hoped to make their final home game the exclamation point on a two-year period in which the program challenged some of the conference's elite.

Instead, the regular season ended the way most of the 22 before it, with a loss to their border rivals.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Nov 29, 2007 at 08:15 AM
    Giving Billy a pass for two years already? Little early to be giving up, isn't it? Or, do we see the writing on the wall?
  • by C Location: CORBIN on Nov 28, 2007 at 10:08 PM
    WELL....MY POINT WAS PROVEN. YOU COULD TAKE A GROUP OF HIGH SCHOOL KIDS FROM ANY HIGH SCHOOL AND PUT TN. UNIFORMS ON THEM AND THEY WOULD BEAT UK. YOU COULD TAKE THE TN. PLAYERS OUT OF THE UNIFORMS AND PUT THEM IN A AAA SCHOOL AND UK WOULD WIN. SIMPLE AS THAT. WE WILL NEVER BEAT TN.
  • by Jackie Location: Lexington on Nov 28, 2007 at 04:28 PM
    I would take Rich Brooks, a coach with some class, over Phil Fulmer, who has to resort to stealing Kentucky's play calls in order to win a game. Furthermore, Rome was not built in a day, and I am tickled pink with how far our football team has come.
  • by Brian Piccilo Location: Anchor Booth on Nov 28, 2007 at 08:19 AM
    Well Fred, Billy gets a pass for at least 2 years before I expect too awful much out of him. Geez, look at how long fans have been giving Rich a pass. If you don't like the schedule complain to Mitch Barnhart, ATHLETICS DIRECTOR, for the University of KY, Room 3 Memorial Hall Lexington, KY 40506
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Nov 27, 2007 at 01:53 PM
    Brian - Why don't we see if Billy can win a game against a REAL team before we dome up Commonwealth
  • by Andrew Location: West Liberty on Nov 27, 2007 at 08:25 AM
    UK football team you all had a great season this year. Coach you did good coaching the wildcats this year.
  • by TARHEELBABY Location: PARIS on Nov 26, 2007 at 08:56 PM
    THANKS AGAIN CATS FOR A WONDERFUL X-MAS PRESENT..ALL I CAN TELL THE CAT FANS IS WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR WHEN THEY PLAY TENN.AND LOAD UP ON TENN. AND MAKE IT A VERY MERRY X-MAS
  • by Joey Location: Ky on Nov 26, 2007 at 05:53 PM
    If they would have won the game, you all would be jumping on the bandwagon. Kentucky has the most fair weathered fans of any place I have ever seen.
  • by VOLUNTEER Location: Lexington on Nov 26, 2007 at 11:31 AM
    Tennessee always has been and always will be #1 over the mild kitties!
  • by brandon Location: somerset on Nov 26, 2007 at 10:43 AM
    Oh. That was awful. Im 14 and i cant belive my eyes. that 17 play drive just wasnt enough. still basketball is a comin
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