Eli Manning Shines In Grove Bowl

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) _ Eli Manning threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Red squad to a 42-22 victory over the Blue team in the Grove Bowl Saturday. Manning connected on 25 of his 38 pass attempts in the inter-squad game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium that concludes spring practice. Robert Williams, who played for both squads, was the game's leading rusher with 136 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Joe Gunn had 80 yards on 12 carries for the Red team. Sophomore wide receiver Chris Collins had eight receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown. ``We did something a little different and tried to play our units together,'' said Rebels coach David Cutcliffe, who will enter his third full season. ``We played our ones versus our twos, and our team responded. I think our twos got off to a good start.

The Blue squad got off to the quick start, scoring on its first possession. Junior quarterback David Morris, who was 11-of-26 for 97 yards and two touchdowns, led the Blue team on an 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive, culminating in a 22-yard touchdown toss to redshirt freshman Bill Flowers. The Red team then took over the game, scoring 21 unanswered points to take a 21-6 lead. Manning hit Collins for a 5-yard score, and directed the Red team to two more scores by Charles Stackhouse (4-yard run) and Tremaine Turner (5-yard run) before halftime. ``Eli did throw the ball well, but he wasn't challenged much mentally today,'' said Cutcliffe. ``He did overthrow the long ball some, but he has been accurate all spring. Eli has gotten better. He is a stronger and quicker player right now and he really threw the ball accurately today.'' Manning threw TDs of 20, 22 and 31 yards in the second half. Linebacker Eddie Strong, who missed all of last season with a foot injury, had six tackles in the game. The Rebels, 7-5 last season, open the season Sept. 1 at home against Murray State.