Posted on: October 9, 2010 4:26 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's still very early in Columbia, but in the second quarter the South Carolina Gamecocks are beating Alabama 21-3.
Alabama started the game with a nice drive that resulted in a field goal, but since then it's been all Gamecocks. The Gamecocks followed the Tide's opening drive with a 7-play 63 yard scoring drive that was capped by Marcus Lattimore 's first career touchdown catch. Then, after forcing an Alabama punt, South Carolina went on another 7-play 62-yard drive that ended when Stephen Garcia hit Alshon Jeffery for a 26-yard touchdown catch.
Making matters worse? Greg McElroy just fumbled after being blindsided and South Carolina recovered and has the ball deep in Alabama territory. A few plays later Garcia hit Jeffery for another touchdown.
Still, as we already said, it's early in this one. Let's not forget that Arkansas had a 17-7 lead over the Tide at halftime two weeks ago before Alabama came back to win 24-20.
That being said, this has been just about as good a start that Steve Spurrier could have wanted for his team.
Posted on: October 9, 2010 1:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
So far this season the only thing anybody has talked about when it comes to the Georgia Bulldogs is what's gone wrong. Today, everything is going right. The Bulldogs are using all the frustration from the first five weeks of the season and are taking it out on Tennessee. Late in the second quarter the Bulldogs hold a 27-7 lead over the Vols, taking advantage of a Tennessee defense that seems all too willing to give them whatever they'd like.
Aaron Murray has thrown two touchdowns in the half and run for another, giving Georgia its first points on a 35-yard touchdown run. Tennessee has responded by turning the ball over twice on special teams along with an interception from Matt Simms.
Safe to say that if the Bulldogs had been playing like this all season, there wouldn't be nearly as much talk about Mark Richt's job status in Athens these days.
Posted on: October 9, 2010 12:32 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Short version: warm and clear. It's beautiful everywhere today. This is Mother Nature's way of apologizing in advance, so plan on seeing it snow bloodflakes by Thursday. Anyway, as usual, all times are Eastern.
Indiana at No. 2 Ohio State, 12:00, Columbus, OH: Mid 70s, clear
Minnesota at No. 20 Wisconsin, 12:00, Madison, WI: Mid 70s, clear
No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 South Carolina, 3:30, Columbia, SC: Mid 80s, clear
No. 17 Michigan at No. 18 Michigan State, 3:30, East Lansing, MI: Low 70s, clear
No. 11 Arkansas at Texas A&M, 3:30, College Station, TX: Upper 80s, clear
Oregon State at No. 9 Arizona, 6:00, Tucson, AZ: Upper 80s, clear
No. 10 Utah at Iowa State, 7:00, Ames, IA: Mid 70s, clear
No. 12 LSU at No. 14 Florida, 7:30, Gainesville, FL: Low 70s, clear
No. 8 Auburn at Kentucky, 7:30, Lexington, KY: Upper 60s, clear
Late night kickoffsNo. 23 Florida State at No. 13 Miami, 8:00, Coral Gables, FL: Upper 70s, clear
Southern California at No. 16 Stanford, 8:00, Palo Alto, CA: Lower 70s, clear
Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
While all eyes in Tuscaloosa were on Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones and his knee this week, which is good to go by the way, it turns out there was another injury to a key offensive player nobody was aware of. For a time, not even Nick Saban or the Alabama coaching staff knew.
It seems that quarterback Greg McElroy suffered what's being called a head injury during 'Bama's 31-6 beatdown of Florida on Saturday night.
"He's actually so poised and so good, he got hurt really in the second quarter and nobody knew it," Saban said. "He got hit in the head when he scrambled once, he got hit on the sidelines and it really affected him in the game, I think. We didn't know it until the fourth quarter when he called the play wrong on the formation wrong, then tried to run the play that we signaled."
While Saban didn't say the word, it seems somewhat obvious to me that if McElroy's head injury was a cut on his forehead, that wouldn't cause him to start calling the wrong plays in the huddle. To me it sounds like he suffered some kind of concussion, and if that's indeed the case, the Crimson Tide might want to be somewhat cautious with their quarterback this week.
Though the odds of McElroy not playing on Saturday against South Carolina are somewhere between slim and "haha, yeah right."
After all, playing in pain is nothing new for McElroy. He's dealt with a sore leg the last two weeks, and he broke two ribs against Texas during the title game in January. So the kid is tough, but if he is suffering from a concussion, there's a thin line between tough and stupid.
Ribs will heal, the brain won't.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: October 8, 2010 11:26 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As the weather gets cooler down in Athens, Georgia, the seat beneath Mark Richt only grows warmer. Georgia is 1-4 on the season, and 0-3 in the SEC. With each loss the questions about Richt's future at the school only grow louder, but listening to his boss, athletic director Greg McGarity, it doesn't sound like Richt needs to worry about being fired before the season is over.
McGarity, who didn't take over the job officially until September 1, met with the school's Board of Directors for the first time on Thursday. Though they weren't there to discuss Mark Richt as much as the budget, the inevitable questions were asked about Richt's future following the meeting. McGarity made it clear he's doing everything he can to support his head coach right now.
"Oh, we talk every day, every other day," McGarity told reporters. "But our whole focus has been on this year. What we do is focus on: ‘Mark, what can we do to help? Is there anything we can do to help?'
"We basically have those conversations, but really we don't deal with the future. We're dealing with right now, the present, what can we do right now, because if we get too far ahead of ourselves we're going to lose our focus on ‘right now.' We'll deal with all that stuff at the appropriate time."
Not exactly a vote of confidence, but at least Richt knows that he still has time to put a few wins on the board before his bosses sit down and figure out what they want to do.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 1:16 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
They say practice makes perfect, and if that is indeed the case, then it's no surprise that Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms feels he's really good at one particular aspect of his job. Simms has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the SEC, 18 times in five games, which means the Tennessee offensive line is allowing 3.6 sacks a game.
Which is good enough to rank them 117 out of 120 FBS schools.
The offensive line shouldn't worry about it, though, because Simms is pretty good at taking them. In fact, he thinks he's "mastered" the art of getting leveled by a blitzing linebacker.
"I know it sounds weird, but I really think I've kind of mastered how to take a sack and just protect my body and protect the football," said Simms on Wednesday. "Really, most people would think you try to tense up and kind of ball up your muscle, but really you kind of relax and let your body go, really to be honest, and not try to brace yourself by putting your hand out or bracing the fall."
Which, in a way, just about sums up the entire Volunteers season for Tennessee fans. Just relax and welcome the deathblow.
Simms in on pace to be sacked 43 times this season, and that doesn't include the countless hits he's taking after getting rid of the ball. On Saturday against LSU I saw about eight pass plays in a row in which Simms either ended up being sacked or knocked on his butt. At that rate he'll be a full-fledged sack swami by November.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 12:04 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
At just about any school in the country, if you were a quarterback who in the team's first five games of the season had managed to throw for only 449 yards while barely completing half of your passes, and had thrown two touchdowns and six interceptions, you probably wouldn't be expecting to start the sixth game. If your school was LSU, though, and your head coach was Les Miles, you'd have no reason to worry.
In his never-ending quest to win football games in spite of himself, Les Miles announced on Wednesday that Jordan Jefferson will once again be LSU's starting quarterback this Saturday against Florida. Actually, when asked who the team's starter would be, Miles said that he thinks "it will probably go exactly the same."
Which means that Jefferson will start, play terribly, get bailed out by his defense, and then Les Miles will do something insane at the end of the game that should cost him his job yet, somehow, will result in another victory.
Which I guess is Miles' reasoning. Sure, the LSU offense outside of Stevan Ridley has been the equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster -- oh the humanity -- but the Tigers are still 5-0. Let's just ignore that Jarrett Lee -- who comes with his own share of "hey I'm just gonna close my eyes and throw this ball somewhere" problems -- threw for 185 yards against Tennessee last week and has a rating of 133.22 (Jefferson's at 87.99) this season.
Heaven forbid Miles put in the quarterback who has shown a modicum of competency this season, then the games might not be close enough at the end for him to totally mess them up and get away with it. And what fun is Les Miles if he doesn't have a chance to nearly blow a game?
Posted on: October 7, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: October 7, 2010 11:49 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
With the current state of affairs, the 1-4 Georgia Bulldogs are a few losses away from complete free-fall in Athens. Mark Richt, despite a 7-2 bowl record in his nine seasons as head coach, has found himself on the hot seat fighting for his job. Popular belief was that the Bulldogs' funk would snap with the return of All-American wide receiver A.J. Green. But after a Caleb King fumble that prevented Georgia from kicking the game winning field goal against Colorado, Bulldog fans are tired of excuses for this four game losing streak.
One thing quarterback Aaron Murray has not had this season has been both of his top two receivers. A.J. Green, who sat out the first four games as punishment from the NCAA for selling a game-worn jersey, returned against the Buffaloes with 7 catches, 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns. However the Bulldogs were missing their leading receiver Kris Durham, who suffered a neck stinger near the end of Georgia's loss to Mississippi State September 25.
After Wednesday's practice, Richt suggested there is a chance the Bulldogs could play their top two receivers together for the first time in the 2010 season.
"Yesterday, I would've said I don't think so on Kris (playing) but he's got a 50-50 chance, we'll see how he does Thursday, however it's a no contact day," said Richt. "Last week, it went right up to pre-game before the decision was made and we'll see, we might be in the same boat to figure it out. I hope he can play. Marlon [Brown] will not play, but we don't think its anything long-term."Having Durham and Green on the field together will benefit everyone involved in the Georgia offense. Durham has already proven to be a reliable target for freshman quarterback Aaron Murray, catching 17 balls for 324 yards in four games of action, and Green is clearly already clicking with Murray as well. With both receivers on the field, the Tennessee defense will be prevented from dedicating too much of their attention to Green, allowing him to get some single coverage opportunities.
Regardless, the time for excuses is over in Athens. Georgia begin winning games to avoid making 2010 the worst season in the Mark Richt era, and possibly the last.