Tag:SEC Football
Posted on: November 17, 2010 9:47 am

Arkansas TE probable for Mississippi State

Posted by Chip Patterson

Arkansas' has not had any trouble continuing to put up big numbers even without leading receiver Greg Childs, out for the season with a patellar tendon injury.  Since Childs was injured in the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt, the Razorbacks scored 41 on South Carolina in Columbia, then dropped 58 on the helpless UTEP Miners.  But heading into a crucial two-game stretch to finish the season, quarterback Ryan Mallett will need as many healthy weapons as he can get.  After leaving UTEP game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, there was some question as to the health of tight end D.J. Williams.  

Head coach Bobby Petrino said Williams' status is probable for Saturday's game at Mississippi State.  Williams is second on the team in receptions behind the injured Childs, so having the senior tight end on the field is a big boost for the Mallett and the Arkansas offense.  After Mississippi State, the Razorbacks host LSU for their regular season finale.  Their chances for the SEC Championship Game have come and gone, but the Razorbacks are high enough in the BCS Standings to make a case for the Sugar Bowl should they win out.  Granted, taking down Mississippi State in Starkville and LSU is a tall order for this Razorbacks squad.  But considering their only losses have come against Auburn and Alabama, there is no reason to think that it is not out of their reach.     
Posted on: November 15, 2010 9:35 am
Edited on: November 15, 2010 9:36 am

Richt: No word on Murray's knee

Posted by Chip Patterson

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley has come under some heat from the media for some of his hits during Auburn's 49-31 win over Georgia on Saturday.  The topic became an issue particularly after a helmet first hit forced starting quarterback Aaron Murray out of the game with a knee injury.  Murray sat out the final five plays of the game, and was not available for the media because he was receiving medical attention.  Head coach Mark Richt did say in his postgame comments that Murray wanted to re-enter the game, and the quarterback tweeted after the game that the knee is "all good."  But when Richt held his Sunday evening teleconference with media members, he was none too interested in talking about injuries.

"I'm not going to talk about injuries in this conference," Richt said in the call. "I'm just going to hold off on that. I've got to get a clear picture from Ron. ... When I get with Ron, I'm sure we'll have a discussion and will have a better idea of what is going on in that regard."

Georgia has a much-needed off week before facing in-state rival Georgia Tech at home in the regular season finale on November 27.  At 5-6, the Bulldogs need the win in order to become bowl eligible for the 14th straight season.  A small consolation for an otherwise disappointing season in Athens.  Murray has exhibited great promise in his freshman season, throwing for 21 touchdowns and only six interceptions, and he did so without star wide receiver A.J. Green for the first four games.  In Murray the Bulldogs have a quarterback to build on for the future, so there is a bit of concern from the Georiga faithful.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 10:05 am
Edited on: November 10, 2010 12:49 pm

Masoli's status in question for UT game

Posted by Chip Patterson

The "Jeremiah Masoli  experiment" in Oxford has been far from a failure, but it has not delivered the type of season that may Rebels fans expected with the arrival of a Pac-10 champion quarterback.  Masoli has been predictably productive, throwing for 1,521 yards and 12 touchdowns so far on the season - while adding four more scores on the ground.  But with a 4-5 overall record and with just one conference win, Ole Miss is facing the very real possibility of missing the postseason; something that has not occurred in Houston Nutt's tenure.  With only three games left on the schedule, every one of them is a must-win, and there are chances that they may have to enter Saturday's matchup with Tennessee without their starting quarterback .
Trainer Tim Mullins said Masoli, who suffered a concussion in UM’s 43-21 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, is being tested daily on a variety of parameters, including headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light, irritability, changes in sleep habits and balance tests. “He has responded good, but we’ve had guys in the past that responded good and then they have a setback,” Mullins said. “So it’s just still too early to say.”

UM coach Houston Nutt said Masoli vomited “a little bit” on Sunday, a day after he suffered the concussion. After Tuesday’s practice, Nutt said he could still tell his quarterback was recently concussed judging by the way he handled his limited work. “Again, you just like his attitude because you know he wants to be out here,” Nutt said. “But we’ve got to go by what the doctors say and we cant put him out there until he’s really 100 percent, especially in a game where it’s live contact.

If Masoli cannot go against the Volunteers, he will be replaced by sophomore Nathan Stanley .  Stanley started the season sharing snaps with Masoli, and threw for 108 yards in his absence against Louisiana-Lafayette following the concussion.  The Rebels planned for Stanley to be their starter before Masoli's arrival, and it may fall on Stanley to carry Ole Miss into the postseason.    

Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:53 pm

Auburn AD: Newton has been 'completely honest'

Posted by Chip Patterson

In yet another edition of the Cam Newton saga, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has released a statement regarding the ongoing drama surrounding the Tigers' star quarterback.

“In the past 24 hours, a lot of allegations have surfaced that date back two years ago and further. These allegations and rumors about Cam Newton are unfortunate and sad because they seem intent on tearing down the reputation of a young man who has done everything we’ve asked him to do. Cam has been and continues to be completely honest with us.

"Cam is, by all accounts, a great kid. Any discussion of academic records is a clear violation of federal privacy laws. We will not go down that path or stoop to that level as others have apparently done. We will, however, emphatically say that Cam is eligible to play football at Auburn University both academically and athletically. I am proud of this young man and the progress he has made to be a better football player and a better man. We are truly blessed that Cam is a part of the Auburn family, and we support him 100 percent.”

And we thought the mud-slinging would be done in early November.  Cam being honest with Auburn is the news-worthy piece of the statement.  We all learned in the dealing with Dez Bryant and Deion Sanders that the "powers that be" in college football dislike nothing more than dishonesty during investigations.  If Newton has come forward to Auburn with all the facts (that he knows), than he cannot be expected to do any more for the university.  Well, that is not completely true.  He could continue to boost the program's worth by making the first-strings in "the best defensive conference in the nation" look like scout teams, and any hardware he collects wouldn't hurt either.

The comments in the second paragraph about "violation of federal privacy laws" and "stoop to that level as others have apparently done" provide some tasty material in the war of words between Auburn and Florida.  Clearly Jacobs is referencing the allegations that the source of the Newton leak have come from within Florida's camp, specifically tied to head coach Urban Meyer.  With South Carolina's loss to Arkansas on Saturday, Florida has moved into a tie for first-place in the SEC East.  The Gators could likely see Newton and the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.  After all this controversy, we can only hope it comes to that. Right?  

Posted on: November 5, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 11:33 am

Chizik: Newton is eligible to play [VIDEO]

Posted by Chip Patterson

The college football world was rocked last night with the reports that the recruitment of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was being investigated by the NCAA, with allegations that a man representing Newton's camp was shopping the high school star around to multiple schools.  Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond informed the university that Newton's commitment could be obtained for a price.  An ESPN.com report identified the man shopping Newton as former Bulldog Kenny Rogers.  Newton's father has vehemently denied the allegations, and the family has hired a lawyer to "protect our interests."

At "Tiger Talk," a weekly radio show with Gene Chizik, the Tigers' head coach declined to comment directly, though he offered some very strong words in support of his starting quarterback.  

“Unfortunately, I can’t comment,” Chizik said. “But here’s what I can say, and I’ll say this very loud and very clear: Cameron Newton is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of Story."

[video below, H/T: TWER]

Posted on: October 28, 2010 11:55 am
Edited on: October 28, 2010 12:02 pm

Hide ya kids, hide ya wife: Lattimore is 100%

Posted by Chip Patterson

Marcus Lattimore is a measty (man+beast) individual with very focused goals on demolishing anything that stands in his way.  His running style is a perfectly blissful combination of evasion and force, he can accelerate through closing gaps or bounce off defenders like a pinball.  He has been a crucial piece of the Gamecocks' success, but the health of the true freshman became a concern after missing South Carolina's 21-7 victory over Vanderbilt while nursing a sprained ankle he suffered in the loss to Kentucky.  South Carolina welcomes Tennessee to Columbia on Saturday, with the Volunteers still searching for their first conference win.  Unfortunately for Derek Dooley's squad, Lattimore appears to have the green light to unleash hell on earth.

Lattimore said after practice Wednesday that he feels "100 percent."  He is anxious after watching backup Brian Maddox rush for a career high 146 yards against the Commodores, a game that Lattimore feels he could have suited up for, but as starting quarterback Stephen Garcia pointed out Lattimore can be just as dangerous catching passes out of the backfield.  With so much attention on the wide receivers downfield, Lattimore can catch balls in open space and use his running ability to break a big play.  Against Kentucky, Lattimore racked up 133 yards receiving, including a 47 yard reception for a touchdown.

So Lattimore is healthy, and has all of his weapons fine tuned to help the Gamecocks make a run at the SEC Championship.  I suggest that the remaining opponents of the Gamecocks hide y-...well, you get the idea.   

Posted on: October 27, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 11:07 am

UGA RB Ealey will play on Saturday

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Georgia Bulldogs have turned their season around since a 1-4 start that had fans in Athens calling for Mark Richt's head and scratching their own.  But after rattling off three straight wins that have all included 40+ point performances by Georgia's offense, the Bulldogs are preparing to make an improbable run at an SEC East Division title.  The improvement has been visible on both sides of the ball, but the offensive production can be credited as arguably one of the most pivotal factors in Georgia's turnaround.

Which is why the thought of not having leading rusher Washaun Ealey for Saturday's annual battle with Florida in Jacksonville evokes concern from Athens.  Ealey suffered what was called an MCL sprain during the middle of the fourth quarter of Geogia's 44-31 victory over Kentucky.  Fear not Dawgs fans, Ealey will play against the Gators.  He said so himself.

"It's really nothing," Ealey said Tuesday night. "It's basically just a bruise."

Ealey went on to refer to his knee as "100 percent," and deflected any concern that being held out of some drills on Tuesday has anything to do with his playing status for Saturday.  Of course, having a sore knee is not surprising after his 28 carry, 157 yard performance that included a school-record five rushing touchdowns.  After sputtering a few weeks ago, Ealey bounced back with 123 yards against Vanderbilt before his career day against the Wildcats.  The sophomore entered the season with high expectations, and Saturday will provide the opportunity to write himself into the hearts of Georgia fans with a victory in Jacksonville.

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Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 1:43 pm

SEC joins helmet-to-helmet crusade

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The biggest story in the NFL over the past couple of weeks -- and as many would argue as the health risks become clearer and clearer, the league's biggest story for the coming decade -- has been the sudden rash of vicious helmet-to-helmet hits and Roger Goodell 's subsequent crackdown on the perpetrators via suspension.

As connected at the hip as major college football and the NFL have been for years, it's no wonder that it's only taken a matter of days for the anti-helmet-to-helmet crusade to trickle down to the college ranks. First conference up is the SEC , and the first (Second, rather; see below--ed. ) player suspended is ... drumroll please ... courtesy of the Clarion-Ledger 's Brandon Marcello ...

Mississippi State 's Chris Hughes ! It's not exactly a blow to the Bulldogs' chances against Kentucky this weekend (Hughes is a freshman backup who ranks 26th on State's roster in tackles this season) but that the SEC stepped in this quickly, and following a game where State's opponent came from outside the conference, shows that the league is making some level of commitment to cleaning up any wayward headhunting.

Of course, it's also easy to make that commitment in the wake of the NFL's high-profile decisions, and even easier to pick out an obscure backup linebacker at Mississippi State for punishment. When the SEC suspends one if its all-conference performers for a game with a divisonal title on the line, that's when we'll know their statement on player safety is serious.

UPDATE: Hughes is actually the second player suspended by the SEC in the past four days; South Carolina 's Rodney Paulk missed the first half of the Gamecocks' win over Vanderbilt after a last-minute decision from the league office.

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