Posted on: October 13, 2010 4:31 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 4:34 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Kentucky came painfully close to stunning the No. 8 Auburn Tigers at home last Saturday, only to have their hearts ripped out by a last minute field goal. The Wildcats fought till the end, but at the end of the night found themselves still winless in conference play. Unfortunately for first-year head coach Joker Phillips, that elusive first conference win will be even more difficult to obtain with leading rusher Derrick Locke doubtful for Saturday's matchup with No. 10 South Carolina.
The senior running back has been the cornerstone of the Wildcats offense, rushing for 574 yards and scoring seven times through the first six games of the season. The SEC's third-leading rusher suffered a shoulder stinger in the 37-34 loss to Auburn last week, limiting the use of his left arm. Locke has not been ruled out against the Gamecocks, but Phillips does not sound optimistic.
“If he can’t protect himself, we’re not going to put him out on the field,” Phillips said Wednesday morning. “He’ll be in the hotel on Friday night...we’ll take him to the hotel and he’ll be part of the 70 that travels. We’ll see how he feels on Saturday morning because (feeling) could come back at any moment, any day, anytime. It could be this afternoon, a week and a half, two weeks, who knows. But we’ve got to put him on the bus.”
If Locke is out, the rushing duties will likely fall in the hands of sophomore Donald Russell and junior wide receiver Randall Cobb. Cobb was a threat all over the field against the Tigers, rushing for two touchdowns, catching a touchdown pass, and throwing for another.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 2:27 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Back in August, the Georgia offensive line was, to say the least, well-regarded; the players combined for 155 starts coming into the season, which was tops in the nation. Phil Steele ranked the Dawgs' front five as the best in the NCAA in his preseason magazine. Georgia placed two linemen in the SEC's preseason all-conference teams this season, which doesn't sound fantastic, but no SEC school had three. It's a good year for linemen in the SEC, and Georgia looked like they were at the top of the heap.
But along the way, ugh. Josh Davis was ineffective at right tackle, forcing head coach Mark Richt to move LT Clint Boling to the right side and install Trinton Sturdivant (who's coming off two knee injuries) at RT. Chris Davis and Tanner Strickland both struggled at right guard, so that paved the way for true freshman Kenarious Gates to start at RG last Saturday.
“Gates did a nice job,” Richt told the Athens Banner-Herald. “He did not have a bunch of busted assignments. Being next to [center Ben Jones] and Clint [Boling] helped him a lot, I’m sure, for those guys to get him where he’s supposed to be. … He pass protected pretty good. There might have been one pressure or one sack that was attributed to him. Overall, he did well.”
From the top O-line to only two of the five starters keeping their original assignments, all in the first week of the season. Not good form, Dawgmollies.
It's worth noting that Gates wasn't even Georgia's most highly-regarded offensive lineman by a longshot; Rivals and Scout both gave Gates a 3-star rating, and his only other major college offers were from the drecks of the SEC. That isn't to point out that Richt took the redshirt off the wrong true freshman, but just to further illustrate the folly of strictly adhering to the arbitrary 5-star ranking system. Gates is playing because he was best-suited to the task, and once camp starts, those ratings don't really mean much of anything.
At any rate, Georgia's 2-4 and facing a road test at Vanderbilt this Saturday. A win puts them one step closer to .500 -- and a bowl berth. No, sneaking into the Music City Bowl at 6-6 to face, like, Maryland wasn't really ideal for the Dawgs at the outset of the season, but Georgia's not really in a position to get choosy about their postseason prospects at this point.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 12:52 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Man, you lose one game in two years and suddenly everybody thinks they know how to beat you.
Alabama is hoping to rebound from its loss against South Carolina last weekend when they host Ole Miss this weekend, but according to the Rebels' defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, it isn't going to happen. You see, Mr. Powe watched the game against South Carolina and now he knows the secret formula for beating the Crimson Tide.
"I think they got exposed, you know what I mean? Showed that they're a one-dimensional team, that they run the ball really well, and I think South Carolina did a good job of stuffing the run and they really couldn't get nothing going after they got stopped," Powe said. "I think they tried to come out and do the same thing they did against Arkansas - tried to wear South Carolina down with the run - but I think South Carolina did a great job of persevering through the whole game."
Wow, Powe cracked the secret code. Who knew Alabama was a running team? I always thought that Mark Ingram won the Heisman last season for his tremendous pass-blocking skills.
Listen, figuring out that stuffing Alabama's ground game is the key to beating them isn't a revelation. It's actually doing it that matters, which is something that nobody had done until the Gamecocks did it last week. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't have much faith in Powe and the Rebels this weekend, as last I checked the Rebel defense was 103rd in the nation allowing 32.6 points per game.
And those games include losses to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt. Something tells me that if you can't stop Jacksonville State at home, you aren't going to be able to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 6:25 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The headlines folllowing LSU's 33-29 win over Florida Saturday were universally in the vein of "Les Miles's brand of crazy deserves its own entry in the DSM-IV," and with good reason, because Miles's brand of crazy does totally deserve his own entry in the DSM-IV.
But the Mad Hatter's endgame theatrics shouldn't have entirely overshadowed the number his defense did on the Gators, who were held to all of 242 total yards, 12 first downs, a miserable 4.0 yards per-play, and just one scoring drive longer than 17 yards. At home. The performance dropped Florida--only a top-3 offense in yards per-play for the past three seasons, when that Tebow kid was around--to an unthinkable 96th in total offense, 81st in yards per-play. The Gator fans baying for offensive coordinator Steve Addazio's blood kind of have a point.
But the bleacher rabble can be ignored. Gator recruits, not so much. And it doesn't sound like they're all that impressed with Addazio's work either:
That's not some run-of-the-mill recruit walking out on the Addazio show there, either; Mike Bellamy is a five-star, top-100 player that by most accounts has been the Gators' No. 1 target at running back for months, even after he committed to Clemson in June. Florida's recruitment of him is probably over. But Bellamy was always leaning elsewhere; what did Florida commitment A.C. Leonard, a four-star tight end out of Jacksonville, think of the performance?
Jacksonville University Christian tight end commit A.C. Leonard was in attendance Saturday, but according to a report from 247sports.com, he came away from Florida’s loss a little down on the Gators.That's recruit-speak for "No, I am not actually committed in anything other than name." Your thoughts, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin?
Again, "OK" is recruit code for "horrifying."
This doesn't yet consititute a crisis, by any means -- it was just last February Urban Meyer and Gators were bringing in a class hailed my many recruitniks as the greatest of all-time -- but it's another step towards Florida's problems in attack reaching critical mass... and Meyer finding someone other than Addazio to run his offense.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey hasn't been with the team since his arrest following a threatening text to a woman he used to date. Rainey has since reached a settlement in the case, but had not returned to practice.
That has changed.
Rainey is back practicing with the Gators though he is yet to be fully reinstated to the team. According to Urban Meyer, Rainey will have to meet certain conditions -- which the coach wouldn't state -- before he's allowed to play again for the Gators. He will not be allowed to play for the team's game against Mississippi State this weekend.
“Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions. Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.”
No word on whether Meyer informed Rainey through a text message saying "time to practice."
Rainey also released a statement on Tuesday morning, the first time he's spoken publicly since his arrest.
“I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior,” said Rainey. “I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.”
The Mississippi State game will be the fifth game Rainey misses thanks to his arrest, and while we can't know for sure when he'll be back, considering that Florida has a bye next week before facing Georgia on October 30, I'd bet that's the game Rainey makes his return.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:14 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 12:22 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Less than a week ago, nearly the entire nation was wondering if anyone would be able to topple the seemingly unstoppable Alabama Crimson Tide. The fantasy ended in a 35-21 loss to South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday, and the charmed life of the Alabama football team has quickly come to a halt. Whether it be head coach Nick Saban's foul tongue or wide receiver Julio Jones' broken hand, the news out of Tuscaloosa has not great since falling from the top of the mountain. Jones wasn't the only offensive starter hurt against the Gamecocks, right tackle D.J. Fluker sustained a groin injury in the game and has already been ruled out for this week's matchup with Ole Miss.
“D.J. Fluker has got a pretty severe groin injury that will probably keep him out at least a week,” Saban told reporters on Monday, “maybe longer, depending on how he responds to treatment ... McCulllough was the guy that went in the game. He’s the guy that has been sort of our swing, third tackle. He’ll move up as a starter.”
The Crimson Tide should find their rhythm again against the Rebels this weekend, regardless of the different health concerns. Continued struggles would hint the beginnings of a complete unraveling, and this team is simply too good for that. However, the Tide will need to find a way to overcome these struggles quickly if they plan on defending the SEC Championship on December 4 in Atlanta. Luckily, they do still hold their own SEC West fate in their hands. Alabama still has division leaders LSU and Auburn left on the schedule, and if the Tide can win out the worst case scenario would be a three-way tie for first place in the West. With the first tiebreaker being head-to-head competition, Alabama would get the nod to compete for the SEC Championship. While the loss to South Carolina may have put a national championship out of reach, they can still find a way to win the conference. They just can't afford any slip ups along the way.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 11:52 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 11:57 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
There's no question that a 35-21 victory over Alabama last weekend was one of the biggest wins in the history of South Carolina football. Not only did the Gamecocks knock off the defending champions and top-ranked team in the country, but they solidified themselves as contenders in the SEC. So it's not exactly surprising that the students at the game wanted to celebrate, and did so by running on to the field.
Once they were there, however, they were met by security and local police who weren't exactly happy to see them. Which, according to one South Carolina student, Samuel Marx, resulted in some of the worst crimes against humanity in the history of mankind. Marx was so appalled by what he saw that he did what any true patriot would do.
He wrote a letter to the school's student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock.
The officials will claim they were enforcing the Southeastern Conference's rule, which prohibits fans from storming the field at any athletic event, presumably to ensure the safety of players and fans alike. What took place instead was a gross abuse of authority. From my front row vantage point I witnessed a number of shocking events. The first student I saw successfully make it onto the field was seen just seconds later with blood pouring from his nose and mouth being escorted away by an officer. Another young man jumped the fence right in front me, and when an event staff member tried to simply push him back off the field, a police officer grabbed at him, trying to pull him back onto the field. Many of the officers armed themselves with Tasers and pointed them toward the crowd, and I can't even begin to mention the amount of students I watched get punched at and thrown violently to the ground.Okay, where do I begin with this? First of all, let me say that I'm not for police beating the hell out of students for fun. I just want to make that clear, but at the same time, Marx himself points out that it's illegal for students to rush the field in his very first sentence. Just because you're happy that the football team won a game doesn't give you the right to break any laws or rules, and if you choose to do so, you're going to have to take responsibility for your actions.
Sometimes that means taking a shot to the face.
What really drives me nuts, or makes me sick to my stomach to borrow some of Marx's words, is his complete ignorance of what "freedom of speech" means. Listen, you have the freedom to say what you like, but there is a limit to what can be said without consequence. Saying "Alabama sucks" is perfectly fine, but saying something like "F*** you, pig" to a police officer is not.
Still, Marx may be a bit ignorant on his rights, and what they mean, but the part of his letter that really gets me is this.
This standoff between hired officials and exited students was one that could have been easily avoided. The University could have chosen to follow suit with the University of Kentucky, which allowed field invasions three times in 2007 and accepted the collective fine of $80,000. If Carolina had allowed for the celebrations to take place, the school would have been hit with another fine after this year's $25,000 penalty for the on-court celebration of the basketball team's defeat of Kentucky. If you consider the fact that it costs one out-of-state, non-scholarship student roughly $160,000 to attend Carolina for four years, I'm pretty sure the school could have handled the minor setback.Yes, how dare you, South Carolina. How dare you not be willing to pay a $25,000 fine because some moron wants to run on the field. We all know that $160,000 you collect from that one out-of-state, non-scholarship student goes straight to your bank account and isn't spent on things like faculty or facilities. Why, if the students want to burn the entire campus to the ground, you should pay for the gasoline and matches, and then clean it up afterward. You owe them that for the privilege of having them on your campus, and for them allowing you to teach them and give them an education.
So to summate Mr. Marx's letter, the fact that South Carolina won a football game means that students should not be subjected to any laws, and that the school should be willing to pay for any fines accrued from any of the laws the students shouldn't have to follow and feel like breaking.
While some of the students on the field may not have deserved to be tased or hit, I think I know one student who does.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:23 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 12:25 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE 12:08 ET: Caleb King has been suspended two games by head coach Mark Richt in response to his arrest for failing to appear in court. It is expected that true freshman Ken Malcome will play, splitting the running back duties with starter Washaun Ealey.
"I expect all our players to take care of their responsibilities on and off the field," said Richt in a university release. "When players don't do that it damages the reputation of the player, our team, and our university. My goal is for Caleb to learn a lesson and for other players to learn from his experience."-------------------
With Caleb King's arrest on Monday morning, much of the attention in Georgia has refocused on off-field issues with King being the 11th player arrested from this year's squad. King was arrested for failure to appear in court after a speeding ticket, certainly not the worst of his Bulldog teammates, but still not the idea result after getting pulled. Of the other 10 players arrested this season, four have been dismissed and most of the others have resulted in at least a one game suspension. King's situation is the first traffic related incident, though some sort of punishment is expected.
Head coach Mark Richt did not address the situation in terms of revealing what kind of punishment would be handed down, though he hinted that a combination of the arrest and Carlton Thomas' injury may result in the first playing time for freshman Ken Malcome.
“There’s a good chance that happens,” Richt said on his radio show Monday evening. “We’re not saying for 100 percent certain he will, but the situation that Caleb has gotten himself into and the fact that [tailback] Carlton Thomas’ hamstring may or may not be ready by the end of the week, it may be that Ken has to play.”
Malcome, a highly touted four-star recruit, has yet to see action for the Bulldogs. The in-state running back was one of the big wins for Richts 2010 class, with Malcome choosing the Bulldogs over Florida, Oklahoma, and Alabama, among others.
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