January 09, 2008

BCS Championship game: In Pictures

In a season that seemed to make little sense, it seemed only fitting that a two-loss team would win the national championship. Hell, why not? Just like everything else in this four-month stretch of pigskin madness, we weren't supposed to make sense of it. But in the end, it all added up for LSU.

Here's a photo montage of the 38-24 victory over Ohio State that gave the Tigers another national title flag to run up the flag pole.

BCS-SuperDome.jpg
(Though showing its age a little bit, the Grand Ole Lady on the River was all gussied up to host another big game in the Big Easy.)

BCS-S'Dome.jpg
(You sure you want first row, 50-yard line seats? One of the big complaints I've always had of the Superdome's layout is the fact that the stands are so far away from the field. For tonight's game, there were rows of temporary seats laid down on the floor for a bunch of bands and officials to sit in. Given that the teams will be standing in front of them, it made these seats useless to watch the game in.)

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(Brutus the Buckeye gets a photo op with a purple-clad LSU fan. He's got all the luck I tell ya'.)

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(Archie Manning stalks the sidelines before the game. And it also appears as if he has grown a second head on his shoulders. Eerie.)

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(The Buckeyes gather in the end zone after their pre-game warm-ups. Their helmets resembling a bunch of giant bouncing bee-bees.)

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(What would an LSU game be without the Golden Girls doing their thing? They always enhance the atmosphere of game day for Tiger fans.)

BCS-BeanieWells.jpg
(Beanie Wells gets some props as he walks to the sidelines after busting a long touchdown run and giving OSU a quick 7-0 lead. Craig Steltz busted a read on the play and that allowed Wells to run 60-plus yards for first points of the game.)

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(The Buckeye cheerleaders pair up and do some kind of booty bumping thing after a touchdown. Later on in their lives, we're going to show their children video clips of this.)

BCS-OSUblocking.jpg
(Early in the game the Buckeye O-line gave Todd Boeckman good protection, helping lead OSU to a 10-0 lead after just nine offensive plays.)

BCS-RoughPunter.jpg
(One of the biggest Buckeye faux pas in the game came when Austin Spitler roughed LSU punter Patrick Fisher. This allowed LSU to maintain its opening drive of the second half, essentially putting the game away a few plays later with a TD pass from Matt Flynn to Early Doucet, giving LSU a 31-10 lead.)

BCS-LSUline.jpg
(In the end, the LSU O-line deserved to celebrate, being the main difference in the game, knocking back the talented Buckeye D-line for most of the game.)

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(ESPN's Shelley Smith is in the starting blocks, about to rush the field for interviews after the final gun goes off. Hi Shelley.)

BCS-SamNadar.jpg
(Long time LSU assistant coach/recruiting coordinator/administrator Sam Nadar gets a photo op with a few fans holding one of those pre-printed "LSU wins" newspapers.)

BCS-LaurinaitisMad.jpg
(After I took this picture of James Laurinaitis I realized "Oops, he doesn't look like he wants his picture taken." Luckily I got away without him putting me in some kind of wrestling submission hold.)

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(Apparenlty LSU hoss lineman Carnell Stewart decided to field post-game questions by literally sitting on the field.)

BCS-HighsmithBeard.jpg
(You gotta dig Ali HIghsmith's post-season beard. It's as if Barry White himself came back and put on an LSU uniform.)

BCS-MilesJacket.jpg
(Have you guys noticed how the coach that wins the title game is instantly outfitted with a black leather jacket with the school name embossed on it? Urban Meyer wore one last year on the post-game podium as well. Is this in their contract or something? Because it sure wasn't cold enough for a heavy leather jacket after the game was over.)

BCS-ConfettiShower.jpg
(Yes, the horribly contrived confetti shower begins automatically once the trophy is given to the head coach. Won't someone please make this stop?)

BCS-TresselMad.jpg
(Not surprisingly, Coach Tressel wasn't in the mood to answer more questions about his team coming up short on the game's biggest stage.)

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(The biggest disappointment of the the whole BCS title game experience was the fact that the OSU punk band The Bastard Sons of Woody Hayes - formerly known as the Dead Schembechlers - didn't make the trip down to New Orleans and play at Tipitina's. I dig those guys.)

January 08, 2008

BCS Championship Game: LSU 38 - OSU 24.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- In a season that made no sense, it makes a lot of sense that 12-2 LSU climbs back to be the kings of the college football world after tonight's 38-24 win over Ohio State.

They weren't the best team all season, they didn't dominate anyone past week two, they may not have even been the best two-loss team. But just like they did all season long, they won when they had to. And tonight they won impressively with a total team effort. No stars. No dominant stats. Just a team victory through and through.

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(Richard Dickson, seemingly open all night, scored the final touchdown for LSU on a 15-yard catch with 3:53 left.)

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(LSU's only point of embarrassment came when its kicker - Sean Gaudet - attempted to make a tackle on the final kickoff and got injured. Nothing's worse than a kicker that gets hurt on one of his only five plays of the night.)

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(LSU players - like this clean-uniformed scrub - started displaying "LSU No. 1" newspapers as the clock wound down. I always thought this was one of the more contrived things about championship games.)

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(Glen Dorsey gets a post-game interview from another blonde bombshell sideline reporter.)

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(Matt Flynn, the Offensive Player of the Game, displays the fruits of championship crystal.)

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(D-Tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, who didn't play this season until the SEC Championship game, got voted the Defensive Player of the Game.)

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(The two leading tacklers of the game, LSU's Ali Highsmith and OSU's James Laurinaitis, gave each other props in the post-game melee. Because LSU's total team effort, I actually thought that Laurinaitis should've been named the Defensive Player of the Game with his 18 tackles... which seemed more like 30 to me.)

BCS Championship Game: It's LSU!

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- The Tigers hold off Ohio State and complete the win for their second BCS championship in five years with the 38-24 win.

Congrats Tigers.

More to follow.

January 07, 2008

BCS Championship Game: Highsmith Hijacking

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- On 4th and 8, Todd Boeckman got this rude awakening from LSU's Ali Highsmith:
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(Ali Highsmith says "hi" to Boeckman to provide the biggest play of the game so far)

With just over nine minutes remaining, OSU better come up with some big time magic.

LSU has just stayed within itself and relied on its defense, which has made some big plays to make the difference in this game.

I'm about to go down for what should be a purple and gold celebration... unless that magic thing works out for the Bucks.

BCS Championship Game: LSU takes lead into 4th

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- LSU should be careful. Despite my previous post, this game is NOT over.

And I'll give block of granite James Laurinaitis a whole mess of credit. Right before Malcom Jenkins' interception, when Fox was taking another 10-minute commercial block, he went up to each and every defender, patted them on the helmet and tried to light a fire under their ass:

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(Laurinaitis has been all over the field tonight, including in his teammates heads)

Next play, boom! Jenkins pick leads to Brian Robiskie's 4-yard touchdown catch.

It's now 31-17, but OSU just stopped the Tigers again and have a chance to make this a game again.

BCS Championship Game: OSU decides to shoot its foot again

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Ballgame?

Well mark this play down for sure, OSU's Austin Spitler committed the mortal sin of roughing the kicker after the Buckeyes had stoned LSU on its first drive of the second half:
PuntPenalty.jpg
(This roughing of LSU's Patrick Fisher may have been the turning point)

After that, another personal foul penalty moved LSU into scoring range and Early Doucet caught a 4-yard pass from Matt Flynn to put LSU up 31-10.

At the half you could just FEEL the wind coming out of the Buckeye fans that were walking around the concourse with frustrated looks on their faces. I had a feeling if LSU scored on its opening possession of the second half, it could be all over. Well, here we are...

(oh, sorry for no halftime updates. See the Superdome only has a few outlets to charge your computer and mine was nearly on the blink. So I plugged it into a bathroom outlet during the break. No, I'm not kidding)

BCS Championship Game: LSU lookin' good, OSU not so.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Another pick, another touchdown for LSU. The purple and gold are now up 24-10 with just under a minute to go before halftime.

This time it was Jacob Hester cramming himself across the goal line, as you can see from this pile of humanity and LSU's players celebrations:
LSUtd1.jpg
(it wasn't pretty, but Hester TDs never are)

OSU seems to be the one shooting themselves in the foot now with dumb penalties and a pair of crushing interceptions. Look for Bo Pelini to pin his D-boys ears back and get after Boeckman big time now.

BCS Championship Game: Jean-Francois blocks, LaFell converts

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- The Tigers didn't need any help that time.

After Ricky Jean-Francois blocked Ryan Pretorious' 38-yard field goal attempt, LSU drove the length of the field to take a 17-10 lead. Ole "Mo" is wearing Tiger white now.

The Drive:
10 plays, 66 yards
10-yard pass from Flynn to Brandon LaFell

Since the first two drives, LSU has figured out the Buckeye D and moved seamlessly down the field to take the 7-point lead. And LaFell, who has had a case of butter-fingers this season, held on to the pass this time.

BCS Championship Game: Okay, that was easy too

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Slicker than a mayonaisse sandwich, LSU goes 84 yards to the tying score, a 14-yard touchdown from Matt Flynn to Richard Dickson. Tigers made it look easy. OSU helped them out with a pair of 15-yard penalties.

Usually it has been LSU guilty of penalties left and right as the Tigers are the second-most penalized team in Division I.

Whole new ballgame now. The early jitters for LSU appear to be over.

BCS Championship Game: End of one, 10-3 OSU

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- It's the end of one. Surprised?

I have to admit, I'm not too shocked yet. Judging by how the Big 10 has done vs. the SEC in bowl games so far, Wisconsin nearly beating Tennessee and Michigan beating Florida, this is only a mild surprise.

Strange stat. That fumbled punt return by LSU is the 17th fumble the Tigers have committed this year, but have still only lost three all season. Three! Wow.

The matchup with Laurinaitis and Hester has been a beauty so far. And it seems like Laurinaitis has been in on every tackle for the Bucks. LSU has been a little predictabale with Hester so far. Then again, it hasn't hurt them either.

total yards:
OSU- 127
LSU- 57

BCS Championship Game: Okay, that's 10 points in 9 plays

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Ryan Pretorious puts OSU up 10-0 with just under six minutes gone in the game. The Bucks have run a total of nine offensive plays so far.

PretoriousKick.jpg

And give an "atta-boy" to OSU kick-off man Aaron Pettrey who has kept Trindon Holliday and Keiland Williams from returning any kickoffs. That's a valuable weapon.

BCS Championship Game: Beanie Bounds, OSU up quick

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Okay, that was fast.

BeanieTD.jpg
(Beanie Wells getting congratulated in the end zone)

... then again, I remember seeing Ted Ginn score fast on Florida last year too. So let's not jump to conclusions here.

(then again, part II... OSU didn't stop Florida on a three-and-out last year immediately afterward either)

BCS Championship Game: The best national anthem performance since Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- I'm sure you at home saw it, but the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed the national anthem tonight.
PreservationHallBand.jpg

That's pretty cool.

And didn't the singer look like Dickie Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones?

BCS Championship Game: Two best traditions in college football.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- The two best band traditions in the country... easily. The script "Ohio": (though they should have done one big Ohio instead of two small ones.)
OhioScript.jpg

... and the hotness that is the LSU Golden Girls:
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By the way, they just introduced the president of the BSC and the president of Allstate Insurance. (Inject sound effect of crickets chirping here).

Then they introduced the president of Ohio State and the president of LSU to thunderous applause.

Considering Katrina's plentiful victims, you can understand the silence for Allstate. And considering the plentiful victims of college football's post-season, ditto for the pres of the BCS.

15 minutes before kickoff.

BCS Championship Game: Already loud, 60 minutes before kickoff

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Just as Ohio State was gathering at midfield and jumping up and down like a bunch of silver bee-bees:
OSUpregame.jpg

... LSU's remaining linemen and linebackers came storming out of the tunnel. So both fan bases were going nuts and the sound level was at near Who-concert loud. And that was with half the crowd still being patted down outside.

(Oh, in case I didn't tell you, yes, you had to be patted down by security to get into the Superdome. And no, my security guard wasn't a beautiful girl patting me down)

BCS Championship Game: 10 Reasons Fox Shouldn't Broadcast Bowl Games

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Here's 10 reasons why Fox shouldn't be broadcasting bowl games... or college football in general:

1- Who are all these NFL guys trying to talk college football?
In the BCS Selection Show we were subjected to Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Fox talking head Chris Rose. These guys know nothing about college ball... at least not during the course of THIS season.
2- Fox is sensationalist journalism.
Did you notice that the announcement show started at 10 before the hour, but the actual unveiling of the title game opponents didn't happen until over 35 minutes later.
3- Watching Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson playing journalist and conducting interviews is just plain painful.
4- This network obviously isn't used to working college games. That's why we got phrases like Jimmy Johnson saying "you have to think these two are probably two of the best in the country" and whoever was announcing the Sugar Bowl blurted this gem: "First down Gators" when Georgia was about to snap the ball vs. Hawaii.
5- "The Bowl Bash on Fox"? That kind of name for the BCS bowls is soooooo freakin' high school sounding.
6- They are pulling that damn pro football thing where after a touchdown, there are a block of four commercials, then they come back for kickoff, then there is another block of four commercials. Make it stop!
7- Speaking of long commercial breaks, what's the average length of these damn BCS games, 4 hours, 15 minutes or so?
8- Waaaaaaay too many FOX programming promos. I can only see the trailer to Prison Break so many times.
9- The Sugar Bowl halftime feature about the 1951 Univ. of San Francisco team was the worst I've ever seen. They never gave the teams won-loss mark, the teams they beat and - most egregiously - they didn't name the bowl that wouldn't allow the team to play in their game unless they kept their two black players at home. HORRRRRRIBLE!!
10- Chris Meyers as the sideline reporter? Puh-leeeeze give me back my Erin Andrews.

BCS Championship Game: Two quick "Did You Knows"

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Bet you didn't know that LSU won the Boxing national championship in 1949:
LSUboxing.jpg

... and since the NCAA doesn't sponsor the Division I post-season, beer is able to be sold at bowl games:
BCSbeer.jpg

It's an hour twenty before kickoff and LSU's special teams guys just entered the playing field to a rousing applause by their fans.

BCS Championship Game: What OSU is trying to avoid

NEW ORLEANS, La.--

Last year, at the BCS title game in Glendale, I was walking around the stadium about two hours after the game was over and came upon four or five of these t-shirts left behind on seat backs in the Ohio State cheering section:
OSUshirt.jpg

I'm sure their fans are hoping not to repeat the mistake of making a shirt like this for this year's game. Or better yet, winning the game so that a shirt like this won't hurt any longer. That's part of what I think will motivate this OSU squad to have a better showing.

It's about six hours before game time and as I write this the Ohio State band is practicing their script "Ohio" on the field. The Superdome peeps are also firing off some of the pyrotechnics to practice for the pre-game and halftime show.

More later.

January 06, 2008

BCS Championship Game: The Day Before Preview

NEW ORLEANS, La.--

It's the vest...
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Versus the hat...
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This is like a science experiment. What happens when you combine a a group of 18-22 year olds, 364 days of long memories and a whole state-full of pressure?

That's what Jim Tressel and his Ohio State Buckeyes face on Monday night in what will be a de facto home game for LSU in the Superdome.

Continue reading "BCS Championship Game: The Day Before Preview" »

January 02, 2008

Sugar high for Bulldogs

NEW ORLEANS - There was a lot of talk before the Allstate Sugar Bowl about Hawai'i possibly pulling off a Boise State-type upset against Georgia.

In what many consider last season's best bowl matchup, Boise State upset heavily-favored Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in overtime and made a name for itself on the national level, finishing the season undefeated.

This season, Hawai'i was unable to duplicate such a feat.

Georgia (11-2) stifled the Warriors' high-powered offense on its way to a decisive 41-10 victory.

Continue reading "Sugar high for Bulldogs" »

Another interception...

NEW ORLEANS - Hawai'i appeared to be on its way to more points, but Tyler Graunke just threw the team's fourth interception of the night.

On the drive before, Georgia failed on a fourth-and-goal play. Hawai'i was in good shape and looked to be in a groove before Graunke's mistake.

With less than seven minutes left in the game, the Bulldogs feel comfortable with their 41-10. After the interception, they went three-and-out and punted the ball back to the Warriors.

Warriors score ... without Colt

NEW ORLEANS - The Georgia defense knocked Colt Brennan out of the Sugar Bowl, at least temporarily. The injury doesn't appear serious, and Brennan was ready to re-enter the game one play after being replaced by junior Tyler Graunke.

However, it was Graunke who drove the Warriors downfield and led them to their first touchdown of the game. He completed his first four passes and threw a 16-yard pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen to cut lead to 41-10.

There are 10:32 left in the first quarter.

Georgia sets school record

NEW ORLEANS - Georgia just tacked on a field goal to increase its advantage over Hawai'i to 41-3.

The 41 points in a bowl game are a new school record. The previous record was the 40 points scored in Georgia's first ever bowl game, a victory over TCU in the 1942 Orange Bowl.

Bulldogs in total control

NEW ORLEANS - Players and fans of the Hawai'i Warriors look dejected as they enter the fourth quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl trailing Georgia, 38-3.

Hawai'i failed on a fourth-down conversion at the end of the third quarter, and Georgia will have the ball on second down to start the final period.

The Bulldogs have outgained the Warriors, 320-155. Georgia has 158 rushing yards compared to Hawai'i's minus 8.

A scattering of Georgia fans have begun to head toward the exits. Surprisingly, most of the Hawai'i fans in the southeast corner of the Superdome are still here and look intent on supporting their undefeated team until the end.

January 01, 2008

It's officially a blowout

NEW ORLEANS - Colt Brennan's pass tipped four times. But when it was finally caught, it landed in the hands of a Georgia defender, the third time a Brennan pass has done that tonight.

The Bulldogs aren't being conservative on offense by any stretch of the imagination. They just ran a reverse play that gained 20 yards, and they followed that with a 17-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Mohamed Massaquoi. That pass set up a Thomas Brown touchdown run from one yard out.

Georgia now holds a 37-3 lead with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter.

Brennan rocked, Bulldogs score

NEW ORLEANS - Colt Brennan was just blasted by Georgia's Marcus Howard. The hit caused Brennan to fumble the ball in his own endzone. Howard recovered the ball and put another six on the board for the Bulldogs.

Georgia now leads Hawai'i, 31-3, in what has become an extremely lopsided affair. The fumble was Brennan's fourth turnover of the game.

Unfortunately for the Warriors and their fans, this one is a long way from being over. There are still 8:57 left in the third quarter.

We'll take that back

NEW ORLEANS - Hawai'i defense just covered up its start quarterback's latest mistake.

A tipped pass at the line of scrimmage landed in the hands of a Hawai'i defender, and the Warriors prevented Georgia from scoring on its latest redzone opportunity.

Hawai'i has a long way to go to put points on the board. The Warriors have the ball on their own 4-yard line.

Brennan's had better days

NEW ORLEANS - Colt Brennan just threw his second pick of the game in his own territory. His costly mistake gave Georgia the ball on the Warriors' 37-yard line.

The Bulldogs took advantage of Brennan's mistake and have the ball first-and-10 on the 14-yard line.

Halftime in the Big Easy

NEW ORLEANS - The first half of the Allstate Sugar Bowl has been anything but easy for Colt Brennan and his Hawai'i Warriors.

Much was made about how Brennan, coach June Jones and their run-and-shoot offensive attack would fare against an SEC defense. So far, not so good.

Georgia's offense has outgained Hawai'i, 214-125, and the Bulldogs defense has constantly pressured Brennan. At the half, Georgia leads Hawai'i, 24-3.

Continue reading "Halftime in the Big Easy" »

A little relief for Hawai'i

NEW ORLEANS - Luckily for the Warriors, Colt Brennan's second turnover of the night didn't lead to any points for the Bulldogs.

Brennan fumbled in his own territory, but Georgia came up short on the ensuing drive and failed to convert on a fourth-and-4 play.

Brennan has been sacked, rushed and hurried by the Bulldogs all night long. He has completed 11 of 15 passes with one interception.

Hawai'i got the ball back after Georgia's failed conversion but did nothing of importance and just punted the ball.

Slowly getting out of hand

NEW ORLEANS - If things continue to go the way they've gone in the first half, Hawai'i's flight back home might seem a bit longer.

Georgia's Sean Bailey just caught a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford and increased the Bulldogs' lead over the Warriors to 24-3. For the game, Stafford has completed 7 of 11 passes.

Georgia lead at two touchdowns

NEW ORLEANS - Georgia just increased its Sugar Bowl lead to 17-3 with a 52-yard field goal from Brandon Coutu.

The field goal was the first 50-yard plus field goal in the Sugar Bowl since 2001. Georgia's scoring drive lasted 10 plays but was hampered by penalties and covered only 20 yards.

On the ensuing possession, Hawai'i quarterback Colt Brennan threw into double coverage on the left side of the field and was intercepted. Georgia now has the ball on the Warriors' 42-yard line.

Moreno finds endzone again

NEW ORLEANS - Freshman Knowshon Moreno is making an early case for the Sugar Bowl MVP award.

Georgia's young tailback just rushed for his second touchdown of the night and gave the Bulldogs a 14-3 lead over Hawai'i. His run capped a seven-play, 65-yard drive for Georgia.

As the first quarter winds down, the Bulldogs' offense has looked more efficient than Hawai'i's hyped run-and-shoot attack. Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford has managed the game effectively so far, completing 4 of 5 passes for 46 yards.

Georgia had eight first downs in the first quarter. Hawai'i had four.

Warriors respond with three points

NEW ORLEANS - Colt Brennan's lackluster showing on his first drive of the night must have been because of nerves.

On his second drive, Brennan hit all seven of his pass attempts and marched the Warriors 66 yards down the field to set up a field goal. Dan Kelly kicked one right down the middle and cut Georgia's lead over Hawai'i to 7-3.

Hawai'i's drive lasted 11 plays and ate 5:22 off the clock.

Moreno's ankle OK

NEW ORLEANS - It didn't take long for Georgia freshman Knowshon Moreno to see the field. It also didn't take long for him to make an impact.

The freshman didn't start the Allstate Sugar Bowl because of an ankle injury, but on Georgia's first drive Moreno appeared to be fine, rushing for a 17-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead of Hawai'i, 7-0.

The Warriors' first drive wasn't so successful. They were called for three penalties before Georgia's offense ever took the field, and quarterback Colt Brennan completed only one of his three pass attempts.

First possession goes to Warriors

NEW ORLEANS - Hawai'i won the opening coin toss and elected to display its high-powered, run-and-shoot offense first to start the game.

Fans won't have to wait long for the much talked about matchup between the Warriors' offense and the Georgia defense.

Both teams are on the field and set to kickoff.

Superdome crowd in Georgia's favor

NEW ORLEANS - From the looks of things, it seems the Superdome crowd could give Georgia a slight home-field advantage.

The crowd looks to be about 70 percent Georgia supporters. Most Bulldogs fans are clad in black, like the jerseys their team is expected to wear for the game. In the ultimate contrast, the Warriors fans' section of the Superdome is a large see of white.

The Bulldogs' marching band just finished its pregame performance, and the Rainbow Warrior marching band has just taken the field.

Bulldogs, Warriors craving sweet success

NEW ORLEANS - The physical, defense-minded Georgia Bulldogs are a team that has the right to feel a little disappointed about playing on New Year's Day. After Missouri and West Virginia lost on the final weekend of the regular season, the Bulldogs had slim hopes of playing for the BCS title. Not winning the Southeastern Conference hurt their chances, and the computers and voters put LSU in the title game.

On the other hand, the Hawai'i Warriors, famous for their pass-oriented, run-and-shoot offense are ecstatic to be playing on the first day of 2008, and are trying to become the second Western Athletic Conference team in as many seasons to finish the undefeated.

Two different philosophies, and two different mindsets. The nation will see which combination reigns victorious tonight when the Bulldogs face the Warriors in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Continue reading "Bulldogs, Warriors craving sweet success" »

Michigan wins one for Carr

ORLANDO - Lloyd Carr went out a winner.

Michigan, paced by a methodical offensive attack, sent its retiring coach out victoriously by holding off Florida for a 41-35 win at the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday.

"This is extremely meaningful on a personal level," said the 62-year-old Carr, who compiled a 122-40 record in 13 years at Michigan. "To come out with an effort like this and finding a way to win creates memories we'll celebrate for years to come."

Continue reading "Michigan wins one for Carr" »

Missouri, Temple Roll Arkansas in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Missouri and tailback Tony Temple showed Arkansas why it deserved its No. 1 ranking for a week this season, routing the Razorbacks 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

Arkansas shocked LSU to end its regular season, but it couldn't stop these Tigers - or Temple.

"To be honest with you, I'm a little bit blindsided by the way we played," Arkansas interim coach Reggie Herring said.

Continue reading "Missouri, Temple Roll Arkansas in Cotton Bowl" »

Florida turns it over on downs

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida turned it over on four plays on its drive, giving Michigan the ball back at the Florida 24-yard line with less than 3 minutes left.

Florida still has all of its timeouts, so the Gators could hold Michigan to a field goal and get another shot, but Wolverines fans have to be smiling right now.

Michigan back on top

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida's lead was short-lived, but they have a chance to get it back.

Michigan just scored on an 18-yard pass from Chad Henne to Adrian Arrington, who beat Florida corner Jacques Rickerson by about two steps for an easy catch.

Michigan leads 38-35 with 4:12 left, plenty of time for TIm Tebow to work his magic.

Harvin jets in

ORLANDO, Fla. - Put the Rose Bowl on hold, the Capital One Bowl ain't over yet.

Percy Harvin just scored his second touchdown of the game, this one on a 10-yard end-around jet run, to put the Gators up 35-31 with 5:49 left after Michigan quarterback Chad Henne threw an interception.

The Wolverines need a big drive here, will they get it?


Michigan inches ahead in final quarter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Field goals might not be enough to win this game, so Michigan is walking a tight rope.

The Wolverines just got a 37-yard field goal from K.C. Lopata to go up 31-28, but now Tim Tebow has the ball with 12:16 remaining.

And Tebow has Percy Harvin at his disposal. Harvin has 220 combined rushing and receiving yards on the day, and it's between him and Mike Hart as to who I'm tabbing on my ballott as game MVP.

Unusual turn of events ties it up

ORLANDO, Fla. - Here's the rundown of what led to this game being tied at 28-28.

1) Michigan is driving, looking to take a 35-21 lead, but Mike Hart fumbles for the second time today, the second time in over 1,000 carries. He fumbles it as he is stretching for a touchdown, so the ball goes into the end zone and Florida recovers.

2) Florida appears to have wasted the opportunity, going three-and-out, but executes a fake punt with former high school quarterback Chas Henry, the punter, completing a 15-yard pass to Aaron Hernandez.

3) To conclude a lengthy drive, Tim Tebow finds Andre Caldwell for a 14-yard scoring pass with less than 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Something tells me the craziness is just beginning.

Tebow scores again

ORLANDO, Fla. - Just about the only thing TIm Tebow hasn't done at Florida is lead the Gators on a double-digit second-half comeback for a win.

Well, he's trying his best to check that off his list today.

Tebow just ran in from 1 yard out, bowling over Michigan linebacker Chris Graham, and brought the Gators to within 28-21 with 7:55 left in the third quarter at the Capital One Bowl.

On a side note, Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin looks poised to register the second game of 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in Florida history.

Harvin unofficially has 103 rushing yards and 70 receiving yards so far today.

The other time a 100-100 happened? Harvin, against Vanderbilt earlier this year.

Missed Opportunities Haunt Wisconsin As Tennessee Captures Outback Bowl Win

TAMPA, Fla. - With less than a minute to play, and his No. 18 Wisconsin team trailing No. 16 Tennessee, 21-17, Tyler Donovan couldn't have been happier if he was sitting in front of a platter of steak instead of in a bowl named for a steakhouse.

"Those kind of situations, it's fun," the senior signal-caller said. "Players thrive in those kinds of situations, and I was loving it."

With 28 seconds left, however, he was devastated.

That was when Antonio Wardlow picked off Donovan's would-be touchdown pass to win the game. If he had connected with, Donovan would have been the hero of the 2007 Outback Bowl. Instead, the Volunteers held on for the 21-17 win.

Continue reading "Missed Opportunities Haunt Wisconsin As Tennessee Captures Outback Bowl Win" »

Michigan still rolling

ORLANDO, Fla. - Mike Hart just powered in his second score of the game, this of the 1-yard variety, to put Michigan up 28-14 with 12:50 left in the third quarter.

As has been his custom today, Hart looked for a Florida defender to jaw at after his run. He chose middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who owns a 6-inch and 40-pound edge over Hart, maybe not such a good idea.

Capital One half update: Michigan has slight edge

ORLANDO, Fla. - Michigan has controlled the ball for most of the first half and is up 21-14 at the break as a result.

The Wolverines have successfully kept Tim Tebow off the field as much as possible with 48 offensive plays to Florida's 32 plays.

Chad Henne has looked very accurate, completing 15-of-24 passes for 220 yards and two scores. Mario Manningham has racked up 104 yards on 10 touches, including five runs. Michigan is looking to get him the ball any way possible.

Mike Hart has been contained for 60 yards on 15 carries, but he could break lose at any moment, you get the feeling.

On Florida's side, Tim Tebow has looked good when given a chance to showcase his passing skills with 110 yards through the air on 10-of-17 throwing. But he only got 18 yards on the ground, as Florida's running game has been stuffed save a Percy Harvin 66-yard run.

If Florida's defense can get off the field, the Gators could dominate the second half. However, Michigan's offense has looked every bit as effective as Florida's high-octane attack, maybe moreso.

Fumbling All Around

DALLAS - Fumbles are abounding at the Cotton Bowl, sealing the victory for Missouri against Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

The Tigers lead 31-7 with 10 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the game.

The fumbling started after Arkansas defensive end Adrian Davis intercepted a pass from Chase Daniel. But Daniel chased down Davis and forced a fumble, which the Tigers recovered.

But on the ensuing drive, Missouri tailback Derrick Washington gave it back to Arkansas.

Then the Razorbacks returned the favor. Missouri linebacker Luke Lambert forced a fumble from Arkansas wide receiver Andrew Davis.

The turnovers ballooned for Arkansas. After it forced Missouri to punt, Arkansas muffed the punt, and the Tigers recovered in the red zone.

Jeff Wolfert kicked a 32-yard field goal after the MU offense stalled.

TEBOW AND HIS BFFS

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Capital One Bowl is offering fans the chance to display text messages on the Citrus Bowl scoreboard for the entire stadium to see.

Fans can text messages to 28553 at $1.99 per message. I have seen everything from the usual Go Blue! to inside jokes to a marriage proposal to Tim Tebow.

Oh yeah, there is a game going on. The teams are trading turnovers. Florida safety Major Wright just picked off Chad Henne on a trick play in which Henne handed off to a receiver, who threw it back to Henne near the Michigan sideline.

Henne slinged a pass downfield, but Florida had double coverage and Wright jumped in front of the receiver and landed with the ball at the Florida 1-yard line.

The game is tied at 14-14 with 3 minutes left in the half.

Wardlow Picks Up The Win For Tennessee

TAMPA, Fla. - Perhaps it's tacky to say in a bowl game named for a steakhouse, but stick a fork in this one, because it's done.

Antonio Wardlow picks off Tyler Donovan's pass from the 36-yard line in the end zone, and Tennessee is your 2008 Outback Bowl Champion, beating Wisconsin, 21-17. Volunteers quarterback Erik Ainge is your game MVP after going 25-for-43 for 366 yards and two touchdowns.

More to come.

Breathe easy, Harvin looks fine

ORLANDO, Fla. - Percy Harvin was knocked out of the game following a 66-yard run, but he is re-entering the game.

Trainers looked at Harvin and talked with him on the sideline for a couple of plays as it appeared he just had the wind knocked out of him on a hit by Morgan Trent.

Florida is at the Michigan 4-yard line with 8:00 left in the half.

One More Chance

TAMPA, Fla. - The Badgers get the ball back. A five-yard run for Tennessee isn't enough. The Vols punt with 1:32, and Wisconsin will have to go 88 yards in the next 1:26 with no timeouts.

No Shutout for Missouri in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Arkansas is finally on the board.

Darren McFadden scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Razorbacks trail Missouri 28-7 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Casey Dick will have to make some plays if Arkansas hopes to make a comeback against the Tigers.

No Shutout for Missouri in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Arkansas is finally on the board.

Darren McFadden scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Razorbacks trail Missouri 28-7 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Casey Dick will have to make some plays if Arkansas hopes to make a comeback against the Tigers.

This one's for you, Coach Carr

ORLANDO, Fla. - Michigan running back Mike Hart, an outspoken backer of outgoing Coach Lloyd Carr, just scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game up at 14-14.

The run capped a 12-play, 56-yard drive for the Wolverines.

On an interesting note, Chad Henne tried to throw a pass to his All-America left tackle, Jake Long, on an unusual play. Unfortunately, Henne overthrew the 6-foot-7 Long for an incompletion.

So Close, Yet So Far

TAMPA, Fla. - For a moment, it looked as if Wisconsin had its moment, as the Badgers looked to have recovered a fumble after a Josh Briscoe reception. However, it was ruled that the Badger who scooped up the ball went out of bounds before getting possession, so the Badgers still have a big stop to get before making their last drive.

Defense Strikes for Missouri

DALLAS - After Arkansas and Missouri traded fumbles, the Tigers' defense broke the Cotton Bowl open.

Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick was attempting a pass to fullback Peyton Hillis. But linebacker Sean Weatherspoon tipped the ball, and safety William Moore returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

Missouri leads 28-0 midway through the third quarter.

Wisconsin's Gamble Doesn't Pay Off

TAMPA, Fla. - Bret Bielema chose to roll the dice, and now, the Badgers have snake eyes staring them down.

On fourth and two at the Volunteer 10, the Badgers went for it, and Donovan wound up throwing high and out of the end zone. The Vols take over with under six minutes to play.

Interesting move by the Badgers. A field goal could get them in position to win with another one, while Wisconsin will certain need a touchdown on their next possession now.

Michigan can't keep up

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida's speed is making Michigan look slow.

On the most recent display, the Wolverines had 22 yards of field to take down Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell.

Caldwell zipped through all 22, barely being touched, and high stepped into the end zone to put the Gators up 14-7 with 14:48 left in the first half.

Tebow, Harvin answer for Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Heisman jinx has yet to hit Tim Tebow.

Florida's record-setting sophomore just hit 2008 Heisman candidate Percy Harvin for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Somehow, Michigan let Harvin find yards of open space in the middle of the field for a quick inside slant route for an easy score, I can't find one person in the press box who couldn't have made that throw.

Florida and Michigan are tied at 7-7 with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter at the Capital One Bowl.

Tony Temple Continues to Dominate

DALLAS - With tailback Tony Temple leading the way, Missouri scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. The Tigers lead Arkansas 21-0.

Arkansas tried an onside kick, but the Tigers recovered on the Razorbacks' 48 yard-line. On the six-play drive, Temple had three carries for 24 yards and scored on a 4-yard run. He now has 16 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

The Longest Field For Vols

TAMPA, Fla. - After nine minutes wihout a major happening in this game, we have a pivotal series coming up.

The Badgers' Ben Strickland downed a punt at the one-yard line, putting Tenneesee behind the eight-ball as they try to gain some yards.

Arkansas Shut Out at the Half

DALLAS - In a game that was supposed to be a shootout, Missouri held Arkansas scoreless in the first half.

The Tigers lead the Razorbacks 14-0. The Razorbacks had chances to score, but Alex Tejada missed two field goals, from 36 and 37 yards.

To catch Missouri, the Razorbacks have to be less predictable on first down. They are rushing on almost every first down. Darren McFadden has been contained so far. He has 13 carries for 56 yards. Felix Jones has run seven times for 36 yards. Arkansas needs to try more play-action passes and screens to throw off Missouri's defense.

For Missouri, it needs to continue to run - believe it or not. Tailback Tony Temple, not quarterback Chase Daniel, was the star of the first half. Temple rushed for 159 yards and two touchdown on 13 carries. Daniel was only 8-of-13 for 78 yards.

The Tigers' special teams will to improve, however. Punter Adam Crossett had a measly 29-yard punt in the second quarter, and Arkansas has sprung several long kickoff returns.

Michigan steamrolls UF on opening drive

ORLANDO, Fla. - Lloyd Carr must have delivered one heck of a pregame speech.

The Michigan offense just drove 93 yards on 12 plays on the opening series to take a 7-0 lead over Florida at the Capital One Bowl.

The score came when quarterback Chad Henne connected with - who else? - Mario Manningham for a 21-yard bullett pass.

Florida had kept Manningham quiet in the passing game for the entire series before the score with freshman cornerback Joe Haden displaying shut-down coverage.

But, on the scoring play, Haden was not on coverage. Instead, Manningham beat No. 2 corner Wondy Pierre-Louis and a late-arriving free safety Major Wright.

Oopsie...Wrong Name

TAMPA, Fla. - Not much to report so far in the second half, where the biggest miscue belongs to our announcer here in the press box, who just slipped and referred to Wisconsin as the Wolverines.

Now, in all fairness, we aren't all that far from Orlando, where Michigan is playing in the Capital One Bowl, and that game is underway.

Of course, the bigger issue could be the Wolverines' opponent: Tennessee's archrival Florida. Vols fans might actually take more offense to that than Badger fans.

Then again, the fans are in the stands, and we're in the press box, so it doesn't matter all that much.

Tony Temple the Star

DALLAS - Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel did not throw a single pass on the the Tigers' latest touchdown drive.

The Tigers lead Arkansas 14-0.

Tailback Tony Temple led the rushing attack on the six-play, 82-yard drive. He had 22-yard and 38-yard runs before his 4-yard touchdown.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden has 12 carries for 47 yards.

Wake Up, Offense

DALLAS - The offenses are still trying to wake up at the Cotton Bowl.

Missouri still leads 7-0 midway through the second quarter.

Arkansas has not scored on its first four drives. There was an odd sequence at the end of their third drive. The Razorbacks faced fourth-and-4 on Missouri's 35-yard line. On a fake punt, Reggie Fish picked up a first down on an end-around. But after the play, the referee announced Arkansas had called a timeout. The Razorbacks were stuffed on the ensuing play.

The star running back so far is Missouri's Tony Temple, who has 81 yards on seven carries. Darren McFadden has 44 yards on 11 carries for the Razorbacks.

Greetings from the Capital One Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla. - Happy New Year from the Capital One Bowl. In the next three hours, we'll find out whether Michigan or Florida will have a great New Year's Day.

Kickoff is coming in about 10 minutes, as the stadium is still filling up. On the way to the stadium, Michigan fans seemed to be out in full force. But the Gators have a much stronger contingent in the Citrus Bowl, where temperatures are in the 60s with partly cloudy skies.

Continue reading "Greetings from the Capital One Bowl" »

Tennessee Offense Rolling, But Wisconsin Hanging In

TAMPA, Fla. - The Wisconsin band, under the direction of Michael Leckrone, is currently performing its halftime show, consisting of music from West Side Story.

It's appropriate, because Badgers quarterback Tyler Donovan has taken enough hard shots to the head to make him start singing "I Feel Pretty."

Impressively, though, the Badgers are staying with a Tennessee offense that is going great guns. They'll recieve the ball to start the second half with a chance to tie the game, as the Vols lead 21-14 at halftime.

Continue reading "Tennessee Offense Rolling, But Wisconsin Hanging In" »

Halftime In Tampa: Vols Lead 21-14

TAMPA, Fla. - The teams are headed to the locker rooms, and the bands are on their way onto the field. Your score at halftime: Tennessee 21, Wisconsin 14.

More details to come.

No Warning Necessary

TAMPA, Fla. - Of course, the two minute warning isn't used in college football, but maybe an exception should be made for Wisconsin games

With 1:03 remaining on the clock , Tyler Donovan finds Andy Crooks in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-14. The pass caps off a 70-yard drive that took 5:12 off the clock with nine plays.

Wisconsin has now scored 112 points in the last two minutes of the first half during Bret Bielema's tenure as head coach.

Missouri Strikes First

DALLAS - Tony Temple, not Darren McFadden, scored the Cotton Bowl's first rushing touchdown.

Temple's 22-yard run capped off a six-play, 73-yard drive late in the first quarter. Missouri leads 7-0.

Arkansas opened the game with a drive into the red zone. But Missouri stuffed McFadden on third-and-4, and Alex Tejada missed a 36-yard field goal.

Cottam Caught 'Em, Puts Tennesse Up 21-7

TAMPA, Fla. - Don't worry about Brad Cottam, right? He's never caught a touchdown pass in his Tennessee career.

He has now.

A 31-yard pass from Erik Ainge has the Vols up 21-7, capping off a four-play, 51-yard drive that lasted 1:40.

Tyler Donovan is back in for the Badgers at quarterback.

Rough Day For Donovan

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee is giving Wisconsin quarterback Tyler Donovan a headache - literally.

The Badger signal-caller had his bell rung again just after getting rid of the ball on third down, banging his head on one of his lineman's legs as he went down on the tackle.

And the pass was completed, but fell just short of the first down.

Vols Have A Fumble Of Their Own

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee was sitting pretty, driving deep in Wisconsin territory again with a big run by Montario Hardesty and an Ainge completing to Quintin Hancock, but the Vols have returned the favor as Kirk DeCremer forced and recovered a Lennon Creer fumble to take over for the Badgers.

In Badger injury news, Donovan is back out on the field, and P.J. Hill is out there with him and gaining yardage against the Volunteers as the Badgers attempt to march up the field from depe in their own territory.

Will the Defenses Show Up Today at the Cotton Bowl?

DALLAS - Will Arkansas run wild in the Cotton Bowl? Or will Missouri Chase down the Razorbacks?

While Arkansas is trying to persevere through the turmoil of the past month with a victory in the Cotton Bowl, Missouri is attempting to rebound from its disappointing loss in the Big 12 Conference Championship to Oklahoma.

Continue reading "Will the Defenses Show Up Today at the Cotton Bowl?" »

That's Another Way To Do It: Vols up 7-0

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee is on the board with a touchdown 5:11 into the game. The scoring play was a direct snap to Gerald Jones, which seems to be the Vols' best option for getting the ball to a receiver so far.

Erik Ainge has looked shaky early on, throwing a third-down pass right at a defender on the Vols' first drive, then throwing very high out of the end zone when Tennessee got close. To Ainge's credit, the key play of the drive that got Tennesee deep into Badger territory was a 40-yard pass to Denarius Moore.

The Jones run capped off a nine-play scoring drive of 66 yards that lasted 2:33.

Mistakes Early

A couple of mistakes early made sure that neither team's first drive lasted long. Tennessee's opening drive never recovered from a holding penalty that negated a nice run by Arian Foster, while the Badgers looked to be in good shape after Tyler Donovan completed a pass to Paul Hubbard on third-and-8, only for Eric Berry to force the fumble and DeAngelo Willingham to recover.

The Vols are driving now in Badger territory.

More Lineup Notes And The Coin Toss

TAMPA, Fla. - A couple more changes in the lineup to report as we get set to kick off.

O'Brien Schofield will start at left end for Wisconsin in place of Kurt Ware, while Ben Strickland gets the start at left cornerback for Aaron Henry.

For the Vols, Jerod Mayo moves from "Mike" to "Will" in the linebacking corps to replace McCoy, with Ellix Wilson starting in Mayo's middle position.

Wisconsin won the coin toss and will defer to the second half. Tennessee will receive and defend the North

G'Day From The Outback, Mate!

TAMPA, Fla. - Good morning and Happy New Year from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where we're counting down to kickoff of the 2008 Outback Bowl. Today's matchup pits the No. 18 Badgers of the Univesity of Wisconsin against the No. 6 Volunteers of the University of Tennessee.

Here's a few things to keep an eye on as we get ready for the 11:00 AM kickoff here in Tampa.

Continue reading "G'Day From The Outback, Mate!" »

December 31, 2007

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Wins 23-20

ATLANTA -- In overtime, the Auburn Tigers defeated Clemson 23-20 after quarterback Kodi Burns ran the ball into the end zone from five yards out to win the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Continue reading "Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Wins 23-20" »

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Free Football

ATLANTA -- As the clock ticks down to zero in regulation, the score is tied at 17. Both Clemson and Auburn had chances to win the game in regulation. However, neither offense was able to put themselves in field goal range. In fact, each defense narrowly missed picked off interceptions.

This is the first overtime game in the history of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. So one thing is for certain, the "Tigers" will be making history, one way or another.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn has the Last Chance

ATLANTA -- With 1:32 to go in the game, Auburn has the ball at their own 36 yard line with a chance to win the game in regulation after Clemson went three and out. More to come soon...

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Kodi Burns Brings Auburn Back

ATLANTA -- The majority of the drive saw backup quarterback Kodi Burns in the game, and his quickness helped revitalize the Auburn running game. With 8:27 to go in the fourth quarter, his 15 yard run set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Ben Tate to tie the game up at 17.

The key play on the drive came from Brandon Cox though. On a 3rd and 5 from the Auburn 47, he completed an 18 yard pass to Robert Dunn to the Clemson 35 giving Auburn the key first down.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Critical Mistake by Auburn Leads to Clemson Touchdown

ATLANTA -- Quarterback Brandon Cox threw his first interception of the game and allowed the game's first turnover. The play occurred after Brandon Cox was forced out of the pocket by Clemson defensive end Ricky Sapp. His throw was intended for tight end Cole Bennett, but was deflected by Clemson cornerback Crezden Butler, and then he caught his own tipped ball.

Clemson was able to take ball down the field and punch the ball into the end zone on 4th and goal from the 1 to retake the lead 17-10. With 11:24 to go in the 4th quarter, the game has taken on a much different look than it had in the middle of third quarter.

Clemson's offense has been able to mix the run with the pass effectively, and has stopped Auburn's rushing attack. With Auburn playing from behind now, the game may now be placed on quarterback Brandon Cox's shoulders for Auburn.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson Ties Game

ATLANTA -- At the start of the fourth quarter, Clemson place kicker Mark Buchholz hit a 22 yard field goal after Clemson's Cullen Harper was stopped at the five yard line on a third and goal play from the two yard line.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Defensive Struggle Through Second Half

ATLANTA -- Auburn is controlling the tempo of the second half. The Tigers have failed to pick up a first down in five straight possessions. In the third quarter, Auburn has outgained Clemson 121-9 in total yardage.

Both teams have turned back to their strengths on offense to move the ball. While Auburn's rushing attack has been effective in the early going in the second half, Clemson's passing attack has not done much as quarterback Cullen Harper has been under pressure for much of the half and his receivers are just not getting open.

Even with Clemson's inability to move the ball, the score is still just 10-7 in Auburn's favor, and they have been able to gain the field position advantage via special teams after a 59 yard punt by Jimmy Maners put Auburn inside of their own 5 yard line.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Strikes First in 2nd Half

ATLANTA -- On the first drive of the second half, the Tigers drove the ball down the field and scored on a 22 yard pass from backup quarterback Kodi Burns to freshman running back Mario Fannin.

Burns rolled to his right on the play hitting Fannin in stride on a crossing route over the middle, and ran untouched into the far corner of the end zone to give Auburn a 10-7 lead early in the second half.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Half Time

ATLANTA -- Clemson leads at the end of the first half 7-3. The difference in this ball game was one play. C.J. Spiller's 83 yard touchdown early in the second quarter is the only offensive spurt that this game has seen.

While both teams have been able to drive the ball into the opponent's territory, neither side has been able to turn those drives into points. Clemson place kicker Mark Buchholz is 0-2 missing field goals from 45 and 53 yards each.

Auburn place kicker Wes Byrum is 1-2 with made field goal attempt from 38 yards out, and a miss from 45 yards out.

Clemson's offense has turned a complete 180 from their play calling during the season. After relying so heavily on the pass during the season, Clemson's offense has made every effort to move the ball down the field on the ground. Clemson has a much more balanced attack as they have run the ball 15 times for 141 yards, while passing the ball 16 times for just 37 yards.

Auburn has also had opportunities to score as their passing game has been effective. Quarterback Brandon Cox is 13-22 on the game for 111 yards. On the ground, Auburn has been somewhat less effective as they have only 36 yards on the ground.

Neither team has been able to play to their strength in the first half, which is the most likely reason for the 7-3 score. It will be interesting to see what each team does to make adjustments. Will each offense continue with what plays are working best for them right now, or will they try to go back to their strengths?

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Stumbles

ATLANTA -- After Clemson was able to score their first touchdown of the game, Auburn responded by driving the ball to the 28 yard line in Clemson territory.

On a key 3rd and 3 at the 28, Auburn running back Ben Tate had a hold up the middle on a dive play, but stumbled on his own falling short of the first down.

On the next play, place kicker Wes Byrum missed a 45 yard field goal wide right in essentially the same location that Clemson place kicker Mak Buchholz did. The score is still Clemson 7-3.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson Growls Back

ATLANTA -- After both offenses stalled for the majority of the first quarter, Clemson hit a home run on a 2nd and 5 play from their own 17 yard line.

On a delayed draw play up the middle, running back C.J. Spiller ran straight into the line, but was not taken down. After bouncing back to the outside, Spiller sprinted down the near sideline past the Auburn defense to give Clemson their first lead of the game 7-3.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Buchholz Wide Right

ATLANTA -- After Clemson drove the ball inside the Auburn 30 yard line, they were unable to put points on the board as placekicker Mark Buchholz's kick missed wide right. The score is still Auburn 3-0.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: More On Scott

ATLANTA -- Clemson defensive tackle Dorrell Scott has a high right ankle sprain and he is listed as questionable to return to the game.

UK wins second straight Music City Bowl

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Andre Woodson threw four touchdown passes, Rafael Little had 202 all-purpose yards and the University of Kentucky won its second straight Music City Bowl, this time over Papa Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles 35-28.

Continue reading "UK wins second straight Music City Bowl" »

UK creating some space

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As bad as they've played, Kentucky is taking control of the Music City Bowl.

Continue reading "UK creating some space" »

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Pounces First, Clemson DT Scott Injured

ATLANTA - After a key 28 yard pass from Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox, the Navy blue clad Tigers were able to push the ball inside the Clemson 20 yard line. However, they were able to go no further and ended up kicking a 38 yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.

To add injury to insult, Clemson just suffered a major blow as defensive tackle Dorrell Scott was cut down to the ground by an illegal chop block from behind. He walked off of the field, favoring his right knee, with the help of two Clemson trainers.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Tiger Brawl

ATLANTA - The ACC and SEC are getting together once again on New Year's Eve in Atlanta as the 9-3 Clemson Tigers face off against the 8-4 Auburn Tigers.

Clemson comes into tonight's contest winning five of their last six contests including a win over their in-state rival South Carolina 23-21 on a late field goal.

While Auburn struggled early on in the season with a 1-2 record in their first three games. However, Auburn finished strong in SEC play with key wins at Florida and at home against their in-state rival Alabama.

For Auburn, this game comes down to stopping the ACC leading passing attack that Clemson will throw at them. Defensive end Quentin Groves will be the key to putting pressure on Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper.

On the offensive side off the ball, Auburn will most likely keep the ball on the ground to keep Clemson's offense on the sidelines. Look for tailback Brad Lester to get many touches in this game.

For Clemson, the offense will need to keep the pressure off of Cullen Harper by allowing their stellar running back tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller to get going.

On defense, Clemson's front seven is the key to their success. Clemson will be without the services of their two star linebackers in Tremaine Billie and Nick Watkins. Replacements Scotty Cooper and Kavell Conner will be tested early and often during the course of this game.

UK takes lead

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- UK just took a 21-14 lead over Florida State with 6:49 left in the Music City Bowl.

Continue reading "UK takes lead" »

FSU and UK tied at 14 at half

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- So far, this Music City Bowl hasn't been music to anyone's ears.

Continue reading "FSU and UK tied at 14 at half" »

This is some bad football

NASHVILLE, Tenn -- FSU started the bad football off by missing a 51-yard field goal.

Then UK running back Rafael Little fumbled for the second time of the day giving the Seminoles the ball back at the 27-yard line.

Five plays later, the Seminoles were stopped on 4th-and-1 at the one-yard line.

Still, it got worse. UK quarterback Andre Woodson just threw an interception, the pass was lobbed from the back off the end zone and was a jump ball for three FSU defenders. Preston Carter was the lucky recipient, and he took the ball back 24 yards for a touchdown.

Wait, it got worse. Carter got a personal foul for diving into the end zone.

It got even worse. His teammate, Derek Nicholson, threw the flag on Carter's penalty at the official. Thanks to the two penalties, FSU kicked off from the eight-yard line.

FSU and UK are tied at 14 with just over three minutes left.

It wasn't pretty...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- ...but it worked.

UK went back on top midway through the second quarter when Woodson hit wide receiver Stevie Johnson on a 13-yard touchdown pass. Woodson was hit on the play, and the ball wobbled into Johnson’s arms. Johnson made two players miss after the catch on his way to the end zone.

UK leads 14-7 with 8:15 left in the game.

FSU scores

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Somehow, Florida State is tied with Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

After UK scored to go ahead 7-0, the Seminoles punted, but FSU redshirt freshman quarterback D'Vontrey Richardson caught the punt as it neared UK returner Rafael Little, moving UK up 15 yards. The Cats marched deep into FSU territory and appeared headed to a 14-0 lead, but Little fumbled and FSU took it past midfield. The 'Noles scored four plays later to tied the game up.

UK was a few plays away from being up 14-0, but now FSU is tied with the Cats, miraculously, with 1:49 to go in the first quarter.

FSU muffed punt

NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Given the turmoil Florida State has endured over the last few weeks, the last thing FSU needed was to get off to a slow start.

But slow start they did. Punt Graham Gano fumbled the snap at the FSU 49. He gather the ball, but kicked it into UK safety Roger Williams. The ball went out of bounds, and UK recovered at the 25-yard line. The Cats scored five plays later on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andre Woodson to Jacob Tamme.

The crowd is overwhelmingly blue, but they didn't get loud until the blocked punt. Now they're rocking, and the Noles better start rolling or they could find themselves in a big hole.

With 10:39 to play in the first quarter, UK leads FSU 7-0.

Music City Bowl pregame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville or Catsville? Sure it's lame, but it's true. UK probably had 60 percent of the fans in the stadium for last year's game against Clemson, and that ratio seems to be about the same this year, if not more.

The obvious storylines for today's game:

1. How will FSU handle the suspensions of the 36 players who were involved in the academic scandal? By game time, it figures to have no effect. Pregame though, FSU looks like a high school team with only 30 players.
2. Rich Brooks and Bobby Bowden: friends, and coaches, forever. They are two of the most experienced, and most respected, coaches in the nation.
3. UK has 16 seniors playing in their final game. Those seniors, including quarterback Andre Woodson, running back Rafael Little, wide receivers Keenan Burton and Stevie Johnson and linebacker Wesley Woodyard, have been instrumental in turning the program around.
4. FSU has been to 26 straight bowl games. UK has been to two. Going into the game, that won't seem to matter too much because both teams need wins so bad for this year and next year.

It should be fun in Nashville. Keep in mind, UK beat Tommy Bowden's Clemson team in last year's Music City Bowl. With a win, the Cats will go to 2-0 against the Bowden family in Nashville

And the Season Ends

SHREVEPORT, La. - If there is any word that Alabama coach Nick Saban uses more than any other, its the term "finish."

Continue reading "And the Season Ends" »

Tide Finishes

SHREVEPORT, La. — Alabama’s 30-24 victory over Colorado in Sunday’s Independence Bowl couldn’t have been scripted any better for the Crimson Tide.

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December 30, 2007

Back the Other Way

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, Colorado just got the ball back with 8:39 remaining and down 27-17.

Continue reading "Back the Other Way" »

Coming down the wire

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, Alabama now stands 87 yards from a 17 point lead.

Continue reading "Coming down the wire" »

Dive! Dive!

SHREVEPORT, La. - Football should take its cue from Hockey.

Continue reading "Dive! Dive!" »

Turning of the Tide?

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, after that touchdown at the end of the first half, Colorado probably hoped it could take the ball and score on Alabama at the start of the second.

Continue reading "Turning of the Tide?" »

You Can't Trust a Buffalo

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, credit the Buffaloes for stopping Alabama on its last drive of the half.

Continue reading "You Can't Trust a Buffalo" »

Oh those turnovers

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, nothing like a John Parker Wilson interception to make a game a little more interesting.

Continue reading "Oh those turnovers" »

Flippin with the Tide

SHREVEPORT, La. - It's a party Louisiana style -- if you're Alabama.

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Quick Start for the Tide

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, this looks the the Alabama of six games ago.

Continue reading "Quick Start for the Tide" »

That Dizon guy?

SHREVEPORT, La. - Before the game, I to hear Jordon Dizon's name on every Alabama offensive play.

Continue reading "That Dizon guy?" »

Pull the kid!

SHREVEPORT, La. - Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins might be testing his father and Buffaloes head coach Dan's patience early.

Continue reading "Pull the kid!" »

Colorado's band

SHREVEPORT, La. - Gotta give Colorado an A+ for gameday presentation.

Continue reading "Colorado's band" »

Back in Shreveport...

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, Alabama probably never thought it would be back in Shreveport at the Independence Bowl.

Continue reading "Back in Shreveport..." »

December 29, 2007

Bulldogs win in ugly fashion

MEMPHIS - It wasn't pretty by any means. But then again, Mississippi State wasn't looking for style points.

And not many of the other kind of points for that matter, either.

In front of a record crowd of 63,816 on Saturday afternoon, Anthony Dixon scored from the 1 with 1:54 left to give the Bulldogs a 10-3 victory.

It was the lone offensive highlight of the day for either team.

Continue reading "Bulldogs win in ugly fashion" »

Make that two misses

MEMPHIS - With 12:31 left in the fourth quarter, Michael Torres missed a 37-yard field goal to the left that would have given Central Florida a 6-3 advantage.

However, the score remains 3-3.

It was the second miss of the day for the UCF placekicker. In the second quarter, he misfired on a 32-yard field goal to the right. Entering the game, he had made 16-straight kicks and was 19 of 21 overall.

I guess he picked a bad day to be off his game. Hey, that's baseball!

A Liberty Bowl record

MEMPHIS - Today's attendance is 63,816, a Liberty Bowl record. The previous mark was the 1991 showdown between Air Force and Mississippi State, where 61,497 fans entere the turnstiles.

Due to technical difficulties . . .

MEMPHIS - Sorry, the internet has been down for nearly two quarters, but we're now up and running.

And with 53 seconds to play in the third quarter, it's 3-3.

Continue reading "Due to technical difficulties . . ." »

We have points

MEMPHIS - Finally, points are on the board.

With 11:49 remaining in the first half, Michael Torres drained a 45-yard field goal to give Central Florida a 3-0 lead.

The Knights opened their drive at the MSU 46 and moved to the 28 in four plays before stalling out on an incomplete pass by Kyle Israel on fourth-and-7.

So much for the offense

MEMPHIS - Pundits predicted a high-scoring affair in the Liberty Bowl.

But after one quarter, neither Central Florida or Mississippi State have come close to scoring.

Continue reading "So much for the offense" »

No offense on opening drives

MEMPHIS - Five plays and punt.

That describes the opening drives for both Mississippi State and Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl.

Each team collected one first down, but that's it. Let's see if they can do better on their second possessions.

Give us some Liberty

MEMPHIS - No. No. Elvis is not in the building. But the Missisippi State and Central Florida players have arrived.

Hope you are ready for some football, because fans here at the 49th annual Liberty Bowl certainly are. For further proof, just look at the ticket sales.

Bowl officials are expecting a crowd in excess of 62,000, which would be a record. Ironically, the 1991 matchup between Air Force and Mississippi State is the highest attended - 61,497. For this game, the MSU ticket office processed 33,800 ticket orders.

As for uniforms, the Bulldogs are in all maroon, while the Knights are in white pants and gold jerseys. And if Elvis were here, he'd be in all black I'm sure.

Anyway, here's what you should expect today . . .
* UCF junior running back Kevin Smith is just 180 yards shy of Barry Sanders' single-season rushing mark of 2,628.
* MSU sophomore running back Anthony Dixon needs 20 yards to reach 1,000 on the year. Only six backs in school history have accomplished the feat. Jerious Norwood of the Atlanta Falcons was the most recent in 2004.
* While most of the attention has been centered on the running backs, the game may come down to the play of the quarterbacks, Wesley Carroll for MSU and Kyle Israel.
* MSU and UCF have one commont opponent in UAB. The Bulldogs topped the Blazers 30-13 in Starkville, while the Knights rolled to a 45-31 win in Birmingham.

December 01, 2007

Tigers Pull it Out

ATLANTA, Ga. – A day that started with so much uncertainty for LSU ended with a simple and enduring image:

Continue reading "Tigers Pull it Out" »

We have an audible

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, I have to make one more post before I head down...again.

Continue reading "We have an audible" »

Before I go down to the field

ATLANTA, Ga. - LSU is beating Tennessee on both sides of the ball.

Continue reading "Before I go down to the field" »

Where is Dorsey?

ATLANTA, Ga. - With big defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey out most of the game, the Tigers defense has done an admirable job against the Tennessee offense.

Continue reading "Where is Dorsey?" »

Can he do it

ATLANTA, Ga. - Can Ryan Perrilloux lead LSU back from being down in the fourth quarter?

Continue reading "Can he do it" »

A Perrilloux Faux Pas

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Ryan Perrilloux's first mistake of the game was almost a big one.

Continue reading "A Perrilloux Faux Pas" »

So yeah, Ainge

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Erik AInge has proved me wrong.

Continue reading "So yeah, Ainge" »

Talk about an arm

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Ryan Perrilloux is doing a good job of making LSU fans forget Matt Flynn real fast.

Continue reading "Talk about an arm" »

Note to Les Miles

ATLANTA, Ga. - Try not to burn all of your timeouts before your team drives down the field at the end of the half to try to take the lead.

Continue reading "Note to Les Miles" »

Domination and Losing

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, the Bayou Bengals are really running it up on the Vols.

Continue reading "Domination and Losing" »

Poor Les

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, going for it on fourth down had to catch up with Les Miles sooner or later.

Continue reading "Poor Les" »

In Like Perrilloux?

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, with Tigers starting quarterback Matt Flynn out with a shoulder injury LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux has more than stepped in for Flynn.

Continue reading "In Like Perrilloux?" »

A Truck Sighting

ATLANTA, Ga. - I wonder if LSU running back Jacob Hester came running full speed at Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo, who would take the worst of that hit?

Continue reading "A Truck Sighting" »

Trickery afoot

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer showed Les Miles early that he has a few ticks up his sleeve.

Continue reading "Trickery afoot" »

Les Miles is Staying?

ATLANTA, Ga. - In a move unlike anything I have seen in the sports writing business, Les Miles held an impromptu news conference two hours before the SEC championship.

Continue reading "Les Miles is Staying?" »

November 24, 2007

Tennessee-Kentucky Wrap-up

LEXINGTON, Ky. - If Kentucky's ignominy against border rival Tennessee couldn't end this year, you wonder if it ever will. Despite fielding its best team in decades, Kentucky still came up short, losing to the SEC East Division Champion Vols 52-50 in four overtimes. The players and coaches were emotional (some were despondent) after the game. Quarterback Andre Woodson was visibly shaken, and the press room resembled something of a wake.
"All I know is 8-4 is a lot better than 7-5," head coach Rich Brooks said.

Tennessee will face LSU next Saturday in the conference title game while Kentucky will wait for its bowl selection. The Wildcats are headed to a lower-tier bowl. The likely spots are Music City, Liberty or Independence. I'll predict Memphis (Liberty). Close enough trip for UK fans, but not a repeat (UK was in Nashville at the Music City Bowl last year).

Tennessee Wins

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tennessee just held on to outlast Kentucky 52-50 in four overtimes at Commonwealth Stadium. The Vols advance to the SEC Championship next week against LSU, while the Wildcats finish a disappointing 7-5 and likely head to a third-tier bowl for a second straight year. More later...

Tennessee Holding On

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tennessee leads 34-24 going to the 4th quarter. The Vols are 15 minutes away from extending the nation's longest winning streak over a single opponent. Kentucky needs a big play from its defense, which thrives on turnovers. We'll see if the Vols can salt this one away on this drive. UK's defense must come up big in this final quarter and give Andre Woodson a chance for some streak-breaking heroics.

Halftime: Tennessee 24, Kentucky 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. - More bad plays, more booing. And more Tennessee domination. The first half here ended much like it started as Tennessee turned a Kentucky turnover into a score late in the half. Andre Woodson was intercepted by a UT defensive lineman with :34 seconds left in the half, and UT quickly cashed in with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Erik Ainge, who had a huge first half.

Kentucky left the field to a 17-point deficit and a shower of boos from the Big Blue Nation. That first have gives no reason to believe the 22-year losing streak won't extend to 23 years after the second half.

Tennessee scores again

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tennessee just kicked a field goal to take a 17-7 lead over Kentucky. The Volunteers have dominated so far. Erik Ainge threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, compared to just 19 yards for UK's Andre Woodson. The Wildcats got on the board with a TD pass from Woodson to Steve Johnson, but the home faithful have booed the struggling offense on multiple occassions today. UT just kicked off out of bounds. This will be a big drive for Big Blue.

UK-Tennessee Pregame

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The atmosphere here seemed tempered by the cold temperatures. A sparse crowd was in the stadium for the pre-game Senior Day ceremonies. Kentucky is looking to snap a 22-game losing streak to Tennessee. Ending that streak would also end UT's hopes for a berth in the SEC title game. If Kentucky wins, Georgia will advance to next Saturday's conference championship in Atlanta. If Kentucky is to pull it out, quarterback Andre Woodson must play better than he did last week at Tennessee. The teams are coming out of the tunnels; here we go!

November 23, 2007

Tigers' title dreams gone

BATON ROUGE, La. - Following Friday's game, just outside the LSU locker room, senior quarterback Matt Flynn was seen crying on a coach's shoulder.

Such strong, public displays of emotion are few and far between in football.

But after the way Flynn ended his home finale at LSU, his outburst of emotion seems justified.

Continue reading "Tigers' title dreams gone" »

The answer is yes, but...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Brandon LaFell caught a touchdown pass, but Matt Flynn threw an interception on the two-point conversion and Arkansas has beaten No. 1 LSU, 50-48

Check back later for stats, analysis and quotes.

Arkansas scores ... can LSU respond?

BATON ROUGE, La. - Peyton Hillis just scored for the Razorbacks, and Felix Jones carried the ball in on the right side to make the two-point conversion.

Arkansas leads LSU, 50-42. LSU's offense is taking the field.

Hester in...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Jacob Hester put his head down and dashed into the endzone to tie the score at 42.

LSU and Arkansas are now heading into the third overtime. In NCAA football, beginning with the third overtime teams must attempt two-point conversions. Extra points are not allowed.

Arkansas has chosen to go on offense first for the third overtime. LSU has chosen to defend the north endzone.

Arkansas not playing around

BATON ROUGE, La. - It took Arkansas only two plays to get into the endzone in the second overtime.

Darren McFadden put the Hogs up 42-35 with a 9-yard run.

Hogs strike second

BATON ROUGE, La. - Arkansas' Peyton Hillis caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Casey Dick to tie LSU at 35.

Arkansas was hampered by two penalties on their first overtime possession but battled through to keep the game alive.

For the second overtime, LSU has chosen to go on defense first. The teams will play on the south end of Tiger Stadium, away from the LSU student section.

Tigers strike first

BATON ROUGE, La. - Matt Flynn ran into the locker room just after the end of regulation with some sort of equipment problem, but returned just as the Tigers went into the huddle to begin overtime.

Arkansas won the coin toss and deferred. LSU has the ball first to start overtime.

On the third play, Flynn ran 12 yards into the endzone for a touchdown.

Overtime in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - Arkansas just missed on a fourth down opportunity in LSU territory and gave the ball back to LSU with three seconds left in the game.

Matt Flynn's Hail Mary attempt was unsucessful, and the game is now headed to overtime.

Tigers score ... twice

BATON ROUGE, La. - Matt Flynn just dashed two yards into the endzone, but Arkansas called a timeout just before the ball was snapped.

On the next play, Flynn threw a touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd. The score is now tied at 28 with 57 seconds remaining in the game.

LSU driving...

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tigers have just broken into Arkansas territory with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Matt Flynn threw a pass to Early Doucet, which was deflected and landed in the hands of tight end Richard Dickson, who ran 35 yards down to the 8-yard line.

LSU now has third-and-goal from the 6-yard line. The Tigers have just taken their first timeout of the half with 1:10 left in the game.

Hogs ahead again

BATON ROUGE, La. - Things aren't looking good for the LSU Tigers.

Arkansas just took the lead with a 24-yard pass from Darren McFadden to Peyton Hillis.

The Tigers last drive looked promising but was stalled by two crucial penalties that took away a touchdown and a first down. They were forced to punt, and the Razorbacks went 72 yards on six plays on the ensuing possession.

There are less than five minutes remaining in the game.

Tigers, Hogs scoreless so far in fourth

BATON ROUGE, La. - After a huge increase in offensive output toward the end of the third quarter, points have been slow to come by for both LSU and Arkansas in the final period.

The teams are still tied at 21. LSU had the ball first-and-10 at its own 39-yard line with 9:08 left in the game.

After a running play, Matt Flynn threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hester, but the play was called back because the Tigers had an ineligible receiver downfield.

LSU has the ball second-and-8 on its own 41-yard line.

Back and Forth in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU has responded to an Arkansas touchdown yet again.

The No. 1 Tigers just drove 75 yards on 10 plays and tied the score at 21 with a 7-yard touchdown catch by Demetrius Byrd.

There are 2:22 left in the third quarter. The Tigers Stadium crowd is starting to come alive with cheers for the Tigers and jeers for the Razorbacks. The fans are finally realizing that a victory this afternoon may not that easy.

Offensive Explosion

BATON ROUGE, La. -Both LSU and Arkansas are making up for the lack of scoring done in the first half.

The Razorbacks just drove 83 yards on four plays to take the lead once again over No. 1 LSU, 21-14.

Fullback Peyton Hillis rushed 65 yards right through the middle of the Tigers' defense for the score.

Arkansas has outgained LSU on the ground, 255-92.

Tigers respond quickly

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU's offense woke up on its second drive of the second half.

After the Razorbacks scored, Chad Jones returned the Arkansas kickoff to the LSU 49-yard line, and the Tigers' offense did the rest, driving 51 yards on nine plays to tie the game at 14.

Jacob Hester scored the LSU touchdown with a 12-yard run, and Matt Flynn dashed to the right corner of the endzone for a two-point conversion with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Razorbacks score again

BATON ROUGE, La. - Darren McFadden just raced 73 yards down the left sideline for his second touchdown of the day, putting Arkansas up, 14-6.

The run put McFadden over the 100-yard mark for the game. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in nine of Arkansas' 12 games this season.

The Tigers' offense has looked slow and lethargic for most of the game. If they don't wake up soon, they can kiss their national championship dreams goodbye.

Not much scoring at half in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - It may be good defense, or it may be bad offense.

But whatever "it" is, it's preventing points from being scoring in this afternoon's LSU-Arkansas matchup.

The Razorbacks lead the No. 1 Tigers at halftime, 7-6, but the way the teams got to that score has been anything but exciting.

Continue reading "Not much scoring at half in Baton Rouge" »

Razorbacks jump ahead

BATON ROUGE, La. - Arkansas just marched 97 yards down the field to take a 7-6 advantage over LSU.

The Razorbacks needed only nine plays to score the first touchdown of the game. Darren McFadden was responsible for putting the points on the board with a 16-yard scoring run right up the middle of the LSU defense.

There are 7:25 left in the first half.

Offensive struggles in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - Neither LSU nor Arkansas has been able to put together anything on offense so far.

LSU has gotten relatively good field position throughout the game but has only mustered two field goals, one coming off a fumbled kickoff return by Darren McFadden.

The Arkansas rushing attack of McFadden and Felix Jones has looked average early on.

LSU leads 6-0 with 14:10 left in the first half.

David increases LSU lead

BATON ROUGE, La.- LSU hasn't gotten into the endzone yet, but points are points.

The Tigers' latest drive lasted 11 plays and went 41 yards. Colt David kicked a 49-yard field goal to put LSU up on Arkansas, 6-0.

The Razorbacks have run only three offensive plays so far in the first quarter.

McFadden fumbles again

BATON ROUGE, La. - After an LSU field goal put the Tigers up 3-0, Arkansas' Darren McFadden again fumbled the LSU kickoff.

This time, McFadden recovered his own fumble, the Razorbacks went three-and-out before punting to LSU.

11:47 left in the first quarter.

Early mistake costs Razorbacks

BATON ROUGE, La. - Darren McFadden fumbled the game's opening kickoff, and LSU recovered the ball on the Arkansas 25-yard line.

The Tigers picked up one first down on their opening possession, and Colt David kicked a 32-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 with 13:19 left in the first quarter.

Tigers' seniors honored before game

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU just honored its 25 seniors before the final home game of the season against Arkansas.

The Tigers' departing class is the winningest class in LSU history. It includes players such as starting quarterback Matt Flynn, starting running back Jacob Hester, starting strong safety Craig Steltz and starting All-American defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.

Both teams have taken the field. Arkansas will receive the ball to start the game.

Tigers, Razorbacks square off in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU's conference and national championship hopes have almost become somewhat of an afterthought here over the past week.

Dominating the headlines and fan conversation has been the possibility of LSU coach Les Miles leaving the Tigers after the season to replace the recently retired Lloyd Carr at his beloved alma mater, Michigan.

But it seems the distractions have not affected the Tigers' preparations this week, mainly because they know their home finale against Arkansas this afternoon could be one of the toughest contests of the season.

Continue reading "Tigers, Razorbacks square off in Baton Rouge" »

November 17, 2007

Top-ranked Tigers take care of Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. - As expected, LSU's Saturday afternoon contest with SEC rival Ole Miss was filled with excitement and unpredictability, even though the two teams' records may not have foreshadowed such events.

The Rebels (3-8, 0-7) hung close with the Tigers (10-1, 7-0) throughout the game, but it was LSU that came away from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a win, defeating Ole Miss 41-24.

Statistically, it could be argued that the Rebels should have pulled off the upset. Ole Miss had 25 first downs compared to LSU's 21, and the Rebels outgained the Tigers, 466-396.

Continue reading "Top-ranked Tigers take care of Ole Miss" »

Rebels down but not out

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss Rebels aren't going to just roll over and concede victory to LSU.

They just proved that. After falling behind 27-10, the Rebels responded to an LSU field goal by driving 70 yards on seven plays and scoring on a 38-yard run by quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

On the ensuing kickoff, Ole Miss was unsuccessful on an onside kick opportunity. LSU will start first-and-10 from the Rebels' 40-yard line.

Tigers slowly pulling away from Rebels

OXFORD, Miss. - Whatever chance Ole Miss had at upsetting No. 1 LSU appears to be slipping away.

The Tigers just drove 66 yards on 12 plays and ate up 5:25 off the clock.

Colt David finished the drive with a 43-yard field goal, giving LSU a 27-10 lead with 11:36 left in the game.

Crunch time for Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. - The Rebels enter the fourth quarter trailing the LSU Tigers, 24-10.

LSU began the quarter on the Ole Miss 41-yard line. Flynn completed an 11-yard pass to Brandon LaFell, and now the Tigers have a first-and-10 at the Ole Miss 30.

David kicks lead back to 14

OXFORD, Miss. - Colt David just kicked a 48-yard field goal and extended LSU's lead to 24-10 with a little less than five minutes left in the third quarter.

The kick was the culmination of a 7-play, 31-yard drive.

Baby steps for Rebels

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss cut LSU's lead to 11 with a Joshua Shene 23-yard field goal.

The Rebels drive lasted nine plays and covered 68 yards in 3:19.

With 6:51 left in the third quarter, the Tigers still lead Ole Miss, 21-10.

LSU comes out sharp in second half

OXFORD, Miss. - Once again, LSU has opened the half with a touchdown drive on their first possession.

The first time came on a 98-yard march down the field in the first quarter.

The Tigers got the ball first to start the second half and drove 54 yards on 10 plays to take a 21-7 lead against Ole Miss.

Keiland Williams scored his sixth rushing touchdown of the season on the drive.

LSU-Ole Miss halftime update

OXFORD, Miss. - If the LSU offense isn't on the field, then it'll be difficult for them to put points on the scoreboard.

That appears to be the strategy Ole Miss used in the second quarter. After an LSU punt, the Rebels got the ball with 8:05 on the clock and proceeded to run 7:40 off.

The Rebels' drive last 12 plays and went 56 yards but ended on a sour note when Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams threw an interception to LSU safety Craig Steltz in the endzone.

Continue reading "LSU-Ole Miss halftime update" »

Penalties slow offenses

OXFORD, Miss. - Not much has happened here in the second quarter.

After a first quarter filled with long drives and spectacular special teams teams, things seem relatively quiet now.

Penalties have helped stall drives by both squads before those drives really even got started, and the score remains 14-7 LSU with 10:15 left in the first half.

Tigers like number 98

OXFORD, Miss. - LSU drove 98 yards on its opening drive.

And now, after Ole Miss responded with a punt return touchdown, LSU wide receiver Trindon Holliday returned the Rebels' kickoff 98 yards for a score of his own.

LSU leads, 14-7, with 3:04 remaining in the first quarter.

Rebels respond

OXFORD, Miss. - After starting a drive on their own 41-yard line, Ole Miss drove down to the LSU 2-yard line before BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumbled the football.

The Tigers recovered on their own 1-yard line, but went three and out on the ensuing drive.

LSU punted to Marshay Green, who returned the punt 44 yards for a touchdown.

With 3:18 left in the first quarter, LSU and Ole Miss are tied at 7.

Tigers up on Rebels, 7-0

OXFORD, Miss. - Starting inside your own 5-yard line? No big deal for LSU.

On their opening drive, the Tigers drove 98 yards on 11 plays to take a quick 7-0 lead against Ole Miss.

Quarterback Matt Flynn scored the touchdown on a 5-yard run.

Flynn also completed both of his pass attempts on the drive.

Rebels not backing down yet

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss received the opening kickoff and although the Rebels produced no points, they showed that they are not yet intimidated by the Tigers.

The Rebels drove into LSU territory on the first drive of the game. They were forced to punt and downed the ball at the LSU 2-yard line.

The Tigers now have the ball on their own 2 to start their first drive of the game with 12:02 left in the first quarter.

Tigers, Rebels take the field for warmups

OXFORD, Miss. - Both LSU and Ole Miss have taken the field for pregame drills.

The crowd is majority Rebels' fans, but there is a large scattering of LSU faithful in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The northeast and west sections of the stadium are mostly LSU fans with a few purple and gold-clad spectators spread among the rest of the crowd.

Kickoff is about 40 minutes away. Skies are cloudy, and the temperature is 66 degrees.

Top-ranked Tigers set to battle Rebels

OXFORD, Miss. - Based solely on statistics and records, the No. 1 LSU Tigers should have a pretty easy game this afternoon against Southeastern Conference foe Ole Miss.

The Tigers rank tops in the conference in both total offense and total defense, while the Rebels are ranked No. 9 and No. 12, respectively.

LSU (9-1, 5-1) has already clinched the SEC West title. Ole Miss (3-7, 0-6) is still looking for its first conference win.

Continue reading "Top-ranked Tigers set to battle Rebels" »

November 04, 2007

So long from T-Town

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Well that was a close one.

Continue reading "So long from T-Town" »

November 03, 2007

Before I go to the field

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Tied ball game here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Continue reading "Before I go to the field" »

Bama keeps it up

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - It took Alabama 3:07 to go 80 yards and score again to put it at 27-17, Alabama.

Continue reading "Bama keeps it up" »

Matt Flynn

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The LSU quarterback is clearly having a tough game.

Continue reading "Matt Flynn" »

Unreal

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Just when you think Nick Saban appears to be beaten, he morphs into "Supercoach".

Continue reading "Unreal" »

Oh my...

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Looks like LSU QB Matt Flynn has a case of the pick offs.

Continue reading "Oh my..." »

What a momentum shift

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A long touchdown by Alabama, then an interception on the next play.

Continue reading "What a momentum shift" »

Shenanigans?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama hasn't been dominated like this all season long.

Continue reading "Shenanigans?" »

Spoke too soon

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Well, just when I talk about Glenn Dorsey being healthy, he goes out and gets hurt.

Continue reading "Spoke too soon" »

Dorsey is playing

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Well, Glenn Dorsey is indeed lined up on the LSU defensive line.

Continue reading "Dorsey is playing" »

Saban Bowl?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Never during my time covering the Tide has the opposing team outnumbered Alabama fans in Tuscaloosa.

Continue reading "Saban Bowl?" »

October 27, 2007

Dawgs down Gators

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It took three years, but Mark Richt finally found the formula for beating Urban Meyer.

Continue reading "Dawgs down Gators" »

Florida answers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida is still in it.

Tim Tebow just ran in from three yards out, and even though the Gators missed a two-point conversion attempt, they cut the lead to 35-30 with 9:40 left.

Now we'll have to see if the Gators can finally stop Georgia's offense. The odds are not in Florida's favor.

Georgia takes control

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The second half has not started well for the Gators.

Georgia opened the third quarter with a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Brandon Southerland to go up 28-17.

On Florida's first play of its ensuing drive, Percy Harvin had to be helped off the field with an apparent arm injury. He looks to be fine on the sideline, however and should return.

Georgia leads at end of wild half

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just about everybody, from players to fans to referees, especially referees, needed this 20-minute break.

Continue reading "Georgia leads at end of wild half" »

What in the name of Wondy Pierre-Louis?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Things are getting pretty crazy here, and it's only 4:30.

Matthew Stafford has two touchdowns on two passes, but one of them just went to Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, who returned an interception 25 yards for a score.

Of course, a personal foul penalty was called on Pierre-Louis for his acrobatic flip into the end zone.

The game is tied at 14-14 early in the second quarter.

Penalties, scores galore

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Georgia now leads 14-7 after an 84-yard bomb from Matthew Stafford to Mohamed Massaquoi, a career-long for both players.

There have also been too many penalties to count - Georgia has kicked off once from its 15-yard line and once from its 7.5-yard line and just racked up two personal foul face mask penalties on one play.

Florida just stalled on its drive and is ready to punt as the first quarter came to end.

Georgia a little excited

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Did I just see that?

Georgia just ran in for a touchdown, and the entire team came on to the field to celebrate - the entire team - as if it was a walk-off win instead of a first-quarter score.

It was like something out of "The Replacements."

It dumbfounded Florida coach Urban Meyer, who quickly got his team together to get pumped up again before the ensuing kickoff.

Georgia, which ran nine straight times on its opening drive, leads 7-0 with 6 minutes left in the first quarter.

Party Time in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Everybody is partying now, but half will be drinking away their sorrows five hours from now.

Continue reading "Party Time in Jacksonville" »

October 21, 2007

wave of hand does wonders in LSU victory

BATON ROUGE, La. - With one wave his hand to the press box, LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd put the fate of the Tigers' season on his shoulders.

In the final minutes of LSU's contest with Auburn, Byrd wanted to run a go route to the endzone. After Jacob Hester's 10-yard run on the final drive, Byrd waved his hand toward the sky, instructing offensive coordinator Gary Crowton to call the play.

Continue reading "wave of hand does wonders in LSU victory" »

LSU wins, 30-24

BATON ROUGE, La. - Wide receiver Demetrius Byrd caught a touchdown pass with one second left to give LSU a 30-24 victory.

Check back later for stats, analysis and comments from coaches and players.

Auburn back on top, 24-23

BATON ROUGE, La. - Rodgeriqus Smith just caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Cox to give Auburn a 24-23 advantage with 3:21 left in the game.

Smith beat LSU cornerback Chevis Jackson on the play. Jackson went for the interception, and the pass was thrown perfectly over his fingertips.

LSU now has the ball, first-and-10 on its own 42-yard line.

Purple and Gold Tigers stretch lead to six

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU has looked like a completely different football team in the second half.

Colt David just connected on his third field goal of the night to give LSU a 23-17 lead against SEC rival Auburn.

LSU quarterback Matt Flynn is having a career night. So far, he has completed 20 of his 31 passes for 295 yards.

October 20, 2007

LSU takes lead in fourth quarter

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU has taken its first lead of the game on a 5-yard reception by Jacob Hester.

The play was under official review for a few minutes after the initial call on the field. Officials decided that the play would stand as initially called.

The Tigers now lead Auburn, 20-17, with 12:55 left in the game.

LSU's defense has just taken the field, and All-American Glenn Dorsey is still on the sidelines.

Gators' win shakes up standings

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Nobody stormed the field at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night, but the result still shook the college football landscape and left lasting ramifications.

Continue reading "Gators' win shakes up standings" »

Dorsey hurt again ... LSU cuts lead

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was injured for the second time in the game on a second down play by Auburn.

Dorsey injured his right leg and limped off the field on his own power.

Following Auburn's drive, the injury seemed to spark the Tigers' offense as Matt Flynn connected with Demetrius Byrd for a 58-yard gain that led to another LSU field goal.

With 2:03 left in the third quarter, Auburn leads LSU, 17-13.

Drops hurting home team

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU wide receivers have dropped three passes in the third quarter, including one that hit Brandon LaFell in the numbers and was intercepted by Patrick Lee.

LSU has five dropped passes so far in the game.

Auburn has the ball on LSU's 36-yard line with 5:39 left in the third quarter.

LSU cuts lead to 7 points

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU took the opening drive of the second half 56 yards and converted a 29-yard field goal to cut Auburn's lead to 17-10.

The big play of the drive was a 33-yard pass into three defenders from Matt Flynn to Early Doucet.

It was Doucet's second catch of the night. His first went for no gain.

LSU trails at half, 17-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU could very well be watching its national title hopes taken away.

LSU trails Auburn at home, 17-7, at halftime.

LSU has been plagued by turnovers and dropped passes in the first half. Quarterback Matt Flynn completed his first six passes, but finished the half 9-of-12.

Continue reading "LSU trails at half, 17-7" »

field goal gives Auburn 17-7 advantage

BATON ROUGE, La. - Auburn's offense wasn't supposed to be this potent.

The Tigers just drove 90 yards on 12 plays and converted a 22-yard field goal to increase their lead over LSU to 17-7 with less than two minutes left in the first half.

Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox is 11-of-15 for 115 yards and has led his team to 11 first downs.

Auburn has not committed a penalty in the first half.

Physical nature in full force as Auburn takes lead

BATON ROUGE, La. - The term "physical" might be an understatement for what's going on here in Baton Rouge.

Three players have already been shaken up less than 25 minutes into the game.

For LSU, Glenn Dorsey and linebacker Darry Beckwith both left the game for a short time with minor injuries.

For Auburn, cornerback Patrick Lee was shaken up but soon returned.

LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux just fumbled in LSU territory. Auburn cornerback Jerraud Powers returned the ball to the 3-yard line before being tackled by LSU wide receiver Trindon Holliday.

On the third play after the turnover, running back Carl Stewart dove in from the 1-yard line to give Auburn a 14-7 lead with 9:34 left in the first half.

LSU uses big plays to tie score

BATON ROUGE, La. - With the use of two big plays, LSU quickly put itself back into the game.

A 13-yard catch by Brandon LaFell followed by a 46-yard touchdown from Keiland Williams tied the score at 7.

LSU's drive lasted four plays and covered 62 yards.

Dorsey misses second drive

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU failed to score on its first drive of the game, and Auburn went three and out on its second drive.

LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey missed Auburn's second drive and was taken to the locker room after Auburn jumped to a 7-0 lead.

Dorsey just returned back to the sidelines as LSU prepares for its second possession of the game.

Auburn jumps out to 7-0 lead

BATON ROUGE, La. - It doesn't seem like the Tiger Stadium atmosphere is affecting the Auburn Tigers.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards on 11 plays to take a quick 7-0 lead over LSU five minutes into the game.

LSU All-American defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was shaken up on the sixth play. It appeared to be a minor cramp, but Dorsey missed the remainder of Auburn's scoring drive.

Ready for some football

BATON ROUGE, La. - The excitement is building here in Tiger Stadium as fans prepare for an SEC battle between No. 4 LSU and No. 17 Auburn.

The LSU marching band has just completed its pregame ritual and both teams have taken the field.

There are five minutes remaining until kickoff.

It was just announced that LSU wide receiver Early Doucet will start tonight.

It's Tigers vs. Tigers tonight in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - Fans who enjoy high-powered offense and tons of points probably shouldn't look for tonight's LSU-Auburn matchup to give them what they need.

Historically, the yearly contest between these two teams is one of the most physical in the Southeastern Conference.

Continue reading "It's Tigers vs. Tigers tonight in Baton Rouge" »

Just score, baby

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Forget trying to run out the clock. The Florida Gators decided to run up the score instead.

Florida all but clinched a win over Kentucky has Tim Tebow ran in from 2 yards out with 1:33 remaining in the game, giving the Gators a 45-31 lead.

On the previous play, instead of going conservative, Tebow threw deep to Percy Harvin for a back breaking 40-yard gain.

Can Florida run the clock out?

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky has regrouped to cut the lead down to 38-31, but will Andre' Woodson get a chance to complete his comeback?

The Gators just got the ball back with 3:35 remaining in the game after Dicky Lyons Jr. caught his third touchdown pass of the game, a 7-yard score.

It will all come down to Woodson's UF counterpart, Tim Tebow, who likely will be given every opportunity to run the clock out on the Gators' current possession.

Kentucky has two timeouts left.

Gators still up after three quarters

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Florida has a 7-point lead and the ball near midfield with one quarter left.

Now we will find out if the Gators can win a game in the fourth quarter. They were not able to do so in their last two games against LSU and Auburn.

Andre' Woodson and Kentucky seem to be back on track on the offensive end, so Tim Tebow cannot let up.

Florida extends lead

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Florida and Kentucky are exchanging scores in the third quarter.

Continue reading "Florida extends lead" »

The jump pass ... again

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After Tim Tebow's sneak failed to do the job, offensive coordinator Dan Mullen turned to the only other sure-fire goal line play in his playbook - the jump pass.

Continue reading "The jump pass ... again" »

Florida picks up the intensity

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Let the scoring begin.

Florida just took a 14-7 lead as Louis Murphy beat double coverage for a 66-yard touchdown catch from Tim Tebow with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.

Continue reading "Florida picks up the intensity" »

Another top-10 shakeup

COLUMBIA, S.C.-- Is this a surprise? It shouldn't be-- not if you've followed college football this season. I don't think many in Columbia considered the Gamecocks a top 10 team. A close call against UNC and now a loss to Vanderbilt has confirmed it.

Continue reading "Another top-10 shakeup" »

Kentucky strikes first

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Andre' Woodson just directed a 9-play, 78-yard drive culminating in a 33-yard deep route to Dicky Lyons Jr. to put Kentucky up 7-0 over the Florida Gators.

The Gators have an obvious weakness at nickel cornerback, where Jacques Rickerson was beat badly by Lyons for the score.

Florida went three-and-out on its first drive.

Preparing for a shootout

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The scoreboards seem to be working at Commonwealth Stadium, and that's a very good thing.

Continue reading "Preparing for a shootout" »

Vandy still looking good

Start of third quarter: Vandy 17 South Carolina 6

COLUMBIA, S.C.-- After two quarters, the Commodores are still in command.

A look at the halftime stats, though, show that the two early Gamecocks turnovers were the only real differnce. But while the 80,000 fans wait for a comeback, Steve Spurrier's offense continues to sputter.

Continue reading "Vandy still looking good" »

Not just a feeling anymore

Start of second quarter: Vanderbilt 17 South Carolina 0

You couldn't ask for a better start if you're a Vandy fan. You couldn't ask for worse if you're a Gamecock.

South Carolina turned the ball over twice in its first five offensive plays, and the Commodores turned it into 10 quick points. The Williams-Brice crowd, which appears close to capacity despite the early start, was eerily quiet after the Commodores scored on a 22-yard pass from Mackenzi Adams to George Smith.

Continue reading "Not just a feeling anymore" »

There's that feeling

COLUMBIA, S.C.-- There's a distinct smell to Williams-Brice Stadium, and it's not the elephant ears from the state fair across the street.

It's the possibility of an upset.

South Carolina struggled in the second half of a 21-15 win against unranked UNC last week. Vanderbilt pushed Georgia to the brink before losing on a last-second field goal.

It would stand to reason, then, that the Gamecocks would be wary. South Carolina is ranked No. 6 in the initial BCS rankings, its highest BCS ranking ever. It will be interesting to see how well coach Steve Spurrier has prepared his team, especially with a marquee matchup at Tennessee looming.

Continue reading "There's that feeling" »

October 13, 2007

UK-LSU Wrap-up

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Another No. 1 has fallen in a season full of No. 1 teams falling. Today, it was LSU's turn. The Tigers lost 43-37 to Kentucky in triple overtime at Commonwealth Stadium. The game ended with UK linebacker Braxton Kelley stoned LSU running back Charles Scott on fourth-and-two. Kelley said the game - and this season - have proved the parity in college football.
"Football is football," Kelley said. "Each player has a drive to make plays. All around the nation right now, people are doing that, and they continue to make upsets. People are doing that little extra and having that they can take that one extra step and make that big play that can be the game-changer."
Saturday night, Kelley took that one extra step, plugged the hole, made the big play and changed this season.

Up next:
UK - v. Florida
LSU v. Auburn

Kentucky wins

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky beats LSU 43-37 in triple OT. It's Kentucky's first win over a No. 1-ranked team since 1964. Braxton Kelley stopped Charles Scott on the game's final play, and the fans came rushing onto the field. More after quotes.

Triple OT

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After three straight incomplete passes by Andre Woodson, UK kicker Lones Seiber made a 43-yard field goal to send the game to a third overtime. This is the longest UK game since the infamous 7OT game against Arkansas in 2002.

It was long enough...

LEXINGTON, Ky. - ...but it was wide left. After initially leaving his offense on the field, LSU coach Les Miles sent out kicker Colt David to try a 57-yard field goal on the final play of regulation. David, whose career long was a 45-yarder, had enough leg on the kick, but it sailed wide left. That means overtime at Commonwealth Stadium. What a game!

New ballgame in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. - LSU's defense held UK to another field goal attempt in the red zone, but Lones Seiber knocked it through for the Cats. UK has tied the game at 27 with four minutes left. Your play, Matt Flynn.

There's that big play

LEXINGTON, Ky. - UK's Trevard Lindley just made a leaping interception of an underthrown Matt Flynn pass, and UK has the ball at its own 37-yard line with seven minutes left. As the commercial break continues, Woodson waits with hands on hips at the front of the UK huddle, preparing to call the first play of this pivotal drive.

It gets a little tighter

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lones Seiber just connected on a 33-yard field goal to bring Kentucky within three. It's 27-24 LSU with 7:57 left. LSU is one drive away from salting this away and escaping a second consecutive tough league tilt. UK is one big defensive play away from inching closer to its first win over a top-ranked team in 43 years.

Gamecocks Hold On

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Another Missed Opportunity

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- UNC just dropped another touchdown. This time the culprit was Greg Little, on a crucial fourth down from the South Carolina 11. T.J. Yates lofted a lovely touch pass to the corner but Little was too late finding the ball over his shoulder and couldn't reel in the catch. UNC has now dropped two balls that could've been touchdowns. Inexcusable for a team looking for an upset.

End of Third Quarter: LSU 27, UK 21

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After LSU's offense got a first down on the drive's first play, UK has forced a three-and-out (well, actually a four-and-out). UK will have the ball down six after LSU punts on the first play of the fourth quarter. The lead - and perhaps the game - is there for Andre Woodson's taking.

Maybe Too Much

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Offensive coordinator John Shoop turned away from the Yates-to-Nicks tandem to once again reach into his bag of tricks, and this time he got burned. On the USC 25, Yates took the snap and flipped to Joe Dailey, the one time quarterback at Nebraska. Dailey promptly threw a pick to Emanuel Cook who returned it to midfield. Of course, Chris Smelley turned around and threw an interception of his own and UNC is now back in the red zone. Seemingly every play now warrants an update. Halfway through the fourth, and UNC is threatening to draw within a score.

Showing Some Guts

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- With fourth and two on their own 36, the Tar Heels showed little hesitation in going for it and keeping the pressure on the Gamecocks. Coach Butch Davis' gamble paid off, with T.J. Yates hooking up with Hakim Nicks for a 27-yard gain -- UNC's longest play from scrimmage all game. North Carolina now deep in USC territory. The Ole Ball Coach might be getting nervous.

Not dead yet in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After ten straight LSU points put UK's collective backs against the wall, the Cats responded emphatically. A seven-play, 82-yard touchdown drive (the scoring play was an eight-yard pass from Woodson to tight end Jacob Tamme) has pulled UK to within six at 27-21 with 1:13 left in the third quarter. Hope remains alive in Lexington.

Of note: We haven't seen either of UK's banged-up running backs, Rafael Little and Alfonso Smith. Little is dressed on the sideline, but hasn't seen any action. Looks like it will be Dixon and Locke the rest of the way. UK trails the turnover battle 2-0. Cats could use one on this LSU drive as the Commonwealth Stadium sell-out crowd is on its feet.

Hold Off The Celebration

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Just when it appeared that South Carolina was going to cuirse along to a 21-3 victory, the Tar Heels showed they're going to make the Gamecocks earn it. In spite of a sprained ankle, Hakim Nicks returned to the game and made a catch on his first play back. But it was Greg Little who found the end zone in the first minute of the final quarter. On third and 10, Little caught a short pass over the middle, made one man miss and then dragged another Gamecock as he dove into the end zone. But the Tar Heels botched the snap on the PAT, so USC now leads 21-9. Three-and-out for South Carolina (including two sacks and a delay of game penalty). Student section going bonkers. Don't switch to the other USC game just yet...

Coming Out of the Half

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Halftime in Lexington: LSU 17, UK 14

LEXINGTON, Ky. - All things considered, Rich Brooks probably doesn't feel so bad to be down three at halftime. LSU controlled the ball for much of the second quarter, and capitalized on an Andre Woodson interception midway through the frame. The Tigers took a 17-7 lead with less than three minutes left in the half, but Woodson led a quick response from UK. But, you probably know that if you were watching on CBS.

Here's what each team needs to do in the second half:

LSU should continue to try and wear down the UK defense. Halftime came at a good time for the Cats, because they're likely gassed after spending the majority of the second quarter on the field. Look for the Tigers to keep pounding Charles Scott, and we may see more of Ryan Perrilloux in the second half to give the Tigers a speedier threat at quarterback. Scott softening up the interior of the defense could open things up for lightning-quick Trindon Holliday out of the backfield.

UK must force a turnover (or two or three). Not only will the defense need a few of them to slow down the LSU offense, but the UK offense could use a couple of short fields to try and build a lead. LSU has dominated opponents in the second half this season, and UK must make some big plays on both sides of the ball if it wants to pull the shocker.

USC 21, UNC 3

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Just when it appeared the defenses were settling in, South Carolina drove for a touchdown to give the Gamecocks a 21-3 advantage as the game heads into halftime. Punt returner Captain Munnerlyn evaded a couple tackles and sped to the outside to break off a 38-yard return to put USC in Tar Heel territory. USC made the drive interesting, converting a fourth-and-inches by just the nose of the ball, but Chris Smelley threw his third touchdown of the half. With the Gamecock defense holding strong, it might be an insurmountable halftime lead for the seventh-ranked team.

LSU 10, UK 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. - LSU kicker Colt David just made a 31-yard field goal to put the Tigers ahead 10-7 with 5:42 left in the first half. In the press box, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said, "We're trying. We're trying." The Cats could use a touchdown here before the end of the half.

Off the Finger Tips

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No sooner do I say the Tar Heels let an opportunity slip through their fingers does wide receiver Brandon Tate drop a potential touchdown. Tate, whose blazing speed makes him a game-breaker mainly on special teams, split the USC secondary and was wide open, but couldn't reel in a deep bomb from T.J. Yates. The Tar Heels were forced to punt, but they kept the pressure on USC, falling on a fumble in their red zone. But the Tar Heels were unable to capitalize, first committing a holding penalty and then throwing a gift-wrapped interception to safety Darian Stewart on third down. UNC needed to come away with points to cut into the 11-point deficit, instead the Gamecocks now have the momentum.

Signs of Life from Tar Heel Defense

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Just when it looked like the Tar Heels had no answers for the Gamecock attack, the defense came though with a big stop. With USC marching into Tar Heel territory, freshman tackle Marvin Austin burst through the line, forcing Chris Smelley into an intentional grounding penalty. On the next play, defensive end E.J. Wilson jumped the screen but dropped a gimme INT that wwould've left him with nothing but open field ahead. A golden opportunity literally slips through the Tar Heels' fingers.

UK 7, LSU 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. - T.C. Drake picked a nice time for his first career reception. The UK sophomore tight end grabbed a tipped Andre Woodson pass in the end zone to give UK the lead with 2:45 to go in the first quarter. LSU, however, has responded. Running back Charles Scott just ran for 55 yard run on the final play of the quarter to give the Tigers the ball first-and-goal at the 1. And as I type that, Scott just scored on the first play of the second quarter.

Just over one quarter in the books, and we're all square in Lexington.

The Stats Lie

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Take a quick glance at the stat sheet and they wouldn't neccessarily bear out a 14-0 South Carolina advantage after one quarter. UNC holds a 7-6 advantage on first downs and also held the ball more than twice as long as the Gamecocks, possessing the ball for 10:18. The Gamecocks are by reputation a quick-starting team, but their defense might start wearing down if these early trends continue.

Record Snapped

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Senior placekicker Connor Barth just missed wide left on a 49-yard field goal attempt, ending a school-record streak of 19 straight made field goals. Barth hadn't missed since the 2005 season.

Continue reading "Record Snapped" »

A Sign of Things To Come?

It was an inauspicious start for North Carolina as its first two plays went for negative yards and was greeted each time with an uproar of applause. The Tar Heel defense did manage to match with a 3-and-out of its own. The home crowd responded with its own defeaning cheers, maybe galvanized to match the Gamecock supporters. There seems little doubt both crowds will make their presence felt throughout. The real question is now, when will the Tar Heels manage an offensive play for positive yards? So far they're 0 for 6.

Fans' blood already boiling

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The game is still a few minutes from starting, but the animosity between fan bases is already high. The heavy throng of Tigers' fans chanted Geaux Tigers! during the UK band's playing of "My Old Kentucky Home," the de facto state song. That prompted boos and jeers from UK fans, and was followed by an especially loud applause at the end of the song.

The officials are on the field, and the starting lineups will soon be announced. We'll update the blog after each quarter, and with any major plays or news. Still no word on the status of UK starting running back Rafael Little. UK coach Rich Brooks said Thursday that Little was "very questionable" with a thigh bruise. Brooks called Little a game-time decision.

Speaking of game-time...

Border Rivalry Revived

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As North Carolina and South Carolina renew a border rivalry that had laid dormant for 16 years one of the large questions that looms is just how significant a home-field advantage the Tar Heels will hold. UNC (2-4) will need every edge possible if it hopes to spring an upset on the seventh-ranked Gamecocks (5-1) but it remains to be seen how friendly the Kenan Stadium crowd will be today.

Continue reading "Border Rivalry Revived" »

It's a beautiful day for a miracle...

LEXINGTON, Ky. - That seemed to be the sentiment among Kentucky fans as I headed into the stadium today, as the Wildcats attempt their first win over a top-ranked foe since 1964. If not for a miracle, it's at least a beautiful day for football. It's about 70 degrees here and the sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky.

The majority of the crowd must already be here and parked and tailgaiting, because my commute to the stadium was far quicker than usual. I expected just the opposite with this game sold out and this city fired up. Another thing I've noticed - lots of purple and gold around town. Quite a few LSU supporters were outside tailgating as I walked in. More impressively, hundreds of LSU supporters were out at Keeneland yesterday. They know there's not much better in this town than hitting the beautiful horse track on Friday and then watching the nation's top game of the day on a perfect Saturday afternoon.

October 07, 2007

LSU-Florida: The party is going on in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - That big, giant tremor you just felt was another jolt to the national championship picture.

The LSU Tigers fought, scratched, huffed, grunted, stuffed and converted their way to an exhausting 28-24 win over No. 9 Florida tonight in Tiger Stadium setting off a celebration that could be felt from La. to L.A.

LSUwins.jpg
(LSU players celebrate the win over Florida in front of the student section)

Coupled with USC's absolutely inexcusable loss to a weakened Stanford team, the Tigers will most assuredly gobble up the remaining first place votes in all of the polls this week.

This was a game of attrition. Florida's second half collapse and LSU's dogged determination.

Continue reading "LSU-Florida: The party is going on in Baton Rouge" »

October 06, 2007

LSU-Florida: Tigers don't miss this opportunity, cut it to three.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

They had to work for it, but LSU gets six points. And the extra point

This time, the Tigers don't screw around with missed field goals. After Tim Tebow rifled the ball off Percy Harvin's helmet and the Tigers intercepted, LSU went the remaining 27 yards to put this game back into reach at 24-21.

Matt Flynn hit Demetrius Boyd with a fourth-down TD pass to cap the drive. Had that ball not been caught, it could've been curtains for the Tigers. But instead, the purple and gold are given new life.

The drive goes 27 yard, 9 plays, 1:50. There is now 10:15 left in the game and Tebow has to be kicking himself for not using any touch on that intercepted pass. This should be a fun ending. 92,910 are in attendance, they just announced.

LSU-Florida: Don't think I've ever heard Tiger Stadium THIS quiet.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

Okay, I spoke way too quickly after they announced that USC-Stanford score.

Florida just showed who the champions are with that quick 5-play drive. This place is quiet again... except for the fans in blue and orange.

75 yards, 5 plays, with a 37 yard pass from Tim Tebow to Cornelius Ingram. And I'm not sure if I've EVER seen a receiver more wide open since Irving Fryer dropped that would-be touchdown in the Orange Bowl against Miami (but he had money on that game.).

LSU-Florida: Possibly the loudest I've heard an LSU crowd

BATON ROUGE, La.-

LSU scores a touchdown. USC loses. And now the Cajuns are goin' freakin' craaaa-zaaaaay!

I've been going to LSU games since 1978 and this may be as loud as I've ever heard it. All 92,000+ are abusing their lungs right now.

LSU-Florida: If I could be two places at once, I'd be here and at the Coliseum in L.A.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

LSU just put together their best drive of the night, going 70 yards on 15 plays with a Keiland Williams touchdown to make this a ball game again. Matt Flynn pulled off another great fake field goal to make a first down and keep the drive alive. And that pass interference on the Gators was really bad. Florida still leads 17-14, but it's getting hairy now with the crowd back into it.

However, the buzz in the press box is all about that unbelievable Stanford-USC ending. Did THAT really happen? My gawd! LSU just announced the score and the crowd went nuts.

Tigers kept the ball for 8:12.

LSU-Florida: Tebow to teammates, "We STILL own this #!@%in' place!"

BATON ROUGE, La.-

It's now 17-7 Florida ahead at the half. I've been able to obtain an on-field arm band and snapped this pic of Tim Tebow immediately after he scored the last touchdown before the half. He was getting in the face of his offensive teammates and yelled the above demand to them.

TebowBench.jpg

LSU actually holds an advantage of 177 to 172 yards in total offense. But obviously, dumb mistakes are hurting the Tigers again, including an interception, five penalties (Gators have none) and Brandon LaFell has dropped a few passes that would've helped their cause.

Tebow, to the surprise of exactly no one, leads the Gators with 44 yards rushing and capable 7-of-13 passing for 89 yards.

Matt Flynn is 8-of-15 for 102 yards so far. But has been a bit on the shaky side with some pressure. He also seems to be "locked in" on one receiver every time he drops back. Trindon Holliday has only touched the ball four times on offense and has never been able to get "in space" as those awful announcers like to say.

LSU-Florida: Tigers have some roar. Pull within 3.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

Like those 'Lectric Shave ads from the 70s, LSU says "Thanks, I needed that." Only they didn't get a slap of after shave, they gave a slap to the Florida defense, going 80 yards in 16 plays in 7:37. Ryan Perrilloux goes the final yard on another option for the TD.

It's now Florida 10, LSU 7. 6:08 left in the half.

By the way, it's never a bad time to include a picture of CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson. She rocks man.
TracyWolfson.jpg

LSU-Florida: Hmmm. LSU defense being exposed.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

Bo Pelini, your pedigree as a Defensive Coordinator is being questioned. Florida now up 10-0 at 13:45 of the 2nd quarter.

Tim Tebow continues to make a living over the middle against the Tiger defense, using Harvin and Co. on quick slants where they are finding an open lane. He also showed how plucky he was with that dink touchdown to Kehstan Moore. (By the way, don't you hate the word "plucky"?)

77 yards on 12 plays, 7:03... and a whole lot of authority for Florida right now.

LSU-Florida: Uh-oh, you can sense the crowd wants Perrilloux

BATON ROUGE, La.-

So Matt Flynn has made a couple of poor throws, including a pass behind the receiver that turned into a pick. And Ryan Perrilloux has made some nice runs on some option plays, looking J.C. Watts-like.

After Flynn's last incompletion you could hear the crowd moan with disapproval. Although he did make a nice throw to LaFell on an inside screen for a first down. LaFell then reprised his role from the Tulane game by dropping yet another pass that would've been a first down.

Some boo-birds are out for LSU? Geez people, get real, will ya'?

LSU-Florida: I give the Gators a B grade on that drive

BATON ROUGE, La.

Florida decided to surprise LSU with something they might not have expected, the short passing game. Tebow threw a couple of 8-12 yard passes befor the Gators were held to an opening drive field goal.

47 yards, 10 plays, 3:41
31 yard field goal by Jay Ijjas.

LSU, it's your turn now.

And is that USC-Stanford score right? 9-0 at the half? The Tiger Stadium P.A. should announce that score so the Tiger fans get even more into a frenzy.

LSU-Florida: Mike makes his appearance, kick off soon

And might I add, this stadium is LOUD as a MOTHER!

Typical LSU nighttime crowd. Drunken madness!

MikeTiger.jpg
The newest Mike The Tiger made his first appearance in the stadium tonight. Cute cheerleaders too. Hi girls!

LSU-Florida: Jambalaya, beer, Cowboy Mouth. The pre-game is ON in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La.-

No matter where you go around the LSU campus, you're within an antacids throw of a whole lot of wicked food, free booze and drunken cajuns willing to share their legendary hospitality.

It also helps that the New Orleans country-punk band Cowboy Mouth has helped whip the crowd into a frenzy with a quick gig in front of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

CowboyMouth.jpg
(Drummer Fred LeBlanc and the fetching Regina Zernay on bass for Cowboy Mouth)

The band is led by drummer Fred LeBlanc, who formerly banged the skins for Dash Riprock in the 80s and 90s. The were rockin' good, including a unique version of "Will you be my girl."

Meanwhile, the LSU band just entered Tiger Stadium after marching down Victory Hill through the huge throngs of LSU fans. If this little exhibition is any indication, tonight's crowd is going to be freakin' nuts! It's going to make a Jimi Hendrix concert sound like prayer service.

Continue reading "LSU-Florida: Jambalaya, beer, Cowboy Mouth. The pre-game is ON in Baton Rouge" »

Tennessee gets big one over Georgia

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The Tennessee Volunteers upset the No. 11 Georgia Buldogs 35-14 Saturday night and put themselves right back in the SEC East mix.

Continue reading "Tennessee gets big one over Georgia" »

Touchdown hat trick for UT's Foster

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee running back Arian Foster capped off Tennessee's longest scoring drive of the day with his third touchdown to put the Vols ahead 35-7.

Continue reading "Touchdown hat trick for UT's Foster" »

Georgia gets on the board

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The Georgia Bulldogs put together their first scoring drive of the game cutting the Tennessee lead to 28-7 with 9:39 in the third quarter.

Continue reading "Georgia gets on the board" »

Georgia running back out for game

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Georiga running back Thomas Brown has an injured right shoulder and will be out for the rest of the game against Tennessee. Brown led the Bulldogs in rushing in the first half with 20 yards.

With 10:27 in the third quarter Georgia has the ball and is in Tennessee territory for the first time today.

Tennessee takes big lead into halftime

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee couldn't have asked for a better first half against Georgia. The Vols take a 28-0 lead into the half and have dominated the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball.

Continue reading "Tennessee takes big lead into halftime" »

Bulldogs getting blown out early

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee running back Arian Foster scored his second rushing touchdown of the game stretching the Vols lead to 28-0 with 6:41 remaining in the second quarter over Georgia.

Foster busted a 22 yard run outside on a third and short attempt. Third downs have been a problem all season for the Volunteers, but they have converted four of five attempts today.

Vols continue to build lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The Fulmer family may be the loudest of any group in Neyland Stadium. Tennessee stretched its lead to 21-0 on a Montario Hardesty run in a game that many are calling are a make or break game for coach Phillip Fulmer.

Fulmer's wife and daughter are leading the cheers in one of Tennessee's sky boxes next to the press box.

Vols driving again

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The Volunteers aren't letting up after taking a 14-0 lead. With 12 minutes remaining in the first half the Volunteers blocked a Georgia punt and currenlty have the ball in the red zone.

Vols use trickery to stretch lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee got a little creative at the beginning of the second quarter taking a 14-0 lead over Georgia. Wide receiver Lucas Taylor found a wide open LaMarcus Coker down the left sideline on a 56-yard touchdown strike.

Coker and Taylor hooked up in a similar fashion against Florida last season.

Vols take early lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee marched down the field in its opening drive using a combination or runs by Arian Foster and LaMarcus Coker. Foster ran it in from 9 yards out to give the Vols the early lead.

Continue reading "Vols take early lead" »

Vols, Bulldogs looking to get back into SEC East chase

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 11 Georgia travels to Tennessee Saturday afternoon looking for its fourth straight win on Rocky Top and a share of the SEC East lead.

Despite a 2-2 start for the Volunteers this season fans seem to be hyped up for the game. With an hour before kickoff scalpers were still asking for atleast $125 a seat. Fans may be dissapointed in the Vols start, but it hasn't affected their attitudes so far. It will be a warm sunny day in Knoxville with a slight breeze from the east.

Both the Vols are Bulldogs have one conference loss and the loser will most likely be out of the race for the East crown.

Here are some of the storylines to watch for during the game:

Tennessee won last year in Athens 51-33, but gave up two special teams touchdowns, a punt return and a kick return. That trend has continued this season as the Volunteers have given up five non offensive touchdowns: 2 fumble returns, two punt returns and an interception return for scores.

Georgia has a dual running attack of Knowshon Moreno and Thomas Brown that has combined for 825 yards and nine touchdowns in the Bulldogs five games. The Volunteers have given up over 200 yards on the ground in both of their losses so look for Georgia to rush early and often.

Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge is leading the SEC in passing yards a game at over 285 yards a game. Ainge is coming off a career high 334 passing yard effort against Arkansas State and has only been sacked twice in 171 passing attempts this season. If the Vols can continue to protect their senior qb expect Tennessee to put up some impressive numbers through the air.

Many are calling this the most important game in Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer's career. Fans are looking for a change and if the Vols fall to 2-3 the pressure for change at head coach will continue to grow.


October 05, 2007

LSU-Florida: The Day Before Preview

BATON ROUGE, La. - In the words of that immortal 60s and 70s game show To Tell The Truth, will the REAL Southeastern Conference power please stand up?

The last few weeks has shown us that both LSU and Florida have been imposters of their usual selves. This game should change that lethargic, elsewhere look these teams have had recently. 92,000+ screaming fans will make sure of that.

Continue reading "LSU-Florida: The Day Before Preview" »

October 04, 2007

Kentucky cuts into lead

Columbia, S.C. -- Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson just tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson to pull UK to 31-23.
SC just moved the ball into UK territory with less than six minutes to play on a 22-yard pass play. They are just a few plays away from being in field goal range, which would bump the margin back up to two possessions.

Make it 15-0 for Spurrier vs. UK

Columbia, S.C. -- For the 15th time in 15 tries, Steve Spurrier defeated the Kentucky Wildcats.

Continue reading "Make it 15-0 for Spurrier vs. UK" »

South Carolina extends lead

Columbia, S.C. -- South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Patrick DiMarco with 11:01 left in the game to give the Gamecocks a 31-16 lead.
UK is currently driving in South Carolina territory with less than nine minutes remaining.

No one wants to win

Columbia, S.C. -- After three quarters at Williams-Brice Stadium, it appears that neither teams wants to win.

Continue reading "No one wants to win" »

Bad start for UK

Columbia, S.C. -- South Carolina's Eric Norwood just recovered his second Andre Woodson fumble of the game for a touchdown, this one on a lateral pass.

Continue reading "Bad start for UK" »

Gamecocks take lead before half

Columbia, S.C. - - South Carolina's Mike Davis just scored from three yards out to give the Gamecocks a 17-10 lead at the half over Kentucky.

Continue reading "Gamecocks take lead before half" »

Kentucky evens it up

Columbia, S.C. -- Eighteen is the hot number for Kentucky right now.

Continue reading "Kentucky evens it up" »

South Carolina leads after one

Columbia, S.C. -- Despite shoddy play from quarterback Chris Smelley, South Carolina leads Kentucky 10-3 after one quarter.

Continue reading "South Carolina leads after one" »

South Carolina scores first

Columbia, S.C. -- Eric Norwood scooped up an Andre Woodson fumble at the two-yard line and took it into the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead with 10:53 left to play.

Continue reading "South Carolina scores first" »

Kentucky defers

Columbia, S.C. -- Kentucky won the toss, and like clockwork, head coach Rich Brooks deferred to the second half.

Continue reading "Kentucky defers" »

Pregame in Columbia

Columbia, S.C. -- Kentucky and South Carolina can no longer fly under the radar in the Southeastern Conference. Neither can the weather.

Continue reading "Pregame in Columbia" »

September 29, 2007

Down goes Bama

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The cheers rained down from one side of the stadium as the other was sprinkled in crimson and teal specks. After Florida State recovered an onside kick with 59 seconds remaining ensuring its victory, the Seminoles fans screamed in unison, “Bobby Bowden”.

Continue reading "Down goes Bama" »

Byrum wins it for Auburn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Auburn did it again.

Continue reading "Byrum wins it for Auburn" »

Florida cuts lead to 17-10

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The crowd is getting amped, and the Gators are getting close.

Thanks to a 6-yard touchdown pass from TIm Tebow to Cornelius Ingram, Florida has narrowed the deficit to 17-10 with 14:56 remaining in the fourth quarter.

This is setting up to be an amazing finish.

Auburn answers

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Auburn just regained its two-touchdown lead with a 30-yard field goal by Wes Byrum with 6:39 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers drove 52 yards on 10 plays and brought in backup Kodi Burns for a Tim Tebow-like sneak at the Gators' 9-yard line, but he was stuffed for a 5-yard loss to help force the field goal.

Auburn leads 17-3.

Florida gets some momentum back

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The host Gators opened the second half by forcing an Auburn three-and-out and putting up their first points of the game on a 24-yard Joey Ijjas field goal.

With 11:50 left in the third quarter, Auburn has possession at its own 30-yard line to start its second drive of the half.

All Tigers at halftime

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The first half eerily resembled Auburn's win over Florida from a year ago.

Continue reading "All Tigers at halftime" »

Questionable call on Auburn's 2nd TD

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Auburn running back Ben Tate just scored a controversial 3-yard touchdown run with less than 7 minutes remaining in the first half.

Tate ran through the right side of Auburn's offensive line, dived over a pile of players and reached his arm over the goal line for a score.

The play was reviewed and it was apparent on replays that Tate's knee hit the ground before he stretched for the score.

Still, the play was upheld at Auburn leads 14-0.

Auburn leads at end of first quarter

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In the first quarter, Florida's high-powered spread attack was showcased for all of six plays as Auburn played keep away with the football.

The Tigers are up 7-0 with 13:41 left in the second quarter. Florida has the ball at its own 28-yard line.

Seminoles strike

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, it's always about the turnovers.

Continue reading "Seminoles strike" »

Fourth quarter program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, Nick Saban always talks about his fourth quarter conditioning program.

Continue reading "Fourth quarter program" »

Could Caldwell play?

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Injured Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell, expected to miss the game with a sprained MCL, is in pads and catching passes in pregame warmups.

Caldwell is the Gators' top receiving threat and would provide a huge boost for quarterback Tim Tebow if he indeed does play, and it looks like he will.

A Prince Hall sighting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - He has been in Nick Saban's doghouse all season,

Continue reading "A Prince Hall sighting" »

Finally, a touchdown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, we have an offensive sighting, finally.

Continue reading "Finally, a touchdown" »

Yeesh

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - What a half.

Continue reading "Yeesh" »

Florida looks for revenge against Auburn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Nothing went right for the mighty Gators on Oct. 14 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Continue reading "Florida looks for revenge against Auburn" »

QB controversy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, fourth times a charm for the Seminoles.

Continue reading "QB controversy" »

Offensive futility

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, Jimbo Fisher was one of Nick Saban's first choices to join his staff as offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Continue reading "Offensive futility" »

Welcome to the River City

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Supposedly Jacksonville is the River City.

Continue reading "Welcome to the River City" »

September 23, 2007

Dawgs Hunker Down

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - So ends the perfect season.

Continue reading "Dawgs Hunker Down" »

September 22, 2007

Woodson leads Cats to first 4-0 start since 2002

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Andre Woodson continued to climb up the Heisman ladder with another fourth quarter comeback Saturday night.

Continue reading "Woodson leads Cats to first 4-0 start since 2002" »

UK downs Arkansas, moves to 4-0

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Despite being down to its fourth string running back, and despite giving up 338 rushing yards, Kentucky defeated Arkansas 42-29 Saturday night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Andre Woodson was the hero again for the Cats, leading three fourth quarter scoring drives, the first coming with the Cats trailing 29-21. He threw one touchdown and ran another one on those drives. For the second consecutive game, he's led the Cats to a fourth quarter comeback victory. He's had six in his UK career.

More to follow.

Cats take over

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Kentucky's defense has given up 470 yards so far against Arkansas, 338 of them coming on the ground. But they've played spectacular in the second half, and they have the Cats on the doorstep of a 4-0 start.

UK just stopped Arkansas on a fourth down, and now they've scored again on an Andre Woodson run to take a 42-29 lead with 59 seconds left.

UK appears to be on its way to moving to 4-0 for the first time since 2002.

Woodson does it again

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- For the time being, Andre Woodson has done it again.

The senior quarterback for Kentucky just led the Cats on a six-play, 68-yard drive, capped off by a 32-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Burton. The Cats went for two, and again Woodson and Burton connected. UK now leads 35-29 with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter.

If it stands, it will be Woodson's second consecutive fourth quarter comeback and the sixth of his career. He's keeping up step-for-step with Arkansas' Darren McFadden for player of the game honors.

Cats within two

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Despite being down to their fourth string running back, Kentucky pulled to within 29-27 of Arkansas midway through the fourth quarter.

Behind the legs of that fourth string back, freshman Derrick Locke, UK now has a shot at taking the lead with less than six minutes left. After the score, the Cats went for two, but Andre Woodson was tackled on the quarterback draw.

UK's defense just forced a three-and-out, and the offense has the ball back at their 32-yard line.

No scoring?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Wow, Alabama didn't score in the first quarter?

Continue reading "No scoring?" »

Tigers win SEC home opener, 28-16

BATON ROUGE, La. - Saturday afternoon was not what Steve Spurrier has become used to when he travels to LSU.

Spurrier had an 11-1 record against the Tigers (4-0, 2-0 SEC) while he was head coach at Florida. That record was the last thing on his mind after his No. 12 Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) fell to No. 2 LSU, 28-16.

Continue reading "Tigers win SEC home opener, 28-16" »

Audilbles

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Matthew Stafford looks as cool as a cucumber.

Continue reading "Audilbles" »

OK, Darren's still here

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- It was only a matter of time before Arkansas' Darren McFadden broke open a big run.

Essentially contained from a big play so far, McFadden finally broke through with a 56-yard touchdown run to give the Razorbacks a 20-7 lead over Kentucky with less than seven minutes to go in the second quarter.

The Wildcats are driving near midfield.

Darren who?

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Darren who?

Arkansas' other running back Felix Jones ran across the field on a 73-yard run down to the UK six-yard line, but Darren McFadden was kept out of the end zone on three straight runs. The Hogs had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Alex Tejada, his second of the day.

With 11:05 left in the second quarter, Arkansas leads Kentucky 13-7.

Dick throws pick

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Paul Warford chose a great time to intercept his first pass.

Continue reading "Dick throws pick" »

Too little too late?

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina finally answered LSU's 28-0 run, but it will probably end up being too little too late.

Ryan Succop connected on a 23-yard field goal to cut the Tigers' lead to 28-10.

With 7:44 remaining in the game, the Gamecocks are in desperate need of points that don't come from their kicker's right foot.

South Carolina's scoring drive lasted 11 plays and covered 56 yards.

One legendary coach...

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Hello from Tuscaloosa, home of Nick Saban and another late kick-off.

Continue reading "One legendary coach..." »

Flynn gives Gamecocks glimmer of hope

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU quarterback Matt Flynn just threw his first interception of the season, giving South Carolina the ball on its 38-yard line.

After two incomplete passes by Chris Smelley, Cory Boyd caught a pass for 21 yards and advanced the ball to LSU's 41.

The Gamecocks are driving with just over 9:00 remaining in the game.

Tebow carries Gators in first road start

OXFORD, Miss. -- With the game on the line, Tim Tebow walked up to his coach and got in his face.

The baby-faced 20-year-old quarterback wasn't about to lose his first road start.

He made sure his 43-year-old coach knew that.

Continue reading "Tebow carries Gators in first road start" »

Wildcats answer

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- We could be in for another 71-63 thriller between Arkansas and Kentucky.

Continue reading "Wildcats answer" »

Arkansas on the board first

Arkansas kicker Alex Tejada nailed a 40-yard field goal to give the Razorbacks an early 3-0 lead.

Continue reading "Arkansas on the board first" »

Different QB, Same Story

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina's 18-yard drive ended abruptly after Chevis Jackson intercepted quarterback Chris Smelley on the 1-yard line.

The Gamecocks had good field position after Chris Culliver returned the Tigers' kickoff 44 yards. South Carolina's possession began on LSU's 45-yard line and lasted six plays before Jackson picked off Smelley.

With 1:39 left in the third quarter, LSU leads 28-7.

Steve Johnson starting

After catching the game-winning 57-yard touchdown against Louisville last week, wide receiver Steve Johnson was inserted into the starting lineup today. He replaces Dicky Lyons Jr.

Continue reading "Steve Johnson starting" »

If it ain't broke...

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU continues to stick with the running game in the third quarter against South Carolina.

The Tigers just completed a 5-play, 30-yard touchdown drive. All but six of the yards on the drive came on the ground.

Running back Jacob Hester rushed nine yards up the middle for the score. South Carolina trails LSU, 28-7.

The Tigers have now outrushed the Gamecocks, 270-19.

Spurrier yanks Mitchell

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell has been replaced by Chris Smelley, a freshman from Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Mitchell completed 7-of-16 passes before being pulled in favor of Smelley.

With 8:20 left in the third quarter, LSU leads South Carolina 21-7.

Pregame in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is filling up, but hopefully the fans didn't have as difficult of a time as we did trying to make it into the game. It took the three of us from the Kernel about an hour to find, and settle into, the press area. It was clear we were from Lexington.
Anyway, to the game.

Continue reading "Pregame in Fayetteville" »

Run Tigers Run

BATON ROUGE, La. - It's about time kickers got some respect.

LSU's Colt David just earned some 20 minutes ago with a 13-yard touchdown run that gave his Tigers a 21-7 halftime lead over No. 12 South Carolina.

David took a pitch from Matt Flynn and dashed toward the right corner of the endzone. The run was David's first rushing score of his career.

Continue reading "Run Tigers Run" »

Field goal? I think not...

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU looked like it had settled on attempting a field goal.

Not so fast.

That field goal attempt turned into a run by kicker Colt David. After the ball was snapped, holder Matt Flynn pitched the ball over his right shoulder to David, who ran 13 yards into the endzone for the first rushing touchdown of his career.

The trick play brought a smile to LSU coach Les Miles' face and caught South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier completely off guard.

With 18 seconds left in the first half, LSU leads 21-7.

Wide Right

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tigers couldn't capitalize on their fumble recovery, missing a 42-yard field goal that would have given them a 17-7 advantage over South Carolina.

Both starting quarterbacks have looked rusty in the first half. LSU's Matt Flynn has completed only five of his 12 pass attempts, while South Carolina's Blake Mitchell is 6-for-14 for 69 yards.

Flynn's backup, Ryan Perrilloux, has ran the ball twice for 42 yards.

The Gamecocks went three and out on their following possession. It's LSU's ball with 7:29 left in the half.

QB Shuffle

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU just went up 14-7 on South Carolina thanks to a little quarterback shuffling.

Backup Ryan Perrilloux saw his first action of the game today on the Tigers' 9-play, 56-yard drive. Perrilloux's 19-yard run help set up Matt Flynn's 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Dickson.

On the second play of the following possession, the Gamecocks fumbled, giving the Tigers the ball on their 46-yard line with 11:34 remaining in the first half.

Happy Holliday

BATON ROUGE, La. - It took LSU only 4 plays to respond to South Carolina's opening score.

The Tigers drove 69 yards down the field in 1:23 to tie the score at 7.

Sophomore wide receiver Trindon Holliday picked up 44 rushing yards on the drive, including his 33-yard scamper into the endzone.

Gamecocks up, 7-0

BATON ROUGE, La. - After blocking a punt, it took South Carolina 12 plays and 67 yards to strike first against the Tigers.

Mike Davis' 1-yard run has given the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead.

The score is only the second touchdown LSU's defense has allowed this season.

As LSU takes the field to return the kickoff, a light rainfall has begun once again.

Ole Miss fake punt doesn't work

OXFORD, Miss. - Jermaine Cunningham made a key stop to save the Gators.

On a fake punt pass to Robert Lane from Justin Sparks, the defensive lineman's tackle gave Florida the ball at the Ole Miss 41.

It looks to be over.

Another injury...

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina linebacker Jasper Brinkley was shaken up after breaking up a pass on LSU's opening possession.

Brinkley was helped off the field by trainers and had a slight limp as he walked away.

12:15 remaining in the first quarter. Both teams are scoreless.

It's still close

OXFORD, Miss. - Florida is giving Ole Miss life.

The Gators just got a Joey Ijjas field goal to go up 30-24 with 4:59 left after stalling out at the Ole Miss 8-yard line.


LSU/South Carolina injury update

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina's Casper Brinkley will start at defensive end in place of the injured Nathan Pepper.

Cliff Matthews will replace Brinkley at weak side linebacker.

For the Tigers, sophomore Jared Mitchell will replace the injured Early Doucet at wide receiver.

Quarterback Matt Flynn will start for LSU after missing last week's game against Middle Tennessee.

LSU won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. South Carolina will receive the ball first.

Mother Nature deceives yet again

BATON ROUGE, La. - Maybe the weather will be a factor in Baton Rouge.

Tiger Stadium just received about five minutes of heavy rainfall 30 minutes before the scheduled kickoff between LSU and South Carolina.

A number of fans have taken shelter on the concourse level of Tiger Stadium.

The rain has slowed down a bit. As of now, kickoff is still slated for 2:30 p.m.

Weather not a factor for Tigers, Gamecocks

BATON ROUGE, La. - Despite overcast skies, weather shouldn't affect the start time of today's LSU/South Carolina SEC matchup.

There were fears earlier this week that Tropical Depression 10 would influence today's 2:30 p.m. kickoff but those fears are long gone as the tropical disturbance has stayed east of Baton Rouge.

Conditions are windy here at Tiger Stadium. A drizzle or two fell from the skies about an hour ago, but that has not stopped fans from filling their seats for today's battle of undefeated SEC teams.

Spurrier returns to Tiger Stadium

Continue reading "Spurrier returns to Tiger Stadium" »

Ole Miss-Florida Halftime Update

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss came to play.

The Rebels displayed a steady offense and a bend but don't break defense for the first half and headed to the locker room down 14-6 after two quarters.

Continue reading "Ole Miss-Florida Halftime Update" »

Tebow does it himself

OXFORD, Miss. - Florida quarterback Tim Tebow just carried two Ole Miss defenders for three yards and into the end zone for a rushing touchdown.

The Gators went 98 yards on 14 plays to go up 14-6 with 7 minutes left in the half. After a slow start, the Gators look to be rounding into form in the second quarter.

Injuries, Injuries

OXFORD, Miss. - Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin just went down on the field after catching a screen pass.

After a brief meeting with trainers, he is running off on his own power, and one of Florida's worst nightmares has been averted. He should be OK.

Florida is up 7-6 and driving in Mississippi territory with 8 minutes left in the half.

Ole Miss CB Dustin Mouzon just went down too, and also ran off on his own power.

Harvin does his thing

OXFORD, Miss. - Just when you thought Florida was in a little bit of trouble, Percy Harvin came alive.

Harvin caught six passes on a 10-play, 77-yard touchdown drive culminating in a 19-yard screen reception for a score.

Harvin beat six Rebels defenders for the touchdown.

Florida leads 7-3 with 14:52 left in the half.

Ole Miss scores

OXFORD, Miss. - For the first time all year, Florida is trailing.
Joshua Shene just knocked a 40-yard field goal to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead with 5 minutes left in the first quarter.

Mississippi went 37 yards on nine plays for the score. A couple Florida penalties helped the cause, but Seth Adams looked good and had plenty of time in the pocket.

Florida's defense - outside of freshman cornerback Joe Haden - did not perform well at all on that drive.

Adams starts

OXFORD, Miss. - Quarterback Seth Adams is toughing it out and starting for Mississippi.

Florida kicker Joey Ijjas missed a 42-yard field goal short and left on the Gators' first drive, ruining a 55-yard kickoff return by Brandon James.

Mississippi just went thee-and-out, and Florida has the ball at its 28-yard line.

It's scoreless with 11:20 remaining in the first quarter.

Schaeffer taking pregame snaps

OXFORD, Miss. - Brent Schaeffer just took the snaps at the end of Mississippi's pregame warm-ups. It looks like he's going to start.

I did not see Seth Adams anywhere near the offense. Both teams have gone back to the locker rooms in preparation for the game.

Florida-Mississippi Preview

OXFORD, Miss. - Welcome to the marquee SEC game of the week.
Ok, well, maybe not.

Continue reading "Florida-Mississippi Preview" »

September 16, 2007

Bye Bye from T-Town

TUSCALOOSA, Ala - Well, we had a white knuckler here in Tusclaoosa, with the Crimson Tide coming out on top.

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September 15, 2007

Crimson nation is happy

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - There were no game defining missed field goals. There were no, “should we go for it?” moments. There were no "deer in the headlights" looks coming from the Alabama sidelines.

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Final: Kentucky 40, Louisville 34

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Andre Woodson hit Steve Johnson on a 56-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining as Kentucky upset in-state rival No. 9 Louisville 40-34 at Commonwealth Stadium. What an amazing game, and what a great win for Rich Brooks and the Wildcats. Fans are running everywhere on the field. Fireworks are popping. And the collapseable goalposts are coming down.

I'll have a final post after the press conference.

Cards back in front

LEXINGTON, Ky. - All week long, the experts said this game might be won by the team that had the ball last.

Now we'll find out if they were right. UK will have it last, but that's because U of L just scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard run by Anthony Allen. Two-point conversion attempt failed, so U of L's lead is only one point.

Could this come down to the leg of Lones Seiber?

Game on the line

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Third-and-goal from the 2-yard line for U of L, trailing UK 33-28 with 1:50 to play. This is it for the Cards. Cats D looking for another goal-line stand.

Woodyard Stones the 'Ville

LEXINGTON, Ky. - UK's Wesley Woodyard stops U of L's Gary Barnage at the 2-yard line. The UK defense stands and delivers, and the momentum rests with the team in blue. The Cats (read: UK's gassed defense) could use a long, time-consuming drive by the offense.

The clock is your friend, Andre Woodson.

Go for it?

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Decision time for Steve Kragthorpe. Louisville has the ball fourth-and-goal at the UK six yard line. UK leads 33-28. What would you do? Kick the field goal or go for the touchdown and the lead?

I'd kick. There's still 9:30 to play. The way the game has gone, this isn't U of L's last chance. Kick the field goal and cut the lead to 2. Looks like they're going for it.

Kentucky takes the lead

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jacob Tamme wanted it more. UK's tight end just out-jumped and out-fought U of L corner Rod Council for that Andre Woodson pass in the back of the end zone. UK leads 33-28, and Commonwealth Stadium is rocking with the hope of UK's first win over a top-10 team since a win over Penn State in 1977. Your play, Brian Brohm.

Florida-Tennessee: Final Recap

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tony Joiner sealed Florida's 39-point win with a kiss.

Continue reading "Florida-Tennessee: Final Recap" »

End of Third Quarter: U of L 28, UK 26

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The two teams traded touchdowns early in the quarter and traded missed opportunities for the rest of the quarter. We're heading to the final frame at Commonwealth Stadium with the No. 9 Cardinals clinging to a two-point advantage.

UK, however, is driving. The Wildcats just advanced the ball to the U of L 35, where they have it first-and-ten. Key storyline of the game: The play of the UK defensive line. The Cats, who are missing starting tackle Ricky Lumpkin, have consistently pressured Brohm and have made things hard on U of L running back Anthony Allen.

Rich Brooks' prediction that the game would come down to a special teams play looks like it might be right on. UK has to hope that key play hasn't already happened; Trent Guy's kickoff return for a touchdown is the deciding score right now.

We have a game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - I'd hate to be in the Alabama locker room following this game.

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Carmody misses

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe gave kicker Art Carmody a chance from 52 yards, but Carmody came up well short. The miss gives UK decent field position (its own 35). Now would be a good time for QB Andre Woodson to heat up and lead a scoring drive.

Getting tight

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Nothing like a turnover to create a little drama.

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Like I said...

LEXINGTON, Ky. - That didn't take long. Louisville return man Trent Guy just took the kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown. Louisville reclaims the lead at 28-26. That's Guy's fifth career return for a touchdown (three kickoffs, two punts).

It's on now

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Before last Saturday, Kentucky fullback John Conner had two career carries. Against Kent State, Conner ran for two touchdowns. Seconds ago, he found the end zone again. Conner was the recipient of an Andre Woodson roll-out pass from seven yards out.

Huge drive by UK to reclaim the lead at 26-21. You get the feeling that touchdown might be the first of many in this second half.

Tiffin hits

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Last season, Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin was considered the goat against Arkansas.

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Halftime: Louisville 21, Kentucky 19

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The first half of the 2007 Governor's Cup did not disappoint. The half was evenly played, and should yield a competitive second half. Although Kentucky is an underdog, the Wildcats must feel disappointed to enter the locker room trailing by 2. Louisville has erased an early 13-0 UK lead.

The turning point of the half (and maybe the game) occurred with just over three minutes to play in the half. UK head coach Rich Brooks elected to go for it on fourth-and-one from outside the Louisville 30. Offensive coordinator Joker Phillips surprisingly called an option, and UK running back Rafael Little was blown up by a Louisville defender. The Cards took over possession and quickly drove 60-plus yards for the go-ahead score. If Louisville pulls away in the second half, Phillips' call will be questioned for a long time in the Bluegrass.

In the second half, UK might need another couple of turnovers, or at least will need Louisville to make a few mistakes. The UK defensive line was outstanding in the first half, but you would think U of L - now that it has the lead - will make it a priority to get its running game going in the second half.

Don't miss the first drive of the second half. UK would do well not to come up empty. If the Cats can at least get a field goal out of the drive - and retake the lead - the pressure would fall back on Louisville. However, if the Louisville defense comes up with a stop, the explosive Cardinal offense would have an opportunity to stretch the field - and the lead.

Seiber reverts to old form

LEXINGTON, Ky. - So much for solid Lones Seiber. The UK kicker, who missed two extra points in the season-opener against Eastern Kentucky, just missed another one.

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End of First Quarter

LEXINGTON, Ky. - At the end of the first quarter in the Governor's Cup, Kentucky leads Louisville 13-7.

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So much for a rout

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Louisville has responded with a touchdown of its own. Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe made a gutsy (or desperate) decision to go for it on fourth-and-inches from his own 34 yard line.

The play (a Brian Brohm sneak) worked, and the decision paid off. Brohm found running back Anthony Allen on a short touchdown pass and Louisville has pulled to 13-7.

No doubt Lones

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky kicker Lones Seiber, who has been shaky in the season's first two games, has been solid in the first quarter. He just connected on a 31-yard field goal to give Kentucky a 13-0 lead.

Big drive upcoming for Louisville. The Cardinals need to respond to this early UK blitz, and they need to do it soon.

Two Plays, Two Turnovers

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After taking a knee for a touchback on the kickoff, Louisville turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage.

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UK-U of L ready for kickoff

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Three Army paratroopers landing as gracefully as possible at midfield from thousands of feet in the air just fired up this crowd that needed no extra juice.

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Swarming defense

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Nick Saban has maintained that he wants his defense to have an aggressive ball-hawking nature.

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Florida putting on the finishing touches

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - It's just about over.

Backed into their own end zone, Florida drove 99 yards on nine plays to go up 42-20. Then Erik Ainge threw the ball away on fourth down, handing the ball back to the Gators with 12 minutes left.

Percy Harvin keyed Florida's scoring drive, snaring a 49-yard catch on the first play of the series.

Then he ran into the end zone, splitting Tennessee defenders and spinning his way to the goal line.

Harvin has been a beast today. He has been more present in today's game than the first two contests combined.

That is the caveat with Harvin. Urban Meyer likes to save him for big games because of his chronic leg and knee problems. After watching today's performance, I can't blame Meyer for that strategy.

Florida-Tennessee: Final Recap

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tony Joiner seeled Florida's 39-point win with a kiss.

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Fans amped for Governor's Cup game

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With about 90 minutes remaining until kickoff of the most anticipated Governor's Cup game in recent history, fans have begun to trickle in to Commonwealth Stadium on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

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A defensive shootout

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Can there be such a thing as a defensive shootout?

In a game billed as an offensive coordinator's dream and a defensive coordinator's nightmare, the defenses are winning out here in the second half between Florida and Tennessee.

The Gators just answered Eric Berry's 96-yard interception return with an 18-yard fumble recovery by linebacker Dustin Doe for a score.

Arian Foster did not get a clean handle of Erik Ainge's handoff as the ball flew forward a few yards off of his hands.

Foster was quickly pounded into the ground.

Doe was the beneficiary, as the ball bounced right into his grasp and he scampered in.

Florida leads 35-20 with 5 minutes left in the third.

Tebow looks human

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Wait a second, Tim Tebow threw an interception, that's right, an interception.

Tennessee cornerback Eric Berry stepped in front of Tebow's receiver, Riley Cooper, and ran it back 96 yards, juking out Tebow on the path to the north end zone. That brings Tennessee to within 8 points at 28-20 early in the third quarter.

The play was a clear miscommunication between Tebow and Cooper, as Cooper zigged than started a zag, when Tebow thought Cooper would stop after his zig, if that makes any sense.

That is Tebow's first interception in his last 79 attempts, dating back to last year, and only the second of his short career at Florida.

Tennessee feeling the blues

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida's offense has finally been stopped, not by Tennessee, but by the halftime whistle.

Tim Tebow and Co. scored again with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half, as Florida's sophomore quarterback found wideout Cornelius Ingram in the left corner of the end zone.

Tennessee answered with an Erik Ainge-Chris Brown 15-yard connection for a touchdown with :25 seconds left.

Continue reading "Tennessee feeling the blues" »

Who needs running backs?

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tim Tebow just jumped into the arms of Jonathan Hefney. There's no other way to say it.

Tebow scored Florida's third touchdown on a quarterback sneak, leaping towards the best defensive back in the SEC and capping a nine-play, 58-yard drive that put Florida up 21-6.

Tebow carried four times for 39 yards on the drive, where at one point Florida hit a mark of 11 straight runs by non-running backs.

Another field goal for Tennessee

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Here's the early summary for the Tennessee-Florida game: Florida is scoring touchdowns, and Tennessee is scoring field goals.

The Volunteers just drove 77 yards only to stop for a 22-yard Daniel Lincoln field goal and cut the Gators' lead to 14-6. Erik Ainge picked apart the Florida secondary, and Arian Foster found holes in the defensive line.

But the Florida defense held strong in the red zone.

Hello from Sabanville

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Greetings from the druid city, more commonly known to college football folk as Tuscaloosa.

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Yes, Tebow can throw

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tim Tebow has decided to start passing.

After fruitless series of him taking sneaks, Tebow aired it out on Florida's last drive, culminating in a 30-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper.

Cooper beat Tennessee freshman Eric Berry, who moved from safety to corner for this game to replace Antonio Gaines.

On the play before the score, Tebow found Cornelius Ingram for a long grab.

Florida leads 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Tennessee answers

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tennessee kicker Daniel Lincoln just hit a 27-yard field goal to cut Florida's lead to 7-3 with under 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

Lincoln is playing 30 minutes from his hometown of Ocala.

In other news, Florida cornerback Markihe Anderson, who picked off an Erik Ainge pass earlier, limped off with an apparent knee injury.

Anderson likely aggravated a knee sprain that kept him out of the team's opener. His leg is getting wrapped up on the sideline. It doesn't look like he'll come back this half.

Pouncey heads to locker room

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - We have our first injury.

Florida freshman guard Maurkice Pouncey was just helped off the field, straight to locker room by a couple of Florida doctors.

Sophomore Maurice Hurt replaced him in the lineup before Florida had to punt. Hurt is a pretty experienced backup and should be able to handle the job.

Midway through the first quarter, Florida still leads 7-0 on the Brandon James punt return for a score.
So much for the offensive shootout everyone expected.

Markihe's impact

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Few expected Florida cornerback Markihe Anderson to make an impact today.
Well, he's proven everyone wrong.

Anderson just picked off an Erik Ainge pass in the red zone, snaring the ball away from Tennessee receiver Quintin Hancock.

Anderson, Florida's top corner, barely played last week with a knee sprain and did not start today. He's only playing nickel, but he's hard to miss now.

Tim Tebow is taking his first snaps of the day now.

To no surprise, he has sneaked both times.

Dueling returns

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - After Tennessee went three-and-out, return specialist Brandon James just put Florida on the board with an 83-yard punt return.

James, a sophomore, caught the ball, broke left, came to a complete stop and ran up the middle, side-stepping punter Britton Colquitt on his way to a score.

James broke out last year against Tennessee with a return for a score that was nullified by a penalty and another where the kicker tripped him up.

On the ensuing kickoff, LaMarcus Coker takes it back 77 yards for Tennessee. The Volunteers are in position to tie it up.

The calm before the storm

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - It's just over 60 minutes before game time here at The Swamp, and the skies are clear - for now.

Weather.com is calling for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight.
That is not deterring the fans, who have shown up in droves of blue to tailgate outside of stadium.

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September 09, 2007

Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Defense was supposed to be the story in Saturday night's matchup between LSU and Virginia Tech.

It ended up being only half of the story... the LSU half.

Continue reading "Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7" »

Fans begin to empty as Tigers go up, 41-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Keiland Williams' second touchdown of the night has begun to send Tiger fans out of the Tiger Stadium and into heavy, post-game traffic.

Williams' 32-yard scamper gave him a new career high of 126 rushing yards. His previous high was a 107-yard performance against Notre Dame in January's Sugar Bowl.

Also setting career highs so far tonight for the Tigers: Matt Flynn with 218 passing yards, Jacob Hester with 81 rushing yards and Brandon LaFell with 125 receiving yards.

September 08, 2007

Not so fast, Hokies...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Just when it looked like Virginia Tech would build some momentum toward a possible comeback, LSU countered with a 6-play, 76-yard drive to push its lead to 34-7 with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux replaced Matt Flynn for one play on the drive and completed a 34-yard pass to wide receiver Early Doucet for the score. The pass was Perrilloux's second touchdown throw of his career.

Hokies finally put points on board

BATON ROUGE, La. - Virginia Tech avoided a shutout by engineering an 8-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The touchdown was the first points the LSU defense has allowed since the second quarter of January's 41-14 Sugar Bowl win against Notre Dame.

With 4:38 remaining in the third quarter, LSU is up on Virginia Tech, 27-7.

Flynn injured?

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU quarterback Matt Flynn appears to have mildly injured his right ankle on the Tigers' first drive of the second half.

The injury doesn't appear to be too serious, as Flynn took the snaps on eight of LSU's 10 plays on the drive. Sophomore quarterback took the snaps on the other two plays of the drive, which ended in a 27-yard field goal by Colt David that put LSU up 27-0.

Flynn is up and walking on the sidelines, giving no impression that he is done for the game.

Williams highsteps into endzone

BATON ROUGE, La. - One play and 15 seconds.

That's how long it took for things to officially get ugly in Tiger Stadium. LSU running back Keiland Williams took a pitch from Matt Flynn 67 yards into the north endzone and put the Tigers up 24-0 in the process. With LSU's first-half performance tonight and USC being idle this week, LSU as the No. 1 team in the nation seems like it could be a reality come Monday.

Glennon's interception leads to Tigers' field goal

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU safety Craig Steltz picked off Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon's pass to give the Tigers possession for the fourth time in the first quarter. After a short drive, LSU opened the second quarter with a Colt David field goal. Tigers still ahead, 17-0.

Tigers look impressive on opening drive

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU opens the game with a 10-play, 87-yard drive that ate 4:14 off the clock. Running back Jacob Hester scored on a 3-yard run, putting the Tigers on top of the Hokies, 7-0.

Rain doesn't damper spirits in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - A light drizzle has begun to fall from the skies here at Tiger Stadium but as the weather conditions have worsened, the excitement surrounding tonight's contest has increased drastically.

Two Virginia natives skydived into Tiger Stadium about 15 minutes before kickoff, one flying with a Virginia Tech flag while the other descended onto the field with tonight's game ball.

The LSU marching band has taken the field to perform its usual pregame set. In addition to the normal routine, the LSU band performed Virginia Tech's alma mater as a tribute to the lives lost in April's shootings in Blacksburg, Va.

It is believed to be the first time the LSU marching band has performed an opponent's alma mater in Tiger Stadium.

Beamer, Miles tweak lineups

BATON ROUGE, La. - Both LSU coach Les Miles and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer have made last-minute lineup changes for tonight's top-10 matchup.

For the Hokies, split end Justin Harper will start in place of split end Josh Morgan.

On the other side, the Tigers will start Charles Alexander at defensive tackle and Kirston Pittman at defense end. Alexander and Pittman replace Marlon Favorite and Rahim Alem in the starting lineup.

About an hour before kickoff, Tiger Stadium is already starting to fill. The LSU marching band has just entered the stadium, exciting the already rabid LSU student section even more.

September 02, 2007

JACKSON CATAPULTS THE BEARS TO REVENGE

BERKELEY, Calif - DeSean Jackson was only given one chance to return a punt all night, but for Tennessee, it was one time too many.

Jackson broke a 14-14 tie in the second quarter with a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown, and Cal would never fall behind for the rest of the game, as the Bears beat the Volunteers 45-31 to open the 2007 season at Memorial Stadium.

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September 01, 2007

CAL WINS

BERKELEY, Calif. - It's offical, Cal has beated Tennessee 45-31 to open the 2007 season. I'm going to get reaction to the win, for the Bears, and the loss, to the Vols. Stay tuned for more from Memorial Stadium.

TENNESSEE GETS A LIFE LINE

BERKELEY, Calif. - The Bears looked set to put the game away, with the ball at the Vols 1-yard line with less than three minutes left, but Nate Longshore fumbled the snap and Tennessee recovered in the endzone. Cal reviewed the play, but the ruling stood and the Vols now have the ball on its own 20 with 2:30 left.

CAL ON THE VERGE OF REVENGE

BERKELEY, Calif. - A year ago, it was Tennessee that looked superior in everyway when these two school, met. This year, it hasn't been complete domination by Cal, but it's easily been good enough.

Last year, the fans chanted "S-E-C," to mock the "soft" Bears, but just moments ago the Bear fans returned the insult, with a "Pac-10 football" chant directed at Tennessee and its supporters.

Cal is up 45-31 with the ball at the Vols 8-yard line and 4:10 left on the clock. It's been a crazy game, but it at least seems like this one is going to go the Bears way.

BEARS REGAIN CONTROL

BERKELEY, Calif. - In yet another impressive drive, thanks in most part to the passing of Longshore, Cal drove down the field to double its lead, as the Bears now hold a 45-31 advantage, with 9:10 left.

It's now up to the Cal defense to put this game away for the Bears, although, I have a feeling it's going to be a long 10 minutes for everyone involved.

TENNESSEE INCHES CLOSER

BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman Daniel Lincoln probably just kicked the biggest field goal of his young career, to get Tennessee within seven, at 38-31.

Tennessee could argue that it got robbed at the end of the drive, when pass interferance wasn't call on a third down play that forced the field goal attempt.

Bottomline is Cal has not looked impressive iin ts last two drives, and Tennessee is alive and well early in the fourth quarter.

One interesting statistic, because Cal has scored a fumble return and punt return for a touchdown, the Vols have dominated the time of possesion, leading 26:43 to 19:25. So Cal's defense might be tired (they look it).

Cal just went three and out, so Tennessee will have a chance to tie getting the ball with 12:28 left.

THE VOLS ARE BACK IN IT

BERKELEY, Calif. - The Tennessee defense came up with a stop, and the Vols offense rewarded them, scoring a touchdown on a 10-play drive to cut the deficit to 10, at 38-28 Cal.

The big play on the Tennessee touchdown drive might have been a block.

Reciever Quintin Hancock leveled a Cal defended to free up Adrian Foster on a 3rd down reception.

Ainge has continued his great play, he's now 26-of-32 for 242 yards and three touchdown.

Tennessee's defense just had another stop, so the Vols will have a chance to get within singe digits.

TENNESSE IS DENIED AT THE GOALINE

BERKELEY, Calif. - In a game that has featured very little defense, Cal's goaline unit might have just put the Bears in control of this game.

Tennessee's Arian Foster had a 43-yard run to the Bears 4-yard line, but the Vols stalled inside the 2-yard-line, and lost the ball on downs. Erik Ainge had only two incompletions all game, but he threw two incompletions during the goaline sequence, including a poor pass on fourth down.

Cal has just punted the ball away, so the Vols are still in this game, they just can't waste anymore opportunities.

THE VOLS CAN'T STOP THE BEARS

BERKELEY, Calif. - It took less the 90 seconds into the second half, for Cal to score its fith touchdown of the game.

DeSean Jackson picked up 21 yards on a reverse play, and Nate Longshore completed three pass culminating in a 3-yard pass touchdown to Lavelle Hawkins, to make the score 38-21.

Tennessee is in some trouble now. Scoring points shouldn' t be a problem, but at some point they will have to stop Cal. Rocky Top Nation can't be happy.

CAL ADDS THREE, LEADS 31-21 AT THE HALF

BERKELEY, Calif. - Tennessee finally couldn't answer a Cal touchdown, and the Bears kicked a short field goal with 12 second left in the half, to take a 31-21 lead into the break.

I was a fantastic first half to watch, and there is no reason to think that the second half won't be the same.

Continue reading "CAL ADDS THREE, LEADS 31-21 AT THE HALF" »

IT'S OFFICAL, THERE WILL BE NO DEFENSE TONIGHT

BERKELEY, Calif. - You gotta love college football.

It seems neither defense has any kind of answer for the opposing teams offense, so the only question now is who can outscore who.

The Bears continued our back and forth pattern, with Robert Jordan scoring a touchdown from a wide reciever screen play inside the Vols 5-yard line. So now it's 28-21.

The Vols currently have the ball at the Bears 46-yard line. Is there any doubt that they are going to score?

July 27, 2007

SEC: Fulmer Needs A Candace Parker

HOOVER, Ala. - Phil Fulmer has been in Knoxville, Tenn. for the better part of 33 years now and during that time he's accumulated a few friends, most notably Pat Summitt, who he was recently speaking with him about why it's so hard to win national championships.

Continue reading "SEC: Fulmer Needs A Candace Parker" »

SEC: Les Alabama

HOOVER, Ala. - LSU fans have circled one game on their calendar. It's not their Week 2 matchup with Virginia Tech or their meeting with Auburn later in the fall or even their showdown with the defending national champion Gators. The game every Tigers fan can't wait to get to is the Week 10 meeting with Alabama and it's new coach, Nick Saban.

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SEC: Orgeron's Big Day

HOOVER, Ala. - Happy birthday, Ed Orgeron. The 56-year old surely hasn't been enjoying his big day having to answer question after question about his 7-16 record during his tenure at Ole Miss and whether he can begin to turn around the Rebels program that's seen better days.

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SEC: Richt's Giving It Up

HOOVER, Ala. - You don't see coaches relinquish play calling duties all too often, but for Georgia's Mark Richt, the time had apparently come for him to let go with the reins and willingly give up some responsibility.

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SEC: It's Florida's & LSU's To Lose

HOOVER, Ala. - On the third and final day of SEC Media Days here, the conference released its predicted order of finish and it came as no surprise who the two division favorites are.

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July 26, 2007

SEC: Meyer Shudders At The Thought

HOOVER, Ala. - Urban Meyer stated the obvious when he said, "It's a good time to be in Gainesville, Florida." But it could be an even better place if Meyer's Gators take after the basketball team and repeat as national champs. Yet predictably Florida's third year coach is distancing himself as best he can from the repeat talk.

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SEC: Croom's Not Concerned

HOOVER, Ala. - Sylvester Croom took the mic with considerably less fanfare than previous speaker Nick Saban. With the Wynfrey ballroom much thinner than it was 20 minutes before, Croom took question after question about his struggling program which he acknowledges still has a long way to go.

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SEC: Saban's Here

HOOVER, Ala. - Nick Saban was officially introduced to the SEC media with plenty of pomp, circumstance and Saban's usual cynical responses to the numerous questions he was peppered with.

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SEC: Just About Time

HOOVER, Ala. - The buzz is building ever greater here as the countdown to Nick Saban's arrival has entered the minute mark.

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SEC: Kicked Off

HOOVER, Ala. - Count Bobby Johnson among those who don't like the new rules changes that will have teams kicking off from the 30-yard line this season instead of the 35.

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