Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry worked really hard to avoid Warpaint, the team’s horse mascot that trots out during every home game. It appears that Berry suffers from a very real fear of horses, evident in his refusal to step onto the field until Warpaint has moved to a safe distance, Uproxx notes.
“I’ll wait ’til the horse pass,” Berry says in the clip. “I don’t mess with horses, bro. He might come over here and throw a tantrum.”
Attorneys for the NFL are investigating a major porn event advertisement featuring five players in uniform. The advertisement that is under investigation is for last month’s Exxxotica Expo 2011 held in Miami. The players featured were Chicago Bears Major Wright, Kansas City Chiefs Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers, Houston Texans Kareem Jackson and Oakland Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford. The five players are featured along with six pictures of adult film stars.
Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of corporate communications said that it’s an “intellectual property issue” because the players were featured in their team jerseys.
“The NFL office works on behalf of the clubs to protect their intellectual property rights in matters such as this,” McCarthy said. “Our legal team is reviewing the ad. In general, companies not affiliated with the NFL or its clubs may not depict a player in his uniform.”
Virtually all players in the ad have denied any involvement and that their photos was used without permission.
Nike has told Adidas that they can go ahead and continue to use all the athletes they want or cut up their Nike Vapor football cleats with Buffalo Bills C.J. Spiller and Kansas City Chiefs Eric Berry because they just turn to the likes of Penthouse Pet Justene Jaro.
For some reason I have an urge to go buy a pair of Nike Air Max 90.
Buffalo Bills C.J. Spiller and Kansas City Chiefs Eric Berry introduce you and it’s competitors to the lightest football cleat on the market by Adidas called the adiZero Scorch. It goes head to head with Nikes Vapor and the proof is in the pudding on which one is lighter.
I’m sure St. Louis Rams fans will or have scoured the names of eligible college quarterbacks and envision them in a Rams uniform for the upcoming NFL Draft in April. However Ram fan, that’s the wrong position your organization needs to tend to with the number one overall pick, it’s time to think smart and not what would be pretty. I’m not saying the Rams don’t need to get a quarterback because they do but this draft doesn’t present itself with that clear cut number one overall guy to build a franchise around.
Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Dan LeFevour, Jimmy Clausen are great quarterbacks but with all the scrutiny that comes from being a number one overall, they are not your answer. Sam Bradford could be the exception however after shoulder surgery that leaves a huge question mark whether that’s the right move.
The answer lies on the defensive side of the ball and his name is Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle out of University of Nebraska. It’s that simple for the Rams, just continue to build on the defense since St. Louis already has brought in former New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spanuolo last year to be the head coach and in 2008 selected with the number two overall pick defensive end Chris Long out of the University of Virginia. Suh will clog the middle of line and demanding double teams allowing Long or Leonard Little to be freed up. ALL-SGE-NCAA Football Team member safety Eric Berry out of Tennessee could be another option but what Suh does at the line of impact, it’s a cant miss.
So St.Louis your on the clock but don’t make the mistake that puts you right back on the clock in April 2011.
The 42nd Chick-fil-A Bowl will see Virginia Tech Hokies from the ACC take on the Tennessee Volunteers from the SEC at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech is hoping to clinch a 10-win season for the sixth consecutive year, and that would be a tremendous accomplishment to say the least. The team is 9-3 overall this season, including a 5-2 mark against ACC competition. The Hokies are just 8-14 all-time in bowl games, and head coach Frank Beamer is 7-9 in bowl games after winning last years Orange Bowl.
Virginia Tech is led by standout freshman tailback Ryan Williams, who has run for a school and ACC freshman record 1,538 yards this season. He needs 110 yards against Tennessee to break the school’s single-season rushing record set by Kevin Jones in 2003. Williams has 20 total touchdowns, including 19 rushing scores. The Hokies are generating 31 ppg on the strength of 388.3 total ypg. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has connected on 55.8 percent of his throws for 2,102 yards and 13 touchdowns against 4 interceptions and rushed for 344 yards and 4 scores. Jarrett Boykin paces the club with 36 catches for 715 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Virginia Tech’s defense is limiting opponents to 15 ppg and 300.1 total ypg. Opposing quarterbacks have completed fewer than 50 percent of their passes against Tech, which has permitted a mere 8 touchdowns through the air and 9 rushing scores have been allowed. Cody Grimm has recorded 99 total tackles and forced 7 fumbles.
Tennessee owns a 25-22 all-time record in bowl games and is playing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl for the fifth time in school history and first since back-to-back appearances following the 2002 and 2003 seasons. The Vols are 1-3 in the Atlanta-based bowl, and they enter this game with a 7-5 overall record and 4-4 in the SEC.
Lane Kiffin’s Volunteers are scoring 30 ppg this season while generating 395.4 total ypg. Jonathan Crompton passed for 2,565 yards and 26 touchdowns while Gerald Jones caught 41 passes for 610 yards. Denarius Moore has 6 receiving touchdowns. Tennessee has a true workhorse back in Montario Hardesty, who has rushed for 1,306 yards and 12 touchdowns, carrying the ball 264 times.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tennessee is holding opponents to 21.0 ppg and 308.8 total ypg. The Vols have been outstanding against the pass, yielding a mere 9.5 yards per completion and just 5 touchdowns have been registered by opposing quarterbacks. Rico McCoy is a hard-hitting linebacker for the Vols, and he has made a team- high 112 tackles this season to go along with 5 forced fumbles. ALL-SGE-NCAA Football Team member Eric Berry is an outstanding safety that is the active NCAA leader and stands second in NCAA history with 494 interception return yards.
Tennessee owns a 5-2 lead over Virginia Tech in a series that dates back to 1896. The most recent meeting took place in 1994, a 45-23 triumph by the Vols.
PICK: University of Tennessee Volunteers
The 2009 regular season of NCAA football has ended and Sports Grind Entertainment is handing out it’s first ever All-SGE-NCAA Football Team. The 2009 All-SGE-NCAA Football Team takes in several factors and wins and losses is not one of them but such factors as on the field performance, consistency, detrimental to the team and rivalry or big game impact. Off the field issues are not even considered.
2009 ALL-SGE-NCAA FOOTBALL Team:
- Quarterback – Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame Fighting Irish: It’s easy to blame the struggles of the Fighting Irish upon Clausen but when you pass for 425 times and only throw 4 interceptions all year as well only being sack sacked 24 times, there’s not much blame that can be put on his arm. Clausen finished the season completing 289 passes for 3,722 yards and 28 touchdowns with a passer rating of 161.4 in a non run and shoot type offense.
- Running Back – Toby Gerhart, Stanford Cardinal: Gerhart complied the best season in all of college football for running backs with 1,736 yards and 26 touchdowns although his yards per carry where just average at 5.6.
- Running Back – LaMichael James, Oregon Ducks: The freshman James served as a backup to senior LaGarretteBlount in the opening week against Boise State and only carried the ball twice. After Blount’s suspension his carries improved to nine times against Purdue and settled in on a steady dose of at least 15 there after. The freshman stepped up to average 6.9 yards per carry and 1,476 yards on only 215 carries and no fumbles. James ended the season with 14 rushing touchdowns.
- Offensive Tackle – Russell Okung, Oklahoma State Cowboys: Okung is a four year letterman that stands at 6-5 and 300 pounds. Okung has quick feet that has allowed him to have 127 knockdown blocks and 58 pancakes. In his 836 snaps he has only allowed one sack.
- Offensive Tackle – Ciron Black, Louisiana State Tigers: Black is a four year letterman that stands at 6-5 and 325 pounds. Black has started 52 consecutive games at left tackle and had over 70 knockdowns this season.
- Guard – Rodney Hudson, Florida State Seminoles: Hudson is a three year letterman and is a quick 6-2 285 pounds. Hudson did not allow a sack all season and was only penalized twice.
- Guard – Mike Iupati, Idaho Vandals: Iupati is a four year letterman and is 6-6 330 pounds. Iupati is a massive man at the guard spot however is not that light on his feet.
- Center – J.D. Walton, Baylor Bears: Walton comes in at 6-3 305 pounds and was the only bright spot for Baylor this year. Walton finished his career with 36 consecutive starts after transferring from Arizona State in 2006. He anchored an offensive line that generated 2,349 rushing yards the most at Baylor since 1981, as well as 29 rushing touchdowns.
- Tight end – Dennis Pitta, Brigham Young Cougars: Pitta entered the 2009 season as one of the best receiving tight ends in the country and his 2009 season did nothing to change that. Pitta lead all tight ends this year in receiving yards with 784 and receiving yards per game 65.33 in a pass first offense. This season Pitta became BYU’s all-time leader in total receptions and also the NCAA career leader in tight end receiving yards. In 12 games Pitta recorded 57 receptions and 7 touchdowns.
- Wide Receiver – Jordan Shipley, Texas Longhorns: Shipley didn’t catch the most touchdowns, yards or the most passes but did finish in the top 10 in all of the categories while being Colt McCoy’s bailout receiver. Shipley finished 106 catches for third in the country, 1,363 yards for fifth and 11 touchdowns tying him for eight. Shipley’s biggest reception came on the final drive to keep Texas undefeated season alive in the Big 12 Championship game against Nebraska.
- Wide Receiver – Danario Alexander, Missouri Tigers: Alexander ranked second in receptions with 107 and had 5 games of collecting double digit receptions, while still finishing with an average of 15.4 yards per catch. Alexander ranked first in the country with 1,644 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. Alexanders shinning moment came against rival Kansas when he caught 15 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown to help in the 41-39 victory.
- Kicker – Kai Forbath, California Los Angeles, Bruins: Forbath was 22 of 23 on extra points, his only miss did not have an impact on the Bruins beating San Diego State 33-14. Forbath was 26 of 29 on his field goal attempts resulting in a 89.7 percentage. His 3 misses on the year all came from distances of 50 yards (51, 52, 51) or more, 2 of the 3 came in wins. He lead the Bruins with 100 points on a team that had trouble all year to move the ball. Forbath finished 8-8 (20-29 yards), 11-11 (30-39 yards), 4-4 (40-49 yards), 3-6 (50+ yards).
- Defensive End – Brandon Graham, Michigan Wolverines: Graham led the nation in tackles for loss with 26 and recorded 10.5 sacks. He recorded 64 tackles as 42 where solo while contributing 2 pass blocks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery. Graham wasn’t finished wrecking havoc on the defensive line as he blocked 2 kicks and returned 1 for a touchdown.
- Defensive End – Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Morgan finished the season with 52 tackles 37 of them where solo. Morgan ranked among the national leaders in sacks at 12.5 and 2 forced fumbles on the year. Adding to his stats that helped Georgia Tech reach the ACC Championship game was 18 tackles for a loss.
- Defensive Tackle – Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska Cornhuskers: If you have followed SGE, your well of the love affair there is for Suh. However, his performance on the field justifies his selection. Suh recorded 82 tackles and 47 of them where solo. Suh racked up 12 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss on the season. Suh finished the year with 10 block passes and 3 blocked kicks. Only to serve as a reminder was his performance in the Big 12 Championship game of 12 tackles, 10 of them solo and accumulating 4 sacks.
- Defensive Tackle – Adrian Clayborn, Iowa Hawkeyes: Clayborns performance was over shadowed all season by the infused media hype of Alabama’s Terrence Cody. Clayborn terrorized the Big Ten all season long as Cody did in the SEC but out performed Cody on an individual basis. Clayborn finished the season with 61 total tackles, 27 of them solo and 18 tackles for a loss. He gave the Hawkeyes 9 sacks, 2 pass deflections and forcing 4 fumbles while blocking 1 kick in comparison to Cody’s 25 tackles, 11 of them for solo and 0 sacks.
- Linebacker – Rolando McClain, Alabama Crimson Tide: McClain was all over the field this year for Alabama creating 101 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 pass deflections and forcing 1 fumble while leading the nations number 2 defense. His performance against in state rival Auburn was his shinning moment of the season has he did everything to insure a Bama’s perfect season.
- Linebacker – Greg Jones, Michigan State Spartans: Jones was third in the country in tackles with a 140. Jones reached double-figure tackles 8 times this season while also sacking opposing quarterbacks 9 times.
- Linebacker – Eric Norwood, South Carolina Gamecocks: Norwood had 71 tackles on the season and 11.5 that where for a loss as well as having 7 sacks on the season. His sack and tackle for a loss totals pushed him to become the all-time leader for South Carolina in both categories. Norwood leads the team with 2 interceptions and 3 blocked kicks. He also finished the year with 3 pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
- Cornerback – Javier Arenas, Alabama Crimson Tide: Arenas recorded 65 tackles, 42 of them solo. Arenas made himself very acquainted with quarterbacks sack them 5 times and intercepting them 3 times. He made his presence felt all over the field in a 12-10 nail biting win against Tennessee with 13 tackles and 1 sack. Arenas even pulls double duty on special team recording more than a 1,000 return yards this season and has scoring 1 touchdown.
- Cornerback – Joe Haden, Florida Gators: Haden recorded 57 tackles, 45 of them solo while no playing in the game against Georgia. Haden had his best game against South Carolina when he recorded 10 tackles, 9 of them solo, and pulling down 1 interception plus sacking the quarterback once ion 24-14 win. He finished the year with 3 sacks and 4 interceptions while deflection 8 passes.
- Safety – Eric Berry, Tennessee Volunteers: Berry is one of the hardest hitting defensive players in the country. He finished his season 83 tackles including 6 for lost yardage and deflected 9 passes while pulling down 2 interceptions and recovering 2 fumbles.
- Safety – Earl Thomas, Texas Longhorns: Thomas is one of college football true rising stars, outside of Ndamukong Suh he could have had the best college football season. Thomas recorded 57 tackles, 1 sack and 10 pass deflections in his sophomore year. He also grabbed 8 interceptions while taking 2 of them back for touchdowns, one for 92 yards in a win against Colorado. Thomas registered better games but came up big with an interception to stop Oklahoma in the fourth quarter of their final possession to preserve a 16-13 win.
- Punter – Matt Reagan, Memphis Tigers: Reagan ranked third nationally in averaging 45.5 yards per punt but also pulled double duty as the teams place kicker. His average was 3.3 yards behind Georgia’s Drew Butler and only 0.3 East Carolina’s Matt Dodge. Reagan punted on an average of 5 times a game for an actual total of 63 times and for 2,868 yards, again pulling double duty as the teams kicker.
- All-Purpose – C.J. Spiller, Clemson Tigers: Spiller was the most exciting football player in 2009, having his hands in every facet of the offensive side of the ball. He rushed 201 times for 1,145 yards and 11 touchdowns as well catching the ball 33 times for 445 yards and 4 touchdowns. Spiller was also the return man on kickoffs and punts, returning 21 times for 708 yards and 4 touchdowns on kickoffs with a long of 96 yards. His returns 13 punts for a total of 210 yards and 1 touchdown with a long of 77 yards. Spiller had a dominating performance in the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech with 233 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.
- Head Coach – June Jones, Southern Methodist Mustangs: This was by far the hardest decisions, either to go with a coach that hadn’t lost like Gary Patterson, Brian Kelly, Mack Brown, Nick Saban or Chris Peterson or to a coach that turned around a program like Al Golden, Danny Pearman, Randy Shannon or Jones. Jones came to a program that had back to back 1-11 seasons to finish 7-6 and lead the Mustangs to their first bowl, Hawaii Bowl, since 1984. The program lives infamy of its two-year death penalty in 1987-88 but since then the 1997 team is the only one to finish above .500, 6-5, until this year. Jones had the Mustangs finish 6-2 in Conference USA and within one game of playing in the championship game.
The Tennessee Volunteers will attempt to post their 25th consecutive victory over the Kentucky Wildcats as the SEC foes meet this weekend in Lexington.
Tennessee has never played a night game in Lexington, and it will be interesting to see how the club reacts to the enemy crowd and crisp weather. The Vols have won three of their last four games to move to 6-5 overall, and the most recent outing resulted in a 31-16 triumph over Vanderbilt last weekend. Lane Kiffin’s Vols have been competitive even in defeat this season, as four of the five losses have come by 10 or fewer points.
As for Kentucky, it has improved to 7-4 overall and 3-4 in SEC play with three consecutive victories. The Wildcats showed a great deal of heart and toughness last weekend by knocking off Georgia in Athens. Rich Brooks remains rather anonymous among SEC coaches, but he continues to field a quality product at Kentucky.
Tennessee is a solid offensive team that is averaging 30.6 ppg and 391.0 total ypg. The Vols are led by quarterback Jonathan Crompton. He has completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 2,345 yards and 25 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions. Montario Hardesty paces the ground attack with 1,127 yards and nine touchdowns. In the victory over Vanderbilt last weekend, Hardesty pounded out a career-high 171 yards and a touchdown on 32 attempts, while Crompton threw for 221 yards and two scores.
With the exception of a few rough outings, Tennessee has played tremendous defense this season, especially considering the difficult schedule Kiffin’s group has faced. The Vols are yielding 20 ppg while holding opponents to 313.2 total ypg. Tennessee has been tremendous against the pass, limiting opposing quarterback to 9 yards per completion with a collective total of five passing scores in 11 games. There are a couple of tremendous performers on the defensive side of the ball, including safety Eric Berry, who is widely regarded as one of the best players in the nation at his position. Berry has record 75 tackles, including 5 tackle for losses, to go along with 2 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries. Hard-hitting linebacker Rico McCoy has 99 tackles to his credit, and he has forced 4 fumbles.
Kentucky is scoring 27 ppg this season to go along with 342.9 total ypg. There are two dynamic play makers in the fold for the Wildcats in Derrick Locke, a tailback, and Randall Cobb, a converted quarterback who does a little bit of everything. Locke has rushed for 821 yards and 5 touchdowns while making 22 catches for 221 yards and two scores. As for Cobb, he has run for 436 yards and 9 touchdowns, and his 33 catches for 403 yards and four scores leads all receivers. In addition to his 80 receiving yards, Lock rushed for 80 yards as well. Cobb had a pair of rushing scores but was limited to only 59 combined rushing and receiving yards.
The Wildcats are not a dominant defensive team, but they have played fairly well in most games. Opponents are posting 22 ppg and 355.4 total ypg against Kentucky, which has room for improvement against both the run and the pass, as foes are gaining 4.6 yards per rushing attempt and 13.6 yards per completion. Micah Johnson continues to lead the Cats in tackles with 84, and Sam Maxwell is tops with five interceptions.
Twenty-four straight wins over Kentucky has enabled Tennessee to stretch its advantage to 72-23-9 in the all-time series between the teams.
PICK: University of Kentucky Wildcats
South Carolina (6-2, 3-2 SEC) eked out a 14-10 home victory last week against Vanderbilt on Stephen Garcia’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffrey early in the fourth quarter and an intentional grounding penalty that effectively ended a Commodores’ comeback in South Carolina territory.
South Carolina’s previous two conference victories were by a combined eight points against Kentucky and Mississippi, and the Gamecocks opened the season with a 7-3 win at North Carolina State. That victory is South Carolina’s coach Steve Spurrier lone road win since Oct. 11, 2008, at Kentucky. The Gamecocks have lost at SEC rivals Georgia on Sept. 12 and Alabama on Oct. 17. In contrast, South Carolina started its current seven-game home win streak by beating the Volunteers 27-6 last season.
Garcia threw for a pair of touchdowns as the Gamecocks built a 21-0 halftime lead in that game, but they face an improving Tennessee team that nearly upset Alabama on the road last week. Garcia finished with 312 yards in beating Vanderbilt one yard shy of his season high and he’s thrown at least two touchdown passes in three of the last four games.
The emergence of Jeffery as a top-flight threat has helped Garcia flourish. The freshman, who had a season-best eight catches and 161 yards against Vanderbilt, has 382 of his 443 yards in the past three games and has scored all five of his touchdowns in the last four contests.
In a 12-10 loss, the Volunteers (3-4, 1-3) had a pair of field goals blocked in fourth quarter, including one as time expired, and Daniel Lincoln missed another from 47 yards just before halftime. Tennessee also out gained Alabama 341-256.
Since a slow start in which he had five touchdowns and seven interceptions in his first three games, Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton has averaged 264 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Crompton, however, was 5 of 8 for 39 yards in last season’s loss to the Gamecocks.
During an early furor after his hiring, coach Lane Kiffin allegedly told Jeffrey he would “end up pumping gas” if he signed with South Carolina. Spurrier also questioned if the new Tennessee coach had violated a recruiting rule by not taking a required NCAA test.
It could be a difficult night for Crompton and Garcia as each will face two of the better pass defenses in the country. South Carolina ranks third in allowing 141.3 yards per game, and Tennessee is No. 6 (155.9 ypg) behind All-American safety Eric Berry. The Volunteers are also 10th in total defense, giving up an average of 269.7 yards, while the Gamecocks are 14th (288.9 ypg).
Tennessee has not allowed an offensive touchdown in its past two games, while South Carolina allowed its only TD last week on a 99-yard kickoff return.
Spurrier is 11-7 all-time against the Volunteers but 2-2 with the Gamecocks. In addition to its home dominance of South Carolina, Tennessee leads the series 21-4-2.
PICK: University of Tennessee Volunteers