The first touchdown of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State might be replayed throughout the rest of the season.
With just over a minute into the second quarter of the Buckeyes season opener against Miami (Ohio), quarterback Braxton Miller threw a deep pass to receiver Devin Smith in the back of the end zone from 23 yards out. The sophomore wideout had some separation from the defender, leaped up and reached back to make an amazing one-handed touchdown catch.
A piece of history from the University of Alabama’s championship run was shattered on following the Crimson Tide’s annual A-Day scrimmage over the weekend. Alabama’s $30,000 crystal BCS trophy shattered into little pieces when a player’s father foot got caught on a rug that sits beneath the trophy and knocked over the display table.
This isn’t the first time a BCS trophy fell at the hands of an onlooker. Back in 2008, Florida’s 2006 BCS National Championship trophy was knocked over and shattered outside of Urban Meyer’s office by then-recruit Orson Charles. Charles apologized for his clumsiness, but eventually signed with Georgia.
No word on whose father did the expensive damage
The debate about how the New York Jets should use Tim Tebow continues. Tebow’s college coach, Urban Meyer, though offers his opinions on how the New York Jets should use their new quarterback. Meyer said the Jets should commit their offense to running a kind of spread-based offense that he used with Tebow at Florida.
“Just let him play,” Meyer said.
Meyer, now at Ohio State, believes that if defenses have to worry about Tebow carrying the ball while running the option, he will become a more effective passer.
“When you started seeing him throw against those easy coverages it was because [opposing team] had to stop the run,” Meyer said.
The Ohio State Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer has not wasted any time in bringing back some old traditions to the Buckeyes football program. The football schedule posted on campus says the Buckeyes are playing “that team up north” instead of Michigan. The tradition of referring to Michigan in this manner began with legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes who hated his rival so much he refused to call them by their name.
Defensive tackle and top 150 recruit Tommy Schutt has decommitted from Penn State and opted instead for Ohio State. Schutt was Penn State’s top-ranked Class of 2012 recruit and changed his commitment after the Nittany Lions scandal.
“I think he’s extremely happy,” Hetlet said. “He came back yesterday from his trip to Ohio State, and he was very impressed with coach Urban Meyer and what his vision was for the program and where he sees Tommy fitting in.”
Schutt, who is 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, had 14 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 19 batted balls and one interception this season for Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
For a guy who has all these health problems former Florida head coach Urban Meyer’s continues to find himself quickly employed again. When he first resigned from Florida he cited health problems but found himself back on the Gators sidelines within a few days. Now after his second resignation from Florida and still citing health problems he has found, within a month of his announcement, his next employer in ESPN where he will be an analyst for college football season.
He will make his debut Wednesday during ESPNU’s coverage of national signing day. He will work weekly regular-season games during the season, as well as provide studio analysis on ESPN’s “College Football Live” and “College GameDay. ”
And here I thought Meyer resigned from Florida because he needed time away from football.
The heat has gotten a little hot for Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew after he made some disparaging remarks about Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Jones-Drew took to his Twitter account on Sunday to criticize Cutler after he left the NFC Championship game with a knee injury. Jones-Drew was just one of many players that threw his opinion on Cutler but has since said that his criticism was a joke. Jones-Drew told the Associated Press that he never questioned Cutler’s toughness when he left the NFC title game.
“I never attacked him, called him soft or a sore loser,” Jones-Drew said. “I never questioned his toughness. I think people took my joke out of context. I was taking at shot at Florida fans.”
After backup quarterback Todd Collins entered the game, Jones-Drew tweeted that he thinks “the urban meyer rule is effect right now… When the going gets tough……..QUIT.” He also posted that he played the whole season with a hurt knee. Jones-Drew said he was unaware that anything was wrong with Cutler.
“All I thought about was being in that position, being in that game,” Jones-Drew said. “I’ve never been in a title game, so my first thought was why wouldn’t you want to play in that situation.”
It was reported on Monday that Cutler sprained his MCL.
Seeing Jay Cutler’s jersey burn is nothing new on this site, as we have posted little Tommy taking a lighter to his Denver Broncos jersey before, when he was traded to the Chicago Bears. However, this is the first time fans in Chicago have turned on Cutler and it all came about after he had on the worst in his pro career. He was unable to do much against Green Bay Packers defense for most of the afternoon before leaving the game due to an injury which he’s unaware of when he suffered it.
His peers and Bears fans were extremely upset and expressed their anger almost the instant he did not step back onto the field.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew wrote on his twitter “Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now… When the going gets tough……..QUIT..”
“All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee… I played the whole season on one…”
Former Super Bowl winning linebacker Derrick Brooks tweeted
“Hey there is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart” and that was on top of saying “the knee injury has to be very very injured, if you come out, Philip Rivers played on torn acl, now its pick, seriously Jay Cutler.”
It’s going to be a long off-season for Cutler.
Round and round it goes. The more it spins, the more we know. So exactly what have we learned now that the hire of Bill Blakenship by Tulsa has officially ended the coaching carousel in college football landscape. Nine head coaches were fired, five resigned, and seven left to take another head coaching position at another school. Here’s a complete list of all the college football coaching changes.
OUT – Steve Roberts: Resigned on November 29 after going 45-63 in 9 seasons
IN – Hugh Freeze: Promoted from offensive coordinator December 2
OUT – Stan Parrish: Fired November 22 after going 6-19 in 2 seasons
IN – Pete Lembo: Elon University head coach…hired December 20
OUT – Dan Hawkins: Fired November 9 after going 19-39 in 5 seasons
IN – Jon Embree: Washington Redskins tight ends coach…hired December 5
OUT – Randy Edsall: Hired at Maryland on January 2 after going 65-46 in 12 seasons
IN – Paul Pasqualoni: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator…hired January 13
OUT – Urban Meyer: Resigned December 8 after going 64-15 in 6 seasons
IN – Will Muschamp: Texas defensive coordinator…hired December 11
OUT – Bill Lynch: Fired November 28 after going 19-30 in 4 seasons
IN – Kevin Wilson: Oklahoma offensive coordinator….hired December 7
OUT: Doug Martin. Resigned Nov. 21 after going 28-53 in seven seasons
IN: Darrell Hazell, Ohio State assistant head coach/wide receivers coach. Hired Dec. 20.
OUT: Rickey Bustle. Fired Nov. 27 after going 41-65 in eight seasons
IN: Mark Hudspeth, Mississippi State wide receiver coach/passing game coordinator. Hired Dec. 12.
OUT: Ralph Friedgen. Fired Dec. 20 after going 74-50 in 10 seasons
IN: Randy Edsall, Connecticut head coach. Hired Jan. 2.
OUT: Randy Shannon. Fired Nov. 27 after going 28-22 in four seasons
IN: Al Golden, Temple coach. Hired Dec. 12.
MIAMI OF OHIO
OUT: Mike Haywood, hired at Pittsburgh on Dec. 16 after going 10-15 in two seasons. (Haywood was fired Jan. 1 after he was arrested on domestic violence charges.)
IN: Don Treadwell, Michigan State offensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 31.
OUT: Rich Rodriguez. Fired Jan. 5 after going 15-22 in three seasons.
In: Brady Hoke, San Diego State coach. Hired Jan. 11.
OUT: Tim Brewster. Fired Oct. 17 after going 15-30 in four seasons
IN: Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois coach. Hired Dec. 5.
OUT: Todd Dodge. Fired Oct. 20 after going 6-37 in four seasons
IN: Dan McCarney, Florida defensive line coach and assistant head coach. Hired Nov. 30.
OUT: Jerry Kill. Hired at Minnesota on Dec. 5 after going 23-16 in three seasons.
IN: Dave Doeren, Wisconsin defensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 13.
OUT: Dave Wannstedt. Resigned Dec. 7 after going 42-31 in six seasons
IN: Todd Graham, Tulsa coach. Hired Jan. 10.
SAN DIEGO STATE
OUT: Brady Hoke, hired at Michigan after going 13-12 in two seasons.
IN: Rocky Long, promoted from defensive coordinator Jan. 13.
OUT: Jim Harbaugh. Hired as San Francisco 49ers head coach Jan. 7 after going 29-21 in four seasons.
IN: David Shaw, Stanford offensive coordinator. Hired Jan. 13.
OUT: Al Golden, hired at Miami after going 27-34 in five seasons.
IN: Steve Addazio, Florida offensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 23.
OUT: Todd Graham, hired at Pittsburgh after going 36-17 in four seasons
IN: Bill Blankenship, promoted from senior associate head coach/running back coach.
OUT: Robbie Caldwell. Resigned Nov. 27 after going 2-10 in one season
IN: James Franklin, Maryland offensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 17.
Urban Meyer and and University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban will serve as guest analysts for ESPN’s all-day coverage of the Auburn-Oregon BCS National Championship game Monday said ESPN spokesman. The two championship winning coaches will appear on the network’s pre and postgame coverage and analyze the matchup all day on ESPN programs such as College GameDay.
Asked if ESPN wants to hire Meyer as an analyst, the response was that if he decides to oursue TV full time they would be highly interested.
This game goes down on the ABC network and it features the Penn State Nittany Lions taking on the University of Florida Gators in the 25th annual Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Florida, 7-5, 4-4 SEC, The Gators are playing their final game under Urban Meyer who lost two of their final three games of the season and the lone win came against Division II opponent Appalachian State. Meyer will hand over the reins to former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp following this game.
The Florida offense averaged just under 30 ppg while putting up 165.6 ypg rushing and 191.2 ypg passing every game. Quarterback John Brantley is completing 61.4 percent of his passes for 2,020 yards with 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Deonte Thompson was the team’s leading receiver with 36 grabs for 548 yards. The ground game for the Gators wasn’t a whole lot better as it was led by Jeffery Demps and his 531 yards on 89 carries. Trey Burton was the most efficient of the rushers, scoring 11 times though on 73 attempts.
Defensively the Gators have an impact player and Sunday bound in Ahmad Black who registered 102 tackles and 10 tackles for loss to go along with 3 interceptions and pair of fumble recoveries.
Penn State, 7-5, 4-4 Big Ten, Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions enter this bowl having lost two of its final three games of the season but prior to that the Lions had reeled off three straight wins. The Nittany Lions offense has seen better days but still has the schools all time leading rusher in Evan Royster who is playing in his last game. Royster produced 916 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The passing attack for Penn State now relies on quarterback Matt McGloin, who was given the job midway through the season. He has since gone on to complete 58 percent of his passes for 1,337 yards with 13 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Derek Moye is Penn State’s impact player in the receiver department with 806 yards and 7 touchdowns while Brett Barrett is next with 497 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The Nittany Lions have a standout player on defense as well in linebacker Chris Colasanti who has 102 tackles.
Florida is 2-0 all-time against Penn State.
PICK: Penn State Nittany Lions
So this is what college football has now come to that a national champion game is decided by computers and coaches who hold grudges. How else can you explain a fellow SEC coach not voting an undefeated Auburn school number one in the final USA Today poll?
That’s exactly what University of Florida’s head football coach Urban Meyer did when he couldn’t bring himself to vote for a fellow SEC school as number one. Meyer voted for Oregon ahead of Auburn and in essence told the country that he believes the SEC wasn’t the toughest conference in all of college football with the voting slight to the Tigers.
The other SEC coaches with votes all put Auburn at the top of their ballots. It didn’t matter that Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, Mark Richt and Dan Mullen all lost to the Tigers this season. Spurrier was 0-2 against them. It didn’t matter that Mullen lost Cam Newton to Auburn in recruiting him a year ago.
Those guys recognized that Auburn went 13-0 against by far the toughest schedule of the three unbeaten teams, so what’s Urban’s problem?
This game goes down on the ESPNU network and it features the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers taking on Mississippi State University Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium.
Head coach Neil Callaway takes his Blazers into a non-conference game with a 2-4 overall record and 1-2 in Conference USA. The Blazers managed to halt a two game slide last weekend with a 21-6 triumph over UTEP as they try and finish strong in hopes of a bowl bid this season.
Junior quarterback Bryan Ellis, 1198 yards 8 touchdowns 5 INTs, has completed 57.1 percent of his throws this season for the Blazers. When Ellis puts the ball in the air he often looks to senior wide receiver Frantrell Forrest, 364 yards 4 touchdowns. However the Blazers operate a two quarterback system as they try to utilize sophomore David Isabelles, 394 yards 4 touchdowns, legs. If it’s not Isabelle running the ball those duties are handled by junior Pat Shed, 317 yards. The offense is generating only 21 ppg this season despite racking up 422.2 total ypg.
Defensively opponents are scoring 28 ppg against the Blazers which is allowing 374.8 total ypg. The Blazers have struggled against the pass, permitting 13.3 yards per completion and 11 touchdowns.
Head coach Dan Mullen has his Bulldogs 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC as they prepare to play in this non-conference meeting against a Conference USA opponent. The Bulldogs are riding a four-game win streak that is coming of a 10-7 victory over the Florida Gators and his old boss Urban Meyer.
The Bulldogs offense is generating 28 ppg and 392.3 total ypg with most of it coming on the ground as 16 of their 25 touchdowns have come by that way. The Bulldogs themselves are operating a two quarterback system with that of junior Chris Relf, 708 yards 5touchdowns 3 INTs, and freshman Tyler Russell, 555 yards 4 touchdowns 5 INTs, under center and both have produced solid results. Regardless of who is throwing passes sophomore Chad Bumphis, 461 yards 4 touchdowns, is often on the receiving end. Junior Vick Ballard, 516 yards 11 touchdowns, leads the rushing attack followed by Relf and his 377 yards 2 touchdown efforts.
The defensive unit of Mississippi State deserves a ton of credit for the early success of the team, as opponents are only managing 16 ppg and 332.9 total ypg against the Bulldogs. Just four rushing touchdowns have come against this unit. Senior linebacker Chris White, 57 tackles 12 tackles for loss and 5 sacks is the true standout on that side of the ball.
Mississippi State has won two of its three all-time meetings with UAB, the most recent of which took place in 2007.
PICK: Mississippi State University Bulldogs
Yeah seeing this official get the field goal call incorrect then trying to play it off wouldn’t sit well with me going further into SEC play. Urban Meyer it’s obviously time for a Tebow prayer because that’s three losses now in a row and back-to-back on your home field.
Junior John Brantley is terrible.
This game goes down on the ESPNU network and it features the Mississippi State University Bulldogs taking on the University of Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Head coach Dan Mullen is taking on his old boss from Florida and University of Utah Utes Urban Meyer where he served as the offensive coordinator at Florida before taking over the Bulldogs last season. Mullen’s team is 4-2 overall with a record of 1-2 in SEC but are coming off a 47-24 win against Houston last week. The Bulldogs are seeking their first four game winning streak since reeling off eight straight in 1999 but haven’t played a conference game since beating Georgia 24-12 on September 25.
Mullen continues to run a two quarterback system that will only present further losses as they now get further into SEC play and can help add explanation to why they rank 74th in the nation in passing. The Bulldogs rely on junior quarterback Chris Relf, 675 yards 5 touchdowns 3 INTs, to start things things off and overcome his 59.3 percentage of throws he completes by using his legs. Relf has rushed for 295 yards and one touchdown which is second best on the team. Mullen will then turn to freshman quarterback Tyler Russell, 555 yards 4 touchdowns 5 INTs, to hopefully creat opportunities with his arm. The rotating of quarterbacks at times just kills the natural momentum and feel the quarterbacks get into and hurts the Bulldogs.
It doesn’t matter who is under center as junior running back Vick Ballard, 418 yards 11 touchdowns, is averaging a 7.2 yards per carry. Sophomore wide receiver Chad Bumphis, 431 yards 4 touchdowns, is also a relaiable option for both quarterbacks.
Defensively the Bulldogs have strength in stopping the run as they only have given up 113.2 yards per game at 3.5 yards per carry. Senior linebacker Chris White is the star on the defense as he has 46 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss.
Head coach Meyer is going against his former under study and rings his Gators into the game with a 4-2 overall record and 2-2 in SEC play. However the Gators losses have been back to back and their most recent being a nail biter to LSU 33-29. The Gators are trying to avoid losing three straight for the first time in 11 years.
The Gators junior quarterback John Brantley, 1056 yards 6 touchdowns 4 INTs, has yet to live up to the recruiting hype that was surrounding him years ago. Brantley is completing 62.1 percent of his throws but they are mostly short passes. Once again the status of junior running back Jeff Demps, 414 yards 2 touchdowns, is at 50/50 entering the game due to his sore foot. Freshman Trey Burton, 9 touchdowns, is viable player that needs to be on the field at all times.
The Gators defense is an average one but still has probably one of the best safeties in senior Ahmad Black, 50 tackles 3 interceptions.
Florida owns a 33-18-2 series lead over Mississippi State, including a 29-19 victory over the Bulldogs last season.
PICK: University of Florida Gators
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the University of Cincinnati Bearcats takes on the University of Louisville Cardinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Back to back Big East champions, the Bearcats have gotten off to a rocky start under new head coach Butch Jones has already lost three games this season. Cincinnati enters it’s first Big East conference game and it’s on the road, overall the Bearcats are 2-3 on the season. The Bearcats however are coming off just torching their rival Miami-Ohio for a 45-3 victory last weekend.
The Bearcats are still struggling with their offensive line that has already given up a total of 19 sacks on the season and at times looks to be the worst in the nation. Playing behind that horrible offensive line is junior quarterback Zach Collaros, 1180 yards 12 touchdowns 1 INT, who making the most out of every opportunity he has when he is on his two feet. Collaros is completing 63.2 of his throws and often looks cutting across the middle of the field for junior wide receiver D.J. Woods, 489 yards 4 touchdowns, or senior wide receiver Armon Binns, 350 yards 4 touchdowns.
The Bearcats have gotten a recent explosion the running back position with the return of junior back Isaiah Pead, 402 yards one touchdown, who is returning after missing two games with a knee injury. Pead is averaging 9.8 yards per carry since his return for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is better than their record indicates on defense but there still areas for improvement as they are giving up 267.6 yards per game in the air compared to the 84.8 ypg on the ground. Junior linebacker J.K. Schaffer, 49 tackles, is the one player to pay attention on the defensive side of the ball.
Head coach Charlie Strong is in his first full year of head coaching experiencing after leaving the University of Florida Gators where he served on Urban Meyer’s staff as assistant coach and defensive coordinator. Strong has the Cardinals entering their first Big East conference game with an overall 3-2 record after beating Memphis 56-0, the teams first shutout since they beat Temple in 2006 62-0. The Cardinals two losses on the season have been by just seven points each.
The Cardinals offensive is handled by senior quarterback Adam Froman, 1177 yards 9 touchdowns 4 INTs, as he is completing 59.7 percent of his throws. The Cardinals are blessed though to have Bilal Powell, 689 yards 7 touchdowns, in the backfield where he is averaging 7.6 yards per carry. The team as a whole is producing 218.9 yards per game. Louisville also has nice additions in junior wide receiver Josh Bellamy, 265 yards 4 touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Doug Beaumont, 244 yards 1 touchdown.
Louisville posted its first shutout in four years last week and is really what has gotten the Cardinals off to a good start this season as they are holding teams to just 19 points per game. The Cardinals defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 18 times this season. Senior defensive end Rodney Gnat, 6.5 sacks, is the star of Louisville’s defense. A nice early standout on the season is sophomore defensive back Darius Ashley.
Cincinnati holds a 27-21-1 lead over Louisville in the all-time series which includes a 41-10 win at home last year.
PICK: University of Cincinnati Bearcats
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the Louisiana State University Tigers taking on the University of Florida Gators down in Gainesville.
Head coach Les Miles is taking his Tigers to Florida unbeaten at 5-0 and 3-0 in the SEC. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Miles and his Tigers though as they where almost handed their first loss of the season last weekend to Tennessee on their home field, but a penalty on the Volunteers at the end of the game enabled the Tigers to score the go-ahead points with no time left on the clock.
The Tigers have had a roller coaster ride at the quarterback position since week one. Miles decided last week to have junior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, 449 yards 2 touchdowns 6 INTs, and junior Jarrett Lee, 206 yards zero touchdowns 1 INT, split time under center. Jefferson has had time this season under center and has continued to stumble as he has completed 51.7 of his throws but along with his alarming interceptions has also been sacked 5 times. Lee stepped in and was clearly more impressive.
Junior running back Steven Ridley, 557 yards 4 touchdowns, leads the conference and has tried to provide a little relif for the back in forth of the quarterbacks. Ridley is averaging 5.7 yards per attempt.
Defensively the Tigers have not allowed any of their opponents to score more than 14 points which is 4th best in the nation. The Tigers are allowing a mere 246.6 total ypg, including 79 rushing ypg on only 2.3 ypc. The Tigers defensive unit has registered 16 sacks and taken the ball away from its opponents 11 times while holding foes to 32 percent success on third down conversion attempts. Senior linebacker Kelvin Sheppard leads that impressive unit with 48 tackles.
Head coach Urban Meyer tries to prepare his Gators after they suffered their first loss of the season last week to Alabama, 31-6. The loss dropped the Gators to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC as well as ending their streak of 24 consecutive regular-season wins.
Florida’s offense is lead by junior quarterback John Brantley, 902 yards 6 touchdowns 3 INTs, but appears not to be in line for semi success of that former legend Tim Tebow enjoyed. Junior running back Jeff Demps, 414 2 touchdowns, is still running on a bruised foot that slowed his speed against a tough Crimson Tide defense. The real bright spot for this years Gators has been the play of freshman athlete Trey Burton, who has thrown for 42 yards, caught 12 passes for 77 yards with one touchdown and rushed the ball for 60 yards and 7 touchdowns.
The Florida defense is just giving up 17.6 ppg which puts them at 26th in the nation. The Gators still have probably one of the best safeties in senior Ahmad Black, 37 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Florida owns a 30-23-3 series lead over LSU and has beaten the Tigers in the last two meetings.
PICK: Louisiana State University Tigers
This game goes down on the CBS network and it features the University of Florida Gators takes on the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Head coach Urban Meyer brings his Gators into this SEC matchup with an undefeated record as well as 2 wins in the conference. Meyer’s Gators are a far cry from their 2008 SEC Championship team and will face their opponent from last years game that they lost in Atlanta 32-13. However Florida has won 24 straight regular season games including 13 on the road. The Gators offense is handled by junior quarterback John Brantley, 700 yards 6 touchdowns 1 INT, connecting on 64 percent of his passes but ranks 90th in the nation in passing with 185.5 ypg.
Brantley has the unique situation of having a pure athlete in freshman Trey Burton, who has 8 touchdowns on the years coming from rushing and receiving. He also has junior running back Jeff Demps, 367 yards 2 touchdowns, is averaging 6.9 ypc. Junior wide reciever Deonte Thompson, 248 yards, has been the top option down the field.
The defensive effort has been solid for the most part holding teams to 295.5 ypg. The Gators still have probably one of the best safeties in senior Ahmad Black, 30 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Head coach Nick Saban also brings Alabama undefeated into the matchup but with only one victory in SEC. Last years BCS National Champion still is lead by senior quarterback Greg McElroy, 899 yards 7 touchdowns 3 INTs, who hasn’t lost a game in his career as a starter. Heisman Trophy winner junior Mark Ingram, 308 yards 4 touchdown, looks in Heisman again. Sophomore Trent Richardson, 356 yards, 4 touchdowns, is a solid backup for right now but could easily be starting for any other team in the nation. Junior wide receiver Julio Jones, 303 yards 2 touchdowns, is McElroy’s favorite target.
A lot of the faces have changed on the defensive side but is still holding teams under 295.2 offense. The defense has stars for the programs in junior defensive back Mark Barron, one sack, one INT, one forced fumble and sophomore defensive back Robert Lester, 17 tackles, 4 INTs, one fumble recovery, in the secondary. Sophomore linebacker Dont’a Hightower, 20 tackles, and the luxury of junior defensive end Marcell Dareus getting back into form.
Alabama holds a 21-14 edge in the all-time series with Florida, but just a 6-5 advantage in Tuscaloosa.
PICK: University of Alabama Crimson Tide
This game goes down on the ESPNU network and it features the University of Kentucky Wildcats taking on the University of Florida Gators in Gainesville.
Florida’s head coach Urban Meyer comes into this game just one victory short of reaching a 100 for his career as his Gators are 3-0 and that comes after a 31-17 victory at Tennessee in last weekend’s SEC opener.
The Gators though haven’t been all that impressive on the offensive side of the ball only averaging 319 total ypg. Junior quarterback John Brantley, 452 yards 5 touchdowns, has had the difficult task of replacing Tim Tebow still hasn’t thrown an interception yet which is a streak of 140 consecutive passes dating back to 2008. The Gators do have the luxury of having junior running back Jeff Demps, 310 yards 2 touchdowns, who is averaging 6.9 ypc.
The defensive side of the ball is where Florida has really stood out limiting opponents to 276.7 total ypg including just 92.3 ypg on the ground. The unit has also been opportunistic, forcing 12 turnovers with 10 coming on interceptions. Senior linebacker Brandon Hicks led the way last week with 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks but senior safety Ahmad Black takes the team honors for the season with 24 tackles and 3 interceptions.
The Wildcats are watched by first year coach Joker Phillips who is 3-0 and is the first Kentucky coach to win his first three contests on the job since Bear Bryant did so in 1946. The offense for the Wildcats has taken care of business up to this point averaging 44 points and 497.3 yards without committing a turnover.
Kentucky has senior quarterback Mike Hartline, 680 yards 5 touchdowns, to thank for that as he has also completed 72 percent of his throws. The Wildcats have also gotten senior leadership out of the running back position from Derrick Locke, 372 yards 5 touchdowns. Kentucky has gone over 200 rushing and 200 passing yards in each game this season which has provided a very well balanced attack.
Defensively the Wildcats has only forced just four turnovers but has limited opponents to just 257.7 total ypg including only 109.7 ypg through the air. Last weekend, Kentucky smothered the Akron Zips to just 172 yards of total offense. The production has been as a unit for the Wildcats but it’s early stars have been sophomore defensive end Taylor Wyndham and junior linebacker Danny Trevathan who leds the team with 20 tackles including 6 for a loss.
Florida owns a 43-17 advantage in the series with Kentucky having won the last 23 meetings including a 24-4 mark in Gainesville. It’s the second longest active losing streak in Divison I, trailing Kentucky’s 25 game run of losses versus Tennessee.
PICK: University of Florida Gators
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was hospitalized after suffering a mild heart attack shortly after an overtime victory against Notre Dame. The 54-year-old Dantonio was taken to Sparrow Hospital hours after the game and had surgery to put a stent in a blocked blood vessel leading to the heart, which allowed blood flow to be restored.
The coach is expected to remain in the hospital for at least a few more days. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will lead the team during Dantonio’s indefinite absence. Dantonio won’t be on the sidelines when the Spartans play Northern Colorado on Saturday.
Dantonio went to the hospital soon after making one of the most audacious calls I’ve ever seen with the game on the line when he decided to fake a field goal that could’ve forced a second overtime against the Irish, choosing instead to have holder Aaron Bates throw a pass that turned into a 29-yard touchdown that lifted the Spartans to a 34-31 victory.
Dantonio certainly isn’t the first high-profile coach to experience health problems. Florida coach Urban Meyer was hospitalized with chest pains in December after his Gators lost the Southeastern Conference championship game to Alabama. Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill was hospitalized recently because of dehydration, Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker was hospitalized with complications from diabetes, and Notre Dame assistant Mike Elston was released from the hospital after a viral illness.
The University of Florida Gators wide receiver Chris Rainey was arrested for aggravated stalking after he sent his girlfriend a text message that read “Time to die”. Rainey has now been kicked off Urban Meyer’s football team.
Gainesville police said the incident began when the woman Rainey has dated on and off for three years fell asleep and missed a call from the former Gators receiver. Police say Rainey went to the woman’s home, and she talked to him for about 10 minutes and then told him to leave. Rainey then sent a text to the woman that said “Time to die.”
The woman said that when she told Rainey that police wanted to speak to him, Rainey’s response was, “Wait and see what happens when they leave.”
Rainey was arrested at his apartment a short time later. The alleged victim appeared in court later with her mother and sister. The woman told Judge Denise R. Ferrero she does not fear Rainey but was concerned about retribution from the public following all the media attention. She also asked for the charges to be dropped.
“I did not want to have him arrested,” she said. “When the police came, I signed papers to not press any charges. I don’t fear for my safety. … People all over the country have been calling my cell phone. I’m not afraid of him. I’m more afraid of all the repercussions.”
So if she believed all that, why did she place a call to the police? Rainey is the 27th player arrested during Meyer’s six seasons in Gainesville.
Urban Meyer lashed out at a reporter yesterday for what the Florida football coach felt was an unfair article about Gators receiver Deonte Thompson. Thompson was quoted earlier in the week praising Florida quarterback John Brantley with words that many felt were critical of ex-Gators quarteback Tim Tebow:
“You never know with Tim. You can bolt, you think he’s running but he’ll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback.”
Thompson was embarrassed by the remark and the attention it got, because as he said he likes Tebow and never wanted to say anything negative about him.
Meyer took up the issue with the Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler, who ran the piece, saying “You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. You’ll be out of practice- you understand that? If you do that again. I told you five years ago: Don’t mess with our players. Don’t do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It’s yes or no.”
Later he added “You’re a bad guy, man. You’re a bad guy,” Meyer said. “If that was my son, we’d be going at it right now.”
I would have asked the Gators coach hows the retirement going?
University of Southern California has hired University of Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin to take over Pete Carroll, who left for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, after just one season roaming the sidelines for the Volunteers. The hiring was announced by USC hours after Carroll was introduced in Seattle.
Kiffin who is in his third head coaching job in three seasons, 34, is a disciple of Carroll, serving on his staff from 2001 to 2006. In Kiffin’s last two seasons at USC, he was offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
Kiffin left USC in 2007 to coach the Oakland Raiders, becoming the youngest coach in the NFL’s modern era. He was fired after four games of his second season. He then was hired by Tennessee, going 7-6 and playing in a bowl game in his one season.
The move comes as a surprise because Kiffin had been with Tennessee for only this season and because UT has had at least six secondary violations of NCAA rules in Kiffin’s tenure, which spanned just 14 months. He comes to a Trojans program under NCAA investigation since 2006, when allegations were reported that 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and his family received improper benefits from a would-be marketing representative.
Kiffin’s one season at Tennessee will be remembered for a series of verbal gaffes when he accused Florida coach Urban Meyer of cheating for contacting a recruit when the player was visiting Tennessee and the minor NCAA rules violations and now, for his quick departure for Southern California.
His quick exit for a return to Los Angeles, just three weeks before national signing day, was not taken well by Vols fans. Students burned mattresses and piles of trash and gathered around the athletic department building and “The Rock” had obscenities directed toward Kiffin.
Kiffin will bring with him his father, longtime NFL defensive coach Monte Kiffin, and veteran assistant Ed Orgeron, a former USC defensive line coach. Both were on the Tennessee staff last season.
Kiffin owes an $800,000 buyout to Tennessee for leaving early and Will Muschamp would look perfect on the sidelines of Tennessee.
In the 76th annual Sugar Bowl the Florida Gators will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in a game full of story lines down in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Cincinnati is making its second straight New Years Day appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game. The Bearcats have won back-to-back Big East Conference titles and wrapped up a perfect regular season and then watched as its head coach Brain Kelly left for the head coaching position vacant at Notre Dame and now will not be on the sidelines for this game. Kelly’s assistant, Jeff Quinn, was named the interim head coach for this Sugar Bowl, but before this game could be played he was selected to be the next head coach at Buffalo, Quinn will honor his commitment though and lead the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl.
The story becomes even more complicated in that Cincinnati has already hired a new permanent head coach in Butch Jones, who led Central Michigan to a pair of Mid-American Conference titles. Jones replaced Brian Kelly at CMU after he left the Chippewas to lead the Bearcats.
Cincinnati leads the nation in passing efficiency 166.19, and ranks sixth in scoring offense 39.8, passing offense 320.3, and total offense 464.3. The team has the good fortune of having two outstanding quarterbacks in Tony Pike and Zach Collaros. Pike, the senior, missed three games due to injury, but he has still thrown for 2,350 yards with 26 touchdowns against 6 interceptions this year. Collaros, a sophomore, has connected on 75 percent of his attempts for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns against a mere 2 interceptions. As a runner, he has posted 344 yards and 4 touchdowns. Pike will get the start under center in this bowl game, and he will benefit from the presence of receivers Mardy Gilyard and Armon Binns as usual. Gilyard has recorded 80 catches for 1,150 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Binns adds 56 grabs for 859 yards and 10 scores. Gilyard has also scored a touchdown as a runner, one as a punt returner and two as a kick returner. Isaiah Pead leads the UC ground attack with 758 yards and nine touchdowns.
Cincinnati is yielding 20 ppg and 350.2 total ypg, and while the defensive unit isn’t dominant, it has been strong in most games this season. The Bearcats are only allowing 3.5 yards per rushing attempt, and they have recorded 16 interceptions as well. Aaron Webster has intercepted four passes to pace the team, and Andre Revels is tops with 103 total tackles.
As for Florida, it is making a bowl appearance for the 19th consecutive year, the second-longest active streak in the nation. The Sugar Bowl marks the program’s sixth appearance in a BCS game, and the team knocked off Oklahoma by a 24-14 final in last season’s national title contest. The Gators are 12-1 and have its own unique story lines surface before the Sugar Bowl could be played as Urban Meyer made a recent announcement that he was going to take an indefinite leave of absence following the Sugar Bowl for health-related reasons. Meyer had originally stepped down from his coaching position, stating his desire to concentrate on his health and focus more on his family. But a day later, changed his mind and will take leave instead.
Florida is led by quarterback Tim Tebow has thrown for 2,413 yards and 18 touchdowns while completing 65.2 percent of his passes this season. As a runner, the versatile signal caller has posted 13 touchdowns and 859 yards. Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey have combined for nearly 1,300 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, while tight end Aaron Hernandez and Riley Cooper have more than 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns between them.
Florida has allowed just 15 touchdowns this season, tied for the fewest in the nation with Penn State, which has played one fewer game than the Gators. The 11.5 points per game that UF is allowing ranks third nationally, and the team has given up seven or fewer points in six games. Foes are gaining a mere 101.6 yards per game on the ground against the Gators, who are yielding just 3.1 yards per rushing attempt. The pass defense is lead by ALL-SGE-NCAA Football Team member Joe Haden who has recorded 57 tackles and 4 interceptions while deflecting 8 passes.
In the only previous meeting between Florida and Cincinnati on the gridiron, the Gators cruised to a 48-17 victory back in 1984.
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