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SEC Headlines 4/12/2014

headlines-saturdayDorial Green-Beckham’s Dismissal

1. The first player in Missouri history to catch four touchdown passes in a game is no longer a Tiger. ”This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind.”

2. Missouri A.D. Mike Alden on whether Green-Beckham’s girlfriend was contacted by Mizzou coaches.  ”We were assured by our coaches that that, in fact, did not take place.”

3. Beckham’s dismissal comes on same day independent report is released regarding alleged assault of a swimmer by members of the Missouri football team.

 4. “It will be easy for some to think of Green-Beckham as the sacrifice, the one paying for the sins of others. But that’s not fair.”

5. “There are coaches out there right now salivating over the possibility of adding him for a year, until he leaps to the NFL.”

6. Beckham – from Springfield, Missouri – won’t land at Missouri State.  ”That’s not the kind of player we recruit to our program.”

SEC Spring Games

7. Starting quarterback job on the line?  Spring game at Vanderbilt could determine the leader.

8. One of the storylines this spring at Florida - linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. has been a beast.

9. Gator running back Kelvin Taylor has separated himself from the pack.

10. With defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt being new, don’t expect Georgia to reveal the entire playbook. “Being the fact that it is Jeremy’s first year as the coordinator, people look at our TV spring game.”

11. Mississippi State’s defense has been physical and impressive this spring.

12. Plenty of questions about South Carolina’s defense and its backup quarterback.  ”For much of spring, the gap between Dylan Thompson and his backup candidates has been the Grand Canyon. ”

13. Tennessee coach Butch Jones:  “We’re not going to be the best team on the field, but that’s OK. We’ve won championships with not having the best collection of talent. ”

14. One week from today, both Auburn and Alabama will have their spring games.  ”There’s only one state in the country where anticipation builds to see not only who shows out…but how many show up.”

SEC Football

15. Backup quarterback battle at Ole Miss could continue through the fall.

16. Former Alabama quarterback Luke Del Rio granted immediate eligibility at Oregon State.

SEC/NFL

17. Could be the first year since 2010 that Auburn produces two first-round picks.

SEC  Basketball

18. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes on his decision to enter the NBA draft. “I feel like I can produce on a team in the NBA. I really do. ”

19. Auburn center  Matthew Atewe underwent surgery on his left shin Friday.

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Carolina’s Spurrier Thinks QB Shaw Plays Better When Looking Over His Shoulder

gfx - they said itSteve Spurrier is a big fan of Connor Shaw.  But that doesn’t mean he won’t gig South Carolina’s senior signal-caller.  In fact, the Ol’ Ball Coach plans to give backup Dylan Thompson some action this week as that seems — in his view — to make Shaw play better:

 

“I told Connor yesterday, ‘We’re going to play Dylan.  You play better when you know Dylan’s going to play.  And he does.  So Dylan’s going to play somewhere — first, second quarter — and we’ll see what happens…

He knows Dylan is going in first or second quarter, he plays better, seems like.  His footwork was off last week.  His steps were off.  He was off balance throwing.  I don’t know why.  He can throw a lot better than he threw last week.  Maybe having Dylan play a series or two will help him out.”

 

We’re not sure if some in-game competition will improve Shaw’s footwork, but it might just improve his focus (which in turn might help his footwork).

Shaw ranks fourth in the SEC in passer rating behind Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger and AJ McCarron.  He’s just ahead of Aaron Murray.  But last week against Florida he was just 14-of-28 for 213 yards, one TD and no interceptions.  Decent, but hardly the show he put on when relieving Thompson at Missouri.

South Carolina will play Coastal Carolina on Saturday, so it’s unlikely to matter who’ll be taking snaps at quarterback.

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Carolina’s Shaw Could Play Saturday Vs Kentucky

connor-shaw-helmet-offWell that was quick.  Injured in last week’s hard-fought victory at UCF, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was expected to return to action in two or three weeks.  Now it looks as though Shaw’s shoulder sprain might be well enough for him to be back in, oh, about three days.

According to The Charleston Post & Courier, Shaw “picked up a football and chucked it downfield, high and spiraling through the air like he had a healthy shoulder” after Monday’s practice.  Running back Mike Davis took to Twitter and said, “Connor Shaw is the toughest football player I have ever been around.”

Shaw’s ability to fling the pigskin with a bum shoulder has led Steve Spurrier to say that he “should be ready” to play Kentucky this weekend, where backup Dylan Thompson was expected to start.

 

“The trainer had him out two to three weeks.  Yesterday, he threw a ball 60 yards.  So, I don’t know.  You need to ask the trainer how he made such a miraculous recovery.  It wasn’t 60, but it was about 55, I would say…

Who knows the pain factor?  Nobody knows.  So you just sort of guess that.  But Connor is a very tough kid who wants to play, and he should be ready to play this week.  He’s played very well for us.  His record speaks for itself, percentage-wise the winningest quarterback.”

 

It’s entirely possible, of course, that Spurrier is engaging in a bit of gamesmanship ahead of his team’s visit from the Wildcats.  If, however, Shaw does play versus Kentucky, his rapid recovery from what seemed to be a serious injury will make him even more popular across the Palmetto State.

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Texas A&M Blasts Missouri, Ole Miss Is Bowl Eligible, Vanderbilt & South Carolina Add To ACC Misery

Texas A&M 59 – Missouri 29

1. Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel completes his Heisman resume – throws for 372 yards and rushes for 67 – five touchdowns in all. Sets SEC record for total offense in a season.

2. Texas A&M converts first 12 third-downs, didn’t punt until the fourth quarter.

3. Missouri quarterback James Franklin doesn’t play.  Four separate injuries this year – ends the season with less than half the total-yards of a year ago.

4. Mizzou ends the year 5-7.  Gary Pinkel on the program:“And it won’t change because what we do works. We just have to do it better.”

 Ole Miss 41 – Mississippi State 24

5. 527 total yards of offense for the Rebels, beat Dan Mullen for the first time.

6. 2010 video clip of Mullen – “We’ll never lose to this team again” – appears on Vaught-Hemingway Stadium jumbotron late in the game.

7. Mike Herndon: “For the first time since Mullen arrived in Starkville, Ole Miss beat him in the motivational game.”

8. Hugh Freeze: “We didn’t play out of hatred for anyone. It was more of playing out of love for one another and this university.”

South Carolina 27 – Clemson 17

9. Backup South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson throws for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

10. Jadeveon Clowney sets single-season sack record at South Carolina.

11. Four in a row for the Gamecocks over the Tigers for the first time since the 1950′s.

12. Steve Spurrier gets career victory 65 at USC – most ever for a South Carolina coach: “That’s sort of neat that it came against our in-state rival.”

Vanderbilt 55 – Wake Forest 21

13. Eight wins for Vanderbilt for the first time since 1982 – six in a row for the first time since 1955.

14. Jordan Rogers and Jordan Matthews hook up 10 times for 144 yards in the first half.

15. 180 yards for Zac Stacy – only running back in Vanderbilt history to surpass 3,000 yards in his career.

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USC’s Spurrier Says QB Shaw Will Likely Start Vs UT; Not Worried About Tiebreakers

Steve Spurrier isn’t worried about tiebreaker scenarios.  After destroying Georgia at home his Gamecocks have gone on a two-game slide losing at LSU (close) and at Florida (not so close).  Now his South Carolina team will need to win out while Florida loses out if it’s going to reach Atlanta.

The Ol’ Ball Coach said yesterday that he’s not worried about such issues.  According to The Charleston Post & Courier, Spurrier said, “I’m pulling for Florida (against Georgia this weekend), but I think it’ll be a close game.  I’ve got my own problems around here trying to make a first down.”

Only then was Spurrier informed that Carolina actually needed Georgia to win Saturday’s game with the Gators in Jacksonville.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Spurrier Says Shaw’s Practice Today Will Determine USC’s Starting QB For UAB

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw missed last Saturday’s blowout win over East Carolina with badly bruised throwing shoulder.  Depending on how that shoulder holds up today in practice, Shaw will either start or sit versus UAB in two days.

Steve Spurrier said yesterday that he will have to “see if he can throw full-go Thursday before we’ll know if Connor is able to play.”

 

“If he can throw it down the field without any pain, he’ll start Saturday night.  If he can’t throw anything but screen passes, I think we’ve got to let (Dylan Thompson) play.”

 

Spurrier has been quick to say that the starting job will go back to Shaw when he’s fit.  But after Thompson’s passing performance last Saturday — 27-of-31 for 330 yards and three touchdowns — it’s a good bet Shaw fears being Wally Pipp’d in Columbia.  (Look it up.)

Meanwhile, receiver Damiere Byrd told The Charleston Post & Courier that Shaw “is looking good” and is “getting better.”

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UK’s Phillips Not Bothered By Last-Second Carolina TD; What Was Spurrier’s Motivation?

“Nah, that’s what they do,” Joker Phillips said when asked if he were angry about South Carolina’s last-second touchdown in Kentucky’s 54-3 loss on Saturday.  “That’s their offense.  Why should our problem become their problem?”

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Gamecocks’ final controversial series from Mark Story of The Lexington Herald-Leader:


“South Carolina was leading Kentucky 47-3 Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium when the Gamecocks took over the ball at their own 24 with 3:38 left in the game.

On the ensuing drive, South Carolina completed three passes in what became a 10-play drive.  With a chance to let the game clock run out without scoring, the Gamecocks instead rushed to the line of scrimmage to run one more play.

It became a Dylan Thompson 8-yard touchdown run with eight seconds left in what became a 54-3 victory.”

Poor sportsmanship?  Not according to UK linebacker Danny Trevathan.  “I know (Steve Spurrier) had the lead, but that’s his style of coaching.  We needed to stop them.”

Indeed, Spurrier has never been one to call of the dogs.  The case could be made that as a good general schooled in the Sun-Tzu’s “The Art of War,” the Ol’ Ball Coach is simply inflicting as much damage as possible on his enemy.  Rather than taking a shortsighted view of Saturday’s game, he might have realized that beating down UK (and Phillips) could lead to further unrest in the Wildcat program and hurt them in recruiting.  Since Carolina is traditionally lumped in with the Cats and Vanderbilt in the bottom half of the East, a blowout win might also further send the message that USC has arrived for good in that division’s upper echelon.

Sure, that could be the case.

But dollars-to-doughnuts I’ll betcha Spurrier — who often acts like an overgrown kid — just likes to run it up on people… and long-term prospects played little role in his go-for-the-jugular mentality on Saturday.

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