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Georgia’s Murray Says Game-Planning The Key To Slowing Carolina’s Clowney

gfx - they said itAt SEC Media Days, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said that Georgia’s Aaron Murray was one of three quarterbacks he believed to be scared of him.  Asked about that comment a day later, Murray’s coach, Mark Richt, said that he knew he would be scared of him if he saw him across the line of scrimmage.  And earlier this week, Richt went even further to say that Clowney “might be the very best player who exists today, at any level.”

So Clowney says Murray’s scared and Richt thinks he’d have a reason to be.  So what does Murray have to say about college football’s most athletic D-lineman?  That you have to out scheme him to slow him down:

 

“He’s a stud.  He’s good.  You’ve got to chip him; you’ve got to slide-protect to his side; you’ve got to hit him every time you can.  You’ve got to get two bodies on him, knock him around a little bit, run at him.  We know when that time comes we’ll game plan for him.  I know Coach (Mike) Bobo will have us set and ready to go.

But that’s the problem.  You’ve got to put so much focus on (Clowney), but you’ve got to also prepare for 10 other players on the field.  So it’s kind of tough when you have an athleete like that out there on one side of the defense.  Everybody wants to focus on him but, as a whole, they’re a solid defense.  It’s tough because you don’t want to put too much attention on him because those other guys are good, too.”

 

South Carolina is 2-0 against Georgia and Murray with Clowney on the field.  Against the Dawgs, Clowney has recorded six tackles and one sack.  Those aren’t Hall of Fame numbers, but how much his mere presence on the field has opened things up for his teammates can’t be quantified.

Murray and crew will get another shot at Clowney’s Gamecocks on September 7th in Athens.

 

UPDATE — Steve Spurrier responded to Richt’s praise of his player by saying he was surprised by it.  “That was a little strong right there,” he said on The Jim Rome Show.  “Obviously, Jadeveon is probably the best defensive lineman in college football.  I think everyone agrees with that.  But when you start putting lineman in there with quarterbacks, receivers and running backs, I don’t know what he’s trying to say.  If he’s trying to fatten up Jadeveon’s thinking, I hope it doesn’t work.”

Or maybe Richt was just being his usual nice guy self and saying glowing things about one of Spurrier’s players.  It’s interesting that Spurrier would look for a hidden message in Richt’s comment.  Perhaps he’s read — and practiced — “The Art of War” one too many times himself.

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Mullen Says SEC Could Be More Of An Offensive League This Year

MSU MEDIA DAYSDan Mullen is impressed by the SEC’s roster of quarterbacks this year.  He stated that on occasion SEC quarterbacks don’t get as much respect as they should because they’re facing great defenses — with specifically — guys like Jadeveon Clowney coming after them.

Mullen praised Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel… drawing laughs when he said: “I heard Johnny Football was here today.”

“The depth of quarterbacks in this league have a chance, to be honest with you, to turn the tide to more of an offensive league than a defensive league this season.”

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USC’s Clowney Says 3 QBs Are Scared Of Him

gfx - they said itOn or off the field, Jadeveon Clowney — South Carolina’s beast of a defensive end who supposedly ran a 4.46 40-yard dash in recent days — likes going after quarterbacks.  Yesterday at SEC Media Days, the man expected to go first in next year’s NFL draft recorded some verbal sacks, naming three quarterbacks he felt were/are scared of him.

Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson were the three QBs Clowney named.  Of Murray and Boyd he said:

 

“You can look at a guy and tell if he’s scared.  If he’s staring at me before the ball is snapped, if he’s staring at me before every snap, I’m just like: Oh, we got him.  I told my teammates: (Murray’s) shook.  We’ve just gotta get a couple hits on him (and) he’ll turn the ball over.  Throwing before he wants to, sliding…

(Boyd) is scared every time we play them.  I know he’s listening to this right now but I’m telling the truth.”

 

Big talk.  Of course, anyone who’s seen Clowney play knows he’s fully capable of backing it up.

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SEC Headlines 9/25/2012

SEC East

1. In the past 20 years, four quarterbacks have beaten Tennessee at least three times.  Georgia’s Aaron Murray can join that group with a win Saturday.

2. Georgia’s offense leads the nation with 35 plays 20 yards or longer.

3. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley on Georgia’s John Jenkins: “That sucker is a pretty good nose guard, and he is big.”

4. Big difference between last year and this year’s Florida teams?  Will Muschamp says it’s the depth to withstand injuries. The up-and-down career of Andre Debose.

5. Resetting expectations at Mizzou – and why this weekend’s game at UCF is key to a winning season.

6. Mizzou quarterback James Franklin on pain in his shoulder: It’s almost like I’m worried about doing it (delivering throws) because the pain is going to be there and I doubt that I’ll be able to put something on this throw or make that type of throw.”

7. Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith is day-to-day – “who is UK’s next best quarterback?”

8. What should Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart do about Joker Phillips?  Nothing, until the Wildcats lose seven games.

9. Big problem facing Vanderbilt? Lack of size.

SEC West

10. Dan Mullen and the 4-0 Mississippi State Bulldogs have their goals set high: “The opportunity could be there for championships.”

11. Pat Dye on Auburn’s defense Saturday night: “It was one of the most amazing transitions I’ve seen.”

12. Nick Saban on the 2012 version of his team: ”We probably have a team that doesn’t have as many defined stars as we’ve had in the past.”

13. Ole Mis coach Hugh Freeze on Alabama: “They’re the gold standard in football right now.”

14. Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace: “The shoulder is tight, but I’m optimistic.”

15. Les Miles on chewing out players during a game with TV cameras rolling: “We occasionally have a conversation that cannot wait until I get to the confines of a locker room.”

16. Miles took three questions about left tackle Josh Dworaczyk in Monday’s press conference.

17. Jim Harris on John L. Smith:” Hog fans may want him returned to Utah yesterday, but one can’t help but laugh with him or at him, or both. Or maybe cry for him.”

18. Why Texas A&M should still worry about the Razorbacks: “It’s the freedom that can come with utter failure.”

SEC/College News

19. Auburn student coach Joseph Bagwell  – who passed away Saturday -“was born with literally half a heart — without a right ventricle.”

20. Harvey Updyke arrested for an incident involving a returned lawn mower.

21. What rights do college athletes retain when signing NCAA paperwork?

22. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on the Heisman Trophy.  “Like I say, that’s for show dogs.”

23. More than $1 billion spent on stadium refurbishments in the state of Texas.

24. FBS football players - 17 percent less likely to graduate then their male peers.

25. The Pac-12 fired three refs that have found work in the NFL.

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SEC Headlines – 11/9/11 Part Two

1.  Mr. Everything, Chris Rainey, is expected to play for Florida on Saturday.

2.  Steve Spurrier versus the Mighty Gators now appears to be just on another game to both parties.

3.  Georgia’s Aaron Murray is “just a natural born leader.”

4.  Yesterday, Mark Richt quoted scripture and said his faith helped him get through UGA’s 0-2 start and many, many calls for his head.

5.  Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan has been playing with a chip on his shoulder since failing to make the latest cut for the Butkus Award.

6.  Wildcat forward Darius Miller wants to end his up-and-down career on a high note.

7.  Quarterback Connor Shaw is expected to play this weekend, but South Carolina has a number of other injuries to worry about.

8.  Injuries have opened the door for true freshman safety Brison Williams.

9.  The focus at Tennessee is on quarterback Justin Worley’s footwork…

10.  The Vols will “keep playing with” the Wildcat package they unveiled last Saturday.

11.  Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Kentucky are about to start a round-robin battle for bowl eligibility.

12.  Commodore hoopster Festus Ezeli says his injured right knee is feeling “good.”

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SEC Headlines – 8/31/11 Part Two

1.  Charlie Weis is happy with his co-starters at tailback…

2.  But he knows his new Florida offense will have to prove itself Saturday against Florida Atlantic.

3.  Here is a list of keys to the Gators’ season.

4.  Despite the UF-FSU rivalry, Will Muschamp and Jimbo Fisher are keeping their shared beach house.

5.  Georgia’s Aaron Murray says hotshot freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell is “every bit as advertised.”

6.  UGA will be focused on shutting down Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore on Saturday.

7.  Murray would like to fashion his own game after the Broncos’ Heisman-candidate signal-caller.

8.  Linebacker Danny Trevathan is a team leader for Kentucky.

9.  Here’s a look at how the Wildcats match up with Western Kentucky.

10.  As Joker Phillips enters his second season as UK’s coach, this writer points out that second seasons have been a mixed bag for previous Cat coaches.

11.  This scribe says freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is even better than expected.

12.  Steve Spurrier will play two quarterbacks on Saturday and he says the competition has made Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw better.

13.  Third-string quarterback Andrew Clifford was knocked unconscious and will miss up to three weeks after a mo-ped accident.  (When did this scooter craze begin on college campuses?  Man, I feel old.)

14.  Tennessee didn’t react well to simulated crowd noise at practice today.

15.  Derek Dooley believes UT’s ground game will be better this season.

16.  The Vols’ defensive linemen are focused on pressure first, then sacks.

17.  Over the last 10 years, no school has been more disappointing rankings-wise than Tennessee.

18.  Vanderbilt has a pair of big-play cornerbacks.

19.  James Franklin is trying to make sure his team doesn’t take Elon — yes, Elon — lightly.

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SEC Headlines – 7/12/11 Part Two

1.  The Gainesville Sun says South Carolina’s Devin Taylor and Georgia’s Aaron Murray are pretty good football players.

2.  Also, Florida’s visit to Auburn is expected to be an entertaining game.

3.  UF’s Patric Young led Team USA’s U19 squad in rebounding in the FIBA World Championships.  (The Americans finished fifth in a sport we invented.)

4.  Georgia’s still appears to be deep and talented in its secondary.

5.  New Kentucky defensive coordinator Rick Minter has found a way to “coach” his players even when he can’t be “coaching” his players.

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SEC Headlines – 4/8/11 Part Two

1.  LSU holds its spring game tomorrow, but Les Miles wishes he could put his team through a few more practices.

2.  The Tigers’ spring game isn’t expected to draw as big a crowd as some other schools’ spring scrimmages.  Miles: “I don’t know, mayber there’s more to do in Louisiana than some of these other places.”

3.  25-year-old MSU assistant Angelo Mirando opens up about his receiving corps.

4.  Dan Mullen wants to see how his young guys react in front of a 40,000-person crowd at tomorrow’s spring game.

5.  Houston Nutt says “sometimes, looks like, boy we’re just running in mud… but we’re thinking a lot.”  Okay.

6.  Running in mud or not, the Rebels are ready for tomorrow’s scrimmage.

7.  Nutt says he’s seen improvement from his quarterbacks.

8.  Florida’s five-star players are starting to shine.

9. Much like Gainesville’s Tom Petty, Will Muschamp is where he is because he decided to run down a dream.

10.  UF is the latest school to use media members as coaches at its spring game.

11.  Georgia’s Aaron Murray is looking to build off of an outstanding freshman season.

12.  A wave of injuries has forced UGA coaches to do some shifting on the defensive side of the ball. 

13.  Mark Richt and Mark Fox will take their spring speaking tour into four different states this year.

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Oregon QB Says AU’s Fairley Has “Got A Lot Of Dirty Plays”

It might serve as bulletin board material for Auburn, but there’s a chance Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas made a very smart move today.

Asked about Tiger defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s reputation as a “dirty” player, Thomas said, “Oh, yeah, we’ve seen he’s got a lot of dirty plays, throwing people around after the play and things like that.”  ESPN’s Chris Low writes that Thomas then followed up with: “But that’s just football.  I don’t worry about it because it’s a physical game.”

And if Fairley comes for him on Monday?  “If it happens, it happens.  You’ve just got to get back up for the next play.”

Getting back up was a problem for Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and Georgia’s Aaron Murray, both of whom were knocked from their games with Auburn by Mr. Fairley.

For his part, Fairley said that he’s just trying to make plays for his team.  “If it’s me playing dirty, if that’s what they call it, that’s what it is.”

Fairley will definitely be motivated by Thomas’ comments — not that he needs in any extra motivation in a BCS Championship Game.  But Thomas’ remarks might help the Ducks’ cause, too.

By calling even more attention to Fairley before the game, he might cause officials to pay closer attention to Fairley during the game.  That’s how borderline plays go from not drawing a flag to drawing one.

Fairley was going to be a marked man on Monday night anyway.  Thomas’ comments might put a little more spotlight on his play.

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News And Views: SEC, Week Nine

Each Monday, we try to kick off the week with a long wrap-up of the previous weekend’s action.  Unfortunately, I’ve spent a good chunk of my day buying and taking cold medications.  Therefore, below you’ll find our latest SEC power rankings — The MrSEC Hot List — and an abbreviated take on each team.

Thanks for your understanding…


The MrSEC Hot List

1.  Auburn — Cam Newton is now catching touchdown passes?  And that wasn’t an easy catch, either.  Just one more thing for opponents to worry about.  Another: AU’s defense seems to be getting a little better.  I said a little better.

2.  Alabama — It’s time for the Tide to prove their mettle.  The Tide will go to LSU, face Mississippi State at home, and then host Auburn over the next month.  Win those and Bama will be in the BCS title game mix.

3.  LSU — I can’t stand the Tigers’ offense, but that defense is stout.  Forget what Cam Newton did two weeks ago.  There’s only one Cam Newton.  And he won’t be in Baton Rouge on Saturday when Nick Saban returns.

4.  Florida – A week off and a hurry-up scheme seemed to do wonders for the Gator offense.  Facing Georgia’s defense probably helped a little, too.  Urban Meyer said the win over UGA was his biggest at Florida.  That’s a huge overstatement, but it did give Florida control of its own SEC East destiny.

5.  South Carolina — Even if South Carolina loses to Arkansas on Saturday and Florida beats Vanderbilt, the Cocks’ game in Gainesville will still be for all the East Division marbles.  Against the Hogs, Steve Spurrier (or whoever is calling plays) needs to make sure that Marcus Lattimore is the primary weapon with the passing game playing a complimentary role.

6.  Mississippi State — A six-game winning streak.  Seven wins on the season.  Another good defensive performance.  Even if the Bulldogs turn back into a bumpkin down the stretch, Dan Mullen and Manny Diaz have done some great work this season.

7.  Arkansas — I don’t expect the Hogs to miss receiver Greg Childs against USC’s horrible pass defense.  Bobby Petrino has one of those pass-happy systems that can plug in backups when starters go down.  Still, it was stupid for an already banged-up Childs to be playing in the fourth quarter of a blowout.

8.  Georgia — Aaron Murray finally looked like a freshman.  For a half.  His second half performance against Florida on Saturday should give seething Dawg fans hope for the future.  Murray’s going to be good.  Now about that defense…

9.  Kentucky – The one week their defense plays a little better, the Wildcats offense takes a step backward.  Now a “better bowl” is likely out of the mix and you have to wonder about this team’s motivation from here on out.  They’ve lost five of their last six games.

10.  Ole Miss — Sartorially speaking, I rather liked the grey jerseys UM wore against Auburn.  They didn’t really help a team that’s still porous on defense and inconsistent on offense, but they beat the heck out of the black jerseys that everyone else in the country seems to be trotting out.

11.  Tennessee — Derek Dooley already had a mess on his hands and now he’s made the mess worse.  Rather than stick with Matt Simms at quarterback, he opened the door for Tyler Bray.  And rather than turning to Bray full-time, he’s still going to give Simms some playing time.  Trouble’s brewing.

12.  Vanderbilt — The debut of Des Kitchings as play-caller was ruined by the pregame decision to flip-flop quarterbacks on the game’s third series.  Any momentum the Commodores had was lost — as was the game — when a interception from VU’s backup gave the Hogs the ball deep in Vandy territory.  Now take Warren Norman away with a season-ending injury.

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