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SEC Headlines 1/16/2014

headlines-thuSEC Coaching News

1. Alabama defensive backs coach Greg Brown reportedly stepping down. Alabama makes hiring of new defensive line coach Bo Davis official.

2. New Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has a new three-year deal expected to be worth $850,000 annually. ”Where the Bulldogs’ defense could benefit most is in the secondary.”

3. New Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers has 34 years of college and NFL coaching experience.

4. New LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes coached the o-line at Auburn from 2009 to 2012.  Former LSU All-American lineman Kevin Mawae wanted the job.

5. Former Auburn and Tennessee assistant Trooper Taylor is now the cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State.

6. James Franklinthanks Vanderbilt fans with a newspaper ad.

*** Trustees make South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s pay raise official.  Coaching staff also gets raises and contract extensions through 2015. ***

SEC Football

7. Vanderbilt investigation finds insufficient evidence against one of the former football players charged in the rape case.

8. Athlon makes some early predictions for 2014.  Are Alabama and Georgia the favorites this fall?

9. Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi is 6-feet-5 inches tall and 300 pounds and  reportedly ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash.

10. Is Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson poised for a 2014 breakout season?

11. Boston College confirms that two former Florida players - quarterback Tyler Murphy and lineman Ian Silberman – are enrolled at the school.

SEC/NFL draft

12. A record 95 early entries for the NFL draft.  Total includes 27 players from the SEC.

13. Could Texas A&M players be the first two picks of the 2014 draft?

14. Auburn tackle Greg Robinson expected to go early, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

15. Mississippi State middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney says he’s coming back for another season. Redshirt sophomore had projected as mid-first round selection.

SEC Basketball

16. Missouri at Vanderbilt.  Why free throws could be the difference in this one. Vandy’s free-throw percentage worst in the league.

17. Where were Arkansas security guards after the game against Kentucky Tuesday night?

Sports Business

18. Sports apparel contracts are worth at $3 million or more annually to at least 14 universities. Biggest SEC deals belong to LSU and Alabama.

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MSU’s Koenning Worried About Arkansas’ Blitzes

Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning is worried about the number of blitzes his struggling quarterbacks will see Saturday night from Arkansas:

“When you turn on the film, they’re blitzing coming off the bus.  Last year, we saw every blitz imaginable and they even drew some up at halftime that we hadn’t practiced against.”

Against conference foes, MSU ranks ninth in the SEC in total offense and seventh in passing yardage.  Arkansas ranks eighth in total defense, and seventh in pass defense.

If State wants to spring the upset, however, it’s the Bulldog run game that will be key.  The best way to beat Arkansas is to make sure its offense isn’t on the field.  MSU will need to run the ball and eat clock if its going to dash the Hogs’ slim BCS hopes.

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MSU OC Koenning Not Letting Relf Rest On Last Year’s Advances

If quarterback Chris Relf has any intentions of resting on the improvements he made to his game late last season, Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning has a message for him:

“I told Chris (earlier this month) that you’ve got 12 more games possibly in your career and that’s it at Mississippi State.  I’m going to tell you point blank — nobody gives a darn what you did last year.  That was last year.  if you’re living on last year, you’re probably not going to get better at all.  It’s left up to you.  We put you in the position you got here and you worked hard to get here and you have to take the next step.  You can’t walk in here and say, ‘My shoulder hurts, my knee hurts.’  So what if it hurts?  Football is a physical game.  You either go compete or say you’ve already arrived.  I’ve been pretty hard on him and I’m going to be hard on him again.  The beauty about the position is, if he doesn’t do the job, we’ve got two more behind him.  It’s a great issue to have.”

Yeesh.  And the part of Les Koenning will be played by R. Lee Ermey.

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