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UT QB Bray Tweets A Shot At Some Vol Fans, Then Backtracks

Last week, a few imbecilic Georgia fans decided to egg and roll with toilet paper the house of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray after the Dawgs lost to South Carolina in Columbia.  Their immature, unintelligent actions gave UGA fans everywhere bad pub that none wanted and most didn’t deserve.

Well, after Saturday night’s 41-31 loss at Mississippi State, Tennessee’s quarterback feared he might get the same treatment as Murray from Volunteer fans.  Unfortunately, Tyler Bray expressed those feelings on Twitter.

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MU’s Franklin Says Shoulder Pain “Killing” His Confidence

Missouri quarterback James Franklin is currently the 13th-rated passer out of the 15 SEC quarterbacks who have enough attempts to qualify for a rating.  His yards-per-attempt average is just 6.2 which is below average.  Of course, he’s faced two of the tougher defenses in the SEC in Georgia and South Carolina so far.

He’s also been playing with a shoulder he injured two weeks ago during Mizzou’s loss to the Bulldogs.  Against Arizona State the following week, Franklin refused a painkiller shot and did not play.  Then he returned to action last week in Columbia (East).

According to the QB, his shoulder is affecting his head:

 

“Typically in the game if, in the past, my shoulder’s hurt, and I throw in the game, I don’t feel it.  But this is a little different because I feel it.  And I think that’s really been killing my confidence because I’ve been not trusting myself with being able to make throws or put something on it…

Having confidence not just from the players but from the coaches, that definitely helps.  Because when you go out there, they’re calling plays, that’s one thing that you know, that they believe in you.  It helps with more confidence in yourself and to be able to go out there and perform better.”

 

Franklin has also been playing behind a patchwork offensive line that’s needed a revolving door installed since preseason camp when injuries first began to mount.

Last year, Franklin finished as the fourth-rated passer in the pass-happy Big XII.  He was also that league’s sixth-leading rusher overall.  To be sure, SEC fans haven’t seen the Tigers’ quarterback at his best yet.

But an injury, a makeshift O-line, and games against UGA and USC will do that to ya.

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Wow Evening Headlines 9/18/2012

Florida – Tennessee the most viewed college football game of the weekend
Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones is back at practice and expects to play when the fifth-ranked Bulldogs host Vanderbilt on Saturday.
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw will start Saturday against Missouri
Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson “extremely optimistic” he will play this weekend against Rutgers
Interim Arkansas coach John L. Smith on his critics: “I don’t listen to that crap.”
Austyn Carta-Samuels will likely start at QB for Vanderbilt this weekend
The SEC’s third-tier television network with ESPN is reportedly closing in on the final stages of development.
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Hogs’ Wilson Talks About His Controversial Comments After Saturday’s Loss

Last Saturday, one-time Heisman-hopeful Tyler Wilson was forced to watch from the sideline as his Arkansas squad battled Alabama without him.  The concussed QB saw a 52-0 beatdown of his fellow Hogs and — from what he said afterward — he didn’t see quite as much battling as he would have liked.

After the contest, Wilson went so far as to say that Arkansas’ players “at times, gave up.”  Interim coach John L. Smith quickly moved past that remark and praised Wilson for taking on a leadership role within the team.  Even Arkansas AD Jeff Long praised Wilson’s desire to win on Twitter.  But still, the comments were a bit more controversial than what you normally expect a quarterback to say about his teammates.

For that reason, Wilson tried to explain yesterday what it was he was trying to say on Saturday:

 

“I was going into that room not to speak to the team, but to speak to the people because I’m an Arkansas kid.  I know how much it means to me growing up, to a lot of you guys in this room, to a lot of the fans in the stands to see that display out there on the field, the product we displayed.  And it’s tough.

And I wanted everybody to know that that is not acceptable here and going forward we are going to do the best we can.  I’m going to do the best I can to keep everybody together and display a much better product out there on the field.”

 

OK, but that really doesn’t change the fact that some Arkansas players were accused of quitting by Wilson after Saturday’s game.  Was it a case of a 20-something getting caught up in the emotion of the rout and saying something he’d later want to take back?  No doubt in my mind.

But the fact is, the signal-caller called out his teammates.  Now he says he’s going to “do the best I can to keep everybody together” following the Hogs’ 1-2 start.  And Smith yesterday said “I don’t listen to that crap” when asked about fan criticism.

Arkansas has the talent on offense to turn things around if Wilson can be kept upright.  But I’d foam the runways just in case.  This once high-flying program with stratospheric expectations appears to be nosediving following last weekend’s whooping.

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WOW Headlines 9/18/12

Les Miles wants police to find the person who made a bomb threat on LSU’s campus and “make him pay a price.”
Interim Arkansas coach John L. Smith on his critics: “I don’t listen to that crap.”
Razorback QB Tyler Wilson believes he will play against Rutgers after missing a game and a half with a concussion
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel defended QB James Franklin’s toughness…
After admitting that he’d refused a painkilling shot into shoulder that would have allowed him to play last Saturday
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley says QB Tyler Bray doesn’t “shut it down” when the Vols fall behind
Austyn Carta-Samuels will likely start at QB for Vanderbilt this weekend
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips reminds fans that “We’ve got 72 freshmen and sophomores in this program.”
Get all your SEC news from MrSEC.com and twitter.com/mrsec

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Mizzou QB James Franklin Not Playing Tonight – Here’s Why

Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel told ESPN’s Holly Rowe before the game against Arizona State that injured quarterback James Franklin “can’t play” tonight.

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UGA Sack Master Jones Needs To Be Ready For Offenses’ Tactics

Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones led the SEC in sacks with 13.5 last season.  But he wasn’t able to get to the quarterback in either of the Dawgs’ final two games, both losses.  Jones told The Athens Banner-Herald that he’s watched and re-watched the LSU (SEC Championship) and Michigan State (Capital One Bowl) games and that he’s “beaten myself to death because I can see myself making those plays.”

He didn’t get many opportunities to hit the QB against LSU because the Tigers put the ball in the air just 13 times.  But Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins dropped back 50 times to throw in Orlando.  So why did Jones go 0-for-50?

 

“I pressure him quite a bit, but came a second late.  They were cutting the mess out of me.  That’s something I’ve been working on.  They were cutting, chop-blocking.  It was crazy.  They were trying to tear my leg off.”

 

While that quote will no doubt rile up some Spartan faithful, UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham seems to think his star had better get used to more of the same this season.  “We watched tape and as a player he’s got to understand there’s a lot of good coaches in this league and they’re going to say, ‘All right, we’re not going to let this guy wreck the game.  We’re going to try to find ways to take him away.’  You’ve got to have answers for that.”

Even when someone’s cutting the mess out of you.

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LSU Wooing Penn State QB Bolden; Not A Bad Idea

Maybe Les Miles is just taking a shot in the dark.  Maybe he wants more depth at the quarterback spot.  Maybe the potential of any ex-starting, BCS-level quarterback is too good to pass up.  Maybe he’s still not over losing Gunner Kiel (swagger, confidence, and chest be damned).

Or maybe Miles just misses having the ability to rotate quarterbacks.

Over the weekend, former Penn State starter Rob Bolden made an official visit to LSU.  According to The New Orleans Times-Picayune (what’s left of it), a source claims Bolden might transfer to Baton Rouge now that the NCAA has declared it open season on the Nittany Lions’ roster.  Bolden could join the Tigers without having to sit out this season.

Bolden is a former 4-star prospect who became the first freshman to start a season opener in Happy Valley in 100 years.  He went on to make 16 starts total before losing his job.

Down in Baton Rouge, Zach Mettenberger is expected to bring a new downfield passing element to LSU’s offense in 2012.  (He himself came to LSU from SEC rival Georgia… via the juco route.)  But behind Mettenberger on the depth chart are two redshirt freshman.  So having a junior with big-time starting experience fall out of the sky probably isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

But…

We all know Miles’ devotion to Jordan Jefferson.  Jarrett Lee — the passing quarterback for the Tigers last season — handled the job admirably while Jefferson dealt with a suspension.  The combination of Jefferson’s return and Lee’s struggles at Tuscaloosa gave Miles enough ammo to make the switch at starter.  Lee became little more than an afterthought, was given a mop-up snap in the SEC Championship Game, and was completely ignored as Jefferson took his turn struggling against Alabama in the BCS title game.

So might Bolden become a change-of-pace guy in the same way that Jefferson/Lee flip-flopped at times the past couple of years?  Not likely.

Below are the combined 2010 and 2011 numbers for Jefferson and Bolden:

 

  QB   Comp   Att   Yds   Comp %   YPA   TD   INT   Rush Yds
  J. Jefferson   179   309   2148   57.9   6.95   13   12   713
  R. Bolden   165   328   2045   50.3   6.23   7   14   27

 

As you can see, Jefferson was much more of a running threat while Bolden — a dual-threat QB in high school — was used as more of a traditional passer at Penn State.  Now, it must also be pointed out that Jefferson was playing on a better team than Bolden and that fact no doubt aided his overall numbers.  Taking that into account and noting that Jefferson’s numbers were from his last two years while Bolden’s came from his first two seasons, it’s easy to see why Miles and the Tigers would have some interest.

If nothing else, Bolden’s start as a passer has been in the ballpark with Jefferson’s finish as a passer.  There’s still room for improvement.  And he’s got more experience than either of LSU’s current backups.

While many will pooh-pooh this idea — and don’t you hate having an idea pooh-poohed? — we don’t see the problem.  Bolden has experience and potential.  But he doesn’t appear to be the type of runner at the collegiate level who’s likely to make Miles want to take Mettenberger off the field just for a change of pace.

If that’s the case, win-win.

But if Miles lands Bolden and tries to unleash him as a runner (a la Jefferson), then Tiger fans might once again be left asking, “Why is he in the game right now and not the other guy?”

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AU QB Candidate Pike Arrested For Public Intoxication

It’s college.  He’s a freshman.  You live and you learn.

But for Auburn quarterback candidate Zeke Pike, you have to wonder how much an early Sunday morning arrest for public intoxication will impact his chances of landing the Tigers’ starting quarterback gig this fall.  The 19-year-old was hit with the misdemeanor charge after being taken into custody on South College Street in Auburn shortly after midnight yesterday morning.

New offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said during spring practice that his QB race could last the length of fall/preseason practice.  Pike — a three-star prospect from Kentucky — competed with sophomore Kiehl Frazier and redshirt junior Clint Moseley in the spring after enrolling early.

Might this arrest lead Loeffler or head coach Gene Chizik to question the young man’s leadership capabilities at this stage of his career?  Possibly.  But if Pike turns out to be the clear best choice to run Loeffler’s offense, then probably not.

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Mizzou QB Berkstresser Arrested

Backup Missouri quarterback Corbin Berkstresser has been arrested for leaving the scene of an accident this morning and he could face a Class D felony charge for damaging another vehicle, according to The Columbia Tribune.  Berkstresser might be listed as the Tigers’ backup QB, but he took the reins of the offense following starter James Franklin’s shoulder surgery early in spring drills.

In other words, this might be a little bit more serious than the run of the mill backup quarterback arrest story.

The question now becomes: “How will head coach Gary Pinkel respond?”

In 2008, Tiger D-lineman Jimmy Burge was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and he was allowed to remain a member of the football team.  Last year, however, defensive back Tristen Holt was dismissed from the squad after a similar incident.

Obviously, Berkstresser’s previous conduct and the details of his case will influence Pinkel’s decision.  But with Franklin still recovering from his surgery, don’t be surprised if Pinkel doesn’t take Berkstresser’s status as the current #1 quarterback into account, too.

At this rate, will Missouri and Georgia have enough bodies on the field to actually play the Tigers’ SEC opener in September?

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