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SEC Weekend Wrap – 9/9/13

weekend-wrapGood Monday afternoon to you.  As is the norm, here is our full around-the-SEC Weekend Wrap complete with game-by-game comments and several bonus observations on Alabama/Texas A&M, South Carolina feuding, Vanderbilt attendance, ex-SEC coach Lane Kiffin and more.

Here goes…

 

1.  Kentucky 41, Miami (OH) 7

Saturday marked the first home game and the first win for new Wildcat coach Mark Stoops.  But the big story in this one was the play of quarterback Max Smith.  Oh, UK continued to use both of their quarterbacks — in a bit of a surprise move — and both had good days throwing the football, but Smith is clearly his team’s best passer.  While Jalen Whitlow finished 10-of-12 for 103 yards and another 48 on the ground, Smith went 15-of-23 for 310 yards, three scores and no interceptions.  We’ll see home Smith does — and how the quarterback rotation works — when Louisville visits on Saturday.

 

2.  Miami (FL) 21, Florida 16

Many Gators fans weren’t thrilled with winning ugly a year ago.  One can imagine how losing ugly sits with the UF faithful.  First things first: A little credit to offensive coordinator Brent Pease for guiding his offense to a plus-400-yard day.  Unfortunately, five turnovers — four in the red zone — killed any hope of a Gator victory.  Quarterback Jeff Driskel’s passing line wasn’t that bad –  22-of-33 for 291, one TD and two picks — but he also fumbled for a third giveaway and his TD pass came a little too late.  From Urban Meyer’s last season through Charlie Weis’ failures right on through to Pease, Gators fans haven’t seen a consistent offense since Tim Tebow graduated.

 

3.  Tennessee 52, Western Kentucky 20

On Saturday morning, the feeling was that we’d all know more about Tennessee after its session with Bobby Petrino.  But seven WKU turnovers muddied the water quite a bit.  Butch Jones’ Vols were in the right place at the right time — a big improvement over last year’s defense — and they forced several of the Hilltoppers’ errors.  Credit must be given for that.  However, with Oregon and Florida coming up next, it’s doubtful UT will be on the receiving end of five turnovers in six plays as they were last Saturday.  Well, OK, maybe they can get those kinds of breaks against Florida.

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SEC Headlines – 4/20/12 Part Two

1.  Will Muschamp does “exit interviews” with the players who leave his program in order to find out things they might not share with their position coaches.

2.  Now he’s preparing for a few more as some transfers are expected in Gainesville.

3.  Georgia put special emphasis on kick coverage this spring.

4.  Kentucky will begin to upgrade the locker room at Rupp Arena next month.

5.  Exiting Cat hoopster Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sat down for a bye-bye Q&A this week.

6.  There’s more than the traditional steaks (correct spelling) on the line heading into Tennessee’s Orange and White Game.

7.  Vol defenders have spent the spring learning new roles in Sal Sunseri’s 3-4 scheme.

8.  Senior Vanderbilt corner Eddie Foster spent the spring trying to win back his old starting job.

9.  Missouri loses a top associate athletic director to Southeast Missouri State.

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Buzzer-Beater Haunts Hogs

Arkansas
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FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas hosts Alabama-Birmingham tomorrow night with the memories of last season’s game in the forefront of its mind.

The Razorbacks played one of their most memorable games of the year, punctuated by their most forgettable finish. Leading by one with 2.2 seconds to play, Arkansas gave up an uncontested dunk on an inbounds play to Jamarr Sanders, allowing the then-No. 24 Blazers to leave with a 73-72 win.

“That was a difficult loss for us,” Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. “They were a good basketball team. I thought we played well but didn’t do a good job on that last play. That was a tough day for us.”

The play was a microcosm of the Razorbacks’ season, playing well but struggling in late game situations.

“It was pretty disappointing,” Arkansas guard Rotnei Clarke said. “That’s hard to take on a buzzer-beater like that.”

UAB (3-1) will likely present the Razorbacks (3-0) their toughest challenge of this early season. The Blazers’ only loss came last week at Arizona State.

“The little bit I’ve been able to see of them, Mike (Davis) has done another great job with his team,” Pelphrey said. “Even though they’ve lost a lot it looks like they’re back in the same position they were a year ago. They are playing great. They’re long, athletic and move the ball.

“They’re a very tough match-up from a defensive scheme of things, and they’re very hard-nosed on the defensive side. It will be a tough challenge.”

The game will be the third in five days for Arkansas, who is coming off a 66-56 win over Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday in Bud Walton Arena. UAB beat Southeast Missouri 78-56 earlier this year.

Friday’s game will be played at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. With it being the night before the Arkansas football game against LSU, it should draw a larger crowd than the small crowds that have shown up on campus this season. The Razorbacks are averaging less than 6,000 fans per game.

“I’m excited to go down there and play,” Clarke said. “I’m always excited to go down there because there are some passionate fans down there just like here in Fayetteville. It’s pretty cool to play in front of those fans that might not normally be able to get up here and watch us play.”

It will mark the first time Arkansas’ basketball team has played at Verizon (formerly Alltel) Arena the day before the football team plays a game at its central Arkansas home.

“That’s part of what makes being a Razorback so special is having a chance to get out and go among the people, so to speak,” Pelphrey said. “It has been a part of our history playing in places outside of Fayetteville. I can tell you as a coach, it’s very, very excitiing for us. It’s always been an unbelievable crowd down there and I’m sure it will be again.

“We’re going to need it going against a really good opponent. We can draw a lot of energy off that.”

The game will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. It will be televised by the Razorback Sports Network.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Powell Might Return Friday

Arkansas
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FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell might return for Friday’s game against Alabama-Birmingham, Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey said Wednesday.

Powell, a preseason all-SEC selection, has missed Arkansas’ last two games as he continues to recover from a broken foot suffered in August. Without Powell in the lineup the Razorbacks were outrebounded 46-35 in their 66-56 win over Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday.

“We’re going to try him out (Thursday) and see where he’s at,” Pelphrey said. “It’s possible that he’ll play on Friday. Obviously coming into this week we understood he wasn’t going to play these first two games.

“We’re going to have to see how he responds Thursday. He’s been doing the things he needs to do.”

Powell, a sophomore, played in the season opener. He logged seven points and five rebounds, but ran with a significant limp in the second half. The Newport News, Va., native also missed one of the team’s two exhibition games in the preseason.

The Razorbacks (3-0) have also been without redshirt junior forward Michael Sanchez, who will miss the majority of the nonconference season with a foot injury of his own. That has left Arkansas with only Delvon Johnson and Glenn Bryant on the inside, so adding Powell would be a boost.

“We’re not the biggest team as it is,” Pelphrey said. “We’d like for him to play but has to see how it feels. He knows what he can and can’t do.

“I don’t think he 100 percent so it’s going to be some time before he gets to be the player he was last year on a day-in and day-out basis.”

Powell was a freshman all-SEC selection last season, averaging 14.1 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game.

Arkansas and UAB will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. in North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena. The game will be televised by the Razorback Sports Network.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Powell Might Return Friday

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell might return for Friday’s game against Alabama-Birmingham, Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey said Wednesday.
Powell, a preseason all-SEC selection, has missed Arkansas’ last two games as he continues to recover from a broken foot suffered in August. Without Powell in the lineup the Razorbacks were outrebounded 46-35 in their 66-56 win over Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday.
“We’re going to try him out (Thursday) and see where he’s at,” Pelphrey said. “It’s possible that he’ll play on Friday. Obviously coming into this week we understood he wasn’t going to play these first two games.
“We’re going to have to see how he responds Thursday. He’s been doing the things he needs to do.”
Powell, a sophomore, played in the season opener. He logged seven points and five rebounds, but ran with a significant limp in the second half. The Newport News, Va., native also missed one of the team’s two exhibition games in the preseason.
The Razorbacks (3-0) have also been without redshirt junior forward Michael Sanchez, who will miss the majority of the nonconference season with a foot injury of his own. That has left Arkansas with only Delvon Johnson and Glenn Bryant on the inside, so adding Powell would be a boost.
“We’re not the biggest team as it is,” Pelphrey said. “We’d like for him to play but has to see how it feels. He knows what he can and can’t do.
“I don’t think he 100 percent so it’s going to be some time before he gets to be the player he was last year on a day-in and day-out basis.”
Powell was a freshman all-SEC selection last season, averaging 14.1 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game.
Arkansas and UAB will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. in North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena. The game will be televised by the Razorback Sports Network.
For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Arkansas 66, SEMO 56

Arkansas
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FAYETTEVILLE – Rotnei Clarke scored a game-high 19 points and Arkansas overcame a sluggish first half to down Southeast Missouri State 66-56 Tuesday at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas (3-0) used a 14-2 run early in the second half to add some cushion after Lucas Nutt’s 3-pointer pulled the Redhawks within 34-33 just after halftime.

After trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, SEMO was down only 34-30 at the break thanks in large part to out-rebounding the Razorbacks 23-15 before the intermission.

Delvon Johnson finished just shy of a double-double for Arkansas with 10 points and nine rebounds. Julysses Nobles added 13 points to the winning cause.

Leon Powell, a former teammate of Johnson’s at Indian Hills Community College, scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Redhawks (0-5).

The game marked SEMO coach Dickey Nutt’s first trip back to the Natural State since resigning from Arkansas State in 2008. Nutt, who spent 13 years at Jonesboro, is the brother of former Arkansas and current Ole Miss head football coach Houston Nutt.

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Second in three days

The Razorback men's basketball team takes on Southeast Missouri State at Bud Walton Arena tonight at 7 p.m.
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