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More Woes: Hogs’ Wright To Miss Auburn Game

The press is doing a deep dive into his financial status.  The team he’s coaching has become the nation’s worst in terms of per-game turnover margin (-2.6).  The fans are blaming him for all that’s wrong with Razorback football.  And his own mouth causes some sort of trouble every time it opens.

Pity John L. Smith.  Arkansas’ bankrupt interim coach can’t catch a break on or off the field.  Wednesday, UA announced that senior tight end Chris Gragg would miss this week’s game at Auburn with a bone bruise.  Yesterday, Smith revealed that senior defensive end Tenarius Wright will have an MRI on his shoulder and that he’s not expected to play either:


“That was part of the reason that we moved him back down to defensive end, to try and take some heat off of hurting that anymore than it has been.  So I think what we have to do, get him an MRI next week and find out exactly where that is as far as the injury goes.  So that’s what our process is going to be there.”


That’s bad new for Arkansas and good news for Auburn’s struggling offense.  Tomorrow’s loser will further solidify their candidacy for basement status in the SEC West come year’s end.

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SEC Headlines 8/23/2012

SEC East Football

1. How high is the ceiling for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney?  Defensive end coach Brad Lawing: “I tell (Clowney) all the time, ‘You can be a first-rounder or you can be the first guy.’ It’s your choice.”

2. At 6-8 and 267 pounds, Gamecocks defensive end Devin Taylor is also a pro prospect.

3. Derek Dooley on his Tennessee team that returns 17 starters. “More than anything, I think our team is in a real confident state and I don’t think it’s false.”

4. Tennessee depth chart for North Carolina State released.

5. Injuries piling up at Mizzou – twenty players sat out Thursday’s scrimmage.

6. Tigers walk-on offensive lineman Max Copeland gets a scholarship.

7. Depth chart released at Vanderbilt.

8. Georgia QB Aaron Murray: “We definitely as an offense are in synch right now.”

9. Some of the highest-ranked recruits in the country the past few years play in Florida’s secondary.  Now it’s time for the Gator DBs to live up to the billing.

10. Ominous sign for Florida wide receivers?  First player mentioned by offensive coordinator Brent Pease is a walk-on.

11. Wide receiver woes at Kentucky, too.  Receivers coach Pat Washington tries to re-instill confidence.”Like with a kid, you’ve got to kind of whip them on the butt a little bit but hug them on the neck at the same time.”

12. A projected 25 freshmen and 24 sophomores on Kentucky’s two-deep.

SEC West Football

13. Auburn wide receiver DeAngelo Benton suspended indefinitely.

14. Auburn close to naming a starting quarterback.  Clint Moseley still bothered by his shoulder: “”They say if I was a pitcher, they’d put me on the DL.”

15. A decision could come today or Friday on the fate of LSU walk-on kicker Mo Isom.

16. With Morris Claiborne leaving early for the NFL and Tyrann Mathieu’s dismissal from the team, Tharold Simon is the lone cornerback veteran for the Tigers, safety Eric Reid is the lone returning starter.

17. Expect a dozen NFL scouts in the stands when the Texas A&M  plays Louisiana Tech.

18, Alabama wants to focus on Michigan – but not just Michigan. Nick Saban: ”I think you can practice too long for one particular game.”

19. A crowded backfield for the Crimson Tide.  Lineman Barrett Jones a darkhorse Heisman candidate?

20. Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes is not happy with the way the Razorbacks are tackling. He expects both Tenarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith to be ready for Jacksonville State.

21. “This has been as promising a preseason as any in recent memory for the Razorbacks, eliminating – for the moment – apprehensions cast in April.”

22.  The charisma of Dan Mullen is one reason for the rebound in fortunes of Mississippi State football.

23. Outlook at Ole Miss going from bad to worse?

SEC/College News

24. What Tyrann Mathieu can learn from a running back at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Update: Mathieu’s adoptive father tells ESPN the former LSU cornerback won’t play football this year and his focus is working with counselor and former NBA player John Lucas.

25. A Bobby Petrino sighting - at a UAB football practice.

26. Shindig at the shore.  SEC Beachfest this weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

27. Why Oklahoma State hypnotizes its quarterbacks.

28. Sonny Vaccaro, former college basketball players and a lawsuit with the NCAA.

29. Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is not the only top recruit where the NCAA is investigating eligibility issues.

30. Dennis Dodd on five years after Appalachian State-Michigan: “The closest airport to Boone, N.C., is in Johnson City, Tenn. When the nation’s biggest story finally landed, all the shaken, stirred and giddy players could think of was to belt out, “Rocky Top.” “

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SEC Headlines – 8/7/12

1.  Alabama players are counting on Nick Saban to fix any problems with the Tide’s secondary.

2.  Brian VanGorder has brought a new defense and a new attitude to Auburn.

3.  Arkansas’ linebacker Tenarius Wright left practice yesterday after a collision with Knile Davis.

4.  LSU coaches are taking a long look at their speedy freshman linebackers.

5.  Dak Prescott may be a backup quarterback, but he’s prepping as if he’s to be Mississippi State’s starter.

6.  MSU’s nonconference basketball schedule is set.

7.  Ole Miss safety Charles Sawyer will be out four-to-six weeks and receiver Collins Moore might miss the season due to injuries.  (Very bad news for the Hugh Freeze.)

8.  Texas A&M’s O-line is gearing up to face the SEC’s vaunted D-lines.

9.  Florida’s Will Muschamp says there’s “absolutely zero evidence” that highly penalized teams can’t win championships.  (You don’t hear coaches say that very often.)

10.  Georgia’s defensive line coach Rodney Garner: “Evil” or just doling out “thug love?”

11.  Ten things learned from Kentucky’s first week of practice.

12.  UK returned 2,000 tickets for the Cats’ season-opening game at Louisville.  (Not a good sign for Joker Phillips.)

13.  South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will have to trust his surgically-repaired knee.

14.  Defensive end Corey Miller is glad to be back with Tennessee’s team after academic issues in the spring.

15.  The Vol basketball team explored the sites of Rome yesterday as they kicked off an Italian hoops tour.

16.  Vanderbilt linebacker Archibald Barnes wants to “get on everybody’s radar” this season.

17.  Missouri is already experiencing attrition on the offensive line.

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SEC Headlines – 11/11/11 Part One

It’s not everyday you get to type 11/11/11 as the date.  It’s also not everyday that I’m pulled away from the site to do radio and television work, but that’s the case today. 

That’s why we’re getting right into headlines this morning:

1.  Linebacker Nico Johnson is thriving for Alabama.

2.  Nick Saban says he looks forward to working with freshman tailback Dee Hart (despite rumors that Hart is leaving/has left the Tide football program).

3.  Anthony Grant’s basketball team needs its freshmen to grow up quickly.

4.  In a twist from last season, Georgia is on path for a division title and Auburn is trying to play the spoiler.

5.  In hindsight, AU’s Tiger Prowl recruiting gimmick brought success… and scrutiny.

6.  Frankie Sullivan is back from a knee injury and ready to have an impact on Auburn’s hoops squad.

7.  Tenarius Wright is expected to be back and Arkansas’ defensive line should be at full strength tomorrow night.

8.  This Arkansas writer expects a Razorback blowout of Tennessee.

9.  The Mike Anderson Era officially tips off in Fayetteville tonight.

10.  The red zone defensive stats for LSU are pretty misleading.  (Ask Alabama.)

11.  Sophomore defensive end Sam Montgomery’s tenacity and ferociousness is impressing his Tiger teammates.

12.  Ole Miss players and coaches say they’ll be ready for Louisiana Tech tomorrow.

13.  Tailback Brandon Bolden wants to finish his career on a high note.

14.  Andy Kennedy’s Rebels should be deeper this season.

15.  Vick Ballard is still Mississippi State’s main man on offense.

16.  On defense, MSU will need to slow Alabama’s main man, Trent Richardson, tomorrow.

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Arkansas Need To Shake The Injury Bug And Fast

TJ Carpenter

Arkansas caught the injury bug before the season even started, and it hasn’t gotten better as the season has progressed. The Razorbacks have already lost Knile Davis for the season, Tenarius Wright for the next four to six weeks and Jake Bequette likely until after the Texas A&M game this weekend. In addition, Arkansas has sustained minor injuries to Tyler Wilson, Jarius Wright, and Isaac Madison which have been recovered from (at least for the time being). Broderick Green, who was previously thought to be out for the season may end up coming back this season, but not immediately.

That is a lot of injuries, but it isn’t an excuse. Oh, how times have changed in Razorback country.

It should be noted, talent is more easily replaceable than experience and leadership. Chris Smith, who is a talented player can make up for some of the production lost with Tenarius Wright, but he wasn’t a team captain and four-year starter. Arkansas has had to account for the loss of two defensive team captains and one offensive team captain. Their absence has made a considerable difference.

Whether or not being at full strength against Alabama would have made a considerable difference is debatable. But there is no denying the Razorbacks need that leadership and experience on the field to meet expectations of a 10-win season.

Davis’ absence at running back is apparent, as Arkansas went from being a consistently productive offense on the ground to being completely incapable of moving the football on the ground. Against the Crimson Tide, the Razorbacks had a mere 17 yards on 19 carries.

This has led Petrino to state the team has no offensive identity and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee to question the team’s competitive spirit.

Something must change.

This is not insurmountable. Arkansas can have a great season if they adapt and revive the hunger and desire to prove they are an elite offense rather than just simply complacently accept the mantle.

Being a great football team comes from a number of factors Arkansas has a program has worked to build over the last three seasons. In order to ensure they do not disappoint however, they will have to add another to the list of requirements; adapt to the loss of key playmakers.

Arkansas is in a must win situation this weekend against Texas A&M. Arkansas still has considerable talent. In fact, they have more talent than the Aggies, but someone must step up in a leadership role in order to beat a team that executes exceptionally well.

We’ll see whether or not Arkansas can shake the injury bug the way some teams have in the past. Green Bay was able to win a Super Bowl after sustaining what seemed like an insurmountable amount of injuries. If Arkansas doesn’t their win total could plummet to as low as seven or eight. LSU has had to overcome the injury bug and the our-players-kicked-a-marine-in-the-face bug and have been dominant all season long. But the Tigers also have a great immune system, or as it’s called in college football: depth.

Arkansas will need answers from somewhere else. Otherwise it will be a disappointing season for the Razorbacks.

TJ Carpenter is host of The TJ Carpenter Show on The Hog Sports Radio Network from 1-4pm (listen live at TJ Carpenter contributes to and 

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SEC Headlines – 9/26/11 Part Two

1.  This year’s Alabama team is looking a lot like the 2009 bunch.

2.  Despite a conservative approach on offense, Bama is finding a lot of different ways to score.

3.  Alabama’s showdown with LSU is already looming large over the rest of the SEC season.

4.  Auburn’s offense isn’t humming at last year’s pace.  (Did anyone outside of The Plains expect it to?)

5.  The Tigers now face a brutal October schedule.

6.  Arkansas failed to meet nearly every objective in Saturday’s loss at Alabama.

7.  Hog defensive end Tenarius Wright will miss four to six weeks with a broken arm.

8.  Les Miles promises his team will have no letdown for Kentucky this week.  (Joker Phillips prays otherwise.)

9.  The Tigers are now #1 in the AP Poll and a date with Florida awaits on the other side of UK.

10.  LSU has now beaten three ranked teams… all away from Baton Rouge.  (Which is why they should be #1 in both polls.)

11.  Dan Mullen says it was “exciting” to edge past Louisiana Tech in overtime… and now it’s time to make fixes.

12.  Fresno State’s Pat Hill must not have watched much Ole Miss game tape because he says the Rebels are “very capable” offensively.

13.  Houston Nutt says his team will need to have total focus heading out to California.

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A Few More Headlines – 7/20/11

While waiting for Dan Mullen to take the podium in the writers’ room, here are a few more news items from across the conference:

1.  The website reports that NCAA investigators were in Montgomery, Alabama asking questions about Cam Newton, Stanley McClover and the Auburn football program.

2.  ABC/ESPN have released their announcer pairings. 

3.  Arkansas defensive end Tenarius Wright says Alabama is already on the Hogs’ minds.

4.  While Jeff Demps is expected to return at Florida, Neiron Ball will not play in the fall.

5.  Mark Bradley of The AJC praises Mike Slive for laying out potential solutions to the problems facing college sports.

6.  Tailback Ken “Boo” Malcome is ready for his chance at Georgia.

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Arkansas 38, Mississippi State 31 (2OT)

Content provided by The Slophouse.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Knile Davis rushed for two touchdowns and added the game-winning 7-yard touchdown reception in double overtime as Arkansas beat Mississippi State 38-31 at Davis Wade Stadium.

Davis, a sophomore, rushed for a career-high 187 yards on 30 carries as the No. 13 Razorbacks won their fifth consecutive game overall.

Arkansas led 31-21 before Vick Ballard’s 4-yard touchdown run with 4:24 remaining pulled the No. 21 Bulldogs within a field goal. Mississippi State got that kick from Derek DePasquale on a 25-yarder as time expired in regulation.

The drive began at the Arkansas 46 following a Davis fumble with less than two minutes remaining. In addition to his three touchdowns, Davis had two fumbles lost.

Ballard, who finished with 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns, fumbled away the Bulldogs’ first possession in overtime when a hit by Jerico Nelson jarred loose the ball, which went out of the endzone for a touchback. Arkansas couldn’t capitalize, however, as Zach Hocker missed a 39-yard field goal that would have given the Razorbacks the win.

Arkansas (9-2, 5-2 SEC) got the ball first in the second overtime and took the lead on Ryan Mallett’s pass to Davis, the first receiving touchdown of his career.

Mallett finished the game completing 17 of 26 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns. He was also intercepted once.

The Bulldogs got as far as the 11-yard line during their half of the second overtime session, but Chris Relf was sacked by Tenarius Wright to end the game.

Arkansas built a 14-7 lead on a 62-yard touchdown run by Davis and a 25-yard touchdown reception by D.J. Williams in the first quarter. That lead didn’t hold, however, as the Bulldogs used a pair of Ballard touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-17 halftime lead.

That was still the score when Arkansas safety Elton Ford forced and cornerback Darius Winston recovered a Mississippi State fumble at the Razorbacks 22 late in the third quarter. Arkansas was backed up on the play, though, when Anthony Leon was ejected for throwing a punch at Bulldogs receiver Chad Bumphis.

It wouldn’t matter as Mallett hit Jarius Wright on the ensuing play for an 89-yard touchdown pass to give the Razorbacks a 24-21 lead with 2:03 left in the third.

Arkansas would add to that lead with Davis’ second touchdown run from a yard out early in the final frame. Davis eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the season during the game. In the last five games he has 737 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Razorbacks have now won 11 of the last 12 meetings with Mississippi State. It was the third time the two schools have played an overtime game in Starkville. Arkansas needed just one extra period to beat the Bulldogs here in 1996 and 2000.

The Razorbacks improved to 9-2 all-time in overtime contests.

Arkansas now looks ahead to a rivalry game with No. 5 LSU (10-1, 6-1) at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium in what might turn out to be a play-in game for the Sugar Bowl.

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

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