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SEC Headlines – 1/25/11 Part Two

1.  Florida’s front line will be tested tonight at Georgia.

2.  The Gators will be trying to avoid a letdown following 30+ point rout of Arkansas last weekend.

3.  Teryl Austin — who left the Arizona Cardinals to become UF’s defensive coordinator last season — has been hired by the Baltimore Ravens as their new secondary coach.  (Think this guy appreciates Urban Meyer’s decision to resign?)

4.  This writer says Janoris Jenkins is more of a bonehead than he is a pothead.

5.  Georgia’s Dustin Ware is second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio.

6.  Attendance is on the rise in Athens these days.

7.  It’s a big week for the Dawgs as they host Florida and head to Kentucky.

8.  John Calipari says his outbursts are designed to let his players know that mediocrity is not acceptable.

9.  Former UK quarterback Mike Hartline was given community service for a December arrest relating to alcohol.

10.   Tennessee’s Brian Williams says the Vols’ next four games (all against the SEC West) are “must-win, have-to-win, however you want to put it.”

11.  Bruce Pearl says his team hasn’t improved as he would like.

12.  Lane Kiffin finally sold his $2.6 million Knoxville home.  For $1.9 million.

13.  Vanderbilt has gotten better as forward Lance Goulbourne has gotten better.

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Hogs’ Klenakis In Line For Texas Job?

It appears that Mack Brown has decided to scare the wits out of every program in the SEC this offseason.  Maybe he’s upset that Will Muschamp left for the league and he’s trying to exact revenge.

Arkansas offensive line coach Chris Klenakis is believed to be one of five finalists for the same position on Texas’ staff.  Klenakis just finished his first season in Fayetteville after spending six seasons as the offensive coordinator at Nevada.

Arkansas was the only school in the country to have a 3,700-yard passer and an 1,100-yard rusher.

Texas has already hired Bo Davis from Alabama as its new defensive tackles coach and Bennie Wylie from Tennessee as its new strength and conditioning coach.

Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin were also believed to have been on Brown’s list of potential job candidates at one point or another.

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Bama’s Davis Interviewing With Texas

First former Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was ticketed for Austin.  Then Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was rumored to be high on Mack Brown’s wish list.  But as of now, Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis looks to be a Texas target, though not for the open D-coordinator slot.

The Longhorns are looking for defensive tackles coach and a strength and conditioning coach.  The Tuscaloosa News points out that Davis has experience in both areas.

Davis has told friends that he is expected to take a position on the Texas staff if offered.

Davis has been on the staff at Alabama since Nick Saban took over.  His name also came up in connection to Florida when Will Muschamp was hired in Gainesville.

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UF’s Foley Says Most Of Coaching Staff Will Be In Place By Tuesday

Will Muschamp has been off the grid since his introductory press conference in Gainesville on December 14th.  He does have plans to attend the Outback Bowl and the guess here is that he’ll be safely tucked away in a press box alongside athletic director Jeremy Foley.

Foley told The Palm Beach Post yesterday that his new coach has been back home in Austin, Texas trying to work on recruiting and putting his staff together.

According to The Post: “Most or all of the new coaches will be in place by Tuesday, which is the first day they can travel to visit high school prospects in person.”

Foley told the paper, “Some pieces are falling into place; still, there’s other pieces that have to fall into place.  I think he’s making a lot of good progress there and will be in position next week to hit the ground running and go recruit.”

In other notes, a source told the paper that Teryl Austin will definitely not be retained as UF’s defensive coordinator… and Foley said that Muschamp is consulting Urban Meyer about potential hires.

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D-Coordinator Wilcox Moving From UT To UT?

Remember last week when internet reports said Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was signed, sealed and delivered to Texas? Well, scratch that.  Austin wasn’t hired and Mack Brown now — reportedly — has his eyes set on another first-year SEC defensive coordinator.

According to — a Rivals site covering Tennessee — at least three sources have said, “Wilcox is in line to succeed Will Mushcamp on Mark Browns’ Texas staff as the Longhorns’ defensive coordinator should Wilcox choose to pursue the opportunity.”

Wilcox currently has a three-year deal from the Vols worth $1.875 million.  His buyout is just $300,000 (which we believe Texas could scrape together).  Derek Dooley scored a bit of a coup in luring Wilcox from Boise State last offseason.

But the Vol defense was hardly formidable in 2010.  A lack of depth cost Tennessee on numerous occasions and many Tennessee supporters took to messageboards and talk radio to pray for Wilcox’s ouster around mid-season.  The Vol D improved in the final month of the season (against Memphis, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky), which quieted grumbling.

According to VolQuest, “Dooley spent (Sunday) afternoon trying to recruit his first-year defensive head coach to stay in Knoxville.”

Meanwhile, — the Rivals site covering Texas — reports that a source has told them that “an official offer” has yet to be made to Wilcox.

Stay tuned…

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Florida DC Austin Up For Texas DC Job

Yesterday, it was reported by a number of Texas-based sites that Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is a candidate for the now vacant Texas defensive coordinator slot. 

The one opened by Will Muschamp’s decision to go to Florida.

The move that led — apparently — to Austin’s departure from Gainesville after just one season.

And to become the leader — according to some — for the D-coordinator slot at Texas.

Which came open when…

Wait, we’re now just going in circles.

The Austin American-Statesman has more here.

UPDATE — The Dallas Morning News reports that Texas is prepared to hire Austin and an announcement could come soon.

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SEC East Headlines – Thanksgiving 2010

Looking to spend some time away from the kids and the uncle and the crazed Grandma?  Then dive into this cornucopia of SEC East news…

1.  Urban Meyer says cornerback Janoris Jenkins will be back from his concussion and ready to play against Florida State.

2.  Saturday’s game will feature two quarterbacks who didn’t live up to high expectations.

3.  Gator defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is looking forward to his first Sunshine Showdown.

4.  It’s steady as she goes for Mark Richt.

5.  A 13-year bowl streak is on the line for UGA when the Dawgs face Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

6.  Georgia faces Notre Dame in the Old Spice Classic tonight.

7.  Kentucky will have to slow down Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray to snap a 25-year losing streak.

8.  John Calipari says his team was “selfish” in a blowout loss to UConn yesterday.

9.  This writer provides five quick thoughts on “UK’s Maui meltdown.”

10.  Steve Spurrier wants better special teams play from his team.

11.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first year Clemson hosted South Carolina.

12.  The Tiger-Gamecock rivalry seems bigger to the fans than to the players.

13.  Tennessee will have more to worry about than just Randall Cobb this weekend.

14.  Freshman Zach Fulton has been a “strong dude” on UT’s offensive line.

15.  Punt return woes still haunt Derek Dooley.

16.  Vanderbilt has shown slight improvements under new offensive coordinator Des Kitchings.

17.  Kevin Stallings team bounced back after Grambling State “slapped us pretty good at the start.”

18.  Vandy’s Jeffery Taylor left last night’s win with what might be a scratched left eye.

19.  The AJC’s Tony Barnhart has penned a pretty darn good “I’m thankful” column today.

20.  And Mike Strange of The Knoxville News Sentinel has inked a Thanksgiving column that puts our sports highs and lows in proper perspective.

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Gators expect to have CB Janoris Jenkins vs. FSU, lose OL Matt Patchan for season

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida corner Janoris Jenkins is expected to return from a concussion this week vs. FSU. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Three days from the Florida-FSU game, here’s the latest on the Gators’ injuries from coach Urban Meyer:

– Cornerback Janoris Jenkins is expected to play after suffering a slight concussion last week.

– Cornerback Jeremy Brown shouldn’t be limited in practice today and is expected to play Saturday. He did not start vs. South Carolina because of a hamstring injury. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said Tuesday that freshman Cody Riggs would be ready to replace Brown if he could not play.

– LB A.J. Jones (hamstring) should play, Meyer said.

– WR Andre Debose has regressed and is questionable with an ankle sprain. He initially hurt his ankle against Mississippi State on Oct. 16 and missed the Georgia game following the bye week. Debose played against Vanderbilt and South Carolina, returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against the Gamecocks. He did not dress for last week’s game vs. Appalachian State.

– Center Mike Pouncey left practice early Tuesday, walking back to the stadium shirtless. Meyer said he was lightheaded and that it was not from contact. He will play Saturday.

– OL Matt Patchan is out for the season after having a second surgery on the wrist he hurt in the preseason. Meyer had been hopeful that Patchan would return this year, but said surgery was needed after the injury “never improved.” He added that he hoped Patchan could be back to full contact by spring practice. It’s likely he will get a medical redshirt after missing the entire season.

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DT Dominique Easley out of doghouse but leaves game on crutches

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Two weeks after not traveling with the team to Vanderbilt, freshman DT Dominique Easley returned to the field. He left it on crutches.

Easley sprained his ankle in his return to play after getting in the Florida coaches’ doghouse.

After appearing in four games, he did not travel to Nashville two weeks ago. At the time, coach Urban Meyer said he was not part of the travel team for a lot of reasons.

Over the past couple weeks, he has dealt with his issues and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said Easley, a five-star recruit, earned his playing time on Saturday.

“Part of it is what it’s earned. He had some things he had to take care of to get back available for us to play,” Austin said. “He’s had a few good weeks of practice, and so cause he had a few good weeks of practice, it was time for him to play.”

Moving forward, Austin said he was confident Easley would have a good relationship with the coaches. When he can play again remains to be seen, though. Meyer said he didn’t know the extent of Easley’s injury.

“Sometimes it’s just a young guy learning, finding his way, growing up. When he does that, we’ll be fine,” Austin said. “And I have all the confidence in the world that he’ll be fine.

“We’ll get him right and he’ll be right and he’ll do a good job for us.”

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Gators get best game from FS Will Hill

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Will Hill's interception return in OT helped the Gators secure a win over Georgia. (Photo by Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

Florida coaches have been asking for more from free safety Will Hill all season, and Saturday they got it.

The Gators’ junior had six tackles and two interceptions, including one he returned 89 yards to stop Georgia’s offensive drive in overtime.

“You saw it today. He played. He played like a Florida safety plays,” said defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. “He made some wonderful plays out there today. He was physical, he hit guys, he intercepted the ball, he did a great job for us today. Really proud of him.”

If Austin’s proud, he’s probably more so because of the journey Hill has taken this season.

Suspended for the first two games, Hill has made minimal impact since his return to play. The renewed commitment Hill talked about in the offseason seemed to be missing.

Saturday, despite a cold that had him subbing himself out because he couldn’t breathe, it finally came together.

“I was struggling like earlier in the season, and coaches never gave up on me, teammates never gave up on me,” Hill said. “And for me to come out and playing like this, it’s like me playing the team back.”

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