Justin Hunter, Andrew Badger

Vols’ leading receiver injured, will not return


Facing Florida in The Swamp, Tennessee’s offense will need to be at full strength for the Vols to have any shot at taking down the Gators.  Thanks to a first-quarter injury, that may or may not be the case.

With just over nine minutes to go in the opening period, Justin Hunter was on the receiving end of a 12-yard Tyler Bray pass that gave the Vols a first down just short of midfield.  Unfortunately, Hunter, who had to jump to make the catch, landed awkwardly and went down in a heap clutching his left knee.  He was not touched by a UF defender on the play.

After laying on the field for a few minutes and being attended to by UT medical personnel, Hunter walked off the field under his own power.  However, after being examined on the sidelines, he was taken to the locker room to undergo further testing.

It was announced during the broadcast that Hunter was suffering from a knee injury — the variety and severity weren’t detailed — and his return is questionable.  A subsequent update didn’t bode well, though, as it was intimated the injury is serious in nature.

Hunter leads the Vols with 16 receptions for 302 yards through the first two games.

As for the game, UF leads UT 10-0 after one quarter of play.

UPDATED 5:26 p.m. ET: Head coach Derek Dooley confirmed at halftime that Hunter will not return today.  There’s still no word on the exact nature or extent of the injury, although the buzz making its way around is that it could involve an ACL.

UF currently holds a 16-7 halftime lead.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press
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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.