Apparently, Lee Corso‘s “ah, f— it” mantra extends to offseason speaking engagements as well.
At the Doak Walker Award banquet Friday night, Corso, along with ESPN College GameDay colleagues Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, served as hosts for the event. At one point, Corso was asked about quarterback Garrett Gilbert transferring from Texas to SMU. His response?
Gilbert will “probably [get] better coaching” than he received with the Longhorns.
(Good thing Corso works for ESPN and not ESPN’s UT network arm.)
Gilbert struggled mightily in his year-plus as a starter replacing Colt McCoy. In 2010 with Greg Davis as offensive coordinator, Gilbert threw 17 interceptions versus 10 touchdown passes. With new coordinator Bryan Harsin on board, Gilbert was benched after the second weekend of the 2011 season — a game in which he completed as many passes to BYU defenders (two) as he did to his teammates — before being given an unconditional release from UT in October.
At SMU, Gilbert will be guided by noted college QB developer June Jones and his high-octane passing attack, although Jones isn’t without his recent “missteps” at the position. After throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2010, Kyle Padron was benched by Jones following the 2011 season opener and ultimately transferred from the Mustangs.
Whether Gilbert will receive “better coaching” at SMU than he did at UT is debatable, although, if for nothing more than a change of scenery to a situation that’s lower profile and comes with less pressure, it’s hard to imagine Gilbert failing to improve upon his abysmal 15-game stint as the Longhorns’ starter.
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury