Tennessee may have lost to SEC East rival Florida last Saturday (extending the Gators’ streak against the Vols to eight straight years), but it may have lost its starting safety for much longer in the process.
Brian Randolph, who left Saturday’s 37-20 loss in the fourth quarter favoring his right knee, may be done for the year. On his Facebook page, Randolph posted “Thanks for all the support from everyone… I’ll be back next year!”
Derek Dooley has yet to specify what the injury is, but could do so tomorrow during his regularly scheduled press conference. During his TV show Sunday, Dooley said Randolph’s injury “didn’t look good.”
Randolph was the team’s leading tackler heading into the Florida game with 15 tackles and exited with 22 total tackles. He also made the SEC all-freshman team last year with 55 tackles. Obviously, there’s no overstating how tough a loss this would be if Randolph is out for the year, or any amount of time for that matter.
It also adds to the fact that Dooley cannot catch a break whatsoever.
(Hat tip: govolsxtra.com)
Updated 9/17 @12:10 p.m. ET: Derek Dooley confirmed to media on Monday that Randolph has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. The speculative prognosis of the injury hadn’t been promising, but this is obviously a tough break for the Vols.
“We’ll move on and be fine,” Dooley said.
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.