Georgia has suffered a mountain-sized defensive hit, both literally and figuratively, ahead of its postseason matchup with Nebraska.
Wednesday evening, as the Bulldogs began on-site prep work in orlando, UGA head coach Mark Richt announced that starting nose tackle John Jenkins will not play in the Capital One Bowl New Year’s Day. Richt stated that academic-related issues are behind the 6-3, 358-pound defensive lineman being sidelined for the Big Ten-vs-SEC bowl game.
Going up against a squad as run-heavy as the Cornhuskers — NU is currently eighth in the country at 254.5 yards per game — it’s a significant on-field loss for the Bulldogs.
Jenkins had started all 13 games this season, and was second among defensive linemen in tackles with 50. He added two tackles for loss and one sack in his role as UGA’s middle-of-the-line anchor. As Jenkins is a senior, his football career in Athens is over as well.
Junior Kwame Geathers is listed as the No. 2 NT behind Jenkins on the depth chart headed into UGA’s bowl preparations.
Despite losing one of his most talented defensive linemen, Richt had nothing but praise for the now-former player.
“I think John Jenkins has been awesome for Georgia,” Richt said in quotes distributed by the school. “I’m really proud of everything he’s accomplished for us. Just really want to wish him the very best. He’s been a blessing for our program.”
Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.
He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.
“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network…
Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is stepping down as head coach of the Gamecocks, and that has the college football world reflecting on the impact he has had on the game of college football. Spurrier’s quips at rivals and revolutionary thoughts on where the sport has been heading were always on the mark, even when his team’s performance on the field was not.
Dan Patrick shared his reaction to the news of Spurrier retiring today on The Dan Patrick Show (simulcast on NBC Sports Network). As many have already suggested, Spurrier’s wit and charm brought a refreshing personality to the SEC.