Bill Snyder isn’t quite ready to hit the panic button following Kansas State’s shocking 24-21 loss to North Dakota State in the season opener, but he is going to shake a few things up heading into Saturday’s matchup with Louisiana-Lafayette.
The most prominent move could come at quarterback, where Snyder indicated we’d see more of sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams. While junior college transfer Jake Waters performed ably as a passer in his first start for the Wildcats, going 21 of 29 for 280 yards and two touchdowns (but with two interceptions), he wasn’t able to get anything going on the ground, rushing for just 1 yard on 11 carries. Sams spelled him briefly and looked dynamic in rushing for a 17-yard touchdown, so Snyder appears to want to tap into that ability a bit more.
“He deserves it and he had a great practice last night,” Snyder said of Sams. “You also have to look at the fact that Jake proved that he is a very capable quarterback and played well during the course of the ball game. When you’ve got a good athlete like Daniel, you’ve got to find a place for him.
Other than the idea of getting Sams more looks, Snyder refused to consider too many other wholesale changes.
“A lot of our number two’s didn’t have a chance to be on the field at all,” he explained. “They need that opportunity and if we were to make changes, it’s a little bit of guesswork.”
Waters remains the starter, but it could that the more athletic Sams spots him in certain situations. Whatever the case, Lafayette will have to prepare for the eventuality of defending against two quarterbacks.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.