Aaron Murray‘s 2013 debut was not necessarily bad, but a loss on the road against Clemson has the Georgia Bulldogs off to a sour start to the new college football season. Despite not throwing a touchdown against the Tigers last Saturday night and being sacked four times, Murray says it is easy to turn the page with a pivotal SEC game staring them down in the home opener in Athens this week.
“It’s tough, especially a game like that,” Murray told Dan Patrick n The Dan Patrick Show Wednesday. “I think the great thing is having a game like South Carolina this upcoming weekend we’re almost forced to push that game behind us and get ready for another big game, an SEC game and our first home game.”
Asked if that meant he is actually looking forward to facing Jadeveon Clowney, Murray laughed and confirmed that idea, although it is more likely he is looking more forward at a chance for redemption on the field. The Gamecocks have won three straight meetings with Georgia and the pressure has been rising on Georgia to get past the Gamecocks, in addition to claiming an SEC title and make a run for the BCS. A loss at home to South Carolina this weekend could pretty much eliminate Georgia from BCS consideration later in the year, although it is still early in the season.
Clowney, like Murray, may not have had the most spectacular of 2013 debuts, but he will be another player looking to come back strong in week two. Clowney made some statements about a handful of quarterbacks in the off-season, including Murray. The Gamecocks defensive star said Murray was scared of him. Murray has denied that statement already, but recognizes Clowney as a dominant player that will be lining up across the field from him on Saturday.
“He’s an extremely talented pass rusher, extremely talented against the run,” Murray said of Clowney. “Physically, there’s not many guys like him walking down the street that’s for sure.”
For sure Aaron. For sure.
With a new head coach in town, it’s far from surprising to see somewhat of a personnel exodus in the spring. In that vein, Jimbo Fisher‘s first-year Texas A&M roster is the latest FBS football program to see such attrition.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, offensive lineman Koda Martin announced that he would be transferring from A&M to Syracuse. On the same social media website a day later, teammate Kemah Siverand announced that he too will be leaving College Station as a transfer.
Unlike Martin, Siverand (pictured, left) did not reveal his next college football home in the tweet.
As Siverand will be leaving the Aggies as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2018 if that’s the tack he takes.
Siverand was a four-star member of A&M’s 2015 recruiting class. After beginning his collegiate career as a wide receiver, the Cypress, Tex., native moved to defensive back between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He caught two passes for 16 yards in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, then was credited with six tackles in 12 games last season.
Talk about a hard-luck story.
After never starting a game at Iowa, Aaron Mends (pictured, blocking punt) had earned a starting job at outside linebacker during practice this spring. With football being the cruel mistress that it can be at times, the Hawkeyes announced Friday night that Mends “will miss an extended period of time due to injury.” The program offered no details as to the specific nature of the injury, although it’s believed to involve the knee.
According to the school’s release, the fifth-year senior suffered the injury during the final week of Iowa’s spring drills.
Mends was a three-star member of the Hawkeyes’ 2014 recruiting class. He was the highest-rated linebacker in Iowa’s class that year.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Mends has played in 38 games the past three seasons. A baker’s dozen of those appearances came during the 2017 season.
We’re less than a week away from former college players officially finding out their new homes with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is palpable no matter if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan or somebody who dons the cardinal and gold of USC.
Naturally this is a big deal for the players’ former programs as well and their recent head coaches will be taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity to future recruits by stopping by the draft itself at AT&T Stadium for the festivities. The NFL released a list of 14 college football coaches and one recent one on Friday as being confirmed to attend the event and there are a few notable names beyond the big ones we’re used to seeing every year:
In addition, Stanford head coach David Shaw will serve as a draft analyst on NFL Network for a seventh year in a row and even ESPN’s College GameDay is getting involved with a pregame show outside the stadium they are quite familiar with from big games over the years.
Georgia’s injury luck this spring isn’t getting much better as the defending SEC champions move toward their annual G-Day spring game over the weekend.
Head coach Kirby Smart confirmed with reporters after Thursday’s practice that sophomore defensive back Mark Webb suffered a knee injury earlier in the week and tore his meniscus. He already had the knee scoped and is expected back before fall camp after the rather minor procedure.
Webb originally landed in Athens as a wideout but made the move to the secondary just as the season was getting going. He appeared in 13 games in 2017, mostly on special teams, but was expected to challenge for one of the starting spots at cornerback heading into the upcoming campaign.
The absence of Webb in the lineup for the final week of spring adds to a growing list of injuries for the team during practice as they do a little bit of roster building toward the future. Receiver Michael Chigbu’s career may be over due to lingering injuries and defensive back Divaad Wilson tore his ACL not long after enrolling this semester.
Safe to say that G-Day on Saturday might not be as physical as Smart and the coaching staff would otherwise like as a result of trying to keep the team healthy as they prepare to head into a big offseason.