The big games in the SEC this season have turned in to wild shootouts. Alabama vs. Texas A&M to LSU vs. Georgia, the SEC has at times resembled an old Pac 12 or WAC shootout more than the superior defenses we have come to expect from the SEC over the years. This afternoon in Baton rouge, LSU and Florida are reminding everyone just how good the defenses can be in the conference.
LSU is leading Florida 14-3 at the half, thanks in part to two touchdown runs from the goal line that saw some physical battles in the trenches. LSU has held Florida’s offense to just 94 yards of offense as well, while LSU has found a way to pick up 200 yards of offense against the Gators.
Zach Mettenberger has had a solid first half as well, completing six of nine attempts for 105 yards. For LSU, the offensive approach has been to take whatever the Florida defense is giving them. Big plays will come at a premium in this game, so taking advantage of medium and short plays will be the most reliant way to go.
Having 14 points at the half should bode well for LSU. The Tigers have not allowed more than 21 point sin a home game this season, which means LSU could be getting close to having enough points to win this game. A victory over Florida would keep LSU in the Tigers in a good spot in the SEC standings, but before we can begin to think about the SEC West picture (or the SEC East), we’ll have one more physical half to get through.
2017 will mark the return of UAB football after a brief absence on the scene following a controversial disbanding of the program. As part of that return to college football, the school is in the market to schedule several future games down the road and it appears one of the Blazers non-conference games could include a trip up the highway to play in-state power Auburn.
“We’ve had conversations with them,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs confirmed to AL.com this week. “We’d love to play them again if we can work it out on the schedule, but finding a common date is often difficult to do some times.”
As Jacobs alludes to, finding a match in terms of dates could prove to be tricky. The Tigers have filled all their non-conference slots through 2019 and already have already agreed to home games against two fellow CUSA programs in 2020 and 2022.
On the flip side, UAB also has signed up their fair share of top-flight SEC competition as well. The school will play at Florida this season and will travel to Texas A&M in 2018 and Tennessee in 2019. Meetings with the state’s two SEC programs are rare (Auburn and UAB last played in 1996) but it could be fun to see the recently revived Blazers find a way to schedule their neighbors up the road at some point in the future.
Based on comments from both schools, the only question left now might be what the date actually is.
Another day, another resetting of ye olde arrest ticker.
According to multiple media outlets, South Florida’s Adrian Palmore was arrested this past Monday on one count of fraudulent use of a credit card and count of petit theft. The tight end’s arrest came at a Tampa-area IHOP.
In the arrest report obtained by News Channel 8, officers say Palmore tried to pay for a meal with a credit card that the victim, Rigoberto Torres Meza, claimed was stolen.
Before the meal was served, police say the victim contacted the restaurant, telling them the card had been stolen after his bank told him that someone tried to use the card.
The report went on to say that Palmore had initially said a friend gave him the card. Palmore then admitted he took the card after finding it at school and decided to use it “due to being hungry.
“We are aware of the situation and are in the process of collecting information,” the school said in a statement. “The student-athlete has been removed from participation in team activities at this time.”
Palmore is a walk-on who played in one game last season. He’s also the third Bull to be arrested this offseason, Charlie Strong’s first as USF head coach.
Defensive end LaDarrius Jackson was arrested in May on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment. Not long after, he was arrested again on the same charges and dismissed by Strong.
Bulls defensive back Hassan Childs was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in late March. A day later, Childs was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of misdemeanor marijuana possession in connection to a road-rage incident the night he was shot. Childs allegedly pointed a gun at least twice at a man, Jovanni Jimenez, and his family and was ultimately shot three times by Jimenez.
Childs too was dismissed from the football program.
Not surprisingly, there have been some tweaks made to Oklahoma’s coaching staff in the wake of Bob Stoops‘ retirement.
The OU football program announced Friday that Cale Gundy and fifth-year assistant Bill Bedenbaugh have been named by Lincoln Riley as the Sooners’ co-offensive coordinators. Both will continue on with their previous roles under Stoops, Gundy as inside receivers coach and Bedenbaugh as offensive line coach.
Riley, however, will retain the play-calling duties he’s held the past two years in Norman. The head coach will also continue to oversee quarterbacks.
Other than sliding Calvin Thibodeaux from defensive line coach to defensive tackles coach and adding Ruffin McNeill as defensive ends coach — that outside hire was announced earlier this month — all of the other coaches from Stoops’ last staff will remain in the same jobs.
“I feel like I’m the most fortunate first-year head coach ever with the staff we have in place,” said Riley in a statement. “I’ve coached at least two years with each one of these guys and I’m not shy in saying I think we have the best staff in the country.
“All of our coaches are excited to continue to work with each other as we aim to positively impact the young men in our program and bring many more championships to Norman.”
In the end, a former highly-touted high school prospect will start over at a much lower rung on the college football ladder.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Willie Allen has decided to attend Tyler Junior College and play football this season for the Texas JUCO. The offensive lineman told the Baton Rouge Advocate that he decided to take the JUCO route so as not to miss out on another season of eligibility as he had previously burned his redshirt.
The move comes nearly three weeks after Allen decided to transfer from LSU.
Prior to settling on the Texas JUCO, Allen had taken visits to, among others, Baylor and UCLA. TCU had also been given serious consideration by Allen, but he was blocked by LSU after that Big 12 program reportedly had contact with the player before he had formally requested a transfer.
A four-star 2016 signee, Allen was rated as the No. 10 player at any position in the state of Louisiana and the No. 17 tackle in the country. Only one lineman in the Tigers’ class that year, guard Donavaughn Campbell, was rated higher than Allen.
An unspecified leg injury suffered in the midst of summer camp sidelined him for his true freshman season and led to Allen taking a redshirt for 2016.
Allen was the third offensive lineman to transfer since December. That month, tackle Chidi Okeke opted to leave; four months later, Andy Dodd did the same.
Another member of Allen’s recruiting class, four-star defensive back Savion Smith, announced May 31 that he would be transferring as well.