Baton Rouge Police Department Officer Markell Morris holds a bouquet of flowers and a Superman action figure that a citizen left at the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital where the police officers were brought this morning, Sunday, July 17, 2016. Multiple law enforcement officers were killed and wounded Sunday morning in a shooting near a gas station in Baton Rouge. (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times via AP)
Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times via AP

Les Miles, on Baton Rouge police killings: ‘My heart hurts’

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Tragedy struck a hurting nation again Sunday, with at least three Baton Rogue law enforcement officers killed and three wounded in a cowardly ambush by a former United States Marine who has been described by some officials as a black separatist.

That area of the country has been roiled in protests and unrest since white police officers shot and killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man.  Following a police-involved shooting that involved the death of another black man in Minnesota, five Dallas police officer were shot and killed by a black man hellbent on killing those in law enforcement, specifically white officers.

In the wake of today’s tragedy, LSU head football coach Les Miles released a statement that began with “[m]y heart hurts for Baton Rouge and what’s happened in our community over the past couple of weeks.”  Below is Miles’ complete statement:

My heart hurts for Baton Rouge and what’s happened in our community over the past couple of weeks. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those officers who lost their lives or were injured today in what was a senseless act. I continue to pray for peace, compassion and civility as our city mourns during this extremely sad time for Baton Rouge.

The school subsequently announced that Miles’ appearance at the ESPN “Car Wash” scheduled for Monday had been cancelled “in light of the tragic event that took place in Baton Rouge today.

Numerous members of the LSU football team responded to the tragedy via social media, but none more powerfully that DeSean Smith, a tight end on the Tigers whose father is a black Louisiana state trooper and whose Twitter profile states “I want to be a State Trooper like my dad 1 day.”

The tragedy also touched the Virginia Tech football program, as freshman quarterback Josh Jackson was closely related to one of the victims. And, while it’s heartbreaking for all of the families affected, that victim is particularly heart-wrenching as he became a father earlier this year.

There have just been way too many sad days of late in this country. It needs to stop. Right now.

Sadly, as my 10-year-old daughter asked me earlier today, “it probably won’t, will it daddy?”

David Shaw on LSU opening: Are you serious? The answer is no

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Head coach David Shaw of the Stanford Cardinal reacts after a fumble by Francis Owusu #6 during the second quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on September 24, 2016 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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LSU opened up a high-profile head coaching vacancy on Sunday by removing head coach Les Miles as the head of the football program. As Miles was shown the door, the list of possible candidates started popping up just about everywhere you might look. Names like Houston’s Tom Herman and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher have been popular and trendy, but not so much for Stanford head coach David Shaw.

Asked about the new opening in Baton Rouge, Shaw was rather definitive in his stance.

Are you serious? The answer is no,” Shaw said, seemingly without hesitation according to ESPN reporter David Lombardi.

It should be mentioned that it is incredibly rare for a head coach in a current position with one program would even drop a hint of interest in another position elsewhere, so keep that in mind as coaches like Herman and Fisher deny having any contact with LSU and so on during the annual coaching carousel. That said, Shaw leaving Stanford would be a pretty good shock, so we can probably take Shaw at his word here.

Torn ACL brings end of 2016 season for Michigan CB Jeremy Clark

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  A Michigan Wolverines flag is carried during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Wildcats defeated the Wolverines 31-14.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh announced senior cornerback Jeremy Clark will not play another down this season. Clark suffered a torn ACL in a blowout win against Penn State on Saturday while on special teams duty.

With Clark no longer an option for the defense, Harbaugh mentioned a few players as possible replacements for the rest of the season; Brandon Watson, Lavert Hill, and David Long.

Harbaugh also said the school will petition the NCAA to see if they can get a sixth year of eligibility for Clark. Players are eligible to apply for a medical redshirt of a season-ending injury occurs in the first third of the regular season, which Michigan’s fourth game would qualify for. Clark has already used a redshirt season at Michigan.

Tennessee video team scores a win over Florida and makes friends with Oregon

Smokey feeds ducks
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When you go out on a limb and guarantee a victory, you better hope you and your team can back it up. Otherwise, your statements could come back to haunt you. The folks in Tennessee had a little fun at the expense of Florida defensive back Quincy Wilson this week after the Vols came from behind to beat Florida in a key SEC East Division game in Knoxville. The win brought an end to an 11-year losing streak Tennessee had going against their division rivals from Florida, which was cause for celebration alone, but being able to capitalize on a golden quote served up by Wilson a few days prior to the game ensured yet another victory on social media.

“Have you ever seen a duck pull a truck? Ducks don’t pull trucks,” Wilson said in the days leading up to Florida’s game at Tennessee. “Nobody has ever seen a duck pull a truck. Florida Gators are going to win, simple as that.”

As that particular quote started making the rounds around the college football world, the Oregon Ducks of all programs decided to weigh in on the rivalry smack talk by sharing a video of the Oregon mascot pulling a truck…

So, it was only fitting that after Tennessee snapped its losing streak against the Gators and made Wilson eat some crow for his duck metaphor, the video production team at Tennessee had a little fun with everything that transpired. It would appear that Smokey, Tennessee’s mascot, appreciated the support from Oregon and is now repaying the favor.

Well done, Tennessee video team!

QB Luke Del Rio “highly doubtful” for Florida’s next game

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Luke Del Rio #14 of the Florida Gators in action during the first half of the game against the North Texas Mean Green at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images
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The Florida Gators do not appear to be optimistic about quarterback Luke Del Rio being available for their next game against Vanderbilt this weekend. Florida announced Del Rio is “highly doubtful” for this weekend’s game after missing this past weekend’s game at Tennessee.

Del Rio suffered a left knee injury two weeks ago against North Texas, forcing him to miss last weekend’s game against the Vols. Florida expects to be able to work Del Rio back into the practice routine starting Tuesday and will continue to monitor his progress as they make sure he is good to go before testing him in a game.

“I would say he’d be highly doubtful for this week,” Florida head coach Jim McElwain said Monday. “But I’m still not going to count him out.”

Austin Appleby stepped in to get his first start at Florida since transferring from Purdue when he took the field on Saturday at Tennessee. It is expected Appleby will once again get the start against Vanderbilt. Del Rio visited with the team and was in a uniform last weekend, more so he could communicate and help Appleby out as best he possibly could from the sideline.