News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

College Football Notebook


TUSCALOOSA — Before spring practice started, Alabama coach Nick Saban said that the Tide needed to improve on the defensive line.

Five practices in, Saban says he has seen better play from his defensive line, but still would like more consistency.

“At times we see some improvement, but it’s inconsistent,” Saban said Saturday. “We’re not striking people like we need to. We’re not disengaging from blocks like we need to. We need to get more physical and aggressive.”

According to Saban, the off-season conditioning program is the core of all the improvements he wants the team to make. He added that a lot of mistakes that teams make come from being in poor shape.

“You can’t be a soft football team,” Saban added. “We’re not going to be a soft football team.”

Familiar feel to offense: Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite once said that developing the Tide’s new offense will be developing its own brand.

According to Saban, part of that brand will be taken from most of the other coaching stops he has made.

On Saturday, he revealed that he favors a two-running back system, similar to what he had at LSU, and that 85 percent of his offense will be like his schemes with the Miami Dolphins. He added that 15 percent of the offense will be tailored to Alabama.

“It’s Alabama’s offense — our offense and nobody else’s offense,” he said.

Josh Cooper,
Daily Sports Writer


KNOXVILLE — Tennessee finished spring practice Saturday with the Orange and White game and practiced for a real game day with the Vol Walk and pre-game warmups.

In a scoring format that was somewhat difficult to follow, the White beat the Orange 16-13. The fans were able to see Tennessee’s new no-huddle style implemented this spring.

LaMarcus Coker scored on a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter, and Lucas Taylor caught a 2-yard pass from Jonathan Crompton with 33 seconds left in the game.

In between, Britton Colquitt made field goals of 43 and 52 yards and Daniel Lincoln had a 27-yarder.

The longest plays of the game came on walk-on Tyler Wolf’s 73-yard TD on an interception return of a pass by Dylan Dickey and Roy Olasimbo’s 75-yard run.

Crompton, was 13-of-26 for 113 yards, one interception and one touchdown. Third-stringer Nick Stephens was 14-of-29 for 127 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns.

Crompton’s longest pass of 25 yards when to Quintin Hancock, who finished with three catches for 42 yards. Austin Rogers had four catches for 55 yards and Slick Shelley had 33 yards on five catches.

Olasimbo led in rushing with 114 yards on seven carries.

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is frustrated with his quarterbacks after Saturday’s scrimmage.

Spurrier rotated current starter Blake Mitchell and backups Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley on every play. They went 32-of-55 for 307 yards, but threw five interceptions and just one touchdown in the 102-play scrimmage.

Most of the interceptions were careless and costly, since they were in the end zone, Spurrier said.

“We may be a heck of a running team this year,” Spurrier said.

“Our quarterbacks right now are not good enough to throw 30 times a game. We may have to throw about 20 and pick our spots a little better.”

Damien Wright returned one interception 42 yards for a touchdown.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— Darren McFadden sat out Arkansas’ scrimmage Saturday, and the Razorbacks’ offense struggled without him.

“The offense didn’t do a good job today at all,” coach Houston Nutt said. “The defense really got after them.

“There were a lot of mental mistakes. There was a lot of thinking going on and the offense got a lot thrown at them. We have to get better.”

The Razorbacks were supposed to scrimmage in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, but bad weather kept them inside the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion. The team ran about 50 plays.

Quarterback Casey Dick went 4-of-7 for 16 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Nathan Emert was 9-of-15 for 68 yards and a touchdown.

The defense had seven sacks — two each by tackles Fred Bledsoe and Malcolm Sheppard.

The Associated Press

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