News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



TUSCALOOSA — Alabama running back Jimmy Johns did not play in the Tide's scrimmage Friday and did not practice Thursday.

According to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Johns was dealing with an academic issue. Saban said that if Johns "does what he needs to do" then he can be back on the field either Monday or Tuesday.

One of the players who had one of the more impressive outings in the team's first scrimmage was running back Glen Coffee.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore had 81 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown.

Saban says that he favors using two running backs at
once, similar to what he had at LSU.

Johns was the top backup to graduated starter Ken Darby of Huntsville last season, but Saban sounded disappointed in the running back, while emphasizing that everyone is still
in competition for their positions.

"Dependability is part of (the competition)," Saban said. "The guy can't do what he is supposed to do to get to practice — that's not saying much for him."

Position experiments continue: Former running back Ali Sharrief and offensive lineman Taylor Pharr practiced with the defense again Friday.

Both started working on that side of the ball Tuesday.

While Saban said he is not sure whether both will remain on the defensive side, he has been pleased at the speed in which both are picking up different positions.

"It has been tough to evaluate them in two days," Saban said. "I'm encouraged by the way both of them learn and the effort and their attitudes."

Injury report: Wide receiver DJ Hall revealed Thursday that he will need arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder after the spring. Hall said that recovery time will be about two months.

"I didn't want to miss spring because I knew if I did, I would be so far behind," Hall said.

"I will take the summer to rehab."

Fellow wide receiver Keith Brown was in a black non-contact jersey with a rib

Tight end Travis McCall
did not practice with a calf injury.

- Josh Cooper, Daily Sports Writer

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was pleased with his quarterbacks — a lot more than he was a week ago — as the Gamecocks went through a 92-play scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium on Friday.

Quarterback Blake Mitchell, who'll be a senior next fall, completed 13 of 26 passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw an interception.

Receiver Kenny McKinley caught touchdowns of 27 and 2 yards from Mitchell.

Quarterback Chris Smelley, who redshirted last season, led all passers with 171 yards, including a 66-yard completion to tailback Cory Boyd.

Tommy Beecher also played quarterback, completing 8 of 12 throws for 90 yards.

Spurrier was displeased with the three passers' performance at a scrimmage on March 31 and was much happier with his passing attack this time around.

"It was a good effort overall, better than last week," Spurrier said. "I thought the quarterbacks were much improved."

Tailback Bobby Wallace led the ground game with 56 yards on 13 carries.

Boyd had eight carries for 50 yards. He also caught three passes for 72 yards.

Still, it was the defense that won the day and the game, 53-47, Spurrier said.

Spurrier wasn't thrilled with the Gamecocks offensive line, "but I'm hoping our defensive line is going to be hard to block this year," he said.

Defensive end Eric Norwood was credited with 31/2 sacks. Freshman defensive lineman Travian Robertson blocked a 52-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Succop.

The Gamecocks have one more week of practice. Spring drills conclude April 14 with the Garnet & Black Spring Game at Williams-Brice Stadium.

- The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

Save $84.50 a year off our newsstand price:
Subscribe today for only 38 cents a day!

Leave feedback
on this or

Email This Page