College Football Notebook
AUBURN — Tight end Tommy Trott said that he never lined up in the backfield during Saturday’s scrimmage. Coach Tommy Tuberville had earlier said that the 251-pound Trott may play a dual role on the team as a fullback because the tight end position is loaded with depth and experience.
“We didn’t do much of that. It was a pretty basic scrimmage,” Trott said.
The Montgomery native said he was not thrown to very much either during the run-heavy, simple scrimmage that was closed to the public and media.
“We didn’t run many boots or nakeds to get them off the run,” the sophomore said. “Not too many play-actions. Really, we were trying to run the ball. We didn’t open too much up.”
Trott started nine games last season, as he and sophomore Gabe McKenzie filled in for the injured Cole Bennett. This season Trott, Bennett and McKenzie all are expected to rotate at the tight end spot.
Bennett, a senior, was listed as the starter after spring drills, but, like most positions on the football team, the tight ends will be run by committee.
Tuberville was disappointed after Tuesday night’s practice, calling it not “one of our better practices.”
“We didn’t execute very well,” he said. “Defensively, we stood out a little today, but offensively we’re just not strong enough mentally to make many plays.”
The defense, which seems to be the team’s strongest unit, also dominated Saturday’s practice. Auburn will hold its final two-a-days Wednesday before taking the day off Thursday, the first day of classes.
Daily Sports Writer
? While coach Nick Saban continued to preach that there is no depth chart, linebacker Rolando McClain, a Decatur High alum, appears to have established himself on defense.
During the 20 minutes of practice that are open to reporters, McClain was doing drills with what appeared to be the first team at linebacker.
“He is responding in the right way and he is making improvement,” Saban said. “We are pleased with the progress he has made so far.”
? The University of Alabama announced its kickoff time for its season-opening game against Western Carolina on Sept. 1.
The game will start at 6:07 p.m. with the broadcast being on the Crimson Tide Sports Network for pay-per-view distribution.
? Quarterback John Parker Wilson joined seven other Southeastern Conference quarterbacks on the Manning Award watch list.
Wilson joins Tennessee’s Erik Ainge, Auburn’s Brandon Cox, LSU’s Matt Flynn, South Carolina’s Blake Mitchell, Georgia’s Matt Stafford, Florida’s Tim Tebow and Kentucky’s Andre Woodson on the list.
“I guess it’s a pretty big deal to make that list,” Wilson said.
Last season Wilson completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,707 yards for 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
? The heat might be getting to be somewhat of an old story line, but Alabama is doing all it can to make it bearable for the football team.
On Tuesday, it appeared that there were more managers than usual, ready to give players water at a moment’s notice. Managers were set up at each station with several green bottles.
? Freshman cornerback Chris Lett continued to be held out of practice due to complications from diabetes.
Lett practiced at the end of last week, but was out of the team’s Saturday scrimmage and has not practiced this week.
In terms of injuries/health issues, Saban said that running back Roy Upchurch — who has worn a black non-contact jersey all week — has not been cleared for contact because of off-season shoulder surgery.
Saban did not put a timetable on Upchurch’s return, but said he could be out until the Sept. 15 game against Arkansas.
Daily Sports Writer
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU has sold a record 68,230 season tickets for its upcoming football season, the school said Tuesday.
Last year, LSU sold 67,700 season tickets. During head coach Les Miles’ first season in 2005, the Tigers sold 66,100 season tickets.
“We’ve sold every season ticket that we can sell,” said Brian Broussard, assistant athletic director for ticket operations.
LSU opens its season on Aug. 30 with a nationally televised game at Mississippi State. The first home game is Sept. 8 against Virginia Tech.
Last year, LSU averaged a school-record 92,212 fans for its eight homes.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida receiver Percy Harvin, the team’s most dynamic player, was limited in practice Tuesday because of Achilles’ tendinitis.
Coach Urban Meyer said it was unclear how long the injury would affect Harvin, who emerged last season as one of the team’s big-play threats.
“It’s just a pain in the butt,” Meyer said. “It’s frustrating for him.”
Harvin, a sophomore from Virginia, had 428 yards rushing, 427 yards receiving and scored five touchdowns last season for the national champion Gators.
He earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Southeastern Conference championship game, totaling 167 yards of offense and scoring two touchdowns. He was nearly as effective in the national title game against Ohio State, catching nine passes for 60 yards and adding 22 yards rushing and a score.
Meyer said Harvin “should be able to heal that thing up” and be ready for the Sept. 1 season opener against Western Kentucky.
BIRMINGHAM — The intensity at UAB football practice Tuesday matched the scorching heat outside as head coach Neil Callaway referred to the practice as the best 11-on-11 workout he’s seen all of camp. The Blazers worked out for 23 periods under the downtown sun and will be back on the field for two-a-day workouts Wednesday.
“I thought today was the best day we’ve had 11-on-11” Callaway said after practice. “We had different situations, we had a first-and-10 situation, then a third-and-5 and then a third and short situation — by far this was the best 11-on-11 day we’ve had.”
Junior running back Brandon Thornton has been cleared to compete.
A Birmingham native and former prep standout at Homewood High School, Thornton transferred to UAB from Mississippi State.
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville State head football coach Jack Crowe was pleased with the play of several newcomers in the Gamecocks’ first scrimmage as the team worked for just over two hours in the 100-plus-degree heat Tuesday.
The Gamecocks ran a total of 82 plays in the scripted scrimmage, with the first-team offense and defense getting 59 snaps and the other teams combining for the other 23 plays.
“Overall, we’re extremely happy with the play of our new players,” said Crowe, who is beginning his eighth season leading Jacksonville State.
From staff, wire reports
Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
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AP contributed to this report.
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