News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



KNOXVILLE — Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said the Vols are not panicking despite dropping out of The Associated Press Top 25 following their 59-20 loss to No. 3 Florida on Saturday.

“There’s no panic,” Fulmer said Monday. “We’ve been here before and fought through it, and we’ll fight through it again.”

He said Tennessee is now preparing to face Arkansas State this Saturday.

However, Fulmer said he expects his players to be ready because they know where they need to improve.

“Obviously we need to stop giving up points in the kicking game, stop giving up big plays on defense and offensively turning the ball over.”

Ole Miss

JACKSON, Miss. — Ole Miss quarterback Brent Schaeffer may get a second chance.

Rebels coach Ed Orgeron said Schaeffer will “probably” start Saturday against No. 3 Florida if Seth Adams misses practice much of this week as expected with a sprained right shoulder. Adams took the job from Schaeffer in the offseason.

“I really think it’s going to come up to game time,” Orgeron said of his decision. “We are going to try Brent and Michael Herrick, and we’ll see who the best one in practice is this week. It probably will be Brent as starter, but he has to have a great week of practice.”

Orgeron said Schaeffer has made strides in the areas that essentially cost him the starting job. The coach was not only concerned with the quarterback’s play, but in the way he was acting off the field.

Not only has his play improved, but so had his class attendance.

“He has been almost 100 percent since we have been back,” Orgeron said. “So his attitude has changed, and I’m very proud of him. His attitude toward class work and the things we have asked him to do.”

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina defensive lineman Nathan Pepper will have surgery on his injured left knee and miss the rest of the season, coach Steve Spurrier said.

Pepper hurt his knee on a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown in Saturday’s 38-3 win over South Carolina State.

Pepper, a junior, could get a medical redshirt so he wouldn’t lose a season of eligibility, Spurrier said after practice Monday.

Pepper had five tackles and has started all three games for No. 12 South Carolina this season. The Gamecocks travel to No. 2 LSU on Saturday.


LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Southeastern Conference fined Kentucky $25,000 for violating league policy about keeping fans off the playing field following the Wildcats’ 40-34 upset of Louisville on Saturday.

SEC policy limits on-field access to “student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly credentialed individuals.”

It is the school’s second violation of the policy since it was adopted in 2004. Kentucky was fined last year when fans ran onto the Commonwealth Stadium turf after the Wildcats defeated Georgia.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said the school would work to “ensure a safe environment for our players and fans to celebrate future wins.”


BIRMINGHAM — Kentucky quarterback André Woodson, Mississippi State defensive back Derek Pegues and Florida return man Brandon James were named the Southeastern Conference players of the week Monday.

Woodson completed 30 of 44 passes for 275 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Kentucky’ s 40-34 upset of Louisville, including a 57-yard TD pass to Steve Johnson with 28 seconds left. He broke the SEC record for consecutive passes without an interception at 257. The old record of 214 was set by Georgia’s David Greene.

Pegues returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown in Mississippi State’s 19-14 win at Auburn. It was his third interception return for a score, a school record.

Pegues also had five tackles and a pass deflection.

James scored on an 83-yard punt return the first time he touched the ball in Florida’s 59-20 win over Tennessee. It was tied for the fifth longest in Florida history. He leads the nation with a 30.8-yard average on punt returns. James had 193 all-purpose yards in the game.

Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams and Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens were named the linemen of the week. Alabama tailback Terry Grant was the freshman of the week for the third consecutive time.


BIRMINGHAM — UAB’s Swayze Waters was named the Conference USA special teams player of the week Monday following his record-setting performance in the Blazers’ 22-0 victory Saturday over Alcorn State.

Waters broke the UAB record and tied the Conference USA mark for most field goals in a game with five in the win at Birmingham’s Legion Field. Waters became the sixth C-USA kicker in history, and the first since the 2005 season, to connect on five field goals.

Waters was 5-of-5 and is the nation’s No. 1-ranked kicker in field goals made per game at 3.00.

He is 9-of-10 for the year. No other kicker nationally has made more than seven field goals this season.

The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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