News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



AUBURN — Offensive coordinator Al Borges claims that he has coached in more raucous environments than Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — known best as The Swamp.

Borges, who coached at UCLA, Cal, Indiana, Oregon and Boise State before coming to Auburn in 2004, said LSU and Oregon have louder venues.

“It ain’t got nothing on LSU,” he said. “Play Oregon sometime, and you find out what loud is. You can’t hear yourself think. They’ve got the ‘No Audible Zone,’ and you ain’t audibling baby.”

The Swamp was filled to capacity with more than 90,000 people Saturday night during Auburn’s 20-17 upset win. LSU’s Tiger Stadium — known as Death Valley — holds more than 92,000 people. Auburn faces LSU on Oct. 20 in a pivotal SEC Western Division match.

“It was by far the loudest place I’ve ever been in in my life. I’ve heard LSU is even louder, so that should be interesting,” Auburn place-kicker Wes Byrum said, “but I loved it, just everybody being right there, the sound. It was just awesome.”

  • Auburn special teams coach Eddie Gran was disappointed with his squad, giving them a letter grade of C for Saturday night’s performance.

    Punter Ryan Shoemaker started for the first time in three weeks. A dislocated elbow suffered against South Florida had sidelined him. He showed some rust early, but got two “great rolls” on those punts. He finished with a 45-yard average on five boots.

    “We got lucky,” Gran said.

    Gran called his kickoff coverage “awful.” Florida returned three kicks for 96 yards.

    Gran said two of the kickoffs were “unacceptable in terms of where (Byrum was) supposed to put the ball,” meaning the placement of the kick.

  • Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said Tuesday to expect another shakeup on the offensive line this week.

    “We’re going to mix it up,” he said. “We could have one or two new starters in the lineup.”

    But offensive line coach Hugh Nall said Sunday that he would stay with the same starting five, which includes true freshmen right tackle Lee Ziemba, right guard Chaz Ramsey and left tackle Ryan Pugh, and juniors center Jason Bosley and left guard Tyronne Green.

  • Tuberville said defensive end Quentin Groves did not practice Tuesday and is “still sore.” Groves hyper-extended three toes during the Florida game.

    He is not expected to play this weekend but according to players, may return for Auburn’s game against Arkansas next week.

    Linebacker Merrill Johnson practiced Tuesday, Tuberville said. Auburn’s starting linebacker entering the season, Johnson hasn’t played since suffering a shoulder injury against South Florida.

    Ross Dellenger, Daily sports writer


    TUSCALOOSA — With new football power South Florida popping up almost out of nowhere, Alabama coach Nick Saban offered his opinion on success in nontraditional programs.

    South Florida didn’t play football 11 years ago and is now 4-0 and ranked No. 6 in the country after defeating then-No. 5 West Virginia last weekend. The Bulls started the season unranked.

    According to Saban, the Southeastern Conference cannot take what Saban called “props” or partial academic qualifiers, while other schools can.

    “It is what it is, I guess. I feel like if we do a good job of recruiting here, we ought to be able to get good football players who are qualified who are the kind of people, character and attitude-wise that we want to represent an institution like this,” Saban said. “And we know that there are going to be some occasions that we have to play against some teams that don’t have to do that.”

    Saban later added that the lower academic standards at some schools can be good as well because it gives players who could not qualify at some institutions a chance to get an education.

    “There’s good and bad, I guess, in all of it,” Saban said.

  • On July 14, Brandon Deaderick found himself in an unenviable situation. Arrested and charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest and providing a false name after an incident outside a Tuscaloosa nightclub, Deaderick now looks at the event as a “blessing in disguise.”

    Deaderick did community service at a Tuscaloosa-area assisted living home.

    “It really makes you grateful for the things you have,” Deaderick said. “It makes you better as a person. That goes beyond running.”

    Added Deaderick: “I’m not a bad guy, people make mistakes.”

    During preseason practice, when addressing the issue of cornerback Simeon Castille’s punishment following his arrest and charge with disorderly conduct, Saban said he tries to teach players rather than just punish them.

    “We try to educate so that people do things right,” Saban said. “People do the right things and make the right choices and decisions, and I told you that poor judgment is not going to be something that we tolerate in this organization.”

  • Defensive end Bobby Greenwood was still in a black noncontact jersey during practice Tuesday, but did some light jogging on the sidelines of the Thomas-Drew practice facility. Greenwood injured his ankle, which was heavily taped, against Florida State last weekend.

    In his absence, Deaderick continued to practice with the first team.

    Josh Cooper, Daily Sports Writer


    BIRMINGHAM — UAB gained a season-high 403 yards in Saturday’s 38-30 at Tulsa but will play next against a Mississippi State defense that has held four of its five opponents to fewer than 350 yards.

    “We’ve got to score more points than they do,” UAB coach Neil Callaway said. “We’ve got to challenge them. We are going to have to make sure we play the best that we can play. We have to execute what we are doing.”

    UAB (1-3, 0-1 C-USA) and Mississippi State (3-2, 1-2 SEC) will kickoff at 1:30 p.m. at Starkville, Miss.


    MEMPHIS — A moment of silence was held to honor Memphis defensive lineman Taylor Bradford before Tuesday night’s game between the Tigers and Marshall.

    Instead of the normal bouncing and running entrance from the locker room before the game, Memphis walked slowly out of the tunnel arm-and-arm in rows of five players each.

    Bradford, a junior from Nashville, died after a shooting at a residential complex on the Memphis campus about 9:45 p.m. Sunday. He drove a short distance before his car crashed into a tree. Emergency workers answering the wreck call, discovered Bradford was shot. He died later at a Memphis hospital.

    Memphis authorities continued to investigate the death Tuesday, and there were no suspects in custody.

    Bradford, a 5-foot-11, 300-pounder who transferred from Samford University in Birmingham, was used primarily on the scout team. He had not seen action in a game this season.


    STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford quarterback T.C. Ostrander will miss this week’s game against Southern California after having a seizure at a restaurant during the weekend.

    Ostrander was watching former teammate Trent Edwards play on television for the Buffalo Bills when he had the seizure Sunday.

    He was taken to Stanford hospital and had a series of tests. He was released from the hospital later Sunday after all tests came back normal.

    Ostrander will miss the game against the Trojans as a precaution and be re-evaluated Monday. Tavita Pritchard will start Saturday for the Cardinal (1-3, 0-2 Pac-10).

    From staff, wire reports

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

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