News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



AUBURN — LSU’s Tiger Stadium is one of the loudest venues in all of sports, but it’s not likely Auburn’s offensive line will get a break with audibles.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville said simplifying the offensive line calls isn’t as easy as it sounds.

“You can’t really simplify what we do on the offensive line. It’s pretty complex,” he said.

It will most likely be made more complex Saturday night in the sixth-largest on-campus stadium in the nation. Tiger Stadium has a capacity of 92,400.

Although Auburn’s young offensive line had just two illegal-procedure penalties in the win at Florida, Tiger Stadium is louder, according to offensive coordinator Al Borges. Following the game at Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Borges said, “It ain’t got nothing on LSU.”

LSU defensive players have noticed the three true freshmen on the Auburn line, and they plan to take advantage of it.

“They’ve got a pretty young offensive line, so we’re just going to try to do a lot of twists and a lot of blitzes with our linebackers and our safeties,” LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson said, “just try to confuse the offensive line and the running backs to get pressure.”

  • At first, it looked like running back Ben Tate wasn’t going to touch the ball Saturday night in Auburn’s 9-7 win over Arkansas. But in the second half, it almost never left his hands.

    Tate had 81 of his 91 rushing yards in the final two quarters, including a 15-carry fourth quarter. At one point, Tate carried the ball six straight times.

    “I guess that’s the way they plan it out,” said Tate, who lost his starting job to Brad Lester last week.

    Lester’s fumble in the third quarter may have been one of the reasons Tate got all the glory in the final 15 minutes. Either way, he’ll take it. “It’s fine with me,” he said. “It’s all good.”

    Ross Dellenger,
    Daily sports writer


    TUSCALOOSA — On Wednesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban said he wasn’t certain who would fill the various slots on his offensive line, except maybe Andre Smith at left tackle.

    The past two weeks, the line has moved around and shifted, taking into account the personal situations involving left guard Justin Britt and right guard Marlon Davis. In Alabama’s last game against Ole Miss, Chris Capps relieved Mike Johnson at right tackle in the fourth quarter, adding another twist to the offensive line roulette.

    But when Saban figures out his groupings for Tennessee, he will take one attribute into account.

    “It will be a challenge to our guys to be physical in the game and do that for 60 minutes,” Saban said. “This is a physical defensive front, we’re going to have to play physical, and the guys who can play most physical in the game are the ones who will have the best opportunity.”

  • The Sports Illustrated SEC Tour will be at the Alabama quad Saturday from 8 a.m. until halftime. Former Tide defensive back and Hazlewood grad Antonio Langham and quarterback Kenny Stabler will be there signing autographs.

    Tuscaloosa marks the second stop on the tour, which travels to six SEC towns in celebration of the conference’s 75th anniversary

    Its next stop will be Gainesville, Fla., on Oct. 27.

  • The University of Alabama sent out a warning regarding the purchasing of fake tickets. This would be at a premium considering the high volume of interest for buying single-game tickets for Saturday’s matchup against Tennessee.

    “We want our loyal fans to understand that purchasing game tickets on game day from individuals on the street is a risky proposition, at best,” said Chris Besanceney, assistant athletics director for ticketing and Tide Pride. “The lone authorized outlet for Alabama football tickets is the UA athletic ticket office. Buyers who purchase tickets from other sources do so at their own risk.”

    Josh Cooper,
    Daily Sports Writer


    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A Montgomery County man has appealed a judge’s dismissal of his lawsuit against University of Arkansas officials over an e-mail critical of Mitch Mustain and asked the state’s highest court to order the school to preserve the messages about the former Arkansas quarterback.

    John David Terry of Mount Ida filed a motion for accelerated appeal and preservation of evidence late Thursday with the state Supreme Court. Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay dismissed Terry’s lawsuit against university Chancellor John White and university system president B. Alan Sugg, calling the case “meritless.”

    Terry claimed public money was misused because White had Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt investigate the e-mail. Terry’s lawsuit alleged that White should not have had Nutt investigate the e-mail because it was sent to Mustain by Razorbacks booster Teresa Prewett, a friend of Nutt’s family.

    Mustain started eight games for the Razorbacks last season, but left the team after offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, his former high school coach at Springdale, left Arkansas to take a job at Tulsa. Mustain is now at Southern California.

    Mustain’s departure contributed to a firestorm. Nutt eventually gave Prewett an official reprimand and barred her from the sidelines during games. He has said he did not initially know about the e-mail.


    NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma has until Oct. 30 to file its latest rebuttal in the NCAA infractions case surrounding extra benefits received by former starting quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn.

    Oklahoma, appealing the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ decision to strip the school of eight victories in which Bomar and Quinn participated during the 2005 season, received word from the NCAA this week that the infractions committee had responded to the university’s appeal.

    In a letter dated Monday, NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee chairman Christopher L. Griffin informed university legal counsel Joseph Harroz Jr. that he’d requested the infractions committee’s response be posted on a Web-based custodial system for the university to view and provide a response.

    The Associated Press received a copy of the letter Friday through an open records request. The NCAA acknowledged receiving Oklahoma’s appeal more than a month ago. In a letter dated Sept. 11, Griffin wrote that attorney Robin Green Harris of the law firm Ice Miller had submitted the university’s written appeal.

    From Staff, Wire Reports

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

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