News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Alabama's DJ Hall earned offensive player of the week honors from the CrimsonTide's coaches.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Alabama's DJ Hall earned offensive player of the week honors from the CrimsonTide's coaches.



Alabama’s coaches announced their players of the week Monday. Receiver DJ Hall and quarterback John Parker Wilson won the Tide’s offensive players-of-the-week honors after Saturday’s 41-17 win over Tennessee.

Wilson passed for 363 yards, and Hall made 13 catches for 185 yards.

Linebacker Darren Mustin and cornerback Kareem Jackson were named defensive players of the week, and kick returner Javier Arenas and linebacker Demarcus Waldrop were named special teams players of the week.

Mustin had a team-high eight tackles, while Jackson intercepted two passes. Arenas returned a kickoff 62 yards, and Waldrop recovered an onside kick.

  • A day after the news leaked, Alabama announced Monday that its Nov. 3 home game against No. 3 LSU (7-1, 4-1 SEC) has been picked up by WHNT-19 and will kick off at 4 p.m. The last time No. 22 Alabama (6-2, 4-1) played on the network was Sept. 29 against Florida State.

    Josh Cooper,
    Daily Sports Writer


    AUBURN — As he scooped up the fumble and began racing for the end zone, Jerraud Powers glanced over his shoulder.

    There was no one there.

    Just 30 more yards, he thought, for a touchdown.

    A mere 10 yards shy of the end zone, the Decatur High grad turned around one last time to make sure he was alone.

    He wasn’t.

    On his heels was LSU’s Trindon Holliday, who Powers calls “the fastest guy in college football.”

    “I looked back, and he’s on my butt,” Powers said. “That just shows you what track speed can do to you.”

    Holliday tackled Powers 3 yards short of the goal line. Three plays later, though, fullback Carl Stewart leaped in for a touchdown that put Auburn up 14-7 in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss.

  • Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said he would make the exact same defensive call on the final play of the game that resulted in LSU’s game-winning touchdown.

    Thinking run, Muschamp called a defense that left Powers on a one-on-one match with LSU receiver Demetrius Byrd. Byrd hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass with Powers draped on him for the winning score.

    “They made a great throw, and the kid made a great catch, and Jerraud had great coverage,” Muschamp said.

    Muschamp said his squad may have felt fatigue during the second half. The same Auburn defense that allowed just one touchdown in the opening two quarters gave up 23 points and 351 yards in the second half.

    “That’s part of the game,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got to play through that, and I thought our kids played hard and competed well the entire game.”

  • Auburn linebacker Tray Blackmon said none of the frightening stories he heard about playing in LSU’s Tiger Stadium were realized Saturday, but he still reveled in the atmosphere.

    “That is my type of football,” he said. “The crowd is crazy, and the fans, it’s loud. That’s what I live for. I enjoyed it. I had a good time. Even though we didn’t win the game, I had a ball.”

    Blackmon started his second straight game after missing four of the first six contests with a twisted ankle.

    Receiver Montez Billings said the road atmosphere “wasn’t too bad.”

    After hearing stories of LSU fans mooning Auburn players two years ago, Billings didn’t see any exposed butts Saturday.

    “I didn’t see any of that,” he said, thankfully.

    Ross Dellenger,
    sports writer


    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida safety Major Wright had surgery to repair a broken thumb Monday, but coach Urban Meyer said the freshman could play against No. 20 Georgia.

    Backup receiver Riley Cooper also had surgery Monday to repair a broken finger.

    “The positive about those two guys is there’s not two tougher players that I’ve been around,” Meyer said.


    KNOXVILLE — Tennessee tailback Montario Hardesty did not appreciate being left out of the Volunteers’ running game in a 41-17 loss to Alabama.

    Hardesty expressed his anger to a reporter from Web site as he was exiting the field Saturday.

    “(Expletive), you tell me,” Hardesty said when asked why he didn’t play against the Crimson Tide.

    The sophomore missed a rare Sunday practice, which coach Phillip Fulmer called after Tennessee’s worst loss to archrival Alabama in Fulmer’s 16 seasons as head coach of the Vols (4-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference).

    Fulmer wasn’t aware during practice why Hardesty was missing, but said he learned later that Hardesty was sick and had left a voice mail with running backs coach Kurt Roger.

    “Montario Hardesty was sick in bed with a 102-degree temperature Sunday afternoon and evening,” Fulmer said Monday. “I talked to Montario this morning. He was sorry for any concern he may have caused. He has been to the training room this morning and is feeling better.”

    Hardesty is the Vols second-leading rusher this season, behind Arian Foster. He has 184 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries, despite missing two games with an ankle injury.

    Hardesty rushed for 146 of those yards in Tennessee’s two previous games against Mississippi State and Georgia. Tennessee rushed 19 times against Alabama.

    Fulmer said Hardesty was not benched for disciplinary reasons, but that Foster and fellow running back LaMarcus Coker better fit into the Vols’ offensive scheme because of their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

    Ole Miss

    JACKSON, Miss. — Quarterback Seth Adams will get the start again this week at No. 23 Auburn, but Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron said Monday he’ll be quick to pull the senior if Adams continues to struggle.

    Adams has thrown 10 interceptions in his last three games, including four in a 44-8 loss to Arkansas last Saturday that grounded Ole Miss’ offense. Brent Schaeffer entered the game and threw a touchdown pass, but Orgeron believes the team’s best chance to win comes with Adams under center.

    “We’re looking at why the turnovers happened and we think they’re very correctible,” Orgeron said. “Seth’s going to continue to be our starting quarterback, but there’s going to be less room for error. And if he shows that he can’t do it, then we’re definitely going to put Brett in there.”

    Adams, a walk-on who beat Schaeffer for the starting job in the offseason, completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,198 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions in his first five games.

    Southeastern Conference

    BIRMINGHAM — LSU quarterback Matt Flynn, Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore and Commodores punter Brett Upson were named Southeastern Conference players of the week Monday.

    Flynn threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd with one second left to lift No. 3 LSU to a 30-24 win over Auburn. He completed 22 of 34 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns — all career highs — and also rushed for 34 yards on 10 carries.

    Moore had eight tackles and two interceptions in Vandy’s 17-6 win at then-No. 6 South Carolina. His first pick set up Vandy’s initial points and his second stopped the Gamecocks’ deepest drive of the game early in the second half.

    The Commodores held an SEC opponent out of the end zone for the first time in 15 seasons.

    Upson averaged 40.1 yards on eight punts and buried six of them inside the 20-yard line.

    The offensive lineman of the week was Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs, while defensive line honors went to Florida end Jermaine Cunningham.

    Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson was the freshman of the week after intercepting two passes in a 41-17 win over Tennessee.

    The Associated Press

    North Alabama

    FLORENCE — After beating Delta State 28-17 on Thursday, North Alabama moved into the top spot in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings released Monday.

    The regional rankings are compiled by the NCAA Division II football committee and determine the selections for the Division II playoffs at the end of the regular season.

    North Alabama jumped two spots in the ranking after defeating last week’s No. 1 Delta State. DSU fell one spot to No. 2, while Valdosta State is No. 3.

    On Saturday, North Alabama travels to Valdosta State for a noon kickoff.


    BIRMINGHAM — UAB is looking for its first win at East Carolina since 2000 when the Blazers travel to Greenville, S.C., on Saturday.

    UAB (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) beat East Carolina (4-4, 3-1) in Birmingham last year 17-12, but the Blazers have lost in two of three trips to Greenville. The lone win came in 2000 when UAB won 16-13.

    “It will be a game that will be a tremendous challenge for us,” UAB coach Neil Callaway said. “I’m very impressed with what Skip Holtz has done up there, getting that program rejuvenated and going in the right direction.”

    From staff reports

    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