News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

College Football Notebook


TUSCALOOSA — Having coached at LSU should give Alabama coach Nick Saban an advantage in scouting his former players, right? According to Saban, that’s not exactly the case.

“First of all, knowing some of the players, it’s not a tremendous advantage or disadvantage one way or the other,” Saban said. “I think you can see what they do. It’s fairly obvious what the strengths and weaknesses of players are when you watch tape. Unfortunately, there aren’t many weaknesses when you watch this group.”

Saban recruited approximately 30 of LSU’s players, but that doesn’t mean he can figure out their tendencies better than any other coach. It just means that he knows them better as people.

“I do think there’s sort of a — I’m going to call it a respect — personally when you know someone and you know their family,” Saban said. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for these players, their family, the kind of people they are.”

? Saban said his wife, Terry, will be busy this week, because several of their friends from LSU will travel to Alabama for Saturday’s game.

“When I talked to her today she said I haven’t been on the phone yet getting tickets, hotel rooms, enough food for those people and our great friends that we have here in Alabama,” Saban said. “Now we had a house full of Tennessee people after the last game. We feed them if we win; they’re on their own if we lose. Not to say we’re sore losers or anything like that. The Tennessee people got well fed.”

? Saban had no new information regarding the five suspended players Monday, but in practice, it appeared like Alabama was ready to play Saturday without them.

Offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell and right guard Marlon Davis practiced, though not with the first team. Running back Glen Coffee was with the scout team.

Also, it appears that Alabama found its version of LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux on its scout team in the form of Athens High grad Rob Ezell. Though Perrilloux did not practice Monday after an altercation last weekend, Ezell was wearing Perrilloux’s No. 11 on the practice field Monday. He normally sports No. 8.

Josh Cooper,
Daily Sports Writer


AUBURN — Offensive coordinator Al Borges said his team stalled too often “on the fringe of the red zone” during Saturday’s 17-3 win over Ole Miss.

“We call it the red zone fringe,” Borges said. “It was a different mistake, it seemed like, every time. We had a couple of penalties. We had a fumble that took us out. We had a sack that took us out. We’ve got to complete our drives well.”

Although the Tigers compiled 420 yards of offense, they scored only 17 points. Borges said “420 yards should equate to about 30 points-plus.”

Auburn moved into Ole Miss territory eight times during the game, equating to just two touchdowns and a field goal.

“It only equated to 17, but it was mostly because we were shooting ourselves in the foot,” Borges said.

Excluding the two touchdown series, six Auburn drives in Ole Miss territory stalled short of the goal line, leading to punts, field goal tries and a turnover:

—Receiver Rod Smith fumbled to Ole Miss at the 31-yard line.

—Fullback Carl Stewart was stopped for no gain on a third-and-one from the 49-yard line. Auburn punted.

—On a third-and-eight from the 39-yard line, Brandon Cox was sacked for a loss of 6 yards. Auburn punted.

—Cox threw two incompletions after a second-and-five. Backup kicker Zach Kutch then missed a 42-yard field.

—Cox again threw back-to-back incompletions leading to Wes Byrum’s 36-yard field goal.

—After a 24-yard run by tailback Ben Tate, receiver Chris Slaughter was called for an illegal block in the back at the Ole Miss 25-yard line. Byrum aligned in a field goal formation but then pooch punted instead.

? Tuberville said Georgia’s on-field celebration Saturday against Florida was risky given the possibility of a brawl breaking out.

“If there’d been a fight started, it would have been probably pretty tough to imagine what would have happened,” said Tuberville, who did not see the episode but heard about it. “You’ve got to be careful in all rival games.

“Everybody’s got to coach their own (team). I’m not for it or against it — I really don’t know it.”

After scoring its first touchdown Saturday against the Gators, the entire Georgia team raced onto the field and jumped up and down all in unison in the end zone. The Bulldogs eventually won 42-30.

Georgia was penalized 30 yards for the incident, forcing the Bulldogs to kickoff from the 5-yard line. Georgia coach Mark Richt told his team before the game, “If they didn’t get a celebration penalty after our first score, all of them would be doing early morning runs.”

“I heard Mark’s comments that they haven’t played in that game with a lot of passion. Sometimes, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Tuberville said. “I’d be afraid to take any 15-yard penalty intentionally because all the rival games are so hard-fought, every inch is valuable.”

? Auburn’s game at Georgia on Nov. 10 will be televised by CBS on WHNT-19 at 2:30 p.m. It’s the first time CBS has selected to televise an Auburn game this season.

Auburn and Georgia first played in February 1892. The series is tied for the seventh most played college football series at 110 games and has been called the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

Ross Dellenger,
Daily sports writer


BATON ROUGE, La. — Ryan Perrilloux’s off-field troubles have taken him out of LSU’s quarterback rotation again, this time for at least a week.

Perrilloux and reserve linebacker Derrick Odom are being punished for their involvement in a nightclub brawl over the weekend, LSU head coach Les Miles said Monday.

They sat out practice Monday while the third-ranked Tigers prepared for a highly anticipated showdown against former coach Nick Saban at No. 17 Alabama, and Miles said he didn’t expect the two to play Saturday.

“We will prepare to play without these guys,” Miles said.

No one was arrested in the fight early Friday near the LSU campus.

The scuffle began when Perrilloux and Odom got into a shoving match with a group of bouncers, according to a Baton Rouge police report. Brent McClellan, owner of the Varsity nightclub, said Perrilloux and Odom refused to leave at the 2 a.m. closing time, and the scuffle began when bouncers forced them outdoors, into a parking lot, according to the report.

Southeastern Conference

BIRMINGHAM — Georgia tailback Knowshon Moreno, Mississippi State defensive end Avery Hannibal and Tennessee place-kicker Daniel Lincoln were named Southeastern Conference players of the week on Monday.

Moreno rushed for a career-high 188 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns in Georgia’s 42-30 win over Florida.

He also had two catches for 17 yards, touching the ball on 56 percent of Georgia’s offensive plays.

Hannibal had five tackles, including two second-half sacks, in Mississippi State’s 31-14 win at Kentucky. He also had a third tackle for loss.

Lincoln kicked a career-long 48-yard field goal with 5 seconds left in regulation and a 27-yarder in overtime to lift Tennessee to a 27-24 win over South Carolina.

Vanderbilt center Hamilton Holliday was named the offensive lineman of the week. Auburn end Antonio Coleman won defensive line honors. Mississippi State quarterback Wesley Carroll was the freshman of the week.


ATLANTA — Georgia coach Mark Richt apologized Monday for his team’s raucous celebration after its first touchdown against Florida, a display that he encouraged in hopes of firing his team up.

The motivational tactic seemed to work — the No. 10 Bulldogs went on to a 42-30 victory, only their third win against the 18th-ranked Gators in the last 18 years.

But Richt apologized to Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive by telephone and in a letter for his actions leading up to Saturday’s game.

About 70 players stormed the field after Knowshon Moreno’s touchdown run, leading to numerous penalty flags. Richt didn’t mind a bit, admitting afterward he told his team he would give them extra running if they didn’t get called for excessive celebration.

“As a follow-up to our telephone discussion earlier today, I do want to apologize in writing for what transpired after the first score of the Georgia/Florida game this past Saturday when our entire team left the bench area to celebrate the score.” Richt wrote.


UAB plays Saturday against Southern Mississippi, which is 7-0 all-time against the Blazers.

“I’ve watched Southern Miss’ program for a long time and they do an outstanding job,” UAB coach Neil Callaway said. “Defensively, they are in the top of our conference in almost all of the categories. Offensively, I think it all centers around the running back.”

North Alabama

FLORENCE — Despite a 27-24 road loss at Valdosta State, the North Alabama football team is still a solid contender for an NCAA Division II playoff berth.

The Lions is third in the latest Southeast Region rankings, and the top six advance.

UNA went into Saturday ranked No. 1 in the region but dropped two spots following the loss. Gulf South Conference members Delta State, Valdosta State and UNA are all 7-1 and rank as the top three teams in the region.

Delta State is first, despite a loss to UNA. Valdosta State is second, despite a loss to Delta State. UNA is third.

Catawba (8-1), Carson-Newman (8-1) and Fort Valley State (8-2) fill out the fourth through sixth slots.

From staff, wire reports

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

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