News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


Virginia Tech bounces back for easy win

ATLANTA — Virginia Tech bounced back just fine from its shocking collapse against Boston College.

One week after the No. 11 Hokies squandered a 10-point lead to BC in the final minutes, Sean Glennon threw two long touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Virginia Tech to a 27-3 win over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.

Glennon made his second straight start in place of freshman Tyrod Taylor, who was sidelined again by a sprained ankle. The replacement starter, who lost the job to Taylor after the second game, made the most of it by throwing for 296 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Justin Harper and a 71-yarder to Josh Morgan.

The Hokies (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) moved into a first-place tie with rival Virginia in the Coastal Division. The teams meet in the final game of the regular season.

The Associated Press


TUSCALOOSA — Alabama’s Nick Saban is not the first coach who left his college team for the NFL, then returned with a rival in the SEC.

In fact, a recent example would be South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier.

Spurrier spent 12 years as the Florida Gators head coach, then bolted to the NFL with the Washington Redskins. He returned to the college game with the Gamecocks.

“I was (at Florida) for 12 years, and it seemed to me that 12 was enough, and it was time to try something different, and that was basically why I left Florida and why our fans understood that,” Spurrier said this week. “I don’t know if LSU fans understand that’s what (Saban) was doing.”

In Spurrier’s first game against Florida as South Carolina’s coach, the Gamecocks defeated the Gators 30-22, but his relationship with Gators fans is not considered as contentious as Saban’s with LSU fans.

Last season, Spurrier returned to Gainesville during South Carolina’s off-week to be inducted into Florida’s ring of honor.

“I even call (Florida athletics director) Jeremy Foley two or three times a year to wish him luck. He calls me to wish us luck,” Spurrier said. “I don’t know if (Saban) is calling the LSU athletics director and wishing him luck the way we are, but it’s probably a different situation than what I’ve got.”

  • So how will a lack of Ryan Perrilloux affect Alabama? On Wednesday, LSU coach Les Miles announced that his “change-of-pace” backup quarterback will not play Saturday against the Crimson Tide, following a melee at a night club last weekend.

    That won’t change Saban’s preparation too much, though, because the Tigers have an equally capable quarterback in starter Matt Flynn.

    “(Flynn) doesn’t look like it, but when he’s running, he gets there pretty quick,” Tide linebacker Darren Mustin said. “We’ve got things we’ve got to work on — just work on ourselves, prepare ourselves for what they do.”

  • Nick Saban was born on Halloween, and during a news conference this week, he received a card from reporters, wishing him a happy birthday.

    “How about the trick or treat my mom got? I don’t think she has ever figured that one out,” he said after opening the card.

    Josh Cooper,
    Daily Sports Writer


    AUBURN — Starting running back Brad Lester will not play Saturday against Tennessee Tech. The junior tailback is suffering from a lingering groin injury and will be held out for precautionary reasons.

    Lester returned to the starting lineup against Arkansas after making his debut a week earlier following a six-game suspension. Lester nearly had his first 100-yard game against Ole Miss but came up 4 yards short.

    In four games, Lester has picked up 349 yards on 73 carries and scored three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Ben Tate likely will replace him in the starting lineup. Tate, who started the first six games of the season, has a team-leading 721 rushing yards.

    Two other starters will join Lester on the sideline this weekend — linebacker Craig Stevens (ankle) and tackle Ryan Pugh (ankle) will not play.

    “We’ve got an opportunity to rest a couple of guys this week, trying to get them back to 100 percent,” Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville told reporters following Thursday’s practice.

    On Saturday, No. 19 Auburn (6-3, 4-2 SEC) hosts Tennessee Tech (4-5) of the Football Championship Subdivision — formerly of Division I-AA.

  • The Southern California wildfires that left thousand of acres charred nearly chased the family of an Auburn assistant coach from its home last week.

    Running backs coach Eddie Gran grew up in Escondido, Calif., about 30 miles north of San Diego. The raging wildfires were south of his home, where his parents live.

    “Mom and Dad had to get packed,” Gran said. “They were on a reverse 911. As soon as they got the call, they had to leave.”

    They didn’t ever get that call. Within an hour, the winds changed, saving his parents from evacuation. About 50 homes burned south of them, said Gran, who also coaches special teams for Auburn.

    “I told my Dad to go to Vegas,” Grand said, smiling. “They didn’t end up having to go. They were lucky.”

    Ross Dellenger,
    Daily sports writer


    KNOXVILLE — Dennis Rogan will be the top kick returner when No. 24 Tennessee hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, coach Phillip Fulmer said Thursday.

    Rogan, who has a return average of 27.0 yards an attempt, is currently third in kick returns for the Vols behind tailbacks LaMarcus Coker and Arian Foster.

    But with the suspension of Coker, and Foster yielding his spot on the return team to younger players following the first week of the season, Rogan will be the top returner.

    Coker and defensive tackle Demonte Bolden will miss Saturday’s game because of a violation of team rules. Fulmer did not elaborate on the violation.


    BIRMINGHAM — The UAB football team continued work toward this week’s Conference USA game against Southern Mississippi, with a 15-period practice Thursday.

    From staff, wire reports

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

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