October 25, 2012

Around the SEC: Thursday, Oct. 25

Our daily look around the SEC through the eyes of the Rivals.com network of sites.



WR Christion Jones seems to be getting past the ankle issues that have plagued him. … S Robert Lester has a gimpy ankle, but should be good to play against Mississippi State this weekend. It didn't keep him out of the Tennessee game.

More Alabama coverage: TideSports.com


The Razorbacks struggled against Texas A&M's up-tempo offense to the tune of 52 points and 716 yards when the teams played on Sept. 29. The bad news: Arkansas DC Paul Haynes says that this week's opponent, Ole Miss, plays faster. The good news: the Razorbacks feel good about the energy and tempo they've established in practice this week. … CB Kaelon Kelleybrew may get some time at STAR this week; that's the hybrid LB/DB position on the Arkansas defense when it goes to a 4-2-5 on Saturday.

More Arkansas coverage: HawgSports.com


Auburn's goal is to get Tre Mason 20 carries a week, but he hasn't done that since Game 3. He's Auburn's most productive player, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. … The Tigers are 119th of 120 teams in the FBS in yards per game, and have just 11 offensive touchdowns. Only one other team has less than 15.

More Auburn coverage: AuburnSports.com


RG Josh Williford (concussion) still hasn't returned to practice, but coach Les Miles is expecting him back for Alabama in two weeks. The Tigers don't play this weekend. … LB Luke Muncie has been back at practice the past two games.

More LSU coverage: TigerBait.com

Ole Miss

Ole Miss has played two road games, but one (Tulane) wasn't exactly a "hostile" road environment. Even this week, a road trip to Arkansas won't be the usual road environment that you might usually get with the Razorbacks: this game will be played in Little Rock in a stadium that seats about 15,000 fewer people than UA's main venue in Fayetteville. … CB Charles Sawyer (ankle) was back at practice on Wednesday.

More Ole Miss coverage: RebelGrove.com

Mississippi State

QB Tyler Russell has 15 TDs and just 1 INT this season. ... RG Tobias Smith should start this weekend after sitting out last week's win over MTSU. In previous games, he'd been used sparingly - his season-high in snaps was 49 against Auburn and Tennessee - and he should see about that number of snaps on Saturday against Alabama. … Reserve CB Cedric Jiles (broken hand) is doubtful for Saturday.

More Miss. State coverage: BulldogBlitz.com

Texas A&M

Saturday's game at Auburn marks the start of a three-game road trip for A&M, with games at Mississippi State and Alabama to follow. This weekend's trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium is A&M's first. … DE Damontre Moore sustained knee and ankle injuries against LSU last week, but played through them. … TAMU leads the SEC in scoring offense (43.0), total offense (525 ypg) and rushing offense (221 ypg).

More Texas A&M coverage: AggieYell.com



Florida has been bruised and battered much of the season, but the Gators will face Georgia on Saturday with the same starting 22 they started in the season opener vs. Bowling Green. … Backup WR Latroy Pittman (ankle injury) practiced Tuesday, and should play Saturday. … The Gators and Notre Dame are the only three schools in the country with three wins vs. ranked teams.

More Florida coverage: InsidetheGators.com


DE Ray Drew hasn't played as much as he'd like, but he'll get more of a chance on Saturday with starter Abry Jones sidelined. He still won't start - that honor goes to Garrison Smith - but his time in the rotation should pick up. … Reports are that Jones underwent surgery on his ankle and is done for the year, but coach Mark Richt wouldn't confirm that this week. … TE Jay Rome (Achilles' tendonitis) missed much of practice this week, but should play against Florida on Saturday.

More Georgia coverage: UGASports.com


Don't be surprised if UK plays three QBs - Jalen Whitlow, Patrick Towles and Morgan Newton - in Saturday's game at Missouri. Whitlow and Towles are freshmen, and Newton, who's been largely ineffective this year but did make a contribution against Georgia inside the red zone with rushing and passing touchdowns, will have a small role also. Whitlow and Towles figure to alternate drives, and maybe even plays within drives.

More Kentucky coverage: CatsIllustrated.com


RG Jack Meiners will miss this weekend's Kentucky game with a lingering knee injury. …Struggling freshman QB Corbin Berkstresser has completed just 47 percent of his passes this season, but could get the tonic he needs to improve his confidence this weekend: the Kentucky defense. QBs have posted a 157.2 rating against UK, easily the worst mark in the SEC.

More Missouri coverage: PowerMizzou.com

South Carolina

If Carolina can beat Tennessee on Saturday, it'll be the first time ever that the Gamecocks have beaten UT three straight times. … Despite playing with a foot injury, DE Jadeveon Clowney leads Carolina in tackles for loss (14) and sacks (7.5). … S T.J. Gurley is done for the season after tearing a knee ligament vs. Florida. He started one game earlier this season.

More S. Carolina coverage: GamecockCentral.com


Coach Derek Dooley said this week that the Vols previously-complicated defensive scheme under DC Sal Sunseri has now been simplified about as much as possible. … One other hope for the defense comes in the form of redshirt freshman DL Trevarris Saulsberry, who had five tackles (including one for loss) in last week's loss to Alabama. DL coach John Palermo says he'll play a lot more against South Carolina this week.

More Tennessee coverage: VolQuest.com


One reason that the Commodores' production from its defensive line has slipped so much from a year ago could be found in senior Rob Lohr's stats. Lohr was on many preseason All-SEC lists (albeit not first-teams) after his 41-tackle, 11 stop-for-loss season last year, but those numbers are now 11 and two, respectively, after seven games. Lohr finds himself listed in an "or" situation with Vince Taylor on this week's starting unit after Taylor drew praise for his play last week against Auburn.

More Vanderbilt coverage: VandySports.com


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