Tag Archives: South Carolina

A few recruiting notes for your Monday

Since there is nothing more important than recruiting and signing day, here are a few headlines to keep the hunger at bay.

Check out this story (LINK FIXED) from ESPN’s Bruce Feldman about No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney and the decision he faces between Alabama and South Carolina. In the story, he talks about sending calls from Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier to voicemail after the thrill wore off from getting calls from the big-name coaches. Interesting stuff.

On the Clowney front, every story about him says he will not sign Wednesday with the rest of the country. He could wait 11 more days and announce on his birthday, Valentines Day (or Christmas for whoever can nail down this guy).

The other big names to keep an eye on Wednesday belong to Isaiah Crowell, running back from Columbus, Ga., and Cyrus Kouandjio, offensive back from Maryland.  Both are top-5 guys who will announce Wednesday.

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Bama beats South Carolina by 10

The Alabama basketball team — namely its defense — sent South Carolina home with a 57-47 loss. Here’s what’s important:

  • The 47 points scored by the Gamecocks was the fewest they’ve scored in six seasons.
  • The visitors shot 28.6 percent from the field — the lowest for an Alabama opponent from the SEC since at least the 2001-02 season.
  • The Tide is now 2-0 in the SEC for the first time in nine seasons.
  • Alabama outscored South Carolina 40-18 in the paint.
  • Alabama shot three 3-pointers.
  • It made none of them.
  • Good night.

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Who wins the SEC Championship?

I will step outside the Alabama beat tomorrow when I join the delegation of writers, editors and photographers in Atlanta for Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.

There isn’t that same kind of anticipation for Auburn and South Carolina this December as there was for last year’s rematch between Alabama and Florida. But it’s still the SEC title game. There aren’t many events that compare.

That said, bowl bids for Alabama depend on the outcome in the Georgia Dome. An Auburn win likely means a trip to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando and a South Carolina wins means the Outback Bowl.

Rehashing, evaluating 10 keys to season

Before the season, I put together a genius list of the 10 keys to Alabama’s football season. Now that we’re at the bye week eight games into the season, let’s see where they stand.

1. Forget the past. It’s hard to evaluate this one since it is more abstract and less tangible.
2. Waste no time. The Tide did a good job of starting fast by navigating the first portion of the schedule without a loss until going to South Carolina.
3. Keep Julio healthy. Alabama was half successful on this one, but it didn’t seem to matter much when Jones broke his hand and then hauled in a school-record 221 receiving yards two weeks later.
4. Stay out of trouble. No issues there. Nobody’s been arrested or suspended so far.
5. A wildcard must emerge. There hasn’t been one as prominent as Mark Ingram was last year, but safeties Robert Lester and Will Lowery came out of obscurity to make an impact in the secondary. C.J. Mosley has also played a big part in the defense as a freshman linebacker.
6. Kick it long, straight. They’ve kicked it longer and straighter than I may have expected in August. The young kickers/punter have done a fairly good job of not playing the Tide out of any wins while maturing along the way.
7. Beware of the traps. Not so good on this one. In the preseason preview, I warned of the danger lurking in Columbia. Turns out, I was right.
8. Embrace the media. Hmm….
9. Fast-tracked maturation. Another hard one to evaluate, but it hasn’t been a disaster.
10. Be innovative.The offense hasn’t always stepped out of the box, but it did an excellent job using the “Wildcat” to set up the pass from Marquis Maze to Michael Williams in the Florida win.

Stay tuned to see how the Tide will navigate the final four games of the regular season and how it relates to this master list.

Gameday video from South Carolina

Here it is, the full experience from the South Carolina Fairgrounds where South Carolina knocked the Tide off its pedestal with a 35-21 loss.

From the drive in, to the pregame pageantry, the closing moments, cops handcuffing bloody college students, Nick Saban’s postgame news conference and D.J. Fluker’s exit on crutches. Here you go.

Tide falls to No. 8, behind Auburn

Both major polls are out and the Crimson Tide have been officially passed by Auburn according to the Associated Press and the coaches in the USA Today panel.

The Tigers moved to No. 7 in both after moving to 6-0 on Saturday night while the previously top-ranked Tide fell to South Carolina and tumbled all the way to No. 8.

The USA Today poll is the only one that really matters since it factors into the BCS formula and the AP’s doesn’t. Read more to see both polls in their entirety.

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Wow, who saw this coming?

Alabama was on the ropes a few weeks back in Arkansas. But today, it looks like the Tide is in even more danger of blowing its win streak.

A late touchdown but missed extra point puts the deficit at 21-9 after South Carolina out-Alabama’d Alabama. They took advantage of missed tackles, and a turnover to jump up by 18.

And like Florida did a week ago when it outgained the Tide in spite of losing by 25, Alabama has a 178-159 advantage in total yards.

The differences? The Tide’s 15-play empty drive in the second quarter, and South Carolina’s recovery of McElroy’s fumble on the Tide 43 that set up the third touchdown drive.

That and Alshon Jeffery’s long frame that hauled in two touchdown passes thanks in large part to his size.

We’ll see what happens after the break, but the Gamecocks get the ball to start the third. Does the Tide have that second-half magic again?

One S.C. writer really likes Gamecocks’ chances

A bold statement

Don’t kill the messenger. I just wanted to pass along this photo of the front of the sports page at The State newspaper here in Columbia. Apparently, there is some hometown optimism heading into tomorrow’s game.

To read the entire column by Ron Morris that appears below this hardly modest headline, just click here.

Julio Jones practicing Wednesday

After taking it easy for the past two days, Julio Jones is back running routes at Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

During the brief media viewing period that just wrapped up, Jones was catching passes with his fellow receivers. He was sitting out during these drills in the previous two practices this week.

Hopefully, we’ll get another update this evening. Watch him practice for yourself in the video below.

Saban: Julio is improving

The injured knee of Julio Jones has limited his practice time this week, but Nick Saban said he’s hopeful the Crimson Tide wide receiver will get a little more work in today.

Saban said he’s d0ne a little in practice Monday and Tuesday and should get more work in Wednesday. During the media viewing periods the last two days, Jones didn’t run routes with the other receivers.

The injury Saban called a bruised knee on Monday could be unpredictable.

On the positive side for Jones, he’s a quick healer who has dealt with nagging injuries in the past.

The Monday headlines from Tuscaloosa

It’s Monday afternoon again. Time for a quick rundown of the top news in the universe revolving around Alabama football.

  • First, the housekeeping. Courtney Upshaw was named SEC defensive player of the week after collecting seven tackles (four for loss) against Florida. Chance Warmack picked up offensive lineman of the week.
  • On the injury front, Nick Saban said Julio Jones bruised a knee Saturday and would be day to day. A MRI revealed no major damage. Chris Jordan also earned the ambiguous “day to day” tag by pulling a hamstring.
  • Quarterback Greg McElroy got his final application off Sunday for the Rhodes Scholarship that he’s been working on for some time now. More to come on that.
  • CBS again exercised its right to delay a decision on game time and television assignments for Alabama’s home game with Ole Miss in two weeks. Kickoff possibilities range from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (central) and could air on one of three ESPN outlets.

GameDay heading to Columbia

For the second time this season, ESPN’s popular College GameDay television show will originate from the site of a Crimson Tide game.

The king of all networks announced today that its traveling road show will head to Columbia on Saturday for the Tide’s visit to South Carolina. I guess that’s huge news.

The circus came to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 11 when Penn State came to town and the Tide took care of the Nittany Lions 24-3.

Come back later for the full video from Saturdays’ Florida game.

Your weekly Monday afternoon rundown

And now, for my 1,001st trick, I present the most important news that came out of Monday afternoon’s weekly press gathering.

  • There was plenty said about that budding rivalry with Florida and its renewal Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. That will be addressed in the near future.
  • Tide quarterback Greg McElroy came out of the Arkansas game a little sore after taking a hit on the big third down sack that ended the 16-play fourth-quarter drive with a field goal. He said the right foot injury isn’t major, but it’s his plant foot, so he’ll be mindful of that in practice today.
  • There was also plenty asked and answered about Florida’s two contrasting quarterbacks John Brantley and Trey Burton. Also expect more on this topic in the days to come.
  • Tide safety Robert Lester was named SEC defensive player of the week after intercepting two passes against Arkansas.
  • The game time for next Saturday’s visit to South Carolina won’t be determined until next Sunday. CBS optioned its right to wait a week to see how this Saturday’s games shake out before making a final call.