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Headlinin’: Still desperately seeking Alshon Jeffery in South Carolina

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

Making the morning rounds.

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And we Alshon on. With Marcus Lattimore out, the offense languishing and the pursuit of a division title coming to a head Saturday at Arkansas, the Charleston Post & Courier asks the looming question in South Carolina: Where in the world is Alshon Jeffery? The freakish junior receiver remains a favorite of draftniks, but has just 41 yards in two games since Lattimore's season-ending knee injury on Oct. 15 and is nowhere near his All-American pace in 2010: After delivering ten 100-yard receiving games as a sophomore, he's yet to deliver a single one in 2011.

Outside of a 54-point outburst against hapless Kentucky, the Gamecock offense has followed his lead, failing to top 14 points in three of its last four games. Fortunately for them, the defense hasn't allowed more than 12 points in four of the last five — though that's a good bet to change Saturday in Fayetteville, against an attack that hung 41 points on South Carolina last year and comes in this time averaging just shy of 37 per game. [Charleston Post & Courier]

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Are you suggesting we're taking [shuffles papers in search of schedule] the Aggies lightly? Georgia coach Mark Richt had little patience Wednesday for critics who questioned the timing of three simultaneous suspensions in the Bulldog backfield, leaving UGA with a stable of former walk-ons for Saturday's glorified scrimmage against 34-point underdog New Mexico State. Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome will all sit for (reportedly) failing a drug test administered before last week's must-have SEC East win over Florida, just enough time to keep them in the lineup against the Gators.

"My response is that we've always had the utmost integrity in everything we do. We have policies in place in our athletic association that we follow to the T," Richt said. "That's the case here and it's been the case since I've been at Georgia. … So people who make comments who don't know probably shouldn't, quite frankly, because they don't know and I'd be able to prove 100 percent they're wrong. But I'm not going to spend the time doing that." [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

They took the "Rebel" thing a little too literally. UNLV, already a 41-point underdog Saturday against Boise State, has suspended five players for the game "due to a violation of team rules and code of conduct," including starting tailback Tim Cornett. (I can hear coach Bobby Hauck's review with the athletic director now: "Bobby, you lost to Boise State 63-3." / "Yes, but remember, we didn't have Tim Cornett.") If you're going to lose anyway, might as well score a few discipline points in the name of a long-term vision: The Rebels go into the weekend at 2-5 in Hauck's second season, and it's not what you'd call a "good" 2-5. [Las Vegas Review-Journal] {YSP:MORE}

In this economy, a gig is a gig. Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski, last seen being shown the door in Chestnut Hill for having the gall to interview with the New York Jets, has popped up slightly further down the ladder: At Tulane, where he reportedly interviewed for the top job last week. Jags' most recent gig was as head coach of the United Football League's Omaha Nighthawks, who fired him in January on the heels of a 3-5 season, but his only two seasons as a college head coach produced 20 wins and back-to-back division titles in 2007-08, at a program currently playing its worst football in decades under successor Frank Spaziani. For the Green Wave, he'd be something of a coup, if he can convince anyone in New Orleans to care.

There also appears to be interest in the brain trust that orchestrated the most improbable season in school history, Tommy Bowden and Rich Rodriguez, who launched their doomed career arcs by leading the Wave to a 12-0 finish in 1997 — one of just three winning seasons at Tulane since 1980. [Times-Picayune]

Quickly… Clemson dismisses a freshman safety for — altogether now — an undisclosed violation of team rules. … USC tailback Curtis McNeal will get his first career start at Colorado. … Arizona loses another recruit in the wake of Mike Stoops' exit. … Former Nebraska greats offer high praise for Rex Burkhead. … A requiem for Colorado's offensive line class of 2007. … Fourteen reasons Washington and Oregon hate one another more than most outsiders realize. … Aaron Murray has to figure out how to watch Alabama-LSU and Arkansas-South Carolina at the same time. … And 4-4 Utah is ringing in November with late season rally 'staches.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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