October 03, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• If you thought that was fun... For Gator fans who spent the offseason quietly hoping hyped freshman Jeff Driskel would supplant uninspiring senior John Brantley as Florida's starting quarterback, happy birthday: According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Driskel is expected to make his first career start Saturday at LSU — again, at LSU — after Brantley went down with an apparent ankle injury in Saturday's 38-10 loss to Alabama. Driskel came on in relief, with predictable results: He completed just two of six passes for 14 yards, lost a fumble and led four three-and-outs in six possessions in a scoreless second half.
On the bright side, he did deliver Florida's most effective run of the night, a 31-yard scramble in the third quarter for the Gators' one and only rushing first down. That is, if you consider the complete absence of senior playmakers Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps "bright." [ESPN, Orlando Sentinel]
• Geez, just change his name to "Peyton Jr." already. Who called for the tricky throwback pass that resulted in Andrew Luck's acrobatic, one-handed sideline grab in Stanford's easy, 45-19 win over UCLA? It may have been Andrew Luck, who took over play calls himself with no script or input from coaches for certain stretches of the game. He'll probably continue to call plays situationally, especially when the Cardinal go no-huddle.
"We put the formation out there and let Andrew call the play," said coach David Shaw. "It's 100 percent up to him to get us in the right play. We feel we have a phenomenal quarterback. I don't know if there are too many college quarterbacks that can truly call the game. It's not coming from the sideline. It's coming from him on the field." Of course, it's easy to look smart when your receivers can do this:
Throw to the 6-foot-6 guy with glue sticks for fingers? The kid is brilliant! [Associated Press]
• The Rap Sheet, Part One. Georgia linebacker Cornelius Washington, currently leading the team with 3.5 sacks, has been suspended for at least two games after an early morning arrest for drunk driving after the Bulldogs' 24-10 win over Mississippi State. According to a police report, Washington, 22, was pulled over a little before 2 a.m. Sunday for driving 92 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone, admitted to drinking earlier in the night and subsequently failed both breathalyzer and field sobriety tests. He was booked and released on $3,500 bond.
"He's sick. He feels awful. He knows that he let the team down, let his coaches down, let his family down, the Bulldog nation in general," said coach Mark Richt, now without his top pass rusher for UGA's upcoming dates with Tennessee and Vanderbilt. "He understands there's going to be a price to be paid. He's going to take his punishment like a man and come back and finish strong for us." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
• The Rap Sheet, Part Deux. Iowa had the weekend off, but that didn't stop the Hawkeyes' No. 2 quarterback, A.J. Derby, from picking up a pair of charges for fourth-degree criminal mischief and public intoxication after allegedly punching out a window of a bus outside an Iowa City bar. (The Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon, helpfully described by the Des Moines Register as being located "on the far eastern edge" of town. Paint your own picture.) Police said Derby, 20, had "red, watery eyes and slurred speech," admitted to breaking the window and said he would pay for it. Fourth-degree criminal mischief is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of between $250 and $1,500. [Des Moines Register]
• "That's it, it's all over." Breaking from tradition, the SEC actually backed up its officials Saturday by confirming the crew in Auburn's 16-13 win at South Carolina was correct to end the game without allowing the Gamecocks time to attempt a tying field goal. With eight seconds to play, Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia scrambled and connected on a 12-yard completion to Bruce Ellington, who touched down with a first down at the Auburn 30 with two seconds showing — both of which ticked off before officials could signal for the clock to stop to move the chains.
"We had to get in field goal range," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. "We made the first down. I thought [Ellington's] knee was down with at least one second left. In fact, I know it did. The referee said when his knee went down it showed 0:00. That's what he told me. I said, 'wait a minute, don't you review that?' He said, 'no' that it was zero. He said 'that's it, it's all over.' " [Charleston Post and Courier]
Quickly… Big East presidents presidents and chancellors formally authorized commissioner John Marinatto to "aggressively pursue discussions" with expansion targets, even though that's what he's supposedly been doing for more than a year. … Virginia Tech loses a defensive tackle for the rest of the season. … Miami shrugs off the boo birds, most of whom came dressed as empty seats for Saturday's win over mighty Bethune-Cookman, anyway. … Lane Kiffin's weekly gripe with Pac-12 officials involves a penalty called against himself. … Bill Snyder has another great headline for the scrapbook. … Bret Bielema is the first person in recorded to describe Wisconsin football as "sexy." … And A.J. McCarron really needs to settle the #ü*% down.