SEC football notebook

Alabama and Tennessee have met for 60 straight seasons ... At 85 games played, the rivalry is the 11th most played in SEC history ... The teams have met on a yearly basis since 1928, with the exception of the war year in 1943 ... Last year's 34-14 Alabama win broke a string of seven consecutive wins for Tennessee in the series ...

Alabama/Tennessee series notes

  • In games played in Tuscaloosa, the Vols lead 3-2 ...
  • The teams played 41 times in Birmingham, with the Tide leading in those games, 21-14-6 ...
  • Alabama played its home games in the series at Legion Field during every other meeting from 1932-1997 ...
  • The Vols have won the two meetings in Tuscaloosa since the Tide moved its home games in the series there in 1999 ...
  • From 1990-96, six of the seven meetings were decided by seven points or less ...
  • Since 1997, the lowest margin of victory is 10 (UT, 20-10, 2000) ...
  • Between the two teams, Alabama (21) and Tennessee (13) have won a combined 34 SEC championships ...
  • Since 1959, only four times has not one team been ranked in the AP Top 20 when the game was played (1965, 1968, 1984, 2000) ...
  • Phillip Fulmer is 7-2-1 vs. Alabama while Mike Shula has never coached against the Vols.

Tennessee Volunteers at Alabama Crimson Tide

2:30 p.m. (C) * Bryant-Denny Stadium (83,818) * Tuscaloosa
LIVE TELEVISON: CBS Sports (Verne Lundquist, play-by-play; Todd Blackledge, analyst; Jill Arrington, sideline reporter)

TENNESSEE (4-2, 2-2 SEC)
Head Coach: Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee, 1972)
Overall/Yrs: 107-27 (.799) / 12th season
UT/Yrs: 107-27 (.799) / 12th season

National Rankings: 22nd - AP / 22nd - USA Today/ESPN
Formations: Offense - Multiple * Defense - 4-3

Key Tennessee Players

QB Casey Clausen (6-4, 225, Sr., Northridge, Calif.)
Ranks among the top in SEC career categories in passing yards (10th-8,037), completions (12th-647), TD passes (12th-59) and completion percentage (4th-62.4) ... This season, has completed 105-of-179 passes (58.7 pct.) for 1,298 yards with 11 TDs and 7 INTs.

TB Cedric Houston (6-0, 215, Jr., Clarendon, Ark.)
Fourth in the SEC in rushing, averaging 81.7 yards per game ... Led Vols with 86 yards on 24 carries and a TD vs. South Carolina ... Rushed for 161 yards vs. Fresno State and 160 yards against Marshall ... Missed second half of Florida game with injury.

FS Rashad Baker (5-11, 185, Sr., Camden, N.J.)
Preseason 2003 All-SEC pick by league media...First-team All-SEC by coaches in 2002 and second-team by AP after finishing third among league interceptors... Third on team with 46 (34 solos) tackles...Already tied for 12th on Vols all-time INT list with 10.

LB Kevin Simon (5-11, 225, So., Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Had career-high 14-tackles vs. Florida ... Had 3 sacks against Marshall ...Leads team with 60 stops (43 solos) ...In nine career starts, four times has led team in tackles ... Missed final nine games of 2002 after suffering ankle injury.

NOTABLE: Tennessee has not scored any points this season off of opponents' turnovers (7 gained). UT opponents have scored 37 off of Vol turnovers (12 lost).

ALABAMA (3-5, 1-3 SEC)
Head Coach: Mike Shula (Alabama, 1987)
Overall/Yrs: 3-5 (.375) / 1st season
UA/Yrs: 3-5 (.375) / 1st season

National Rankings: N/A
Formations: Offense - Multiple * Defense - Pressing

Key Tide Players

TB Shaud Williams (5-8, 182, Sr., Andrews, Texas)
Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week in two of the first three weeks of season ... Second in SEC and 11th in nation in rushing, averaging 110.6 yards per game ... Has 885 yards rushing and 10 TDs in 2003 ... Third in SEC in all-purpose rushing (144.4) ... Had career-high 174 yards rushing and 3 TDs vs. Kentucky ... Rushed for 170 yards and 2 TDs vs. Southern Miss.

FL Triandos Luke (6-0, 188, Sr., Phenix City, Ala.)
Has 25 receptions for 318 yards and 3 TDs ... Caught season-high 6 passes for 60 yards and a TD vs. Arkansas ... Caught 4 catches each vs. South Florida and Oklahoma ... Has 83 career catches for 958 yards and 8 TDs.

WLB DeMeco Ryans (6-1, 213, So., Bessemer, Ala.)
Leads team with 90 total tackles (50 solos) ... Has 5 tackles for losses (-26) and three QB pressures ... Set school-record with 25 tackles vs. Arkansas ... Had 16 total stops and two TFLs vs. Oklahoma ... 15 tackles vs. Southern Miss ... Had 27 total tackles last season as a true freshman.

SLB Derrick Pope (6-0, 223, Sr., Galveston, Texas)
Fifth on team with 60 tackles (29 solos) with three sacks (-23) this season ... Had team-high 16 total tackles vs. Oklahoma and 14 against Northern Illinois ... Had 65 total tackles last season with a sack and interception ... Did not play against Southern Miss.

NOTABLE: Alabama has scored 19 TDs on 101 offensive drives, a 18.8 success rate, the lowest in the SEC.

SEC in the NFL

The Southeastern Conference leads all other NCAA leagues with 263 former players on NFL opening day rosters. But did you know that four SEC schools have more former players at specific positions in the NFL than any other school?

Auburn had seven running backs on NFL opening day rosters, most of any other school at that position. Florida had seven wide receivers on NFL opening day rosters, most of any other school at that position. Tennessee and Texas A&M are tied for the most defensive tackles on NFL opening day rosters with six each while Georgia is tied with Colorado, Florida State and Miami (Fla.) for the most linebackers on NFL opening day rosters with seven each.

Last week's game results

Ole Miss 43, Alabama 28
Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 8
Auburn 45, Mississippi State 13
Florida 33, Arkansas 28
LSU 33, South Carolina 7
Kentucky 35, Ohio 14

SEC in the Associated Press Poll (Oct. 13)

1. Oklahoma (62) 7-0
2. Miami, Fla. (3) 7-0
3. Virginia Tech 6-0
4. GEORGIA 6-1
5. Southern Cal 6-1
6. tie: Washington State 6-1 and Florida State 6-1
8. Ohio State 6-1
9. LSU 6-1
10. Purdue 6-1
11. Michigan State 7-1
12. Northern Illinois 7-0
13. Michigan 6-2
14. Nebraska 6-1
15. Texas Christian 7-0
16. Iowa 5-2
17. AUBURN 5-2
18. Oklahoma State 6-1
19. Texas 5-2
20. Wisconsin 6-2
21. ARKANSAS 4-2
22. TENNESSEE 4-2
23. Bowling Green 6-1
24. Utah 6-1
25. FLORIDA 5-3

Others (SEC Only): Ole Miss (30).

SEC Individual Team Notes

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (3-5, 1-3 SEC)
So. QB Brodie Croyle returned to the Alabama starting lineup after a two-game absence ... He did not start against Georgia or Southern Miss but did take two snaps against the Bulldogs ... Croyle was 21-of-29 for 248 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs against Ole Miss ... Jr. Chris James blocked his third punt of the season, tying a school record, against Ole Miss and returned it 44-yards for his first career TD ... Jr. P Bo Freeland tied an Alabama single-game record (min. 5 attempts) with a 52.4 yard average on five tries ... Sr. TE Donald Clarke made his first start of the season against the Rebels.

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (4-2, 1-2 SEC)
TB Cedric Cobbs scored his sixth rushing TD of the season in the first quarter and the 22nd of his career, which is tied for seventh in the Razorback record book ... Cobbs had 88 yards on 14 carries in the first half but missed the second half with a hamstring injury ... QB Matt Jones tied a career-best three TD passes against Florida (vs. Boise State) ... WR Richard Smith had a career-best two TD receptions (6 catches for 123 yards) ... Arkansas' three fourth-quarter TDs took just 2:57 and occurred in 4:21 ... Arkansas has forced at least one turnover in 30 straight regular season games.

AUBURN TIGERS (5-2, 4-0 SEC)
RB Carnell Williams set a school record with six rushing TDs against Miss. State ... It is only the third time in SEC history a player has scored at least six TDs in a game ... The Tigers are 4-0 in SEC play for the fourth time since 1992 (1993, 1994 and 2001) ... Auburn had two 150+ yard rushers in the same game for the third time in school history (C. Williams, 161; Brandon Jacobs, 182) ... The Tigers 553 total offensive yards is the most by Auburn in an SEC game since 652 against Miss. State in 1995 ... Auburn's 405 rushing yards were the most by the Tigers since having 429 vs. Florida State in 1985.

FLORIDA GATORS (5-3, 3-2 SEC)
Four of Florida's first eight games have been against Top-25 ranked opponents ... The Gators are 2-2 in those games ... The Gators still must play Georgia and Florida State, both of whom are ranked in this week's Top 10 ... 14 true freshmen have seen action for the Gators this season, with five drawing starting assignments ... There are 52 freshmen on Florida's roster this season and 33 of them have seen game action ... QB Chris Leak is fifth in the nation among NCAA Division I-A freshmen in total offense (157.2 ypg) and second among the same group in passing efficiency (133.6).

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (6-1, 4-1 SEC)
The Bulldogs continue to lead the nation in total defense, allowing just 263.4 yards per game ... Georgia allowed just 218 total yards to Vanderbilt ... Georgia is also second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 11.29 points per game ... The Bulldogs first got on the scoreboard against Vandy on a 41-yard Billy Bennett field goal ... It marked the sixth straight game that the Bulldogs' first points came on a Bennett FG ... The Bulldogs were held scoreless in the first half (vs. Vandy) for the first time since the 1999 Auburn game ... So. FL Bryan McClendon made his first start and had six catches for 109 yards, all career bests.

KENTUCKY WILDCATS (3-4, 0-3 SEC)
Kentucky's defense has allowed opponents less than 30 points in each of the last six games ... It is the first time that has happened since 1993 ... Mike Archer has been the defensive coordinator in both of those efforts ... QB Jared Lorenzen has become the SEC leader in total offensive plays in a career with 1,568 ... QB Shane Boyd is the first SEC player to rush, pass and receive a TD pass in a game since Oct. 18, 1997, when Florida's Jacquez Green did it against Auburn ... Boyd had a career-high 85 yards rushing and 2 TDs (12 & 8 yards), caught a 30-yard TD pass and threw a 42-yard TD pass to Tommy Cook.

LSU TIGERS (6-1, 3-1 SEC)
In four years under Nick Saban, the Tigers are 10-3 after a loss ... LSU's 21-play, 97-yard, 9:37 TOP scoring drive against South Carolina is the longest in the SEC (by plays) in the last two seasons ... The Tigers are 6-1 for the second consecutive season, the first time that has been done at LSU since the 1972-73 seasons ... The Tigers have limited opponents to less than 20 points in 26 of 44 games played under Saban ... The Tigers are 23-3 in those games ... Three freshmen - Alley Broussard (108 yards), Justin Vincent (77 yards, 2 TDs) and Barrington Edwards (37 yards) - accounted for 84 percent of LSU's rushing yards (263) vs. USC.

OLE MISS REBELS (5-2, 3-0 SEC)
The Rebels are 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1970, when Archie Manning was in his senior year at quarterback ... Sr. QB Eli Manning threw 3 TDs and had no interceptions against Alabama ... His 230 passing yards broke a string of seven straight games with more than 250 yards passing ... The Rebels had scored 40-or-more-points four times this season, all in the last five games ... Ole Miss has scored on its opening possession in five straight games ... Ole Miss did not lose a turnover for the first time this season ... WR Chris Collins is just 25 yards shy of breaking the Ole Miss career receiving yardage record (Collins, 2,249; Willie Green, 2,274).

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (2-5, 1-2 SEC)
Jackie Sherrill announced his retirement from coaching on Oct. 17, effective at the end of the 2003 season ... Sherrill is fourth among active coaches in NCAA Division I-A wins with 180 and 23rd among active coaches in winning percentage (.609) ... His 180 career wins is 28th among in NCAA Division I-A history for all coaches ... WR Justin Jenkins has moved into third place on MSU's career reception chart with 124 and is fourth all-time at State in receiving yards with 1,825 ... Against Auburn, he had seven grabs for 113 yards and a TD ... Nick Turner had a 77-yard TD run, longest by a Bulldog since 1997.

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (4-3, 1-3 SEC)
QB Dondrial Pinkins threw for a career-high 254 yards against LSU ... He completed 15 of 32 passes with no interceptions and a TD ... His 77-yard TD completion to Matthew Thomas was the second longest of the season for Pinkins (99 yards to Troy Williamson vs. Virginia) ... The Gamecocks have lost just two fumbles this season, one was returned for a TD by LSU ... South Carolina leads the SEC and is 10th in the nation in pass defense, allowing 164.3 yards per game ... Fr. RB Demetris Summers is 7th in the SEC in rushing (469 yards), second in punt returns (12.3 avg.) and 8th in all-purpose rushing (101.6 ypg).

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (4-2, 2-2 SEC)
WR Mark Jones had four catches for 117 yards and a TD against Georgia ... It marks the first time a Vol receiver has gone for more than 100 yards this season ... Jones 90 yard TD reception from Casey Clausen is the longest pass play in school history ... CB Jason Allen made his first start of the season ... DT Justin Harrell saw his first action of the season coming back from a knee injury suffered in preseason drills ... Tennessee has not scored off of seven turnovers gained from its opponents this season ... The Vols rushed for an average of 212.0 yards in their first three games this season and have averaged 60.7 yards in the last three games.

VANDERBILT COMMODORES (1-7, 0-4 SEC)
The Vanderbilt defense registered six sacks, two other tackles for a loss and a safety against Georgia ... The Commodores held Georgia scoreless in the first half ... It was the first scoreless first half by a Vandy defense in an SEC game since Oct. 4, 1997 (vs. LSU) ... The safety was a first for a Vandy defense (DE Ralph McKenzie sacked David Greene) since Oct. 19, 1996 (vs. Georgia) ... Punter Abtin Iranmanesh booted the second-longest punt in school history (80 yards) and also placed two punts inside the Georgia 5-yard line in the second quarter ... Vandy held Georgia to 64 first-half total yards.


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