SEC Football Notebook

The Arkansas Razorbacks wrapped up another day of preparations for Weber State with a two-hour practice session Tuesday afternoon. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt noted the Hogs must continue their hard work heading into Saturday's contest against the Wildcats.

Razorbacks Continue Game Planning for Weber State; Petty Ninth in NCAA in Tackles Per Game
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- "We started out well today," Nutt said. "But we didn't finish like we should have. We didn't have the concentration towards the end of practice that needed. We need to get better tomorrow. We've got to be prepared because anybody can beat anybody and that's true for this weekend." Nutt also commented on Weber State tailback Johnnie Gray who is averaging 132.5 yards per game rushing this season. The Wildcats also enter the game averaging 25.5 points and 407.2 yards of offense per game. "We don't really know a lot about Gray," Nutt said. "He is very quick and he has helped their offense put a lot of points on the board. It will be a good challenge for our defense." Middle linebacker Jermaine Petty has paced the Razorbacks' defense this season averaging 13.75 tackles per game which is ninth best in the NCAA. "Jermaine is having a good senior year," Nutt said. "He has been one our leaders. He has been consistent every Saturday and has come to play every time. His attitude has been tremendous all year. We needed him at linebacker this year and he accepted that role and has performed very well." Arkansas and Weber State will kickoff at 6 p.m. this Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Auburn Defense Gets Ready for Mississippi State
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn dedicated part of its two and a half hour practice to full speed work with the offense versus the defense while the rest of the session was spent against the scout team Tuesday. Defensive Coordinator John Lovett was pleased with the team's attitude as the Tigers continued preparations for Mississippi State. "I thought we had a good practice today," Lovett said. "It was pretty spirited. We were able to get some live work in today against the offense and get some full-speed tempo, which is something I think we needed." Auburn will be charged with stopping Mississippi State running backs Dicenzo Miller and Dontae Walker. Miller, an All-SEC selection last season, and Walker are averaging 6.0 and 3.9 yards per carry respectively. "They have a heck of a tandem in Dicenzo Miller and Dantae Walker," Lovett said. "They are two very good running backs. Dicenzo is probably more of a threat on the screens and things like that. He does a good job when he catches the ball in the open field. Dantae is a load when he runs with the ball, while Dicenzo is a little bit shiftier when he runs. They will be two of the best backs that we see all year." Auburn, 3-1 and 2-0 in the SEC, will play its first home game since Sept. 8 on Saturday, facing Mississippi State, 1-2 and 0-2, at 6 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium in a game televised by ESPN2.
Richt Pleased with Enthusiastic Georgia Practice
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia continued preparations for its Southeastern Conference matchup against sixth-ranked Tennessee, working out for two hours Tuesday in full pads. The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-1 SEC) capped the practice with a spirited goal line session. Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he was pleased with the enthusiasm Tuesday. "We are trying to get the team focused on what they have to do and that is the big thing," said Richt. "I don't think you have to do a lot of motivating for a game like this. They are going to be motivated. Our job as coaches is to make sure they know what they are doing. Naturally, they will be excited about playing Tennessee." Georgia faces the Volunteers (3-0, 2-0 SEC) this Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. Kickoff is slated for noon, and the game will be televised live by CBS. All Georgia football games will be broadcast on Newstalk 750 WSB and the WSB/Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network.
Kentucky Delays Quarterback Announcement Until Saturday
Following Tuesday afternoon's two-hour practice at the Nutter Training Facility, Coach Guy Morriss said that the decision regarding Kentucky's starting quarterback would not be revealed until game time. "It's partly because we don't want South Carolina to know, and also we are looking for one of them to step up and earn the job," Morriss said. "Both of them have done some good things in the games and in practice, but neither has really outdistanced the other." Sophomore Jared Lorenzen started the season opener, didn't play the next two games, then played as a reserve against Ole Miss last Saturday. Lorenzen has completed 17 of 44 passes (38.6 percent) for 153 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He has added 12 rushing yards. Boyd, a redshirt freshman, played as a reserve in the opener and started the last three games. He has completed 48 of 87 passes (55.2 percent) for 524 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He has added 87 rushing yards, including two TD runs. Chatelain Returns to Practice: Offensive guard Keith Chatelain, nursing a sprained ankle from the Ole Miss game, participated in some of Tuesday's practice. Coach Guy Morriss has upgraded Chatelain's chances of playing on Saturday from doubtful to questionable. Pyatt to See Playing Time: Sophomore wide receiver Brad Pyatt is likely to see significant playing time when he becomes eligible for action Saturday. Game action has been a long time coming for Pyatt. He has not played this year while serving a four-game suspension from the NCAA. He had played briefly in the first two games of the 2000 season, but was having significant troubles with foot injuries and decided to leave the team. Off-season surgery did wonders for his feet and he rejoined the team in the spring. August was a time of good news and bad news for Pyatt. First, he learned that the NCAA had granted a medical hardship for the 2000 season, effectively making it a redshirt year for him. Later, however, the NCAA delivered the suspension. "I've been looking forward to this for more than a year," Pyatt said after Tuesday's practice. "Right now I'm anxious and excited. My feet are the best they've been since eighth grade. "The lesson I've learned from all this (injury and suspension) is patience. Don't take anything for granted. Play every play like it is your last one, because you never know when you're going to get to play again." Wide receivers coach Harold Jackson has been working Pyatt at the "Z" receiver. "Since he's overcome the foot surgery, he's moved well," Jackson said. "Brad was one of our most improved players in the spring. He catches the ball well. He's worked hard to be in shape. We've been counting on him and he can be a shot in the arm for us."
Tennessee Loses Respert for Season, Overstreet Knee Sprain Confirmed
Tennessee football athletic trainer Keith Clements released details regarding the evaluations of OG Jason Respert and DE Will Overstreet, both of whom were injured in Saturday's win over LSU. Respert's evaluation of his injured ankle detected an unstable ankle joint, which required surgical placement of a screw for proper healing. As a result, Respert is lost for the remainder of the season. "I thought it was just an ankle sprain, and at the most would miss two or three games," said Respert, who had started at offensive right guard the first three games. "The doctors suggested we do a surgical evaluation, just to be sure, so I didn't find out how bad it was until I woke up from surgery. It's disappointing to me because of the team we have and the fact I was making what I thought was a lot of progress." Respert, a sophomore from Warner Robins, Ga., would be eligible to apply for a medical hardship since the injury occurred during the season's first three games. As a true freshman during 2000, he played three games at both guard and center. Overstreet had an MRI on his injured left knee, which confirmed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament. No surgery will be required and the senior captain is listed as out indefinitely. Vols Continue Preparations for Georgia: Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer realizes the importance of this week's SEC showdown with Georgia, yet knows it comes down to game execution. "We had a good practice today, but a lot of whether we're ready or not is how we decide to play Saturday," Fulmer said. "Last year, we probably played about bad enough to get beat. But give Georgia credit. They were ready and they took it to us." The Bulldogs ended UT's nine-game series winning streak last year in Athens by defeating the Volunteers 21-10. Tennessee leads the all-time series with Georgia 17-11-2, including a 9-5-1 mark in Knoxville after having won the last five. Georgia's last road triumph against Tennessee was a 16-15 decision in 1980. "I like to remember that we came back after Georgia to win six in a row," Fulmer said. "That team built a lot of character that has carried over to this season, but it also shows you're never very far from where you were. I'm proud of where this team seems to be moving. Sometimes the best teacher is experience, and a lot of us certainly got it last season." Injury Update: Probable -- WR Eric Parker (shoulder) and RB Derrick Tinsley (head). Questionable -- RT Reggie Coleman (ankle). Out -- DE Will Overstreet (knee), LG Jason Respert (ankle) and WR Donte' Stallworth (wrist). Note -- DT Ed Kendrick (surgery Oct. 1 to repair shoulder injury).
Holtz's Message: Have Some Fun
USC head football coach Lou Holtz said Tuesday that the Gamecock team needed to learn how to enjoy practice more. "There's something missing right now," said Holtz. "We need to be having more fun at practice; we need to laugh more. Sometimes I think our team would make great embalmers. It's too quiet out there. We'll get that corrected." Coach Holtz went on to say that he wasn't being critical of his team's work ethic. "This team works hard, make no mistake about that," said Holtz. "We don't seem to know how to handle the pressure right now. Things need to be more upbeat and fun for them." Coach Holtz said that backup kicker Josh Brown broke his collarbone during practice Tuesday. Brown, a freshman from Clarksburg, MD, was running downfield on a kickoff drill, fell and suffered the injury. "That's unfortunate because Josh was making a lot of progress," said Holtz. "In fact, he was punting with the first unit today until he got injured." Also on the injury front: LB Kalimba Edwards (neck strain) was limited on Tuesday; C Larrell Johnson injured his neck and missed some of Tuesday's practice; OT Melvin Paige (knee) returned to the practice field. Coach Holtz said that if Edwards is not able to play Saturday, freshman Jeremiah Garrison would replace him in the starting lineup. DE Dennis Quinn underwent arthroscopic knee surgery late Monday afternoon and will be sidelined indefinitely. One of two freshmen, George Gause or Jonathan Alston, is expected to take Quinn's place in the starting lineup. Coach Holtz said that the Gamecock defense has not been able to disrupt opposing offenses this season. "We really haven't been able to throw off the rhythm of the other team's offense," said Holtz. "I think people studied our defense in the off season and have made some adjustments." When asked by a reporter if he thought the team may suffer an emotional letdown against Kentucky this weekend. "You've got to be kidding me," said Holtz. "We were 0-21 not too long ago. I don't think our players have amnesia. We had to fight for our lives last year at Kentucky." Junior quarterback Erik Kimrey was at practice Tuesday, after missing Monday's workout due to the broken neck his younger brother, Kevin, had suffered on Sunday. Kevin underwent surgery on Monday and remains hospitalized at Palmetto Richland Memorial in Columbia. "This has been extremely tough on the Kimrey family," said offensive coordinator Skip Holtz. "Erik thought it might do him some good getting away from the hospital for a while. Even if he was able to get his mind off of things for just a short period of time this afternoon, it probably was beneficial to him. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Kimrey family." South Carolina plays host to Kentucky this Saturday, Oct. 6. Kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium is 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast as a pay-per-view telecast. Check your local cable systems to order the game.

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