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Rich Brooks & the SEC Teleconference

sec_logo1Coach Brooks’ comments on this week’s edition of the SEC Teleconference:

  • “Coming off of a pretty bad loss last weekend. We have a lot of work to do. Alabama is as good as Florida. We just have a lot of work to do. Offensively we weren’t able to generate any against Florida and Alabama’s defense is better than Florida is statistically.”
  • On Randall Cobb and being set at WR: “He’s one of our biggest playmakers. Florida had him double covered everywhere he went and he was still able to amke some catches. Good hands, good after the catch, explosive.”
  • On kickoff returns by Locke against Alabama: “Usually when you have some kickoff issues, which we have ourselves, that puts a lot of stress on coverage. Their coverage appears to be very good. Nothing schematically that we can take advantage of. Florida kicked our fanny on the kickoff return.”
  • On Mike Hartline and his play: “Played well the first two games, the last game not so well, nor did anyone around him. Product of the competition stepping up when you get into the SEC. He’s going to have to pick his game up, but so does everyone else. We need to block better, run better routes. He’s clearly a much better QB than he was a year ago.”
  • On the running backs and Bama’s rush defense: “We know we’re not going to run the ball down Alabama’s throat. Their too physical and too good. We have to have a running game, though, so we keep them honest. We haven’t had the ball enough in the last two games to produce the kind of stats and run progression that we’d like to have.”
  • On Bama’s blocking wide receivers on the opposing DBs: “You need all 11 guys to slow Alabama’s running game down. You look at all the big plays they had, those things don’t happen by accident. You have to have recievers blocking downfield for those things to happen. Our corners are not the most physical guys in the world. We need to step up and shed those blocks.”

Other Coaches Around the League…

  • Les Miles thinks the SEC from top to bottom is the toughest its been in recent memory. The question regarding Tim Tebow playing in the 3rd quarter was answered with an anecdote about how Bo Schembechler told him to “shut up” when Miles suggested to him to sub out some of the starters in a Wolverine win. According to Miles, “He told me ‘You leave ’em in and you fight like hell till the end.” Les Miles doesn’t Tweet, he Twits, or so he says. Verbage mistake? Of course. But funny all the same. Miles was asked about whether or not the coaching staffs should control the conduct of players off the field, specifically about Twitter, but Miles took it one step further in referencing “If they want to wear their blue jeans the way they want, or their hat to the side, then so be it. I’m not on the Facebook or Twitter very deep, but if I find it to be a problem representing this school, then I’ll get in there.” Watch yourself, LSU players… Les will be on the case.
  • Steve Spurrier had his usual our-opponent-is-a-great-one sort of theme go through his comments. The Gamecocks opponent this weekend? South Carolina State. When asked about lopsided games and playing the starters, Spurrier said it had been a while since he had that luxury. He referenced his philosophy that his second and third stringers would take their shots downfield and not let up.
  • Urban Meyer was “very pleased with a victory over a quality SEC opponent.” Meyer wasn’t really asked many things… oh wait… no… apparently someone got injured this past weekend. That Tebow character? Sigh. Question after question about Tebow’s runs, Tebow’s hits, Tebow’s injury. Blame the fact it’s a bye week, blame the fact that Tebow is clearly one of the best players in college football. Tebow is day to day, Urban is pleased, and hopefully he’ll be back.
  • Bobby Johnson was there. That’s about the best of it for him. Like almost every other week, very few questions, very little interest. Shame, really.
  • Lane Kiffin is excited about playing Auburn, an undefeated team that’s impressive. The Vols were hit hard by the injury bug, and it’s a big loss. When he was asked about Gus Mahlzan, he said Mahlzan does things that no one else has the guts to do. “It’s explosive and so hard to deal with. It’s like nothing we’ve… well… my dad… has ever seen before.”
  • Nick Saban, who Kentucky plays against on Saturday, gave credit to the Cats for being a worthy adversary. Said they had trouble moving the ball against the Cats last season, and they’re the first true two-back squad the Tide has faced all season. Mentioned Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb as explosive players and capable of making big plays. Said the Virginia Tech game in Atlanta is good preparation for playing on the road in the SEC. The players have to know they need to stay focused, stay disciplined, and keep their intensity when they’re on the road.
  • Bobby Petrino, and his team, are fired up to head to Dallas for a contest with Texas A&M. He’s optimistic about the ability to help out their recruiting in Texas, since that is “a needed area”.
  • Houston Nutt was surprisingly upbeat considering his team’s loss last Thursday. Nutt believes the SEC West to be the best division in football, not surprising considering there’s three teams in the top 5.
  • Mark Richt said some of the adversity they’ve run across is self-inflicted. They’re excited about LSU, and the Tigers are one of the finest football teams in the country and Georgia knows that. Said the wins were far from impressive, as they won them by the skin of their teeth, but they did win. “And we all know winning is the most important thing”. They want to limit the turnovers, the defense has played much better, and most of the ASU offense was created by Georgia mistakes, not a lack of effort from the defense.
  • Dan Mullen and his MSU Bulldogs are playing host to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this weekend, their second consecutive ranked opponent. The option is tricky, the SEC West is damn good, and Mississippi State is ready to rock.
  • Gene Chizik, whose Auburn Tigers played our Ball State Cardinals last weekend and who gets Tennessee this weekend, is looking forward to this weekend’s game… their first SEC road contest of the season. This weekend, on national television, is an opportunity to let people see who you are. “One way or another, we’re going to do that Saturday night.”
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