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Rich Brooks & the SEC Teleconference

sec_logo1Another Wednesday and another chance to catch up and hear from the coaches of the Southeastern Conference, most notably our very own Rich Brooks.

Opening Statement
We’re coming off of a tough loss to Mississippi State. Disappointing loss. We have some further injuries in that game. Derrick Locke banged his knee up and hasn’t practiced this week and is still doubtful for this game coming up. We’ve had a bout with the flu. We had 7 guys that couldn’t practice yesterday and had about 3 of them back today. It’s not the major flu, it’s just the normal flu, so that’s a good thing. We have a chance to do something that’s never been done in school history if we can win against Eastern Kentucky and that’s win 18 straight non-conference games. That’s a significant thing. We currently have the longest non-conference streak in the nation behind LSU.

Looking back at MSU and what the differences are with the Bulldogs in his tenure at UK
Well, I said we had a real disappointing loss. Unfortunately, Derrick Locke was injured with a knee in that game and is doubtful for this week. Certainly, Mississippi State, offensively, is a more productive team than the last several years. I was impressed with their offensive line play. Dixon had a very good game against us. I think they’re athletic and they have good size and speed on defense.

On slowing down Auburn’s offense
We played sounder more focused defense in that game than we have all year. Last week we played Mississippi State and a similar offense some of the same running plays and we didn’t have our fits with our linebackers and secondary. We allowed a lot of rushing yards against us in that game where we didn’t allow any big plays against Auburn. Part of that was not allowing Todd to hit the deep long balls in the passing game. I think they do so many things offensively that a lot of his big plays had come when coverage was broken down or busted by the opponent, and in that game we didn’t break any coverages, were in position, and we broke up a lot of key third down passes in that game as well. And honestly, it was a miserably cold windy night to throw the football so that probably helped defend the pass game as well.

It was a shame to see Coach Brooks only get two questions neither of which had virtually anything to do with UK and was more information trying to be gathered about opponents of other teams this weekend. For a coach with the 2nd longest non-conference win streak in the country whose team may go Bowling for the 4th consecutive year, that’s a real shame.

Around the rest of the league:

  • Steve Spurrier would love to move one of his final games to a different point in the season. He feels like the Gamecocks are going to be underdogs over their next 4 contests.
  • Urban Meyer and the Gators host Vandy this weekend and was very impressed by his team’s ability to stay focused this season. According to Meyer, Vandy’s defense is “one of the best in the conference.” He and the Gators have “zero conversations” against the SEC East anymore. Their focus is only on “winning the 9th game.”
  • Bobby Johnson of Vandy gets the joy of preparing for the #1 Florida Gators. Larry Smith, their starter, is out and Adams steps into the role as the starting Commodore QB. Injuries have taken a toll on the ‘Dores this season, and hopefully that experience gained will pay off next year.
  • Lane Kiffin and his Volunteers have the Memphis Tigers this weekend. “It’s a very big game for us,” says Kiffin. Kiffin has no comment on the new iron fist handing out suspensions and fines from the SEC Office. Against Julio Jones, Kiffin said the Vols’ primary weapon was “confusing the quarterback” while limiting him to small plays.
  • Nick Saban is half of the SEC game of the week against LSU in this year’s edition of the Saban Bowl. Said Saban, “Offensively, they’re playing their best football of the season right now.” Perhaps a nod to the lead up angle of his association with both schools, Saban was quick to point out that “the game should be about the players.” According to Saban, because of the team speed LSU excels at special teams as well.
  • Bobby Petrino and Arkansas host South Carolina this weekend and laid a beat down on EMU last weekend. The Hogs are healthy and Michael Smith is back for them. According to Petrino their offense against SC’s defense will be a “real good game.” Petrino also had no comment on the new order regarding fines and suspensions from the league office.
  • Houston Nutt and his Ole Miss Rebels host Northern Arizona this weekend. Most of Nutt’s question were about the movie The Blind Side and Nutt’s role in it. According to Nutt, “It was a very good experience. Tim McGraw, Sandra Bullock, the producers, everybody were class people. It was a very good experience.” This is what happens when you schedule Northern Arizona this late in the season.
  • Mark Richt and Bulldogs are also on the schedule patsies late in the season gravy train, as Georgia hosts Tennessee Tech this weekend. Richt thinks this year defenses are better across the board than in year’s past. Said Richt, “It seems like the offensive numbers have been tempered a bit.”
  • Dan Mullen, whose Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats last weekend referenced that win as something that will certainly help with his recruiting efforts. Beating a team like Kentucky, a team that has won 3 straight Bowl games, will certainly propel MSU over the top of the recruiting peak in his opinion.
  • Gene Chizik is excited to be home for the second week in a row and entertain Furman for Homecoming. Inferior opponents don’t lend themselves to a hungry media group seeking answers.

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