SEC Football news and notes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

SEC Football news and notes

From the Southeastern Conference

 

This weekend's schedule of games:

 

Thursday, Sept. 1

Mississippi State at Memphis (7 p.m. CT, SportSouth, Sirius 85, XM 85)

Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (at Nashville) (8:15 p.m. CT, ESPNU, Sirius 220, XM 199)

 

Saturday, Sept. 3

Utah State at Auburn (11 a.m. CT, ESPN2, Sirius 220, XM 201)

Kent State at Alabama (11:21 a.m. CT, SEC Network/ESPN3.com, Sirius 219, XM 200)

Brigham Young at Ole Miss (3:45 p.m. CT, ESPN, Sirius 218, XM 201)

Montana at Tennessee (6 p.m. ET, UT PPV/ESPN3.com, Sirius 217, XM 200)

Missouri State at Arkansas (6 p.m. CT, UA PPV/ESPN3.com, Sirius 219, XM 199)

Florida Atlantic at Florida (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU, XM 205)

East Carolina vs. South Carolina (at Charlotte) (7 p.m. ET, FSN, Sirius 220/XM 203)

Elon at Vanderbilt (6:30 p.m. CT, CSS, XM 201)

Oregon vs. LSU (at Arlington, Texas) (7 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN3.com, Sirius 91, XM 91)

Boise State vs. Georgia (at Atlanta) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, Sirius 85, XM 85)

 

* - Individual SEC single-game opening day records to monitor this weekend: 290 rushing yards by Bo Jackson, Auburn vs. USL in 1985; 498 passing yards by Tim Couch, Kentucky vs. Louisville in 1998; 263 receiving yards by Alexander Wright, Auburn vs. Pacific in 1989, 13 catches by Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt vs. Richmond, 2007.

 

* - Since 1992, the SEC is 685-217-2 in non-conference games, a 75.9 winning percentage. Last year, the league was 46-12 in non-conference games, 41-7 in the regular season.

 

* - There will be four SEC teams that will be using first-time starting quarterbacks this season. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and Ole Miss does not have a returning quarterback that has a collegiate start under their belt. Kentucky's Morgan Newton (8 starts), Tennessee's Matt Simms (8 starts) and Tyler Bray (5 starts) have less than 10 returning starts.

 

* - Since 1977, there have been 60 first-year coaches in the SEC. Of those, exactly half (30) have finished their inaugural season with a sub-.500 mark. The cumulative record for those 60 coaches is 339-353-7 (.490). The average record of the 60 coaches in their inaugural seasons is 5.6 wins against 5.9 losses.

 

* - There are a total of 74 SEC players listed on pre-season watch lists for 15 national awards.

 

* - Alabama has had 13 true freshmen start season opening games since freshmen regained their eligibility from the NCAA in 1973. A pair of true freshmen started the season opener in 2007 (LB Rolando McClain, CB Kareem Jackson), 2008 (WR Julio Jones, LB Dont'a Hightower) and 2010 (P Cody Mandell, PK Cade Foster). Alabama has started at least one true freshman in the season opener in five of the last six seasons as left tackle Andre Smith started his first game at Alabama in the 2006 season opener against Hawaii.

 

* - Arkansas has thrown for at least 300 yards in 19 of 38 games under Bobby Petrino. The Razorbacks had recorded 16 300-yard games in the entire 114 years of football before Coach Petrino arrived in Fayetteville. Last year, Arkansas had 10 such games including a season high 428 yards at Auburn. In that game, Tyler Wilson took the snaps at QB for the injured Ryan Mallett and takes the helm this year as starter. Wilson threw for 332 yards at Auburn , which tied for the 14th highest total in school history.

 

* - For the first time in Auburn history, the Tigers return a pair of rushers who each ran for 800 yards or more the previous season. Junior Onterio McCalebb ran for 810 yards, third-best in 2010, while sophomore Michael Dyer rushed for an AU freshman record (second-most on team) 1,093 yards last season.

 

* - This year's Florida Gator squad is comprised of 35 freshmen, 36 sophomores, 17 juniors and 17 seniors. When fall camp started, Florida only had nine seniors on scholarship, equaling the third-fewest scholarship seniors on a UF squad since 1951. The fewest total in one year was in 1981, when just seven seniors were in scholarship. Florida had eight scholarship seniors in 1956 and 1972 and nine in 1978 and this season.

 

* - Georgia has won 13 of its last 14 season openers, including a 9-1 mark under Mark Richt. The Bulldogs only blemish came at #9 Oklahoma State in 2009, falling 24-10. Under Richt since 2001, the Bulldogs have averaged 39.5 points in their season openers. Georgia's all-time record for season openers is 89-25-3, in this the 118th season.

 

* - Kentucky fielded its most inexperienced defensive unit in 20 years in the 2010 season. The positive for this season is that the top 11 tacklers return from the youthful unit. Linebacker Danny Trevathan (144 stops) and safety Winston Guy (106 tackles) each topped the century mark last season. The only UK defensive starters not returning from last season were DE DeQuin Evans (16 stops, 4 TFL) and DT Ricky Lumpkin (21 stops, 5.5 TFL).

 

* - LSU has won a school-record eight straight season openers heading into the Oregon contest. LSU hasn't lost a season-opener since a 26-8 setback to Virginia Tech in 2002. The Tech loss is also the last time the Tigers dropped a non-conference regular-season game. Les Miles is 6-0 in season openers at LSU. The Tigers are 23-0 under Miles in non-conference regular season games.

 

* - It's a youthful Ole Miss starting lineup with just six seniors listed as starters on the depth chart, three on offense (LT Bradley Sowell, H Derrick Herman, RB Brandon Bolden) and three on defense (E Wayne Dorsey, E Kentrell Lockett, DT Justin Smith). Lockett was granted a sixth year of eligibility in the off-season by the NCAA after tearing his ACL against Fresno State a year ago. He enters the season as the SEC's active leader in tackles for loss with 23.5.

 

* - Mississippi State senior quarterback Chris Relf enters the 2011 campaign with a chance to rewrite the school career passing record book. He already ranks among the top ten in completion percentage, interception percentage, yards per attempt, passing efficiency and touchdown passes. The Montgomery, Ala., native needs 69 completions and 876 yards to enter the school's top 10 in those categories. With 1,200 career rushing yards, Relf is only the school's sixth quarterback to reach the 1,000-yard mark.

 

* - South Carolina and SMU are the only two schools in the FBS that return a 3,000-yard passer (Stephen Garcia), 1,000-yard rusher (Marcus Lattimore) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Alshon Jeffery). The Gamecocks also return four starters on the offensive line for a total of 70 career starts. Center T.J. Johnson has 27 career starts, Tackles Kyle Nunn (16) and Rokevious Watkins (14) and guard Terrence Campbell (13) also return. Redshirt freshman A.J. Cann is slated to make his first career start against East Carolina.

 

* - According to research done by Mark Wallington at UNLV, Tennessee is one of just five schools in the FBS to not have at least one senior starter on the offensive line. The others are UNLV, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Arizona. The Vols have four sophomore starters (LG Alex Bullard, RT Ja'wuan James, RG Zach Fulton and C James Stone) and one junior (LT Dallas Thomas) penciled in as starters on the offensive line going into the Montana game.

 

* - Vanderbilt senior QB Larry Smith needs less than 250 passing yards to enter the Vanderbilt top ten in career yardage. The two-year starter enters his final season currently ranked eighth in pass attempts all-time at Vandy (508) and ninth in all-time completions (242). He has 2,555 career passing yards, which is 12th. Mackenzi Adams (2006-9) is 10th all-time at Vandy with 2,789 career passing yards.

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