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Three & Out returns every Monday in 2011 to give you three SEC thoughts, news and notes. In the third edition of the 2011 season, we take a look at how fall camp is progressing in Oxford, Knoxville and the bad situation in Baton Rouge. As was the case last week, this column is still a “no-expansion zone.”
WHEN YOU HAVE TWO QUARTERBACKS, YOU HAVE NONE. WHEN YOU HAVE THREE?
After Auburn named Barrett Trotter its starting quarterback last week, only three quarterback battles - Alabama, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt - remain during SEC fall camp (no, Arkansas, you don’t have a quarterback battle despite what the coaches say). Of the three, the battle currently taking place at Ole Miss may be the one with the fewest answers.
No quarterback was named following Ole Miss’ scrimmage on Saturday, and in fact, three players still are in the mix for that role. Barry Brunetti, Zack Stoudt and Randall Mackey all have impressed offensive coordinator David Lee in their own way, and the Rebels are still not ready to make a decision.
“Who’s the best option quarterback? No question it’s Brunetti,” Lee told the Ole Miss Spirit. “Who’s the best dropback passer? No question it’s Stoudt. Who’s the guy that can be elusive in the pocket, extend the play, can run the option, can run the ball, can pitch the ball, it’s Mackey. “So we’ll sort through this, watch them some more, and we’ll name a starter when we’re ready to name a starter.”
With two weeks to go before the first game of the year, generally it’s time for teams with quarterback controversies to start figuring things out. Whoever is named the starter needs to get first-team reps throughout the rest of camp to become as comfortable with the offense as possible. Considering that Ole Miss has a pretty big game against BYU at home to open the season, it’s that much more important for the coaching staff to name a starter and move forward.
If this battle doesn’t work itself out soon, Ole Miss will be putting itself in a no-win situation.
How are Derek Dooley’s Tennessee Vols doing? Great on both sides of the ball, depending on who you ask.
Tennessee scrimmaged on Saturday afternoon on Neyland Stadium, with neither side coming away with the consensus edge. Quarterback Tyler Bray completed 10-of-20 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, but according to GoVoxXtra, the defense had some key stops during the two-minute drill.
"It was both ways today," said linebacker Austin Johnson. "The offense really came out with a lot of intensity, they pushed the ball down on us. I think they put together some really good drives, they ran the ball really well. But I felt like we fought back, we came back in the second half and did a little bit better. That's what we've got to do, we've got to keep battling.”
Tennessee is a team that suffered from lack of depth last season. The Vols let games slip away in the third and fourth quarters early and often, but scrimmages in which both units battle back-and-forth throughout will build depth and help the Vols maintain focus late in games - which was a problem in Dooley’s first season.
NAHH, THIS WON’T BE A DISTRACTION
At SEC Media Days, LSU head coach Les Miles said that he was comfortable with identity of the Tiger offense. Well, a recent incident at Shady’s Bar in Baton Rouge may change that.
The Baton Rouge Police Department has requested that four LSU football players - quarterback Jordan Jefferson, offensive lineman Chris Davenport, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and linebacker Josh Johns - come to police headquarters at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning to be interviewed about a bar fight that took place early Friday morning.
According to The Advocate, Sgt. Donald Stone said BRPD is interested in talking to the players because they were witnesses, but did not rule out that arrests could be made this week. Stone also said that one individual involved in the fight could be charged with second-degree battery, which carries up to a five-year prison sentence.
The key name in the this story is obviously Jordan Jefferson. In last week’s Three & Out, I mentioned that Jefferson is poised to have a solid senior season, despite the reputation he’s earned of being consistently inconsistent. Some people will say that LSU might be better off without Jefferson, and that’s simply wrong. Jefferson is a senior, according to all reports has had a fantastic off-season (bar fights notwithstanding) and has a veteran offensive line in front of him. If he is forced to miss time as a result of this incident, LSU’s national title chances take a major hit, especially considering the showdown in Week 1 vs. Oregon.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
2011 Three & Out Archive
Three & Out – August 22, 2011
Three & Out – August 15, 2011
Three & Out – August 8, 2011
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