From the first day we got here there were a lot of questions about Blake, how he would perform, whether he was even a quarterback. Brought in a transfer that the assumption was by a lot of people that the transfer, Jake (Coker), would be the starting quarterback. "And never once did Blake bring that up. Never once did he question that. All he did was go to work. There were times when he was getting less reps than Jake was which is very difficult for a quarterback to accept after having been here for four years, going on his fifth year." Kiffin saw Sims narrow his focus and go to work. Questions came from all directions after posting poor numbers in a simplified offense on A-Day.
"I think that we still have a lot of stuff that we can do better. Working with a new quarterback, that will be exciting. To me, the excitement of the unknown when you have the quarterback, to see if we can do this again, if we can perform really well and obviously coach has recruited very well year in and year out. "Who are going to be the next guys up because we’re going to lose the all-time leading receiver (Amari Cooper) in the history of the school and what may be after this game, the all-time leading rusher (T.J. Yeldon) in the history of the school. I think he’s getting ready to break that and quarterback (Blake Sims) who’s had the most productive year in the history of the school, and we’re going to lose them all at the same time."
Trickett plans to transition into a coaching career, following in the footsteps of his father, Rick, Florida State's offensive line coach. The elder Trickett told the Tallahassee Democrat this week that Alabama is among the schools that have spoken with Clint about coaching opportunities, along with West Virginia and Kentucky.
"I don't think it rattled Blake, it rattled me and his family," Sonny said of Coker's transfer to Alabama. "I was upset. But Blake said, 'Dad, don't worry about it. That's what goes on. I've got to compete, I've got to be ready.' I used to kid him and say, 'Well, Coach Saban is your dad now?' Blake was right, I was wrong. Coach did a good job with Blake. Blake got processed."
-- All of the key starters who had been dealing with injuries continue to improve as kickoff approaches. Tight end Brian Vogler was running confidently with the brace on the knee he injured in late November against Western Carolina. Running back T.J. Yeldon also looked fine with his hamstring issues.
-- Also worth noting receiver Amari Cooper took a direct snap and threw a pass at one point in the viewing window.
"I heard someone say, 'College football is what we do instead of dueling,' " said Alabama native, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Alabama writing professor Rick Bragg. "But I don't think that's right. It's not that refined. I think it's what we do instead of rioting. … The devotion and preoccupation has grown. It has not lessened. For good or bad, I think it's grown. It's swelling. … And over time comes the expectation. Anything less than being the best is insufferable."
The Arkansas defense stymied Texas' offense while the Razorbacks offense managed enough to control the game. After scoring 21 second-quarter points, Arkansas took a 24-7 lead to halftime and coasted to a comfortable finish in the second half.
The Texas A&M Aggies earned their eighth win of the season Monday when they defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers, 45-37. The game was penalty-laden throughout, with both teams combining for 15 penalties. On top of that was an undercurrent of chippiness that manifested itself in numerous personal fouls and punches thrown -- by both players and a coach.
South Carolina (7-6) has won a school-record four straight bowl games. Miami (6-7) ended the season on a four-game losing streak and hasn't won in the postseason since 2006.
The SEC is undefeated in bowl games so far yet I don't hear a lot of chest thumping. Funny how that works, right ACC?
Oklahoma (8-5) had five turnovers, including three interceptions by sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight.
Bob Stoops suffering makes me..