College Football Notebook
The college football notebook …
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó To entice Ed Orgeron to join the Tennessee staff as recruiting coordinator, Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin went on a recruiting trip of his own.
Kiffin surprised his former colleague at Southern California by showing up in Destin, Fla., where Orgeron was vacationing with his family on Wednesday, to make an appeal to join his staff in Knoxville.
“My wife actually told me that morning, ‘Lane called and asked for the address in Destin.’ I said, ‘Clean the apartment, they’re coming. I’m telling you, they’re on the plane. I know this guy,’ ” Orgeron said Friday in his first appearance at Tennessee.
The Larose, La., native will also work as the Vols’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach under defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Lane Kiffin’s father.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ó In the Big 12, where offenses are built on the spread, speed and on-target quarterbacks, the Texas defense got the job done with a fierce pass rush, swift linebackers and plenty of help from its own high-scoring offense.
Now it’s time to play power football, Ohio State style. The No. 3 Longhorns (11-1) meet the 10th-ranked Buckeyes (10-2) on Monday in the Fiesta Bowl.
“I’ve been waiting for a smash-mouth running game all year. I think our whole defensive line has. That’s our mentality,” Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller said.
They will be plenty of big collisions.
Buckeyes tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells, 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, ran for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing three games with a foot injury, including a 35-3 loss at Southern California early in the season. Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor, 6-6, 235 pounds, picked up another 553 yards and ran for six TDs.
Pound-for-pound, those two are as big and fast as Texas’ linebackers.
Wells “is by far the best back we’ll see this year,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “It’s a shame we didn’t get to see USC and Ohio State with Beanie Wells healthy. He is a game-changer.”
TORONTO ó Connecticut’s Donald Brown, the nation’s leading rusher, announced he will enter the NFL draft after running for a career-best 261 yards in the Huskies’ 38-20 victory against Buffalo in the International Bowl Saturday.
Brown had previously said he would return for his senior year, but was hedging going into the bowl game.The junior ran for 208 yards rushing on 16 carries in the first half in the International Bowl. He came into the game averaging 151.83 yards per game.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. ó Rutgers wide receiver Kenny Britt is taking his considerable talents to the NFL.
The junior announced his intentions Saturday to forgo his senior season and declare himself eligible for the draft.
The 20-year-old Britt had 87 receptions for 1,371 yards and seven touchdowns in 2008, including what proved to be the game-winner for the Scarlet Knights in a 29-23 victory over North Carolina State in the PapaJohns.com Bowl on Dec. 29.
ALABAMANEW ORLEANS ó It wasn’t supposed to happen this fast for Nick Saban.
Alabama went from 7-6 to 12-2, the most dramatic improvement for a coach’s second year in school history. Senior center Antoine Caldwell figures the 2008 group should be remembered as “the team that kind of turned the corner for Alabama.”