Spring Football Notebook
The college roundup …KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said he’s intentionally tried to lay low in recent months as his replacement, Lane Kiffin, took over the Volunteers.
Fulmer was given the Gen. Robert Neyland Trophy by the Knoxville Quarterback Club on Saturday morning in a reception before Tennessee’s annual Orange and White spring scrimmage game.
He was honored on the field at Neyland Stadium before the game, drawing cheers from the crowd of 51,488.
TENNESSEEKNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Tennessee’s offense protected the ball and put together long drives in its most solid performance of the spring.
The Volunteers’ ball control problems of a year ago seemed a thing of the past as the offense beat the defense 41-23 in Saturday’s scrimmage after being outplayed for much of the spring.
“There were some lengthy drives. That’s good to see. That’s what happens when you don’t turn the ball over,” coach Lane Kiffin said.
FLORIDAGAINESVILLE, Fla. ó The Florida Gators celebrated last season Saturday by getting their national championship rings, then took a look at what’s in store for the future.
With 16 starters sitting out, many of them for precautionary reasons, Florida’s spring game turned into a showcase for young players who might not even make an impact this fall.
Sophomore John Brantley threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns, ran for two scores and led the Orange team to a 31-21 victory over Tim Tebow’s Blue squad.
Brantley was 14-of-23 passing, with completions of 26, 47 and 50 yards. ALABAMATUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó Alabama coach Nick Saban wouldn’t say who will be the starting quarterback in the fall, but he left no doubt after Saturday’s spring game that Greg McElroy is the clear leader.
“He has shown he’s far and away our best quarterback right now. He knows that somebody’s going to have to beat him out,” Saban said after watching McElroy outplay two other contenders.
McElroy, last year’s backup, is seeking to replace three-year starter John Parker Wilson, who led the Crimson Tide to a 12-2 record and SEC Conference Western Division championship last season.
McElroy completed 16 of 30 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns to lead the crimson team to a 14-7 win over the white team in the A-Day game. McElroy threw two interceptions.
MISSISSIPPIOXFORD, Miss. ó Mississippi coach Houston Nutt did his best to understate Saturday’s spring game performance by quarterback Jevan Snead. But it was virtually impossible to do so.
Snead directed six consecutive touchdown drives and threw for 254 yards as the Blue defeated the Red 55-28 in the “Grove Bowl.”
Snead finished 11-of-15 with touchdown strikes of 12, 20 and 70 yards
VIRGINIACHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ó The return of Vic Hall to the quarterback spot and the debut of Virginia’s new spread offense were the highlights of the Cavaliers’ annual spring game.
The Cavaliers likely didn’t show much of the attack being installed by new offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon, but about 8,000 fans turned out to see what they could Saturday.
Mostly, they seemed to come to see Hall, a record-setting quarterback at Gretna High School who had played cornerback for most of his first three years at Virginia. The 5-foot-9 senior finished 11-for-16 for 98 yards.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó After only winning only games the past two seasons, coach Charlie Weis and the Irish are hoping a good spring leads to a fabulous fall.
Notre Dame ‘s offense scored three touchdowns in 13 possessions, the defense scored a touchdown ó returning an interception thrown by Jimmy Clausen for a score ó and the Fighting Irish finished spring practice Saturday.
The offense beat the defense 68-33 under an improvised scoring system. The defense also managed to hold Notre Dame’s two best receivers, Michael Floyd and Golden Tate, to one catch.