College Sports

Tennessee football facing attrition problems in camp

Mark Stoops disappointed in defense after UK football’s first scrimmage

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops talks to the media on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, after his team’s first scrimmage of fall camp. Stoops said his team has work to do before the opener Aug. 31 against Toledo at Kroger Field.
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Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops talks to the media on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, after his team’s first scrimmage of fall camp. Stoops said his team has work to do before the opener Aug. 31 against Toledo at Kroger Field.

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Tennessee has been hit by medical retirements, reports Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “Less than a week into preseason practice, Tennessee offensive lineman Nathan Niehaus left the team. His decision marked the first attrition since the preseason started, but continued a trend for UT.”

Florida dismisses troubled defensive back, reports Graham Hall of the Gainesville News. “Florida defensive back John Huggins, one of the team’s breakout players in spring camp, has been dismissed from the program. The Deltona native has missed all of preseason camp while dealing with what the Gators described as a ‘family issue.’”

Vanderbilt has new “Battle Ready” uniforms, reports Andrew Olson of Saturday Down South. “Vanderbilt is adding a new alternate uniform for the 2019 season. The Commodores unveiled their “Battle Ready” Nike alternate uniforms on Saturday with a live reveal and a video shared on the team’s official Twitter account.”

Alabama’s first scrimmage was productive but painful, writes Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News. “Saturday’s scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the first of the 2018 season preparation, went well, according to head coach Nick Saban. But Saban confirmed a significant injury requiring surgery for freshman running back Trey Sanders and reported a knee injury to senior inside linebacker Josh McMillon that will require further evaluation.”

Georgia’s scrimmage lacks juice, reports Brandon Sudge of the Macon Telegraph. “University of Georgia Bulldogs head football coach Kirby Smart told media on Aug. 10, 2019, that the day’s scrimmage lacked the same level of enthusiasm and temperament he’s seen in previous practices. The season kicks off Aug. 31 against Vanderbilt.”

Mark Stoops not thrilled with UK’s first scrimmage, reports Josh Moore of the Herald-Leader. “Things could have gone better during the University of Kentucky’s first fall scrimmage at Kroger Field. But they could been worse, too.”

After UK football’s first scrimmage of fall camp on Aug. 10, 2019, center Drake Jackson talks about the team’s defensive line and linebackers, including Quinton Bohanna, TJ Carter, Deandre Square, Chris Oats, Jared Casey and Xavier Peters.

Which Missouri linebackers will start? asks Alex Schiffer of the Kansas City Star. “Nick Bolton’s baptism into college football could have come in a more favorable situation: at Alabama. After Missouri lost starting linebacker Terez Hall in the first half of the Tigers’ 39-10 loss to Alabama last October, the true freshman made his collegiate debut at Bryant-Denny Stadium against the top-ranked Tide.”

South Carolina counting on a healthy D.J. Wonnum, reports The State. The senior defensive lineman was limited to just five games last season.

LSU missing quarterback Joe Burrow, reports Scott Rabalais of The Advocate. “Absence after absence by LSU players from the first few days of the Tigers’ football practices was like a yellow alert. Alarming, yes, but they haven’t started taking roll yet for real with the regular season still a little less than three weeks away.”

Memphis players want to prove a point to Ole Miss, reports Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “O’Bryan Goodson always imagined he’d play football at Ole Miss, just like his relatives. A native of Batesville, Mississippi, Goodson watched his uncle Eddie Strong become an All-SEC linebacker for the Rebels. In high school, he saw cousins Tony Conner, Isaac Gross and Temario Strong all play for Ole Miss.”

Mississippi State wants its tight ends more involved, reports Logan Lowery of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal. “Based on Joe Moorhead’s track record, tight ends were expected to play a huge role in the passing game for Mississippi State last season. However, things didn’t exactly pan out that way.”

Texas A&M defense looking to take step forward, reports Robet Cessna of Bryan/College Station Eagle. “Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko worked wonders in his first season at Texas A&M, and he’ll get to build on that after turning down offers to leave.”

Arkansas linebacker snatching balls, reports Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “One University of Arkansas defender has interceptions each of the past three days of camp, and it’s not freshman safety Jalen Catalon, who has two pick-sixes in that span. The interception man is senior linebacker De’Jon “Scoota” Harris, who picked off Ben Hicks on Tuesday, then Nick Starkel on Wednesday and Thursday.”

SEC football opening games

Saturday, August 24

7:00 - Miami vs. Florida (ESPN)

Thursday, August 29

8:30 - Texas State at Texas A&M (SEC)

Saturday, August 31

12:00 - Toledo at Kentucky (SEC)

12:00 - Ole Miss at Memphis (ABC)

12:00 - Mississippi State vs. Louisiana (ESPNU)

3:30 - South Carolina vs. North Carolina (ESPN)

3:30 - Georgia State at Tennessee (ESPNU)

3:30 - Duke vs. Alabama (ABC)

4:00 - Portland State at Arkansas (SEC)

7:30 - Oregon vs. Auburn (ABC)

7:30 - Georgia Southern at LSU (ESPNU)

7:30 - Missouri at Wyoming (CBS Sports)

7:30 - Georgia at Vanderbilt (SEC)

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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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