Wednesday, August 21, 2013
SEC lunchtime links
By Alex Scarborough
Starters are being named, injuries are being assessed and coaches are seeking consistency. Yup, the season is drawing closer. Take a look around the SEC and see.
- No one wants to see a player suspended, but Alabama's senior leadership is hopeful that Geno Smith's one-game suspension serves as a "lesson learned."
- It's all about timing. Gus Malzahn saw his offense display its best rhythm since his return to Auburn during the final day of the Tigers' preseason camp.
- Arkansas coordinator Chris Ash is seeking more consistency from his defense. The good news? The first-team defense hasn't allowed a touchdown during two scrimmages.
- It's no secret that Florida expects a lot out of Ronald Powell, the former national high school player of the year. But two surgically repaired knees have made the defensive end/linebacker's ascension difficult. Can he make it to the season opener against Toledo? He says he's getting "closer and closer."
- The story of Georgia's preseason camp has been the emergence of freshman outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who could be the Bulldogs' next great pass-rusher.
- Kentucky's Avery Williamson doesn't like to disappoint. When he was in grade school he kicked a hole in the wall because he disappointed his parents. Since then, the decorated linebacker has done all he can, developing into a leader of the Wildcats defense.
- LSU standout freshman linebacker Kendall Beckwith says there's a chance he sees the field early on.
- Les Miles says the Tigers were "sloppy" again in their final fall scrimmage. Sour news with the season opener against TCU less than two weeks away.
- Mississippi State's Baker Swedenburg has mind wanders at times, but he still boasts one of the best legs in the SEC.
- Houston Nutt continues to say Houston Nutt things. What the former Ole Miss coach is saying about his old program.
- Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines is an integral part of the Tigers' defense. Unsure if he'll play in Thursday's scrimmage because of an injury, Gaines' status for the season opener has been in doubt. After Tuesday's practice he said he'll be ready to go.
- The Mike Davis era is officially underway in Columbia, S.C., as the Gamecocks announced that he would start the season opener against North Carolina. But Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson will see plenty of time, too.
- Tennessee's defense had a lot of work to do this offseason, rebuilding after a tough 2012 campaign. Though the Vols are on schedule, they're still not there yet.
- Butch Jones is still trying to figure out who his playmakers will be on offense as the Vols seek answers in the passing game.
- Just what Texas A&M wanted to hear on the radio with its quarterback under NCAA investigation: A truck dealership has taken advantage of the Johnny Manziel autograph game, reportedly offering a chance to win a Manziel-signed football.
- Kevin Sumlin likes what he sees from freshman wideout Ricky Seals-Jones. "He's still go a ways to go," he said. "He's got real ability, he's very athletic."