Here we are, final day before Rub-a-Dub Dooley's first real test. And quite the test it will be. We all saw what Oregon did to New Mexico last weekend, and now they're welcoming back LaMichael James from a one-game suspension. James, who ran for 1,500+ yards as a freshman last year, spent a portion of his offseason imprisoned for allegedly beating an ex-paramour. In his absence, Kenjan Barner scored five TDs. In other news:
- It may not be James/Barner (which Dooley has on par with Bama's Ingram/Richardson) just yet, but Wes Rucker takes a look at our RB duo. And, in a pairing involving players that tend to actually be on the field at the same time, Austin Ward takes a superhero-themed look at our safeties. DB coach Terry Joseph has decided Janzen Jackson is Batman and Prentiss Waggner is Robin. Why not?
- For some reason, some people have decided wearing camo to the game is a good idea. Because we're playing the Ducks so we should dress up like duck hunters, see? There is also talk of adopting duck calls as a one-game Miss. St. cowbell-type deal. Please no one do this. It's really lame. Just get your orange on and get loud. Do it for Nick Reveiz, who's reminiscing about his first game running through the T and Nate Longshore's rather adverse reaction to the Neyland crowd. We did that without any duck (or golden bear) calls, mind.
- Both Beth Rucker and Wes Rucker cover the WRs, where, depending on whether Denarius Moore can play, we may be looking at combined career totals of five receptions, 35 yards, and one Kid Rock impersonator. Dooley says the main concern is "making sure everyone's aligned right and knowing what to do on every play." That would be nice.
- Still no word on who will be filling in for Gerald Jones on punt return duty. But it sounds like we'll get our first look at Michael Palardy, who will be handling kickoffs. Oregon's kicker will be making his first appearance of the year after sitting out the opener for violence-related issues, and he's not worried about being rusty. "I didn't play physically, but I did play mentally."
- Our friends at Bruins Nation give us reason to blame this Staphylococcus aureus grossness at the feet of Kiffykins. Which we will do gladly. There's probably some kind of a metaphor about Dooley cleaning up a festering rot left behind by his predecessor, but we'll just get our shower technique down and move on.
- More fun fallout from young Kiffin: the NCAA is looking into the hoops squad. Clay Travis says they're checking out all the programs (with baseball somehow being the real problem spot). Thanks again, Lane. There may be another metaphor here involving other types of diseases. Something about a one-year fling, some filth left behind, and now we're at the clinic getting checked out to see what the long-term damage is looking like. Lovely. Someone please instruct us on proper cold shower technique.