Living down reputations, Part II. Remember the gas-pumping comment that Lane Kiffin allegedly made to recruit Alshon Jefferey when he told Kiffin he was committing to South Carolina? South Carolina does. Funny how people remember things that didn't even happen nowadays. Or maybe it did happen, as that first linked article says that Jeffery has told teammates that the story is true. In any event, Kiffin's being more careful now (well, yesterday anyway) about what he's saying to the media. He's not talking about the reprimand he received from the SEC this week except to say that he stands up for his players. That attitude may have Kiffin in a full count with the league, but it's paying off with his players. What most viewed as foolish obstinacy in sticking by Crompton now looks like a very wise decision. Consider these additional trendyish numbers on Jonathan Crompton: Against UCLA, Florida, and Ohio, he had two TDs and six INTs for a pass-efficiency rating of 88.44. In the past three games, he has seven TDs, two INTs, and a rating of 141.66 that would put him close to the top 30. And it's not just Crompton. Almost universally, the players are saying that they appreciate Kiffin "having their back" and that it gives them confidence.
QB has wheels. One other key to the Tennessee-South Carolina game to add to this morning's preview: Stephen Garcia is mobile, and if Tennessee's had a weakness on defense this year, it's been dealing with guys like that. Wes Brown says the d-line guys all need to stay in their lanes:
The two inside guys are supposed to stop the step-up and Chris [Walker] and Ben [Martin] on the edges are supposed to make him step up.
Among many entertaining quotes from Ed Orgeron's appearance at a recent quarterback club is this intrigue:
We feel good about the guys that we're recruiting at quarterback, which is the No. 1 position that we had to go out there and find. We've got some that are committed to other schools that we still really like and that we're still going after.
Code for Jesse Scroggins, who shunned Tennessee for Southern Cal this summer? For what it's worth, Scroggins is not on the official visitor's list ($?) for this weekend.
The basketball Vols open exhibition play this Friday against North Alabama at 7:30 at Thompson-Boling. Pearl must be changing things up this season from last because he's got most of his starters back yet still says he's "got about 25 percent of our offense and 75 percent of our defense in." So expect North Alabama's defense to attack the 75% of the offense that's not in and its offense to attack the 25% of the defense that isn't in. I mean, that's what I'd do. Really, I should become a coach.
Apologies to those who wish we'd use links to the print only versions of the articles on GVX. Links are internet currency, and I figured I would think it petty if they did that to us, so golden rule and all.