NCAA probe is 'speed bump' to Vols' new coach Josh Heupel
New Tennessee NCAA college football head coach Josh Heupel, left, shakes hands with University of Tennessee athletics director Danny White after being presented a jersey speaks during an introductory press conference at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (Caitie McLekin/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool)Josh Heupel believes he can win quickly at Tennessee and position the football program for long-term success. Heupel was introduced Wednesday as the program's 27th head coach and fifth, not counting interim or acting coaches, since the end of the 2008 season. New athletic director Danny White said Tennessee ran an “exhaustive nationwide search” led by the same search firm that helped land White. White was hired last week to replace the retiring Phillip Fulmer and hiring a new coach was his first task.
Tennessee fires Pruitt, 9 others for 'serious' NCAA issues
FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2019, file photo, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt yells at the officials during an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tennessee fired Pruitt Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. “While the investigation is continuing the information provided to us indicates serious violations of NCAA rules,” Plowman said. The chancellor said the potential NCAA issues involved Level I and II violations with a number of people and incidents. Fulmer, 70, will be retiring, and Tennessee is retaining Parker Executive Search to help hire a new athletic director. Pruitt ends a tenure that started after a tumultuous coaching search highlighted by Tennessee replacing John Currie as athletic director with Fulmer.
Sark latest 'Bama assistant multi-tasking before title game
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)Steve Sarkisian is the latest Alabama coordinator to be drawing up game plans for a national title showdown before leaving for a new head coaching job. The Longhorns fired Tom Herman and hired Sarkisian eight days before the national championship game Monday night against No. The difference this time is the accelerated time frame from Sarkisian’s hiring to the title game. Alabama beat Oklahoma in the semifinals before a 44-16 loss to Clemson in the national title game. Nearly a month passed from his hiring to the January 2012 title game rematch against LSU, which ’Bama won 21-0.
Army takes Liberty Bowl spot left by Tennessee's withdrawal
When that bowl game was called off because there was not another team available, it suddenly left Army looking for a postseason opponent. A spot in the Liberty Bowl became available Monday when Tennessee became the first team to back out since bowl berths were announced. The change to its Liberty Bowl opponent was no problem for West Virginia (5-4). “Our team deserves to be in a bowl and so does the 9-2 Army squad,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said. Frankly, I think we were stunned to find out the opportunity would be in a bowl like the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
No. 5 Texas A&M makes last CFP case in 34-13 win over Vols
5 Texas A&M closed its case for inclusion in the College Football Playoff by mauling Tennessee by three touchdowns. Texas A&M, ranked third in the nation in third-down conversion percentage (55%), didn't punt in the first half. Texas A&M's advantage went to 17-7 when the Aggies turned a Bailey fumble into a 23-yard field goal by Seth Small. Tennessee: After the second game of the season, the Vols were tied with Notre Dame for the longest winning streak among FBS teams. A victory over winless Vanderbilt ended the skid, but the loss to Texas A&M ended the regular season on a sour note.
No. 6 Florida runs past Tennessee 31-19
Kyle Trask threw for 433 yards and four touchdowns, and the Gators beat Tennessee 31-19 on Saturday to clinch a spot in the SEC championship game. “It felt like they threw on every snap.”Playing with a depleted roster, Tennessee (2-6) dropped its sixth consecutive game. Florida stretched a 10-point halftime advantage to 24-7 with a 75-yard drive capped by an 8-yard pass from Trask to Trevon Grimes. “I think they did a great job — Tennessee — throughout the game of giving us some different looks," Trask said. The Tennessee defense stiffened and forced the Gators into a field goal attempt from 53 yards.
Mullen, No. 6 Florida can clinch SEC East title at Tennessee
In his third season at Florida coach Dan Mullen has the Gators a win away from the Southeastern Conference championship game for the first time since 2016. Sixth-ranked Florida can clinch the East by beating Tennessee on Saturday, something they've done 14 of the last 15 games in this series. The quarterback was a freshman the last time Florida played for the SEC title, and winning the SEC East has been these Gators' first of many goals this season. As impressive as the performance was, it snapped a school-record streak of nine straight games scoring at least 35 points. “We'll make the decision as we get closer to the game,” Pruitt said.
Week 14: Ohio State returns and BYU-Coastal square off
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws a pass against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. 3 Ohio State is playing as much as who will be play playing for the Buckeyes this weekend. Ohio State seems to be on track to play at Michigan State on Saturday after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the program forced a cancellation of last week's road trip to Illinois. If Ohio State has one more game canceled it would be unable to meet the Big Ten's minimum game played to be eligible for the conference title game. UNDER THE RADARNebraska at PurdueNeither team is in the Big West race, but the interesting thing is the Boilermakers (2-3) have won two straight against the Cornhuskers (1-4).
Virus wreaking havoc on SEC with Saban now testing positive
10 Florida's game against defending national champion LSU was postponed Wednesday to tentatively Dec. 12 after the SEC postponed Missouri-Vanderbilt on Monday. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason is going through a similar situation. To play, the SEC requires at least 53 on game days. Timing is critical depending on the day of the week a positive test or tracing result returns. “Every time you’re taking a test," Mason said, “you're crossing your fingers ... you don't have anybody in harm's way."
No. 3 Georgia dominates 2nd half, beats No. 14 Vols 44-21
Bouncing back from a goal-line stand at the end of the the first half, the No. “They really outplayed us in the second half,” coach Jeremy Pruitt said. All those good feelings evaporated when Tennessee turned it over on its first two possessions of the second half. Tennessee's defense held Georgia to a pair of field goals after those miscues, but the Vols offense just couldn't get anything going. SILLY MISTAKESWhile it didn't matter in the end, Georgia made plenty of mistakes that irritated Smart.
College athletes add voices to those protesting injustice
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)NORMAN, Okla. College athletes across the country added their voices to those calling for an end to racial injustice riday with football players and others marching on campus or stepping away from practices to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. The problems out there are real, said Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, who led the march and spoke at the event. This shouldnt be a troubling time for college-age persons.Members of the Baylor football team marched around campus Friday. The Ole Miss football team decided not to take to the practice field Friday after a similar demonstration a day earlier at Mississippi State. Football coach Jeremy Pruitt moved practice so his players could attend.
No. 3 Georgia, Smart wary of heavy underdog Tennessee
Tennessee hired Pruitt with the hope he eventually could match what Smart is doing at Georgia, even though that figured to be a major challenge. After going 5-7 in Pruitt's debut season last year, Tennessee opened the 2019 season with a stunning loss to 26-point underdog Georgia State and hasn't recovered. In the meantime, Smart owns a 36-10 record at Georgia as the Bulldogs chase their third straight SEC East title. "It's probably the best Georgia team that I can ever remember at this point in time in the season," Pruitt said. Chaney faces former teamTennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was Georgia's offensive coordinator from 2016-18.