SEC spring game roundup

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
8:00
AM ET
Seven more SEC schools wrapped up spring practice over the weekend with their annual spring games.

Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee held their spring games on Saturday, while Vanderbilt played its spring game on Sunday evening.

Kentucky is the only SEC team that hasn’t played its spring game and will do so this coming Saturday.

Here’s a recap of the seven spring games from this past weekend:

ALABAMA
  • A record crowd of 92,310 was on hand as the Crimson team defeated the White team 14-10 on Saturday in the annual Golden Flake A-Day spring game, which was televised live by ESPNU. Prior to the game, a nine-foot statue of Alabama coach Nick Saban was unveiled in the Walk of Champions plaza just outside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Running back Trent Richardson, playing for the Crimson team, earned the Dixie Howell Award given to the game’s most valuable player, after totaling 167 yards (49 rushing, 85 receiving, 33 returning), including a 20-yard touchdown reception.
  • Quarterbacks A.J. McCarron and Philip Sims played for both the Crimson and White teams. McCarron had 222 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-38 passing, while Sims finished with 229 yards, on 19-of-38 passing. Stay tuned to see how this battle shakes out.
  • Safety Mark Barron got things started with a 96-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown on the game’s opening possession.
  • C.J. Mosley, Chris Jordan and Ranzell Watkins tied for a game-high nine tackles. DeQuan Menzie and Jarrick Williams each had an interception. Menzie had a big spring and may be the Tide's most complete cornerback.
  • For more information on Alabama’s spring game, go to the Crimson Tide's official web site.
ARKANSAS
  • An estimated crowd of 42,000, a new Arkansas record for a spring game, watched the White team defeat the Red team 45-14 on Saturday at Razorback Stadium. The game was also shown live on ESPN.
  • The coaches had attempted to divide the rosters evenly, but the White team -- led by junior quarterback Tyler Wilson and senior receiver Jarius Wright -- jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and dominated the game. Wilson, taking a big step toward nailing down the starting job, passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Wright hauled in two of those touchdowns, the first one a 57-yard score on the game’s third play in which he broke a tackle and then outran everybody to the end zone. Wright also had a 12-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
  • Sophomore quarterback Brandon Mitchell had pushed Wilson for much of this spring, and Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino really likes Mitchell’s athleticism and the dimension that he gives the Hogs’ offense. However, Mitchell struggled on Saturday and finished 11-of-29 for 85 yards and threw three interceptions.
  • Petrino said the quarterback competition between Wilson and Mitchell would continue into the summer and into preseason practice. That said, Petrino said he was pleased with Wilson’s poise in the game and that his understanding of the offense just keeps getting better.
  • Senior safety Tramain Thomas, also playing for the White team, had two interceptions. Junior linebacker Terrell Williams led the Red team with nine tackles.
  • For more on the Arkansas spring game, including pictures and statistics, check out the Hogs’ official web site.
AUBURN
  • An announced crowd of 53,209 showed up to watch the White (defense) team defeat the Blue (offense) 63-32 on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
  • Quarterbacks Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley did little to separate themselves from each other in a heated quarterback race. Trotter was 6-of-12 passing for 120 yards and a touchdown, while Moseley completed 9 of 15 passes for 82 yards.
  • With kicker Cody Parkey sidelined with a leg injury, Chandler Brooks made 3 of 5 field goals.
  • Tight end/receiver Philip Lutzenkirchen earned game MVP honors after catching four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown -- a 19-yarder from Trotter on the opening series, which proved to be the only touchdown of the scrimmage.
  • Anthony Morgan led all rushers with 57 yards on six carries. Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb combined to carry the ball seven times for 30 yards.
  • Junior defensive end Joel Bonomolo had a game-high 6.5 tackles, including two sacks.
  • Check out more on Auburn’s spring game on the Tigers' official web site.
GEORGIA
  • The Black team defeated the Red team 18-11 on Saturday in the annual G-Day spring game.
  • Quarterback Aaron Murray completed 12 of 17 passes for 122 yards and had a 28-yard screen pass to Branden Smith for a touchdown. Smith, also a key member of the Bulldogs' cornerback rotation on defense, is going to get some more chances on offense next season, Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
  • Runing back Carlton Thomas, playing for the Red team, led all rushers with 48 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Black running back Ken Malcome carried the ball seven times for 39 yards and a touchdown.
  • Defensively, linebackers Chase Vasser and Alec Ogletree both recorded seven tackles. Black defensive end Reuben Faloughi had three sacks and Red defensive tackle Derrick Lott had two, including one for a safety.
  • Sophomore nose guard Kwame Geathers had two tackles for loss and was named by the coaches as the spring's defensive MVP. Tight end Orson Charles shared offensive MVP honors with Murray.
  • The official Georgia web site has more on the Bulldogs' spring game.
OLE MISS
  • An estimated crowed of 28,000 watched as the Red team rallied to tie the Blue 17-17 on Saturday in the 2011 BancorpSouth Grove Bowl.
  • Quarterback Randall Mackey, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Rebels this spring, led the Red comeback going 9-of-18 passing for 151 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Blue quarterback Barry Brunetti, who transferred from West Virginia in January, finished with 211 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-21 passing. Quarterback Zack Stoudt missed Saturday’s game because of a violation of team academic rules.
  • Running back Devin Thomas rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown for the Red. Senior running back Brandon Bolden sat out the game with an ankle injury. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Vincent Sanders grabbed four catches for 96 yards for the Blue, while sophomore Terrell Grant caught four passes for 61 yards for the Red team.
  • The plays of the day came on a 90-yard touchdown pass from Brunetti to receiver Korvic Neat in the second quarter and a 92-yard interception return by safety Ivan Nicholas in the same quarter. Nicholas is a junior college newcomer who enrolled in January.
  • Here’s more information on the Ole Miss spring game, courtesy of the Rebels' official web site.
TENNESSEE
  • An announced crowd of 29,451 watched the White team defeat the Orange team 24-7 on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.
  • Starting quarterback Tyler Bray, playing for the losing White team, had a dreadful day. He was 5-of-30 for 122 yards, but did throw a 54-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mychal Rivera.
  • Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said the game was a great example that the team that can control the line of scrimmage and run the ball is usually going to be the team that wins. Running backs Rajion Neal and Toney Williams combined for 113 rushing yards on 13 carries for the winning White team.
  • Backup quarterback Matt Simms was 6-of-13 for 93 yards and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Neal. Simms also had a 2-yard touchdown run. While there might not be a quarterback controversy at Tennessee, Dooley said the Vols would need Simms at some point next season to go in and win them a football game.
  • Defensive tackle Malik Jackson led the White team with three tackles, two of them for loss. Safety Brent Brewer had seven tackles to lead the Orange team.
  • For more on the Vols’ spring game, go to their official web site.
VANDERBILT
  • An estimated crowd of 7,500 turned out to see the Black team beat the Gold team 19-7 on Sunday in the first Black & Gold spring game of the James Franklin era. The Commodores held an autograph session prior to the game and a fireworks show afterward.
  • The Black team, which was led by the Larry Smith-to-Jordan Matthews connection, scored the game’s final 19 points to win after falling behind 7-0 early. Smith finished 16-of-26 for 233 yards. His only touchdown pass was a 23-yarder to Matthews on fourth down with 27 seconds to play in the first half. Matthews, one of the Commodores’ top playmakers all spring, finished with seven catches for 103 yards.
  • Smith threw an interception, but also caught a touchdown pass. Running back Zac Stacy connected with Smith on a 10-yard scoring toss on the final play of the game.
  • Franklin was impressed with junior tackle Colt Nichter and senior end Tim Fugger on the defensive line. Franklin said their pressure was a big reason Smith didn’t get off to a fast start. The two sides combined for eight sacks, and Nichter had two of those. Franklin said the development of Vanderbilt’s offensive line from now until the season opener against Elon will be as important as anything next season.
  • Go to Vanderbilt’s official web site for more coverage of the Commodores’ spring game.

Chris Low | email

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