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September 13, 2010

Notebook: Richardson earns SEC honor

TUSCALOOSA _ University of Alabama sophomore running back Trent Richardson was named co-Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week on Monday, sharing the honor with South Carolina freshman running back Marcus Lattimore.

Richardson had a career-high 144 rushing yards on 22 carries with one touchdown Saturday against No. 18 Penn State, which hadn't allowed a 100-yard performance in 17 games (Iowa's Shonn Greene, Nov. 8, 2009). He also had four receptions for 46 yards to help him finish with 207 all-purpose yards.

Lattimore had 182 yards on 37 carries (a school freshman record) and scored the game's only two touchdowns as the Gamecocks beat Georgia 17-6.

"D.J. Fluker did a very good job in the game as well," Nick Saban said in announcing the coaching staff's weekly honors.

Richardson and Fluker shared the offensive award, while safeties Mark Barron and Robert Lester earned the defensive award and Julio Jones on special teams. Barron, who tallied six tackles, a forced fumble and an interception, was an honorable mention selection for SEC defensive player of the week.

Arkansas kickoff

CBS announced that it broadcast next week's game at Arkansas, with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

Except for UAB at Tennessee, which will be the 11:30 a.m. game on the SEC Network, every other SEC game on Sept. 25 will be played at night with Kentucky at Florida (6 p.m. ESPNU), Georgia at Mississippi State (6 p.m. FSN), Fresno State at Ole Miss (6:30 p.m. CSS), South Carolina at Auburn (6:45 p.m., ESPN), and West Virginia at LSU (8 p.m., ESPN2).

The quotable Mr. Jones

Jones in the interview room Monday:

On Kevin Norwood's flip into the end zone: "I think the guy was off-balance."

On his two drops: "I'm so ready to make a play, I just have to tone it down some, catch the ball first and then make a play. I'm so hyped up, ready to go, but you can't do anything without the ball."

On Lester's fumble return that was fumbled: "That monkey jumped on his back, he got fatigued."

On being happier this year and how much of that is because he's healthy: "One hundred percent. I'm having a good time."

Just like they practiced

Nose tackles Josh Chapman and Kerry Murphy will be seeing familiar face on Saturday as Duke's center is their former Hoover High School teammate Bryan Morgan.

"In high school he was a tackle and nobody beat him on pass drills and he prided himself on that," Chapman said. "He's a hard worker."

Morgan, a three-year start and team captain, is on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Award for center of the year. In high school he was one of three finalists for Alabama's 2005 6A Lineman of the Year award.

He's also known for something else, music, which is his major. He was known for composing music even in high school.

Another coaching icon

Saban is still being asked about Saturday's pregame moment on the field with Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno.

"Those guys are icons in our profession and I never personally thought I would be standing on the field talking to either one of them, let alone both together," he said.

Saturday he just might get a chance to shake hands with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and is currently reading one of his books.

"I think he's another one of those icon coaches relative to what he does, whether it's John Wooden and people like that you try and learn from," Saban said. "You're always interested and anxious to learn how they feel, learn how they see things, learn how they do things, whether it's philosophically or systematically, you learn something to implement to make your program better."

Tide-bits

Acting as the safety on kick coverage freshman Cade Foster has as many team tackles as DeMarcus Milliner, Kerry Murphy and Darrington Sentimore (two). "Cade was a linebacker in high school so he is a football player, is aggressive and has made several tackles in kickoff coverage. That's a benefit because it's an area we need to improve on. We're better than we were this like last year in kickoff coverage but still not as effective as we'd like to be."

Senior quarterback Greg McElroy's bid to become a Rhodes Scholar received a major boost when he and another candidate were endorsed by the university out of five candidates. "That's really encouraging," he said. McElroy is continuing to work on his essay and has only one B on his transcript from a management and leadership class. "They actually asked me about that during the interview. It went pretty well, I think that was one of my better answers."

Wide receiver Marquis Maze on his taking the snap in wildcat formation: "It's called the bobcat, because a bobcat is faster than a wildcat." Incidentally, Maze played quarterback for part of his career at Tarrant High School.


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