Josh Kendall

News and views about Gamecocks football

Kendall's Morning Meeting: Schedule getting tougher, USC loses two recruits, and family matters at UGA

09/23/2013 8:21 AM

09/23/2013 9:30 AM

     South Carolina’s schedule got harder this weekend.

     When Florida lost starting quarterback Jeff Driskel for the season due to a broken leg suffered early in the Gators’ 31-17 win over Tennessee, the Gators inserted Tyler Murphy. The notion that the loss of Driskel, who looked terrible in the first month of the season, would hurt Florida’s offense was a mystifying notion to me, even moreso one I saw Murphy play.

     Murphy combined for 218 yards and two touchdowns with his arms and legs.

     “When Jeff (Driskel) had his appendix out to start training camp, Tyler came in and really took a step forward in this program,” Gators coach Will Muschamp said. “He did an outstanding job running our football team. He had a great training camp and put himself in a position to be very successful, and it certainly carried over to yesterday.”

     By the time the Gamecocks take on the Gators on Nov. 16, Florida might actually have a competent offense to go along with what is shaping up to be the SEC’s best defense.

     (Speaking of future opponents, don’t look now but Missouri is not the dumpster fire it was last year. The Tigers beat Indiana 45-28 on Saturday. I know what you’re thinking, Indiana, but the Hoosiers had actually shown a pulse this year. Beating the Tigers in their Columbia on Oct. 26 will not be easy.)

     We don’t usually talk much recruiting here, but I found an interesting article about the two Georgia kids who decommitted from South Carolina on Sunday. Cornerback Wesley Green, a senior, and defensive end Arden Key, a junior, of M.L. King High School each backed off their pledges.

     “After they talked it over with their families, they just thought it would be best decision for right now,” M.L. King coach Cortez Allen told the AJC on Sunday night. “It’s just to make sure that they are doing the right thing and have the best situation moving forward. They both enjoyed their visits up there, and they like what South Carolina has going on. But they hadn’t really heard from South Carolina a whole lot, and that kind of worried them. I think they both still really like South Carolina. But again, just from their standpoint, you know how kids are. They were asking me about why weren’t hearing much from South Carolina.”

    If you want a sneak peak of the story you will hear the most about this week, here it is: Zach Mettenberger is returning to Athens as LSU’s quarterback. Mettenberger, whose mother Tammy is a longtime administrative assistant in Georgia’s football office, was once a Bulldog quarterback but was kicked off the team in 2010 after pleading guilty to sexual battery charges.

    Georgia coach Mark Richt is trying to treat it like any other week, but he did give Tammy Mettenberger the week off, he said.

     “I won’t bring it up other than trying to defend the quarterback who happens to be Zach Mettenberger,” Richt said. “But, I mean, we’re not going to talk about him being Zach Mettenberger as much as he’s 6-foot-5, 230-whatever-he-is and can sling it. We’re going to do the best we can to defend him and defend their offense. But we’re not going to get into anything other than he’s an opponent we’re trying to defeat.”

    As most of you have heard by now, former Tennessee running back Arian Foster has revealed that he violated NCAA rule by accepting money while a Volunteer. Foster’s college coach, Phillip Fulmer says if it happened, he had no idea.

     “As the head coach at Tennessee for 17 years, I took great pride in having a program that was NCAA compliant, as did our staff and administration,” Fulmer said in a statement released to the Associated Press on Sunday. “If we knew of a violation, big or small, we reported it.”

     And, finally, as we talked about last week, I moved Oregon to No. 1 in my poll, becoming one of four voters to tab the Ducks No. 1. Here’s the poll I submitted Sunday morning. Give me a shout here or on Twitter (@JoshatTheState) if you’ve got any questions.

1.    Oregon
2.    Alabama
3.    Stanford
4.    LSU
5.    Ohio State
6.    Clemson
7.    Texas A&M
8.    Florida State
9.    Georgia
10.    South Carolina
11.    Louisville
12.    Miami
13.    Baylor
14.    Washington
15.    Oklahoma
16.    Oklahoma State
17.    UCLA
18.    Florida
19.    Arizona State
20.    Wisconsin
21.    Northwestern
22.    Notre Dame
23.    Fresno State
24.    Texas Tech
25.    Ole Miss


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