Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tide enters title game hurting at WR

Alabama receiver Kenny Bell, one of the team’s top deep threats, is helped from the field after breaking his leg during the first half of Saturday’s game against Auburn, knocking him out for the season.

Associated Press

Alabama receiver Kenny Bell, one of the team’s top deep threats, is helped from the field after breaking his leg during the first half of Saturday’s game against Auburn, knocking him out for the season.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 2 Alabama's once-deep receiving corps has been hit by its third big injury.

The Crimson Tide lost deep threat Kenny Bell to a broken leg against Auburn, marking the third major hit among receivers this season. It has left a thinned-out group facing No. 3 Georgia in Saturday's SEC Championship Game.

Coach Nick Saban said Monday he's considering playing touted freshman Chris Black, who had shoulder surgery in August, over the final two games. Black is in line for a redshirt season.

"He's been practicing for three weeks now. Now he's been cleared," Saban said Monday. "So we're going to try to get him some reps because we're getting down to where we only have maybe five guys that have much experience at the position. We still feel good about the guys that we have. We just need to get more guys ready to play so that they can complement each other.

"You'd like to be able to roll guys in and out at that position."

The Tide has been able to do that pretty well this season despite the casualties. DeAndrew White started the first five games before a season-ending knee injury against Mississippi.

Now, Bell has had surgery and is out five or six weeks. Saban said it's up to the team doctors to determine when he can return.

Bell has a team-high 25.4 yards per catch and has the team's two longest receptions, 85 yards against Florida Atlantic and 57 against Mississippi State.

The biggest playmaker for quarterback AJ McCarron has clearly been freshman Amari Cooper, easily the team leader with 767 yards and eight touchdowns. He has three 100-yard games in his past six despite being held without a catch against LSU, when he missed the second half with an ankle injury.

"The one you notice is Cooper, obviously," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "He's the leading receiver. He's definitely the go-to guy, the deep ball guy, made some wonderful plays. Some of the long yardage receptions have been just launching it out there deep and him making a play. He's also caught a couple balls, shorter range balls, made people miss, has taken it to the house or had some big plays.

"He's very versatile. They have a couple other guys that have been outstanding for them, as well."

Kevin Norwood and Christion Jones are veterans having solid seasons, but no other healthy wideout has more than four catches.

MUTE MURRAY: With Georgia one win away from playing for a national championship, quarterback Aaron Murray has suddenly imposed a media blackout.

The school said that Murray, the former Plant High standout, met with coach Mark Richt and got permission to be relieved from his media responsibilities leading up to the SEC Championship Game against Alabama.

Murray has always been one of Georgia's most accessible players, usually meeting with the media on Tuesdays and after games. But he gave a hint that his approach would change when he didn't hang around after last week's win over Georgia Tech, appearing to catch the sports information staff off guard.

One of his best friends, linebacker Christian Robinson, said Murray simply wants to make sure his entire focus is on beating the Crimson Tide.

CHATTY MANZIEL: The legend of Johnny Football has grown all season while Johnny Manziel piled up yards and the Texas A&M Aggies piled up wins.

Monday, the freshman quarterback finally weighed in on his catchy nickname as he spoke to the media for the first time all season.

"I think a lot of people here in Aggieland enjoy it," he said. "But I find it extremely funny."

The success of Manziel and the Aggies is no joke. His 4,600 yards of total offense have helped A&M to its first 10-win season since 1998 and has him among the top Heisman Trophy contenders.

Manziel said he respected coach Kevin Sumlin's decision for him not to speak to the media this season because he's a freshman. But he said he's happy to have a chance to talk about this season.

"It's kind of nice now to be able to kind of let you guys know how I am a little bit more," he said. "There's so many question marks out there."

Sumlin, who is in his first year at A&M after four seasons at Houston, raved about Manziel and said he was a catalyst for what his team was able to do in its first season in the SEC.

"He's a tremendous competitor and a tremendous leader, and that's something that you really don't see in a player as a redshirt freshman," Sumlin said. "His leadership on and off the field throughout the season has made our season a real successful one."

HAWAII BOWL: SMU accepted an invitation to play the Christmas Eve game against a team from the Mountain West.

POINSETTIA BOWL: San Diego State accepted a bid to face BYU in the Dec. 20 bowl in San Diego.

GA. TECH: The school opened practice for the ACC Championship Game without leading rusher Orwin Smith, but the senior said he "definitely" plans to practice today and hopes to play in Saturday night's game against FSU. Smith missed last week's 42-10 loss to Georgia with a sprained right ankle.

MICHIGAN: Coach Brady Hoke said a medical-redshirt request is being sent to the Big Ten on quarterback Devin Gardner's behalf. If a medical hardship is granted, Gardner will be eligible to play during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Gardner was limited to three games as a freshman at least in part because of a back injury.

PITT: Coach Paul Chryst dismissed redshirt freshman defensive back Stephen Williams from the team for disciplinary reasons two days after he was charged with assaulting a woman who said she was his girlfriend.

TEXAS: Coach Mack Brown said Case McCoy will start at quarterback this week at Kansas State. Starter David Ash is listed as questionable after a rib injury in last week's loss to TCU.

Up next

Florida: Regular season over

Florida State: ACC Championship Game vs. Georgia Tech at Charlotte, N.C., 8 p.m. Saturday. TV: ESPN

USF: vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. Saturday. TV: ESPN2

Miami: Season over

UCF: C-USA Championship Game at Tulsa, noon Saturday. TV: ESPN2

Tide enters title game hurting at WR 11/26/12 [Last modified: Monday, November 26, 2012 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.