Saturday, August 19, 2006

The amazing telekinetic powers of Titus Brown are the reason Miss. State could win the SEC this year...

...if by this year I mean in some crazy NCAA 2007 dynasty world.
Blazers Focus on Running Game During Second Scrimmage

UAB scrimmaged at Legion Field this afternoon and the defense is, for a change, the strong point of the Blazer football team. This was mostly a chance to get backups and younger guys onto the field, with the first team units going against the second team units. Overall they managed to intercept Sam Hunt twice (one that was returned 30 yards for a TD) and Chris Williams once. The running game was paid special attention as the Blazers rushed 70 times versus 39 passing attempts. Junior backup RB Tony Shepherd led the team with 93 yards on 18 attempts (5.16 ypc) and one touchdown. Dan Burks also scored a rushing touchdown while gaining 34 yards on 7 attempts (4.85 ypc). The QB situation continues to be a question mark as Williams, Hunt, or Webb seems able to show consistency while running the offense. Williams was 7 of 15 for 75 yards and an interception, Hunt went 7 of 12 with one touchdown (a 65 yarder to freshman standout Mike Jones) and two interecptions, and Webb hit 8 of 12 for 100 yards. With Watson determined to platoon his QBs and none of them making a clear cut case against it, I guess we can begin calling the UAB QB plan "Cerberus" and hoping no one shows up with a lyre...

Would be a better fit with Stadium Security...
One more reason to love Johnny Cash: Sense of Humor

Friday, August 18, 2006

Stewart Mandel checks in from Norman and confirms what pretty much everyone knows is the key to a Blazer upset; making the Sooners win through the air. To wit:

During Wednesday's practice, (new starting QB) Thompson was mostly solid with the underneath routes but often floated the ball or underthrew his receivers when going downfield.

And then the inevitable caveat:

With Adrian Peterson in the backfield and a defense that should be one of the nation's best, it's not like the Sooners need Thompson to throw for 3,000 yards. But they can't afford to be one-dimensional, either, particularly with stud receivers like Malcolm Kelly (who made two out-of-this world catches Wednesday) at their disposal.

With Rick Christophel, the man who had the Blazer defense ranked fifth overall and first against the run during the 2001 season (his second and last year at that position), back in control of the defense and a D-line and linebacking corp returning plenty of game experience and depth, hopefully history can repeat itself.
Driving home from work I realized that the disc changer in my car is bizarrely out of tune with my typical musical preferences lately. Here's a quick look see:

1) Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
2) Led Zeppelin - BBC Sessions (Disc 2)
3) Silversun Pickups - Pikul
4) The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
5) An indie rock mix that I made for The Girl, and which is also the greatest of all mix tapes ever and the reason I made a copy for myself and still listen to it. Download it here (65 MB zip file at yousendit), and find out for yourself.
6) A Merle Haggard mix that I made for The Girl after we saw him and Dylan. It's basically greatest hits plus some stuff from Same Train, A Different Time and A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World.
7) An Ol' Dirty Bastard mix.
8) Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
9) The Grey Album
10) A rap mix that The Girl made me featuring a bunch of dirty, perverted songs designed to make me blush. To put it another way, The Whisper Song is the cleanest one on there.

Merle and Zeppelin aside, I suddenly feel a strange urge to lose 80 lbs and start wearing girl jeans...

In other music related news, in celebration of Billy Corgan reportedly entering the studio with a batch of songs intended for a new Pumpkins album:

Hopefully at least Iha gets on board (it would be nice to have D'arcy for a full on reunion but if not, eh), but even without him if we can at least get another Zwan quality record instead of an Adore redux I'll be happy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

In part eight of the ten part "Celebrity Ass I'm Reasonably Certain I Could Kick" series is Troy Gentry. The sissy, redneck-metro half of the country duo Montgomery Gentry "was arraigned in federal court this week on a charge of conspiracy to falsely label an animal." That's right folks, he paid to shoot a tame bear while it was in it's pen and then tried to make it look like he hunted and killed it in the wild. While there is no way in hell I would mess with the scary trenchcoated guy, I'm pretty sure ol' T-roy is ripe for an ass kicking.

Bow hunting in a strip mall parking lot...right up Troy's alley.
Is it just me, or does the keyboard player from Little Feat...

...look like a really skinny Ron Perlman?
Leave it to a Canadian to somehow be both a SEC and PAC10 fan. I seriously have to hear how "Roll Tide" comes out in a Canadian accent...

We have ways of making you pronounce the letter 'O.'
The Birmingham News has an article up about new starting receiver Willie Edwards. Edwards moved into the starting role when Norris Drinkard moved over to the Z position formerly occupied by the injured Nick Coon. What's interesting, and what I didn't know, was that Edwards suffered a concussion against Florida State in '04 and was hospitalized after suffering a seizure in the locker room the next week after the Memphis win.

"There was a time I had to learn how to walk again," Edwards said. "I was on serious medication. I couldn't really go back to school and I had to always keep my head still. I had to walk around with a brace on my neck."

After working his way back onto the field, he suffered another seizure in '05 against Troy, costing him another season. He attributes that seizure to stress from family issues and school, but it still caused he and the coaches to doubt whether he'd ever play again. But now he's back and starting, and hopefully he can remain healthy and get the opportunity to play up to his potential.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bad news for the Blazers...Nick Coon is out indefinitely after seperating his shoulder during Sunday's Scrimmage. He will be out at least four to six weeks, possibly back in time for the Georgia game, but can redshirt if it's longer. Norris Drinkard is moving over to his position at "Z," moving Willie Parker up to first team in the "X" position formerly held by Drinkard. Sophomore Sylvester Mencer and freshman Mike Jones are behind Drinkard (with freshman running back Rashad Slaughter also moving to WR in that position) while freshman Courtney Smith now moves up to second team behind Edwards. Edwards has had a productive pre-season and Drinkard has plenty of game experience and has been a standout when given the chance, but neither has been as reliable as Coon on deep passes. Hopefully Drinkard and Edwards can step up and several of the freshmen can get in and contribute as well.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blazer Names to Know: #28 Marculus Elliott

Third on the depth chart at RB is #28 Marculus Elliott. Ever a backup, Elliott has been effective when given the opportunity. More of a finesse runner than the power running duo of White and Burks, Elliott came on strong at the end of last season in place of the injured Burks. In the last three games of the season, Elliott rushed for 292 yards on 47 carries, finishig the '05 season with a team best 6 ypc average. He had a banner day in the loss to UCF, rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns on only 8 attempts (14.5 ypc). The next week at UTEP saw a 71 yard performance for Elliott, followed by a 105 yard effort in the season ending loss to ECU. One of four seniors in the backfield with at least one 100 yard game, Elliott should have plenty more opportunities to showcase his abilities in the new run first offense.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

If I had a dime for every time this happened to me at a family reunion...

UAB held it's first full scrimmage today. It was scheduled for Saturday, but was moved to Sunday because of the wet weather. Some relevant points:

- Penalties seemed to be a factor:

"It looked like a first scrimmage," said Brown. "I thought it was a good solid day. The kids got after each other and played hard. We had some mistakes, too many penalties. You'd like not to see that many in a scrimmage. I'm disappointed in that and we've got to get more disciplined."

- QB Stats:

Williams - 7 of 11 for 109 yards and 1 TD
Hunt - 6 of 13 for 84 yards
Webb - 8 of 12 for 73 yards and 1 TD

Williams looks like the standout and will likely see most of the action, but Watson has been adamant about playing Hunt and possibly Webb (a redshit freshman that's essentially the QB of the future for the Blazers) throughout the season.

- RB Stats:

The four seniors saw limited duty:
Chaney - 32 yards on 8 carries (4 ypc)
Elliott - 25 yards on 5 carries (5 ypc)
White - 18 yards on 6 carries (3 ypc)
Burks - 14 yards on 5 carries (2.8 ypc)

Meanwhile junior RB Tony Shepherd looked sharpest, rushing for 37 yards on 6 carries (6.16 ypc).

- Receiving Stats:

Here's where the bad news starts. Nick Coon, after being ineffective the past two seasons due to leg injuries, left early with a shoulder injury. He had four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown before leaving. Hopefully it's nothing serious and he'll be back on the field when practice resumes tomorrow morning. Norris Drinkard pulled in three for 33 yards, true freshman Courtney Smith caught four for 23 yards, and Daddy's Boy Steven Brown caught three for 34 yards.
A quick warning against purchasing electronics based on a political agenda:

A while back, the DVD player in my bedroom gave up the ghost. It was a night when my liberal (and dirty, not because she's liberal, just because she's dirty) friend Robin was in town, and after we went to see a movie I wanted to go by Wal-Mart to pick up a new one. For some dirty hippie reason she's opposed to shopping at Wal-Mart and insisted we go to Target instead, so being the nice guy that I am I went along and bought the cheapest one they had, which was a Tru Tech model. I assumed Tru Tech is the Target store brand and I didn't really have any reservations about it since I've had several Emerson, Sanyo, and Durabrand (the Wal-Mart store brands) electronics throughout the years, and while they may not have all the bells and whistles of the Sonys and RCAs of the world, they're cheap and they work dependably. What I forgot was my vow to never buy cheap electronics from Target again after the great "I need a portable CD player for the warehouse at work, and Target has them on sale for $14.99!" fiasco of '04. I actually bought two of them so we'd have one in the kitchen at the apartment, too. So I brought one in and unboxed it only to discover that the laser wasn't attached to anything. No problem, I got two, right? Wrong. I ran out to the car to get the other one, and IT DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A LASER IN IT. So I returned both of those and just got my money back and went a little further down 280 to the Wal-Marts and both of the ones I bought that night are still working today. So fast forward to the DVD player. When I got it home and plugged up, the remote control wouldn't work. I figured it was just the battery wasn't good, so the next morning I got up and ran to Walgreen's to get a new one. The battery wasn't the problem. So I boxed everything back up, returned to Target and, still not remembering the "Are you kidding me? There isn't even a laser in this one!" fiasco of '04, swapped it for another one. I got it home, plugged it up, and everything seemed to work fine for like a week. Since then I've had nothing but problems with it. It takes forever for it to recognize a DVD, sometimes I have to eject and re-insert the disk several times before it will, sometimes I even have to unplug it to get it to eject the damn put it simply, it's just a total piece. So next time you decide to purchase electronics from Target, go to Wal-Mart instead. They may not treat their workers like your hippie friends think they should, but at least their products work.

$27.96, and you can probably send it with your kids to college in 20 years...