JOE BIDDLE: Sunday notes: Sept. 20, 2015

Football Sports Generic
(Graphic: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Peerless Price . . .

GATOR GROWL: What was first year Florida coach Jim McIlwain thinking when he went off on Gators running back Kelvin Taylor on the sidelines of last week’s game?

McIlwain was oh, so close to being out of control. He was launching a string of profanities, full of f-bombs, in Taylor’s face after Taylor had given a throat slash sign, which led to a 15-yard penalty against the Gators in the East Carolina game.

Yes, Taylor needed to be reprimanded, but it should have been done in the locker room or at least in a less emotional way. McIlwain demoted Taylor, the son of former Gator and NFL great Fred Taylor, to No. 3 running back on the depth chart.

McIlwain later apologized, adding that his mother scolded him.

“I’m not proud of it,’’ he said. “My mother is 94 years old and I got an ear full from her.’’

SIGN OF TIMES: ESPN’s Game Day was parked in Tuscaloosa prior to the Alabama-Ole Miss game.  As always I was interested in the homemade signs displayed behind the set in a sea of college age faces.

Here are some of the ones that I particularly liked:

“Ohio State also schedules Weddings, Barmitzvas, Birthday Parties.’’

“Last Time Ole Miss won the SEC, JFK was President.’’

Two co-eds held this one up: “I keep trying to DVR The Biggest Loser, but it keeps recording Ole Miss football games.’’

“Tebow is cut more than my lawn.’’

TULSA PLAYS: Tulsa was trailing heavy favorite Oklahoma, 24-3 at one point. Later the Golden Hurricanes had a great onside kick that they recovered.

It was 31-17 late in the first half before Tulsa QB Dane Evans threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone, a pass that carried more than 50 yards. The Sooners were burned as Tulsa wide receiver Keyarris Garrett went up against one defender and came down with the ball with 12 seconds left in the first half. It pushed the halftime score to 31-24, Sooners. Think Bob Stoops team had a little meltdown, perhaps celebrating too much on beating a Tennessee team that found several ways to lose the week before.

All was well that ended well as Tulsa was outscored, 21-14 in the second half to lose, 52-38. The Sooners have become a second half team thus far.

Tulsa put up 603 yards against Oklahoma, but its defense gave up 773 yards.

FLUTIE ON PEYTON: Denver won a close game against Kansas City, but quarterback Peyton Manning struggled at times during the game.

Radio talk show host Dan Patrick asked guest Doug Flutie to diagnose Manning’s game at this point in his career.

“It looks like he is in pain out there right now,’’ Flutie said. “The looks on his face, the way he’s getting hit. . . . Things worked out in the end. Yes, he smiled a little bit, but he’s not smiling much.

“It’s a grind. He looks like it’s a lot of work right now. Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to have half the career Peyton has had.’’

If first year Broncos coach Gary Kubiak is smart, he will allow Manning to run the offense he has been comfortable and productive with for years. At 39 years old, Manning isn’t going to take the number of snaps under center Kubiak wants him to. Manning is more comfortable in the shotgun where he has more time to see the coverage and get the ball out quicker. He is not a read option QB, or one that fakes a handoff and runs around the end.

WHAT CIVICS CLASS?  I don’t know what Michigan tight end Jake Butt is majoring in, but I doubt he has taken any civics classes or watched any TV newscasts.

Butt is a confused would-be voter. He asked on Twitter, “Is Hillary Clinton married?’’

Butt is a junior at Michigan. What are they studying? He is the Butt of a lot of jokes these days.

SUPER BOWL BOUND: Based on one game, the Titans chances of making the Super Bowl have jumped up the scale.

Bovada in Las Vegas had the Titans at 200-1 before the first game, which they beat Tampa Bay on the road.

They are now 75-1. Get your Super Bowl tickets before they’re gone. Bovada odds to win the AFC South have the Colts a strong favorite at 2/7. They are followed by Houston at 5-1, the Titans at 15/2 and Jacksonville at 25-1.

Imagine what will happen if they beat the Browns and go to 2-0.

MORE ODDS: This is only the fourth time in the last four years that the Titans haven’t been an underdog on the road.

The Broncos under Manning have only been underdogs five times and are 1-4 against the spread in those games.

The Cowboys are true road warriors. They are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 away games.

HEISMAN HOUSE: Nissan has an array of commercials that feature Heisman Trophy winners.

I don’t know if any of them have been shown. I haven’t seen any except on You Tube. They are set in a non-existent Heisman House, where a number of former Heisman Trophy winners display their acting skills.

One features former Titans star Eddie George playing ping-pong against current Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota. After a lengthy volley, Mariota slammed a shot that George couldn’t get a paddle on. George protested. “That’s not fair, man,’’ George whined.

“What’s not fair?’’ Mariota wondered.

LET’S PULVERIZE PEAY: Poor Austin Peay. The OVC team served as fodder for a Vanderbilt team desperately looking for its first win of the season.

A 41-7 old fashioned whupping at Vanderbilt Stadium did the trick. I strongly suggest the Commodores put Peay on the schedule every season.

I’m not sure how much the Commodores gained by a game that looked like they were clubbing baby seals, but Vanderbilt did need a dose of confidence after starting 0-2 and seldom visiting the opponent’s end zone.

“This is a game we should have won,’’ said Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason understated. “That’s what confidence building is all about – beat the teams you’re supposed to beat and surprise other teams.’’

It was a record-breaking day for Vandy wide receiver Trent Sherfield, who snared 16 passes from quarterback Johnny McCrary.

“He made some great plays,’’ McCrary said of Sherfield. “He was executing out there and when you start executing like that, things are going to open up.’’

Mason said the win was just what the doctor ordered.

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,’’ said Dr., uh, Derek Mason. “To quote Mary Poppins. It really does. … Now we have to pack up this offense on the road, pack up this defense on the road and go into a hostile environment.’’

He was referring to Ole Miss, not to be confused for Austin Peay.

McCrary had struggled with accuracy in his first two games.

Against Peay, McCrary went 28 of 33 with no interceptions, 368 yards, two touchdowns and no sacks. A good day at the office I would say.

You can contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at joebiddle11@gmail.com

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