Dec 3, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detail view of a SEC sign following the 2011 SEC championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Around The SEC (April 12): Bobby Petrino's Gone; Vols' King is back

We all know by now that Bobby Petrino has been fired by Arkansas. His affair with Jessica Dorrell lasted at least 7 months and phone records show that the two texted and talked countless times and one day exchanged 91 texts and another day exchanged 85 texts in just 5 hours. Records show video and picture files sent from Petrino’s to Dorrell. Rumors are beginning to surface that he may have sent her naked pictures. Let’s pray that he did not. They will be all over the internet and it’s just not something that any of us really want to see. On the other hand, lets hope that Dorrell sent the coach some picture and video files. That wouldn’t be bad on the eyes at all. The Razorbacks have not made a move yet as far as a new head coach is concerned but a lot of rumors say they want to stay in house.

Alabama will play its annual A-Day game Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is 2:00pm and senior offensive lineman Barrett Jones is looking forward to seeing the team in a game situation. “A-Day is always a fun time, and we are excited,” Jones said. “It’s the first chance to see the 2012 Alabama team as a unit to go out there in a game setting and perform. I think sometimes people perform just a little bit better in a game situation than in practice, but I’ll be excited to see just how we come together as a unit and perform.”

Auburn held it’s 12th spring practice on Wednesday at Jordan-Hare Stadium and head coach Gene Chizik liked what he saw. “We’re at a point where the days are ticking down; today, I thought, was a step in the right direction.” Chizik said. “We did some good things on both sides of the ball. I thought we ran the ball a little bit better today. We’re a work in progress but today, I thought, was a step in the right direction.” The Tigers’ version of A-Day takes place Saturday. Tickets are $5 dollars and select students get free admission.

Kentucky announced that it’s September 2nd game at Louisville will be broadcast on ESPN. The Wildcats will have the annual Blue/White game on April 21st at Commonwealth Stadium at 6:00pm. Head coach Joker Phillips likes the way his defense is taking shape. “I was a little concerned (Saturday) about both sides of the ball, but once you look at it – especially from a head-coach’s standpoint – when you got a chance to see it on film, it was really competitive,” Phillips said.  “Both sides can’t win, so I thought the thing I saw from the defense is how fast they started. They stopped the number one offense three straight series. That means our defense was playing well.”

Mississippi State’s last practice had head coach Dan Mullen upbeat. “We were sloppy at times and need to be more consistent on both sides of the ball, but it was a good day. Got some solid work in,” Mullen said after a little over 100 plays on the Shira Complex practice fields. “The offense moved the ball some, but had too many three-and-outs. The defense gave up some long drives. Just need to get it all working together, but it was a good start.” Tyler Russell and redshirt freshman Dak Prescott each threw two touchdown passes.

Ole Miss will hold the annual “Grove Bowl” Saturday April 21st at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium. Kickoff is at 1:00pm and fans should expect to see a good defensive unit. “I love what (defensive coordinator) Dave (Wommack) and his staff are doing over there,” said head coach Hugh Freeze, “I do believe that in this league a great defense gives you more opportunities to score. I know you have to play great defense, and I’m pleased with where they are today. They disguise things very well. They’re coming from a lot of different places, and our O-line was struggling to pick it up.”

South Carolina is ready for Saturday’s Garnet & Black Spring Game and head coach Steve Spurrier is hoping that the current players are ready to fill the shoes of those who have left. “We’re still a `wait-and-see’ bunch,” said Coach Spurrier. “Alshon (Jeffery’s) gone, so there’s a bunch of yards there. Melvin (Ingram’s) gone, so there’s a bunch of sacks, special teams scores, defensive scores. Antonio Allen is gone. So we’re an unknown team right now. Somebody has got to step forward. We don’t do a lot in the spring, so we’ll find out when we play Vandy, first game on Thursday night. That’s when we’ll find out what kind of ball team we’ve got.”

Texas A & M will hold a scrimmage Saturday at Kyle Field and fans are encouraged to attend. The annual Spring Game will be held April 28th at 1:00pm.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt awarded the spring practice offensive MVP’s to a pair of quarterbacks. Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason were given the annual award. Murray was voted to the All-SEC first team in 2011 while Mason appeared in four games, throwing two touchdown passes. The Bulldogs will play the annual G-Day game Saturday at Sanford Stadium at 3:00pm.

Missouri will the play their annual Black & Gold Spring Game Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00pm and admission is $3. In last weekends scrimmage the Defense topped the Offense 20-8. Michael Sam had 3 sacks to lead the way.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp has gone over the film from last weekends scrimmage and liked the improvement he has seen from the offensive line. “We got better up front,” he said. “That was the biggest thing that held us back last year, being able to consistently run the ball and protect the quarterback. We made strides there. I feel like we got some things accomplished. The biggest goal going into spring was the physical and mental toughness of what we’re trying to do.”

Tennessee linebacker Greg King is ready to go after an injury plagued career with the Volunteers. As a freshman he played in 9 games before a chipped bone in his elbow forced hi to the sidelines. Since then he has been in 5 games in two years. 2010 saw four of those games before season ending knee surgery did him in. Then he played on the special teams unit in one game in 2011.  “But that’s part of football,” King said. “You tend to get up and down but you’ve just got to keep moving. How do I feel? I’m ready to roll. Rock and roll.”

Vanderbilt will hold the annual Black & Gold Spring Game Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:00pm and admission is free. There will also be a fireworks show after the game. Head coach James Franklin likes the progress that has been made through the air. “I think we’ve gotten better in that area and made more plays,” Franklin said. “I think (wide receivers coach Josh) Gattis is doing a really, really good job with our guys. He brings a toughness to that group and has them working hard.”

Ray Blanchette covers the SEC for the Saturday Blitz. . He also writes for Outside The Redzone. Follow along at www.outsidetheredzone.com. Blanchette is the owner of Blanchette Sports Holdings. Follow along with them at www.blanchettesh.elementfx.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100003521034703&sk=wall or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/BlanchettSports

Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Arkansas Razorbacks Auburn Tigers Bobby Petrino Bryant-denny Stadium Commonwealth Stadium Dak Prescott Dan Mullen Dave Wommack ESPN Florida Gators Gene Chizik Georgia Bulldogs Greg King Grove Nowl Hugh Freeze Hutson Mason James Franklin Jessica Dorrell Joker Phillips Kentucky Kyle Field Louisville Mark Richt Melvin Ingram Memorial Stadium Michael Sam Mississippi State Missouri Ole Miss Ray Blanchette Sanford Stadium Saturday Blitz SEC Shira Complex South Carolina Gamecocks Steve Spurrier Tennessee Volunteers Texas A&M Aggies Tyler Russell Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Stadium Vaught-hemmingway Stadium Will Muschamp

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