Bama teammates impressed with Maze’s accuracy
Oct 06, 2010 | 1836 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TUSCALOOSA — It’s not easy to score perfectly on the college football passer efficiency chart.

One must throw a 99-yard touchdown on his only attempt to reach the magical number of 1261.6.

So Alabama wide receiver Marquis Maze’s efficiency of 589.6 is impressive, but his touchdown pass Saturday was 80 yards short of perfection.

Still, his 19-yarder to Michael Williams in the second quarter the 31-6 win over Florida drew high praise from his teammates. The former high school quarterback lofted his first collegiate pass for the score coming out of the Wildcat formation.

“He’s been telling us he can throw the whole time, but we didn’t believe him,” quarterback Greg McElroy said. “But he did a great job.”

Mark Ingram, the only other Wildcat quarterback to attempt a pass, gives the throwing advantage to Maze. Ingram’s pass against Auburn last season fell incomplete.

“He put that ball right on the money,” Ingram said. “Even if I did say I had a better arm, he proved me wrong. I’m 0-for-1 and he’s 1-for-1.”

• Lester left out:Though, the SEC interception leader, Tide safety Robert Lester didn’t get in on the act against Florida when three Gator passes were picked off.

“It actually had me kind of upset because I kinda got used to getting them,” Lester said with a smile. “So I feel like I had a bad game.”

The Foley product has four total interceptions after grabbing two against Arkansas, but linebackers snagged two of the three hauled in Saturday. There might be something behind that, he said.

“I think it is the quarterback kind of being afraid to put it out there,” Lester said. “I mean, I can’t blame him. If he doesn’t want to put it out there …”

—Michael Casagrande

Auburn

AUBURN — Last week’s 52-3 victory over the University of Louisiana at Monroe may have proven even more beneficial than an off week in many respects for the No. 8 Auburn Tigers.

Auburn got a chance to rest players who have been getting a lot of snaps, play some younger players who needed the experience, and work on areas where the Tigers need improvement.

“I feel like we were more in the right direction as opposed to in the wrong direction after looking at it,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said while discussing the ULM game at his Tuesday press conference. “Obviously there are glaring things that we could do better, but I don’t feel like last week we took a step back at all. I feel like we got better in some areas...”

Chizik said one of the benefits from the game was keeping the older players who were getting a break from action actively involved.

“I think it benefits them in a lot of ways, not just physically,” he said. “From a team morale standpoint, having those guys out there watching the younger guys play, coaching them, talking with them when they are coming off the sidelines.

“From a team standpoint, I think it is invaluable.  I think they have a vested interest in the guys who play behind them when they watch them. They will be able to coach them.  I told them in the locker room this game isn’t over for anybody.  If you’re out, it’s your job to watch your guy and coach your guy and encourage those guys. That happened.  I don’t think I even needed to tell them, but I did. They did a good job of that Saturday.”

One of the things the Tigers worked on was letting quarterback Cam Newton work on his pocket passing.

Newton, the Tigers’ leading rusher, did not have a carry.

“I think that was one of the things that going in we needed to be able to do,” Chizik said.  “There were times in the game where Cam could’ve made some better choices and he knows that and I think he was disappointed in some of the choices he made as a pocket passer, but I think that was invaluable experience.  

“One great think about Cameron is that he is a very smart player.  He understands when he makes a mistake and the value of not doing it twice.  I think he experienced a little bit of that Saturday.”

• Trotter still on the mend: The status of backup quarterback Barrett Trotter for Saturday’s game at Kentucky remains unknown.“I’d like to say it’s all great, but it’s going to be a day-by-day thing still,” Chizik said.  “Hopefully, he’ll be ready, but the evaluation process will continue for the next week.”

— Charles Bennett

Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday that quarterback John Brantley was “doing great” despite a rib injury.

Brantley left Saturday night’s 31-6 loss at Alabama with sore ribs. He returned for the next series and finished 16 of 31 passing for 202 yards, with two inteceptions.

Brantley said Monday he was in some pain but expected to play Saturday night when the 14th-ranked Gators host No. 12 LSU.

“I’m a little sore like any other game, but nothing major, nothing that’s going to stop me from doing anything,” Brantley said.

Oddsmakers don’t seem so sure. Several removed the game’s betting line, calling the Florida quarterback questionable.

— Associated Press

Left tackle Marcus Gilbert added to speculation about Brantley’s health Tuesday by saying the junior missed practice Sunday night.

“We kept him out a little bit,” Gilbert said. “He was limited, but I think he’ll be good to go this week.”

The Gators hope so. Although Brantley has struggled at times this season, his backup is a true freshman who admittedly doesn’t throw the ball very well. Trey Burton does have a 42-yard completion, the team’s longest of 2010, and scored six touchdowns against Kentucky two weeks ago.

But he’s taken most of his snaps out of the wildcat formation or at tight end, receiver and fullback. Burton has 15 carries for 60 yards and seven touchdowns, and has 12 receptions for 77 yards and a score.

How confident is he about playing quarterback full time?

“Real confident,” Burton said. “I practice every practice and I’m fine with it. But Brantley’s good. He’ll be able to play.”

Brantley, who replaced 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow this season, has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 902 yards and six touchdowns in five games. He also has three interceptions and been sacked four times.

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