Cats have 'good' practice before Birmingham trip

January 3, 2011 

LEXINGTON — The Kentucky football team had its final practice in Lexington on Sunday morning in the Nutter Field House as the Wildcats set their sights on playing Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.

"Another good practice, good energy, good enthusiasm," Coach Joker Phillips said. "We have to get better work on our special teams, though."

The Wildcats travel to Birmingham on Monday. The team will practice on Tuesday-Thursday and have a walk-through on Friday. The game is Saturday at noon EST.

Weis takes Florida job

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kansas City Chiefs Coach Todd Haley confirmed that Charlie Weis is leaving to become offensive coordinator at Florida.

Meanwhile, the rest of Will Muschamp's staff at Florida is taking shape.

The Gators hired receivers coach Aubrey Hill and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson. Florida also retained three current assistants Sunday.

Hill, who played at Florida, is returning to Gainesville after spending the last three years as Miami's receivers coach. He also served as the Hurricanes' recruiting coordinator last year and has ties to talent-rich South Florida.

Robinson, a former Auburn standout and NFL defensive back, comes to the Gators after serving as Texas Tech's secondary coach last year.

Maryland hires Edsall

BALTIMORE — Randy Edsall, who diligently worked to build the Connecticut football program into a winner, has been hired to pull off a similar feat at Maryland.

Edsall was picked Sunday to replace Ralph Friedgen, who was fired after a 10-year run at his alma mater.

Edsall spent 12 years at Connecticut. He guided the Huskies out of Division I-AA (now FBS) and into the Big East, where he won a pair of conference titles and earned post-season appearances in each of the last four years.

Connecticut lost to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.

The 52-year-old Edsall emerged as a surprise candidate for the job over the weekend. He beat out former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who was considered the favorite when the search began on Dec. 20.

Edsall did not accompany the team on its charter flight back to Connecticut, and players said he told them nothing of his coaching plans after the Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma.

Players said when they landed they began receiving text messages about reports Edsall had been hired at Maryland.

"We had a meeting in the locker room after the game with a bunch of farewells," defensive tackle Twyon Martin said. "If Edsall already had this decision made, we're kind of shocked he wouldn't have said anything then."

Gamecocks WR to turn pro

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina redshirt sophomore receiver Tori Gurley is headed for the NFL Draft.

Gurley told ESPN on Sunday that he plans to give up his final two season with the Gamecocks and pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. He later posted messages confirming the news on his Twitter account and Facebook page.

Gurley caught 44 passes for 465 yards and four touchdowns this season for the Gamecocks, but was overshadowed by fellow sophomore Alshon Jeffery and his 1,517-yard receiving season.

QB might transfer to SEC

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Former Memphis high school All-American quarterback Barry Brunetti is considering Memphis, Ole Miss and Arkansas State as a new destination as he seeks to leave West Virginia. Brunetti told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that the inability of his mother, Elna, to travel to West Virginia after a car wreck influenced his decision to transfer closer to home.

Brunetti appeared briefly in four games for the Mountaineers after losing a battle for the starting quarterback position in pre-season practice. Brunetti said he plans to make a decision by next week so he can enroll for the spring semester.

Saturday's late game

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles had record-setting games, Oklahoma's defense scored two touchdowns while holding UConn's offense without one, and the ninth-ranked Sooners ended their five-game BCS bowl losing streak with a 48-20 victory over Connecticut (8-5) in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.

"Coming out here and winning a bowl game, especially a BCS bowl with our past and losing so many of them, to win one for the program, for Coach (Bob) Stoops and all those guys, it's just a great feeling right now," Jones said. "It motivated us."

Oklahoma (12-2) carried plenty of BCS baggage after losing three straight title games and two Fiesta Bowls.

Jones threw for a school bowl-record 429 yards and three touchdowns on 34-of-49 passing. Broyles set a team record with 170 yards receiving and matched another with 13 catches.

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