SI Vault
short Yardage
Ivan Maisel
September 17, 2001
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 17, 2001

Short Yardage

View CoverRead All Articles


Having played backup linebacker as a freshman walk-on for NAIA champion Northwestern Oklahoma State in 1999, Chris Toney wrote Oklahoma assistant Brent Venables in May 2000 to ask if he could walk on with the Sooners. Venables assented, and Toney spent last season—his second with a national champion—on the scout team. By the start of practice in August, the 6'1", 230-pound Toney had worked his way up to fourth-string fullback. After one guy in front of him moved to the offensive line and another suffered a neck injury, Toney got his break. Though he has yet to start, he has played in all three games. He has no carries and three catches for 28 yards. Most impressive, Toney is out there.

An NFL scout assesses Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney, after the 6'1", 255-pound senior made seven tackles, two of them sacks, in a 21-10 victory over Central Florida last Saturday: "Do you play him at defensive end, where he'll get pushed around, or hope he's tall enough to be a force at outside linebacker? I guarantee someone will find a spot for him because his first step is as quick as any player's in college."


"Everyone is talking about McKinnie, McKinnie.... I play the man, not the name. Everyone has a weakness. You just have to find it."

A comment by Rutgers freshman defensive end Alfred Peterson about Miami's All-America left tackle, Bryant McKinnie, who, after seeing the quote in a Newark Star-Ledger clip on the Hurricanes' bulletin board, took satisfaction in the fact that Peterson had only one solo tackle and two assists in Miami's 61-0 victory last Saturday.

Florida right guard Tommy Moody vs. Tennessee defensive tackle and 2000 Outland Trophy winner John Henderson These two didn't square off last fall because the 6'3", 321-pound Moody lined up at left guard. They didn't run into each other two years ago because Moody then played defensive tackle. In fact, part of his success as a blocker stems from understanding how defensive linemen think and attack. Knowing what the 6'7", 290-pound Henderson is trying to do is one thing; stopping him is another. But he sprained his right ankle in the Volunteers' season opener and sat out last week's 13-3 win at Arkansas because a downpour made the field slippery. When Tennessee visits Florida on Saturday, Henderson will be looking to extend his streak of games with a tackle behind the line of scrimmage to 13. If the sprain limits Henderson's quickness, Moody will be much more likely to make this an unlucky 13 for Henderson.