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The season is getting so close we can almost taste the buffalo chicken dip; we can practically smell the aroma of crisp fall air infused with bourbon hovering SEC tailgates, and what was that? You heard the collision sound of pads and helmets, too?
With 8 days left before the highly anticipated season arrives, it’s time to send fluff home and get technical about serious football.
Today we are breaking down the Xs and Os of our beloved game. In case you took the summer off, this will be your refresher course so that next Thursday, Friday and Saturday you’ll be fully primed to understand the players on the field.
8 Days and Counting,
Xs and Os,
The goal of the offense is to run, pass, or kick the ball over the end line or through the goalpost/up-rights to score points.
The goal of the defense is to tackle the man with the ball and prevent the offense from running, passing, or kicking the ball over the end line.
Offensive Linemen: The “O-Line,” consists of the players on the line of scrimmage. Their goal is to protect the ball-carrier while simultaneously creating gaps on the field where the ball-carrier can safely run through the opponent. The offensive linemen are the big guys.
The play starts with the center snapping the ball (passing the ball through his legs) to a teammate. Once he snaps the ball, he begins to hold off the oncoming opponents.
The guards do what it sounds like: They guard the quarterback, or whoever has the ball, from the opponent.
Two offensive tackles try to block the opponent before he gets to the quarterback, or the player with the ball.
Tight end is a hybrid position between offensive lineman and wide receiver who is supposed to have the dual abilities of blocking linemen and receiving passes.
A wide receiver’s primary responsibility is to catch passes. He is wide in the formation and receives the ball.
The fullback either blocks for the halfback so he can run down the field, or the fullback blocks so that the quarterback can make an uninterrupted throw down the field.
The halfback lines up in the offensive backfield behind the fullback and the quarterback. The halfback primarily runs the ball during running plays and can also be used as a wide receiver.
The quarterback takes the snap (receiving the ball from the center), and he can choose to hand the ball to the running back, pass the ball to an eligible receiver, or run the ball himself.
The defensive line consists of four linemen, two ends and two tackles, who line up directly across from the opposing O-line.
Defensive line from left to right: end, tackle, tackle, end.
End (Tight End)
The defensive end’s main purpose is to contain the running backs to the inside on running plays, or to rush the quarterback on passing plays.
Tackles are responsible for stopping the run up the middle and for engaging the offensive linemen so that the linebackers can move toward the ball without opposition.
This player is also known as the nose-tackle. Depending on the defensive scheme (line up), “odd man fronts” will have what is called a nose-guard. This player lines up directly over the football (his nose is over the ball).
Linebackers’ goal is to stop the run, defend against passes, and sometimes, to rush the QB . Linebackers are usually faster than defensive linemen and are larger than their defensive teammates.
Secondary is the area of the field deep that is off the line of scrimmage (way in the back) where defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) are strategically placed to defend the run and pass.
A defensive back, who is usually responsible for covering wide receivers.
A safety is the last line of defense and is extremely fast and aggressive. Safeties are found deep in the defensive secondary (way in the back) and help the cornerbacks with pass coverage.
Because the food is one of the best parts before the football, we are already getting our game day recipes together so that our in-season grocery shopping and menu planning is as easy as beating a PAC-10 team. Keep an eye out for Gridiron Belle recipes on Mondays and don’t forget to send in your favorite recipes to be shared!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches
By Molly Carter of Duchess of Fork as found on www.DuchessofFork.com
Originally found in Vie Magazine
….ever so slightly tweaked by the Gridiron Belles kitchen
INGREDIENTS: Gridiron Belles INGREDIENTS:
100 tiny twist pretzels 150 tiny twist pretzels
1 cup creamy peanut butter 2 cups creamy peanut butter
¾ cup brown sugar 1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup powdered sugar 1 cup powdered sugar
1 box semi-sweet baking chocolate 2 (12oz) bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix peanut butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until ingredients are well combined. Sandwich a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter filling between two pretzels. Store sandwiches in the fridge for an hour or two. Melt semisweet chocolate according to package directions. Dip sandwiches into melted chocolate, covering only half of the sandwich. Place sandwiches on wax paper and store in fridge until chocolate hardens and you’re ready to eat. Makes 50 sandwiches—but you’ll need more! So Gridiron Belles made 75 using the list on the right.
Best if served cold and freezes well. We recommend making a large batch early in the season and freezing until you need more!
If you’ve been wondering who is the brains–and the beauty— behind the awe-inspiring entertaining blog, Pizzazzerie, look no further! We are honored to feature Ms. Courtney Whitmore in Belles in Biz as the epitome of a creative, ambitious, dedicated and oh-so-talented Belle who has been inspiring pizzazz for all occasions for over six years. We already love her–and get LOTS of ideas from her website– and we know you will too. Please, allow us to introduce and welcome, Ms. Courtney Whitmore.
Team: Vanderbilt University
Graduated from: Vanderbilt University
Name of Your Biz: Pizzazzerie
Explanation of Your Biz: I’m a food and entertaining blogger, cookbook author, and I style and create recipes and party ideas for brands!
How did you get your start? After throwing lots of dinner parties for friends, I launched a blog to share photos from the parties. A few months later, I was lucky enough to land a book deal and get noticed by Tori Spelling as well as several local news channels. From there, I left my job and gave Pizzazzerie.com my full-time focus! And I’ve never looked back!
So tell us, what exactly is your role? I’m in my 6th year with Pizzazzerie. My role is pretty much everything. I’m creating blog posts, styling and photographic shoots, prop shopping, working with clients, social media, and everything in between. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to running a site and styling.
Most challenging/rewarding part of your biz? The most challenging part of the biz is the ongoing momentum. It never ceases. There is always a holiday around the corner or more ideas to be styled. There aren’t very many lulls so it can get overwhelming. The most rewarding is seeing my creations up on the site for everyone to see. I love to get an idea, style it, photograph it, and then hit that publish button! I get such a thrill when I share ideas with readers!
What is one thing your biz would not survive without? My laptop! It goes with me everywhere I go!
What’s next? That’s a great question! This is such a fast moving industry that it’s hard to know exactly where it will go but I’d like to do another book at some point (maybe a children’s book) and continue to style for brands that I love and admire!
Work-life balance, fact or fiction? Fiction, I love my job too much!
Business advice to other Belles? For your own business to be wildly successful, you better eat, sleep, and breathe it! If you would choose that work over taking a nap or shopping at the mall, then you’re on the right track! You have to love it and have a huge passion for it because it’s a lot of work!
Favorite tailgate dish? Mini burgers!
Game day drink of choice? Tailgate punch (a beer based punch).
What do you always have in your touch down purse? My phone – so I can share pics on social media!
Coach Crush? Kliff Kingsbury
Heads or Tails? Heads
Who wins it all this year? Auburn!
Don’t miss out on any of Pizzazzerie’s latest and greatest– follow here!
If your summer reading consisted more of The One and Only than Sports Illustrated, we don’t blame you, but….we’re here to give you the quick version of what you need to know about your team before the season begins to be a well-informed belle at your first tailgate. Reminder, given the recent coaches and quarterback musical chairs the SEC has been playing, this is all subject to change– especially because “Camp” is just beginning and starting QBs are still TBD, but for now, know your team’s quick stats of who and when.
‘Tis the season!
Xs and Os
Christie LeighSEC EAST Florida Head Coach: Jim McElwain (Offensive coordinator on Alabama’s title teams in 2009 and 2011) (1st season at Florida) Offensive Coordinator: Doug Nussmeier (First Year) Defensive Coordinator: Geoff Collins (First Year) Quarterback: Treon Harris (SO) or Will Grier (FR) Opening Game: New Mexico State at home, Saturday, Sept 5m 7:00pm Georgia Head Coach: Mark Richt (14th season) Offensive Coordinator: Brian Schottenheimer (First Year) Defensive Coordinator: Jeremy Pruitt (2nd season) Quarterback: Brice Ramsey (SO) or Faton Bauta (JR) Opening Game: Louisiana Monroe at home, Saturday, September 5, 12:00pm Kentucky Head Coach: Mark Stoops (3rd Season) Offensive Coordinator: Shannon Dawson (First Year) Defensive Coordinator: D.J. Eliot (3rd season) Quarterback: Patrick Towles (JR), Drew Barker (FR) Opening Game: UL Lafayette at home, Saturday, September 5, 7:00pm Missouri Head Coach: Gary Pinkel (15th Season) Offensive Coordinator: Josh Henson (6th Season) Defensive Coordinator: Barry Odom (First Year) Quarterback: Maty Mauck (JR) Opening Game: SEMO at home, Saturday, September 5, 3:00pm South Carolina Head Coach: Steve Spurrier (11th Season) Offensive Coordinator: Shawn Elliott (6th Season) Defensive Coordinator: Lorenazo Ward (4th Season) Quarterback: Connor Mitch (SO), Perry Orth (JR), Michael Scarnecchia (FR) , Lorenzo Nunez (FR) Opening Game: University of North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium, Thursday, September 3, 6pm Tennessee Head Coach: Butch Jones (3rd Season) Offensive Coordinator: Mike DeBord (First Season) Defensive Coordinator: John Jancek (Third Season) Quarterback: Josh Dobbs(JR) Opening Game: Bowling Green at home, Saturday, September 5, 4:00pm Vanderbilt Head Coach: Derek Mason (2nd Season) Offensive Coordinator: Andy Ludwig (1st Year) Defensive Coordinator: Derek Mason Quarterback: Wade Freebeck (SO) and Johnny McCrary (SO) Opening Game: Western Kentucky at home, Thursday, September 3, 8:00pm SEC WEST Alabama Head Coach: Nick Saban (9th Season) Offensive Coordinator: Lane Kiffin (2nd Season) Defensive Coordinator: Kirby Smart (9th Season) Quarterback: Jake Coker (SR-RS) or David Cornwell (FR-RS) Opening Game: Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, September 5, 8:00pm Arkansas Head Coach: Bret Bielema (3rd Season) Offensive Coordinator: Dan Enos (1st Year) Defensive Coordinator: Robb Smith (2nd Season) QB: Brandon Allen (SR) Opening Game: UTEP at home, Saturday, September 5, 3:30pm Auburn Coach: Gus Malzahn (4th Season ) Offensive Coordinator: Rhett Lashlee (3rd Season) Defensive Coordinator: Will Muschamp (1st Year) Quarterback: Jeremy Johnson (JR) Opening Game: University of Louisville, in Atlanta at Chic-Fil-A Bowl, Saturday, September 5, 2:30pm LSU Head Coach: Les Miles (11th Season) Offensive Coordinator: Cam Cameron (3rd Season) Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Steele (1st Year) Quarterback: Brandon Harris (SO) Opening Game: McNeese State at home, Saturday, September 5, 7:30pm Mississippi State Head Coach: Dan Mullen (7th Season) CO-Offensive Coordinators: Billy Gonzales (3rd Season) John Hevesy (7th Season) Defensive Coordinator : Manny Diaz (1st Year) Quarterback: Dak Prescott (SR) Opening Game: At Southern Miss, Saturday, September 5, 9:00pm Ole Miss Head Coach: Hugh Freeze (4th Season) CO-Offensive Coordinators: Dan Werner (4th Season) Matt Luke (8th Season) Defensive Coordinator: Dave Womack (4th Season) Quarterback: Chad Kelly (JR) Opening Game: UT Martin at home, Saturday, September 5, 11:00am Texas A&M Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (4th Season) Offensive Coordinator: Jake Spavital (3rd Season) Defensive Coordinator: John Chavis (1st year) Quarterback: Kyle Allen (SO)Opening Game: Arizona State at home, Saturday, Sept 5, 7:00pm
When the SEC helmet schedule comes out each year, my fall planning becomes complete. Finally, I can circle all of the games I am attending on the helmet grid, and at a glance, I am completely in the know of each weekend’s match ups and travel schedules.
Why all of these organized little helmets with team logos in an enlarged excel sheet get me going is beyond me. But it does, and they do. It’s one of life’s little joys that stays with me all season.
I print three copies for myself: one for my planner/calendar to have with me at all times; one for my office in clear sight during any task; one on my home fridge so I have a quick reference while testing game day recipes… and so my Alabama-loving husband can see that other teams actually do exist!
Of course, I print a handful of these handy helmet schedules, laminate them and send as treats to my SEC-adoring friends who are always quick to say yes to meeting me at games or responding to my friendly taunts, questions, or general excitement during half time. Pre-season treats are always welcomed. Heck, anything to make kickoff seem closer.
So we thank FBschedules.com for doing all of the tedious work each year to bring us so much joy and fall organization. We couldn’t be more grateful.
Here is your chance to print, hang, laminate and send, Belles. Trust me, you’ll love being in the know at a glance!
Xs and Os
What an off-season! It’s been a tremendously action packed off-season full of travels, Triple Crown winners, coaches-musical-chairs, coordinator hires, and SEC-themed weddings. Alas, it’s time to re-submerge ourselves into the glory of the fall and the highly anticipated SEC football season. This year brings new things to Gridiron Belles and we couldn’t be more excited. What you can expect on the blog this season:
MONDAYS: Outfits, Recipes and Tailgates, Oh My! You can never plan your outfit or tailgate menu too early. Mondays will give you ideas of outfit suggestions, our favorite recipes, interesting SEC sightings or recent photos of Gridiron Belles tailgating around the SEC. This gives you all week to wrangle what you need and to be inspired by what’s going on around you. If you have a favorite game day recipe you want to share, by all means, send it in and we’ll test it out! WEDNESDAYS: Serious Football. We’ll post the weekend’s match-ups, schedules and why in the world it’s important for you to watch, or not watch, the gridiron grit that weekend. FRIDAYS: Belles in Biz. We know that there is more to us Belles than being great on Saturdays. We are smart, motivated, talented and successful in a million ways outside of tailgating and being able to call plays for coaches. Here at Gridiron Belles, we celebrate strong women and want to highlight the Gridiron Belles in Business around the south. If you, or someone you know has started their own company, has made a difference in the community, or is otherwise pretty awesome, we want to hear about her! Drop us a line about her and we’ll feature her success story. Note, you want to pay attention to Fridays, because sometimes these are going to be accompanied by product giveaways! See instructions on how to win on each individual post. Xs and Os, Christie Leigh
The South is feeling the heat right about now. Not only because it averages a scalding 96 degree daily temperature– plus a heat index– but because of the recent violence and controversy surrounding the Confederate Flag. It’s a tough time to be a Southerner when one rotten apple has ruined the reputation of the whole bunch.
Alas, with a Southerner’s favorite season just around the corner, it’s time to show the country that the South is more—much much more—than a few rotten apples. It’s time to showcase that our goal as a region is to be hospitable, neighborly, respectful and part of our communities. Let’s go into this highly anticipated football season showing our pride more than ever and to make the Southern connotation positive, once again. This tailgate season let’s be more hospitable than ever; let’s be respectful to our rivals (doesn’t mean we can’t still hope they lose); let’s lookout for our neighbors; and let’s join in our communities of 14 proud universities of the SEC and show the country what we are really about.
Happy season, y’all.
Xs and Os,
To read more:
We may have given you last week off, but we are hoping you still caught some of the Mizzou v Tennessee game and the Ole Miss v Arkansas upset. This weekend, you most certainly do not have a bye week. In fact, if there was ever a Saturday (and Friday and Thursday) to truly dedicate to the Gridiron, this is the weekend.
Rivalry weekend isn’t just another Saturday. In fact, it’s Friday and Thursday, too, making it that much more glorious. Triple the days, triple the excitement. Clear your dishes in record time, do your Black Friday shopping early, pull out the left overs for game day snacks, and put on your most comfortable team-colored clothes. These 72 hours are a marathon of all things college football and you don’t want to miss a minute.
Wishing you all a thank-full Thanksgiving!
Xs and Os,
Thursday, November 27
7:30pm LSU @ Texas A&M
Friday, November 28
2:30pm Arkansas @ Missouri (No.17)
Saturday, November 29
12:00pm Georgia Tech (No. 16) @ Georgia (No.9)
South Carolina @ Clemson (No. 21)
Kentucky @ Louisville (No. 22)
3:30pm Florida @ Florida State (No.3)
Mississippi State (No. 4) @ ole Miss (No.19)
4:00pm Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
7:45pm Auburn (No.15) @ Alabama (No. 1)
They don’t call it the Bible Belt for nothing! Ole Miss is getting it’s rest on Saturday while they play Presbyterian at noon—don’t change your plans for this one. Our adoration for the DAWGS and Coach Richt (what a gent!) has to take a back seat to pulling for the home team. Georgia lines up against Kentucky at noon which will potentially give Stoops’ Troops a chance to regain momentum from early in the season all the while giving the DAWGS a “can’t lose” battle.
The Aggies head to the plains in an attempt to rattle the No. 3 Tiger’s cage. In typical Auburn fashion, they will likely use every minute of the clock to pull off the win. Auburn fans get the faith and Aggie fans don’t start “gigging” too soon… this will be a surprisingly long game.
The number one team in the country, Mississippi State (I still can’t believe I get to write that sentence), will put in their 3rd string against Tennessee Martin at 4pm on Saturday. A great move to rest up before the Starkville Bulldogs make the trek to Tuscaloosa next week.
Florida at Vanderbilt may be the highlight of the season in Nashville. With the Gators not exactly brimming with confidence and skills and Vandy looking for a win, this might actually be a good game. Might.
The game we’ve all been waiting for has the 8pm prime time spot. Every year this game has more on the line. Despite LSU’s 16th spot in the rankings, expect a battle for the history books. LSU has home field advantage, but don’t forget Saban knows how to play in Tiger Stadium as well. For some statistical talking points, here is what Edward Aschoff from ESPN wrote.
“Since 2007, this annual game has been decided by seven points or fewer five times, with LSU winning three of those games. Four times since 2007 the winner has worn the SEC crown. They’ve met as top-10 teams five times in that span and twice have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2. The winner played in the BCS title game four times, going 3-1, with the only loss coming at the conclusion of the 2011 season when Alabama beat LSU 21-0 in the BCS National Championship after losing “Armageddon” 9-6 at home earlier in the season.”
Happy Game Day eve, Belles!
Xs and Os,
PS- Don’t forget to send in your tailgating photos! firstname.lastname@example.org
12:00pm Presbyterian @ Ole Miss (No. 11)
Georgia (No. 20) @ Kentucky
3:30pm Texas A&M @ Auburn (No. 3)
4:00pm Tennessee Martin @ Mississippi State (No.1)
7:30pm Florida @ Vanderbilt
8:00pm Alabama (No. 5) @ LSU (No.16)
Oct 24, 2014 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC, SEC Football, South Carolina, Tennessee Football
We want to encourage you to get set up for game day in time for the Arkansas kick off (no SEC game should be left unappreciated), but with a non-conference match up, we just can’t suggest full schedule clearing. We’ll be pig-sooooooie-ing as we wrap up our errands and get ready for 3:30.
At 3:30pm on Saturday, fans in the Bluegrass will hope to recover from the merciless stomping they took from LSU last weekend… too bad this year Mississippi State is not an easy game. Nevertheless, Stoops’ Troops have gumption. Plus, we’ll be in town with an amazing pre-gridiron spread and our fingers crossed.
The Bengal Tigers in Baton Rouge will be in full force… tailgating, cooking and trying their damndest to knock off Ole Miss. No man, woman or child, will be spared from the taunting sound of “Tiger Bait”. This is one of the best rivals in college football— in the parking lot AND on the gridiron.
For as much disdain as there is between these two schools, the Alabama v. Tennessee match up hasn’t been very exciting in recent history. We are hoping for a good game… mainly because kickoff is at 7:30 and it just feels like those Volunteers need some hope to get through the end of the season.
In case the BAMA game becomes a red-zone game, there will be nothing short of a battle between South Carolina and Auburn on the other channel. Auburn is ranked, unlike Old Ball Coach and his boys, but this has “closer than it should be” written all over it. At least for the first half.
Here is your game day schedule, enjoy!
Xs and Os
12:00pm UAB @ Arkansas
3:30pm Mississippi State (No. 1) @ Kentucky
4:00pm Vanderbilt @ Missouri
7:15pm Ole Miss (No. 3) @ LSU (No. 24)
7:30pm Alabama (No. 4) @ Tennessee
South Carolina @ Auburn (No. 5)