As Tennessee continues to struggle with a 1-3 mark heading into Saturday’s game with No. 3 Georgia, there’s been talk around Knoxville about bringing back current athletic director Phillip Fulmer as head coach if the Vols were to part ways with current coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Fulmer dispelled those rumors this week, saying the “coaching chapter of my life is closed.”
The 69-year-old Fulmer coached Tennessee from 1992 to 2008, compiling a 152-52 record, including a run to the 1998 national title. He has the second-most wins by a head coach in school history.
“I’m way past that point in my life,” Fulmer told ESPN. “I love the job I have (as athletic director) and am committed to seeing this thing through.”
The Volunteers went 5-7 in Pruitt’s first season and have dropped games to Georgia Southern, BYU and Florida this season. Still, Fulmer says he’s completely behind his head coach and isn’t looking to replace him.
“We’ve got a good football coach, and I believe in Jeremy Pruitt totally,” Fulmer said. “I have no interest in coaching again and would rather spend that time being a grandfather and doing whatever I can as athletic director in helping Jeremy get this program where we all want it to be. Any talk of me coaching again is just a bunch of rumors.”
Michigan State junior running back Connor Heyward has entered the NCAA transfer portal and is leaving the Spartans’ football program. The son of former NFL star Craig “Ironhead” Heyward had seen his carries go down this season and decided he wanted to make a fresh start elsewhere.
Heyward started the season opener before giving way to Elijah Collins, a redshirt freshman. He’s the team’s third-leading rusher with 79 yards, though he only had 24 attempts in the season’s first four games before sitting out last weekend for “personal reasons.”
Heyward led the Spartans in rushing in 2018, going for 529 yards on 118 carries with five touchdowns.
Purdue has already struggled this season, starting 1-3, including an 0-1 mark in the Big Ten, but things could get even harder this weekend.
The Boilermakers will face No. 12 Penn State without both starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar and All-American receiver Rondale Moore. Both players were injured on the same play during last weekend’s loss to Minnesota.
Sindelar broke his left collarbone, which will require surgery, while Moore injured his left leg, with Purdue coach Jeff Brohm not giving any more details on the injury. Brohm did say that Moore’s injury is not season-ending, and his status is week-to-week.
Redshirt freshman Jack Plummer now takes the starting job under center for the Boilermakers. Plummer has passed for 426 yards and three touchdowns this season, though he’s also thrown four interceptions.
LSU has one fewer running back on its roster, as senior Lanard Fournette has left the team. Fournette, the younger brother of former LSU star and current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, played in four games this season.
The younger Fournette graduated in May and is just ready to be done with football. He had just 13 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown this season, finishing his LSU career with 162 rushing yards and two scores.