“Yeah, I’m fine, man,” said Jones, who said he did nearly everything in practice on Tuesday. “I’m finally getting back out there moving around a little bit, enjoying it. …I feel good right now.”
The SEC’s sack leader from last season hasn’t played enough this year (75 percent of games) to show up on the league’s official statistics this week.
Jones’ 5½ sacks would rank third, but he also sat out the Florida Atlantic game with a strained groin.
He said he hasn’t felt close to healthy since he reinjured the groin early in the Sept. 8 game against Missouri.
“It’s been tough, man,” Jones said. “It’s been frustrating, but just got to go out there and keep my head level and stay focused and just keep pushing myself. With me being a leader of this team and this defense, the guys look up to me. I’ve just got to take care of my body better than I have been and just stay focused and when I do get a chance to play, just give everything I’ve got.”
GEORGIA TECH: Returned approximately 1,900 tickets from its allotment of 8,000 for the Yellow Jackets’ Nov. 24 game in Athens, Ga.
Georgia Bulldog Club members had first dibs at the tickets, which are going for $75 each. Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public today.
AUBURN: Coach Gene Chizik is dealing with another blow during a miserable season. This time, it’s deeply personal.
His mother, Rita, died Monday morning.
“It’s been a tough 24 hours for me personally and my family with the passing of my mother,” Chizik said on Tuesday. “That’s never easy, no matter how old you get. It’s been quite challenging, but I do want to say on an encouraging note it was really good to hear from so many great Auburn people that were very supportive, and people outside the Auburn family as well.
“It was very encouraging to hear the different thoughts and prayers that went out for me personally and my personal family.”
NOTRE DAME: Coach Brian Kelly says quarterback Everett Golson did well during a full workout and will start for the No. 5 Fighting Irish at No. 8 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Kelly said Tuesday that Golson is at 100 percent. Kelly benched Golson against Brigham Young last week as a precaution, saying he wanted to give him more time to recover from a concussion sustained in a helmet-to-helmet hit against Stanford.
Kelly says Golson is feeling confident heading into the game vs. the Sooners.
OREGON STATE: Quarterback Sean Mannion will start for No. 7 Oregon State against Washington on Saturday, less than three weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure on his left knee.
Mannion missed two games after he was hurt in an Oct. 6 victory over Washington State in Seattle. The 6-foot-5 sophomore was injured on a handoff, and an MRI revealed the need for surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee.
Cody Vaz started in Mannion’s place and Oregon State has remained unbeaten, rising to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12.
“It was difficult. Cody has played well and Sean has played well,” coach Mike Riley said Tuesday. “I just kind of took it back a little bit further to the initial competition. Sean had played four games and played well so we decided to go with him. But it was not easy.”
BCS: The 2014 BCS championship game, the last one before the postseason goes to a four-team playoff, has been moved up a day to Jan. 6.
The move puts the game on a Monday night instead of a Tuesday night.
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock says moving the game closer to the weekend makes it “more fan-friendly in terms of travel.” Monday is also usually more conducive for better television ratings.
When the new playoff format starts in the 2014 season, all the championship games will be played on Monday nights.
SCHEDULE: Ohio State and Oregon agreed to a home-and-home series with games to be played in 2020 in Eugene, Ore., and in 2021 in Ohio Stadium.