Georgia announces 2018 baseball schedule

The Georgia Bulldogs have announced their 2018 baseball schedule, which features games against Clemson, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.

Georgia opens the 2018 baseball season at home at Foley Field (Feb. 16-18) with a three-game series against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

In SEC action, the Bulldogs will host South Carolina (March 23-25), Texas A&M (March 29-31), Kentucky (April 13-15), Tennessee (April 27-29), and Arkansas (May 17-19).

Georgia will travel to Alabama (March 16-18), Vanderbilt (April 6-8), Ole Miss (April 20-22), Missouri (May 4-6), and Florida (May 11-13).

From the UGA release:

Eight of Georgia’s first nine contests will be at home before a Spring Break trip to Charleston for games against College of Charleston, The Citadel and Charleston Southern.

SEC play opens on the road against Alabama (March 16-18) while the Bulldogs SEC home opener will be with the Gamecocks (March 23-25). The other SEC home series will be with the Aggies (March 29-31), Wildcats (April 13-15), the Volunteers (April 27-29) and Razorbacks (May 17-19). Along with the series in Tuscaloosa, Georgia’s road trips in the conference will be at Vanderbilt (April 6-8), Ole Miss (April 20-22), Missouri (May 4-6), and Florida (May 11-13). Please note the ESPNU and SEC Network Thursday night selections have not been set, thus some SEC series may change to Thursday-Saturday.

The 16th annual Spring Baseball Classic to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will be May 8 as the Bulldogs battle their rival Georgia Tech at the Atlanta Braves home, SunTrust Park. The Bulldogs are 10-5 all-time against Tech in this game.

 UGA Baseball Schedule

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“And what’ve we got on this thing, a Cuisinart?”

A great scene:

To expand on Blutarsky’s observation

  • Aeris Williams is a physical ballcarrier that will make a team pay for selling out against Nick Fitzgerald. Georgia has Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and D’Andre Swift.
  • Jeffery Simmons has been the back-to-back SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. Georgia has Trenton Thompson, a deep pool of defensive linemen, and some of the best pressure off the edge in the league.
  • Keith Mixon is a dangerous slot receiver capable of big plays. Georgia has Terry Godwin, an experienced and versatile receiver who can turn short passes into big gains.
  • Nick Fitzgerald has developed into a confident dual-threat quarterback. I give him the edge over Jake Fromm if only because of experience. Fromm is starting his first SEC game on Saturday, and conference play is now old hat for Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald seems to be a good fit for Dan Mullen’s system.

We’ve heard all week about Mississippi State’s standouts on both sides of the ball. They’re legitimate and are playing at a high level right now. But Georgia won’t have a talent deficit on Saturday. It will be a test for Kirby Smart’s coaching and program development against an established coach with a known identity and scheme – a coach some preferred over Smart.

Mullen’s best chance to win Saturday is for his scheme and playcalling on both sides of the ball to overcome Georgia’s (however slight) advantages in overall talent by exploiting the areas where Georgia is weakest. Smart won’t be outcoached as badly as Ed Orgeron was a week ago, but Smart and his staff will have to match wits against one of the SEC’s longest-serving coaches to allow Georgia’s talent to win the day.

Was 3rd-and-Grantham really a thing?

tl;dr: Yes.

Have you heard? Todd Grantham is returning to Athens this weekend. I’m nothing if not a sucker for a good storyline, and this one…rates about a 2 out of 10.

Still, all of this Grantham returns! coverage got me wondering whether “third and Grantham” was a legitimate gripe or just more “run the damn ball Bobo” blathering where confirmation bias magnified any third down conversion. How did Grantham’s defenses really rank on third down?

  • 2010: 79th (41.86%)
  • 2011: 3rd (28.93%)
  • 2012: 37th (36.54%)
  • 2013: 64th (39.49%)

Grantham supervised the transition from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4, and 2010 saw some growing pains that began to pay off with consecutive division titles in 2011 and 2012. 2011 stands out. Georgia went from a 6-7 team in 2010 to the SEC championship in Grantham’s second year thanks in large part to a top ten defense which, as you might expect, did very well on third down (or on most any down.) The amazing first half against LSU in the 2011 SEC Championship game was Grantham’s defense at its best. The 2012 defense was stacked with talent – Jones, Ogletree, Commings, Rambo, and on. Though the whole 2012 team was probably more well-rounded and in a better position to compete for a national title due to a more potent offense, the 2012 defense showed a fatal flaw against the run. Georgia’s rushing defense dropped from an impressive 11th nationally in 2011 to 81st in 2012. The Tennessee game was a track meet, and we won’t discuss the South Carolina game. It wasn’t until the Florida game and November that the defense really began to look like the sum of its parts (thanks Shawn Williams!)

So, yes, Georgia’s defense was excellent on third down in 2011 and decent in 2012, but they were decidedly average or below-average in Grantham’s other two years in Athens. The slide from 3rd to 37th to 64th on third down didn’t do much to quash the “third and Grantham” meme. In the eyes of many fans, his departure after the 2013 season just saved someone from making a decision a year or two later.

“Third and Grantham” didn’t just come about because of third down conversions – it was about third and long. Is there anything behind that? For answers we can look at opponents’ performance on passing downs.
(Stats are from Football Outsiders who define Passing Downs as “second down with 8 or more yards to go or third or fourth down with 5 or more yards to go.”) In other words, how well does the defense do when they might reasonably be expecting a pass? Grantham’s defenses were never (relatively) terrible in those situations and were never ranked worse than 47th on passing downs. At the same time, with the exception of Grantham’s first year in 2010, the defense’s performance on passing downs was worse than on standard downs. In 2012 and 2013, it was much worse.

Year Std. Downs S&P+ Rank Pass. Downs S&P+ Rank
2010 38 29
2011 9 17
2012 23 47
2013 23 44

When you do a fairly good job on standard downs to set up longer conversions, you expect to be in good shape to get off the field. That didn’t happen. Again, Georgia did better than most on passing downs, but they were relatively weaker in those situations than on standard downs. In 2013, Georgia allowed conversions on nearly 40% of third downs and ranked in the mid-40s on passing downs. It’s clear why the “third and Grantham” meme that appeared during his first season really took hold towards the end of his time in Athens.

Did “third and Grantham” come along to Starkville? Not in the way we think of it. The MSU defense has been impressive on third down in 2017. They are currently among the top ten in the nation, allowing conversions on just 21.4% of third downs through three games. Their defensive success rate on passing downs is 10.7%, good for 4th in the nation. When you’re that adept at stopping drives, you give your offense more possessions, and it’s no surprise then that MSU is among the highest-scoring teams in the nation. If Georgia wants to slow Fitzgerald and his productive offense, there isn’t a much better solution than maintaining possession and moving the chains. Georgia’s challenge on offense is to find success against a defense that has, so far, made “third and Grantham” something to anticipate rather than dread.

UGA football releases “Grit” hype video

The Georgia Bulldogs have released a new video titled Grit leading up to Saturday’s game vs. 17th-ranked Mississippi State.

The video includes clips from Georgia’s win over Samford and features the song “Fire” by Barns Courtney.

Check out the video below. Go Dawgs!

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UGA releases The Reel: Samford video

The Georgia Bulldogs have released the video The Reel: Samford following their 41-14 victory on Saturday.

The video features highlights from the UGA-Samford game with audio by Scott Howard and more.

Check out the video below. Go Dawgs!

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the Friday Misery has bad news for Grantham’s towel

A nun, a priest, and a rabbi walk into a bar in Starkville...

j/k Starkville has zero of those nouns.

Welcome to Athens!! We have beer drawn from kegs! Not your Uncle Rufus’ tub!
Back in '05 the wife and I spent a month in Starkville one afternoon, so what follows are factual accounts.

It’s the perfect town if you like to spend a day shopping for God’s word at the Bible Outlet store, crossing the road to the WalMart to replenish the underwear drawer, swinging through the Zaxby’s drive-thru to pick up some over-fried chicken, and then setting up a picnic under the town water tower.

And that’s just about it. The town is a desolate homage to what life was like during the post-depression era. It’s just that it has yet to progress any further.
Is that supposed to be a dog? A bear? A gopher?

Case in point, on Saturday find a Missy State fan that’s made the trip from Starkville. Now they have to have come from Starkville. Not one of those rare cowbell clanging fans that now lives in Atlanta, or anywhere east of the Tuscaloosa-Starkville-Meridian Triangle.

If you have trouble, listen for a couple discussing how in the world they are going to play this football game after dark. “I know Winona, I wus jus’ wondering the same thing. It’s gon be dark long before the bands even toot their marching horns! Now how’s Fitzgerald gonna tell the difference between the center and the left guard’s hindquarters?”

Anyway, find that fan, probably in a #7 maroon jersey fitted neatly under some overalls and wearing a cowbell around his neck, and ask him if he has a cell phone. Or even knows what one is.

Ask him if he has an opinion about whether The Stones were better than The Beatles.

Ask his wife anything about the Bay of Pigs and the resulting strained relations with Cuba.

Ask either of them their thoughts about milk going from cardboard cartons to plastic jugs.

Then prepare to stare into the actual and real face of Stupefied personified. Seriously, they will probably walk away quietly while whispering cautions of crop circles, aliens, and satanic worshippers.

Bubby, why don’t these people get their milk from glass jugs like normal people do?

After scaring the buhjeebus out of Mr. And Mrs. Clanga, catch back up to them and introduce them to the world of wonder that is Athens GA. In all of its Millennial brilliance! The lights, the vehicles not powered by two mules and a gust of wind, the delicious food, being able to walk more than two steps without having to negotiate a cow pattie, the trees, the running water, the “outhouses” made of plastic, THE LIGHTS!!

They might not want to leave. And really, why would they?

The part where Toddles waddles back ‘tween the hedges
Let’s be real, Todd Grantham did a lot to improve our defense when he arrived in 2010. It took a couple years, but we caught a glimpse of what a squad of eleven men can do when they’re coached to do football things like cover receivers. And tackle.

The douchebag deserves some credit there, okay? Really, he does.

That said, what a poser. What a coward. What a semi-deranged lunatic with an nonsensical white towel fetish.

His greatest memory in Athens - confronting Vandy’s penis-head of a coach at midfield. His lowest? Pick from a plethora of plays where the opponent had huddled, set, gone through a cadence of voice commands, and then snapped the ball all while our defense was gazing at the sideline like a herd of clueless sheep waiting on some kind of direction.

Here’s my take...Chubb breaks one and is running free along the Missy State sideline. All that stands between him and a touchdown is 60+ yards of Sanford paydirt. As the fans reach the top of their audible crescendo...wait, what’s that? No, who was that?

Grantham steps in front of Chubb waving said towel like some maniacal bull fighter whose cap is more than slightly askew and whose face is toxic with anger.

The cheers become gasps. Some avert their eyes in the milliseconds before impact. Others, now empowered with the full realization of what in the holy hell is actually happening right here under the lights on national tv and my God I think even some grandmas are watching, shriek like they’ve never shrieked before.


The rest trails off because when the dust clears there is just a towel, floating casually and effortlessly down towards the MSU 43 yard line, within feet of where Christian Robinson stands with mouth agape.

Then the cheers, slowly at first, begin to return. The dude in front of you points to the endzone and starts jumping up and down. Your eyes follow and that’s when you realize that the spectacle has only just begun. Nick Chubb’s arms are raised, and one of them hands Grantham the football.

“Is this what you were looking for a second ago Coach? Sorry, I wasn’t quite done with it.”

Grantham, his eyes dazed and his countenance thoroughly confused, reaches down and gently takes the ball. Then he slides off of Chubb’s shoulders and waddles back to the opponent’s sideline.

Drunk on night kicks
A couple weeks ago I told you that the Irish weren’t ready. And for the most part I was wrong. They played better than I thought they would. They’re a better team that I thought they were. To be perfectly honest, I underestimated them to some degree.

Now it’s game four and we’re still kicking off under the lights. In my nearly three decades of following Georgia football, I’ve never seen Sanford with the energy for a cupcake like we saw last week. It’s loud and people are into it, every aspect of it.

Thirty-five to seven in the third quarter and Samford has the ball looking for a first down, no matter. Dawg fans still up in their ears disrupting the set and the audibles.

And that’s so, SO important. Because the truth is that I don’t know if MSU is ready. I don’t know how good they are. I’d like to think we can contain this media darling quarterbacker they’ve got, force him into throwing it while applying the rush. I hope we can.

I also think our special teams can be a difference maker tomorrow night. They’ve been the model of consistency thus far. We had a long return called back in South Bend. Last week we had a blocked kick after Fromm fumbled. That tells me they’re capable of making that one play that is a huge difference in the outcome.

I think our offense can over-power their defense. I really think they can.

But I do know that I’m tired of hearing people talk about just how great “these Bulldogs” are just because they beat a half-assed LSU team at home. Who cares. We beat a pretty good Notre Dame team on the road. But that was two weeks ago. Teams are supposed to get better as the season progresses. The good ones do. Have we gotten better since boarding the busses in South Bend, prepping for Samford, beating them soundly, and then prepping for another team of bulldogs?

On the other hand, has Mullen’s team gotten better since last Saturday when they beat a team that’s notoriously hard to beat but is nothing more than a shell of its former self? Have they gotten better during a week when they’ve been continuously billed as the second best team in the SEC? “And Dan Mullen is the second best coach in the SEC!!

"These gloves make my face feel...different."

None of that matters tomorrow. It’s late September and I don’t give a damn who the second best team in the SEC is. I just want Georgia to be the best team on the field tomorrow night. I want Kirby to expose Mullen as a fraud and a joke, just another Urban Meyer project living out his days under the Starkville water tower, wearing wide receiver gloves on the sidelines to fight off a November chill.

And I want this amazing, uber talented, incredible game manager, dual-threat, future Heisman winning quarterback to completely and utterly fold like a cheap suit under the verified, the insurmountable, the downright imposing, the unified force of nature that is the deafening weight of Sanford Stadium. I want to see him try to bounce outside, think he’s gained the edge and then…


Roquan levels his ass and then Fitzgerald spends a moment on the turf seriously contemplating the consequences of returning to the next huddle.

We saw what Kirby’s team could do on the road against a storied program. It gave me a taste. Tomorrow night it’s just a casual rival that’s been continuously flagellated by the media all week, but it’s SEC football. Like the corny conference slogan says - “It just means more.

It does, and I want it because it will taste even better than those Irish tears. Now, please bow your heads. Lord, please make Grantham pick up his own dirty laundry. Our thoughts continue to be with everyone battling these hurricanes. We pray for their safety. And also, we pray that the Chapel Bell rings loud and proud late tomorrow night! Amen.

Go Dawgs y'all!

Georgia 42 – Samford 14: On to the next one

Yawn. “Yawn” is good in games like this, right? No one will shudder or cringe when they mention the Samford game (if they ever mention it again at all.) “Samford” won’t become a one-word cautionary shorthand the way Nicholls did. Unless you’re Terry Godwin pulling up the highlights years from now to relive the glory days, it was a forgettable game that will serve mostly to increment whatever Georgia’s win total ends up to be.

The game wasn’t without its drama. The clumsy second quarter sequence with a Samford touchdown and Georgia fumble could’ve made things interesting, but Georgia kept their poise, made plays on defense and special teams, and dominated the rest of the game.

So on to the next challenge and eight straight SEC games. Three quick things:

1) It was telling that Georgia’s first play of their second series was a successful toss out of the shotgun to Chubb. Interior runs were stuffed on the opening drive (especially on the fourth down attempt) as Georgia’s inside trio struggled against an FCS defensive front. Not good. Chubb of course was productive with a little space, and the Dawgs got good blocking from the tackles and receivers. Is this the way forward? Chubb’s power style is at its best when he can get a little head of steam, and it’s tough going sometimes getting through the logjam on the interior. Even on designed inside runs, Chubb is at his best when he can bounce outside. In the bowl game last year we saw outside runs from the pistol devastate TCU in the fourth quarter. If teams are going to load the box against the run, Georgia’s going to have to look to the perimeter on both run and pass plays. The advantage was exaggerated against the level of competition last week, but you like the odds with Chubb, Michel, Swift, or Godwin in space with one man to beat. On the other hand, we often hear about those early inside runs acting as body blows that pay off later as the defense softens, and Swift in particular has a little better burst through the line than Chubb. Inside or outside, Georgia’s offensive line will have to deal with Jeffery Simmons.

2) A Chris Hatcher offense can tell you a lot about your pass defense. Georgia’s secondary more or less held up well, but they were aided by a few key drops and the pass rush. McGhee was picked on, sure, and a competent quarterback like Samford’s can find a weakness and continue to attack it. It was more than McGhee though. LeCounte continues to learn on the job, Reed had a few lapses, and a well-thrown ball beat Davis on their second touchdown with LeCounte unable to help in time. Still, 6.5 yards per attempt isn’t a poor day at the office against an offense that likes to throw it around. Georgia did well, with only a few lapses, at getting third down stops (Samford converted 4 of 11 third downs) and limiting the number of plays run by the visiting Bulldogs.

3) When I first saw this formation from the stands, I blurted out “FLEXBONE!” Yes, the backs (Chubb especially) were lined up too far back for it to be a true flexbone look. But seeing a single back, Chubb, with Herrien and Swift flanked out behind the tight ends made you wonder what they were up to. Fromm kept the ball for an easy 3rd-and-1 conversion in this case, so we never got a look at the possibilities created by this formation. But they’re fun to think about…

Samford formation

Is this the hottest collective SEC coaches’ seat we’ve ever seen?

It's early and there's a lot of football left to be played. But I just keep wondering how many new coaches there could be in the SEC come next season. Some of these guys started the season in troubled water and have done nothing to even pick up an oar. Others seemed safe a month ago and now their days may indeed be numbered.

Then there's Derek Mason living that Nashville dream son!

Let's break all 14 down from the safest Saban to the hottest Sumlin.

Bama - Saban will coach in Tuscaloosa until he's ready not to. Next!

Vandy - Mason is the trifecta. 1) at a school that doesn't like to spend time on athletic decisions, especially coaching searches 2) he's a damn good coach that can steal some wins with less talent at a school that doesn't like to spend $$ on recruiting budgets, and 3) after a very slow start to his career, he's got that thing in a bit of a groove Stella.

Miss State - Mullen is also in the perfect place at the perfect time. Ole Miss could spend the better part of a decade getting out of where they're heading. Meanwhile, it's not beyond reason to think Mullen could host Alabama in a couple months with no more than one or two losses. Maybe less. That'll buy another water tower or two down yonder.

Georgia - Kirby's our guy. He got his signature win in South Bend, the next step is winning the East. If that doesn't happen this year, then it better next year or he'll be much further down this list.

South Carolina - Muschamp is recruiting well enough to bring that program above the hole Spurrier dug. He also seems to have matured some, which certainly helps. You know, he has more of that head coach vibe going for him. In Florida he just always seemed like an extra mad assistant.

Kentucky - Stoops can win enough games at a basketball school to survive as long as he doesn't take Calipari's parking spot.

Florida - McElwain is swirling above the turds...for now. But that mess is really starting to stink. If the team starts losing too (which should've happened Saturday to be honest), it's only going to swirl faster.

LSU - "Ol' Coach O need to coach em up now and coach dem up good too. Dem suits already made that move wonce so Coach O kno dey pissed. Woo boy yeh!"

Auburn - Malzahn's entire career is built on a quarterback that fell into his lap. We've been asking for years, "If he's such a genius, why can't he replicate stats and actual on field results?" He'll need better than 8-4 to have a chance. And nine wins doesn't look like enough unless one of them is against that King up there at the top.

Ole Miss - Matt Luke is just borrowing the office on a six month lease. Could a miracle happen? Sure. If he rallies them to a big win or two he could at least get an interview. Also, Ole Miss could decide they don't have a better option for the time they're in NCAA purgatory. A lot still undecided here.

Arkansas - Bret coaching for his job this weekend against Sumlin. Who's the most desperate for the win? I think Sumlin is the better coach, but who has a firmer grasp of their team after rocky starts? A Razorback loss and Bret could have even more time for hoppin' on his wife.

Missouri - The only reason Odom isn't lower is because no one in Columbia MO is really interested in handing out a pink slip before summer is officially over. "Fired your defensive coordinator the second week of the season and then promptly lost to Purdue by 32 points? Alright, let's meet again in November Barry."

Tennessee - Butch needs to beat UMass Saturday and then beat Kirby the second time in as many meetings to stand a chance at seeing October. Lose to Georgia and his desk will be cleaned out before his post-game press conference is over. Lose to UMass and he may go missing before hitting the podium.

A&M - Sumlin is a dead man walking. It's not a matter of if, just when.

What an overall mess huh? Has there ever been a season that has seen this much coaching turmoil in one conference? It has everything from a scandal in Oxford to a glorified cheerleader in Knoxville trying to keep his career out of his own trash can. It's fun when it's not your team going through the uneasiness.

And it's going to be fun to see who can salvage enough to stay another year. As mentioned above, starting this weekend there will be a lot of games in the coming weeks that not only will decide places in conference standings, but also who starts shopping for moving companies.

2018 Georgia Bulldogs football schedule announced

The 2018 Georgia Bulldogs Football Schedule has been officially announced. UGA opens the 2018 season at home on Sept. 1 vs. Austin Peay.

UGA released the schedule via their Twitter account last week, but inadvertently posted it early because they later deleted the tweet.

Tennessee visits Sanford Stadium on Sept. 29 for Georgia’s first home conference game. Other home SEC games include Vanderbilt (Oct. 6) and Auburn (Nov. 10).

Georgia faces a difficult SEC road schedule in 2018, including trips to South Carolina (Sept. 8), Missouri (Sept. 22), LSU (Oct. 13), and Kentucky (Nov. 3), in addition to the Florida game in Jacksonville on October 27 (Georgia is the home team).

Georgia’s remaining non-conference games will all take place in Athens, including Middle Tennessee on Sept. 15, UMass on Nov. 17, and Georgia Tech on Nov. 24.

The 2018 SEC Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

2018 UGA Football Schedule

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Smart, Bulldogs preview showdown against Mississippi State

ATHENS, Ga. – Two top-20 teams meet this Saturday at Sanford Stadium when the 11th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs take on 17th-ranked Mississippi State at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

On Monday, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, along with several players, previewed this weekend’s Southeastern Conference opener. They offered the following comments.

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening statement … 

“Welcome, guys. Looking forward to a great opportunity to play a really well-coached, good football team both sides of the ball — very explosive. I have a lot of respect for Coach (Dan) Mullen and their program, having gone against them for a long time my previous stop. I think they’re a very physical team. They always are. Very hands-on on special teams. I’ve always had respect for his special teams units. He seems to always find really good quarterbacks, especially dual-threat guys. He’s known for developing those type of guys. He’s done a good job with their overall program.

Defensively right now they’re playing as good as anybody in the conference — playing really hard on defense, playing really physical. So, they’ve got a very good team.

We are excited for the matchup. We obviously need to make the home atmosphere special, make it tough for them to play in. I am encouraging all the Dawg Nation to be there, which I know they will, be loud and proud.

We’ll open it up for questions.”

On Mississippi State junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald … 

“I didn’t know much about Nick [in the recruiting process]. He was kind of under the radar. Just goes again to show what Dan has been able to do with quarterbacks. He saw something in the kid. He’s unbelievably competitive, physical, big. I mean, he did it with Dak Prescott. Dak was not a highly recruited guy. A guy with good size, dimensions, has the ability to throw the ball, but can run. Nick played in a little bit of a different offense at high school. He’s developed as a quarterback. To see him this year compared to all the games we watched last year in the off-season, he’s one of the most vastly improved players because he’s not one-dimensional any more. He was really a runner last year. That’s not the case. I saw that same growth with Dak Prescott during his time at Mississippi State.”

On MSU defensive coordinator Todd Grantham … 

I’ve known Todd for a long time. He used to come and talk ball with us when I was at LSU on Nick’s staff. We would share ideas, pressures when he was in the NFL. I have communicated with him when we played like opponents when he was here and we tried to help each other back and forth. I think Todd does a tremendous job. He’s very smart, very knowledgeable, knows how to attack protections. He’s a guy that’s constantly working on getting better. He’s got these guys believing and playing really hard, really physical. Got some good players. Got some big guys up front. They’re playing hard. He’s got some fast guys. They just seem like they have a lot of guys they play. They use them well. They use them to their strengths. They moved Jeffery Simmons around. Got good players, good guys in the secondary. He has those guys believing in each other and they’re playing really hard.

On Nick Fitzgerald being an ‘under the radar’ recruit and the advancements he has made…

“He played in a system that didn’t really show off some of his skill set. When you take a guy that’s running option, those kind of things in high school, sometimes you take that with the idea that this guy is going to grow into something. I’ve seen quarterbacks like that turn into great tight ends. That wasn’t the case with him. Dan took him and developed him and worked really hard with him. He’s got a lot of family members. He’s kin to Charles Pledger, who played here with me. He’s been telling me about the guy ever since he got over there. He’s done nothing but get better every time.”

On similarities between Fitzgerald and Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush…

“I think Wimbush and Nick are very different type guys. Nick is a unique quarterback with his length, ability to see over. He’s a lot faster than you think, deceptively. He doesn’t look as if, when you talk to people that played him, he’s running real fast, but he is. I think that’s different. Wimbush had a little bit more quick twitch. This kid is long and fast. When you get loose on him, you see him running away from SEC defenses. You didn’t see that with Wimbush. They didn’t play SEC defenses. This guy has gone up against the kind of defenses we’ve had repeatedly. He’s faced that a bunch. He’s a good player. We’re excited for the opportunity to compete against him.”

On Georgia’s offensive line … 

“I think you’re always tweaking. I think you’re always looking for the best players. We have who we have. We try to get what we have better. I think that’s an area that obviously we can improve on. Each guy that’s played has done some good things. Kendall Baker has shown some good things, has some mishaps. Same with Pat Allen. Solomon [Kindley] is getting more steady in there. He has to continue to improve. He gives us something that we don’t have, but we only have kind of so many options. You got to use the options you got best. We’ll continue looking at guys across the board. Some guys may get some looks at guard.”

On the emergence of redshirt-sophomore DB J.R. Reed … 

“We found out about J.R. really through the recruitment of Deangelo Gibbs. He’s a relative of Deangelo. Good friends, grew up together. Deangelo kept bringing his name up, his family did. His father Jake being from right down the road. As far as him becoming a starter, he kind of emerged in the spring. He was on the scout team last year. We didn’t know while he was on the scout team what caliber of player he was going to be. You just look at a card. You don’t actually run our defense, you run the other team’s defense. We saw athleticism, but didn’t know whether he was going to be a starter or not. We knew at the end of the spring that he was going to be a starter. He is impressive both mentally and physically. He practices really hard. That gives him a competitive advantage. He’s been a good pickup. He’s been a savior in some sorts because of the thin secondary we’ve had.”

On giving defenses different looks on offense … 

“I think it’s important. I think it’s probably overrated a little as far as shotgun, offense, “I” offense. I mean, at the end of the day, you got to run the ball, you got to stop the run. It’s how you do it most efficiently. Some of that is based on your personnel, what your guys do good. I think defensively the way teams look at is, when you’re in the shotgun, it’s not like it’s a secret. When you’re in the “I”, it’s not like it’s a secret. They can look at those things, see it, try to get tendencies off it. I think every coach in America is trying to break his tendencies. I think it’s a little overrated as far as what are you: “I”, the shotgun. I don’t know many teams that don’t go under center, don’t go under shotgun.

On the progress of sophomore QB Jacob Eason and how freshman QB Jake Fromm has looked … 

“Jacob is recovering well. Hope to get him out there today to do some things. He’s running, moving around. We’ll get to see how he goes. I haven’t got to see him in three days. We’ll find out more today where he’s at. As far as Jake Fromm, I think he continues to improve. He’s got some areas he’s got to improve in. He’s making better decisions more consistently, which for us, the quarterback position is a decision-making position. We’re not asking the guy to go out there and scramble around and make runs. We have to get him to make good decisions. As long as he does that, we can play winning football. He’s improved in that area, but has some growth to go.

On the key to senior OLB Lorenzo Carter’s intensity … 

“Let me say this. He turns on the aggression in the game, but that doesn’t make you a savage. He plays aggressively in the game. That’s the way you should play. The guy plays with relentless effort, which we talk about all the time. An uncanny ability not to be denied. He’s not going to let an offensive tackle or running back stop him. As far as how you cut that loose in somebody, I think everybody’s different. Some guys are motivated through fear. Some guys are motivated by self-motivation. Some guys, they want to be yelled at to get them going. Lorenzo is a self-starter. He plays hard without encouragement. He plays hard because that’s who he is.

On tight ends getting the ball more … 

“I always redirect all that to what is the performance of those guys. Are they blocking well? Are they doing the things they have to do? Are they able to open up play-action? At the end of the day, you kind of get how you practice. Guys practice the right way, they play physical, they block, then they usually get rewarded because our run game is better, the play-action game is better. If they don’t do those things, we usually don’t have a lot of success. We have some improvement in that area, and we have to play better in that area.”

On if hype increases because it is an SEC game…

“I don’t really know when you say ‘ratcheted’ up. Every week is the same level intensity for me. We don’t take opponents lightly. It’s not like we say, okay guys, SEC this week, let’s go practice harder, practice longer. We have a plan, we have a process we do each week. We follow that process each week. I don’t think it’s let’s jack it up, crank it up. That wouldn’t be fair to the opponents we just played. But as far as where we are, I think playing a team like this this week will tell us a lot. It’s hard to say. I’m not going to sit here and say we’ve arrived, because I don’t think that’s the case. I think we’ve improved. I think we have to continue to improve to beat the teams we have on our schedule.”

On the young running backs and the future of the Georgia backfield … 

“I don’t know they’ve been given an opportunity to prove. They got to run the ball against Samford. I don’t know how many carries it was. I think you earn that by the way you practice against our defense who is pretty good at stopping the run. You earn that by how you protect the ball against our defense in practice. They get to go against them each day. They earn that by going against blitz pickups against our guys each day. They continue to develop in that category. So it’s important for them. Just because they went out against Samford and played well, I think that’s great, certainly makes me feel better about them going out and doing it in a game, but they still have something to prove to everybody. I think what those guys have done is take on a role in our special teams. Nobody gives (Elijah) Holyfield credit, but he’s the guy blocking on kickoff returns, Brian Herrien covers kicks, D’Andre Swift covers punts and kicks. Those guys are very valuable in what they do.”

On what Georgia is missing without the services of senior DB Malkom Parrish … 

“Depth. Simple. We just don’t have a lot of depth. I think that’s important to have in the secondary where you play sometimes upwards of 80, 90 snaps. You got five and six guys on the field. When you don’t have extra guys to sub and play, it makes you very thin.”

On the status of junior wide receiver Michael Chigbu and junior ILB Rashad Roundtree … 

“Chigbu should be good to go. We expect him out there today. We’ll find out more. Rashad has been going through some concussion things that we’ve had to handle protocol with. Hopefully we get Rashad back soon. Chigbu will be out there today.

On the team being in-sync on the sideline … 

“To me we’re doing everything we did last year. Maybe we’re doing it more efficiently. I certainly think everybody’s into the game every game. They better be. If they’re not, they shouldn’t be on the sideline. I think organization is important. I think making sure you understand the situations in the game that come up. I mean, people substitute on offense, substitute on defense. You’re always trying to stay on top of that and in tune with it. But I don’t know that it’s much different.

On if Malkom Parrish will be available Saturday … 

“We hope to see today. Again, we’re going off last time I saw him do anything was really Thursday. Today we’re going to be able to do more with him. We hope to be able to get him back this week. I can’t tell you anything until after practice today.

On Georgia’s special teams and the play of junior wide receiver Jayson Stanley on the coverage unit …

“I don’t think people give Jayson Stanley enough credit. If you go back and watch the tape, the guy has been dominant in coverage, like kickoff and punt. Now, fortunately with the ability of our specialists to kick it higher, deeper, longer, hang time, he’s getting to show those skill sets. They’re also making it where we don’t know what the coverage unit does because they haven’t had to cover. They’re covering, but the balls aren’t coming out. I like that just as much. Rod (Rodrigo Blankenship) has done a tremendous job. I can’t say kickoff coverage we’re a lot better than last year because Rod has kicked the ball out of the end zone. That’s a great problem to have. You get to find out more when one comes out. Then punt coverage, done a good job of bombing it. Jayson has been all over it. We’ve had several fair catches. Those coverage units, we’ve worked hard on them. I think they’re improved, but they don’t get tested as much as they used to.

Senior TE #83 Jeb Blazevich
On what he has seen on video of Mississippi State
So far tracking the LSU game, it is flaringly obvious that coach (Todd) Grantham, coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, coach (Kirby) Smart and coach (Mel) Tucker all come from the same circle with different wrinkles. I think the defenses are somewhat similar to what we run and things that we’ve seen before.

On Jake Fromm’s play through the first three games
“I’m so proud of him. He is an awesome guy and has a crazy, hard work ethic. He just wants to be the leader of this team and he isn’t afraid to step up and do that. I think he’s not afraid of taking chances and he’s not afraid to put himself out there and he just gives it all he’s got. He is getting his reads right and multiple checks at the line. It was a weird schedule last week with the hurricane affecting us but I think he did a good job at staying consistent.”

On the involvement of the tight ends in the passing game…
“We are just trying to win games and we are winning games, so however we need to do that that’s where our head is at. Obviously when we called those passing routes, it is up to us to get open and if not get other guys open. As long as our passing game as a whole is doing well and we are able to contribute to that then that’s all we care about.”

Junior ILB #3 Roquan Smith
On facing Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald…
“I think it is a huge challenge. They pride themselves on running the ball and we pride ourselves in stopping the run. So with them coming into Sanford, I’m looking forward to it and it is a great opportunity. He can throw it and run the ball so he is an awesome guy, an awesome athlete.”

On similarities between Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush and Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald…
“They are definitely both dual threats but they are two different style of runners as well. Nick is a bigger guy and what not but I’m just looking forward to the opportunity. It is all just form tackle technique at the end of the day so the bigger you are, the harder you fall.”

On the SEC opener and the matchup between two top-25 teams…
“At the end of the day, we have to keep the main thing, the main thing. It is just the next game on the schedule and we just have to take care of it like its the next game on the schedule.”
Junior WR #5 Terry Godwin
On Jake Fromm’s development…
“Just for him to go out in Notre Dame in that type of environment and put on the show that he put on, that’s amazing because he’s a 18/19-year old kid. Being in an environment like that and being able to keep his poise in the pocket. To come home to Sanford Stadium for his first career start here, it was amazing for him to go out there and get that win for us.”
On former Georgia safety Jonathan Abrams
“I actually talked to Jon earlier today. Just to see him out there doing his thing, that makes us smile. For us, he’s still a part of this Bulldog nation, and that’s something that we lean on. Even when he left here we still kept in touch, and still communicate to this day. For any Bulldog to leave, it’s tough to see them go because you build that bond with them, and no matter where you are, you’re still going to keep that bond and communicate with them.”
On starting conference play…
“For me it feels like any other week. I’m going to prepare my mind the same way I did last week and the week before that. We just have to come out there ready to play. I’ve had the mindset to go out there and play hard every day, no matter who our opponent is. Just keep pushing and give it my all.”
Redshirt Sophomore DB #20 J.R. Reed
On the lack of interceptions from the secondary…
“Yeah it’s a major talking point. We’ve got to work on our hands. We’ve got to catch those. I dropped one, Aaron Davis dropped one, Tyrique McGhee dropped one. We have the opportunities, so it’s not us getting opportunities, it’s just us taking them, catching them, keeping them.”
On Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald…
“He’s a big guy. Watching on film, he wants to win. He doesn’t slide at all. He’ll score, and that’s the biggest thing that makes him tough to bring down.”
On the surge of quarterbacks who can pass and run the ball…
“I think it’s the new age quarterback. I think that’s what quarterbacks are coming to. You’ve got to be QB 2.0. You’ve got to use your feet and run the ball. And so it’s a different thing, and it puts a lot of stress on the defense. Defense has to adapt to that. I think we’ll be able to do that.”
On Reed’s father, Jake, and Mel Tucker’s common NFL background…
“It’s actually crazy. Some of the stuff my dad says, Coach Tucker says, and I just kind of laugh to myself, and so people are like, ‘What are you laughing about?’ And I’m like, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ Like stuff about film, stuff about players, little things that’s almost NFL-talk. You guys are saying the same thing, so someone must be right.”

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Time, TV set for Georgia-Tennessee game on September 30

Georgia’s game in Knoxville against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, Sept. 30 will be televised by CBS at 3:30pm ET, the conference has announced.

UGA fell to Tennessee 34-31 last season in Athens on a last-second Hail Mary. In Georgia’s last trip to Knoxville in 2015, the Bulldogs lost 38-31.

This will Georgia’s first appearance on CBS this season. The Bulldogs played Appalachian State on ESPN, Notre Dame on NBC, and Samford on the SEC Network (alternate). UGA faces Mississippi State this weekend at 7:00pm ET on ESPN.

Kickoff and television for the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville is already set for 3:30pm ET on CBS.

Georgia’s remaining kickoff times will be announced 6-12 days prior to the date of the game.

UGA Football Schedule

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Tramel Walthour commits to the Georgia Bulldogs for 2018

The Georgia Bulldogs have picked up a verbal commitment from three-star defensive tackle Tramel Walthour of Hinesville, Georgia (Liberty County).

Walthour announced his commitment to UGA via his Twitter account.

“Blessed to say that I am 100% committed to the University of Georgia” Walthour tweeted.

Tramel Walthour (6-4, 277) committed to the Bulldogs over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Kansas State, Ohio State, Purdue, Tennessee, and others.

In the 247Sports Composite, Tramel Walthour is listed as a three-star recruit, the No. 47 defensive tackle, and the No. 656 overall recruit for the 2018 class. and also rate Walthour as a three-star recruit.

The Georgia Bulldogs now have a total of 13 commitments for the class of 2018. Walthour is the fourth defensive lineman to commit to UGA.

UGA Football Commitments

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Early thoughts on SEC play and the Starville pups

Georgia finally opens SEC play this week. After so many years of having the Gamecocks in week two or sometimes three, it feels weird opening up the conference schedule this late. But alas, the OOC slate is shelved until November and it's time to strap em a little tighter men!

Still a little surprised by what happened in Columbia Saturday night. No, not talking about Purdue. How did anyone think Missouri would stand a chance there? Can we officially get rid of those Tigers now? I guess not since they've actually competed in the SECCG twice since they joined the conference. But man, what a joke.

I, I'm referring to Kentucky beating South Carolina at their own game. Deebo socked them in the mouth the first play and those Cats just rolled with it. I hadn't completely bought into the Gamecock hype yet, but I thought they would push the Wildcats around. After all, that was the same Kentucky team that struggled some against Eastern Kentucky and even shuffled their quarterbacks around.

And now the Gamecocks have lost their best player for the season. Hate seeing such a good player go down like that, but this is football. Wish Deebo a speedy and full recovery.

Meanwhile, down in Gainesville Butch still has his DB's in press coverage on the final play of the game more than half the field away from the Florida endzone. You think Shoop wishes he'd played that just a little differently? Give credit where it's due, the Gators saw what they were up against and went right for the win and not the 30 yard out to hope for a true field goal.

(pardon me while I spit that foul taste outta my mouth)

Shout-out to Coach Bobo for hanging tough against Bama. Sure, they never had a chance because of course they were far and away out-matched talent wise. But the Rams made it respectable by halftime and then scored some points in garbage time late. Our old quarterback showed he can move the ball against another elite defense. Good on ya Mike!

Ole Miss played their bowl game in mid-September and shat their pants. Oh well, basketball season should bring that old consortium feeling back to Oxford.

Back to the East, with Florida and Tennessee still trying to find their identity (one in the aftermath of a credit card scandal, the other perhaps at the bottom of a trashcan), is Vandy going to step up with Kentucky as the darling picks to challenge in the East? Granted, the Dawgs haven't proven to be the top dog yet, but we've had the most complete start to the season. However, if Vandy can play Bama as hard-nosed and tough as they did K-State Saturday night, then I'll be a firm believer.

Jared Stitham leads the Southern Conference in passing after torching the Mercer Bears for 364 yards Saturday. We were talking about this at the tailgate. Until Cam Newton or Nick Marshall's kid turns 18, Malzahn is gonna keep paying on that loan for the Struggle Bus.

Which leaves us with the dog fight Saturday night under the lights in Sanford. I guess I'm not surprised Miss State beat LSU. But I was shocked by the score. That Tiger defense just laid down huh? Clanga clanga.

Regardless, as a result the Fake Dogs come in boasting about being just shy of a touchdown favorite. I still like our chances. On the one hand they've got a mobile quarterback that is averaging 7.8 yards per pass and 7.78 yards per rush (via I still like our defense's chances at making their offense beat us through the air. And if Malkom Parrish can indeed play, forget about it.

On another hand, word is that Grantham has really pared down his defense. So you're telling me that gone are the days of 10 of 11 guys staring at the sideline as the center snaps the ball? Okay, good for you Toddles. But even despite my frustration with Coach Chaney's play-calling at times, I'd still take Jim against a defensive coordinator that's been run out of the last two towns largely because he can't make any mid-game adjustments.

In other words, anyone remember the MVP of the 2014 Belk Bowl?

UGA moves up to 11th in AP, 12th in Coaches Poll for Week 4

The Georgia Bulldogs, who defeated Samford 42-14 on Saturday, have moved up to 11th in the AP Poll and 12th in the Coaches Poll for Week 4.

Georgia received 940 points in the AP Poll, which is 58 more than they received in the Week 3 poll. In the Coaches Poll, UGA received 978 points, up 148 points from last week.

Georgia’s next game is Saturday, Sept. 23 at home against the Mississippi State Bulldogs (7:00pm ET, ESPN). MSU is ranked 17th in the AP Poll and 19th in the Coaches Poll.

AP Poll – Week 4

Coaches Poll – Week 4

1. Alabama (59)
2. Clemson (6)
3. Oklahoma
4. Penn State
5. USC
6. Washington
7. Oklahoma State
8. Michigan
9. Ohio State
10. Wisconsin
11. Florida State
12. Georgia
13. Virginia Tech
14. Miami, FL
15. TCU
16. Auburn
17. USF
18. Washington State
19. Mississippi State
20. Louisville
21. Utah
22. Florida
23. LSU
24. Oregon
25. San Diego State

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UGA releases The Reel: Notre Dame video

The Georgia Bulldogs have released the video The Reel: Notre Dame following their 20-19 victory over the Fighting Irish last weekend.

The video features highlights from the UGA-Notre Dame game with audio by Scott Howard and more.

Check out the video below. Go Dawgs!

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Georgia moves to 3-0 with 42-14 win against Samford

ATHENS, Ga. – Senior running back Nick Chubb rushed for 131 yards and two scores, freshman quarterback Jake Fromm hit 8-of-13 passes for 165 through the air and the Bulldogs from Athens moved to 3-0 with a 42-14 victory against Samford Saturday evening.

In front of a capacity crowd of 92,746 at Sanford Stadium, the Georgia defense was also impressive as it continued its strong start to the 2017 season. The Bulldogs, paced once again by Roquan Smith’s six tackles, held Samford to 249 yards of total offense.

“We’ve made some improvements in some areas, but we’ve got more improving to do,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s frustrating with some of the decision-making and the lost yardage plays. If we continue to improve, we can be a good football team. It’s a good group to be around. They do what we ask them to do. They are continuing to grow.”

Georgia scored on its second offensive possession of the game thanks to a 10-play, 87-yard drive that included just two pass plays — one coming on a 5-yard touchdown reception by Mecole Hardman. That TD was the first of Hardman’s young career.

Up 7-0, the Georgia defense forced another three-and-out. The Bulldogs took advantage and scored in just 27 seconds. The two-play drive consisted of a 47-yard completion to Riley Ridley, followed by a 32-yard touchdown run from Chubb.

Fromm and Terry Godwin then connected on a 51-yard score — the longest of Godwin’s career — to put the Bulldogs from Athens up 21-0 with 10:32 left in the first half.

Georgia withstood a Samford surge the rest of the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead going into the locker room. Samford’s only score came on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 9-yard TD pass from Devlin Hodges to TaDarryl Marshall.

“I was a little disappointed at halftime,” Smart added. “Samford had a momentum swing just before the half and give them credit for that. In the second half, we made a stop, got a turnover, the young quarterback showed he’s growing up and we cashed in.”

The Bulldogs from Birmingham started the second half with the ball, looking to get back in the game. Instead, Hodges fumbled, Georgia recovered and then Chubb went 14 yards over left tackle on the next offensive possession to put UGA up 28-7.

On Samford’s ensuing drive, Smith busted through the offensive front and made a big stop on 4th-down to set the Georgia offense up at the Samford 45-yard line. The Bulldogs capitalized as Godwin reeled in a 9-yard TD pass to put the home team ahead 35-7.

Georgia added a score from D’Andre Swift and the Bulldogs went on to defeat Samford by a 42-14 final.

Next up, Georgia hosts Mississippi State in a nationally-televised game on ESPN next Saturday at 7 p.m. ET inside Sanford Stadium.


*Chubb Hits Century Mark In First Half: Senior TB Nick Chubb tallied 13 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown in the first half and for the game finished with 16 carries for 131 yards (8.2 avg) and 2 TDs.  This was Chubb’s 19th career time with 100 or more yards, which ranks second in school history (Herschel Walker, 28).  Chubb scored on a 32-yard run at the 1:45 mark in the first quarter after freshman QB Jake Fromm opened a hole with a block on linebacker Dorsett Johnson.  Chubb then went in from 14 yards in the third quarter.  Chubb now has 33 career rushing touchdowns, which ties Garrison Hearst for fourth on the school’s all-time list.  This marks the 11th time in Chubb’s career that he has had two rushing touchdowns in the same game.

Chubb’s first scoring dash came after Fromm hit sophomore WR Riley Ridley for a 47-yard catch on the opening play of the drive.  This was the shortest drive (two plays) and quickest drive (27 seconds) for the Bulldogs this year. The Bulldogs had 459 yards of total offense (284-rushing, 175-passing).

*Fromm & Firsts: Sophomore WR Mecole Hardman hauled in his first career touchdown from Jake Fromm to put Georgia up 7-0 in the first quarter.  A second first came from freshman TB D’Andre Swift who scored his first rushing touchdown on an 11-yard run to give the Bulldogs a 42-7 edge.  Swift finished with nine carries for a career-high 54 yards and one TD.  Fromm also connected with junior WR Terry Godwin for a 51-yard score (a career long for each).  These were Fromm’s third and fourth touchdown passes of his career.  Fromm finished 8-of-13 for 165 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.

Fromm’s primary target on Saturday was Godwin.  He finished with four catches for a career-high 98 yards and two touchdowns, also a career high.  Current Denver Bronco Isaiah McKenzie was the last Bulldog to have two touchdown catches in one game versus Missouri in 2016.

*Series History: With tonight’s 42-14 win, Georgia improves to 3-0 overall and 2-0 all-time against Samford.

*Defense Flexes: In the first quarter, Georgia held the Bulldogs to 16 yards (14 passing, two rushing) as Samford held the ball for only 3:38.  Then in the second period, Samford registered 105 yards and scored a touchdown on two trips to the Red Zone.  Georgia stalled Samford’s final drive of the half as redshirt sophomore J.R. Reed blocked a 36-yard field goal.  This is the first blocked field goal for the Bulldogs since Ray Drew blocked one versus Georgia Tech in 2014. Overall, Samford finished with 249 yards of total offense. (22-rushing, 227-passing) Junior ILB Roquan Smith led the team with six tackles while senior OLB Lorenzo Carter had four stops, including two sacks. Freshman ILB Monty Rice had a career-high five tackles.

*Long Drive: The Bulldogs scored their first touchdown at the 3:48 mark in the opening period after starting at their own 13-yard line.  This 87-yard scoring drive on 10 plays is the longest for Georgia this year after going for 86 yards versus App State and having an eight-play scoring drive on another possession versus the Mountaineers.  Jake Fromm connected with Mecole Hardman on a 3rd-and-goal situation from the 5-yard line.

*Starters: Redshirt freshman RG Solomon Kindley started for the first time while junior LG Kendall Baker started for the second time in his career (also got the nod at Notre Dame).  On defense, sophomore DB Tyrique McGhee got his first career start.

*Turnovers:  The Bulldogs collected a fumble and gave up a fumble versus Samford.  The Bulldogs are now -2 in Turnover Margin this year.  Opponents have converted five miscues into 17 points and Georgia has scored 7 points off three turnovers.  Jake Fromm fumbled at the 4:58 mark in the first quarter to give Samford the ball at the Georgia 25.  Samford had a field goal blocked on the ensuing possession.  It marked Georgia’s first Red Zone stop this year after three touchdowns and two field goals were scored by the opposition in 2017.  Senior N John Atkins wrestled away a loose ball on Samford’s first possession of the second half.  Nick Chubb scampered in from 14 yards out after Georgia got the ball.

*Next Up: The Bulldogs (3-0, 0-0 SEC) host Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0 SEC) next Saturday at Sanford Stadium at 7 p.m.  ESPN will televise the matchup. It will be the first of eight straight SEC games for the Bulldogs.


Georgia head coach Kirby Smart

On preparing for Samford’s offense:
“We got lots of reps. We ran two huddles with the scouts. They are faster than anyone we’ve gone against. The benefit is we’ll see
more speed teams with bigger receivers and bigger linemen. Their quarterback is special; he’s frustrating.”

On the win:
“I was a little disappointed at halftime. Samford had a momentum swing just before the half and give them credit for that. In the
second half, we made a stop, got a turnover, the young quarterback showed he’s growing up and we cashed in.”

On the running backs:
“Running back is one of our depth spots. All of the running backs ran the ball hard, they protected the ball and they protected the
quarterback. They ran with great toughness. They do that everyday.”

On his team:
“We’ve made some improvements in some areas, but we’ve got more improving to do. It’s frustrating with some of the decision making and the lost yardage plays. If we continue to improve, we can be a good football team. … It’s a good group to be around.
They do what we ask them to do. They are continuing to grow.”

On Mississippi State:
“They have a tremendous program. They have a physical football team and they have a quarterback who can run and throw. They’re
hard to defend. They make you defend all over the field. It will be an exciting game. … It will be two top-25 teams and that’s what
the SEC is all about. It will be a great environment and our fans can create an atmosphere to help us be successful.”

On the defense:
“The defense has confidence in the system. They’re playing really hard and physical and we haven’t had a lot of injuries. We’ve been
able to develop some depth and that helps with the spirit and the camaraderie when a lot of people get to play. If you play hard,
you’ve got a chance. Throw in good players and that makes it easier.”

On Jake Fromm:
“Jake Fromm is a bright kid who knows where to go with the ball. He makes good decisions most of the time and he’s growing up as
a player.”

Junior wide receiver Terry Godwin

On his most memorable play from the game…
“Me blocking for [Nick] Chubb’s [14-yard touchdown run] when he scored. You come out here every day at practice and see what he
can do, a little bit at practice because we’re not fully tackling. But come out here on Saturday and you know that Chubb’s gonna get
it and what he’s gonna do. But when he does the things that he does, that’s special. That’s the best ‘back in the nation.”

On head coach Kirby Smart’s evaluation of the team’s performance…
“As a team, we’re all happy we got the win, but there’s a lot of things we can go back, watch film and work on, because we know we
can do a lot better than what we did tonight. So just little things we’ve got to work on.”

Senior linebacker Lorenzo Carter

On the defensive losing out on a potential shutout in the second quarter…
“We try to keep them off the board. That’s our goal: keep them off the board. We play good teams and we can’t stop them all the
time. They’ve got good players and they’re gonna make plays, too.”

On holding Samford to 4 of 11 conversions on third downs, including 6 three and outs…
“Three and outs are amazing. We love them, but like I said, we play teams where everybody’s got good players. They recruit and do
a pretty good job. We played a good team and they’re gonna win a lot of games in their league. They’re gonna make plays and
you’ve gotta live with it.”

On starting the SEC schedule…
“I feel like this team has a lot of confidence. We’ve been building it since offseason workouts. We have confidence in our players,
confidence in our coaches, so we’re just gonna keep grinding and playing the way that we’ve been playing.

Redshirt sophomore defensive back J.R. Reed

On Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges…
“He’s an NFL-type quarterback. He put the ball in some good spots, especially on the slants–he put them low where we couldn’t get
to them. We expected that. We expected him to get the ball out quick and quick little short routes, we expected we just had to rally
and tackle.”

On his first career field goal block…
“I just told DeAndre Baker when we go, I’m gonna go block this kick. We just blocked the whole left side and I told him, ‘I’m gonna
go get it,’ and I went and blocked it.”

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Georgia 20 – Notre Dame 19: “I never played against a team with speed like that”

Jake Fromm’s ability to lead the team on the road into that environment was one of the big unknowns entering the game. Further, regardless of the setting, how would he handle his first taste of adversity? His debut was in almost perfect conditions – he was at home, against an overmatched opponent, and the team was able to play in possession of the lead for the entire game. The conditions Fromm faced in Notre Dame game turned out to be nearly opposite. He was on the road, the opponent was more or less an even matchup, and Georgia played from behind for all but a few minutes.

Ignoring individual plays and decisions, I think that’s what impressed me most about the game. Georgia came back from a deficit four times. I think that’s where Notre Dame’s All-American offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey was coming from when he said, “We had them, for the most part, where we wanted them all game.” Notre Dame, a home favorite, had the lead for much of the game and forced a shaky offense with a freshman quarterback to answer not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. Who wouldn’t think they held the upper hand under those circumstances.

Will this go down as one of the great fourth quarter comebacks? Should it? I guess it will depend on how the rest of the season goes. This might be hindsight talking, but things never seemed that dire. Tense, anxious, and frustrated at times, sure, but I didn’t sense that Notre Dame controlled the game even as they maintained a close lead. Maybe the three earlier answers gave us confidence that Georgia had one more push in them. Perhaps the defense limiting the deficit to no more than six points kept the panic from taking over. As the defense forced field goal after field goal, you saw Notre Dame waste several opportunities to put Georgia in serious trouble and leave the door open for Georgia to tie or take the lead.

The Bellamy forced fumble, Wims using his size to set up the winning field goal, and Blankenship knocking it home were the highlights of the comeback. I’ll remember two additional plays. Before Georgia could drive for the win, they had to get the ball back. Notre Dame had possession and a two-point lead, and they faced a 3rd-and-3. Brandon Wimbush kept the ball and looked to have room around the left side to move the chains. Natrez Patrick shed his block and forced Wimbush further outside. J.R. Reed charged in from his safety position to stop Wimbush short of first down yardage, forcing a punt that led to Georgia’s game-winning drive. That drive started well enough with a 12-yard run by Chubb and a quick 8-yard pass to Nauta. Chubb was stuffed on second down, setting up a 3rd-and-1 near midfield. Sony Michel averted a disaster. Fromm faked the fullback dive and pitched to Michel. Notre Dame defensive end Daelin Hayes stayed home and was in position to stop Michel behind the line. Sony made a quick cut to the right to avoid Hayes and sustained the drive. Had Hayes made the tackle, Georgia would have faced a 4th-and-6 and likely would have punted with about 5:45 remaining. Even with the cut, Hayes got enough of the ball to knock it loose, but Michel recovered and finished the run. Fromm found Wims on the very next play, and Georgia was in position to take the lead.

There were so many of those individual moments in this game. Some had more frequent (Carter) or more spectacular (Bellamy, Godwin) moments than others, but it’s really tough to try to list them without feeling as if you’re leaving someone out. Roquan Smith was everywhere. LeCounte’s pass breakup was a sign of things to come for a talented freshman. Sanders made a touchdown-saving play on the game’s first snap. Thompson, Clark, and Atkins disrupted a very good offensive line so that Smith and the other linebackers had room to operate at full speed and make plays.

Yes, the defense was outstanding (with the exception of penalties.) I was surprised Notre Dame didn’t do more to counter Georgia’s speed and aggressive pursuit. A successful screen pass was key in setting up their touchdown, but we saw few plays like that – screens, quick passes to neutralize the pass rush, reverses to catch the defense going the wrong way, and similar tricks we’ve all seen coaches use to slow down an aggressive defense. They stuck with the read option plays that could be contained and funneled to the inside, and their pass plays often took long enough to develop that Georgia was able to tally far more QB hurries and sacks than they did in the opener. I expect future opponents who have the benefit of this film to be a little more deliberate about trying those countermeasures against Georgia’s defensive strengths.

I want to touch on one play on offense because it brings together a few themes that were a big part of the preseason and early season discussion: the running game, involving the tight ends, Fromm’s inexperience, and RPOs.

When we talk about RPOs, we’re often thinking about a quarterback who’s a credible threat to run. Fromm might have a little more mobility than Eason, but I doubt coaches want Fromm taking any more hits than he already does. He didn’t run the ball on any other read play when he could have easily gained some yards. So why, as on the second quarter fumble, would Fromm pull the ball back from the tailback as if he were going to keep it? Against Appalachian State, one of Fromm’s earliest completions was a quick-hitting 16-yard pass to Nauta down the seam after showing a handoff to Chubb. On the play that resulted in the fumble, again Nauta is releasing vertically while Fromm looks to hand the ball to Chubb. Even if Fromm isn’t a threat to run himself on either play, he still has two options: the straight handoff to Chubb is always there if the line shows a certain look, but that handoff option can have the same effect as play action. The option here isn’t run/keep; the option is handoff/pass. If the defense reacts to the run threat, Nauta is available down the seam. I think on the fumble we saw a misexecuted RPO rather than Fromm looking to take off running.

As a fan, I couldn’t have been happier with the weekend. It was an unforgettable trip, and the Dawgs won. As an observer of this team, I’m holding off talking about any kind of statement. It was a road win over a ranked team, and those are tough to come by. Hopefully the team found some things to build on and take into SEC play. But as a defining moment, it felt a lot more like a slightly better version of last season’s Auburn game. You were relieved to get the win, but the performance of the offense was sobering enough to take the edge off of a defensive highlight reel.

A trip to remember

It’s been a rough week without power and internet access since we returned from Chicago and South Bend, but I wanted to get a few posts out about the trip.

Our group arrived Thursday, and the flight up was reminiscent of earlier trips to Tempe and Boulder. Georgia fans in good spirits (and drinking good spirits) filled the plane, and that became a commonplace sight throughout the trip. We used Chicago as our base and did the Cubs/Dawgs/Falcons triple-header. For several of us, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to check off three of the most iconic venues in sports. It looked as if we weren’t alone, and many smiles, “Go Dawgs!”, and even a few barks were exchanged with thousands of fans throughout the weekend. The experience of being a Road Dawg is a treasure. It’s not always inexpensive, and it can be tough to leave family and other obligations for a distant football game, but it’s almost always worth it. I hope every dedicated Georgia fan can experience a big road game.

I was impressed with the folks behind the Dawg Days events in which thousands of fans participated. I can only speak for my group’s experience, but everything went smoothly – pre-event communication, registration, transportation, and of course the events themselves. It was a well-organized operation, and it even handled the sudden Cubs’ time change. Of course drink and bathroom lines can always be shorter, but that’s a fact of life when you offer free beer to Georgia tailgaters.

That brings us to the game and the campus. $400 million buys you some nice stadium improvements, and it showed. The exterior facade of the stadium blended into the surrounding buildings. Wide concourses had almost a vintage feel, modernized with all of the conveniences. It’s natural to compare the results of this renovation with the needs of Sanford Stadium, but that’s a whole other post for some offseason.

A friend called it “Masters Football.” The stadium wasn’t lit up with marquee boards, there was no find-the-leprechaun-behind-the-french-fries game, and in-game messages highlighted faculty achievements and other points of pride. The only blemish was piping in music, especially on opponent third downs, but that’s kind of a given now. (And with several of the music selections Atlanta hip-hop, perhaps they were just trying to make us feel at home.) The campus of course was immaculate with nearly every Georgia fan seeking out a photo opportunity in front of the Golden Dome or Touchdown Jesus.

The quantity of Georgia fans in South Bend shook a lot of us. Even Georgia fans who expected a large turnout were overwhelmed and didn’t expect it to be that big. I was giddy and immensely proud of the turnout, and I’m relieved that we left a fairly good impression. I don’t blame Notre Dame fans for being put off by an opponent taking over their stadium, but I agree with Michael that the Georgia turnout should be considered the highest compliment to Notre Dame. I don’t know that as many Georgia fans would travel to Penn State or Nebraska, though we’d have an above-average showing as we did for Arizona State and Colorado. Regardless of Notre Dame’s current relevancy, college football fans have to acknowledge the program’s place in our history. Most any program’s DNA has some common threads with Notre Dame whether it’s directly (Harry Mehre) or indirectly (Vince Dooley). If you want to go deeper than I care to here, you can explore Notre Dame’s embodiment of northern college football or even dive into Savannah Catholicism. For whatever reasons, we had to be there. A fun city like Chicago nearby added to the appeal, and the opportunity to take in Wrigley Field and Soldier Field as well as Notre Dame made the trip a must for me.

Seeing the red was impressive enough, but the lights during the fourth quarter fanfare took your breath away. The colors were tough to pick out in far corners of the stadium, but there was no mistaking the breadth of the individual lights from nearly every section of the stadium. There were audible gasps, and you can hear the roar growing from the Georgia fans as they realized the magnitude of the Bulldog presence. I heard a Notre Dame observer on the WSLS podcast talk about how demoralizing that moment was for the home crowd, and I wonder what it did for the teams. Georgia’s players and coaches have been effusive with their praise for the road crowd, and I would bet that it took a little wind out of the sails of the home team.

I’ve been a proponent of keeping these big games on campus, though I realize it’s swimming upstream agaisnt the money to be made from neutral site games. Kirby Smart has expressed his preference for the big neutral site games. Fortunately this home-and-home was negotiated before the coaching change. It’s a fact that the interests of the fans don’t always align themselves with what’s best for the team. Georgia could have simply scheduled another lightweight home game as they will in 2018. Speaking for my wallet, a trip of this magnitude isn’t workable every year or even every other year (especially if Jacksonville is an annual ritual,) but I’m already looking forward to UCLA in 2025. Perhaps the rarity and uniqueness of these games make them so desirable. I don’t know that I would have gone to this game in, say, Dallas. I’m selfishly glad they took the risk to play this series.

I should close by commending everything about Notre Dame. From Chicago to South Bend, ND fans were cordial, welcoming, and gracious. Campus ambassadors and game day staff went looking for ways to help and point us in the right direction. There was some bantering of course, and maybe Notre Dame fans are more subdued than usual these days, but I hope they have at least half as good a time in Athens in 2019 as we did last weekend.

UGA releases hype video following Notre Dame victory

The Georgia Bulldogs have released the hype video Family following their 20-19 victory over Notre Dame in South Bend.

The video features game clips and audio from the win and features the song “Surprise Yourself” by Jack Garrett.

Check out the video below. Go Dawgs!

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Georgia’s 2017-18 SEC basketball tip times, TV announced

The Georgia Bulldogs’ 2017-18 SEC basketball tip times and TV networks have been set, the conference announced on Wednesday.

Georgia will tip off SEC play at Kentucky on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. The game will be televised by ESPN at 6:00pm ET.

From the UGA release:

The Bulldogs will host Alabama at noon on Jan. 6, South Carolina at 1:00 p.m. on Jan. 13 and Auburn at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 on the SEC Network. A Feb. 24 matchup with LSU will begin at 2:00 p.m. on ESPNU. A fifth Saturday home contest against Tennessee on Feb. 17 is set for 6:00 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.

Georgia opens league play with a 6:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve date against Kentucky at Rupp Arena that will air on ESPN. The Bulldogs will be on the ESPN family of networks five times, including a 9:00 p.m. ESPN2 outing at Missouri on Jan. 10 and three ESPNU appearances – at LSU on Jan. 16, at Mississippi State on Feb. 3 and the aforementioned LSU game in Athens on Feb. 24.

The Georgia Bulldogs open the 2017-18 season on Friday, Nov. 10 against Bryant at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.

UGA Basketball Schedule

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2018 Georgia Bulldogs football schedule released

The 2018 Georgia Bulldogs Football Schedule has been released by the school. UGA opens the 2018 season at home on Sept. 1 vs. Austin Peay.

UGA released the schedule via their Twitter account, but must have inadvertently posted it early because they later deleted the tweet.

Tennessee visits Sanford Stadium on Sept. 29 for Georgia’s first home conference game. Other home SEC games include Vanderbilt (Oct. 6) and Auburn (Nov. 10).

Georgia faces a difficult SEC road schedule in 2018, including trips to South Carolina (Sept. 8), Missouri (Sept. 22), LSU (Oct. 13), and Kentucky (Nov. 3), in addition to the Florida game in Jacksonville on October 27 (Georgia is the home team).

Georgia’s remaining non-conference games will all take place in Athens, including Middle Tennessee on Sept. 15, UMass on Nov. 17, and Georgia Tech on Nov. 24.

The 2018 SEC Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

2018 UGA Football Schedule

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Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter named SEC Defensive Player of the Week

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia senior Lorenzo Carter has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in the win at #24 Notre Dame, according to a league announcement.

Carter, a native of Norcross, Ga., jumpstarted the Bulldog defense in the team’s come-from-behind 20-19 victory against the Irish. Carter tied for the team’s second most tackles with seven, including a sack, forced fumble and recovered fumble on a single play with under two minutes left in the third quarter and Georgia up 17-16.​

Carter, who also had a second forced fumble in the game, then pounced on another loose ball with under two minutes left in the game and the Bulldogs leading 20-19 to help clinch the victory. Carter was an anchor to a Georgia defensive unit that limited the Irish to 55 yards on the ground, which was Notre Dame’s lowest output since 2011.

The Bulldogs return to Sanford Stadium to host Samford (2-0) on Saturday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and the matchup will be televised by the SEC Network Alternate channel.

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Time, TV set for Mississippi State-Georgia game on September 23

Georgia’s home game in Athens against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday, Sept. 23 will be televised by ESPN at 7:00pm ET, the conference has announced.

UGA and Mississippi State last met in 2011 in Athens. Georgia won that game 24-10 to extend their overall leads in the series to 17-6.

This will Georgia’s second appearance on ESPN this season. The Bulldogs played Appalachian State on ESPN and Notre Dame on NBC. UGA faces Samford this weekend on SEC Network Alternate.

Kickoff and television for the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville is already set for 3:30pm ET on CBS.

Georgia’s remaining kickoff times will be announced 6-12 days prior to the date of the game.

UGA Football Schedule

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UGA moves up to 13th in Week 3 AP and Coaches polls

The Georgia Bulldogs, who defeated Notre Dame 20-19 on Saturday, have moved up to 13th in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll for Week 3.

Georgia received 882 points in the AP Poll, which is 197 more than they received in the Week 2 poll. In the Coaches Poll, UGA received 830 points, up 80 points from last week.

Georgia’s next game is Saturday, Sept. 16 at home vs. the Samford Bulldogs (7:30pm ET, SECN Alternate).

AP Poll – Week 3

1. Alabama (58)
2. Oklahoma (2)
3. Clemson (1)
4. USC
5. Penn State
6. Washington
7. Michigan
8. Ohio State
9. Oklahoma State
10. Wisconsin
11. Florida State
12. LSU
13. Georgia
14. Louisville
15. Auburn
16. Virginia Tech
17. Miami (FL)
18. Kansas State
19. Stanford
20. TCU
21. Washington State
22. South Florida
23. Tennessee
24. Florida
25. UCLA

Coaches Poll – Week 3

1. Alabama (58)
2. Clemson (2)
3. Oklahoma
4. USC
5. Penn State
6. Washington
7. Michigan
8. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State
10. Florida State
11. LSU
12. Wisconsin
13. Georgia
14. Louisville
15. Miami (FL)
16. Virginia Tech
17. Auburn
18. Kansas State
19. Stanford
20. TCU
21. South Florida
22. Washington State
23. Tennessee
24. Utah
25. Florida

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Sunday thoughts on 20-19

Huge win in South Bend. What a showing by our defense! Just an incredible feeling this morning that helps instill a lot of hope for the future of this program.

But first, what went wrong.

- 12 penalties for 127 yards. From what I saw it was a mixture of bad calls, a little home cooking, over eagerness, and an aggressive defense trying to make a big play in a big game. Even good teams have trouble overcoming that much laundry on the field. The holds were especially damaging, so it was nice to see Smart get in Blazevich and Wilson's face and "coach" em back up.
- Play calling, especially in the 3rd quarter when Chubb disappeared, was very reminiscent of last season. And that's troubling. Chubb and Michel each got 13 carries and 14 total touches on the night. Swift deserves the touches he gets, that kid is explosive. But it still has a feel that 27 and 1 are under utilized.

With those items out of the way, let's get to the good stuff.

- So many big plays by the defense, but it's the small stuff that made the real difference. It's refreshing to see so few missed tackles, good angles to the ball carrier, and solid game planning. On one hand Notre Dame's red zone offense was 100%, but on the other they only had one touchdown. That's a vast improvement from last season and makes a huge difference in big games such as this one.
- Anyone think Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter improved their draft stock last night? They lead the way and were everywhere! JR Reed is showing why Smart wanted him so badly. And Roquan and Patrick were their usual epitome of defensive dependability.
- Despite some troubling play calls, I thought Chaney did a good job of helping Fromm settle into the game early. He made a couple easy throws to start and it seemed to help the freshman get acclimated in his first road game.
- Staying with the young freshman, I thought his only real mistake was not dropping on the fumble. It looked he made the right reads. For instance, on the third and goal that lead to our first field goal, he had trips right and eventually threw to Michel towards the left corner of the end zone. It was a good throw just beyond Sony's reach. But most of all, given the coverage, it was the safest throw. Good game...even though he wasn't wearing khakis.
- I like seeing fullbacks get rewarded with carries for positive yardage.
- Godwin with two spectacular catches. Both put his vertical on display, not to mention incredible hand/eye coordination.
- Mecole is lightning in a bottle! Wow, his speed reminds me of Branden Smith.
- Congrats to Rodrigo, got a scholarship on Friday and came through with the game winner in South Bend.
- See you in Athens in a couple years Fighting Irish!

Those are my initial thoughts. But we have to end with the fans. I think Kirby said it best post game. His 18yo quarterback was able to go through his cadence and make audibles with relative ease in an opponent's stadium. That just doesn't happen on the road without Georgia fans making the trip and flooding the stands with red. I remember being awestruck in 2008 walking into Sun Devil Stadium in a sea of Red. But we didn't turn it into a 50-50 split like there was in Notre Dame Stadium last night. There's no question that the players and coaches felt that presence and it helped.

So again, kudos to you Road Dawgs!

Two and Oh Baby! Bring on Samford!

Defense leads No. 15 Bulldogs to 20-19 win at No. 24 Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A stifling defensive effort and an established ground attack by the 15th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs paved the path for a 20-19 victory over No. 24 Notre Dame Saturday night in front of a crowd of 77,622 at Notre Dame Stadium.

With less than two minutes remaining, the Fighting Irish had an opportunity to put together a potential game-wining drive, however the Bulldogs forced its second turnover to put the game away. On 1st-and-10 from the ND 36 yard line, senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy caused a sack-fumble on Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush and fellow senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter recovered the fumble. With no timeouts remaining for Notre Dame, a few kneel downs sealed the Georgia victory.

Defensively, the Bulldogs held the Fighting Irish to 266 total yards (211 passing, 55 rushing) and limited ND to 3-for-17 on third down conversions. In his first career start, true freshman Jake Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., went 16-for-29 for 144 yards and one touchdown. Georgia amassed 326 total yards of offense with 141 coming through the air and 185 yards on the ground.

“I didn’t say nothing to them (defense), Coach Tucker handled that,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “He had those guys playing hard. They played hard for him. They love him, and they played relentless. We’ve got to clean things up. We’ve got a good football team, but you talk about sloppy. Penalties, penalties, turnovers, turnovers. Can’t do that. I’m just so happy for these fans. We brought 40,000-some fans down here, and these guys are awesome.”

Senior running back Nick Chubb tallied 13 carries for 63 yards, while fellow senior back Sony Michel finished with 13 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. In the receiving group, sophomore wide receiver Mecole Hardman had a team-high four catches for 26 yards, while junior wide receiver Terry Godwin collected a team-high 36 yards on two catches.

Statistically, redshirt sophomore defensive back J.R. Reed led the Bulldogs with nine tackles. Carter tallied seven tackles, two forced fumbles, one recovered fumble and one sack. Junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith added seven tackles and one sack.

At the half, Notre Dame held the 13-10 advantage with each defense limiting the respective offense. Georgia held the Fighting Irish to 27 rushing yards and 114 yards passing. The Bulldogs tallied 86 yards on the ground. Fromm was 8-for-15 for 69 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Fighting Irish notched the first touchdown in the second quarter to go ahead 10-3, however Georgia fought right back on the subsequent possession. From five yards out, Fromm floated the ball up to the back-corner pylon for Godwin who reeled in a spectacular one-handed catch.

The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game, 17-16, at the 4:34 mark in the third quarter when Michel punched it in from 6 yards out on the ground. The drive featured a 40-yard dash from freshman D’Andre Swift and two personal foul penalties by Notre Dame.

The seesaw battle continued as the Fighting Irish went up 19-17 at 11:08 in the fourth quarter, but Blankenship booted a 30-yard field goal to regain the lead with 3:34 left to play in the contest. Blankenship’s third field goal decided the game.

Georgia is back at home in Sanford Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 16, against Samford. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will air on SEC Network Alternate.


#15 Georgia Postgame Notes @ #24 Notre Dame, Sept. 9, 2017 

*Playing from Behind And Getting Another Win: Georgia erased four deficits tonight, falling behind 3-0, 10-3 and 13-10, which increased to 16-10 in the second half, and lastly 19-17 in the final quarter before winning 20-19. With 4:34 left in the 3rd quarter, Georgia took its first lead at 17-16. With 10:21 left in the contest, Notre Dame moved back in front after an 18-yard field goal for a 19-17 lead. With 3:39 remaining, Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 30-yarder for a 20-19 advantage.

In head coach Kirby Smart’s first season, Georgia rallied back for five victories when they trailed in the fourth quarter, beating No. 22 North Carolina in Atlanta, on the road against Missouri and Kentucky, home versus Auburn and against TCU in the Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tenn.). Tonight marked the sixth time in the Smart era the Bulldogs have a fourth-quarter comeback. 

*Series History: With tonight’s 20-19 win, Georgia is now 2-0 all-time against Notre Dame. The only other meeting came in the 1981 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, a 17-10 Georgia win. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play host to Notre Dame in Sanford Stadium on Sept. 21, 2019. 

*Road Win Over Ranked Team:  Before tonight’s 20-19 victory, The last time Georgia went on the road and beat a ranked team on its home field came during the 2014 season when the No. 13 Bulldogs blanked No. 23 Missouri in Columbia 34-0. Georgia did open the 2016 season with a win over #22 UNC in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game in Atlanta. 

*Rare Road Debut For Freshman QB: Jake Fromm became only the seventh true freshman Bulldog quarterback to start a game, including just the second to do it on the road in his first career start as No. 15 Georgia beat #24 Notre Dame 20-19. True freshman Georgia quarterbacks to start included Johnny Rauch (1945), Joe Dupree (1990), Eric Zeier (1991), Quincy Carter (1998), Matt Stafford (2006), Jacob Eason (2016) and now Fromm. Zeier was the only true freshman to have his first career start on the road when he led #22 Georgia to a 37-17 win over #23 Ole Miss in Oxford. In that game, Zeier was 18-for-30 for 216 yards. In the first half, Fromm was 8-for-15 for 69 yards with one TD and one INT as Georgia trailed 13-10. He finished 16-for-29 for 141 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT in the win.

*Defense Leads To Victory: Sophomore DB J.R. Reed had a career-high nine tackles to lead the team followed by big games by junior LB Roquan Smith with seven tackles including a sack while senior OLB Lorenzo Carter registered seven tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.  Davin Bellamy forced a fumble on a sack and it was recovered by Carter to secure the victory.Notre Dame was 0-for-10 on 3rd down conversions with 6:22 left in the 3rd quarter and finished 3-for-17. Last week, they tallied 422 yards on the ground in the win over Temple but tonight were held to just 55.

*Rushing Attack: Georgia tallied 185 rushing yards highlighted by senior tailbacks Sony Michel with 73 yards and Nick Chubb with 63 yards. Chubb’s first carry covered 30 yards. Also of note, senior fullback Christian Payne notched his first career carries with two for 11 yards. Coming in tonight, Payne had 12 career catches for 119 yards and one TD plus four tackles on special teams. Freshman D’Andre Swift finished with 42 yards including a career-high 40-yard scamper that helped set up the go-ahead TD. Michel ran in for six yards for a TD to tie the contest with 4:34 and Rodrigo Blankenship’s PAT gave Georgia its first lead at 17-16. The scoring drive covered 75 yards on seven plays in 1:48.

*TD For Godwin: Georgia capped a 12-play, 62-yard drive in 5:39 with a 5-yard acrobatic TD catch by junior receiver Terry Godwin from Jake Fromm. It tied the game at 10-all with 6:45 left. It was Godwin’s first TD catch since the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl win over Penn State, and that one covered 17 yards. Tonight, he had two receptions for 36 yards.

*For Starters: A trio of Bulldogs made their first career starts in junior Kendall Baker (LG), true freshman Jake Fromm (QB) and true freshman Richard LeCounte (STAR). Georgia had four first-time starters last week in the opener against App State including one true freshman Andrew Thomas (RT).

*Blankenship Hits 2-of-3 FG: Sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 27-yard field goal to tie the contest at 3-3 with 6:36 left in the first quarter. In the second half, he missed a 44-yard attempt with 11:22 with Georgia trailing 13-10. He made his 2nd PAT of the night to put Georgia in front 17-16 with 4:34 left in the 3rd quarter. With 3:34 left in the game, he hit a 30-yarder to put Georgia ahead 20-19.

*Points Off Turnovers: Notre Dame scored 7 points off two turnovers, while Georgia got no points off 2 turnovers. In the 2nd quarter, Notre Dame turned a Jake Fromm fumble at the UGA 32 eventually into a TD. With 26 seconds left in the first half, Fromm threw an INT as the Irish took over at their own 47 and were forced to punt. In the 3rd quarter, Bulldog senior OLB Lorenzo Carter recorded a sack, forced fumble and recovered it at the Notre Dame 47. It led to a punt. Georgia forced a fumble on a sack with 1:27 left by senior Davin Bellamy, recovered by Carter to secure the win. The Bulldogs are -2 in turnover margin this year, and opponents have scored 17 points off the miscues.

 *Captains: Tonight’s captains were seniors Sony Michel (TB), Dominick Sanders (DB) and Lorenzo Carter (OLB).

*Up Next: Georgia (2-0) returns home Saturday where it will face Samford (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Alt. Channel).

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the Friday Misery exposes the Irish torso

The short of it is this – Y’all, they ain’t ready.

Of course I’m referring to Notre Dame, its fans, its town, its campus, and most of all its tackle football team.

Santa! Hey Santa!! SANTA!! Hey!

Their coach is on the hot seat, and someone just adjusted the flame so that’s it’s just a bit hotter. He’s the kind of coach that addresses his team’s failures by firing assistants and coordinators. Yes, Brian Kelly is trash.

Their history is as storied as it is ancient and irrelevant. At least to the game tomorrow night. Parseghian, Rockne, Leahy…they ain’t walking through that tunnel. The Four Horsemen will have zero yards rushing and Joe Montana will attempt as many passes as my dog.

The Notre Dame of today can’t even stand in its own History’s shadow. They’re nothing and they’re on a map to becoming even less. They beat Miami last year, but lost to Duke at home. They managed just a field goal against NC State and blamed Mother Nature.

That’s what storied programs do when they fail, they shift blame and try to distract you by pointing to all the Heismans in the trophy cases. The truth is that the “fighting Irish” have been just a squad of vegan yoga posers since before George O’Leary faxed that resume.

Georgia, on the other hand, is here and now. Kirby has zero F’s to give.

While Kelly is drafting a gameplan for another losing side of the press conference where he points to turnovers, or special teams, or the fact that their water boy just switched from boxers to briefs, Coach Smart knows this is the kind of game that is won in the trenches.

Yes, their offensive line is large in size and stature. But they are even less of a match for Trent Thompson than they are for our defense’s speed.

Quick, close your eyes and imagine Roquan Smith running around a big tree. One of those big south Georgia oaks. Now put a clock on him and see how long it takes him to get past that statuesque yet stationary massive growth. Two seconds? Less?

That’s Smith and anyone else on Coach Tucker’s three deep tracking the ball tomorrow night. Size is cool, but speed is sexy. And any and every Dawg fan will tell you that Saturday nights are made for sexy.

Other side of the ball is no different really. Both teams want to run. People have been telling me all week how many yards their running backs had against Temple. Okay, the same Owls that replaced half their defense from last season?

But Bernie, Josh Jones is 6’2″ and 225!
So? Jalen Hurd was 6-3 and 227 last season. Lemme give ya two more numbers…four and two. Put them together and that’s how many yards he had in Athens.

I don’t trust overly tall running backs. Too much of their torso is exposed. I bet Natrez Patrick is licking his chops.

As shown here, Hurd’s torso coughing it up.

And please don’t even start with me about this quarterback that set career highs as a freshman against UMass and then spent last season carrying a clipboard. Fromm stepped onto campus and was immediately the #2. If he’d've committed to Coach Kelly instead, well Wimbush would be carrying that clipboard again tomorrow night.

So gimme plenty of  Michel and Chubb, even with our offensive line that hasn’t quite gelled into a consistent unit. Those Dawgs up front have their own big bodies, and I’ve met enough offensive linemen to know that they love nothing more than to “road grade” run block.

Let Fromm take the snap, hand it to Michel, and then let the big boys make pancakes. Huddle up, flex Michel out into the slot, then do the same thing with Chubb.

Rinse. Repeat.

Yes, there will be punts and it will be a field position game at the start. But just pace yourself and don’t lose hope. Because I just know in my heart that those part-time ACC bodies can’t handle 60 minutes of SEC football. If their admins and powers-that-be can’t fully commit to a conference, no way their players can commit to taking a hit snap after snap.

These Irish want a “fight”, well we’ve got fly, welter, middle, and plenty of heavy weights. But we ain’t lacing up no gloves Coach Kelly. So tell your boys to strap those pretty yellow helmets on tight.

Now, please bow your heads…Dear Lord, please tell me who this Rudy guy is? I can’t find him on any college football statistical website or reference book. Just a picture of the dude from Lord of the Rings. Supposed to be some tie between him, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, so maybe he was O’Leary’s agent, but I’m at a loss as to why I should even care. And please shove Irma back out to sea,. Shove her so far that South Bend IN is the only locale in the USA needing FEMA on Sunday.

Amen, and Go Dawgs!

Open letter to you Road Dawgs

Dear Road Dawgs,

I trust this finds you well and with tickets in hand. I’m jealous that you are packing a suitcase, complete with Khakis and red polos and maybe a light jacket or two to survive those chilly summer nights in South Bend, while I sludge my way through the work week with one eye towards a Saturday night party.

While you’re boarding your flight or gassing up the motor vehicle, I’ll be checking to see how many pounds of brisket it’ll take to feed the horde.

And while you’re setting up the tailgate Saturday morning I’ll be mowing the yard and doing my best to rid the porch/patio/deck of mosquitoes.

Following the Dawgs on the road is what dreams are made of; this little ol’ blog was born against the backdrop of a trek to Tempe. Since then it’s been through half the SEC landscape, Boulder, Atlanta a few times, and even a few bowls.

Unfortunately, this trip has forced me to sit the bench.

But that doesn’t mean I have to be quiet. My prediction is that 25,000 or so Georgia fans will make it into Notre Dame Stadium, which will leave only ten or so thousand of you to meander around the streets. Regardless of how big the Sea of Red is inside the stadium, that’s a lot of Georgia fans that might be new to this travel thing. So…

First impressions should be painted red. There will be extensive visual footage around South Bend all the way through the end of the game. So, the more red the better. Half of their own fans are expecting to lose this game. So their alumni, faculty, and students walking out Saturday morning to more red than they’ve scene since Old Lady Stark and son Robb attended his wedding will only accentuate their inferiority complex.

Courteous, but with a tone of smart ass. Momma always said to be polite. But we’ve also seen her subtly finding ways to point out how tacky so and so’s dress is just before the processional on Sunday morning. In short, you’ll hear snarks about the barking and how you’re from the South, but rising above that fray goes much further in proving the point that we are Georgia and they’re just merely a half-assed part-timing ACC team.

Win the tailgate. Every college football fan thinks they know how to tailgate until a bunch of LSU Tigers, or Old Miss (whatevers), or Roll Tiders, and especially Georgia Bulldogs invade their town. Watch this video of our first tailgate in Columbia MO and pick out the spots where we are intrigued by their traditions, but with an air of “That’s so cute and bless your hearts“. What happens on the field we have little control of, but whether we win or lose the opposing fans should wake up Sunday morning think, “Wow, those guys and gals know how to eat and drink!

Speaking of which, drink the town dry. It’s tradition for local restaurant and bar owners to have to scramble for even more kegs and liquor by Friday evening when the Road Dawgs have just started to quench their thirst. If you’re staying in Chicago that might seem like a tall order, but I have faith in you.

That’s enough. Most of you know what you’re doing anyway and don’t need me to prattle on. The rest of you will be with someone who does.

So, safe travels y’all and Go Dawgs!

UGA releases The Reel: Appalachian State video

The Georgia Bulldogs have released the video The Reel: Appalachian State following their 31-10 victory over the Mountaineers.

The video features game clips from UGA’s 2017 season-opening win over Appalachian State with audio by Scott Howard and more.

Check out the video below. Go Dawgs!

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Bulldogs to face Georgia Tech and Kansas State on ESPNU

The Georgia Bulldogs basketball team will face Georgia Tech and Kansas State on ESPNU, the SEC announced on Wednesday.

Georgia will host in-state rival Georgia Tech at the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 19. The game will be televised by ESPNU at 9:00pm ET.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Bulldogs will travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The game is set for 2:00pm ET/1:00pm CT on ESPNU.

The only other game time and television announced is for the 2017 Wooden Legacy tournament. Georgia faces Cal State Fullerton in the opening round on Thursday, Nov. 23 at 10:30pm ET (ESPNews).

Georgia is scheduled to open the 2017-18 season at home on Friday, Nov. 10 against the Bryant Bulldogs.

UGA Basketball Schedule

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