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College

    ATHENS — While Georgia football doesn’t benefit immediately from Jalen Hurts’ decision to transfer from Alabama to Oklahoma, it only serves to help the Bulldogs in the long run. Hurts, as a graduate transfer, was eligible to play immediately anywhere he chose to go. Here are three ways Georgia benefits from is decision to play for the Sooners: RELATED: Chris Fowler explain’s ‘Pandora’s box’ of CFB transfer world 1. Hurts won’t be starting for a UGA scheduled opponent There’s no question Hurts was a much-coveted player during this offseason, offering leadership and championship game experience. Adding a player and a leader like Hurts might have been enough to get some programs over the hump. Tennessee, most notably, would have been a prime landing spot for Hurts. Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt   was said to have a good relationship with Hurts in Tuscaloosa. Tennessee isn’t on the Bulldogs’ level quite yet from a talent standpoint, but AD Phillip Fulmer has beefed up the Vols’ coaching staff and Hurts would have provided another immediate lift. RELATED: Vols fork out nearly $5 million for Georgia OC Jim Chaney  2. Alabama football weakens in 2019 with Hurts transfer There was a chance Hurts was going to decide to stay in Tuscaloosa and complete his legacy as a Tide legend. UGA fans can breathe a sigh of relief he chose another route. There’s no guarantee Alabama will reach the SEC Championship Game to face Georgia again, but it would be hard to bet against that happening. As big of an issue as it was for Georgia OLB D’Andre Walker to leave the SEC title game with the Bulldogs up 28-21, it still took a special performance from Hurts to exploit the loss of UGA’s sacks leader. Alabama, like Georgia, is stockpiled with talent. But it’s hard to imagine the Tide — or any other program this season — having a 1-2 punch like Hurts and Tagovailoa have proven to be the past two years. Indeed, Alabama’s QB depth was the only thing that stood between the Bulldogs and the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship as well as the 2018 SEC championship and a spot in the CFB Playoffs. 3. Georgia out of QB transfer spotlight for now The Justin Fields’ transfer story probably isn’t finished playing out in the national media yet — there’s still a controversial appeal for immediate eligibility to be filed (and likely won). But Hurts’ transfer talk will boost Oklahoma into the national transfer spotlight as it deals with the fallout of adding another player to its roster, one action triggering another. New College Football transfer destinations: -Brandon Wimbush: UCF -Tate Martell: Miami -Jalen Hurts: Oklahoma -Urban Meyer: Retirement* -SEC fans: Clemson -Florida State fans: 2013 -Alabama fans: 1st grade math * = “Retirement” is short for “USC, when the job comes open” — NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) January 16, 2019 Already, we’ve seen controversy at Ohio State where incumbent Tate Martell has announced his intention to transfer, and now Martell’s grounds for immediate eligibility will be scrutinized and measured against those in other programs. Georgia’s quarterback situation is suddenly quiet — still competitive, but in a more comfortable manner. Jake Fromm is the clear No. 1, and incoming No. 2 Dwan Mathis is eager to learn from Fromm to become the most prepared back-up quarterback he can be heading into the 2019 season. Georgia coach Kirby Smart also has the luxury of having depth at the position in 2019. The Bulldogs added former UGA walk-on and junior college transfer Stetson Bennett for peace of mind. Part of the issue with the Fromm-Fields situation last season was the Bulldogs had no other scholarship quarterbacks.           The post 3 ways Jalen Hurts’ transfer to Oklahoma helps Georgia football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episodes No. 865 (Jan. 16, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about 5-star UGA signee Nolan Smith. Georgia football podcast: 5-star signee Nolan Smith already getting attention from ESPN Beginning of the show: 5-star defensive end — and Georgia signee — Nolan Smith is UGA’s most important recruit according to a recent article from ESPN. I’ll talk about the impact Smith could make for the Bulldogs on today’s show and explain why he still might not be UGA’s most important freshmen. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s Mike Griffith joins the show to discuss the latest on UGA’s search for a defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. 35-minute mark: I discuss other SEC headlines including new Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis backtracking on some recent comments about his old boss, Nick Saban. End of show: I discuss the hype surrounding UGA’s game vs. Notre Dame in September and share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: 5-star signee Nolan Smith already getting attention from ESPN appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS, Ga. — Tom Crean’s postgame press conferences typically go straight to the point, and Tuesday night’s was no different. What happened in the 69-49 loss to No. 12-ranked Kentucky? “They are really good, we missed a lot of open shots, they’ll get better, we’ll get better, but the bottom line is outside of basketball-wise,   our maturity, mental toughness has got to pick up when things are not going well for us,’ Crean said. RELATED: Georgia can’t stop Kentucky despite sellout crowd and hot start “I know we don’t have a lot of guys that have been through a lot of   battles where they were the guy expected to carry the team the team, but that’s not an excuse, now we have to step it up and keep going.” Georgia is 0-6 this season when tied or trailing at the half, and in embarrassing losses to Tennessee (96-50) and now the Wildcats, the Bulldogs’ didn’t show much fight on defense or in 50-50 scrambles. Crean, with the Bulldogs (9-7, 1-3) SEC next facing Florida at noon on Saturday, sounds like a man on the verge of making changes. “It would-be different if I was hammering guys and pulling   guys out left and right because we’re missing shots, but I’m not doing that, but I’m going to have to start doing it if we’re not going to guard better on the defensive end,” Crean said. “And I’m going to have to make an adjustment at the start of the second half. “I don’t want to say we’re listless, but we’re not nearly where we need to be aggressiveness-wise. I’m going to deep dive into that to see if we need to make changes at the start of the second halves.” Kentucky used a 9-0 run to open the second half on Tuesday and blow open what had been a contested game through the first half, The Wildcats held a slim 35-31 lead at intermission despite UGA making only 2-of-13 shots in the first half. Georgia senior point guard William “Turtle” Jackson, who was 1-of-8 shooting and 0-for-5 from 3-point range, said the team would be ready to go back to work at practice on Thursday. He didn’t say anything about getting extra shots on his own on Wednesday, the team’s off-day. More time in the gym shooting is often what separates good teams from great teams, and the numbers suggest it’s something the Bulldogs clearly more of to be competitive in the SEC. Georgia was 326 of 351 in 3-point shooting last season and entered Tuesday night 238th of 351 teams. RELATED: Tom Crean has plan for Georgia basketball guard issues “Our four main guards were (2 of 19) from the three,” Crean said. “We let it affect our transition defense, a couple of turnovers that make no sense …. “ Georgia also committed more turnovers (14) than assists (12), giving UK a 14-6 edge on points off turnovers. “There were a couple of times we didn’t look at our target, and they shot the gap,” Crean said, explaining some otherwise puzzling give-aways. “We had a couple seniors do that, and it’s a joke when you get in your senior year at Georgia, you can’t make those passes.” Kentucky also outscored Georgia 40-22 in the paint, even after senior center Derek Ogbeide opened the game with three dunks in the opening five minutes. Ogbeide didn’t score after that, finishing with as many turnovers (3) as rebounds (3). What happened to Ogbeide, Crean was asked. “We tried to make some plays that weren’t there, he didn’t roll quite as hard a couple times as he could have, we got him the ball in the post and he was tentative with it,” Crean said. “They clamped down a bit, that was part of it,” he said. “But when we throw Derek the ball, he needs to score or get fouled, he doesn’t need to sit there and have like an hourglass, where time is wasting. I tell him that every day, we’re throwing you the ball for a reason, don’t stand there and wait, cut, I mean, rip it open, drive it, go score, or that’s when the length starts to take over or he rushes. “We work on those things, he’s got to get better, and I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think that he could.” Crean said he’s going to continue to emphasize the positives, and he said he has been happy with how hard his team practices and their focus coming into games. Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean The post WATCH Tom Crean: Georgia basketball ‘maturity, mental toughness has got to pick up’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Not quite ready for primetime. That’s all you can say about Georgia Bulldogs at the moment. The players want it. The fans want it. Tom Crean wants it in the worst way. They just don’t have the horses to run with the likes of Kentucky just yet. Or Tennessee. Or Auburn. Or Arizona State. That’s not meant to be a negative take on Tuesday night’s game between the Bulldogs and No. 12 Kentucky. On the contrary. Despite the 69-49 loss, Georgia’s really not that far away from being ready for primetime. All they’re missing at the moment is a guard or two. A point guard in particular. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the point guard they needed was playing for the opponent Tuesday. Ashton Hagans was a longtime UGA commitment under former Georgia coach Mark Fox. He backed out of that decision after Mark Fox was fired at the end of last season and Crean was unable to convince Hagans he should come anyway. For the record, Kentucky John Calipari said before Tuesday’s game he didn’t “flip” Hagans. “The family contacted us,” Calipari insisted. Doesn’t matter. Hagans was fair game, a casualty of Georgia’s decision to part with Fox. The Georgia students knew this, and they booed Hagans heartily every time he touched the ball and chanted “traitor, traitor, traitor!” every time Hagans went to the foul line. The problem was they were booing and chanting a lot, because Hagans had the ball in hands a lot. And when he did, good things were usually happening with it. Hagans was clearly motivated and might have been forcing the issue a bit early as he started off 1-of-7 shooting. But he eventually settled down and really made the Bulldogs feel his present in the second half. He made a 3 and two fast-break layups in the first four minutes to push the Wildcats out to a sudden 13-point lead in what had been until then a tight game. And he kept it up from there. Hagans was also the catalyst of another 8-0 run, scoring on a fast-break dunk and feeding E.J. Montgomery for an alley-oop on another nifty drive. Hagans finished with a career-high 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals. Contrast that with the line of Georgia’s starting point guard. Turtle Jackson had 2 points on 1-of-8 shooting, 0-for-5 from 3 and 2 assists. Everybody in Stegeman Coliseum was thinking the same thing: “Man, how much different would the Bulldogs look with Hagans on their team.” That narrative hasn’t been limited to the Kentucky game. Georgia was a victim of the same level of backcourt deficiency in its loss to No. 11 Auburn this past Saturday. It was not lost on anybody that the Tigers’ two leading scorers from that game both were guards from Georgia, Jared Harper of Mableton’s Pebblebrook High (22 points, 7 assists) and Bryce Brown of Tucker High (15 points). Crean knows this. Georgia’s working on it. They Bulldogs reportedly are in on some of the top point guards in the nation. A master identifier and acquirer of talent at Marquette and Indiana, Crean knows what great guards look like and how to sign them. Trouble is, none of them are going to be in a Georgia uniform this season. They’re are a few in other uniforms, though, including the one in blue Tuesday. The post Georgia Bulldogs not ready for primetime until they fix guard issues appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — A sellout crowd and strong start wasn’t enough for the Georgia basketball program to snap a losing streak to Kentucky that has now reached 12 games. The Bulldogs (9-7, 1-3) dropped a 69-49 decision to the No. 12-ranked Wildcats (13-3, 3-1 SEC) in an ESPN-televised affair on Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Nicolas Claxton left his best on the floor, leading the team with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Georgia was an atrocious 4-of-27 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc, missing on several open shots as Kentucky ran away with the game. Many of the sellout crowd left at the 9:01 mark after Kentucky went on an 8-0 run accentuated by two dunks, building a 16-point lead. Things grew worse, as the Bulldogs missed their final nine shots in the game, many of the fans marching out the aisles as UK dribbled out the clock. Kentucky hasn’t lost to Georgia in basketball since a March 7 defeat in 2013 in Athens (72-62). The Wildcats opened the second half on a 9-0 run, the first seven points scored by Kentucky point guard and one-time Georgia commit Ashton Hagans. Hagans scored a career-high 23 points for the Wildcats, and it marked the second straight game the opposing team’s leading scorer was a Georgia high school product. Rayshaun Hammonds, who entered the night as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, didn’t get his first points until the 14:54 mark, hitting two of three free throws to cut the lead to 44-33. It was an uninspiring performance from Hammonds, who finished with 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting and 4 rebounds. Kentucky held a 35-31 lead at the half, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor while the Bulldogs were struggling from the perimeter, just 2-of-13 beyond the 3-point arc through the first 20 minutes. Georgia opened the game in impressive fashion with five dunks and a free throw, leading 11-6 at the 14:12 mark on a Claxton dunk. The proved to be the highlight of the night. The Wildcats answered with a 12-3 run that took less than 3 minutes, off and running in transition as the Bulldogs missed four of five shots . Georgia came back to tie the game at 27-27 on a Claxton drive at the 4:55 mark that capped a 10-4 run. The Bulldogs missed seven of their final eight shots in the first half, yielding the lead to Kentucky at intermission Georgia returns to action with a noon home game against Florida (TV: CBS) before another sellout crowd at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs next five home games are sold out, with the Feb. 20 home game with Mississippi State the first one remaining with tickets available through the box office. The post Georgia basketball can’t stop Kentucky, falls 69-49 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It looks like Kirby Smart used one of his trademark moves on the recruiting trail on Tuesday. The UGA football coach apparently did some of his recruiting across in Atlanta via helicopter, which has been nicknamed the “Kirbycopter.” Very few things let a recruit know that a college head coach has arrived on your campus like a helicopter landing nearby. In fact, the whole student body was probably aware. In Smart’s defense, even if he wasn’t using the helicopter for theatrics, it’s definitely the best way to get around that awful Atlanta traffic. Eagle’s Landing Christian is located in the southeast part of the city. Head coaches only have limited days they can be on the road to recruit in person, per NCAA rules. This time last year, Smart used the Kirbycopter to visit as many as 1 5 high schools in one day. For more detailed information on UGA recruiting, please read DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell’s daily recruiting notebook.   The post Kirby Smart cruises in helicopter to recruit Atlanta area appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Kristen Eargle is the gift that keeps on giving. Georgia fans surely will recall the remarkable coach’s wife from Austin Peay University who inspired us all as the Bulldogs prepared for what before then was thought to be a meaningless season-opening game against faceless FCS program last August. But then we learned of little Lindsey Eargle, the daughter of Austin Peay offensive line coach Joshua Eargle and Kristen. The couple had only recently gone public with the financial and emotional struggles that had befallen their family as a result of the mysterious and relentless disease that ravaged their 5-year-old daughter. Out of that was born the #ForTheLoveOfLindsey fundraising campaign. It had only just begun when DawgNation, us, shared the Eargles’ story with the Bulldog Nation, you. Some beautiful things happened after that as Georgia fans did what they do best, which is to get behind a worthy cause. Facilitated by that enormous initial financial outpouring from the Bulldog Nation, hundreds of thousands of dollars have since been raised For the Love of Lindsey, and the Eargles’ lives have been transformed. And now, today, for the rest of the story. RELATED: Dawg Nation comes up big for Austin Peay family In addition to her roles as mother and wife, Kristen Eargle works for Austin Peay’s athletic department as a kind of in-house sports personality. Educated and trained as a journalist, Eargle serves sideline reporter during the Governors’ football games and hosts the coach’s show each week during the season. And now she has parlayed her experiences into a wonderful new podcast called “Coach’s Wife Life.” You may have heard of her guest this week. It was Mary Beth Smart, wife of the Georgia football coach who goes by the name Kirby. In her 36-minute interview with Mary Beth, Eargle confirms what I have always known — that Mary Beth is the secret to all of Kirby Smart’s success, at Georgia and all points before that. I’m only half-kidding. Completely honored to have Mary Beth Smart, @KirbySmartUGA, @FootballUGA Head Coach! She shares what she enjoys most about her role and how she heard my daughter Landrey’s story & what prompted her to give. #DawgNation #ForTheLoveOfLandrey https://t.co/WTO5aP9QbR pic.twitter.com/wbGTCG11BI — Coach's Wife Life (@CoachsWifeLife1) January 14, 2019 Eargle is a truly gifted interviewer, and the bonds between her and Mary Beth Smart are evident as she delves into the home life that Mary Beth and Kirby share with their children and few of us ever see. Here are a few of the revelations she uncovers: That Mary Beth and Kirby try to sit down once a week to watch to a TV show. This past season that came on Wednesday nights for the Netflix series “Shooter;” That even above all the national championship wins at Alabama, her favorite football memory of all now is Georgia winning the SEC Championship over Auburn in 2017; That her oldest son, Weston, has gotten interested to the point that he now asks Kirby “fans’ questions” like, “who’s gonna start at quarterback this week, Dad?,” which she discourages; That she is intimately involved in recruiting and it is her favorite part of being a coaches’ wife; That Kirby takes losses “extremely hard,” and so does the rest of the family; That she thinks it’s “silly” when people refer to her as “The First Lady of Georgia Football.” Believe me, that’s doesn’t even qualify as a snippet of the fun and enlightening insights Eargle uncovers. You must give it a listen to appreciate them all. RELATED: Eargle family plans to thank Bulldogs at halftime of game One touching and funny anecdotes Mary Beth shares is the reason her three children were not on the field with her at halftime when she surprised the Eargles with a check for $5,000 at halftime. It was because they had been “acting up” in the first half and that was her punishment for them. “As soon as I got down there I regretted not bringing them,” Mary Beth said, “because that’s what this was all about, coaches’ wives and families.” Have a listen for yourself. I found it enjoyable, enlightening and refreshing. It’s a nice respite from what has seemed like an endless stream of college football and coaching drama surrounding Georgia since the conclusion of the season. It’s also reaffirming. I’ve always suspected it’s the women behind coaches that make the great ones great. The post Georgia’s Mary Beth Smart shares secrets of being a successful coach’s wife with Kristen Eargle appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episodes No. 865 (Jan. 12, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Heisman buzz for UGA quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift. Georgia football podcast: Hype surrounding Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift can benefit UGA Beginning of the show: Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift are listed among the favorites for the 2019 Heisman Trophy. I’ll explain on today’s show why it would obviously be great if either player made a run at the award, but why Fromm’s candidacy might have greater reverberations for UGA. 10-minute mark: I’ll discuss a recent assertion from Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples that UGA could be building a program destined for lasting success similar to what Clemson has done. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… The recruiting impact expected from new tight ends coach Todd Hartley Whether it should concern UGA fans the program still hasn’t hired a defensive backs coach or named a defensive coordinator New details on John Rhys Plumlee after his Mississippi State visit Reaction to 4-star 2020 wide receiver Leonard Manuel’s Florida commitment An update on 4-star defensive back Kaiir Elam And a preview of DawgNation’s appearance at the Marlow’s in Buford Tuesday night 35-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including the new football facility at South Carolina, an example of the improvement Dan Mullen brought to Florida, LSU linebacker Devin White’s NFL declaration, Former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin’s return to Knoxville in a yet-to-be-determined coaching role, and a high-profile quarterback transfer’s recent Auburn visit. End of show: I congratulate the Lady Dawgs on beating Tennessee Sunday, send well wishes to the Diamond Dawgs — which were ranked No. 9 in the recent D1 Baseball preseason top 25 — and preview the men’s basketball game vs. Kentucky. I also share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Hype surrounding Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift can benefit UGA appeared first on DawgNation.