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College

    Looking back on the past decade of Georgia football brings to mind the old introduction to ABC's 'Wide World of Sports,' with its touting of 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat the human drama of athletic competition.' Yeah, Dawgs fans experienced all of that during 2010-2019: 10 years of incredible highs, heartbreaking lows and some mediocre days not worth mentioning. Reading over the Blawgs I wrote in that decade has brought back some extremely fond memories and a few that still make me shudder. Or wince ( should-have-spiked the ball with 15 seconds left the Prayer-at-Jordan Hare and second-and-26 being three prime examples). Wallowing in misery isn't what I'm undertaking today, however. This is a look at the best of the decade for the Dawgs. I have to admit, compiling the most memorable players, games, plays and moments of that decade was easy on some counts, and much more difficult on others, particularly when it came to deciding who should make an all-decade team at certain positions where the Dawgs have enjoyed a bounty of top-notch talent. (Can you easily choose between Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?) Other choices were clear-cut (at least, to me), especially the quarterback position , about which I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you'll agree with my choices, or maybe you'll think I'm way off-base on some of them. That's the fun of this sort of exercise; feel free to share your own thoughts on the best of UGA football in the 2010s. Now, first up, my All-Decade Dawgs: Offense Center: David Andrews. Runnerup: Ben Jones. Tackles: Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wynn. Honorable mention: John Theus. Guards: Cordy Glenn, Lamont Gaillard (who also played center). Tight ends: Orson Charles, Jeb Blazevich. Wide receivers: Malcolm Mitchell, Javon Wims, Tavarres King, A.J. Green. * Honorable mention: Chris Conley, Terry Godwin. QB: Aaron Murray. Runnerup: Jake Fromm. Tailbacks: Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel (a tossup, but a fully healthy Gurley gets the starting nod). Fullbacks: Christian Payne, Quavon Hicks. ( What the heck, Georgia had fullbacks for most of the decade and, unlike Kirby Smart, I'm a fullback guy. The toss would be more effective with a FB leading the way, I believe.) Defense Defensive line: John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, John Jenkins. Linebackers: Roquan Smith, Jarvis Jones, Justin Houston* Alec Ogletree. Honorable mention: Davin Bellamy, Leonard Floyd. Cornerbacks: Deandre Baker, Sanders Commings. Runnersup: Damian Swann, Maurice Smith, Aaron Davis (the latter two both played nickel back). Safeties: Baccari Rambo, J.R. Reed. Runnerup: Dominick Sanders. Specialists Punter: Drew Butler. Runnerup: Cameron Nizialek.* Placekicker: Rodrigo Blankenship. Runnerup: Marshall Morgan. Returner: Isaiah McKenzie. Runnersup: Mecole Hardman, Brandon Boykin. *Green, Houston and Nizialek only played one season each for Georgia during the decade, but they deserve their spots. And now on to other highlights of the decade Most memorable games 2012: Georgia 17, Florida 9. A terrific Malcolm Mitchell run after catching a fourth quarter pass from Aaron Murray and breaking a tackle put Georgia ahead. However, the game against the No. 2-ranked Gators was dominated by a Georgia defense that forced six turnovers, including a gamesaver by Jarvis Jones at the end. 2013: Georgia 44, LSU 41. With ESPN's 'College GameDay' in town and the eyes of the nation on the quarterback showdown between former roomiesAaron Murrayand Zach Mettenberger,the resulting 'Redout' game was one of the most thrilling I've ever seen, and, to date, still the absolutely loudest I've ever heard Sanford Stadium from the first kickoff to the final whistle. 2014: Georgia 45, Clemson 21. Todd Gurley gained 293 all-purpose yards, scoring 4 touchdowns, and Nick Chubb literally ran out of one of his shoes in his freshman debut, as Georgia pulled away in the second half to beat Dabo Swinney's Tigers, who in the second half were held to only one first down, 15 yards passing and no yards on the ground. 2017: Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19. The first big road test for Jake Fromm, it wasn't a pretty game, as the two teams combined to punt the ball 17 times, eight by Georgia, in a largely defensive struggle. But, the Dawgs persevered, and finally won it on a Rod Blankenship field goal. The first of quite a few thrilling moments during that magical season. New Year's Day, 2018: Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48. The Dawgs' double-overtime Rose Bowl win over the Sooners in the College Football Playoff propelled them to the National Championship game against Alabama a week later. It's the highest scoring game ever in the history of the granddaddy of bowl games and, for me, ranks second only to the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame in January, 1981. Honorable mention: The SEC Championship 'revenge' win over Auburn in 2017 the absolute domination of Florida in Jacksonville during that same season and the Dawgs' tough win over Notre Dame Between the Hedges in 2019. Most memorable plays 2011, Florida: A tie between the two fourth-down touchdown passes against the Gators in 2011 to Michael Bennett and Tavarres King. Both admittedly were great catches, but Aaron Murray put the ball exactly where it needed to be. 2012, Florida: Jarvis Jones stripping the ball away from Florida's Jordan Reed as he was about to score, preserving the most important win of the season for Georgia. 2013, LSU: Trailing the No. 6 Tigers 41-37 with 4:14 left, Aaron Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott Wesley with 1:47 on the clock. 2014: Clemson: Todd Gurley's 100-yard-plus kickoff return was a thing of beauty, showing off his deceptive speed. 2017, Notre Dame: Terry Godwin's acrobatic one-handed, falling-backward third-and-goal touchdown catch was one of the best plays in a season of great plays. NBC Sports labeled it 'catch of the year.' Honorable mention: The flea-flicker play involving Jake Fromm, Nick Chubb and Terry Godwin that opened the 2017 game against a surging Mississippi State team; and Lorenzo Carter's block of an Oklahoma field goal attempt on the second overtime of the Rose Bowl game. Play of the decade Rose Bowl, against Oklahoma: Sony Michel takes a direct snap in the shotgun and, picking up a key block from quarterback Jake Fromm, streaks 27 yards down the left side for the winning score in the second overtime, sending the Dawgs on to the National Championship game. Memorable performances Jarvis Jones, with five solo tackles and four sacks in Georgia's 2011 come-from-behind win over Florida. Leonard Floyd, with eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in Georgia's 2013 win over LSU. Nick Chubb, returning from knee surgery to run for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns in Georgia's 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game win over North Carolina. Roquan Smith, with 13tackles, 10 of them solo and two of them for losses, plus two fumble recoveries and a sack in the 2017 SEC Championship win over Auburn. He rightly was named the game's MVP. George Pickens, tying a Georgia bowl record with 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown against Baylor in the Jan. 1, 2020 Sugar Bowl. Favorite moments 2013, South Carolina: Georgia grinds out a 14-play drive to eat up the final 8:28 of a big win over the Top 10-ranked Gamecocks, and, midway through the drive, USC head coach Steve Spurrier throws in the towel by removing his headset and declining to call a timeout. Sweet. 2017, Notre Dame: Bulldog Nation taking over the Fighting Irish stadium, with NBC analyst Doug Flutie noting at one point, 'This is almost a 50/50 crowd.' At the start of the fourth quarter, you would have thought it was Sanford Stadium as Dawgs fans lit up the place with their cellphones, bringing with them a then-new tradition from Between the Hedges. Runnerup: Kicker Rod Blankenship being mobbed by his teammates in the locker room after the 2017 win over Notre Dame as Kirby Smart had the former walk-on announce that he was now on scholarship. MVP of the decade This is tough. Aaron Murray was a quarterback capable of putting the team on his back and somehow finding a way to win. Todd Gurleywas the most talented running back at Georgia since Herschel Walker and probably would have won a Heisman if not for injuries and asuspension. Sony Michel spent his career at UGA in tandem with Nick Chubb and, by the end of their senior year, was the more versatile of the two backs. But Chubb was awesome on a consistent basis, and came back from a devastating left knee injury to run for a career total 4,769 rushingyards, trailing only Walker in SEC history. He recorded his 24thcareer game running for 100 yards or more against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. So, Nick Chubb is my MVP of the decade. Damn good Dawgs, all of them. Let me hear from you! I'll be answering Junkyard Mail next time, so, if you have any comments or questions on any UGA sports topic, please email me at junkyardblawg@gmail.com . The post Picking the Dawgs' greatest players, games, moments of the decade appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football rising senior Malik Herring started the season on the bench and ended it as the top returning defensive linemen in the SEC, per advanced metrics. Coach Kirby Smart wasn't and isn't going to have it any other way. It is Smart who has pushed Herring to the verge of greatness, ensuring the Forsyth product get the best out of himself and make the most of his talents on the field. 'Malik can be a good player, (but) he's gotta hone in and do the little things right, and he's gotta be a little more mature and serious about things to be the player we want him to be,'Smart said last spring.'He's talented, though, and he's played well. He's just gotta mature some.' Pro Football Focus, which grades players each week, has Herring as the top-ranked SEC defensive lineman in its Top 25. Herring comes in at No. 7 with Alabama's Chritisian Barmore second among league players at No. 12. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Herring showed just how much he'd grown in the 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Herring, starting in place of departing senior Tyler Clark, had five tackles, a pass break-up and 1.5 tackles for loss. Herring platooned all season in the Bulldogs' deep defensive front. It was a unit that set the tone for the nation's best run defense with its sound gap integrity. Georgia didn't allow a rushing TD until the 10th game of the season. But at the start of the 2019 campaign, on the road trip to Vanderbilt, Herring did not play. 'We talked about it after the game,' Smart said the next week. 'If he continues to use practice and get better, he'll play.' Herring did just that, earning nine starts and finishing with 24 QB hurries, third-best on the team. The Bulldogs have lost reliable seniors off the 2019 D-Line. Most notably, seniors Michael Barnett, David Marshall and Clark have moved on. But Herring is one of a handful of defensive linemen coming back with star potential that figure to play in the NFL one day. Nosetackle Jordan Davis was a Freshman All-American in 2018 and continued his run-stuffing ways last season. Freshman Travon Walker overcame in-season wrist surgery to make highlights, including the game-clinching sack at Auburn. Then there are the fellow seniors. Devonte Wyatt was second on the team with 27 QB hurries. Justin Young played in nine of 14 games and had his moments. Then there's Julian Rochester, a fifth-year senior after qualifying for a redshirt, playing just four games after coming off knee surgery. Amazingly, none of the Georgia defense was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press last season. This, even though the Bulldogs finished the regular season leading the conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Ultimately, safety J.R. Reed was named an All-American by one outlet, and linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes were second-team All-SEC picks by the AP. But all was silent among the defensive tackles, nosetackles, and defensive ends from an awards perspective. WATCH: Dan Lanning champions no-name' Georgia defense Smart has said he prefers his players make noise with their helmets, so UGA players won't likely be tooting their own horns during the offseason. But those who watch and grade film have taken note, and Herring leads the way on a defensive front that could dominate the SEC in 2020. DawgNation Georgia football Herring makes time for Kids Fun Day in hometown Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia's Malik Herring rated top returning D-linemen in SEC, spearheads dominant front appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia suffered a 70-60 home setback to Ole Miss, a sellout home crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track Saturday afternoon.  The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the victory against Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its past three at home after winning its first eight at Stegeman Coliseum this season.   Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles, with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards’ attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half-court offense surfacing once again.  Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards.  Georgia however, couldn’t overcome its poor shooting (17-of-55, 30.9 percent), while Ole Miss was an efficient 26-of-50 (52 percent).  “Bottom line, we're not going to beat anybody shooting the way we shot,” Bulldogs coach Tom Crean said. “Our defense was good at times, at times it was not, but the bottom line was our offense, over the period of 40 minutes, didn't give us enough of a chance to win the game.” The loss marks UGA’s first three-game losing streak of the season, and many of the 10,523 in attendance headed to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late.  The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make the score 40-29, before Crean called a timeout with 17:17 left.  The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run that was sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left.   Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was the Bulldogs’ first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and those were Edwards’ first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half.  It proved to be the final lead for Georgia.   Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of KJ. Buffen free throws the next trip down and didn’t trail again.  Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels.  Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own nine turnovers and 33 percent shooing (9 of 27).  Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back.   Harris scored on a drive to the basket and made a 3-pointer, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make the score 32-29.  The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds.  Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) on Saturday.
  • ATHENS Georgia suffered a 70-60 home loss to Ole Miss, a sellout crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track. The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the upset over Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its last three at home after opening the season 8-0 in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards' attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half court offense surfacing once again. Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards. Georgia however, couldn't overcome its poor shooting (17 of 55, 30.9 percent) while Ole Miss was an efficient 26 of 50 (52 percent). The loss marks UGA's first three-game losing streak of the season, sending many of the10,523 in attendance to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late. The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make a 40-29, before Tom Crean called time out with 17:17 left. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left. Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was the Bulldogs' first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and Edwards first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half. It proved to be the final lead for Georgia. Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of J.J. Buffen (14 points) free throws the next trip down and didn't trail again. Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels. Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own 9 turnovers and 33 percent shooing (9 of 27). Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back. Harris scored on a drive to the basket and hit a trey, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 32-29. The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds. Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) next Saturday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Anthony Edwards struggles against Ole Miss, Georgia basketball hits three-game skid appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Time will tell if Georgia Tech actually made its way through any sort of door when it defeated N.C. State on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion. But, for the Yellow Jackets, those semantics probably didn’t much matter as they broke a three-game losing streak with a 64-58 win over the Wolfpack. “We’ve played a lot of close games that haven’t gone our way,” forward Evan Cole said. “We just knew we had to finish this out.” Tech made the winning plays down the stretch after a series of games in which the Jackets failed to do so. The end product was the McCamish crowd bathing the Jackets in cheers as time expired. As ACC losses accumulated in recent weeks, coach Josh Pastner offered his repeated assurances that Tech was improving, that it was better than its record indicated. On Friday, he said that Tech was knocking on the door and simply needed to “get through the door.” In the previous seven ACC games, Tech outscored the opposition 355-331 in the first 30 minutes of games only to be outscored 156-130 in the final 10. On Saturday, the Jackets and Wolfpack were tied at 47-47 with 10 minutes left, and Tech won the final 10 by a 17-11 count. A home win over a team that had won three consecutive ACC games and is a legitimate contender for an NCAA tournament berth was a step forward for a team that had lost five league games in the final minutes. “We’re at the doorstep, and we need to be able to get through the doorstep,” Pastner said. “And (Saturday) was a good first step in being able to do that.” Playing in front of an announced crowd of 6,794, Tech took an early 19-8 lead behind strong play from guard Jose Alvarado before allowing the Wolfpack to take a 32-31 halftime lead. In the second half, the teams played largely even before the Jackets closed it down in the final three minutes.  Center James Banks tipped in his own miss for a 56-55 lead with 2:37 to play, followed by a layup by Alvarado to extend the lead to 58-55. N.C. State rallied to tie at 58-58 with 44 seconds to play before Banks answered, putting back an Alvarado miss for a 60-58 lead with 22 seconds left. Alvarado then made the play of the game as N.C. State set up the next possession, squeezing in between Wolfpack guards C.J. Bryce and Markell Johnson to wrest free a handoff and then get fouled. Alvarado made both free throws for a 62-58 lead with 8.4 seconds left. He delivered the closing blow with another steal, leading to a layup in the final second. “I just went with my guts,” Alvarado said of the steal of the handoff. “It gets me in trouble sometimes, but (not this time).” After its string of tight losses, it undoubtedly was a cathartic moment for the Jackets. Alvarado was exuberant at game’s end, flapping his arms and responding to the McCamish crowd. It was a career game for Alvarado. He finished with 26 points, three shy of his career high, and eight rebounds. More notably, he tied Kenny Anderson’s school record with eight steals. “Georgia Tech obviously was the better team (Saturday), but I thought Alvarado was really, really special,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “I thought he did a tremendous job (Saturday). He ran the show.” Tech (9-11, 4-6 ACC) secured victory without guard Michael Devoe, the team’s leading scorer. Devoe was a game-time scratch with a sore foot. Devoe injured his left foot in the Jackets’ loss to Virginia on Jan. 18 and played 36 minutes against Louisville on Wednesday, but was not able to go Saturday. Forward Khalid Moore started in his place, contributing five points in 21 minutes and playing his usual strong defense. That Tech won without Devoe made the victory all the more noteworthy.  “Our guys, I can’t say enough about them,” Pastner said. If necessary, Devoe can sit out of Tuesday’s home game against Division II Morehouse and potentially be able to play Saturday at Notre Dame. “Just got to take it day by day,” Pastner said of Devoe’s health. N.C. State (14-6, 5-4) became Tech’s first season sweep since the 2013-14 season, as the Jackets won in Raleigh, N.C., in overtime in the season opener. Pastner improved to 5-1 against the Wolfpack in his four seasons. He is 19-39 in league play against the rest of the ACC. Tech received solid contributions from forward Jordan Usher (eight points, seven rebounds, six assists), Banks (six points, seven rebounds, two blocks) and Cole off the bench (11 points, four rebounds, three blocks). Cole played a season-high 24 minutes, helping allow Banks to play 31 minutes – still high but below his average of 34 minutes for the previous five games.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football offensive staff gyrations have continued into the weekend, and the next one could be processed as early as next week. Former Bulldogs' director of player personnel Marshall Malchow is headed to Texas A&M.DawgNation reported on Friday that former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Coley was headed to work for the Aggies. RELATED: James Coley leaves Georgia football staff, as expected The 247Sports network was first to report the news on Malchow on Saturday. Georgia coach Kirby Smart made Coley expendable when he hired former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Jan. 17 to take over the offense and play-calling. Monken was in attendance at the Bulldogs' basketball game on Saturday, part of UGA' big weekend filled with key visitors. RELATED: Todd Monken trades 'total mess' for championship quest The writing was on the wall for Coley and other assistants closely tied to him last Monday. The hiring of former Southern Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Buster Faulkner last Monday temporarily as an offensive analyst was more evidence Coley was likely on his way out. RELATED: Kirby Smart hires QB coach Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Faulkner is the odds-on favorite to fill the staff position vacated by Coley, though nothing is official at this point. Former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb told DawgNation that Faulkner was the right fit to work with Monken. 'You just brought in someone with experience with the NFL ranks who knows what it looks like when you have some of the elite athletes on the planet playing for you,' Stinchcomb said in regard to Monken. 'Buster comes from a background where you have to create a little more opportunities because you don't have that same level of talent. 'I think this new role for him is a great compliment to coach Monken being hired and the rest of the staff.' The departure of Malchow, an Alabama graduate, represents more collateral damage from Coley taking his recruiting prowess to Jimbo Fisher's staff in College Station. Coley has previously worked for Fisher at Florida State. Smart, who has stayed silent throughout the changes, traditionally holds a February signing day press conference, at which point he could address the new Georgia staff. More from DawgNation Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football changes continue, another staff member leaves for Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia basketball returns to the friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum where the team is 9-1 his season, seemingly, just in time. The Bulldogs (11-7. 1-4 SEC) play host to Ole Miss (9-9, 0-5) at 5:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) in desperate need of a victory to rekindle any sort of NCAA tournament hopes. The fan support is certainly there. The only remaining Georgia home basketball games with tickets available this season are South Carolina (Feb. 12) and Auburn (Feb. 19). This, even though virtually no one outside the program is projecting Coach Tom Crean's young team, filled with nine freshmen on the roster, to make the so-called Big Dance. Even with projected NBA lottery pick Anthony Edwards on the roster. Still, sophomore Tye Fagan and freshman Toumani Camara confirmed that is indeed the long-term season goal, even if the focus never goes beyond one game. 'Most definitely, without a doubt, we take each game one at a time so we're not thinking so far into the future,' said Fagan, who's coming off a 6-of-6, 13-point shooting performance at Kentucky last Tuesday. 'But that is the goal.' The surge from the 6-foot-8 Camara over the last 12 games, has provided a boost. Camara is UGA's second leading rebounder (5.2 rpg) and third on the team in scoring (7.6 ppg) and minutes played (26.9 mpg) in that span. But the Bulldogs, No. 56 in the projected RPI rankings, had better get back on the winning track and take advantage of the softer stretch of the schedule. After opening the 2020 with six opponents and seven games against teams that played in last year's NCAA tournament and going 2-4 in that stretch so far, with wins at Memphis and against Tennessee Georgia's schedule lightens up this week. Saturday's Ole Miss home game is followed by a road trop to Missouri (9-9, 1-5) on Tuesday, and then a home game with Texas A&M (9-8, 3-3) next Saturday. Crean, understandably, isn't losing sight of the task at hand against the Rebels. ' Right now we're focused on how we get ready for Ole Miss,' Crean said. 'I had the number one team in the country and wasn't talking about the NCAA Tournament, back at Indiana. 'What you do is you focus. We're in late January here. We focus on the team and what we have to do and be absolutely wrapped up in that.' Crean said he's not certain if freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler is back at 100 percent after suffering an ankle injury in the 80-63 win over Tennessee on Jan. 15. Wheeler has played the last two games, but he has last the explosion and quickness that makes him so effective. He has scoring just one basket and dished out two assists in the last 38 minutes he played against Mississippi State and Kentucky. Edwards continues to lead the nation's freshmen in scoring with 18.9 points per game, but he's still learning to get to the rim and overcome the extra attention defenses are paying to him. Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky last Tuesday night before scoring 16 points in a second half at Rupp Arena that saw the Bulldogs fail to get closer than seven points. RELATED: Too little, too late from Anthony Edwards at Kentucky Crean, however, defends Edwards' youth and is focusing on developing him like he does every other player. ' I came in knowing we're going to have to develop him every day, help him grow every day,' Crean said. 'It's all different when you get them and how they process, how they learn, what do they have to get better at, how they apply it, how you build confidence, how you tweak them, how you challenge them is all a part of the daily process. We're just right in the midst of that and I'm enjoying it.' A win over Ole Miss would make Crean and Georgia enjoy the process of the team growing more, as well as keeping what appears to be scant NCAA tourney hopes alive. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphis Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Georgia basketball returns to home sellout, desperate for win over Ole Miss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia has the quarterback and the coaching expertise to flip the offense, and from Terry Bowden's perspective, that should be enough to get a new-look offense off and running. Bowden was holding court wearing Clemson gear two days before the College Football Playoff Championship Game. The fact he's now a graduate assistant with the Tigers does nothing to dilute Bowden's knowledge or experience flipping an offense to a mobile quarterback. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any system ' Once you make the decision that's where you need to go and you see a lot of the pros doing it now, you see college teams that make that move, and it starts with a quarterback that can do that,' Bowden told DawgNation. 'I think the other parts of that block with the right assistants,' the 63-year-old former Auburn, North Alabama and Akron head coach said. 'You have to have people that know what their doing in that capacity, and you've got to have a quarterback you believe in.' Georgia certainly checks all the boxes. RELATED: Georgia creates buzz with Todd Monken hire The Bulldogs return mobile quarterbacks in redshirt junior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and incoming freshman Carson Beck. The biggest offseason player addition, however, has been Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman. Pro Football Focus ranks Newman the No. 3 returning quarterback in college football and recently projected Georgia football the preseason No. 3 team. Bowden, 63, knows all about high rankings after winning his first 20 games as the Tigers' head coach after replacing Pat Dye before the 1993 season. Georgia snapped the streak with a 23-23 tie at Auburn, and Bowden lost his first game as the Tigers' head coach the following week to Alabama, 21-14. Bowden left Auburn halfway through the 1998 season with a 47-17-1 record at Auburn. After 10 years out of coaching working as a television analyst, Bowden returned to coaching at North Alabama, a Division ll school where he was 29-9 with playoff appearances each three seasons. Bowden moved on to Akron from there, ultimately resuscitating the Zips' downtrodden program with an 8-5 season in 2015 that included the program's first-ever bowl game victory. More history was made in 2018, when Bowden's Akron team beat Northwestern for the school's first win over a Big Ten team since 1894. The Zips, however, finished 4-8 and Bowden was fired. That led Bowden to the opportunity at Clemson, that came with the graduate assistant provision. It's surely a snap for Bowden, who graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia with a degree in accounting. Bowden did postgraduate work at Oxford University in England and earned a law degree from Florida State. 'Thirty-seven years ago, I graduated from law school, and the next year I became a football coach, and we didn't have internet, and we didn't have computers,' Bowden said, putting his unique situation in perspective. 'Thirty-seven years later, in order to be a coach on the field, I have to be a student. So I got accepted to Clemson grad school, and I'm getting a Master's in athletic leadership. I've got two classes this semester and they are online and that's been kind of fun.' Bowden seems to think offenses that employ mobile quarterbacks are apt to have more fun and success on Saturdays. 'I don't feel like you need to go to a running quarterback, but you must have a quarterback that's mobile, and Joe Burrow is mobile,' Bowden said, tying he conversation into the game he was preparing for at the time. 'The guy can scramble, but he's not a running quarterback. He is a drop-back, classic quarterback that has what you need.' No doubt, Burrow put on a show against Clemson in the CFP Championship Game. Georgia fans are yearning for an offense with the same explosive elements and big-play potential. Bowden explained how a running quarterback changes the dynamics by simple math. 'Anytime your quarterback runs the football, it gives you one more blocker,' Bowden said. 'And if they've got any safeties sitting up high upfield, that evens you up pretty good in the blocking department. 'So once your quarterback either scrambles well, or you devise a few plays that allow him to run, you have created plays that are in (your) favor for the offense, in numbers, that you just don't have when the quarterback is just a fake or a disguise.' More from DawgNation Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia offense flipping script: Terry Bowden's thoughts on drop-back to dual-threat transition appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football fans are counting down to the end of the 2020 recruiting cycle on National Signing Day, and DawgNation is chronicling all the buildup with the Signing Day Spotlight presented by Kroger. Each day, host Brandon Adams will recap the big news for UGA fans from around the recruiting trail as the Bulldogs attempt to once again assemble one of the country's top classes. On this edition of the Signing Day Spotlight, BA shares details of four-star running back Dajuan Edwards' planned UGA as the drama surrounding five-star running back Zach Evans shows no signs of slowing down. UGA hosts four-star running back Dajuan Edwards amidst Zach Evans rumors Georgia is still believed to be in the mix for five-star running back Zach Evans, but that apparently won't stop the Bulldogs from engaging with other running backs as the 2020 recruiting cycle nears a close. UGA is set to host four-star prospect Dajuan Edwards this weekend from Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Ga. Edwards is the No. 19 running back in the nation and the No. 28 prospect in the state according to the 247Sports composite. The nature of Edwards' relationship with the Bulldogs including comments from DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell is the subject of this edition of the Signing Day Spotlight (Video linked below). UGA will entertain Edwards while Evans reportedly takes an official visit to Tennessee. Edwards won't be the only high-profile prospect on campus for Georgia this weekend. DawgNation has also reported that UGA will host two commits who didn't sign during the early period in December five-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones and four-star center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. Two UGA offensive line signees will also be in attendance to keep them company. Four-star prospect Tate Ratledge and a late addition to the class, Austin Blaske, are expected to be on hand as well. Follow the DawgNation forum all weekend for up-to-the-minute information on all this weekend's visitors including Edwards and stay tuned for rumors about Evans as well. The post UGA hosts 4-star RB Dajuan Edwards amidst Zach Evans rumors appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley is making the move most everyone anticipated when head coach Kirby Smart added new offensive coordinator Todd Monken last Monday. Coley, 46, is expected to join the Texas A&M coaching staff, according to a UGA source with direct knowledge of the situation and TexasAg.com. Coley, who also coached quarterbacks last season, had recently been named assistant head coach on the UGA staff, but he was no longer designated a position group. RELATED: Coley status updated Coley's status at UGA became more tenuous when Smart hired Southern Miss offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner last Monday, assigning him an off-field coaching position as an analyst. The move triggered speculation that Coley could be on the way out sooner than later, and any concept of him working with Monken was a long shot. Coley has been on Smart's staff since the fifth-year head coach took over the program before the 2016 season. He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2018, receiving a raise from $450,000 to $850,000 as he reportedly declined a chance to join Jimbo Fisher's Texas A&M staff as OC. Coley became the full-time OC last January when Jim Chaney departed the UGA staff for the Tennessee OC Job and was bumped up to $950,000 the highest paid assistant on the staff. Sam Pittman, who was the second-highest paid assistant at $900,000 departed the staff earlier this offseason to become the Arkansas head coach. Former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke replaced Pittman in December at the same salary, $900,000. The Bulldogs went 12-2 and finished No. 4 in the nation last season, running up a 5-1 mark against teams that were in the Top 25. A championship-level defense didn't often need much support on offense, and the game plans had a familiar emphasis on efficiency, ball control and balance. UGA ran the strong legs of tailback D'Andre Swift, who gained more than 1,200 yards and was the team's most consistent and explosive skill position player until a shoulder injury derailed him the final two games of the season. WATCH: James Coley defends Jake Fromm, explains offensive issues 'It's who you have out there and who you're trying to feature,' Coley said at his Sugar Bowl press conference. 'So what gives you the best chance: Giving the ball to the tailback who's a really good player, or throwing the ball to a young guy who may not be ready for that moment yet? You know what I mean?' Still, the offense struggled at times, finishing 50th in the nation in scoring offense, 61st in total offense and 72nd in passing yards. A rash of injuries in the receiving corps was compounded by QB Jake Fromm having some uncharacteristic off games. Coley explained during a Sugar Bowl press conference in New Orleans that the lack of consistency in the pass game, and with Fromm, was closely tied to the injuries at receiver. ' It happens when you get injuries; you get guys in the game that haven't played in a while, or it's their first chance and they are a little nervous and they take their routes a little deeper than where they should be,' Coley said. 'It ends up looking like the guy (Fromm) was not playing as good as he was a year ago.' Georgia and Fromm rallied in the Sugar Bowl with 26-14 win over Baylor, Fromm passing for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20-of-30 passing. It snapped a skid of five straight games where Fromm's completion percentage had dipped under 50 percent. The statistical slump aligned with senior go-to receiver Lawrence Cager missing time and games on account of injuries. Coley pointed out Fromm's completion percentage with Cager on the field was 71 percent. Smart cited the team's 'merry-go round' at receiver when assessing the offensive issues, but he also pledged to fix the offense after the season. The addition of Wake Forest graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman and incoming freshman QB Carson Beck provided a boost in personnel, and then came the addition of the high-profile offensive staff members. The post Former Georgia football OC James Coley leaves staff, headed to Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.