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    Welcome to Good Day, UGA , your one-stop shop for Georgia footballnews and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more. Georgia offense set to undergo radical changes after latest coaching hires It would've been easy for Kirby Smart to run it back on offense for the 2020 season. He could've written 2019 off as an anomaly. The Bulldogs faced unexpected turnover at the wide receiver position coming into the year and Georgia would be breaking in a first-year play-caller in James Coley. Maybe Jake Fromm could've been convinced to stay and enter an offense with more talent at the wide receiver position, along with a greater sense of familiarity with Coley. One only has to look at what Matt Ryan did in year two of Kyle Shanahan's offense to understand that sometimes it takes time for things to gel on offense. Unfortunately, Smart and the Georgia football program do not have the luxury of time. This upcoming season will mark the 40th anniversary of Georgia's last national championship. That's far too long to go without a title at a place like Georgia. Smart also has to worry about getting farther and farther away from Georgia's most recent College Football Playoff berth. The elite programs like Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama have all made multiple trips to the playoff. And the longer the Bulldogs go without a return trip, the more that 2017 feels like an aberration, instead of the norm. That's part of the reason why the Georgia offense figures to look so incredibly different in 2020. Because the 2019 season made it clear that you can't just out-talent teams and rely on your defense to carry you to titles and accolades. The first sign of change came when the Bulldogs landed graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman. With what we know about him and his skillet, Newman might as well be the antithesis of what Fromm was the for the Bulldogs. Newman thrives in the deep passing game, while Fromm was always better at methodically picking a team apart piece by piece. Newman is also an outright weapon as a runner, as he ran for 574 yards and six touchdowns last season. Fromm rarely was ever used in such a way. Fromm was also a Georgia product through and through, while Newman will have just one year one shot at leading the Bulldogs. Given what we saw at times with Coley's offense last year, Newman's running ability likely would've helped open things up for the rest of the unit. But seeing what new offensive coordinator Todd Monken has done at the NFL and college levels, Newman's vertical passing strengths could mesh very well with his concepts. That's part of why it made so much sense for Georgia to name Monken as the offensive coordinator. Many will wonder if this is similar to Nick Saban bringing in Lane Kiffin or Ed Orgeron adding Joe Brady to LSU's coaching staff. And from the surface level, it certainly looks like Smart is attempting to do the same thing in turning the offense over to an outsider in Monken. But there's an opportunity cost that comes with bringing in Monken. And it looks as if that is Coley. Georgia did state that Coley would remain on staff as an assistant head coach, but did not specify any further role. On Monday, the Bulldogs hired Southern Miss offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner. He's well-versed in coaching quarterbacks from his time as both a player at Valdosta State and as an offensive coordinator at schools like Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee State and Southern Miss last season. To go from a job like that to an off-field role at Georgia might seem a bit odd. Georgia has had over-qualified support staffers before, as Jay Johnson went from Minnesota offensive coordinator to Georgia analyst to Colorado offensive coordinator. Georgia also brought in former Pitt offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to a support staff role last offseason. But both of those men were not actively employed prior to joining Georgia like Faulkner was. As for what Faulkner could possibly bring, former Georgia offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb explained why Faulkner and Monken could work very well together for the Bulldogs. '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 of 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.' Related: Why new offensive hire Buster Faulkner is the perfect complement to Todd Monken' With Faulkner joining Georgia, many wondered what could come next for Coley. His current title of assistant head coach means that he could still serve as an onfield coach for the Bulldogs and allow him to go out and recruit. Though at the moment Georgia does not have a quarterbacks coach. Coley heled that position for the past two seasons. Then later on Monday, Coley scrubbed his Twitter, changing his avatar, Twitter background as well as his bio, which now just reads The University of Georgia. @jeffsentell @DawgNationDaily if you follow the Twitter bio tea leaves this one is telling. Coley is very active on twitter and had removed QB coach and OC from his bio and also made his header a black picture pic.twitter.com/hD0pu4DQS5 Kelly Sr (@ChopnWoodUGA) January 20, 2020 Coley has been on Smart's staff since the latter first arrived prior to 2016. He's worked as a wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator. He's been one of Georgia's best recruiters, with his work in south Florida being a big reason Georgia has landed the likes of Tyson Campbell, Tyrique Stevenson and Marcus Rosemy. But Georgia's offense wasn't good enough last season. Coley admitted that when speaking at the Sugar Bowl and took responsibility for the struggles. They weren't all on him, but as the offensive coordinator, heavy is the head that wears the crown. Maybe with more time, Coley could've been able to turnaround the Georgia offense. Add in one of the standout freshmen, get a little more out of George Pickens, sprinkle in some deep shots and quarterback runs with Newman at the helm, and Georgia's offense likely would've improved from the nation's 49th best scoring offense. But time is no longer a luxury Smart has. He's entering year five, and he's still yet to win a title. Unfair as that might be, it is the main reason he replaced Mark Richt. So that's why he's had to make such radical changes this offseason, even if it comes at the expense of one his top lieutenants at Georgia in Coley. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football adds offseason excitement, QB stars endorse Todd Monken Georgia football coach Kirby Smart hires Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Georgia football winners and losers following addition of offensive coordinator Todd Monken Georgia football podcast: 3 reasons Jamie Newman might be perfect for Todd Monken's offense Jared Wilson: Recent visit adds strength to his commitment in 2021 class B en Cleveland: He's following through on a plan to return to UGA in 2020 Dawgs on Twitter they don't know i came up from the bottom. #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/Vd7nqmbWMD (@KamarWilcoxson4) January 21, 2020 stay home and commit to the G? #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/HdL9whvgji barrett carter (@bcsznn) January 21, 2020 3051 ALL PURPOSE YARDSOffense: 124-209/ 1771 yards/ 20 TD's/ 924 rushing yards/ 10 TD's Defense: 4 INT's (3 pick six) Returns: 3 KR/ 160 yards/ 1 TD/ 4 PR/ 196 yards/ 2 TD's @RecruitGeorgia @NwGaFootball @NMHSRecruiting @Mansell247 https://t.co/JncCEyj4Gh Ladd McConkey (@laddmcconkey02) December 13, 2019 Win #1 Now, ready for more #GoDawgs | #KeepBuilding pic.twitter.com/GkEFZPsmCL Georgia Tennis (@UGAtennis) January 20, 2020 Good Dawg of the Day This is Apollo and his stepdaughter Juno. They went shopping for something to keep Juno warm in the snow and this is all they could find. 13/10 for both pic.twitter.com/ZGTosiphqu WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) January 20, 2020 The post Kirby Smart recognizes his offense needs to change after latest Georgia football coaching moves show appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football has hired Buster Faulkner to work with its quarterbacks on its offensive staff, DawgNation has learned. Faulkner is the former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Southern Miss. Prior to that, Faulkner spent three seasons as the Arkansas State offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. Faulkner is from Lilburn, Ga., and led Parkview High School to the 1997 Georgia state championship before going on to play quarterback at Valdosta State from 2000-2003. UGA coach Kirby Smart was on the Valdosta State staff in 2000 and 2001, as the secondary coach (2000) and then defensive coordinator (2001). Jeff Sentell contributed to this report. More details as they emerge. The post Georgia football hires Buster Faulkner to offensive staff appeared first on DawgNation.
  • NEW ORLEANS The conga line of Georgia football talent just keeps on flowing. From the recruiting ranks, into offseason training camp and then with game day performances, the Bulldogs' collection of rising stars continues to shine. Azeez Ojulari, a redshirt freshman from Marietta, became the latest Georgia football player to make the FWAA Freshman All-American Team. Ojulari had a mind-bending 36 QB pressures from his outside linebacker position, also recording 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks including a fumble-inducing hit in the Bulldogs' 26-14 Sugar Bowl win on Jan. 1. Georgia led the SEC In total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense while ranking No. 8 in the nation in pass efficiency defense with Ojulari starting 13 of 14 games. Earlier this season, Ojulari became the first freshman player under Kirby Smart to be named a team captain. Ojulari was also named one of seven semifinalists for the FWAA Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award last week. Memphis running back Kenny Gainwell won the Freshman of the Year Award on Monday. Gainwell totaled more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage as the Tigers won the AAC and player in their first-ever New Year's Six Bowl. The Freshman Player of the Year Award began last season, with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence claiming the honor. The Freshman All-American team started in 2001. Ojulari is the 13th Bulldog to be honored on the team, ironically enough, matching his jersey number. Eight of those 13 players were signed under Smart, who took over before the 2016 season. Georgia Freshmen All-Americans RB Knowshon Moreno, 2007 WR AJ Green, 2008 TE Orson Charles, 2009 RB Todd Gurley, 2012 RB Nick Chubb, 2014 TE Isaac Nautta, 2016 PK Rodrigo Blankenship, 2016 QB Jake Fromm, 2017 OL Andrew Thomas, 2017 OL Isaiah Wilson, 2018 OL Cade Mays, 2018 DL Jordan Davis, 2018 OLB Azeez Ojuari, 2019 2019 FWAA Freshman All-American Team Quarterbacks Sam Howell North Carolina, 6-2225Indian Trail, N.C. Kedon Slovis USC, 6-2200Scottsdale, Ariz. Running backs (RS) Javian Hawkins Louisville, 5-9182Titusville, Fla. Sincere McCormick UTSA, 5-9200Converse, Texas Receivers David Bell Purdue, 6-2210Indianapolis, Ind. C.J. Johnson ECU, 6-2229Greenville, N.C. Dante Wright Colorado State, 5-10165Navarre, Fla. Offensive Linemen Evan Neal Alabama, 6-7360Okeechobee, Fla. O'Cyrus Torrence Louisiana, 6-5342Greensburg, La. Ikem Ekwonu NC State, 6-4308Charlotte, N.C. Sean Rhyan UCLA, 6-4323Ladera Ranch, Calif. (RS) Nick Rosi Toledo, 6-4290Powell, Ohio (RS) Travis Glover Georgia State, 6-6330Vienna, Ga. Defensive Linemen (RS) Gregory Rousseau Miami, 6-6251Coconut Creek, Fla. George Karlaftis Purdue, 6-4265West Lafayette, Ind. (RS) Solomon Byrd Wyoming, 6-4243Palmdale, Calif. Kayvon Thibodeaux Oregon, 6-5242South Central Los Angeles, Calif. Linebackers (RS) Devin Richardson New Mexico State, 6-3233Klein, Texas Omar Speights Oregon State, 6-1233Philadelphia, Pa. (RS) Azeez Ojulari Georgia, 6-3, 240 Marietta, Ga. Shane Lee Alabama, 6-0246Burtonsville, Md. Defensive Backs (RS) Ar'Darius Washington TCU, 5-8175Shreveport, La. Derek Stingley Jr. LSU, 6-1190Baton Rouge, La. Kyle Hamilton Notre Dame, 6-4210Atlanta, Ga. (RS) Verone McKinley III Oregon, 5-10192Carrollton, Texas Ahmad Gardner Cincinnati, 6-2185Detroit, Mich. Tykee Smith West Virginia, 5-10184Philadelphia, Pa. Punter Austin McNamara Texas Tech, 6-4175Gilbert, Ariz. Kicker (RS) Gabe Brkic Oklahoma, 6-2175Chardon, Ohio Kick returner Joshua Youngblood Kansas State, 5-10180Tampa, Fla. Punt returner (RS) Kyle Philips UCLA, 5-11181San Marcos, Calif. All-Purpose (RS) Kenneth Gainwell Memphis, 5-11183Yazoo City, Miss. Player of the Year Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis Breakout Performance Jayden Daniels, Arizona State Most Inspirational Kedon Slovis Coach of the Year Ryan Day, Ohio State The post Georgia's Azeez Ojulari one of four SEC players named FWAA Freshman All-American appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Justin Robinson started counting on the state championship victory podium early Friday afternoon at Georgia State Stadium. When he did, he had one of his big mitts held high. Everyone could see. One finger. Two fingers. Three fingers. He could have stopped there. The Georgia early enrollee WR sat out his first year at Eagles Landing Christian Academy after a transfer. The Chargers won the championship that year. And the year before that. ELCA also won state championships at the end of his junior and senior seasons. ELCA responded with all 33 of those points in the second half to take Wesleyan down by a 33-13 margin. That's why Robinson kept counting. He put up a fourth finger. Then the fifth. He had to. His Charges became the first football team in Georgia High School Association history to win five straight state titles. That broke a tie with West Rome (1982-1985) and Buford (2007-2010) for that honor. It meant something to the Georgia early enrollee. That moment came after the end of regulation and a lot of moments for Robinson. When the game ended, he was out in front of a Charger charge onto Pete Petit Field for a victory slide at the end of their last ride. Rick Dempsey, the old catcher who made those famous during baseball rain delays in the 1980s, would have approved. For Robinson, his life now really shifts into another gear. He will sign with Georgia on Wednesday and is planning to join 4-star QB signee Carson Beck in Athens this month for bowl practices. Robinson is set to enroll early at Georgia after doubling up on his coursework at ELCA in order to be able to graduate early. Nebraska made a late push, but he's going to be a Bulldog. Justin Robinson: The reason why he will sign with UGA The formula here for why he stuck with Georgia was simple. Family. Location. Relationships. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound senior has connected to receivers coach Cortez Hankton. He calls him 'Coach Hank.' 'I love the coaching staff up there,' he said. 'Especially coach Hank' you know. He's just like my receiver trainer Terrence Edwards you know. Our relationship and our bond I like it a lot.' Robinson sees opportunity in Athens at the wide receiver position He wants to help that unit get better. 'I just know I want to be there,' he said. 'I want to help out. I want to play for him.' DawgNation spoke to Robinson on Friday right after that state championship victory. That DawgNation conversation covered the following topics: What does it feel like to be a 3-time state champion? What about part of a 5-time state championship program? His team didn't complete a pass in just three attempts due to dreary conditions. How was he still able to make an impact? How does his time at Eagles Landing shape him as a player and as a person? Why he will be a Georgia Bulldog? What sort of benefit will showing up for bowl practices next week have for him? How much does he like his mother's macaroni and cheese? His view of two early big defensive plays he made for his Chargers Justin Robinson: Check out the state title photo gallery Robinson finished with three tackles in what he felt was likely the most miserable playing conditions of his high school career. It was a fun day for the nation's No. 48 WR and the No. 291 overall prospect. He wanted to get in all the championship photos. He made the meanest faces he could to try to get on the big screen at Georgia State Stadium. Check out the view of the day from the DawgNation.com lens. The post WATCH: Georgia early enrollee Justin Robinson revels in being a 3-time state champion appeared first on DawgNation.
  • When Marcus Rosemy watched the LSU game last Saturday night, he had a different reaction than recruiters at rival schools might have been wishing for. Georgia's top receiver recruit for this cycle broke it down into a simple formula: Hard work + talent + An opening = An early opportunity. That 27-point loss on a very big stage did notgive him pause about his commitment, but more of a cause to prepare himself for. 'The game last night was an eye-opener for me cause I saw first hand that the receiver corps is not where it's supposed to be at the moment,' he said on Sunday. 'But that it is a great opportunity for me to come in during June and win a starting job.' He didn't reach for any negativity with that. He just processed what his eyes saw. The same word kept showing up in his thoughts: Opportunity. Rosemy sees a way he can help the Bulldogs get more out of its offense in the next big game like that one. 'It does because when I look at the receiver spots I see a wide-open slot waiting for me but I just have to go in with a business mentality,' he told DawgNation. That 37-10 loss showed him how quickly he might be able to play for Georgia.When Georgia lost to South Carolina earlier this year, it stoked up more of the same reaction. He learned something from that. The lesson: Bring your best every Saturday in the SEC. 'It's definitely a learning lesson for me so when I get there I know to not perform to the level they played like,' he said back in October. Rosemy took his official visit to Georgia for the Kentucky game. It was raining that day, but he couldn't stop smiling. The Twitter activity here certainly backs all of those words up. Check out his Dec. 8th tweet. A couple of his most recent tweets also follow. I'm Still All Dawg!!! Marcus Rosemy (@rosemy_marcus) December 8, 2019 I Will Be Signing On December 18th Marcus Rosemy (@rosemy_marcus) December 10, 2019 Rosemy welcomed Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley and wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton for his in-home visit on Wednesday. Check out the size and frame here for a future playmaker at WR. Great In-Home Visit @CoachColey @Coach_Hankton @gogetityft @MrsGoGetIt2 pic.twitter.com/Q8CDrpvifS Marcus Rosemy (@rosemy_marcus) December 12, 2019 Rosemy now rates as the nation's No. 7 WR and No. 41 overall prospect for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite rankings. Justin Robinson is Georgia's other WR commit for this cycle. He's already 6 feet, 4 inches tall and right at 206 pounds. Robinson picked up his fourth star during his senior season. He has not yet even begun to scratch the surface of what he can be. This is just his second season of varsity football for Eagles Landing Christian Academy. His Charges face Wesleyan at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the GHSA Class A Private state championship game at Georgia State Stadium. He rates as the nation's No. 48 WR for 2020 per the 247Sports Composite ratings, but the feeling here is Robinson will wake a lot of people up on Saturdays. I can't wait to see @jay_robi22 suit up and play for @KirbySmartUGA. The ref called this potential touchdown out of bounce but clearly his feet was in. One more game and off to UGA for Justin. #TEwracademy pic.twitter.com/TuCSQDeIA1 TE Wr Academy (@TEwracademy) December 8, 2019 Marcus Rosemy: All the tools to make an early impact DawgNation wrote earlier this week why not having more talents like Rosemy was a glaring head-to-head gap for the Bulldogs in the SEC championship . This is the time of year when even more members of a school's fan base start to pay closer attention to the recruiting efforts. Folks have the recent season fresh in their minds. They know what the team might be missing or an area that will need reinforcements coming in after NFL early entries or graduation. For Georgia, that is at the receiver position. Rosemy puts a big checkmark next to that nee for the 2020 roster.There's a lot to like in his scouting profile given his ability, frame and skill set. He looks to be part of a surge in the 2019 and 2020 classes for UGA to do more with its receiver recruiting, too. Don't think recruiting rankings matter?Let's take a quick eyeball test with the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from South Florida. To do so, let's toss all of his rankings and Under Armour All-American status aside. Just take a look at these clips. It is really only necessary to watch the first clip from each of these embedded tweets. These hands are Georgia-Ready!! @rosemy_marcus @STA_Football @GeorgiaFootball #CommitToTheG #GoDawgs #ATD pic.twitter.com/6c6KNmhzfu Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) August 24, 2019 'Im still a Dawg' @rosemy_marcus @STA_Football @CoachHarriott pic.twitter.com/emgkh2FUBt Pressure Athletics (@pressure_athl) December 8, 2019 When doing so, there's the easy conclusion: Georgia doesn't have enough guys on the team who can do what Rosemy can right now. He has a diverse set of skills. He even threw a touchdown pass on a reverse earlier this season. It was called back, but it was another example of what he can do. He is still a quarterback at heart. The young bucks won't appreciate this player parallel, but his frame and ability to make plays, be it the spectacular or just the hard-nosed variety, reminds of what Michael Irvin used to do back in college with the Miami Hurricanes. This 4-star seems to check every box like that. The tough balls over the middle. The sideline routes. Contested catches along the route tree. Slipping tackles and then winning on the home run ball. Rosemy might find himself celebrating in the end zone a lot on Saturdays like Irvin did, too. Marcus Rosemy tosses a touchdown on a reverse but it comes back on a penalty. pic.twitter.com/mkCTfr0zAs Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) November 30, 2019 He will play at 200 pounds in Athens. At least. And it going to be hard to get him on the ground once he catches it in the secondary. Another viral catch by @rosemy_marcus Holding him for 20 yards @STA_Football @CoachHarriott #And1 pic.twitter.com/pt6cOeyT7Q Pressure Athletics (@pressure_athl) November 18, 2019 No penalty this time. Marcus Rosemy breaks a few tackles and gets into the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown. @STA_Football leads Venice 14-0 with 8:49 left in the first half. @SSHighSchools @FlaHSFootball pic.twitter.com/RLJCPIyND7 Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) November 30, 2019 The post Marcus Rosemy: Georgia's top WR recruit sees great opportunity' in Athens appeared first on DawgNation.
  • UGA coach Kirby Smart made a surprising and rare public display of celebration after his team's win over lowly Tennessee last weekend. While walking off the field after the game, the normally low-key Smart ran and jumped into the stands, joining UGA players Brian Herrien and Isaiah Wilson among the fans. It was perhaps the happiest Smart has looked to the public since the dramatic win in the 2017 Rose Bowl over Oklahoma. But for Tennessee? The Vols are 1-4, including a loss to Georgia State. Tennessee was a 28-point underdog to UGA at home and failed to cover. The postgame celebration, which also included UGA quarterback Jake Fromm singing 'Rocky Top' in front of reporters, still seems kind of odd. Nevertheless, Smart explained his reasoning for cutting it loose to WSB-TV's 'Bulldogs Game Day,' and it makes sense: 'Well, I saw an opportunity. I saw two of our kids up there. I'm not as low key after a win when your kids have put so much work in. You want them to see you be real, and see your real personality. That's who I am. 'I wanted Brian and those guys to enjoy the moment. This was Brian's last chance to go to Neyland Stadium. I wanted him to enjoy that.' 'They want to see you be real and see your real personality.' @KirbySmartUGA let loose after last weekend's win at Tennessee! : Sat at 10am on @wsbtv! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/ehlOcb5JdR Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) October 9, 2019 The post Kirby Smart explains his surprising jump into stands after Tennessee win appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Kirby Smart's Georgia Bulldogs got off to another slow start Saturday night in Knoxville, especially on defense, before finally shutting down a feisty Tennessee offense and reeling off 33 unanswered points to take a convincing SEC road win. Anxiety ran high for a while among some of Bulldog Nation, with fans alarmed by the way the Vols' first-time starter at quarterback, f reshman Brian Maurer, seemed to be having his way with the Georgia pass defense, amassing 205 passing yards in the first half. The Vols announced they were going to make a game of it with a 73-yard touchdown bomb after Georgia's first, rather methodical scoring drive. The Dawgs had to settle for a field goal from Mr. Reliable, Rodrigo Blankenship, on their next drive of the game, after a Lawrence Cager TD catch was waved off for offensive pass interference. That didn't make Georgia fans feel any better, especially after Maurer went right back to work, completing a number of those short-to-medium completions that the UGA defense has allowed all season. The second Tennessee TD drive also was helped along by a really dumb and needless roughing-the-passer infraction. The Dawgs trailing 14-10 to a team that lost to Georgia State had the orange checkerboard crowd at Neyland Stadium going bonkers, as Larry Munson might have said, and Georgia fans fretting, even after another Blankenship field goal made it 14-13. Still, the more sanguine elements of the UGA fan base looked at unflappable Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, who was his usual efficient self, and figured that, once the Dawgs got on track, it wouldn't be much of a game. They were right. Fromm set the tone for the Dawgs' offense in the first half, completing 16 of 20 passes for 195 yards and 2 TDs as the Bulldogs tallied 354 yards of total offense on 42 plays. The Dawgs took back control of the game in the final 4 minutes of the half, reclaiming the lead with 1:59 remaining on a 6-play, 60-yard TD drive capped off by one of Fromm's patented back-shoulder throws to Miami transfer Cager, who appears to have become the QB's favorite target. The Vols missed a field goal attempt and then Georgia got the ball back at its own 30 with 59 clicks left on the clock. That's when Fromm reminded everyone that he's probably the nation's best 2-minute-offense QB, quickly leading the Dawgs downfield, ending in a 7-yard TD pass to freshman receiver George Pickens. Georgia was stopped on a 2-point conversion try, but the 26-14 halftime lead felt pretty comfortable. The Georgia defense gave up a season-high 239 yards in the first half, but it was a different story in the second half. Whether it was true halftime adjustments by the Dawgs' D, or just people executing properly, as Smart indicated to Chuck Dowdle of the Bulldogs radio network after the game, the Vols were held to just 15 yards of total offense in the third quarter (only 1 yard rushing), and just 104 yards total in the second half, 70 of those coming on a final futile drive against Georgia reserves when Tennessee had 1 st -and-goal at the Dawgs' 5-yard line and still couldn't score! The Dawgs offense, meanwhile, couldn't get out of its own way much of the third quarter, with Georgia's first drive of the second half derailed by a couple of penalties, ending in a punt. The second drive also saw a couple more penalties and resulted in another Blankenship field goal. (The officiating crew, which had to swap out referees at halftime due to injury, seemed to think it was getting paid by the flag, but also, as Smart told Dowdle, Georgia 'had some dumb penalties that cost us.') On the Dawgs' third drive of the second half, they turned the ball over on downs after D'Andre Swift was held to 1 yard on 3 rd -and-2 and got nothing on 4 th -and1, indicating that Georgia still has short-yardage concerns. (Considering that, earlier on that drive, freshman back Zamir 'Zeus' White had peeled off runs of 10, 17 and 8 yards, you had to wonder if maybe he shouldn't have been the one to carry the ball on the fourth-down play.) In the fourth quarter, a drive that nicely balanced the running and passing games was punctuated by a Brian Herrien TD. Meanwhile, the defense made amends for the first half by constantly harassing Maurer (and, on a few plays, former Tennessee starter Jarrett Guarantano), allowing just 68 passing yards. (The Vols basically had no running game against the Dawgs.) Georgia safety Richard LeCounte, who had been burned badly on the Vols' long TD in the first half, bounced back to snag an interception (though the ensuing drive produced no points), and, in the fourth quarter, sophomore defensive back Eric Stokesput a strip-sack on Maurer, with linebacker Tae Crowderscooping the fumble up and returning it 60 yards for the Dawgs' final touchdown. Offensively, Georgia never really opened it up the way Smart had hinted they might, but the Dawgs did rack up 526 yards of total offense. Fromm wound up the day completing 24 of 29 passes for 288 yards and 2 TDs. His completion percentage now is an astounding 77.4.While the failures on short-yardage plays continue to be a concern, the Georgia offensive line had a great day protecting Fromm in the passing game. Cager led the Georgia receivers (with 5 catches for 58 yards and 1 TD), followed by tailback D'Andre Swift(4-for-72 yards). Fromm completed passes to nine different Bulldogs. In the running game, the Dawgs tallied 159 yards on the ground in the first half and finished the game with 241 yards on 39 attempts (averaging 6.2 yards per run). Herrien led the team with 11 carries for 88 yards (including a 40-yarder on which he broke numerous tackles) and a TD. Swift had 17 carries for 72 yards and a TD to go with his receiving yards. White averaged 8.1 yards per run while Herrien averaged 8 yards and Swift averaged 4.2. The Georgia defense ended the night with 3 sacks, two of them by redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari. LeCounte and defensive back Mark Webb tied for the team lead with five tackles apiece. On special teams, Blankenship continues to provide the Georgia offense with a safety net (hitting on all his PATs and all three of his field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder), but the punting game is still erratic. Jake Camarda did have a 53-yarder, but he also shanked another one for just 18 yards. That inconsistency could hurt the Dawgs big down the road. Overall, after the Vols' early bomb, which Smart characterized as a 'punch in the mouth,' the Georgia head coach thought his team did a pretty good job of bouncing back. 'We didn't start the way we wanted tonight, especially not defensively,' he said. 'But, offensively, I thought Jake did a really nice job and [Offensive Coordinator James] Coley called a really nice game and changed some things up.' Still, there are things to fix, including the short-yardage game, the penalties, pass coverage and punting. If Georgia played against an elite team the way they played early on against Tennessee, they might find themselves in too big a hole to recover. As Smart summed up, ' We've got to keep getting better. We've got to get rid of some of the errors.' The post Fromm continues to set the standard as Dawgs look for more consistency appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Tennessee was ranked in the top 10 just three years ago, and coach Jeremy Pruitt has already beaten two Top 25 opponents in his short tenure. But the Vols haven't beaten a Top 10 team since Phillip Fulmer was the head coach in 2006 (Georgia, 51-33) and the last win over a top 5 team came in 2004 (LSU, 30-27). Georgia is more than a three-touchdown favorite with Saturday's game at Neyland Stadium fast approaching, and the Bulldogs are expected to bring a strong fan contingent. Pruitt insists that Tennessee is '100 times better' than a season ago, despite a 1-3 record that includes a home loss to Georgia State. Knoxville News-Sentinel beat writer Blake Toppenmeyer has covered the Vols the past three seasons and provided DawgNation with some insight into the current sate of Tennessee football. 1. Jeremy Pruitt says UT is 100 times better than last year where are the Vols better or worse? Obviously Tennessee is not 100 times better than last year. It is better in some areas, worse in others. The upside: The offensive line, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs are at least a bit improved compared to last season. The negative: Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has regressed, and Tennessee's defense is worse at every level. The defense suffered more attrition than the offense, so perhaps its issues should have been expected. Having said that, most returners on defense did not improve, and some regressed. 2. Jim Chaney is a proven OC, what are the most noticeable changes in the UT offense? Coach Jeremy Pruitt wants a pro-style offense and had one under offensive coordinator Tyson Helton, so the transition has not been drastic under Chaney. There are some subtle changes unofficially, the Vols are using a fullback less and using two tight ends more and the quarterback has more pre-snap responsibility. To layperson eyes, though, this offense is similar to last season's. Pruitt wanted an offense that emulated Georgia's, and with Chaney at the controls, he's got the man to operate it. 3. There's a lot of chatter about a QB change. What percentage would you put on Pruitt giving a QB his first career start against this UGA defense? 20%. Pruitt has said consistently he thinks Jarrett Guarantano is the best quarterback on Tennessee's roster. The problem is, Guarantano is not playing like he practices. That's frustrating for Pruitt, but I'm not sure most rational people think turning to a freshman against Georgia is the answer to jumpstarting this offense. Neither Brian Maurer nor J.T. Shrout has been effective in his limited relief duty. 4. Georgia fans like to travel but Tennessee fans are known for their deep love of the Vols. What's the highest majority you could see of Georgia fans in the stands? 25%. By the fourth quarter, though, it could be a black and red party in the stands if this game gets out of hand the way the 2017 matchup did. 5: Phillip Fulmer is a first-ballot HOF Coach now acting as AD. What are some of the most significant highs and lows of his AD tenure, and is it fair to say most Tennessee fans are behind him? The majority of Tennessee fans seem to be on board with Fulmer as AD, or at least are reluctant to make a change this early into his tenure. Fulmer's lows: Failing to jumpstart football, not progressing the Neyland Stadium renovation and almost losing men's basketball coach Rick Barnes to UCLA. Fulmer's highs: Not losing Barnes to UCLA and inking him to a new contract, and firing women's basketball coach Holly Warlick. The latter was a tough move, considering Fulmer and Warlick go way back, and he knows her role in the program's history. But it was time to make that move, and Fulmer did. DawgNation Georgia football Family ties make UGA-UT more emotional game UGA linebacker Tae Crowder sees the light, NFL scouts see him Kirby Smart updates injuries on Monday, who's back, who's not Tim Tebow says Georgia must open offense to win title Winners and losers from the bye week UGA defensive lineman Jordan Davis wants bragging rights in Knoxville Beat-up' Georgia a heavy favorite to beat Tennessee Georgia struck gold with transfers Eli Wolf, DJ Daniel, Lawrence Cager Georgia looks to tweak offense, more downfield The post 5 questions with Tennessee football beat writer Blake Toppenmeyer appeared first on DawgNation.
  • There's a lot of comparisons being made this week between Jeremy Pruitt and Kirby Smart. Both are young coaches and former Alabama assistants who were hired to take over two of the SEC East's best traditional football programs Tennessee and UGA, respectfully. Pruitt's start with the Volunteers hasn't gone anywhere nearly as smoothly as Smart's. On Monday, Pruitt was asked about Smart being able to turn around things so quickly at UGA. The Tennessee coach was very candid in his response, per Volquest's Rob Lewis: 'I think the program he took over won 20 games in its previous two years (under Mark Richt). That helped. He had a very young football team that he inherited. 'He has done a really nice job and has a really nice staff together. It is a place where you can have success. Those guys were used to winning and now he has been recruiting in his fourth year and all those guys that he has there he has recruited there ' Last year was Pruitt's first season as Tennessee's coach, and the team posted a 5-7 record. This year, the Volunteers are off to a 1-3 start, including a loss to Georgia State and a dropping a 34-3 decision at Florida. In Smart's first season at UGA in 2016, the Bulldogs posted an 8-5 record. He followed that up with one of the best seasons in school history in 2017, with UGA going 13-2 and losing to Alabama in the national championship game. Pruitt, 45, and Smart, 43, were rival assistants at Alabama, with both serving as defensive coordinators under Nick Saban. Pruitt also worked directly under Smart from 2010 to 2012 as the Crimson Tide's defensive backs coach. The post Tennessee coach reminds media of talent Kirby Smart inherited at UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart and his players were in good spirits during the bye week, and why not? The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs survived the first segment of the season unbeaten at 4-0 and feeling very much like they've improved and grown closer together. Smart talked about the value of a close win like the 23-17 victory Georgia posted against then-No. 7 Notre Dame. WATCH: Kirby Smart halftime speech for Notre Dame win The Bulldogs rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit to take a 23-10 lead in the fourth quarter, but had to hold on in the final minute with the Irish driving to their 38-yard line with a chance to win. 'There are going to be games like that, that's critical,' Smart said. 'I 100-percent think when you play in the SEC, you are going to play games like that week in week out. I don't know who it's going to be, I don't know which one it's going to be.' Georgia figures to be a double-digit favorite in the next three games, at least. The Bulldogs play at Tennessee (1-3) at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5. The Vols have been struggling, coming off a 34-3 loss at Florida and having suffered a shocking defeat to Georgia State earlier this season. Georgia plays two more games in October before a bye week, playing host to South Carolina (Oct. 12) and Kentucky (Oct. 19) before taking off the Oct. 26 weekend. Georgia has won 14 consecutive games over SEC East Division opponents the past 13 by double-digits but Smart is taking nothing for granted. 'Everybody's going to look at the Las Vegas lines and say, They're supposed to beat this team by whatever,' ' Smart said. 'Those games are going to come down to those crunch time plays and decisions and opportunities, and the only way you get better at them is to be in them.' Georgia has won 16 consecutive home games after the victory over the Irish, which ranked as the only game during the streak that UGA didn't win by double digits. The most recent Bulldogs' single-digit win before last Saturday night was a 54-48 double-overtime victory over Oklahoma in the 2017 College Football Playoffs at the Rose Bowl. 'At least we gained some confidence from the fact that we played in it (the close win over Notre Dame),' Smart said. 'I can acknowledge that is helpful that we got a little Hey, we can handle this adversity.' ' DawgNation Georgia football Bye week heat: DC Dan Lanning brings the intensity Georgia looks to tweak offense, more downfield D'Andre Swift shows he can be thunder and lightning vs. Irish Georgia football freshman report from Notre Dame game Fake injuries? Kirby Smart addresses issue Kirby Smart says Georgia got tested' in 23-17 win Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly: Physicality was real' Recap: Georgia football holds on to beat Notre Dame, 23-17 The post Kirby Smart sees value in close Notre Dame win: we gained some confidence' appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • The Super Bowl festivities begin this week in South Florida, but snake hunters were agog about another annual event -- the Python Bowl that ended in the Everglades National Park on Saturday. Hunters caught 80 Burmese pythons as more than 750 people from 20 states competed in the 10-day event, according to a news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The wildlife commission and the South Florida Water Management District announced the results and winners of the Python Removal Competition during a ceremony in Miami on Saturday, WFTX reported. Here are the winners by category: Mike Kimmel removed eight pythons, earning him the top prize for the most snakes, a Tracker 570 ATV. Barry Offenburger won $1,000 in the military category for catching three pythons. Tom Rahill won $2,000 for capturing the longest snake — a 12-foot-7.3-inch python –– and won another $2,000 because it was the heaviest, tipping the scales at 62 pounds. Dave Mucci won $1,000 for an 11-foot python, the longest snake caught in the military category. He also won $1,000 for a 49.4-pounder. Florida holds the Python Bowl annually to put the squeeze on the Burmese python, a nonvenomous constrictor. According to conservationists, the snakes, estimated in the tens of thousands in the Everglades, pose a threat to native wildlife. Because they have few predators, Burmese pythons have flourished in the swamps of South Florida, eating animals ranging from rabbits to alligators, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
  • A pilot was killed Saturday morning when a small plane crashed into the side of a north Florida home, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The family inside the home managed to escape the home without injury, the Sheriff’s Office said. A picture a viewer sent to Action News Jax shows the moment when a plane crashed into the front yard of the Lake City home.In the picture, a man in an orange shirt can be seen running across the yard to try to help the pilot, but he had to retreat because the flames were too extensive. Neighbors watched as a ball of fire flared up in their neighbor’s yard. Kristy Amato said she hears many small planes and often worries about them. “I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my daughter, and I heard a plane take off like all of the planes take off,' Amato told Action News Jax. “Then I heard a backfire, then a loud kaboom, so I ran out front and there was a plane in my neighbor’s yard on fire.” Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Murray Smith told Action News Jax that after crews put the fire out, the pilot’s body was found underneath debris. “Shortly before 10, we received about 59 911 calls,” Smith told the television station. Smith said he believes the plane was a single-engine aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board is now working to find out where the Piper PA-32 was going and the name of the pilot who died. Officials believe he was the only person on the plane. “There is an airport nearby, but so many neighbors have come over and gave so many stories, so we’re just going to wait for NTSB to get all of the facts straight,” said Smith. The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating what caused the plane to crash, but the investigation likely won’t be complete for months.
  • Three people — including two teens — are in custody and police are looking for a fourth after an armed robbery at a Sandy Springs jewelry store.  Antonio Collier, 40, Antwan DeKarlos Robinson, 17, and a 16-year-old juvenile were arrested after the incident, which happened about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at a business on Abernathy Road near Roswell Road, officials said.  Witnesses to the robbery and the store owner were able to subdue two of the suspects until police arrived, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Three men walked into the business and tried to steal items from the display case, Sandy Springs police spokesman Sgt. Sam Worsham said.  “They had hammers and were breaking everything and grabbed Rolexes,” a witness told Channel 2.  The owner, who was returning from lunch, saw the robbery in progress, the news station reported. He told Channel 2 he hit the robbers over the head and in the face with a bag full of glass pickle jars.  Two bystanders then tackled one of the suspects, Worsham said.  Two other suspects drove off in a car, he said. The incident turned into a police chase that ended in a crash on Glenridge Road.  One of the suspects was arrested at the scene, and the fourth suspect ran away into a wooded area, Worsham said.  Collier, Robinson, and the juvenile are all charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony criminal damage to property, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction and two counts of battery.  Read the full story from Channel 2 Action News here.
  • Tamra Judge is leaving “The Real Housewives of Orange County” after 12 seasons, the star of the Bravo series said in an Instagram post Saturday. “It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time for me to move on,” Judge wrote on Instagram. “I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future.” Judge is currently the longest-running full-time cast member in “Housewives” history, People reported. She joined the show during its third season in 2007, according to the magazine. Judge’s announcement comes a day after fellow co-star Vicki Gunvalson also announced she was leaving the reality television show, E! Online reported. Judge said she was looking forward to life after the series. “It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” Judge told People. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.” Judge has been part of the show’s most memorable moments, including the show’s first wine toss, People reported. She also starred in a three-episode spinoff of the series, “Tamra’s OC Wedding,” which documented her June 2013 wedding to Eddie Judge. “I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she told People. “It’s meant a lot.”
  • Margaret Mackie is not a household name in the music industry, but she’s getting there in a hurry. The 83-year-old dementia patient from Scotland has gone viral on YouTube with her heart-melting duet of “My Way” with her caregiver, Jamie Lee Morley. The pair recorded a single of the song, with proceeds going to Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. People with elderly parents will have a tough time avoiding the tissues after watching the sweet, sentimental ballad made famous by Frank Sinatra. But Mackie is not ready to face the final curtain just yet. She’s content to keep singing. Morley, a musician who works as a food server at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Edinburgh since it opened last fall, told The Washington Post he was walking past a lounge at the center when he heard a lovely voice singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Morley told the newspaper he thought someone had left the radio on, but then he saw Mackie singing the song in perfect pitch. “I was stunned,” Morley, 31, told the Post. “I’ve loved singing and music since I was a little lad, and I could just tell that Margaret did, too. Her voice is amazing.” Morley and Mackie sang “My Way” at the care home’s Christmas party in December, CBS News reported. A video of the duet was posted to YouTube and quickly went viral. “Every day in work we sing this song together and I do whatever I can to brighten her day and all the other residents,” Morley wrote on YouTube. 'For those close to me will know this was my Grandad’s funeral song who our family sadly lost to Alzheimer’s last year. I’ve never really sang this song, as it’s a classic, but I knew how much Margaret and her family would love it.” Mackie’s family attended the Christmas party and enjoyed the duet, CBS News reported. They are even more delighted with the response to the video. “It has brought her back to life. The dementia was taking a hold of her and she was getting sad with it, but this has given her a new lease of life,” Mackie’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, told the BBC. “It’s quite remarkable how she can remember the lyrics. It just seems to come back to her. “She wants everyone to be happy. People cry when they hear the song and she’ll say ‘No don’t cry, I want you to be happy.’” Meanwhile, the recording of “My Way” is No. 6 on the United Kingdom’s Amazon download chart and at one point reached No. 27 on iTunes’ Top 40 in the U.K., the Post reported. That’s ahead of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, the newspaper reported. Morley filmed his excursion with Mackie to the recording studio and released the single and a music video to go with it Dec,. 28, CBS News reported. The music video has had nearly 200,000 views since its release. Mackie, a former whiskey distillery worker, rarely remembers one day from the next, the Post reported. She came to Northcare Suites in October from another care center, Jordan Simpson, manager of Northcare Suites, told the newspaper. While Mackie might be forgetful, she never forgets the lyrics to her favorite songs, Simpson said. “Singing is something that makes Margaret happy. She has a great singing voice,” Simpson told the Post. “And although she has dementia, she has a great memory for song lyrics. She and Jamie sing together most of the day.” Mackie said she wouldn’t mind recording another song, and joked about recording an entire album, the BBC reported. “It’s great seeing your face in all those newspapers,” Mackie told the BBC. “It’s nice to have a busy life like that, every now and then.” The single can be purchased on iTunes here.
  • A FedEx driver in upper Michigan went beyond the call of duty while delivering a package Thursday morning. The delivery man was dropping off a package for Jodi LaFreniere in Manistique around 11:42 a.m., WLUC reported. Instead of just leaving the package on the snowy stoop, the delivery man grabbed a shovel and cleared off the area, the television station reported. “Shout out to this guy! He shoveled my stoop while I was gone,” LaFreniere wrote on Facebook. LaFreniere, who is a kindergarten teacher, told WLUC she received an alert on her phone from her doorbell camera. When she checked the video, she saw the delivery man shoveling off her porch. “I was wondering who was at my house since my fiance was away in Alaska, teaching,” LaFreniere told CNN. LaFreniere hadn’t spoken to the delivery driver -- Melvin J. Marlett, who has worked for FedEx for 23 years -- but said her fiance, Rodney Riesland, has spoken with him since he is usually home when deliveries are made, CNN reported. “There are good people out there who do selfless acts,” LaFreniere told WLUC. LaFreniere decided to post the video to Facebook as a way of saying thanks. “FedEx is proud of the many contributions our team members make to the communities we serve every day,” FedEx spokeswoman Heather Wilson told CNN. “We commend our courier, Mel Marlett, who went above and beyond to help shovel snow for our customer while making a delivery.” Marlett told CNN he thought shoveling the snow was the right thing to do. “I would hope it’s something that anybody would have done,” Marlett told the cable network. “If you take care of your customers, they take care of you.”