Mostly Cloudy
H 80° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 80° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    Mostly Cloudy. H 80° L 69°
  • heavy-rain-day
    Chance of Rain. H 80° L 69°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Own the East: QB depth could be crucial component of UGA’s championship chase

Own the East: QB depth could be crucial component of UGA’s championship chase

Own the East: QB depth could be crucial component of UGA’s championship chase

Own the East: QB depth could be crucial component of UGA’s championship chase

Georgia begins the season without a quarterback controversy, but not without questions about the position. The most significant being: what happens if the starter, Jake Fromm, gets hurt?

Of course, no fan wants to talk about injuries; the topic's a bummer for sure. However, no one can deny that injuries are also part of the game. In fact, in the College Football Playoff era, injuries to quarterbacks have been a legitimate storyline.

In 2014, Ohio State won the first College Football Playoff after two quarterback injuries. Cardale Jones who started the season as the No. 3 signal caller averaged 247 yards passing over three starts in the Big 10 championship and two playoff games. The Buckeyes likely wouldn't have won the national title without him.

In addition to that, both the teams in last year's national championship game navigated brief quarterback injuries to get to that point. Alabama possibly wouldn't have beaten UGA in the SEC championship game if it wasn't for Jalen Hurts stepping in after Tua Tagovailoa left the game with an ankle injury. Likewise, Clemson needed relief from its backup, Chase Brice, vs. Syracuse to preserve its undefeated season.

Not to mention Fromm who started 2017 as the backup before taking over after Jacob Eason was injured in the season opener, and then led the Bulldogs to an SEC championship and Rose Bowl win vs. Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff.

If UGA is forced to call on its backup this year, will he respond as well as previous quarterbacks have in the Playoff Era including the way Fromm once did? That remains to be seen.

The answer to that question is made more complicated by the health issue D'Wan Mathis one of the potential backups to Fromm faced during the offseason.

The incoming freshman from Belleville, Mich. had surgery in May to remove a cyst from his brain. It was a scary moment for Mathis and his family, but all indications are the procedure was successful and Mathis is on his way to a full recovery. However, he could be forced to wait a bit longer to get into the action.

"D'Wan isn't fully cleared," UGA coach Kirby Smart said to start summer practices. "But he's able to do passing drills and individual drills. Things where we know he can be safe and not take a hit."

Mathis is undoubtedly disappointed about the setback to start to his college career, but he'll likely make good use of his time while being less than 100 percent. Mathis made it clear when he signed with the Bulldogs that he was coming to UGA to develop.

"I'm coming in to work, and put my head down, and do what I'm supposed to do," Mathis told DawgNation in December. "Of course I want to compete, but I'm not coming in to try to push Jake Fromm out of the way and take his job because of course the chances of that happening are very low."

Mathis added he wanted to "learn what he can from Jake Fromm and see where that can take me."

According to Fromm, the hard work Mathis promised has already been put on display.

"D'Wan's doing well. D'Wan's learning," Fromm said. "Physically, he's getting better. He's running well and throwing well."

That assessment is good news for Mathis, but the practical reality is his unfortunate health situation could slow his development some this season. If so, more pressure will seemingly be put on UGA's other backup quarterback, Stetson Bennett, to be ready if Fromm needs a rest.

Pressure doesn't seem to be something Bennett minds.

He made a name for himself as a former walk-on at UGA during the 2017 season when he as scout team quarterback gave the Bulldogs defense a taste of what playing Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield would be like before UGA met the Sooners in the Rose Bowl. Bennett performed so well in that spot that he earned praise and respect from his teammates.

He has been called The G.O.A.T (meaning "greatest of all time") by a number of Bulldogs players. Former UGA defensive coordinator Mel Tucker even called him "a beast."

Presumably those compliments have something to do with the fact Bennett once reportedly completed 30 of 34 passes against UGA's first-team defense during practice.

"That was our favorite, beating the 1 defense," Bennett said. "Because what else were we looking forward to? We weren't going to play on Saturdays, so that was our games. We knew we could do it."

However, even with that success and the attention that accompanied it, Bennett couldn't be sure about his future at UGA.

He initially made the decision to leave Georgia after his practice heroics in 2017 because he didn't think he'd get a chance at playing time. He spent a year at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi before returning to the Bulldogs on scholarship as a member of the 2019 signing class.

Now, the player who once doubted opportunity existed for him at UGA knows he could be a play away from entering the game at any moment, and having the championship dreams of all of DawgNation resting on his shoulders.

Bennett doesn't seem overwhelmed by that potential scenario.

"My biggest thing is to learn the offense in and out and get with Jake and let him teach me," Bennett said during spring practice. "He's been here and he knows everything in and out. Be the best I can, that's all I want to be."

That perspective could pay off for Bennett, much the same way Mathis' work ethic and determination helps his cause.

No one knows how either would perform if thrust into the bright spotlight that Fromm has thrived in over the last two years. However, their talent and potential is obvious and it was put on display in April during UGA's annual G-Day spring scrimmage.

Smart liked what he saw.

"Both of those guys did a nice job," Smart said after G-Day. "I was pleased with the way Stetson and D'wan managed the game from the field. That's important. That's important for their growth. They're only going to get better through practicing, and repping' and playing in that kind of environment."

Smart's description of the two quarterbacks is an encouraging sign, but it'll do little to lessen the anxiety for UGA fans if Fromm were forced to leave a game even with a minor injury.

That's understandable. But if it happens, both Bennett and Mathis will be eager to get their shot.

The post Own the East: QB depth could be crucial component of UGA's championship chase appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More


  • A new environmental foundation backed by Leonardo DiCaprio is pledging $5 million in aid to the Amazon, which has been swept by wildfires. >> Read more trending news  According to The Associated Press, Earth Alliance, an environmental foundation that was created last month by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth, launched the Amazon Forest Fund.  The alliance is also seeking donations to help repair the Brazilian rainforest, called the “lungs of the planet.” Brazilian federal experts reported a record number of wildfires across the country this year, up 84% over the same period in 2018. The funds will be distributed to five local groups working to combat the problem: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni and Instituto Socioambiental. Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops are deploying in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region and prompted anti-government protests as well as an international outcry. Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said he wants to convert land for cattle pastures and soybean farms, won office after channeling outrage over the corruption scandals of the former government. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A large crowd gathered Sunday morning at RiverScape MetroPark for a service hosted by Kanye West. >> Read more trending news  Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and their children held the Sunday Service in support of the victims and survivors of the mass shooting at the city of Dayton’s historic Oregon District. Several other celebrities, including Dave Chappelle and Michael Che, of “Saturday Night Live,” also were seen at the service, which lasted about two hours. “The best way we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before,” Chappelle told the crowd. “We won’t let those people die in vain.” Two attendees said they had a great time at the service this morning. “It was really fun. I actually got to be a part of the Sunday Service choir,” Chaelyn Allen said. “We been rehearsing for, like, a few days this week, so it was really fun.” “I think it was awesome, a great cause,” Shantel Wilder said. “It feels good to be a part of it.”
  • Disney is completely reinventing Epcot. At its D23 expo in Anaheim, California, this weekend, the company announced some major changes coming to the park. >> Read more trending news  The company kicked off its announcements with Journey of Water, Inspired by 'Moana.' The attraction will let guests 'interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.' The upcoming 'Guardians of the Galaxy' ride finally has a name. The company announced it will be called 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Cosmic Rewind. It will feature 'the first reverse launch into space.' In the park's Mission Space pavilion, the company announced a new restaurant called Space 220. It will open this winter and is described as 'an out-of-this-world culinary experience with celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.' The United Kingdom pavilion in the World Showcase will welcome the first attraction inspired by 'Mary Poppins' in Cherry Tree Lane, the company announced. We don't know a lot about this attraction other than it will be the first for the United Kingdom pavilion. The park also announced a new pavilion at World Celebration. It will be the home base for Epcot's signature festivals, providing a view of the World Showcase. The company said it will be a three-level structure and will become a new icon for Epcot. Finally, the company announced a new nighttime spectacular called 'HarmonioUS.' It is said to be the largest nighttime show created for a Disney park. Disney said it will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people around the world. For more information, visit the Disney Parks Blog.
  • Firefighters came to the rescue of a dog that got stuck on a roof overnight Saturday in Everett, Washington.  South County Fire tweeted that the dog went out an open window onto a narrow roof and couldn't turn around to get back in. Firefighters were able to get the scared pup back inside.
  • The Cocoa Beach Police Department arrested Joseph McKinney, 40, of Texas, after he allegedly threatened to conduct a shooting at a hotel. >> Read more trending news  Investigators said McKinney was taken into custody after he got off a cruise ship at Port Canaveral on Sunday morning.  Police responded to the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel on Friday after the hotel received an electronic guest review expressing McKinney’s displeasure about his recent stay, according to police. Officers said McKinney’s review contained threatening language and made reference to an “active shooter style” event at the hotel. McKinney was charged with making written threats to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. He was transported to the Brevard County Jail and is being held on $25,000 bail.
  • Atlanta police last week released a video showing a suspect in a shooting at a block party at the Atlanta University Center that wounded four students. No one has stepped forth to identify that man, so on Sunday, Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow said she is adding $3,000 more in reward money to better incentivize someone’s good citizenship. The reward will now be $5,000. “This is personal,” Winslow said after a short press conference near the AUC campus. “Parents send their children to our town. They need assurance that they are safe.” Four women — two students from Spelman College, two from Clark Atlanta University — were shot or grazed Tuesday night outside the Robert W. Woodruff Library during a party before the first day of school. Police believe the young man in the video was involved in a confrontation in which four or five shots were fired in the plaza crowded with 200 students. Police said that perhaps a second possible gunman was targeted by the suspect but that the women were not intended targets. One of the victims was shot in the chest, but all are expected to recover. Police said they are getting some tips but have not gotten enough information to make an arrest. Longtime civic activist Michael Langford said, “I want to appeal to the community at large because no crime occurs without someone knowing, hearing or seeing something. “And while the money is there, I want to appeal to your moral conscience to come forward because the only thing it takes for evil to exist in our community it for good people to sit back and do nothing.” Winslow said she had just met with student leaders to assure them of their safety. Both Atlanta and Atlanta University Center police said they have beefed up patrols in the areas that area. » RELATED: Concerns on Atlanta campuses after shooting » RELATED: Tighter campus security