LIVE from Georgia (with a really good QB and Big Bad Bruce)(UPDATED)

The house remains empty, as the suspense builds.

The house remains empty, as the suspense builds.

(UPDATED PHOTOS BELOW!!!)

ATHENS — Good morning. No Uga VIII (or excommunicated Russ) sightings yet but I’ll keep you up to date on this world-changing event. I wasn’t sure what to wear so I went with the usual California cool look of jeans, a light sweater and a blazer.

(I mock because I care.)

OK, Uga is cool. There, I said it. I just feel so bad for Russ. It doesn’t seem fair to me that the old mutt is being kicked to the

In case you were wondering: Coronation is at 12:10.

In case you were wondering: Coronation is at 12:10.

curb on Homecoming Day. (Russ, if you’re reading this: I have a nice big backyard in Johns Creek for you to play and run free in. You’ll just have to share floor space with Abby, our lab-boxer mix who’s getting a little cranky in her old age.)

We now return to football. There are story lines other than Uga’s coronation today (scheduled for 12:10):

♦ The return of running back

No suspense here: We know Murray is good.

No suspense here: We know Murray is good.

Washaun Ealey to the starting lineup, replacing the suspended Caleb King.

♦ The continuation of the unstoppable force that is A.J. Green, who in only two games has 13 receptions for 215 yards, three touchdowns and a team-long, 40-yard run on an end-around.

♦ The chance for Georgia to win consecutive games for the first time since last November and the consecutive SEC games for the first time in 13 months. Yes, it’s true. The Bulldogs, coming off last week’s 41-14 win over Tennessee, hasn’t won two straight SEC games since Sept. 12 and 19 of last season over South Carolina and Arkansas (ironically, the first two conference losses this year).

But to me, the biggest story has been the play of quarterback Aaron Murray. Most didn’t know what to expect from Murray, but he has been the Dogs’ best player, despite average-to-mediocre play by the offensive line and a lack of stability at running back.

Murray has completed 61.8 percent of his pass attempts (97 for 157) for 1,366 yards, 10 touchdowns and only three interceptions. In the win over Tennessee, he was 17 for 25 for 266 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His biggest statistical problem is the sack total: 14. Part of that is poor pass protection; part is on Murray for holding onto the ball too long at times, which is common for a young quarterback.

But he is getting noticed. Chris Low, ESPN’s tireless and talented SEC blogger, came out with his ranking of SEC quarterbacks this week. He had Murray fourth — even ahead of South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia, and trailing Cam Newton (Auburn), Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) and Greg McElroy (Alabama). Low had Murray eighth before the season started. Below are Low’s current rankings and his preseason rankings:

Low’s current rankings:

1. Cam Newton, Auburn
2. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
3. Greg McElroy, Alabama
4. Aaron Murray, Georgia
5. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
6. Jeremiah Masoli, Ole Miss
7. Mike Hartline, Kentucky
8. John Brantley, Florida
9. Chris Relf, Mississippi State
10. Matt Simms, Tennessee
11. Jarrett Lee, LSU
12. Larry Smith, Vanderbilt
13. Jordan Jefferson, LSU

Low’s preseason rankings:

1. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
2. Greg McElroy, Alabama
3. Jeremiah Masoli, Ole Miss
4. John Brantley, Florida
5. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
6. Jordan Jefferson, LSU
7. Cam Newton, Auburn
8. Aaron Murray, Georgia
9. Mike Hartline, Kentucky
10. Chris Relf, Mississippi State
11. Matt Simms, Tennessee
12. Larry Smith, Vanderbilt

Regardless of any other issues right now, Murray is the best sign for Georgia’s future. As for how significant last week’s win was (other than ending a four-game losing streak), we’ll find out today and in the coming weeks. Consecutive games against Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky affords the Dogs a chance to get well quick, going into Florida week. Talk of running the table is premature and a tad optimistic but it’s certainly not too late to finish with a winning record and go to a decent bowl game.

That’s it for now. If I locate Uga VIII or Russ before the ceremonies, I’ll post a photo or two — and I’ll give both your best.

UPDATE:

We have new stunning behind-the-scene photos:

Here's Russ. He has chained himself to his house and refuses to leave!

Here's Russ. He has chained himself to his house and refuses to leave!

Behind these doors, "Big Bad Bruce" (Uga VIII) is going over his acceptance speech!

Behind these doors, "Big Bad Bruce" (Uga VIII) is going over his acceptance speech!

It's him! It's him. Uga VIII! Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!

It's him! It's him! Uga VIII! Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce! (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

677 comments Add your comment

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
10:16 am

Thanks, Jeff. I’ll be there soon.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
10:19 am

I have a friend who may be able to help at running back. Bichon Friesely. He’s never been arrested.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
10:22 am

Last day on the job and here I am ready to go. BIG BAD BRUCE, on the other hand, is nowhere to be found. I am touched by the offer to join the Schultz family. Russ Schultz has a nice ring. I will be doing all a little dog can do to help this team until they take my collar . . . and my sweater . . . and my bowl . . . and my little house . . . and give them all to that inbred, white-a$$ed, BIG BAD BRUCE.

SadDawg

October 16th, 2010
10:24 am

No so sure playing at KY will help us “get well,” Jeff. As they proved at our homecoming last year, they are now pretty much our equal.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
10:27 am

Only a little dog blogging here this morning. When I am gone you won’t be hearing from BIG BAD BRUCE because he can’t type. Heck, he can’t do much more than slobber and fard. Yes, fard. BIG BAD BRUCE is going to be very limited for a mascot. He’s 55 pounds of mush. You will see. You will see very soon. Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 16th, 2010
10:29 am

LSU is undefeated with the leagues worst QB according to Lowe. That speaks volumes to the defense, special teams and a whole lotta dang luck for Miles and Co.

Murray is going to be a stud for sure, but the staff now has to find some playmakers to company him. We are in dire need for either Brown or Wooten to step up and be the next big play receiver.

the Owl of Prophecy

October 16th, 2010
10:30 am

My prediction (for what it’s worth)…UGA starts slow, has two turnovers, but wins by 10. Durham, Greene, and Murray all have a big day.

82Dawg

October 16th, 2010
10:35 am

Now Russ, be nice to your cousin. Like I said before if you had done your job correctly you would not have to be considering living with the Schultz’s.

Douglasville Dawg

October 16th, 2010
10:39 am

Wow! Are you feeling ok Jeff? I didn’t see any Mark Richt bashing in this article.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

October 16th, 2010
10:40 am

The Reporter: Mr. McGarity, there is talk of you guys running the table, is this a fair expectation ?

Greg: I wish, some fans live in a fantasy world. Here is a video about that, with our next quarterback.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwaEydIpS0E&NR=1

verbal kint

October 16th, 2010
10:41 am

ESPN Gamneday says the average size of this years SEC starting QB’s is 6′4″ 225 lbs…once again, UGA is on the small side. Recruit some size or continue to lose ground to the rest of the SEC.

Zebra

October 16th, 2010
10:44 am

Cool!!!

Jeff the ol snarkster Schultz, gets to spend another day belittling UGA. What fun!

And remember kids,,,snark=humor

Arrests galore and a loss to the Commodores

October 16th, 2010
10:53 am

Mark Richts Swan Song begins today. You heard it here first and Bank on it !

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
10:54 am

President Adams gave me a degree and acted all friendly but he was in on this BIG BAD BRUCE deal. I am sure of it. If he comes down here for the ceremony I plan to take a bite out of his presidential leg. I may get even with Grantham, too, if he shows up. The HOT sign was on at Krispy Kreme this morning. He may still be there.

Destin Dawg

October 16th, 2010
10:54 am

turn ‘em loose on offense.. run Malcome some too.. use the TE’s.. wrap ‘em up on defense…. go Dawgs !!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SECSportsWire and SECEastWire, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: LIVE from Georgia (with a really good QB and Big Bad Bruce) http://bit.ly/cw8o1N [...]

Just a thought from a nobody

October 16th, 2010
10:54 am

Don’t worry!!! Jeff is lazy, so he will only blog for about the 1st 30 minutes and then nothing for the rest of the day. Greatest job in the world! Work for about 1 hour each day, writing something bad about UGA, and get to watch football for free. We should all be so lucky. If you really get down to it, we bloggers are doing his job for him. Except we are not getting paid (or over paid) like he is.

Sam Kinison

October 16th, 2010
10:58 am

RUN BLOCK ! RUN BLOCK ! ITS THE SEC. HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN IN THE SEC IF YOU DONT RUN BLOCK ?

Sam Kinison

October 16th, 2010
11:02 am

WHERE IS BARK MADLEY ???? OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…….

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
11:03 am

They will be lining the house with velvet in about an hour. I have to have my things out before then. As you can see from the photo, I cleared out early. If anyone reading this is a Russ fan and you are on the way to the stadium . . . will you bring me some ice? They say I have to buy my own ice today and I have no money. There are some big changes coming soon. Changes you can believe in. The band is going to have to learn some show tunes now that BIG BAG BRUCE is on the job.

pbj

October 16th, 2010
11:03 am

If you patriots don’t like Jeff why are you on here wasting your time(and ours)?

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
11:05 am

BIG BAG BRUCE? Bag of wind. Freudian slip. Yes, a little dog knows about Freudian slips. I have a degree now. I meant to say, BIF BAD BRUCE. Whoa! Can’t seem to make myself type it. I am harboring some animosities. I must be bigger than this. I must go out with dignity.

Just a thought from a nobody

October 16th, 2010
11:06 am

PBJ, Free country so try and get used to it!

Cousin Vicker

October 16th, 2010
11:06 am

I have been a huge supporter of Richt throughout the struggles of the last couple of years. In my opinion, the past 10 years have been the finest run UGA has ever been on, national title or not. But the arrests are no longer an aberration, and they are starting to get on my nerves. The majority of them may be “minor” offenses, but it’s the attention to detail that wins football games. And if you can’t drive with a valid license, or show up to pay a speeding ticket, etc etc, you probably aren’t going to remember most of your assignments on the football field. I applaud Richt for toughening his stance recently on arrests. However, he needs to stop his somewhat “no big deal” approach to these arrests and realize that it is impacting his football team on the field. And for a man that who holds himself to such a high moral standard, shouldn’t it completely eat him up that the off-the-field problems has so negatively impacted the perception of UGA around the country?

markie mark

October 16th, 2010
11:07 am

HEY JEFF….call someone at the AJC and tell them the electronic version of the paper has UGA III on the front of it….of course, they mean UGA VIII…

Paul in RDU

October 16th, 2010
11:10 am

Schultz writes a blog saying great things about AJ Green and Aaron Murray, says that UGA could go on a nice winning run and then gets slammed as being anti Georgia????

Bayard

October 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Attention, everyone, especially dawgtards. We will now observe a moment of silence in memory of Saint Jan Kemp, who exposed the shameful practices at UGA that were initiated and carried out by slimeball Vince Dooley. Dooley’s image as a coach and a nice guy were forever shattered during the trial, not to mention the one million dollars that dawgtards had to pay Saint Jan. These practices of recruiting morons and coddling them for four years, them tossing them out like garbage, are still going on, but at least the world knows what’s happening in Athens now.

And now, the moment of silence…
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Thank you, you may resume your normal activities now.

Innocent Bystander

October 16th, 2010
11:15 am

You’re funny. Sometimes I almost think your humor is intentional.

Sancho Panza

October 16th, 2010
11:16 am

Five days now without a single UGAy thug being arrested.

Amazing.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
11:19 am

I know the team has had some problems during my time as Temporary Mascot. I regret that, I do. I guess the most embarrassing have been the many, many arrests. I have asked my good friend, Chief Moose, to speak to the team about respect for the law. He will be addressing them in about an hour. Not sure how long it will take the Chief to get through to them- especially the running backs. BIG BAD BRUCE takes over at 12:10 PM.

Graham

October 16th, 2010
11:19 am

Vanderbilt 27, Georgia 24.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

October 16th, 2010
11:33 am

SIC EM BRUCE!!!!
GATA DAWGS!

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:34 am

Russ — We welcome you with open paws.

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:34 am

SadDawg– You are correct. There are no sure things.

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Douglasville Dawg — So glad I could make your day.

Zebra

October 16th, 2010
11:37 am

I am convinced there are 3 Tech bloggers with a bunch of handles and this is what they do instead of have a girlfriend.
They may even be in the same basement if someone’s parents are out of town.

StraightJacket

October 16th, 2010
11:38 am

ESPN GameDay Chris Fowler with a GREAT joke this morning; He was QUOTING a UGag grad he spoke with this week:

“The only things “OUTSTANDING” about Georgia football right now are the arrest warrants.”

Hilarious!!!

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:39 am

PBJ: You ask a fine question. But the great thing about open forums on blogs is it brings together all life forms, even bitter and deluded ones. Yeah. I went there.

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:42 am

Markie Mark — Ugh (a).. Really? Where, I’ll tell them. Just looked on AJC.com front and it says VIII.

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:42 am

Paul in RDU — Wait, you’re bringing facts to the equation? Clearly, you’re not in the “Club”. Silly, silly. (Thanks.)

82Dawg

October 16th, 2010
11:42 am

It is a great day in Dawg Land, as the haters are out in full force. They just wish they could be a Ga Dawg even in a down year……….HBTD!!!

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:43 am

Innocent Bystander — Hah. Thanks.

1eyedJack

October 16th, 2010
11:44 am

Schultz is just a half grade better than Tim Tucker (who has banned me, for whatever reason). Too bad we can’t fire them and get some real sports writers.

California cool huh Jeff? California ain’t cool any more. It’s a haven for nut jobs.

Russ, you don’t want to go live with Schultz. All he’ll feed you is bean curds and tofu.

And what the h3ll is a Rebel Black Bear? I will no longer refer to that institution as Ole Miss. They are now the Mississy Black Bears.

UGA 44 Vandy 3. Go Dawgs!!!

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
11:47 am

I could really use a beer. Will somebody please bring me one? And a bowl. I no longer have a bowl. And some ice. They have no ice for me today. BIG BAD BRUCE may be a little late. I heard a toilet bowl lid fell on his head this morning.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

October 16th, 2010
11:53 am

Twenty minutes and I’m toast.

I thought the band was playing, Mame. It sound like Mame . . . but it’s BRUCE!

Oh, no! Change you can believe in!

You coax the blues right out of the horn, BRUCE,
You charm the husk right off of the corn, BRUCE,
You’ve got that banjoes strummin’
And plunkin’ out a tune to beat the band,
The whole plantation’s hummin’
Since you brought Dixie back to Dixie land.
You make the cotton easy to pick, BRUCE,
You give my old mint julep a kick, BRUCE,
Who ever thought a Yankee would put
A little Dixie mouse to shame.
You’ve made us feel alive again,
You’ve given us the drive again,
To make the South revive again, BRUCE.
Beauregard Burnside:
You’ve brought the cake-walk back into style, BRUCE
You make the weepin’ willow tree smile, BRUCE,
Your skin is Dixie satin,
There’s rebel in your manner and your speech,
You may be from Manhattan,
But Georgia never had a sweeter pooch.

SadDawg

October 16th, 2010
11:53 am

Cousin Vicker, I agree most of what you wrote, and I too hope Richt once and for all gets a handle on the arrests.

But I’m sorry you missed Dooley’s UGA teams. Dooley had 14 teams with a final Top 20 (not 25)ranking, including teams Nationally ranked: 1st, 4th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th.

Six SEC Championship teams, and had there been the East/West divisions, probably a few more.

It was a great time for Dawg fans, winning SEC titles, playing for at least 3 National titles, beating Tech routinely, and beating UF to a pulp more times than not.

Gayard

October 16th, 2010
11:55 am

And now a moment of silence for last year’s Ga–Ga. Tech game when the nerds realized it’s not gonna be any different even if they have Man-Boobs at the helm. Same ol’ same ol’…and now that moment of silence. From Baytard.

Jeff Schultz

October 16th, 2010
11:58 am

Russ, The Temporary Mascot: That’s a blog.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Sosnovsky, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: We have the MONEY SHOT of the new Uga right here! Bruuuuuuce! #UGA #Dawgs http://bit.ly/chELwZ [...]

Cousin Vicker

October 16th, 2010
12:04 pm

SadDawg,

I did indeed miss most of Dooley’s years. However, other than the great run during the Herschel era, he never had the level of consistency that Richt has had. A lot of 7-5 type years surrounding one 11-1 year here and there. This isn’t an “anti-Dooley” post at all. He is a legend. I just think the Richt era has produced more consistent contenders.