Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Bulldogs’

Georgia short takes: Dogs should’ve spiked the ball

Jay Rome's 19-yard touchdown catch gave Georgia 7-0 lead two plays following fake punt. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Jay Rome's touchdown catch gave Georgia 7-0 lead two plays after fake punt. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

(I’ll be back with my column on the Georgia-Alabama SEC championship soon. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the game.)

1. Great drive until the last decision: Trialing 32-28, Georgia was given a second chance to drive for a winning touchdown when an Aaron Murray interception was turned over on replay, which showed the ball hit the ground. So with the ball at the Dogs’ 28 on second-and-10, Murray then capitalized when completed passes to Arthur Lynch (15 yards), Tavarres King (23) and Lynch again (26), moving the ball to the Alabama 8. However, with the final seconds (from :09 after Lynch’s second catch) ticking down, Murray did not take the ensuing snap and spike the ball to stop the clock. Instead, he ran a play and completed a tipped pass to Chris Conley, who was tackled at the Alabama 5 and time ran out. It was a great three plays and a dreadful fourth. While it’s …

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Predictions: Georgia pulls upset, Tech goes down

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According to various websites that I looked through while doing research for this final week of investments — not counting those that kept asking for a credit card number, age verification and automatically opened 27 new windows (Close! Close! Dang it, close!) while my wife screamed down to the basement, “Are you still looking at point spreads!?” — I came across some interesting statistics.

The chances of winning Wednesday night’s $579 million Powerball drawing were approximately 1 in 176 million. That was still far more likely than the odds of having a meteor land on my house: 1 in 182,138,880,000,000. Or about double that for the same meteor landing on the ACC championship game and hitting somebody.

Is that a meteor falling on my house, or Georgia going to BCS title game?

Is that a meteor falling on me, or Dogs going to BCS?

Other odds I came across: 1 in 3 million chance of spotting a UFO; 1 in 11,500 of bowling 300 in a game; 1 in 649,740 of being dealt a royal flush; 1 in 20 million of being canonized; about even-money that one of those …

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Georgia’s best chance vs. Alabama may be to step on gas

Aaron Murray has 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in last 17 quarters. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Aaron Murray has 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in last 17 quarters. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

ATHENS – When gazing at the nation’s leaders among college football defenses, Alabama doesn’t stand out statistically so much as it leaps off the page, stomps on cars, knocks over skyscrapers, swats away missiles and terrorizes women, children and offensive coordinators.

The Crimson Tide rank No. 1 nationally in total defense. Also No. 2 in rush defense, No. 3 in pass defense, No. 1 in scoring defense, No. 1 in red zone defense. It has shut out four opponents, held seven to 10 points or less and all except one to 17 or less.

Which begs the question: All except one?

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin relatively humbled Nick Saban three weeks ago with his hyperventilating, no-huddle offense. The Aggies upset then No. 1 Alabama 29-24, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions, accumulating the second-most yards (418) and the most red zone possessions (five) of any Tide …

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SEC title would mean Georgia’s return to elite status (video added)

Mark Richt has Georgia in the SEC championship game for second straight year. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Mark Richt has Georgia in the SEC championship game for second straight year. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

(VIDEO ADDED BELOW)

This might stun starry-eyed middle-schoolers and high school players, who are otherwise oblivious to ancient history before 2006 in the SEC. But even the football Godzillas of this conference and, it follows, the globe, aren’t that far removed from humility (and Shreveport).

Before the last five seasons under Nick Saban, Alabama had an 11-year stretch (1997-2007) when it reached double digits in wins only three times, suffered through four losing seasons, four non-bowl years, lost to Auburn six straight years, went to the Music City Bowl twice and even was subjected to the Independence Bowl . . . three times! There’s your, “Roll Tide.”

Florida fans would like to forget the Ron Zook era of relative torment, sandwiched between Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer.

Auburn just fired a coach, Gene Chizik, who won a national championship two years ago.

LSU: You say …

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Georgia playing at level we haven’t seen under Richt

Dogs accept overnor's Cup for Saturday's win, but they're after bigger trophy. (Brant Sanderlin)

Dogs accept Governor's Cup after the win, but they're after something bigger. (Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – This is new ground. Or, more accurately, new air.

Georgia had never reached this elevation before under Mark Richt — not in BCS ranking at this point of the season, not in perception of championship potential.

It didn’t feel like this even during those two SEC titles early in Richt’s tenure, when Georgia already had been cropped out of the national pictured. It wasn’t this real when a Sugar Bowl win left the Bulldogs with a postseason ranking of No. 2, after they already had been leapfrogged in the BCS and left out of the national title game.

Never before in late November under Richt could we look at Georgia and legitimately think: That team can win it all.

Now we can.

Georgia didn’t just beat Georgia Tech on Saturday. It humiliated the Jackets 42-10. The tilt on the scoreboard would have been even greater if Richt hadn’t pulled starters with more than 10 minutes …

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Short takes (UGA): Rambo’s ascent, Gurley’s comfort

Bacarri Rambo (18) stripped David Sims' of ball returrned fumble to set up touchdown. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Bacarri Rambo (18) stripped David Sims' of ball, set up touchdown. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

ATHENS — I’ll be back with my column off of Georgia’s win over Georgia Tech shortly. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the Bulldogs’ performance.

1. Bacarri Rambo is in a groove: The Bulldogs’ senior free safety was suspended for the first four games of the season and struggled along with the rest of Georgia’s defense when he initially returned. But he has been playing his best football of the season in the past five games. He had an interception and a sack against Florida, an interception at Auburn, and owned the first half against Georgia Tech: two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 49-yard return to set up the Dogs’ second touchdown and an interception of Vad Lee followed by a 27-yard return to set up Georgia’s fourth TD. It’s no coincidence the improvement of Georgia’s defense has paralleled that of Rambo.

Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and Georgia's offense seemed to be signaling "touchdown" all game. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and Georgia's offense seemed to be …

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LIVE: Bulldogs, Jackets vie for more than bragging rights

The early scene from the final regular season game for UGA and Tech.

The early scene from Sanford Stadium, site for the final regular season game for Georgia and Tech.

ATHENS — Good morning. Before we get to the game, I have a small request: Let’s be civil.

I understand emotions (and beer) often cause sports fans to jump the rails a little bit. Because we will have both Georgia and Georgia Tech fans on this blog, the chance for a verbal inferno becomes even greater.

But the same rules apply: no profanity, no profanity that is cleverly disguised with punctuation marks, no racist comments, no sexual innuendo, no stealing of screen names to give the impression that somebody wrote something when they really didn’t, no … well, you get the idea. You can praise, mock, laud and criticize all you like. But let me share something an old editor of mine once told me: If you have to ask, “Can I write this?” the answer is probably no.

Fair enough?

OK, onto the game. Georgia and Georgia Tech is, first and foremost, always about 364 days of bragging rights. …

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Upsetting Georgia would give Tech needed boost for future

Roddy Jones (20), Troy Garside (33) and Marcus Wright (3) were among celebrating Jackets in 2008. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

From Tech's 2008 celebration: Roddy Jones, Troy Garside and Marcus Wright. (Brant Sanderlin)

During the course of a five-minute interview, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson referenced Georgia’s No. 3 ranking in the BCS three times, just on the chance that we didn’t know.

“It’s not often you get a chance to play the No. 3-ranked team in the country,” he said.

“We haven’t beaten them in three years — that should be motivation enough. And they’re the No. 3-ranked team in the country,” he said.

“It’s an important game — and we also know that it’s the No. 3 team in the country,” he said.

So, just for clarification, Georgia is ranked No. 3 in the country, correct?

“I think so,” Johnson said, smiling. “That’s what somebody told me.”

Welcome to the view from the other side. Johnson is perceived as the other coach of the other team in the other conference. On Saturday, his Yellow Jackets will face the Bulldogs in their annual feud in Athens. Johnson …

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Predictions: Georgia wins on Red-and-Black Saturday

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Before we get to this week’s big question — will Georgia be caught looking ahead to the SEC Championship game, the BCS title game, world domination, next year’s rankings, global peace, contact with an alien life form and a voice from a burning bush somehow lose to Georgia Tech — let’s get to what really matters.

The continuing devolution of mankind. I speak, of course, of Black Friday.

Once we’ve finished our annual Thursday tradition of consuming four helpings of turkey, three pieces of ham, 17 side dishes, six rolls (or was it seven?), three desserts and a Diet Coke and lapsing into a food coma, we’ll segue into Shopping on Steroids. Black Friday is that wonderful time when we rise at 3 a.m. after four hours of sleep to save $40 on a laptop, $6 on a sweatshirt and 27 cents on Play-Doh.

December wasn't good enough. He just had to start after Thanksgiving.

December wasn't good enough. He just had to start after Thanksgiving.

We’ll be overcome by feelings of a tremendous conquest, until the following week when these same items are on sale for …

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Vince Dooley: Joy from Georgia’s rise, pain from son’s firing

Some of Vince Dooley's joy over Georgia's resurgence took a hit with his son's firing. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Vince Dooley's joy for Georgia's resurgence took a hit with his son's firing. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

On Sunday, when everybody associated with Georgia football was still basking in the afterglow of the season’s 10th victory and the anticipation of a dramatic flip at the top in the BCS standings, the Dooleys of Athens received a phone call from their son, Derek.

“I knew it was going to happen,” Vince Dooley said. “I felt for sure it was going to happen. Then on Sunday when he contacted us and told us, it was difficult. You hurt for your family. You hurt for your son.”

Seldom do the extreme highs and lows of competitive athletics collide like this.

Dooley hired Mark Richt and watched him win two SEC championships in his first five seasons. He saw the program slip back for a couple of seasons and Richt try to navigate through “crises” while four other SEC schools won six national championships and so many called for the coach’s head. Now the Bulldogs are more than …

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