Archive for August, 2009

Keep talking about the Dawgs

University of Georgia

University of Georgia

I’m headed out on vacation for the next week so there won’t be any fresh updates to the Junkyard Blawg until Aug. 24.

Until then, you’re welcome to continue discussing Georgia football and anything else related to UGA sports. Just keep it clean and civil or one of the online honchos is likely to jump in and close down commenting.

And remember to keep an eye out for UGA beat reporter Tim Tucker’s dispatches from Athens.

Just to get you started, what part of Georgia’s game do you have the best feeling about as the opener in Stillwater approaches? And which one concerns you the most?

Have fun and stay cool.

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Bulldog Bites: Gray has edge at No. 2

The Athens Banner-Herald takes a look at backup quarterback Logan Gray, who last year returned punts as a way to get on the field. If Gray locks down the No. 2 QB spot behind Joe Cox, as it currently appears he will, chances are his punt-returning days will be over. “Logan wants to play,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo says. “It’s still up in the air as to what might happen there. You’ve got a lot of guys like that who are competitors and they want to get on the field. But right now he’s more focused on becoming the best quarterback he can be.” 

Bobo also drops another hint that Gray might get into the game in some sort of “wildcat” formation. “He’s got the ability for us to do some different things offensively,” Bobo says. “He can do some of the quarterback run stuff that you see so many teams doing now. He makes them commit an extra defender and have an extra hat to account for. Sometimes you don’t see defenses accounting for that extra hat like that.”

Meanwhile, …

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Wear and tear of August hits Dogs

As we near the end of the second week of preseason practice, this is the time when the grind starts to wear on the players and lots of nagging injuries show up. It wasn’t particularly surprising that Thursday’s practice was what Mark Richt deemed the worst so far. 

I’m sure it didn’t help the mood at the Woodruff Practice Fields that tailback Caleb King has to sit out a week to 10 days with one of the more serious of the team’s many hamstring problems. It’ll definitely be a setback for King and for the tailback competition overall. About the best spin you can put on it is that at least it wasn’t the back who had the best day in Wednesday’s scrimmage who got hurt. 

Now it’ll be up to King to stay patient and committed to getting back on track, and Richard Samuel needs to prepare mentally for possibly being the starting tailback. No fumbles, in other words. And more reps for shifty little Carlton Thomas will pay off in the long run.

 

Quintin Banks (Georgia Sports Communications)

Quintin Banks (Georgia Sports …

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101 Reasons to Be a UGA Fan, Part 5

 

 

University of Georgia

University of Georgia

Scrimmages have begun, students have moved into dorms and apartments in Athens, classes at UGA begin on Monday and we’ve got 22 days and change until kickoff of Georgia’s 2009 football season. I’d say it’s a great time of year to be a Dawgs fan, but then that’s the case any time of year. And in celebration of that fact, here’s the conclusion of our list of 101 reasons why it’s great … to be … a Georgia Bulldog! 

81. Reggie Ball wore a Tech uniform.

82. “Going back to Athens town.”

83.  The annual performance by the Redcoat Alumni Band.

84. As the late, great Athens Daily News once put it: “Oh, Hot Diggity Dog, Mr. Dooley, You Have Wrecked Ole Tech Again!”

85. Scott Woerner.

86. Being a part of the luckiest 92,746 folks around on a fall Saturday.

87. GATA.

88. Clisby Clark’s “Bulldog Bite.”

89. Bill Stanfill introducing himself to Steve Spurrier at the Gator Bowl.

90. “One and done, baby!”

91. “Between the hoses” at Auburn in 1986.

92. Dooley’s shaved …

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Two-minute drill: Cowboys’ Bryant ‘most dangerous’ player

Matt Hayes of Sporting News says Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant is the most dangerous player in the game today.

 

Dez Bryant (Associated Press)

Dez Bryant (Associated Press)

Hayes notes that Bryant says opponents last year were triple-teaming him. “Remember how Larry Fitzgerald dominated at Pitt earlier this decade? Bryant is the same type of player,” Hayes says. “He has terrific speed with long strides, great vision and balance with the ball in the air, and he’s nearly impossible to cover without help. Bryant also is dangerous on punt returns (17.9 yards per return, two TDs last fall).”

Curran is SEC’s ‘hardest hitter’

Sporting News Today is running down each conference’s top player by category (click on Page 17 after you go to the front page). As “hardest hitter” for the SEC they pick the Dogs’ Rennie Curran. They also include a couple of nice YouTube links to Curran’s highlights.

Dogs’ other receivers

The Macon Telegraph looks at relatively unheralded Georgia receivers Tavares King and Israel …

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Bulldog Bites: Phantom hamstring injuries

 

Rennie Curran (Georgiadogs.com)

Rennie Curran (Georgiadogs.com)

David Hale of Bulldogs Blog, the UGA beat reporter for the Macon and Columbus papers, noted that in Wednesday’s scrimmage the No. 1 defense was without Rennie Curran, one of several players (four of them linebackers) who were said to have “sore hamstrings” and did not scrimmage. Hale was skeptical that all those hamstrings became sore between Tuesday’s special teams practice and the scrimmage. 

His skepticism was well placed. Linebackers coach John Jancek came clean with Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald, saying there were “no injuries, just trying to really evaluate the younger players, who can add depth, who’s good at what positions. We’re just trying to move guys around, seeing what their skill level is at various positions.”

And Curran later confirmed to Hale: “I’m good, I’m good. You want to have that depth going into SEC ball. Anybody can go down. We started off with all our linebackers at the beginning of the year [last season] …

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Who should be Dogs’ one-two punch?

 

Richard Samuel (Georgia Sports Communications)

Richard Samuel (Georgia Sports Communications)

Even if Georgia ends up with a tailback-by-committee approach this season, odds are that two backs primarily will carry the load. 

Most observers think Caleb King will be one of them, despite the fact he hasn’t been able to get a firm grip on the starting job. Richard Samuel, who had slipped so far under the radar that folks were wondering if he’d switch to linebacker, turned a lot of heads with his performance in Wednesday’s scrimmage. Carlton Thomas continues to impress, though because of his size a lot of observers see him as the third or change-of-pace back. And then there’s the heralded true freshman, Washaun Ealey, who still has a lot to learn.

Mark Richt said they probably will “re-rack” the depth chart after Wedesday’s scrimmage but indicates we shouldn’t put too much emphasis right now on who’s ranked where. “I don’t particularly care who’s No. 1 today or tomorrow,” Richt said. “I’m looking for guys who are ready to …

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Scrimmage results mixed for Dogs

Wednesday’s first scrimmage was a mixed bag that provided encouragement in some areas and left questions hanging in others. Some observations: 

1. The tailback battle is far from over. Richard Samuel had a fine day, but he wasn’t running against the team’s top defenders. He fumbled again (he had this problem last year), which is the quickest way to the bench for a tailback under Mark Richt. And we still don’t know much about where the backs stand in the important pass protection area because as the Bulldogs Blog noted, Richt said “the defense didn’t bring a lot of pressure. You usually have to bring a linebacker or a safety in order for the backs to get involved in the blocking schemes. … We didn’t [bring] much pressure at all.” The bet here is that won’t be the case in Saturday’s scrimmage.

2. The battle of the flags is far from over. Richt has cracked down on penalties during the preseason, pulling players out of drills to do push-ups for infractions. But in the heat of …

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Two-minute drill: Tailback situation clear as mud

Be sure to check out Tim Tucker’s report on Georgia’s scrimmage today, the first of the preseason. Richard Samuel had a big day, possibly muddying the tailback waters more, though Mark Richt noted that he had more space to run than the other backs. He was Mr. Big Play, with a 63-yard TD run and a 70-yard touchdown catch. Will he pass Caleb King for first in line on the tailback committee? It’ll be interesting to watch over the next couple of weeks.

More road game cut-off scores

The UGA athletic association has released another couple of Hartman Fund cut-off scores for road games this season. Those are the minimum cumulative lifetime amounts Bulldog Club members have to have contributed in order to have gotten tickets. For the Vanderbilt game, all contributors with a cumulative score of 11,300 or higher who ordered tickets will get them. And for the game at Georgia Tech the cumulative score needed for tickets is 30,000 and higher. Cut-off score requirements for the Florida game …

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Social sites have coaches all aTwitter

 

The Real Deal blog

Jeff Owens: The Real Deal blog

College football coaches have been talking to their players for the past couple of years about watching what they post on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The fear is that the athletes will either reveal something they shouldn’t, perhaps giving an opponent inside info, or embarrass themselves and their school.

Most of the time, it’s no problem. The Dogs’ Jeff Owens blogs occasionally and Twitters frequently — mostly inspirational, rah-rah stuff or notes on eating and napping. Especially eating, as in “I wish I had some cheesecake!”

However, Mark Richt was bothered this weekend when freshmen Washaun Ealey and Derrick Lott both put updates online revealing that they had suffered minor injuries in preseason practice — something UGA had not officially announced. Such leaks might not be that big a deal now, but Richt wants them nipped in the bud before the season starts. 

Should coaches control players’ entries …

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