The UGA athletic association is asking fans to “Commit to the G,” whether it’s by buying a ticket to a game, making a donation to the Georgia Bulldog Club or even just wearing Georgia gear to work on Fridays. They’ve launched a special website as part of the campaign and are urging fans to interact on the Georgia Bulldogs Facebook page and on Twitter (@ugaathletics) where they want fans to use the #CommitToTheG hashtag.
As for wearing Bulldog gear on Fridays, beginning on Friday, Aug. 31, fans who submit photos in Georgia gear to firstname.lastname@example.org will have the chance to win prizes. A different winner will be selected each week and the photos will be posted on the official UGA Athletics Facebook page. Fans can also participate by sending photos to the @ugaathletics official UGA Athletics Twitter feed, with the hash tag #fanupfriday.
Now, let’s catch up on some Junkyard Mail …
Brett writes: The offensive line is the major area of concern going into the season. How much better have they gotten in recent weeks? I for one am worried about David Andrews [at center]; he is listed at 6′2 280. That seems a bit too small for the defenses we will see.
I’m thinking Andrews, who reportedly is up to 295 now, must have made strides since the spring because Mark Richt singled him out this week, saying he “has had a good camp, and to me he has solidified that job” as center. “We were trying to find the best combination of five, and we went into camp hoping he would be the guy. I think it’s the best combination for him to be the center, and he came through. I think he’s done a good job.” Earlier, Richt had said of Andrews: “He’s very smart. That center must be able to make the calls and get everybody moving in the right direction. … If you’re quick and you get your hands and feet where they’re supposed to be and you run them with enthusiasm and you know what you’re doing, you can play center.”
Richt isn’t alone in his praise of the sophomore lineman. Two weeks ago it was reported that Andrews, who’s known as “Boss,” had bested nose guard John Jenkins in some drills. “I’m going to be honest with you about David Andrews,” Jenkins said. “A lot of people will be surprised. He’s got a lot of heart and attitude. And with that heart and attitude and being so young he’s going to be a great player. And for him to be able to hold with Kwame [Geathers] and me, it shows a lot. The thing is with David Andrews, his technique has gotten a lot better since the spring.” Added Aaron Murray, who takes the snaps from Anderson: “We go out there, and him and I are working on calls. He knows everything we’re doing, he knows the calls, and he’s only going to get better these next few weeks and into the season. So I have complete confidence in what he can do.”
As for the state of the OL in general, star defender Jarvis Jones says of the OL: “Those guys are getting a whole lot better. I’m seeing improvement in them every day.” And Mike Bobo said, “I’m really liking the progression of the offensive line. I think those guys have bought in and they’re working hard. Our missed assignments are down tremendously from last year at this point. That’s due to those guys learning and studying and due to the quarterback getting us ready and into the play.”
The fact that they were barely into preseason camp when coach Will Friend had basically settled on a starting five is encouraging. Currently it looks like the starters will be Kenarious Gates at left tackle, Dallas Lee at left guard, Andrews at center, Chris Burnette at right guard and true freshman John Theus at right tackle, with Watts Dantzler rotating in as the top reserve. The one caveat: After Dantzler, the drop-off apparently is pretty noticeable, and that could be a factor if the injury bug bites.
Ryan Paul Reid of the Redcoat Band writes: Bill, First off, keep up the great work with the Blawg. It’s my trusted source for everything UGA. I wanted to let you know that we, the Redcoat Marching Band, are reviving the tradition of singing our beloved “Hail to Georgia” fight song (during pregame, in the stands, during Dawg Walk, etc.). We’ve put together a video of the band at band camp running through the tune and singing the somewhat forgotten lyrics, which are also embedded in the video. I tell you this because we all know reviving this tradition is only possible if UGA fans know it’s happening and learn (or relearn) the lyrics. If you have any extra room in your next Blawg post, can you possibly squeeze in a tidbit about our efforts and provide the link to the lyrics? We want this to succeed more than you can imagine and that starts by spreading the word. Needless to say, your voice is louder than mine or those of my colleagues and we would appreciate any effort on your part to help us spread the word. Thanks again, Bill. Keep up the fantastic work. Get ready for a season to remember. Go Dawgs.
With pleasure, Ryan. Here are the lyrics. Learn ‘em!
Hail to Georgia down in Dixie!
A college honored, fair, and true!
The red and black is her standard, proudly it waves,
Streaming today and the ages through!
She’s the fairest of the Southland!
We’ll pledge our love to her for aye! [pronounced like the letter "A"]
To that college dear we’ll raise a cheer!
All hail to dear old U-G-A!
On a related topic, Austin writes: I have been blessed to have traveled to each SEC stadium with the Dawgs over the years and will currently be attending the game in Missouri this year. Just for the sake of my knowing, I called the UGA band department today and inquired about which road games the full band would be attending this year. Much to my dismay it will only be the Auburn and Florida games in the regular season this year. Why not South Carolina, too? Why not Tennessee last year? Don’t say money! Especially not the way we’ve been spending it! Other schools’ bands still travel. A few years back Mississippi State brought their entire band to Athens. As did Tennessee the year before and SC last year. It really adds to our crowd when we go on the road. We need our band to visit more schools when we go off.
I put that question to our pal Ryan, and he said: “In addition to the typical Florida and bowl game (and, we hope, SEC Championship game), the full band will be traveling to Auburn. It’s the same one full band trip schedule [the athletic association] has used the past two years. The full Derbies [the pep band] will be at USCe, with a smaller Derbies group at Kentucky, and around 30 Derbies at Mizzou.” Basically, it comes down to what the athletic association, which funds the Redcoats’ football duties, is willing to pay for. But I was told by another Redcoat Band member a while back that another factor is that the band isn’t always given enough seats at away games to take more than the Derbies anyway. Still, I tend to agree with you, Austin, that the full band ought to go to at least one more road game.
Josh Hensley writes: Bill, First of all I enjoy reading your Blawg every week. I also enjoying coming to Athens on the first Saturday of the football season. With that being said, I have a question. Do you think UGA would ever consider playing their opening nonconference game on a Thursday night? Many fans may not like this but it may be a good idea to get a head start on the competition, like USCe playing Vandy on Thursday to open up the season. It would give the team a few extra days after a game to tweak some things especially since the team will most likely leave Thursday night or Friday afternoon the next week to go to Missouri.
Not likely, Josh. UGA has a pretty longstanding tradition of keeping home games on Saturdays. Last year, President Michael Adams told WGAU in Athens that, ”To the best of my knowledge, and I think this is accurate, we’ve not played a home or away Thursday night game during my time here, and we won’t. I don’t do scheduling, but I do set certain parameters and certain rules within which the athletic departments are expected to operate. We don’t let teams play on exam days, for instance. We don’t like for them to play on reading days, but there’s been a time or two that has been unavoidable because of conference commitments. But generally, I think football ought to be a Saturday occurrence. I think it ought to be fun for an entire community on weekends.” Adams isn’t even crazy about neutral site openers like last year’s at the Georgia Dome, which he said fans ought to view as “a one-time event. I’m a very strong believer in on-campus, student-centered football.”
Cleveland Williams III writes: Bill, Why is there so much attention being given to Malcolm Mitchell moving from receiver to defensive back this year? I know the stats from last year — and he was good as a freshman — but when looking at the depth chart for next year he is going to be needed as a defensive back. The current starting defensive backfield is all seniors and will be lost to graduation. The group for next year will only have seven scholarship players (Devin Bowman, Sheldon Dawson, Marc Deas, Corey Moore, Connor Norman, Blake Sailors, Damian Swann) plus Malcolm, and will lack experience. The receiving core for next year, (Bennett, Conley, Scott-Wesley, Tibbs, Wooten, Flournoy-Smith, Lynch and Rome), will be the more experienced group. Bennett, Conley, Wooten, Lynch and Rome will be more experienced than the returning defensive backs. Should Mitchell not be left at defensive back to resolve this issue?
You make a good point, Cleveland. I’d say a lot of it will depend on a) how well Mitchell performs as a two-way player and b) how well the rest of the receiving corps does. I basically expect Mitchell will remain at least a part-time two-way player the rest of his career at Georgia.
Jim Parry writes: Bill, Saw some early comments on our new placekickers performances, thus far. Made me wonder, with the large amount of recruits we plan to sign this year, wouldn’t it be safe to use one on another kicker? We had two on scholarship recently? This would be a good year to do with all the numbers.
Let’s wait and see how true freshman Marshall Morgan does this season. If he falters then, yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the 30-plus scholarships UGA will be able to hand out going to another kicker. But if he gets in the groove, I’d say at least for a couple of years his backup is likely to be someone who starts out as a walk-on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Brandon Coutu arrived in Athens as a walk-on and ended up supplanting scholarship kicker Andy Bailey.
Chuck Cook writes: Hi Bill, I have been enjoying your blogs and articles in the AJC for quite some time, and never miss one of your postings. Your latest about your daughter’s enrollment and some of the history of UGA has prompted a question from me, and hopefully a link or direction you can point me to. As a 1960 grad (BAJ), my wife and I left campus in 1959 for a job in Jacksonville, and returned in 1960 only for graduation ceremonies. I never got a 1960 (and maybe not even a 1959) yearbook, and for all these years I’ve wondered if I had a photo or two in these. Do you know if there’s a library link that might take me to a digital version of those old yearbooks or some way I could make contact with a department to view the yearbooks when I make a trip to Athens? I’d greatly appreciate your help. Thanks.
Yes, there is a link to Pandora yearbooks of the past provided by UGA’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, but the bad news is that so far it only offers scans of a limited number of years. They say later volumes will be added over time, but they don’t say how quickly. You might try searching on eBay for a 1960 Pandora. When I checked, I didn’t see one for that year (though they had 1961), but it’s a good bet one will show up eventually.
I’ll answer more Junkyard Mail next week. Do you have something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or UGA athletics in general? Got a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? If so, send it to email@example.com.
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