I had a suspicion when Mark Richt said he’d wait until the team was in Orlando before talking about whether everyone was eligible for the bowl game that Georgia had not made it through exams unscathed this season.
As it turned out, only one player was scratched from playing against Nebraska because of academic issues, but the one who didn’t make it is a big loss in more ways than one.
John Jenkins, sometimes called “Motel 6,” took up a lot of real estate in the middle of the defensive line at 6-foot-3 and 358 pounds and accounted for 50 tackles and two tackles for loss this season, starting at nose guard and sometimes shifting over to tackle in tandem with Kwame Geathers.
Jenkins would be a major loss for UGA in any game, but especially as the Dogs prepare to go against the No. 8 rushing offense in the country.
Geathers, who himself might not be long for the Georgia roster as the NFL beckons, will be the starter against Nebraska and, if nothing else, will have a great opportunity in the bowl game to show what he can do and improve his draft stock.
Also ameliorating somewhat the loss of Jenkins will be the likely return of senior defensive end Abry Jones, a longtime starter who missed the last half of the season after ankle surgery.
Richt said Jones is expected to be able to play, although “what type of condition he’ll be in and how many plays will he be able to play will be another story. It might create more of an opportunity for a guy like Mike Thornton and Ray Drew. … Sterling Bailey has practiced well so he might get some reps as well.”
Whoever clogs the middle of Georgia’s defensive line, the rest of the front seven are going to have to step it up a bit or the Dogs could find themselves getting gashed by the Cornhuskers’ running attack. Hopefully, a challenge like this will help sharpen their focus a bit in the wake of the disappointment over spending the postseason in a Florida city other than Miami.
A VERY GEORGIA CHRISTMAS
Hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season.
As my UGA freshman daughter put it, we had a very red and black Christmas this year at the King homestead. Olivia alone had a chair full of Bulldog-related gifts, including a nifty “college sweetheart” jacket and Georgia Toms, but just about everyone got something showing our family’s devotion to the school in Athens.
One thing I always make sure my son and brothers get is the Vintage Georgia calendar published each year by Asgard Press. The 2013 calendar is the seventh edition in the line, which reproduces the covers of classic UGA game programs from past years in a large 11″x15″ format printed on stiff stock and with each month’s image perforated for easy framing.
The programs reproduced in this year’s calendar range from the 1923 game against Auburn, with a drawing of an old-fashioned Georgia Bulldog wearing a G cap on the cover, on through the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s to the 1964 Georgia-Georgia Tech program featuring kicker Bobby Etter.
Most of the months feature the sort of stylized art popular in sporting circles a few decades back and the calendar looks really great on the wall of a Bulldog room or even in an office. With the new year about here, if you haven’t yet gotten a 2013 calendar, this one is highly recommended. You can find more information here.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg