Archive for September, 2011

Mississippi State writer provides opposing view of Saturday’s game

Here’s a short question-and-answer I did with Brandon Marcello, the Mississippi State beat writer for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Hopefully he can give us a little perspective from the other sideline when those Bulldogs visit the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. . . .

1. Give us the lowdown on Dan Mullen. Is he really as brash and cocky as he seems or is he actually a warm and fuzzy guy behind the scenes?

BrandonMarcello

Marcello

“Dan Mullen is a very smart coach, and listening to him talk Xs and Os, I hear, is an interesting and insightful sight. The players love him and he’s definitely a hard worker. His enthusiasm and off-the-cuff comments (referring to Ole Miss as “the school up north” and saying whatever is on his mind) has excited the fan base, while riling up the detractors at opposing schools. For the longest time, MSU fans have desired to be the school everyone envied and now Mullen is telling those fans that, hey, it’s cool to be a Bulldog fan living in Starkville. Fans have not heard …

Continue reading Mississippi State writer provides opposing view of Saturday’s game »

Video: Yet another ‘must win’ for Bulldogs . . . both of them

Noah Coslov of CineSport and I discuss Saturday’s matchup between the Georgia Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1 SEC) and Mississippi State.

Continue reading Video: Yet another ‘must win’ for Bulldogs . . . both of them »

Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell still looking to take it ‘to the house’

Georgia coach Mark Richt thinks it's just a matter of time before Isaiah Crowell busts a long run for the Bulldogs. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Georgia coach Mark Richt thinks it's just a matter of time before Isaiah Crowell busts a long run for the Bulldogs. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

ATHENS – At this point, everybody has seen enough of freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell to know he’s a real deal. He comes into the Mississippi State game as the SEC’s fourth-leading rusher at 103 yards per game and is coming off a 30-carry, 147-yard performance at Ole Miss.

What nobody has seen Crowell do yet, however, is rip off a really long run. It was his specialty at Carver-Columbus High, where he had a dozen touchdown runs of over 50 yards his senior year alone.

Crowell has noticed, too, and he’s itching to find some daylight.

“I’ve been trying,” said the 5-foot-11, 215-pound speedster. “I’ve been trying to use my speed to get outside and cut back and just find an opening. It hasn’t been there yet.”

Through four games, Crowell’s longest run from scrimmage has been 29 yards. That came last Saturday against Ole Miss. His longest …

Continue reading Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell still looking to take it ‘to the house’ »

RB Ken Malcome returns to Bulldogs 24 hours after asking to transfer

Georgia's Ken Malcome takes a handoff in the Coastal Carolina game, his only carry so far this season. (Photo provided by UGA)

Georgia's Ken Malcome takes a handoff in the Coastal Carolina game, his only carry so far this season. (Photo provided by UGA)

ATHENS – Ken Malcome is back on the team.

Just 24 hours after meeting with Georgia coach Mark Richt to ask for a transfer, the big, bruising running back from Decatur was back to ask for a reinstatement on Thursday. It was granted, just as Richt said he would do the previous night.

“If Ken came to me tomorrow and said, ‘Coach, I lost my mind and I’m sorry and I’d love to come back and compete here at Georgia,’ I’d hug his neck and say ‘come on,’” Richt said after Wednesday’s practice.

That’s apparently just what happened. Malcome’s return was announced in a brief release from UGA Sports Communications Thursday afternoon: “Ken Malcome, who indicated to Coach Richt Wednesday he wanted to transfer, has requested and been granted a return to the team.”

Malcome’s reversal was not a major surprise. Richt seemed to be imploring Malcome to …

Continue reading RB Ken Malcome returns to Bulldogs 24 hours after asking to transfer »

Ken Malcome, Derek Owens become latest Bulldogs to leave program

ATHENS – Two more Georgia football players have decided to continue their careers elsewhere.

Ken Malcome, a redshirt freshman running back from Decatur, and Derek Owens, a sophomore cornerback from Jacksonville, both asked head coach Mark Richt to be released from their scholarships and are seeking transfers. Including safety Jakar Hamilton, that’s now three players who have left the program during this season.

Owens’ departure was expected and has been in motion for a few days. Malcome’s decision was an obvious disappointment for Richt.

“[Malcome] walked into my office just prior to practice and felt like he had gotten so far behind in the competition at his position, he felt like he needed to go to another school and get a fresh start and maybe get a better opportunity to play,” Richt said Wednesday. “So that’s where we are on that.”

Malcome, an all-state player at Southwest DeKalb High, was expected to step to the forefront this season with Georgia’s attrition at …

Continue reading Ken Malcome, Derek Owens become latest Bulldogs to leave program »

The rest of the story on Bacarri Rambo . . .

Bacarri Rambo (18) goes high to haul in one of his two interceptions against Ole Miss as cornerback Branden Smith looks on. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Bacarri Rambo (18) goes high to haul in one of his two interceptions against Ole Miss as cornerback Branden Smith looks on. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Hope you got to read my profile of Bacarri Rambo. A little background: I did not set out to report on him dealing with the death of his son. didn’t know about it. It was one of those situations where I had planned to feature him this week since he was coming off a two-interception performance against Ole Miss and now leads the nation in interceptions per game. It was only after calling down to Rambo’s Donalsonville hometown that I discovered what he had been dealing with in the days leading up to the game and since. And then I wasn’t really sure how I was going to handle it. I had to talk to those closest to Georgia’s star safety — and, of course, Rambo himself — before deciding how to proceed. In any case, what was lost in the wake of all that was some of the anecdotal information I gathered for the story. So that it doesn’t go …

Continue reading The rest of the story on Bacarri Rambo . . . »

Richt coaches fans on crowd noise; McClendon weighs in on ‘Boo’

Here’s a link to Tuesday’s football notebook and another to my profile of free safety Bacarri Rambo, who played this past Saturday’s game with a heavy heart. It was a busy, newsy day around the Butts-Mehre Building, however, and I couldn’t fit everything in. So following is some stuff that didn’t make the cut for print. Call it “bonus material.” . . .

Georgia coach Mark Richt, playing Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf, demonstrates exactly when Bulldogs fans should "go berserk." (Photo by Chip Towers)

Georgia coach Mark Richt, playing Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf, demonstrates exactly when Bulldogs fans should "go berserk." (Photo by Chip Towers)

Richt coaches fans on crowd noise

Georgia coach Mark Richt is counting on the Bulldogs’ fans to be a 12th man against Mississippi State on Saturday. He’s so adamant that they produce crowd noise that he stood up during his opening remarks at his weekly press conference on Tuesday and demonstrated exactly when and how he wanted them to be noisy.

“I want to talk to our fans and educate them a little bit,” Richt said. “We need a lot of crowd noise and I know fans know that. …

Continue reading Richt coaches fans on crowd noise; McClendon weighs in on ‘Boo’ »

Similar statistical comparison between Isaiah Crowell, Herschel Walker to this point

Isaiah Crowell's cutting ability is reminscent of former Georgia running back Garrison Hearst. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Isaiah Crowell's cutting ability is reminscent of former Georgia running back Garrison Hearst. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

ATHENS – This is not at all to say that Isaiah Crowell is the next Herschel Walker — there hasn’t been a “next” so far — but their statistical comparison to this point in their respective freshman campaigns is remarkably similar.

  • Through the first four games of the 1980 season, Walker had 419 yards rushing on 77 carries.
  • Through the first four games of the 2011 season, Crowell has 411 yards rushing on 77 carries.

Walker had outscored Crowell 5 touchdowns to 3 at this point and, of course, the Bulldogs were 4-0 then as opposed to 2-2 now. Also, of note, Walker was injured early in the fourth game against TCU and was sidelined. Similarly, Crowell watched the second half of the Coastal Carolina game from the sideline due to injured ribs and an early blowout.

Walker finished the 1980 campaign with a freshman record of 1,616 yards and 15 touchdowns. That does …

Continue reading Similar statistical comparison between Isaiah Crowell, Herschel Walker to this point »

UGA-Tennessee game time set; Crowell No. 2 freshman runner in nation

A  few quick items . . .

  • Georgia’s Oct. 8 game at Tennessee will start at 7 p.m. and be televised on one of the ESPN networks, it was announced today.

Whether the game will air on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU won’t be determined until after this week’s action. But in any case the 7 p.m. start at Neyland Stadium is firm, according to the SEC.

It will be UGA’s first night kickoff since the season opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome.

Two other SEC games also are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts on Oct. 8 – Vanderbilt at Alabama and Auburn at Arkansas. Those games, plus Georgia-Tennessee, will be divvied up among the ESPN networks.

  • For the second time this season, the SEC honored Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell as its Freshman of the Week.

Crowell, who shared the honor with Kentucky running back Josh Clemons two weeks ago, claimed it outright this week for his performance at Ole Miss.

Crowell had season highs in carries (30) and yards (147) in Georgia’s 27-13 victory …

Continue reading UGA-Tennessee game time set; Crowell No. 2 freshman runner in nation »

Three Bulldogs don’t make Ole Miss trip due to injuries

Oxford, Miss. — Greetings from The Grove. Well, actually the press box at Mississippi’s Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. But I was just in The Grove, the legendary tailgating area in the center of the Ole Miss campus. I always make it a point to make a pass through there whenever I come here. It’s a truly beautiful campus with some great SEC traditions.

After my tour of the Grove, I spent some time on the field watching the Georgia Bulldogs warm up. Here’s a few things I found out before today’s 12:21 p.m. kickoff:

  • Damian Swann did not make the trip. The sensational freshman cornerback from Atlanta, who made his first start last Saturday against Coastal Carolina, suffered a groin injury and was not going to play.
  • Also not here is freshman cornerback Chris Sanders. He injured a shoulder during practice this week. So the Dogs will be a little thin in the secondary today. As it is, though, Sanders’ main duty was on the kickoff return team.
  • That probably explains why Shawn Williams is …

Continue reading Three Bulldogs don’t make Ole Miss trip due to injuries »

Video: Georgia’s concerns on offensive line heading to Ole Miss are serious

My videochat Thursday with Noah Coslov of CineSport regarding the issues facing the Georgia Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1 SEC) heading into Saturday’s game against Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1).

Continue reading Video: Georgia’s concerns on offensive line heading to Ole Miss are serious »

Injuries, NCAA ineligibility jeopardize Georgia’s O-line for Ole Miss

ATHENS – Georgia’s situation on the offensive line turned suddenly precarious on Wednesday. Starting right guard Chris Burnette went down in practice with a knee injury and head coach Mark Richt revealed afterward that offensive lineman Kolton Houston is currently ineligible with an “NCAA issue.”

Burnette

Burnette

Burnette fell out with a knee injury during individual work early in practice. Richt initially characterized the injury as “a tweak,” but the nature and extent will not be known until Thursday.

“Right this second we don’t think it’s anything serious,” Richt said. “We’ll see if it swells and see how he does tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn’t swell a lot.”

Richt said it was the same knee in Burnette injured last season that forced him to sit out as a redshirt. That was a patella injury.

Compounding the seriousness of the situation is former starting left guard Kenarious Gates just returned to practice Tuesday from an injured ankle that has kept him sidelined since the first half …

Continue reading Injuries, NCAA ineligibility jeopardize Georgia’s O-line for Ole Miss »

Should Bulldogs play QB Hutson Mason on regular basis?

Quarterbacks Aaron Murray (L) and Hutson Mason look on at the end of last year's loss at Auburn. (AP photo)

Quarterbacks Aaron Murray (11) and Hutson Mason (14) look on at the end of last year's loss at Auburn. (AP photo)

Hope you saw the football notebook I filed late yesterday that included an item on Georgia’s coaches being pleased with the play of Hutson Mason to the point of considering playing the sophomore quarterback from Marietta on a more regular basis.

Does Georgia need to try to play quarterback Hutson Mason on a regular basis?

  • No, Aaron Murray is the man and doesn’t need the distraction
  • Yes, Mason has proven he deserves playing time
  • Just play him when things aren’t going well with Murray

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

To be clear, the comments of head coach Mark Richt, which you’ve read, and those of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo, which you’ll find below, were responses to questions directed to them by reporters. So it’s not like they came out this week and volunteered that they’d like to get Mason more playing time.

But the whole …

Continue reading Should Bulldogs play QB Hutson Mason on regular basis? »

Notebook: Richt laughs at label of ‘Hot Seat Bowl’ vs. Ole Miss

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt laughed Tuesday when he heard some media members were referring to Saturday’s game against Ole Miss as the “Hot Seat Bowl.”

“I knew that would happen,” Richt said, chuckling as he shook his head. “That was pretty easy to predict. You’d think they could have thought of something better than that. I think a couple of kindergartners could have figured out that one.”

But Richt wasn’t laughing when the subject turned to his colleague, Houston Nutt. What Richt has endured is nothing compared to the slings and arrows being aimed at the Rebels’ head coach this week.

In the wake of last Saturday’s 30-7 loss to Vanderbilt, Nutt was subjected to a Sunday morning meeting with Athletic Director Pete Boone. Boone followed that up by appearing before Nutt at his weekly press conference to discuss the state of the football program. Advertisements calling for his ouster were placed in five Mississippi newspapers as well as the Memphis Commercial Appeal. And …

Continue reading Notebook: Richt laughs at label of ‘Hot Seat Bowl’ vs. Ole Miss »

Georgia FS Jakar Hamilton transferring; ‘needs fresh start’

ATHENS – Georgia safety Jakar Hamilton is leaving the football program.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior from Johnston, S.C., confirmed that news to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

Hamilton, a former junior college transfer, was sitting out via medical redshirt this season due to a stress fracture in his ankle that developed in preseason camp. Unable to compete while other players have been asserting themselves at his position, Hamilton said he simply read the writing on the wall.

“It’s just personal issues, really,” said Hamilton, who started five games at free safety last season and played in all 13. “I was hurt and wasn’t going to be able to play this season and I just played it all out in my mind. [Bacarri] Rambo is having a good season, Shawn Williams is having a good season and they both have another year. And other guys are coming in.

“I just felt like I needed a new start and start fresh with another team.”

Hamilton said he plans to transfer but at this …

Continue reading Georgia FS Jakar Hamilton transferring; ‘needs fresh start’ »

UPDATED: Basketball star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope cleared by NCAA

ATHENS — Georgia received good news from the NCAA on Tuesday. Five-star freshman basketball player  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was cleared to compete in the 2011-12 season.

Caldwell-Pope, a 6-foot-6 wing player from Greenville, Ga., was being investigated for receiving improper benefits from a person in Columbus involved with AAU basketball and the local parks and recreation department.

“I am pleased that the situation regarding Kentavious’ eligibility has been resolved,” Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox said. “Kentavious can now put these issues behind him and focus on becoming a better student-athlete. We can all move forward in our preparations for the coming season.”

A police investigation in Columbus alleged that that an unauthorized bank account controlled by Columbus parks and recreation director Tony Adams and his associate Herman Porter paid for the cell phone bill of Caldwell-Pope’s mother. Both Caldwell-Pope and junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones — who had two …

Continue reading UPDATED: Basketball star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope cleared by NCAA »

Notebook: Isaiah Crowell’s ribs, Orson Charles on D and Dogs vs. Dogs on FSN

Cleaning out the notebook heading into Ole Miss week. . . .

Crowell’s ribs

Georgia coach Mark Richt indicated that tailback Isaiah Crowell aggravated his injured ribs against Coastal Carolina this past Saturday because he didn’t wear the special rib protection padding sports medicine director Ron Courson laid out for him. Crowell admits he hurt his ribs but that it wasn’t from a hit.

“I didn’t get hit on them this time,” said Crowell, who was initially injured in the first half of the South Carolin game. “I just twisted the wrong way. I hurt the myself, really. So I’ll have to go to treatment and stuff and get them worked on. But I’ll be ready for next week.”

Asked about Crowell in his postgame press conference, Richt said: “He didn’t wear his rib protectors to start the game and he probably should have. That’s what freshmen do. I’m sure he felt good by the end of the week and didn’t feel like he needed them.”

Update: Crowell is expected to wear rib protection for …

Continue reading Notebook: Isaiah Crowell’s ribs, Orson Charles on D and Dogs vs. Dogs on FSN »

Georgia-Mississippi State game time set

Georgia’s Oct. 1 game against Mississippi State in Athens will start at noon and be televised by Fox Sports Net, it was announced Monday.

The game will be the Bulldogs’ third consecutive early-afternoon start, following last week’s 1 p.m. kickoff against Coastal Carolina and Saturday’s 12:21 p.m. game at Ole Miss.

CBS will televise two games involving SEC teams on Oct. 1, one at 3:30 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m., and exercised its “six-day option” to hold off on making its selections until after this week’s play. But CBS said it will choose from among three Oct. 1 games: Alabama at Florida, Auburn at South Carolina and Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Dallas. After CBS selects two of those games, the other will be on ESPN with a noon start.

Continue reading Georgia-Mississippi State game time set »

Richt: ‘I think we’re a team that is on the rise, but we’ll see’

After losing two games to highly ranked opponents, then winning one over an out-manned opponent, Georgia now enters the grind of its SEC schedule.

Saturday’s game at Ole Miss will start a stretch of four SEC games in four weeks for the Bulldogs, all but one of them on the road.

It should be a revealing patch of schedule.

“The thing I like is, we’re a team that is getting better as we go,” UGA coach Mark Richt said Sunday evening.  “We do have a lot of room to grow yet. The last couple of performances, minus the huge mistakes, four or five plays that really got us [against South Carolina], I felt we were making a lot of progress. As you watch tape, it’s still pretty obvious we’ve got some youth and inexperience that still needs to improve.

“Overall, I think we’re a team that is on the rise, but we’ll see,” Richt said. “We’re going to play that first SEC game away from home and get a better feel for what kind of progress we have really made.”

That game is  at 12:21 p.m. …

Continue reading Richt: ‘I think we’re a team that is on the rise, but we’ll see’ »

Q&A: Georgia coach Mark Richt just happy to be back in win column

THEY SAID IT

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt:

“It was good to get a W. A lot of good things happened today because a lot of good things have been happening along, but today we got it in the win column. I think we have a very good team. Today, they did about as well as we can ask them to do.”

“I was proud of the way we came out in the second half. We were able to sub freely and give a lot of guys an opportunity to play. Everybody covets scrimmage downs. That was a good opportunity for them. I think the young guys played well.”

“We have faith in our guys on offense to run the high tempo. There are a lot of benefits from going high tempo, and we’ll continue to do that and master that. We’ll keep getting better as the season goes along.”

“The (backups) were so thankful to get in the game and show what they can do. Games like this are nice for all the men.”

“The goal today (for the defense) was to not let them get started. We did not want their quarterback to …

Continue reading Q&A: Georgia coach Mark Richt just happy to be back in win column »

Video: 59-0 win just what doctor ordered for Bulldogs

My postgame video report from Sanford Stadium following Georgia’s 59-0 win over Coastal Carolina. Links to all our game coverage stories below.

Game story: Georgia ‘takes care of business’ against FCS opponent

Notebook: Drew, Dantzler among freshmen to make collegiate debuts

Sidebar: QB Hutson Mason once again sharp in relief duty

Sidebar: Shawn Williams proves as effective at linebacker as safety

Jeff Schultz: Georgia Bulldogs shown signs of life

Continue reading Video: 59-0 win just what doctor ordered for Bulldogs »

UPDATED: ILB Shawn Williams highlights 4 new starters on Georgia’s defense

ATHENS – Georgia’s Shawn Williams, who started the first two games of the season at strong safety, got the start at inside linebacker Saturday against Coast Carolina

Williams, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior from Damascus, got the nod at the “Mo” linebacker position where regular starter Alec Ogletree was lost to a foot injury in the season opener. Ogletree is expected to be out at least two more weeks. Freshman Amarlo Herrera started the South Carolina game at Mo.

Georgia also had a new starter at the “Mike” inside linebacker position on Saturday. Junior Mike Gilliard filled in for Christian Robinson, who went down late in the South Carolina game with an ankle injury.

Williams’ switch from safety to linebacker created a domino effect on Georgia’s defense. Sanders Commings, who normally starts at cornerback, slid back to Williams’ strong safety spot. That meant that nickelback Branden Smith got the start at cornerback.

Also, John Jenkins was slated to get the first start of his …

Continue reading UPDATED: ILB Shawn Williams highlights 4 new starters on Georgia’s defense »

UGA: Legendary play-by-play man Larry Munson ‘recovering from respiratory infection’

Larry Munson doffs his cap to the crowd at Sanford Stadium during the Georgia Tech game in November of 2008. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Larry Munson doffs his cap to the crowd at Sanford Stadium during the Georgia Tech game in November of 2008. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia has released a statement regarding the health of the Bulldogs’ legendary play-by-play voice Larry Munson.

From UGA spokesman Claude Felton:

“The family has asked me to convey that Larry Munson is recovering from a respiratory infection and is in stable condition.”

Munson, 89, permanently retired from calling Georgia games two games into the 2008 season due to declining health. He had stopped traveling to road games in the 2007 season. He was behind the mic for the Bulldogs for more than 40 years.

Continue reading UGA: Legendary play-by-play man Larry Munson ‘recovering from respiratory infection’ »

UGA President Michael Adams calls for support of football team, Richt

UGA President Dr. Michael Adams on Thursday called for Georgia football fans to unite in support of the team. His comments came during the fall semester meeting of the UGA Cabinet when asked to assess the job being done by 11th-year head coach Mark Richt.

Said Adams:

“I don’t believe I have ever commented on any coach mid season. You know the answer. What we do weith every head coach — every head coach, not just the high-profile head coaches – but at the end of the season the AD sits down and makes a judgment. Then he makes a judgment whether or not he needs to talk to the president about that.

“The issue for me right now is I think this is the time for all of us to come together and get behind this group of guys who played a heck of a game last Saturday and deserve our support. I’ve never folded on anything 15 or 20 percent into it, and that’s what we would be doing.

I’d love to see the stadium full Saturday for probably what will not be the most high-profile opponent we’ll …

Continue reading UGA President Michael Adams calls for support of football team, Richt »

Q&A: Vince Dooley says Mark Richt will be at Georgia ‘for a long time’

Vince Dooley

Vince Dooley

Q&A WITH VINCE DOOLEY

With an 0-2 start on the heels of 6-7 season, UGA President Michael Adams and Athletic Director Greg McGarity have found themselves having to answer questions lately about Mark Richt’s long-term security as the Bulldogs’ football coach. Of course, they’re both very non-committal on the issue, considering there are 10 games remaining in the regular season. President Adams was asked about it again on Thursday at UGA’s cabinet meeting. “I think this is the time for all of us to come together and get behind this group of guys who played a heck of a game last Saturday and deserve our support,” he said. “I’ve never folded on anything 15 or 20 percent into it. That’s what we would be doing. . . . It’s time for us as a community to get behind this team.” Earlier this week, McGarity told me, “I’m not going to do a weekly scorecard on our football coach. We’ve got 10 more games to play.”

Vince Dooley is uniquely qualified to talk about …

Continue reading Q&A: Vince Dooley says Mark Richt will be at Georgia ‘for a long time’ »

Video: Dogs looking to dominate Coastal Carolina with Crowell, defense

Here’s my video chat this morning with CineSport’s Noah Coslov:

Continue reading Video: Dogs looking to dominate Coastal Carolina with Crowell, defense »

Transition to inside linebacker no problem for safety Shawn Williams

ATHENS – The secret is out. Safety Shawn Williams is going to play some linebacker for the Bulldogs. But he didn’t realize that was a known when he was first asked by reporters on Wednesday. So he tried to deny it.

“I’m still a safety,” he said. “I don’t know anything about that position.”

Williams didn’t realize head coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had already ‘fessed up after Williams was observed working with the inside linebackers in practices Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Yeah, he’s doing a little work there,” Richt said after Wednesday’s workouts at Woodruff Practice Fields. “It’s so often that a safety does spin down inside the box to play the run in a certain gap, so he is a big enough body and a guy who has played that responsibility. But I don’t think it’ll be an every-down thing.”

Then Richt added: “I’d also like to say to Coach Grantham, ‘they already knew, Coach, so don’t get mad at me.’”

Grantham had already grudgingly admitted as much on …

Continue reading Transition to inside linebacker no problem for safety Shawn Williams »

Georgia’s young receivers impress with toughness, skill

MichaelBennettTD(UGA)

Georgia redshirt freshman Michael Bennett reaches across the goal line to record his first career TD as fellow freshman Malcolm Mitchell trails on the play. (UGA photo)

ATHENS — After Isaiah Crowell scored on a 15-yard run to give Georgia a 35-31 lead over South Carolina this past Saturday, everybody ran up to congratulate Crowell as soon he came to the Bulldogs’ sideline.

Everybody, that is, but Mark Richt. The Bulldogs’ head coach made a bee line for Michael Bennett and engulfed the big wide receiver in a bear hug.

“I was happy for the run Isaiah made, too,” Richt explained this week. “But I grabbed that kid [Bennett] and gave him a big hug because that was a heck of a play he made.”

The play to which Richt refers was Bennett’s catch on third and one at the South Carolina 28. Bennett’s number was called on a slant pattern and he pulled off an amazing shoe-top grab off a deflection for a four-yard gain and a Georgia first down. Two plays later Crowell …

Continue reading Georgia’s young receivers impress with toughness, skill »

Notes: More touches ahead for Crowell, safety Williams gets look at LB

ATHENS — Freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell will get his first career start on Saturday against Coastal Carolina. Asked how many times he might like to get the ball in Crowell’s hands, Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo deadpanned, “45!”

He laughed, but Bobo was only half-kidding.

“I’d say he’s 20-25-carries-a-game guy and certain games it might be more,” Bobo said. “And then you’ve got about 15 or so for the other guy. You’d like to run it around 40 times a game, the way I see things. He might be able get 30 of them.”

The true freshman from Columbus got 18 touches in the Bulldogs’ 45-42 loss to South Carolina this past Saturday. He finished with 158 total yards – including 118 rushing – which works out to 8.8 yards per touch. He also scored two touchdowns.

Bobo feels like there’s a lot more production to be tapped. It’s a big reason the Bulldogs are giving Crowell his first career start this Saturday against Coastal Carolina.

“He’s a guy that has gotten better every …

Continue reading Notes: More touches ahead for Crowell, safety Williams gets look at LB »

Coastal Carolina coach goes viral on YouTube with ‘dogs vs. kitty-cats’ rant

Most Georgia fans know that the Bulldogs are playing Coastal Carolina this Saturday, but they might not know that the Chanticleers (2-0) are coached by YouTube’s latest Internet sensation.

More than a half-million people — including Georgia coach Mark Richt — have viewed coach David Bennett’s YouTube clip from a press conference in Conway, S.C., earlier this month. In it, the down-home-style coach explains the inherent differences in dogs and cats and why he wants his team and his players to be more like dogs and less like cats.

The hilarious soliloquy was picked up and played on several ESPN shows and has since gone viral online.

I got to spend a few minutes on the phone with Bennett, whose 2-0 Chanticleers visit Athens on Saturday, and asked him what he thought about all the attention he was getting.

“It’s just a true story I shared with the team on a Monday and I shared it at a press conference and it took off like wildfire,” he said with his Deep South drawl. “Must’ve …

Continue reading Coastal Carolina coach goes viral on YouTube with ‘dogs vs. kitty-cats’ rant »