Archive for October, 2011

Georgia’s Jarvis Jones says he’s not considering an early exit for NFL

ATHENS – The Georgia Bulldogs received a lot of accolades following Saturday’s 24-20 win over Florida. Weekly awards and national recognition have been rolling in for individual player performances in the the game.

But probably the biggest treat as far news for Bulldogs fans is Jarvis Jones’ assurance on Monday that he plans on hanging in college for a good while longer.

Jones, who was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week, for his performance against the Gators, met with UGA beat reporters early Monday afternoon to discuss that and his recent nomination as a Butkus Award semifinalists. The Butkus annually goes to the player deemed to be the nation’s best linebacker.

As a redshirt sophomore — he sat out one season after transferring to Georgia from Southern Cal — Jones (6-foot-3, 241 pounds) is eligible to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. As was inevitable with the season he’s having, Jones was asked he was considering that option.

“Not at all,” he said without a moment’s …

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Richt expresses thanks, relief for hard-fought win over Gators

WHAT THEY SAID

Postgame quotes . . .

GEORGIA HEAD COACH MARK RICHT

“To God be the glory. I’m thankful for what just happened. I know it was just a ballgame, but it seemed like a lot more than that. Just to see our players and fans celebrate in this place especially was awesome. I’m very glad to be a part of this today.

“Thankfully, we got a couple of turnovers deep in our territory, and both of our touchdown came on fourth down calls. They were very clutch plays. It takes those types of plays to win this ballgame.”

On the SEC Eastern Division race…

“In hindsight, I can say this now that it’s over, but this was more than just another game to win and to keep pace in the Eastern Division. You could see it with our guys, but we didn’t want to try to make it any bigger than it needed to be. We wanted them to focus on their jobs, and I thought they did that. It wasn’t looking good early on, and credit Florida for what they did in their two-week period. But down by seven at …

Continue reading Richt expresses thanks, relief for hard-fought win over Gators »

Georgia uses defense to best Gators, 24-20

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The SEC East-leading Georgia Bulldogs played like the underdog and, for once in a blue moon, came out on top against the Florida Gators.

Florida managed just one first down in the second half and the Bulldogs’ came back from a 17-3 deficit to edge the Gators 24-20 here at EverBank Field on Saturday. The win was Georgia’s sixth in a row, snapped a three-game losing streak against Florida and was just the fourth in the last 22 years against one of their most bitter rivals.

With the victory, Georgia (6-2, 5-1 SEC) remains in at least a tie for first atop the SEC’s Eastern Division. South Carolina (6-1, 4-1), which holds the tiebreaker due to its 45-42 win in Athens in September, was playing Tennessee in Knoxville late Saturday night.

It was the fourth loss in a row for the Gators (4-4, 2-4), who are in their first year under coach Will Muschamp, a UGA graduate and football letterman. It’s the first time Florida has lost four consecutive games since 1988, when …

Continue reading Georgia uses defense to best Gators, 24-20 »

WR Israel Troupe doesn’t make trip, Dogs down to 4 scholarship WRs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Greetings once again from EverBank Field, where we’re closing in on kickoff for the annual Georgia-Florida rivalry.

Some pregame news and notes:

  • Senior wide receiver Israel Troupe did not make the trip. No official reason was given as of yet but that obviously leaves the Bulldogs extremely thin at wide receiver.
  • Georgia was already having to go without leading receiver Malcolm Mitchell. The freshman split end from Valdosta was a late scratch when he failed to sufficiently overcome a pulled hamstring injury.
  • Rantavious Wooten (concussion) still has not returned since his late September car accident. At this point he would seem likely to be heading toward a medical redshirt season.
  • So all that leaves the Bulldogs with four scholarship wide receivers with which to compete. That’s starters Marlon Brown and Tavarres King and backups Michael Bennett and Chris Conley. Walk-ons Taylor Bradberry and Rhett McGowan complete the receiving corps for this game.

We’re …

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Mark Richt excited, nervous about annual game in Jacksonville

Mark Richt's calm and cool exterior belies the fierce competitor within. (AP photo)

Mark Richt's calm and cool exterior belies the fierce competitor within. (AP photo)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Greetings from EverBank Field. That’s what they’re calling this stadium next to the St. Johns River this year. Most recently it was Alltel Stadium. I still think of it as the Gator Bowl, but I’m old.

As we prepare for today’s slobberknocker between the Bulldogs and Gators, let’s talk about Georgia coach Mark Richt

Richt’s reputation is as a super calm, unemotional football coach. It’s a trait that originally endeared him to the Georgia people and frustrates more than a few of them now. But it doesn’t take long in hearing him talk about the annual Georgia-Florida game here realize it’s a game that is extremely important to him and one he wants to win in the worst way.

“It makes an impression, no doubt, when you come over the hill over that bridge and see everything,” he said of the drive over Matthews Bridge on the team bus each year. “You see the stadium, you see the …

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Will Muschamp’s UGA buddies conflicted about ‘that Florida thing’

Will Muschamp (30) started at safety for the Bulldogs in 1994 and was named defensive co-captain that season. (UGA photo)

Will Muschamp (30) started at safety for the Bulldogs in 1994 and was named defensive co-captain that season. (UGA photo)

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — “Wherever I played has no bearing on this game at all.”

“There will be a lot of wasted ink on the fact that I played at Georgia and I’m now coaching at Florida.”

“I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, but I’m loyal to people, not places.”

This is what we’ve heard Will Muschamp, the Florida Gators’ first-year head coach, say this week about his ties to Georgia. Those ties are pretty strong, as most folks can tell you. Raised in Rome and married to a girl from Thomaston, he played football and earned his degree in communications from the University of Georgia.

But Muschamp has downplayed those connections at every turn, understandable considering his current address. Instead he tells the Gator Nation that he really wanted to play football at Florida, having spent the early part of his childhood growing up in the city in which that …

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Georgia’s Aron White: ‘Blood definitely runs hot’ against Florida

Georgia tight end Aron White can't say enough when it comes to playing the Florida Gators. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Georgia tight end Aron White can't say enough when it comes to playing the Florida Gators. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

To outsiders Aron White may seem like nothing more than a backup tight end with a good academic resume. But inside the Bulldogs’ locker room, there might not be a more influential person. Yes, he’s a cut-up and a mile-a-minute talker, but he’s also a fifth-year senior and a leader and an extremely bright individual who has bought into everything that is UGA. And in terms of being a team spokesman, nobody has embraced the role more than this Missouri native, who might be the only member of the football team who actually looks forward to his weekly media opportunities with the local press.

With that in mind, White had so much to say and so passionately about the Georgia-Florida game during our relatively brief session on Wednesday, I decided to share it with you in full. With White it’s important to note that he speaks extremely fast and almost in a …

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Video: Florida, Georgia beat reporters look at both sides of rivalry game

Rachel George, who covers the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel, and UGA beat reporter Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-constitution talk with CineSport’s Brian Clark about Saturday’s annual rivalry game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida in Jacksonville. . . .

Continue reading Video: Florida, Georgia beat reporters look at both sides of rivalry game »

Richt on Florida struggles: ‘Flip schedules and I’m not sure it wouldn’t be different’

Following is a transcription provided by UGA from Georgia’s media day Tuesday for Saturday’s game against Florida. . . .

HEAD COACH MARK RICHT

Opening statement:

“Coach (Will) Muschamp has a very outstanding team in my opinion. I know they’ve lost the last three, but they’ve played three ranked teams, and two of them are dominating everybody that they play. I think there is a perception that Georgia is on a roll and Florida is struggling, but if you flip those schedules I’m not sure it wouldn’t be a whole lot different story for us and for them as far as winning. They are a very talented team as always, very fast team. That’s the one thing that sticks out more than anything is just the team speed, offense, defense, special teams. We have issues to deal with in that regard.”

On what was said to Aaron Murray about last year’s 3-interception game against Florida:

“I think the less said the better. We’re trying to focus real hard on not the fact that it’s in Jacksonville, not the …

Continue reading Richt on Florida struggles: ‘Flip schedules and I’m not sure it wouldn’t be different’ »

Muschamp: ‘A lot of wasted ink on the fact I played at Georgia’

Florida coach Will Muschamp has remained every bit as demonstrative on the sidelines as a head as he was as a defensive coordinator. (AP photo)

Florida coach Will Muschamp has remained every bit as demonstrative on the sidelines as a head coach as he was as a defensive coordinator. (AP photo)

Florida coach Will Muschamp, a UGA football letterman (1991-94) and graduate (’94) had his weekly press conference today. It’s one of just two interview opportunities he’ll allow all week. In case you’re interested, following is a transcription provided by the UF sports communication office. . . .

Opening Statement:

“To start with an injury report, the only player that is definitely out for this game is Jeremy Brown. He just continues not to respond to treatment. We have to continue press through with that and we’re disappointed for him. John Brantley is probable for the game; he will practice today in a limited role. We feel like John will be ready to go for the game. As we progress through the week we will know more about his status. We plan on him practicing today, and everybody else should be back. We shouldn’t have anybody …

Continue reading Muschamp: ‘A lot of wasted ink on the fact I played at Georgia’ »

Q&A: LB Alec Ogletree ‘very anxious to get back out there’ for Bulldogs

This is one of the last shots we saw of Alec Ogletree, getting the call from the sideline in Georgia's Nike Pro Combat uniform at the Georgia Dome. (UGA photo)

This is one of the last shots we saw of Alec Ogletree, getting the defensive call from the sideline in Georgia's Nike Pro Combat uniform at the Georgia Dome. (UGA photo)

Q&A WITH ALEC OGLETREE

Alec Ogletree was the toast of the offseason for the Georgia Bulldogs. Going back to spring practice and all the way through preseason, the experiment of moving the 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore from strong safety to inside “Mo” linebacker was said to be an unmitigated success. Coaches and teammates spoke in excited anticipation of the havoc Ogletree was going to wreak playing down close to the line of scrimmage in the middle of the Georgia’s 3-4 defense. “He was practicing extremely well,” coach Mark Richt said. “He was making most of the tackles and he was doing it with some enthusiasm and some physicality. He has the ability to knock people back and he has the ability to run sideline-to-sideline and he has the ability to cover well. He has all the tools.”

But all the air from that …

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Rare off weekend allows Georgia’s Mark Richt to see his sons perform

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt is looking forward to a rare opportunity to spend some time with his oldest sons this week.

Jon Richt

Jon Richt

As the Bulldogs enjoy their first off weekend since preseason camp opened on August 2, Richt plans on attending his son Jon’s game for Mars Hill College on Saturday afternoon. Jon Richt, 21, is a junior quarterback for the Lions (6-1, 4-0 South Atlantic), who are playing Lenoir-Rhyne (3-3, 2-1) in an important conference game. Mars Hill is ranked No. 24 in Division II.

“It’s a big deal,” Richt said. “Right now Mars Hill is undefeated in league play, which is big. And Jon is doing well.”

Jon, who began his career at Clemson, has passed for 1,514 yards with 16 touchdowns as the Lions’ starting quarterback.

Richt’s second-oldest son, David, also will be performing this weekend. David sings and plays keyboards and piano in several Christian rock bands. On Sunday evening at 6 p.m., he will be one of the musicians performing in the “Jan Smith …

Continue reading Rare off weekend allows Georgia’s Mark Richt to see his sons perform »

Notebook: Dogs’ defense reshuffling lineup yet again

ATHENS – The Bulldogs found out on Wednesday they would be without two defensive starters for the Florida game on Oct. 29. They also added two more with the returns this week of Alec Ogletree and Cornelius Washington.

For defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and his staff, being able to mix and match the lineup is old hat at this point. Thanks to injuries and suspensions, Georgia has utilized seven different starting lineups in seven games this season.

There’s a 100 percent chance it will be 8-for-8 against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.

“I’ve always said you rank your players and figure out your best combination for that week,” Grantham said Wednesday. “That’s what we’ve done every week. Guys have been in and out. We really haven’t played a game yet with what started out as our first 11. That’s OK, too, because guys have worked hard and built a lot of mental toughness on our defense and are finding a way to finish.”

Despite losing Ogletree and fellow inside linebacker …

Continue reading Notebook: Dogs’ defense reshuffling lineup yet again »

UPDATED: Georgia NG Kwame Geathers, SS Shawn Williams, Vandy player get half-game suspensions

Geathers

Geathers

As expected, Georgia’s Kwame Geathers and Shawn Williams were handed down half-game suspensions Wednesday for their actions during last Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt. Commodores center Logan Stewart was also levied a half-game suspension in the wake of the Bulldogs’ 33-28 win this past Saturday in Nashville.

The suspensions of the players were based on NCAA rules and handed down by Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive in consultation with the respective schools.

Williams

Williams

“I did have the opportunity to speak to the Commissioner and discuss the incident,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “It’s certainly not representative of the Georgia way. I have always trusted the Commissioner’s judgment and understand and accept the decision. We’ll learn as well as grow from this situation and now turn our attention to preparing for Florida.”

Following is the news release from the SEC, which explains its ruling in each instance:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Upon review of …

Continue reading UPDATED: Georgia NG Kwame Geathers, SS Shawn Williams, Vandy player get half-game suspensions »

Kwame Geathers’ father upset over his son’s half-game suspension

Robert Geathers Sr., the father of Georgia sophomore noseguard Kwame Geathers, is upset that his son was assessed a two-quarter suspension in the Florida game after being the victim of what he thought was a dangerous, defenseless hit in the Vanderbilt game this past weekend.

“I’ve played football and been around football all my life,” said Robert Geathers Sr., who played in the NFL for 13 seasons has has two other sons playing professionally, “and if you watch it you see this kid speed up while everybody else is slowing down and he’s locked in on my son’s leg. If you look closely you can see the guy give a thumbs up to the sideline and the coach telling him ‘good job.’ I was, like, ‘Wow!’ I could be sitting here today telling you how my son’s surgery went.”

Mr. Geathers is referring to Vanderbilt sophomore center Logan Stewart, who was flagged for clipping on the play. Kwame Geathers was called for a personal foul after he turned around and punched Stewart in the side while …

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Geathers’ punch, Vandy player’s clip likely to result in suspensions

ATHENS – Georgia noseguard Kwame Geathers and Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart are expected to receive punishment from the Southeastern Conference for their actions on a play in the fourth quarter of this past Saturday’s game in Nashville.

On the second play of the Commodores’ first offensive possession of the fourth quarter, Stewart comes up from behind on Geathers and dives for the back of his left knee and clips him at the end of a play, in which quarterback Jordan Rodgers is run out of bounds for a seven-yard gain. After he is knocked down, Geathers immediately whips around and punches Stewart in the side.

Referees immediately threw flags. After a lengthy discussion, Stewart was called for clipping and Geathers is called for an unsportsmanlike personal foul. The Commodores were awarded an automatic first down as a result of the personal foul penalty.

The SEC has yet to issue a ruling on the chain of events, but precedent indicates both players will likely be subjected to …

Continue reading Geathers’ punch, Vandy player’s clip likely to result in suspensions »

SEC discipline likely forthcoming for Georgia, Vandy players, coaches

ATHENS – Georgia expects to hear back from the Southeastern Conference sometime this week regarding possible disciplinary action against coaches and players in the wake of last Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.

UGA and Vanderbilt were each asked to submit reports about the post-game skirmish that took place following the Bulldogs’ 33-28 win over the Commodores. After the game concluded, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham ended up in a shouting match at midfield. Both coaches could be subject to fines, suspensions and/or reprimands from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive for showing a lack of sportsmanship with their finger-pointing, obscenity-laced exchange.

Meanwhile, there is a very good chance discipline could be forthcoming for players based on their actions during the game. Georgia noseguard Kwame Geathers was flagged for a personal foul for punching Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart at the end of of the Commodores’ second …

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Franklin to Richt: Georgia was ‘rubbing our face in it right after the game’

In the latest twist in the story of the post-game skirmish at Vanderbilt, Nashville television station WSMV has posted a video showing part of a brief on-field discussion between Vandy coach James Franklin and Georgia’s Mark Richt.

This encounter came after the angry confrontation between Franklin and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

In the video, Franklin explains to Richt his view of what triggered the post-game fracas, saying victorious Georgia was “rubbing our face in it right after the game. And then your coach, when I tell him about it, then he goes after me and the fight starts.”

“That’s what I thought happened,” Richt replied. “I apologize.”

You can see the video here.

And here’s a story on other developments, including the ongoing SEC review of the incident and Monday’s comments from Grantham, Franklin and Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity.

– Tim Tucker, UGA blog

Continue reading Franklin to Richt: Georgia was ‘rubbing our face in it right after the game’ »

UPDATED: McGarity meets with Grantham, SEC reviews confrontation at Vanderbilt

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (R) confronts Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin after Franklin allegedly yelled at one of the Bulldogs' players at the end of Georgia's 33-28 win in Nashville on Saturday.

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (R) confronts Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin after Franklin allegedly yelled at one of the Bulldogs' players at the end of Georgia's 33-28 win in Nashville on Saturday.

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM VANDERBILT COACH JAMES FRANKLIN (1:33 P.M.) AND GREG McGARITY AT TOUCHDOWN CLUB OF ATLANTA MEETING (1:45 P.M) .

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM TODD GRANTHAM (11:25 A.M.). . .

ATHENS — Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity has already met with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham regarding the postgame confrontation with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin on Saturday and the Southeastern Conference is in the process of reviewing the incident.

McGarity, who was in Nashville on Saturday, said he discussed the situation with Georgia head coach Mark Richt by telephone on Sunday, then met with Grantham face-to-face at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall early Monday morning. Meanwhile, both Georgia and Vanderbilt have been asked by SEC Commissioner …

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Notebook: WRs Brown, Bennett come through big in Mitchell’s absence

NASHVILLE – Georgia’s Marlon Brown said he’s still not 100 percent recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him for two games. But he proved to be pretty good at 90 percent.

The junior split end from Memphis had a career night in the Bulldogs’ 33-28 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. He finished with a career-best 121 yards on four catches and recorded two touchdowns, including a 75-yarder.

“It was great having Marlon back,” said quarterback Aaron Murray, who registered career highs in attempts (38), completions (22) and yards (326) and threw three touchdowns. “He’s been banged up the last few weeks and still isn’t 100 percnet. He told me before the game he was like 85 or 90 percent and he had a great performance today. Hopefully by Florida he’ll be 100 percent.”

“It feel pretty good right now,” Brown said with a laugh shortly after the game concluded. “But I really can’t take any credit for it. I have to give most of the credit to the offensive line blocking, the running …

Continue reading Notebook: WRs Brown, Bennett come through big in Mitchell’s absence »

Georgia, Vanderbilt coaches discuss postgame skirmish

NASHVILLE – Forget Georgia-Florida, Georgia-Auburn or Georgia-Georgia Tech. The new white-hot rivalry for the Bulldogs may be with Vanderbilt.

Players and coaches had to be separated following the Bulldogs’ hard-fought, emotional 33-28 win. The game wasn’t decided until Vanderbilt tight end Branden Barden of Lincolnton, Ga., was corralled at the Georgia 16-yard line as time expired.

Immediately afterward, a skirmish ensued between the teams that appeared to be mostly yelling and gesturing and little actual physical confrontation. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was a central figure in the fray.

Grantham pretty much refused to comment directly what went on with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin at the end of the game. All he would say and kept repeating was, “I love our players. I’m going to stick up for my players. Everybody’s competitive.”

Franklin was a little more telling with his comment: “We just had a tough, emotional game and some things were said that I …

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Georgia looking to follow South Carolina’s lead in the East

NASHVILLE — Greetings from Vanderbilt Stadium, where it is yet another gorgeous college football Saturday afternoon. It’s 72 degrees and there’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s supposed to cool considerably, down into the 50s after the 7 p.m. kickoff, so it should be great football weather.

It hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s nothing they’ve done, mind you. It’s just that their cousins from the Western Division, Mississippi State, didn’t hold up their end of the deal over in Starkville.

South Carolina escaped with a hard-fought 14-12 win, meaning the Gamecocks will remain at least in a tie in first place in the East and holding the tiebreaker over the Bulldogs should they handle Vanderbilt today. South Carolina was not able to escape, however, with its star tailback. Marcus Lattimore left the game with a knee injury that “could be serious,” according to coach Steve Spurrier’s postgame comments.

Of course, Georgia’s Bulldogs have their own business …

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Video: Georgia now prohibitive favorite in East heading to Vanderbilt

My videochat with CineSport’s Noah Coslov about Saturday’s game between the Georgia Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1 SEC) and the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-2, 1-2) in Nashville.

Continue reading Video: Georgia now prohibitive favorite in East heading to Vanderbilt »

Big John Jenkins starting to make impact for Georgia at noseguard

Big John Jenkins rarely gets his hands on ball carriers but when he does they know it. (UGA photo by Jim Hipple)

Big John Jenkins rarely gets his hands on ball carriers but when he does they know it. (UGA photo by Jim Hipple)

ATHENS – Big John Jenkins got the first start of his brief Georgia career this past Saturday against Tennessee. And while it may not have come as quickly as he wanted, it could not have come in a more ideal situation – SEC road game, night kickoff, national TV, prolific offense, highly-touted quarterback.

“Man, that felt good,” said Jenkins, a 6-foot-4, 340-pound junior noseguard who’s expected to start again this week. “To start in that stadium and under those nights against Tennessee, it felt good. It was big, it was big.”

Jenkins and the Bulldogs played big, too. Including a couple quarterback sacks, they held the Vols to minus-20 yards rushing en route to a 20-12 victory. Entering Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt, Georgia is now third in the SEC and 12th nationally in run defense *85.8 ypg). The Bulldogs are now ranked sixth nationally in total defense (260.5 …

Continue reading Big John Jenkins starting to make impact for Georgia at noseguard »

Notebook: Georgia TE Jay Rome decides to play basketball

Jay Rome (L) scored 33 points for Valdosta against Norcross in the playoffs as a senior last season. (AJC photo)

Jay Rome (L) scored 33 points for Valdosta against Norcross in the playoffs as a senior last season. (AJC photo)

ATHENS – Add another name to the list of football players planning to play basketball at Georgia.

Jay Rome, a freshman tight end from Valdosta, said he recently received the blessing of basketball coach Mark Fox to come out for basketball after the football season in over. Rome will join fellow freshman Nick Marshall on the hardwood.

“I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to start working with the team but me and my father talked with Coach Fox a week or so ago and basketball is definitely going to happen,” said Rome, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward. “In high school, I always thought basketball was my favorite sport, but I figured I’d have a better chance to play football in college. But over the past month or so, I decided I wanted to play basketball again because I missed it so much.”

Rome was a three-time player of the year at Valdosta, where he averaged 25 …

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With Ogletree slated to return, what should Dogs do at linebacker?

ATHENS – One of the most welcome sights at Georgia’s practice Tuesday was a guy in a green jersey running by himself in one end zone at the far end of the field.

Starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, out since the first quarter of the first game of the year, was in full pads and running — quite swiftly and fluidly, in fact — through a series of speed and agility drills under the watchful eye of sports medicine director Ron Courson. Earlier in the day, head coach Mark Richt had made a rather bold pronouncement on what until then had been merely a wishful goal.

“Ogletree is looking really good,” Richt said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “We don’t think there is any question at all that he’ll be ready for the Florida game.”

“Tree,” as he has come to be called by coaches and teammates, was the talk of preseason camp because of the athleticism he brought to the “Mo” linebacker position from strong safety, where he started as a freshman the previous season. But …

Continue reading With Ogletree slated to return, what should Dogs do at linebacker? »

Q&A: Richt talks about Vandy, ‘Tree,’ Georgia D

ATHENS – A quick rundown of news, notes and quotes from the Georgia Bulldogs’ media session Tuesday in advance of Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt:

HEAD COACH MARK RICHT:

Opening Statement – “We are getting on the road again and playing Vanderbilt at their home. They have not lost at home this year. I know they are going to be working hard toward defending their turf. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been at halftime (at Vanderbilt) wondering what’s going on. They are an outstanding team and a team we have a lot of respect for. We certainly have a lot of respect for Coach (James) Franklin and his team, his coaching staff and the job they are doing.

“They started out 3-0. Our first taste of watching them was against Ole Miss. As we were preparing for Ole Miss we got to see them on both sides of the ball, and were very impressed. One thing that stands out to me is the number of guys they have from Georgia. There are a lot of guys from Georgia who are going to be playing in …

Continue reading Q&A: Richt talks about Vandy, ‘Tree,’ Georgia D »

Dangerous Vanderbilt team awaits Bulldogs in Nashville

Heading over to Georgia for coach Mark Richt’s weekly press conference and player interviews. Let me know if you have some (reasonable) questions for which you’d like to get answers.

We’re at the halfway point of the season so we’re starting to see some trends statistically and otherwise. The Bulldogs are 4-2 overall and tied for the SEC’s Eastern Division lead with a 3-1 record. They lost to the two best teams they played and then won the next four games they were expected to win in relatively comfortable fashion. So I don’t know if we’re sure just yet how good Georgia is.

The rest of the season sets up well for the Dogs. But don’t discount this next game at Vanderbilt. This is no ordinary Commodores team. They have some offensive issues and are unsettled at quarterback. But they feature some playmakers and are stout on defense, and I think we’ve seen in Georgia just how effective that can be.

In the meantime, we have some questions we need to ask you. . . .

Georgia Tech …

Continue reading Dangerous Vanderbilt team awaits Bulldogs in Nashville »

UGA’s Gilliard, Walsh receive player-of-week honors from SEC

Two Georgia players received honors from the SEC today for their performances in Saturday’s victory at Tennessee.

Inside linebacker Mike Gilliard was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week after a huge game in which he had a career-high 12 tackles, as well as a sack (for minus 14 yards), 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup.

It was the latest in a series of strong performances by Gilliard, who stepped up in the wake of injuries to inside linebackers Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson. Gilliard, a junior, has led the Bulldogs in tackles for the past four games.

Placekicker Blair Walsh was named the SEC’s Special Teams Player of the Week after making both of his field-goal attempts at Tennessee. His 35- and 23-yard field goals accounted for all of Georgia’s scoring in the first half, which ended in a 6-6 tie.

The game was a bounce-back performance for Walsh, who missed six of 12 field-goal attempts in this season’s first …

Continue reading UGA’s Gilliard, Walsh receive player-of-week honors from SEC »

Notebook: Dogs hope to have Mitchell back by Florida game

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Forty-five minutes after the game, Malcolm Mitchell was still so pumped over Georgia’s victory over Tennessee and his role in it he forgot for just a moment how bad his hamstring hurt.

Mitchell was buzzing from his first taste of Neyland Stadium. The freshman wide receiver from Valdosta led the Bulldogs with three catches for 126 yards, including a 71-yarder that turned to tide of the game for good.

“Third down is loud, boy; it was crazy,” said Mitchell, who leads the team for the season with 438 yards on 25 catches. “When we were backed up in the first quarter, you couldn’t hear anything at all. You’ve really got to focus on the signals because you can’t hear the quarterback at all. To come out with a win like this, we just needed it so bad.”

Mitchell’s 71-yard grab came on first down after the Bulldogs took over at their own 7 late in the third quarter. Two plays later Isaiah Crowell scored on a 17-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead 20-6.

Unfortunately for …

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