Archive for October, 2011

Georgia’s Mark Richt gets 100th career win in dramatic fashion over UT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Mark Richt won his 100th career game as Georgia’s head coach at the same place he recorded his first signature victory.

The Bulldogs pulled out a 20-12 victory over Tennessee Saturday night before a sell-out crowd of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium, where Larry Munson introduced the world to the hobnail boot. And Georgia nearly made it as dramatic.

The outcome was uncertain until Tennessee quarterback Matt Sims was sacked on the game’s final play. But that did nothing to quell the postgame celebration, which was said to rival the one Georgia had here 10 years ago almost to the day.

“We’re happy,” Richt said well after the locker room had cleared. “We had a great celebration after the game and it was a lot of fun. I’m very humbled at the way the players and coaches responded to me. One hundred victories is kind of hard to believe. But they belong to everyone that has played here and coached. To win here is very difficult to do.”

Made even more difficult when you …

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Bulldogs’ lineups reshuffled for Tennessee

Knoxville, Tenn. – Greetings from Neyland Stadium. Been a while since I was here last. Think it was 2007. Things didn’t go very well for the Georgia Bulldogs that day.

Much has changed since my last trip here. For starters, Tennessee is on its third coach since then. The Vols have gone from Phillip Fulmer to Lane Kiffin and now to Derek Dooley. They’ve gone 5-7, 7-6, 6-7 so it hasn’t seemed to make much difference.

It will be interesting to see how things go today. Georgia is favored by 2.5 to 3 points, depending on which line you refer. Of course, I’m fairly certainly the Bulldogs were favored in ‘07 as well.

Couple of quick items:

  • I’m hearing Chris Burnette is indeed going to start at right guard. We’ll see soon enough but that’s a pretty telling development if it is the case. Kenarious Gates did not play well at all at left guard versus Mississippi State last week. So the thinking is that Dallas Lee will switch from right to left guard to make room for Burnette. Meanwhile, …

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Notebook: WR Marlon Brown used to extra attention Tennessee week

ATHENS – It is Tennessee week, so Georgia’s Marlon Brown knows exactly what that means for him. It means he will be the subject of multiple media interviews.

“What a surprise,” he said sarcastically when surrounded by reporters after a recent practice.

It has become routine for the junior receiver from Memphis. When it comes time to play the Vols, everybody wants to know how he feels his decision to choose Georgia over the home state university and when he might finally have that breakout season.

And when the Bulldogs are heading to Knoxville as they are this year, Brown knows he’ll be booed every time his name is announced over the public address system.

“I already knew the day I committed [to Georgia] when I was sitting there chilling with my family and friends, I was like, ‘every time we play Tennessee I’m going to get booed. I know I am,’” he said. “So I’m ready for it. It doesn’t matter to me.”

And he did. In his first game at Neyland Stadium two years ago, the …

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Video: Georgia seeks to reverse its fortunes at Tennessee

Noah Coslov of CineSport and I discuss Georgia’s SEC East matchup against Tennessee Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.:

Continue reading Video: Georgia seeks to reverse its fortunes at Tennessee »

Barbara Dooley to sportswriters: ‘You’ve got Mama’s rile up now, buddy!’

Barbara Dooley

Barbara Dooley

Don’t mess with Mama’s baby boy.

That was the basic message Barbara Dooley delivered to Knoxville sportswriters Andrew Gribble and Dave Hooker and radio listeners who were tuning into “Newsmakers with Tim Bryant” on Athens station WGAU-AM 1340 Thursday morning.

Listen to audio here

Gribble and Hooker both cover the Tennessee Volunteers, who are coached by the youngest son of Barbara and Vince Dooley, Derek Dooley.

“At some point, one or the other speculates on Derek Dooley and the temperature of the seat beneath him,” Bryant told the AJC afterward. “Turns out Barbara Dooley was listening, and she lives right around the corner.”

So Barbara, who has her own show at the station (owned by Cox Media Group), drove in to give the writers her two cents worth. “She just about kicked the door in,” Bryant said.

Following is the exchange:

Barbara: “I want to ask you guys something. Back when I was in coaching with my husband, the press was our best friends. Now all y’all …

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Q&A: UT’s Da’Rick Rogers says Georgia game is ’sort of personal’

Rogers

Rogers

Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was an AJC Super 11 selection and the No. 1 prospect in the state Georgia for the Class of 2010. He was actually committed to the Georgia Bulldogs for seven months, from June 2009 until he flipped his commitment to the Vols in January of 2010. Now a sophomore, the Calhoun resident enters Saturday’s game against Georgia in Neyland Stadium as Tennessee’s No. 1 offensive threat. He leads the Vols in receptions (27) and receiving yards (442). Rogers talked to reporters on a teleconference call on Wednesday and here’s what he had to say. . . .

Q: Can you please remind folks about how you came to sign with Tennessee after being committed to Georgia for so long?

A: “Really I just came on a visit [to Knoxville] and I fell in love with the team and the city. I just really wanted to be a part of a program that was rebuilding and that’s what really changed it for me.”

Q: Did Georgia have any hints or signs that you were going to flip on …

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No war of words between Bacarri Rambo, Da’Rick Rogers this time around

Da'Rick Rogers cruises into the end zone for a touchdown against Buffalo, one of six he has scored this season. (AP photo)

Da'Rick Rogers cruises into the end zone for a touchdown against Buffalo, one of six he has scored this season. (AP photo)

Remember when Da’Rick Rogers’ was a Georgia commitment? The wide receiver from Calhoun was actually committed to the Bulldogs for seven months, in fact. But, as we all know now, Rogers reneged on his commitment in January of 2010 and signed instead with Tennessee. And the Vols are especially happy about that these days.

Those of us who saw him play in high school aren’t surprised to see that Rogers is now the Vols’ leading receiver. I was covering college recruiting for the AJC at the time and I rated Rogers as the No. 1 prospect in the state that year, so I’ve always thought highly of his football abilities. He remains the best high school receiver I’ve ever personally watched.

Rambo

Rambo

Thanks in part to the loss of fellow receiver Justin Hunter to a season-ending knee injury in the Florida game, Rogers (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) is now quarterback Tyler Bray’s …

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Dogs talk about challenge of facing Tennessee at Neyland Stadium

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

GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT

  • On playing at Neyland Stadium — “It’s a very tough place to win, at least it has the last two times we were there. We pretty much got drubbed. We didn’t put up much of a fight to last two times we were in their house, so we need to try to hopefully change that. It will be a challenge for us. We know that and we are looking forward to it.”
  • On Tennessee’s offense — “They are number two in the league in total offense, number two in passing and number one in passing efficiency. Another thing that is pretty impressive is they’re tie for first in America in first-down conversions. That’s why they’re leading the league in time of possession.”
  • On next win being the 100th of his career — “I never thought I’d get to 100. I didn’t know if I’d get 100 games period. But to get 100 victories this week would be sweet, no …

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With Cornelius Washington suspended 2 games, is it now Ray Drew’s time?

With Cornelius Washington's suspension, 5-star freshman signee Ray Drew could be in position to step into the spotlight. (UGA photo)

With Cornelius Washington's suspension, 5-star freshman signee Ray Drew could be in position to step into the spotlight. (UGA photo)

Lots of things going on in the wake of Georgia’s 24-10 win over Mississippi State on Saturday. Of course, the big news was starting outside linebacker Cornelius Washington, who had served as defensive captain and starred in the game, getting arrested for DUI about 10 hours after the game was over.

As Tim Tucker reported, Washington is now going to be suspended “at least” for the upcoming road games against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. That’s obviously a major blow as Washington was playing his best ball and was emerging as perhaps the Bulldogs’ best pass rusher.

The question is, what happens now?

Fans have been calling all season to see more of five-star signee Ray Drew. One of the things that was holding back Drew, if you will, has been the stellar play of Washington. We’ll see very whether Washington’s suspension will automatically result in more …

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Georgia OLB Cornelius Washington suspended after DUI arrest

(Updated 3:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.)

Georgia linebacker Cornelius Washington was arrested early Sunday morning on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol after being stopped by police in Commerce for driving 92 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone, according to an incident report obtained by the AJC.

UPDATE: Georgia coach Mark Richt said late this afternoon that Washington, per UGA Athletic Association policy regarding DUI arrests, will be suspended for at least the next two games –  Saturday at Tennessee and Oct. 15 at Vanderbilt. “He’s sick. He feels awful. He knows he let the team down, let his coaches down,” Richt said. Click here for more on this story.

Washington was northbound on U.S. Highway 441, about 20 miles from Athens, when he was pulled over at 1:48 a.m.

“I asked Mr. Washington if he had been drinking and he stated yes but it had been several hours prior,” the arresting Commerce Police Department officer wrote in the incident report. Washington said he …

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Video: Georgia defense rules day in 24-10 win over Mississippi State

My postgame video report from Sanford Stadium:

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Postgame notebook: Aaron Murray says 3 picks no cause for alarm

ATHENS – UGA President Michael Adams had a message for Aaron Murray in Georgia’s locker room following Saturday’s 24-10 win over Mississippi State.

After shaking the sophomore quarterback’s hand and telling him, “good job,” he leaned in and added with a wink, “Get the mistakes out of the way now because, down the road, then they’ll be gone.”

The Bulldogs can only hope, for Murray did not play like his normal safe-guarded self. He threw three interceptions, which doubled his total for the season. Murray had just eight interceptions all of last season.

“Just a couple of passes where I wasn’t as accurate as I need to be,” Murray explained afterward. “We were playing a great SEC team today and you’ve got to be pinpoint with every pass. You throw enough passes and great athletes are going to make a play on it. So I’ve got to continue working on my game and make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Murray’s pass efficiency has been the hallmark of his tenure as Georgia’s quarterbacl He was …

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LB Christian Robinson ‘ready to go;’ special teams changes expected

ATHENS – Greetings from Sanford Stadium.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day for football. Cool temperatures and not a cloud in the sky. Pretty breezy, though, as Blair Walsh can attest.

I spent a long time watching the senior place-kicker in pregame warmups. He’s already missed five field goals this season — the same amount he had missed the previous two combined. But he seemed to be dialed in well. It’ll be a stiff wind going into the west end zone so keep an eye on that.

Had a brief exchange with linebacker Christian Robinson as he made his way to the locker room after the “Dawg Walk.” He said he’s “ready to go” and “I’m playing today.” Not a surprise. He practiced all week with a tight wrap on the injured ankle that kept himout the last two games. He told me Wednesday he thought he’d be good for 15 to plays at least so I suspect he’ll get about that many. But Michael Gilliard and Amarlo Herrera are set to start again at inside linebacker.

Another thing to keep your eye on …

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