‘In Russ they trust:’ Uga IX is inaugurated at Sanford Stadium

UGA President Michael Adams "collars" Russ the bulldog, officially inaugurating the dog as Uga IX shortly before Saturday night's kickoff against Florida Atlantic. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

UGA President Michael Adams "collars" Russ the bulldog, officially inaugurating the dog as Uga IX shortly before Saturday night's kickoff against Florida Atlantic. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – Everybody loves Russ it seems, even Mark Richt. On the eve of Russ’ inauguration as an official Uga mascot – “collaring” it’s called in these parts – the Bulldogs’ head coach talked about how Russ exemplifies a football player who has been overlooked but just did his job to the best of his ability and finally got a break.

“You know what, the guy, he could have gotten bitter,” Richt said with a laugh this week. “Everybody was saying that he couldn’t get it done. It was a little bit like Kwame Geathers hearing about John Jenkins so much. He didn’t like it, so he bowed his neck and won the job. I’m proud of him.”

Russ, an 8-year-old half-brother of Uga VII, has served as interim mascot for 25 games over four seasons when Ugas VII and VIII died. He’ll be sworn in as the official Uga in a ceremony before tonight’s 7:30 p.m. game against Florida Atlantic.

Russ has brown patches on his fur, so doesn’t meet the pure-white requirement traditionally needed to be the mascot. But after filling in and representing Georgia in all 14 games last season and two this one, the Sonny Seiler family decided to reward Russ for his loyalty.

That will satisfy a growing number of Georgia fans, who had started a grassroots effort to make Russ the permanent mascot. “In Russ we trust,” was their mantra.

“People have bought into Russ,” UGA president Michael Adams said at Friday’s meeting of the UGA Athletic Board. “I think this has been a well-received decision, and the notion that he earned it has really resonated.”

Adams noted that the interim mascot’s promotion to Uga IV has been the talk of the town.

“I’ve even heard people on the street say, ‘Go Russ,’” he said.  “I think it has hit a chord, the decision that was made to go ahead and make him official.”

Uga IX entered Saturday night’s game with a 16-9 record.

178 comments Add your comment

Dawg Haus

September 15th, 2012
7:28 pm

Thrilled for Russ! DGD!

BigDawg

September 15th, 2012
7:34 pm

BigDawg

September 15th, 2012
7:35 pm

This page is messed up online!

steve

September 15th, 2012
7:41 pm

Hello…hello, anyone there?

kingdaddy

September 15th, 2012
7:43 pm

Come on Doggies…

UGA Grad

September 15th, 2012
7:46 pm

Was that the 2nd team defense to start the game?

FU DIRECTV

September 15th, 2012
7:48 pm

Why is this game blacked out on Directv???

kingdaddy

September 15th, 2012
7:50 pm

I keep getting kicked out…

steve

September 15th, 2012
7:50 pm

Yea my dish is blacked out also…

kingdaddy

September 15th, 2012
7:51 pm

kingdaddy

September 15th, 2012
7:52 pm

That was quick, now fix the D…

kingdaddy

September 15th, 2012
7:56 pm

Love our Special team so far and Shawn Williams will hit…

kingdaddy

September 15th, 2012
8:07 pm

Shaun Williams having a good start. What’s up with the Defense??? OMG 43 yds. really???

Hot Err

September 15th, 2012
8:08 pm

Sanders Commings looks real rusty at safety.

dbc

September 15th, 2012
8:10 pm

I’m not sure who’s starting on D, but I’m not impressed. This team shouldn’t have 100 totals yards for the game and yet they’ve already matched that in the first qtr. I don’t get it. Don’t they have any pride at all?

BIGWIN

September 15th, 2012
8:15 pm

Another game where we are not ready or mentally prepared. Been that way for 11 or so years now.

Go Jackets!

September 15th, 2012
8:16 pm

comon guys, I’m sick of all these teams comin into Ga and takin a dump on our carpet…….kick these preschoolers arses and lets all root for the Falcons Monday nite….Go Jackets!

dbc

September 15th, 2012
8:20 pm

The D plays like this against a cupcake and they wonder why they don’t get any national respect. It’s embarrassing really.

Dawg Haus

September 15th, 2012
8:22 pm

What is going on with the D?

80sDawg

September 15th, 2012
8:25 pm

It’s bad enough I have to watch this game on my computer, but come on this is FAU!! We should be killing these guys

Sav FAN

September 15th, 2012
8:26 pm

Dogs are overated-SC will eat them for lunch

Dawg Haus

September 15th, 2012
8:26 pm

80sDawg, I’m doing the same thing. I guess at this point we’re lucky we can’t see the game very well.

dbc

September 15th, 2012
8:27 pm

This defense is a pathetic mess. We’re in a shootout with Fla. Atlantic. Wow, glad we’re not playing Vandy. And this team had trouble with WAGNER last week.

BIGWIN

September 15th, 2012
8:27 pm

What did Bama do today? Exactly…. I love Richt but we will never win an NC with him as head coach.

BIGWIN

September 15th, 2012
8:29 pm

This game should have easily been a shut out. We simply are not ready come game time. I don’t see how anyone can argue that.

Dawgs1965

September 15th, 2012
8:29 pm

Unbelievable. I thought after Buffalo we would nail this stuff down. Have a feeling FAU won’t be scoring 14 on Bama next week. Gurley’s still a hoss, though.

BIGWIN

September 15th, 2012
8:30 pm

We should get up 40-0 and then play the heck out of some freshman/backups to get some repsand build confidence. That’s how the BIG boys do it (Bama/LSU/ETC)

81Dawg

September 15th, 2012
8:31 pm

Jones should not make that much difference. When is a pass rush going to show up?

Bali

September 15th, 2012
8:31 pm

Geezus…..for the first time I can’t blame bobo…..what the hell is wrong with this defense?

Till

September 15th, 2012
8:32 pm

Coaching. 100% coaching.

Bali

September 15th, 2012
8:36 pm

Typical Ga football…..come out flat against an opponet you’re supposed to kill….we’ve been dealing with this for years. Altamaha….you’re the “cooler” on here…what’re your thoughts?

Old Dawg

September 15th, 2012
8:36 pm

We’re getting ZERO push from the interior D-line. ZERO! For the second week in a row, we’re seeing a QB standing flat-footed with no pressure and picking us apart. Finally, a little pressure from the outside to rush the passer on the last play. Grantham is going to chew some butt in the locker room.

dbc

September 15th, 2012
8:37 pm

Unfortunately with this and all UGA teams, you never know what you’re gonna get. Just when you start to feel a little bit good about them, they turn around and play like a high school team. It’s coaching fellas. And seeing performances like today’s tells me UGA is ripe for an upset or two somewhere along the way this season. Just hope it’s not today because then we’ll be the laughingstock of the SEC.

Lagdawg

September 15th, 2012
8:37 pm

Another poor performance. This team does not deserve to be ranked 7th in the nation. A very poor showing. Sorry to say it, but this can’t continue year after year. Players don’t look prepared or inspired to play. They dn’t look hungry. CMR should be ashamed to put a poor product on the field like this, but then again, this has been happening for the last 6 years. Playing like this, UGA will never compete with Ala.LSU, Tenn. Van. or Fla. UGA looks awful and the coaching staff should be disciplined for the way that the team is playing.

Jeb

September 15th, 2012
8:37 pm

DLine must be too fat to rush the QB.

Bali

September 15th, 2012
8:38 pm

Has anyone noticed Gurley looks like he may be hurt? Looks like he’s lost a step

Till

September 15th, 2012
8:39 pm

We win games because of talent. Coaching for this team is just awful. 10 men on the punt return.

Go Jackets!

September 15th, 2012
8:40 pm

Guys, if I may…..Richt doesnt call the defense….Grantham does…u got the East wrapped up, u need to get ready for Bama in the Dome.

North ave. faithful

September 15th, 2012
8:43 pm

Tennessee can not tackle.

North ave. faithful

September 15th, 2012
8:44 pm

What is up with the dawg defense?

Jeb

September 15th, 2012
8:45 pm

Damn, even Vandy knows how to handle cupcakes. That QB could grill a steak with all the time he has to throw.

Bali

September 15th, 2012
8:47 pm

Coaches need to be chewed on at the half….like dbc said, this team just looks uninspired. Why are you sending your starting QB on 2 sneaks? Don’t we have a stable of fullbacks, tailbacks to tote this rock?

Dawg Haus

September 15th, 2012
8:47 pm

At least Josh Dawson came to play tonight. Kid looks like the real deal.

BIGWIN

September 15th, 2012
8:48 pm

@Go Jackets! East wrapped up? Who? South Carolina maybe…. And I don’t want BAMA with the team playing/ready like this. Talent is what wins the games for us. It definitely isn’t the coaching.

seg dawg

September 15th, 2012
8:50 pm

Enter your comments here

Dawgs1965

September 15th, 2012
8:50 pm

We can’t stop ‘em!

Go Jackets!

September 15th, 2012
8:53 pm

@BIGWIN…..u guys BETTER win the EAST…..

dbc

September 15th, 2012
8:55 pm

Just love seeing UGA highlights splashed across Sportscenter, “Florida Atlantic giving Georgia all they can handle.” Way to earn that national respect D. And you talk about making it to Miami? Try Winder first.

ARdawg

September 15th, 2012
8:57 pm

Is that vaunted Georgia D playing in another game I didn’t know about?

BIGWIN

September 15th, 2012
8:58 pm

Why does Murray have two yards and two TD’s? How about some rewards? Our backs can’t get a yard?