Archive for September, 2012

Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson apologizes to Mark Richt after Georgia’s win (UPDATED)

Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson apologizes to Georgia coach Mark Richt after the Bulldogs 41-20 win in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday. (AP photo by L.G. Patterson)

Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson apologizes to Georgia coach Mark Richt after the Bulldogs 41-20 win in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday. (AP photo by L.G. Patterson)

FIVE MORE THINGS

Wrapping up this past weekend and looking forward to this one.

The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a 41-20 win over Missouri in the SEC opener for both teams. The Bulldogs are now 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC as they head into Saturday’s game against visiting Florida Atlantic (1-1, 0-1 Sun Belt).

1. Last thing on “Old Man Football, Hopefully forever. I do want to give credit where credit is due. Sheldon Richardson, the Missouri defensive lineman who infamously coined that phrase for Georgia, came up to Bulldogs coach Mark Richt after the game to apologize. Pretty impressive considering how easy it could have been for him to just slink off to the Tigers’ locker room.

For what it’s worth, Richardson was not made available for interviews after the game and is not available today, as a …

Continue reading Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson apologizes to Mark Richt after Georgia’s win (UPDATED) »

Georgia-Vanderbilt game time set

The Georgia-Vanderbilt football game on Sept. 22 in Sanford Stadium will start at 7:45 p.m. and be nationally televised on ESPN2, the SEC said today.

That will be Georgia’s third consecutive night game, following last week’s at Missouri (which also was televised on ESPN2) and this week’s against Florida Atlantic in Athens (7:30 p.m. Saturday on CSS).

Also today — no surprise here — the SEC named Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the victory over Missouri.  Jones already had been named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

More UGA coverage:

Continue reading Georgia-Vanderbilt game time set »

Sunday’s UGA notes: Offense or defense or both for Malcolm Mitchell?

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham filled in for head coach Mark Richt on Georgia’s weekly media teleconference Sunday evening. (Richt was tending to some family business, UGA said.) What they had to say:

  • Not surprisingly, both Bobo and Grantham expressed a desire to have cornerback/wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell on their side of the ball. Mitchell missed the season opener with an ankle injury and played defense in Saturday’s win at Missouri. Now, with defensive back Sanders Commings returning from suspension for this week’s game against Florida Atlantic,  it sounds as if Mitchell’s role is up for discussion again.

First, from Bobo:

“I promise you, I’m going to go in there politicking hard for him offensively. I already walked in there to Coach Grantham’s meeting earlier this afternoon and asked what kind of offense FAU runs, what kind of personnel groups, how many receivers they’re going to have on the field.  He was …

Continue reading Sunday’s UGA notes: Offense or defense or both for Malcolm Mitchell? »

Accolades follow Jarvis Jones’ performance against Missouri

After weeks of chatter about the four suspended defensive players who would not be on the field for Georgia’s SEC opener at Missouri, the topic of conversation in the game’s aftermath turned to one who did play, linebacker Jarvis Jones.

Georgia coach Mark Richt called Jones “maybe the best defensive player in America.” The Walter Camp Football Foundation named him the national defensive player of the week. UPDATE: Jones was also named SEC defensive player of the week on Monday. Even Braves third baseman Chipper Jones chimed in, posting to his 145,000-plus Twitter followers: “Jarvis Jones is a monster! Shocker! He is a Jones!”

“I think it was a special game,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Sunday of Jones’ performance. “… He is a special guy that works extremely hard in his preparation. He’s really instinctive. He does a lot of things for us.”

Jones was a force throughout Saturday’s victory over Missouri and punctuated his …

Continue reading Accolades follow Jarvis Jones’ performance against Missouri »

Notebook: A long ‘very satisfying’ day for SEC chief Mike Slive

COLUMBIA, Mo. — SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was present for the pregame coin tosses of both the Florida-Texas A&M game in College Station, Texas, and the Missouri-Georgia game at Faurot Field.

Slive flew by private jet to both venues, leaving Kyle Field in the second quarter to fly the 750 miles to Central Missouri.

“I talked to the Georgia fans and they said the hospitality and the fans and the reception they received was as good as they’ve ever had,” Slive said at halftime of the Saturday night’s game. “And you can’t walk five steps downtown without finding an SEC logo, so we like that a lot.”

Slive actually went to College Station on Friday night for a reception and stayed up late to watch A&M’s famous midnight “yell practice” with about 40,000 students.

“I’m not usually up at midnight,” Slive said. “At my age 9 o’clock is usually my limit.”

He said it all made for “a long day,” but it was worth it considering the historic significance of the …

Continue reading Notebook: A long ‘very satisfying’ day for SEC chief Mike Slive »

Michael Bennett: Old man talk ‘gave us a little fire under our butts’

THEY SAID IT

Quotes from players and coaches after Georgia’s 41-20 win over Missouri Saturday night in Columbia, Mo:

“It definitely made us mad. But we just took it as something to give us a little fire under our butts, and we just outlasted them at the end.” — Georgia wide receiver Marlon Brown on Missouri’s “old man football” comment

“That got under our skin. But at the same time, we had to make it about us. Our team, our time. We just wanted to go out there and play.” — Georgia wide receiver Marlon Brown on “old man football” comment

“I feel like after that first touchdown, everybody just calmed down, settled down. We thought, ‘OK, it’s going to be a four-quarter game. We started playing well, and on the defensive side [of Missouri], they started looking kind of sluggish, not moving around so much like in the first quarter when they were all hyped up. We kept grinding and grinding, and I think we just wore them out.” — Brown, on scoring Georgia’s first TD …

Continue reading Michael Bennett: Old man talk ‘gave us a little fire under our butts’ »

Georgia’s Jarvis Jones ‘may be the best defensive player in America’

By D. Orlando Ledbetter
Staff Writer

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Georgia all-American linebacker Jarvis Jones, playing with a sore groin, came up with two big plays to help the Bulldogs rout Missouri in their first game in Southeastern Conference play.

Jones helped to blow the game open with an interception and a sack in the fourth quarter that led to 14 points in the 41-20 victory on Saturday. He finished with 8 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and an interception.

The Bulldogs held a 27-20 lead with under nine minutes to play when Jones intercepted a pass at Missouri’s 22 and rumbled down to the 1-yard line. It was the first interception of his career

On the ensuing play, running back Todd Gurley scored a touchdown.

On Missouri’s next possession, Jones sacked Missouri quarterback James Franklin and caused a fumble. Jordan Jenkins recovered the ball at Missouri’s 5-yard line.

Three plays later, Ken Malcome scored on a 6-yard touchdown run.

“He may be the best defensive player …

Continue reading Georgia’s Jarvis Jones ‘may be the best defensive player in America’ »

SEC openers for league’s newbies makes busy day for Slive

COLUMBIA, Mo. – It was a whirlwind day for SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who participated in the coin toss at the Florida at Texas A&M and Georgia at Missouri games, the first in the league for the new members, on Saturday.

At halftime of the Georgia at Missouri game, Slive spoke with the media about the historic games, the new members and the league’s future television contracts.

Q: What do you think about the job Missouri has done so far?

A: It’s been terrific. When I talked to the Georgia folks they were telling me that the hospitality, the fans and the reception that they’ve received has been as good as they’ve ever had. Also, you can’t walk downtown for five steps without seeing an SEC logo. We like that a lot.

Q: How has Missouri handled the whole transition?

A: Very well. They have done a tremendous job. They have been involved in our governance process even before the official date, which was July 1. They are just a great addition. They have already …

Continue reading SEC openers for league’s newbies makes busy day for Slive »

UPDATED: On historic night in Missouri, Jarvis Jones makes history for Georgia

COLUMBIA, MO. – On a historic night for the Missouri Tigers, Jarvis Jones made history for the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs’ decorated outside linebacker stepped up and intercepted the first pass of his collegiate career midway through the fourth quarter of what had been a see-saw game. Jones returned it 21 yards to the Missouri 1, only an official’s review of his dive and stretch keeping him out of the end zone.

No matter. Freshman Todd Gurley was more than happy to take a hand-off at right guard and slam the ball in the end zone, “Old Man Football” style. That gave the Bulldogs a 34-20 lead and provided an exclamation point on what would end up being a 41-20 Georgia victory.

“I actually thought it was a touchdown; they didn’t give it to me,” said Jones, mocking anger. “But you have to take what you can get and we came out of here with a big win. A lot of people thought we were going to come in here and get upset.”

If there was any doubt, Jones would erase it a …

Continue reading UPDATED: On historic night in Missouri, Jarvis Jones makes history for Georgia »

Bulldogs making sure Jarvis Jones doesn’t lose his helmet

COLUMBIA, MO. – You may have noticed that Jarvis Jones’ helmet did not pop off once during Georgia’s opener. That was no accident.

Jones’ helmet popped off a bunch last season. In fact, Jones said a fan recently informed him that he counted and Jones’ helmet came off 26 times in the 2011 season. Jones couldn’t verify that number but said, “I know it happened a lot.”

The Bulldogs couldn’t afford for that to happen this season. The NCAA enacted a rule that dictates that a player whose helmet comes off without being forcibly removed by an opponent has to come out of the game for the next play regardless of the situation.

“I can’t come out of the game, period” the All-American linebacker said. “That can’t happen.”

A few things have helped ensure it doesn’t happen. First off, the Bulldogs aren’t opening the season in Nike’s Pro Combat uniforms. According to UGA equipment manager John Meshad, many of the helmets for Georgia’s season opener against Boise State — including Jones’ — …

Continue reading Bulldogs making sure Jarvis Jones doesn’t lose his helmet »

Live from Columbia, Mo.: Here come the Bulldogs (pics)

COLUMBIA, MO. – Greetings from the press box at Missouri’s Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium.

Apparently it’s notable that I’m here five hours before the game. When I showed up, the security guard at the gate said media wouldn’t be allowed in until three hours before kickoff. I laughed and told him, “that’s not going to hack it in the SEC.” He ended up calling Mizzou’s director of media relations, Chad Moller, who graciously let me in and several others a short time later.

Us grizzled SEC veterans are used to getting to stadiums early. I normally don’t get in this far in advance (had to check out of hotel at noon) but traditionally most scribes come early to beat the notoriously rotten traffic at SEC venues. We set up in the press box, watch some of the early games and usually venture back out around the stadium and eventually on the field.

To get you up to date, Georgia is indeed going to be without four defensive starters due to disciplinary suspensions: CB Sanders Commings …

Continue reading Live from Columbia, Mo.: Here come the Bulldogs (pics) »

Missouri, Georgia both amped to play historical SEC opener

COLUMBIA, MO. – People here are calling Saturday night’s Georgia-Missouri game the most anticipated game in the history of Mizzou football.

That’s significant considering the Tigers have played some pretty big games.

  • They’re still talking about the 1960 game against Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium in which No. 1 Missouri lost to the Jayhawks 23-7 (Kansas later had to forfeit for using an ineligible player).
  • In 2003, the Tigers beat Nebraska for the first time since 1978.
  • Mizzou also beat Kansas here in 2007 to become the No. 1-ranked team.
  • Just two years ago, ESPN’s “GameDay” was on hand when it upset No. 1-ranked Oklahoma 36-27 at Faurot Field.

But none of those games, the locals contend, created more buzz than the buildup there has been for tonight’s game. Missouri (1-0) plays host to the No. 7 Bulldogs (1-0) in its first game as a member of the SEC. The Tigers have belonged to the Big 12 — or its previous incarnations of the Big Eight and Big Six — …

Continue reading Missouri, Georgia both amped to play historical SEC opener »

Alec Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo don’t make trip to Missouri

COLUMBIA, MO. – Georgia will be without Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo when the Bulldogs  play Missouri on Saturday at Faurot Field.

Ogletree and Rambo were not among the 70 UGA players that traveled to  Holiday Inn Executive Center on Friday night. Neither Ogletree, the starting “Mo” linebacker, nor Rambo, an All-American free safety, played in last week’s opener against Buffalo either. Georgia has never confirmed that the players are suspended, but Rambo’s high school coach said in March both would be out four games for a second violation of UGA’s marijuana-use policy.

Sanders Commings, a starting cornerback, and starting outside linebacker Chase Vasser are also out for the game. They were suspended for two games due to off-season arrests, which the Bulldogs have acknowledged. Georgia considers Ogletree and Rambo’s situations internal.

So the Bulldogs will be without four defensive starters as they face Missouri’s high-powered spread offense Saturday night at Faurot …

Continue reading Alec Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo don’t make trip to Missouri »

Former Dogs Aron White, Logan Gray in Columbia and ready for game

Former Georgia tight end Aron White is back home in Columbia, Mo., but he's still head over heels for the Bulldogs and their famous hedges. (AJC photo)

Former Georgia tight end Aron White is back home in Columbia, Mo., but he's still head over heels for the Bulldogs and their famous hedges. (AJC photo)

COLUMBIA, MO. – Guess who’s in town?

Aron White, the outspoken former tight end for Georgia. He grew up right here in Columbia, just two miles from Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium.

White, who played for the Bulldogs from 2008-2011, was cut by the Atlanta Falcons last month and is still trying to catch on in the NFL. He came home to Columbia for a few weeks, and it’s no coincidence he’s here as Georgia gets ready to play his hometown team for just the second time in history and first time in 52 years.

“I can’t wait,” said White, who caught 34 passes for 512 yards and 10 touchdowns. “I definitely would’ve loved to have played Missouri while I was at Georgia. It breaks my heart to have missed it by one year. It definitely would have been fun to come and play at Faurot Field one time. But I’ll be there as …

Continue reading Former Dogs Aron White, Logan Gray in Columbia and ready for game »

Georgia’s Katrina McClain heads into Basketball Hall of Fame tonight

You might think Katrina McClain is kicked back and relaxed in retirement these days in her hometown of Charleston, S.C.

Not exactly. She’s relaxed when she’s not working with her foundation to prevent childhood obesity, writing children’s books, running basketball camps or raising her three children, Malachi, Emmanuel, and Genesis.

“I’m trying to keep busy and impact youth as much as I can,” said the author of “Our World,” published in October.

Oh, she’s also busy writing speeches for Hall of Fame inductions. That’s what she’s been doing lately. The former UGA All-American will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall tonight in Springfield, Mass.

“You always have a buzz in your stomach,” said McClain, who lists coach Andy Landers, Georgia teammate Teresa Edwards, Julius “Dr. J” Irving, and coach Vivian Stringer among her guests for tonight’s ceremony. “It’s the excitement of it. My biggest worry is making sure I don’t leave anybody out in my speech. They only …

Continue reading Georgia’s Katrina McClain heads into Basketball Hall of Fame tonight »

UGA notebook: Dogs look to restore road reputation

ATHENS – Georgia built a reputation for winning on the road in Mark Richt’s first eight seasons as coach, posting a 30-4 record in opponents’ stadiums from 2001 through 2008. Some of the shine came off that record with losses at Oklahoma State in 2009 and at Colorado, among other places, in 2010.

Georgia opens its 2012 SEC schedule Saturday night with a big road test at Missouri, where the Tigers have won 35 of their past 41 home games and the fans figure to be in a frenzy for the school’s first-ever SEC game.

“I know all the fans are going to hate us coming in there, so we’re just going to have to keep our composure and play the best we can,” Georgia split end Michael Bennett said.

“I feel like we’ll definitely feed off the negative energy their fans are giving to us,” Bennett added. “ All that booing and stuff, all that hate, it’s going to be great. I mean, I love that stuff.”

After an 8-6 record in opponents’ stadiums the past three years  (3-2 in …

Continue reading UGA notebook: Dogs look to restore road reputation »

UPDATED: Bulldogs’ fans fanning out all over Missouri this weekend

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Greetings from Missouri.

Jefferson City is not where Georgia and Missouri are playing their football game. But this place — the state capital 30 miles south of Columbia — is where I could find a hotel room. But I’ll be driving up to Columbia tomorrow to check out the scene as the Tigers get ready to play host to the Bulldogs in this historic meeting late Saturday night.

UGA’s ticket allotment from Missouri was 6,000 for the game and those, of course, all went to season-ticket holders. But I know even major donors had a hard time getting more than two apiece, so you know it’s a really tough ticket. Nevertheless, past experience tells me a couple of thousand more Georgia fans may find their way inside Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium. I’m guessing the Bulldogs will be well represented inside the 71,000-seat stadium.

There is enough of a presence that the action has spilled over here in Jefferson City. Tonight in downtown, the Convention and Visitors Bureau is …

Continue reading UPDATED: Bulldogs’ fans fanning out all over Missouri this weekend »

Richt, Pinkel tenures defy the coaching carousel

ATHENS – When Missouri was seeking a football coach in November 2000, athletic director Mike Alden flew to Tallahassee to interview Florida State’s offensive coordinator.

Mark Richt (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Mark Richt (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Mark Richt and his wife were intrigued.

“Katharyn and I heard [Columbia, Mo.] was a great town for family. Just everything we heard about it was positive,” Richt recalled this week. “There were a lot of other things that seemed to be simmering at that time in my life as far as job opportunities, but Missouri is one we thought might be a special place to be.”

It wasn’t to be, of course. Missouri instead hired Toledo coach Gary Pinkel. Several weeks later, after also interviewing with Virginia, Richt was hired by Georgia.

The surprising part, given the turnover rate among college football coaches, is that both Richt and Pinkel remain in the jobs they landed almost 12 years ago. They’ll coach against each other for the first time Saturday night, when Georgia …

Continue reading Richt, Pinkel tenures defy the coaching carousel »

Notebook: Austin Long eager to play major role for offensive line

ATHENSAustin Long grabbed a copy of Wednesday’s injury report from a reporter after practice Wednesday.

“Looks about right,” he said playfully. “Glad my name’s not on it.”

It’s unusual that it’s not. Since he’s been at Georgia, Long has had two back surgeries and at least another half-dozen twists and sprains. As a result, he has reached his junior year having played in just three games, including this past Saturday’s opener.

That’s a far cry from what was expected when he signed with Georgia out of Memphis. He was the No. 2 prospect in the state of Tennessee and a top-5 rated player at his position.

“I never missed a practice or a game like sixth grade through high school,” said the 6-foot-5, 324-pounder. “I played the last six games of my senior year with a broken back.”

Long is expected to make up for lost time this week. At the very least he figures heavily in the Bulldogs’ plans and could end up starting at right tackle against Missouri. …

Continue reading Notebook: Austin Long eager to play major role for offensive line »

Gurley not worried about starting, just wants to stay around longer

Freshman tailback salutes the crowd after scoring his first of three touchdowns in his Sanford Stadium debut this past Saturday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Freshman tailback salutes the crowd after scoring his first of three touchdowns in his Sanford Stadium debut this past Saturday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – The weather for Saturday’s game in Columbia, Mo., projects as mostly sunny with a high of 74 degrees, a low of 54 and humidity that should be below 50 percent by the time the game kicks off at close to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

That bodes well for Georgia and tailback Todd Gurley in particular. According to the National Weather Service, the heat index in Sanford Stadium this past Saturday made it feel like 103 degrees about the time Gurley was carrying a football 100 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Buffalo game.

It’s no wonder, then, that Gurley spent most of the first half in the Bulldogs’ locker room receiving fluids intravenously. Hence his final line – 8 rushes for 100 yards, 2 kickoff returns for 127 yards, 3 touchdowns.

Georgia coach Mark Richt wasn’t ready to pronounce Gurley …

Continue reading Gurley not worried about starting, just wants to stay around longer »

Video: Georgia-Missouri matchup viewed from both sides of field

Cinesport’s Noah Coslov talks to me and Vahe Gregorian, who covers Missouri for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, about Saturday night’s game between the Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs in Columbia, Mo.

Continue reading Video: Georgia-Missouri matchup viewed from both sides of field »

Notebook: Todd Gurley’s early drop could’ve cost him 3rd TD

ATHENS — If the back judge in Saturday’s game between Georgia and Buffalo had paid a little closer attention, Todd Gurley might have two touchdowns to his credit rather than three and Tavarres King might have one more.

Video replays show that Gurley dropped the football out of his left hand just inside the 1-yard line on his 55-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. Technically, it should have been ruled a fumble. Had it not been picked up by King in the end zone, it could have resulted in a touchback.

“It sure looked like he did [drop the ball before crossing the goal line], and we saw it,” coach Mark Richt said on his weekly radio show Monday night. “And we definitely made mention of that to him. It could have cost him a touchdown right there.”

Since the officials signaled touchdown and there was no review of the play, the touchdown stood. But there was a moment of doubt.

“As soon as he dropped it I was yelling that we needed to hurry up and …

Continue reading Notebook: Todd Gurley’s early drop could’ve cost him 3rd TD »

Richt, Grantham intentionally vague on status of suspended players

ATHENS – At this point, Georgia’s Mark Richt is starting to sound a bit like a broken record. The Bulldogs’ coach keeps getting asked about the availability of  defensive stars Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo, and he keeps refusing to say.

Asked Tuesday if their presence atop the depth chart at their respective positions meant they might play against Missouri on Saturday, Richt said with a wide grin, “I would say I’ll let y’all know when the time comes.”

Both players missed this past Saturday’s opener against Buffalo. Afterward, Richt admitted for the first time they were out due to disciplinary suspensions. He wouldn’t say for how long, however.

Rambo’s high school coach, Alan Ingram of Seminole County High School, said back in March that Rambo and Ogletree had each flunked UGA-issued drug tests and were suspended for the first four games per the athletic association’s marijuana-use policy. Neither Richt nor anyone from Georgia has ever confirmed that report.

Richt was asked …

Continue reading Richt, Grantham intentionally vague on status of suspended players »

UGA’s next opponent at a glance: Missouri

Who: at Missouri

When: 7:45 p.m. Saturday

TV; radio: ESPN2; 750, 95.5

About Missouri

Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)

Last time played: The only previous football game between Georgia and Missouri came in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 1959 season. Georgia won 14-0 on two long touchdown passes by quarterback Fran Tarkenton.

Offense: Missouri’s spread offense revolves around dual-threat quarterback James Franklin, a 6-foot-2, 228-pound junior who last season passed for 2,865 yards and ran for 981. Starting tailback Kendial Lawrence, a senior, ran for 121 yards in a season-opening 62-10 victory over Southeastern Louisiana last week. The Tigers’ top receiver is T.J. Moe, who caught 146 passes in the past two seasons. Freshman Dorial Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-6, was the nation’s No. 1-rated high school receiver last year and caught three passes for 32 yards in his college debut.

Defense: Missouri allowed 380 yards per game last season, which ranked No. 61 in the nation but No. 4 in …

Continue reading UGA’s next opponent at a glance: Missouri »

Dogs drop from No. 6 to 7 in AP poll; Bama back to No. 1

ATHENS – Georgia dropped from No. 6 to No. 7 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, released Tuesday afternoon.

The Bulldogs, who defeated MAC opponent Buffalo 45-23 in the season opener, were leap-frogged by Florida State. The Seminoles beat Murray State 69-3 this past Saturday.

Georgia wasn’t the only team to be overtaken despite a victory. Alabama jumped over USC to occupy the No. 1 spot despite the Trojans’ 49-10 win over Hawaii. The Crimson Tide rolled over then No. 8-ranked 41-14 Saturday night in Texas.

The Tide received 45 first-place votes, up 28 from last week, while USC had 11 first-place votes and No. 3 LSU four.

The AP says it is the 86th time in the 76-year history of the poll that the top-ranked team won and dropped in the rankings. That happened to Georgia when it opened the 2008 season at No. 1. It was all the way down to No. 3 by the time it lost its first game to No. 8 Alabama in Week 4.

Continue reading Dogs drop from No. 6 to 7 in AP poll; Bama back to No. 1 »

Notebook: Bulldogs decline to enter into war of words with Missouri

By Ryan Black
Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATHENS — If Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson thought his comments about Georgia or the SEC would bait the Bulldogs into a war of words, he was sadly mistaken.

In fact, Georgia defensive end Abry Jones wasn’t even aware the comments were made by a player until the media informed him Monday evening. Jones initially “thought it was fans posting stuff,” and didn’t have a reaction to Richardson saying he turned off the Buffalo/Georgia game Saturday because “it’s like watching Big Ten football, it’s old man football.”

Jones was more interested in learning what “old man football” entailed.

“We play our football,” he said. “I don’t know what you’d classify as ‘old man football.’ This is college. I don’t know many people over the age of 23 playing football in college, so I don’t know what ‘old man football’ is.”

At Missouri on Monday, Richardson was held out of …

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It may be ‘old-man football’ to some, but Jon Gruden loves what Georgia does

ATHENS – On one hand, you have Sheldon Richardson, the Missouri defensive lineman who infamously said he had to turn off the Georgia game this past Saturday because “it’s like watching Big Ten football. It’s old-man football.”

Then you have Jon Gruden, the former NFL head coach and current lead analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. He says he loves watching the Bulldogs’ offense in action. As for that spread stuff Missouri does? Not so much.

Before he became an analyst with ESPN's Monday Nigh Football, Jon Gruden earned a reputation as an offensive-minded head coach at Oakland and Tampa Bay.

Before he became an analyst with ESPN's Monday Night Football, Jon Gruden earned a reputation as an offensive-minded head coach at Oakland and Tampa Bay.

“I like what Georgia does offensively,” said Gruden, who was on the broadcast crew that called Georgia’s game against Michigan State in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2. “I look forward to getting their tapes. . . . When you get Georgia, you get a lot of good stuff. You’re gonna see audibles, two-back play-action. You’re going to see an array of personnel groupings and …

Continue reading It may be ‘old-man football’ to some, but Jon Gruden loves what Georgia does »

Georgia’s Todd Gurley shares SEC freshman of week honor with Bama back

Freshman Todd Gurley high steps into the east end zone at Sanford Stadium after scoring his first of three touchdowns in his college debut. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Freshman Todd Gurley high steps into the east end zone at Sanford Stadium after scoring his first of three touchdowns in his college debut. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – Georgia tailback Todd Gurley was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman Player of the Week following his performance versus Buffalo, which will probably come as no surprise.

What might come somewhat as a surprise is that he had to share the honor.

Alabama tailback T.J. Yeldon split the award with Gurley. Yeldon was fantastic in the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide’s 41-14 win over No. 8 Michigan. He had 137 yards total yards on 12 touches (111 on 11 carries and one 26-yard reception) and one touchdown.

Gurley, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound freshman from Tarburo, N.C., had 227 yards on 10 touches (100 yards on 8 carries and 127 yards on two kickoff returns) and 3 TDs. Of course, Gurley’s work came against Buffalo, a Mid-American Conference team.

Nevertheless, Gurley is the first Bulldog to earn this honor …

Continue reading Georgia’s Todd Gurley shares SEC freshman of week honor with Bama back »

Missouri player: UGA plays ‘old-man football’

Missouri does not enter the SEC shyly. Quite the opposite, based on comments by one player.

According to an article in the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune on Sunday, Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was asked after the Tigers’ 62-10 victory over Southeastern Lousiana Saturday night if he watched the Georgia-Buffalo game on television earlier in the day.

“I watched the game. I turned it off, too,” Richardson was quoted as saying. “… It’s like watching Big Ten football. It’s old-man football.”

Then this: “If we execute, nobody in this league [the SEC] can touch us. Period.”

Missouri, which officially became an SEC member on July 1, opens play in its new league by hosting Georgia at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in sold-out Memorial Stadium.

Georgia coach Mark Richt laughed when informed, on his weekly teleconference with reporters Sunday evening, of Richardson’s comment.

“’Old-man football?’ Well, I don’t know what he meant by that,” Richt said. …

Continue reading Missouri player: UGA plays ‘old-man football’ »

Rewinding the Georgia-Buffalo game

Georgia 45, Buffalo 23

For Georgia, the highlight was freshman Todd Gurley’s performance (100 yards rushing on eight carries, a 100-yard kickoff return, three touchdowns). The lowlight was the defense in the first half, when Buffalo gained 243 yards.

What we learned

1. Suspensions and injuries are a problem. Georgia previously announced that two of the four defensive players suspended from the Buffalo game, cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser, also will miss this week’s game at Missouri but has refused to say whether the other two, safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, will remain benched. The suspensions are compounded by injuries. Cornerback/wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell missed the opening game with a sprained ankle and seems doubtful this week. Also up in the air: the status of offensive tackle John Theus and tailback Ken Malcome, who suffered a sprained ankle and injured hand, respectively, against Buffalo. Wide receiver Marlon Brown …

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