Archive for October, 2012

UGA safety Shawn Williams rants that Dogs’ defense is ‘too soft, playing wrong players

Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams, here tackling South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore, called out Georgia's defense and some teammates for not playing hard enough. (AP photo)

Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams, here tackling South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore, called out Georgia's defense and some teammates for not playing hard enough. (AP photo)

ATHENS – You figured somebody would say something eventually. Monday night, Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams obliged.

The Bulldogs’ senior and de facto defensive captain ripped into his unit for what he called “soft play” all season. And Williams wasn’t above calling out a few teammates, identifying a couple of linebackers he didn’t think were playing up to snuff.

Do you like that Williams spoke out?

  • Yes. Somebody needed to give a wake up call. (86%, 1,144 Votes)
  • No. He should have kept his complaints in-house. (14%, 189 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,333

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“We’re playing too soft as a defense,” said Williams, talking to reporters after Monday night’s practice. “That goes for the D-line, linebackers, corners, safeties, everybody. We’re just not playing with the same attitude we …

Continue reading UGA safety Shawn Williams rants that Dogs’ defense is ‘too soft, playing wrong players »

Georgia’s Aaron Murray takes SEC offensive player of week honors into Florida game

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray torched Kentucky for 427 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night in Lexington, Ky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray torched Kentucky for 427 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night in Lexington, Ky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

ATHENS – Georgia’s Aaron Murray got a nice little pat on the back heading into the Bulldogs’ biggest game of the year.

The junior quarterback from Tampa was named the Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week by the league office on Monday.  The honor comes on the heels of Murray’s record-setting performance in Georgia’s 29-24 win over Kentucky Saturday night in Lexington. Against the Wildcats, Murray completed 30 passes on 38 attempts, which set a school record for completion percentage (78.95). Murray also recorded a career-high with 427 yards passing yards, which was is fourth-best in school history, and threw for four touchdowns.

Murray’s scoring tosses made him Georgia’s all-time leader in touchdown passes with 75. David Greene had 72 from 2001-04. The 75 TD passes is ninth most in SEC …

Continue reading Georgia’s Aaron Murray takes SEC offensive player of week honors into Florida game »

It’s Georgia-Florida week. Will Jarvis Jones, Abry Jones play? Here’s the latest …

Florida’s easier-than-expected win over South Carolina and Georgia’s tougher-than-expected win over Kentucky combined to raise the stakes for Saturday’s annual showdown in Jacksonville.

“We know what this game means for us and for Florida,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday night. “Our guys are excited about the opportunity to play this game and have it mean as much as it means right now. … I don’t think we’re going to have to sit here and try to figure out a way to motivate anybody.”

A win by Florida (7-0, 6-0 SEC) would clinch a berth in the SEC Championship game for the Gators, while a win by Georgia (6-1, 4-1) would put the Bulldogs in position to reach the league title game with victories next month over Ole Miss and Auburn.

On paper, a number of factors seem to favor Florida, including:

  • The difference in the teams’ national rankings — Florida No. 2 and Georgia No. 10, according to this week’s BCS standings;
  • The teams’ disparate performances over the weekend — …

Continue reading It’s Georgia-Florida week. Will Jarvis Jones, Abry Jones play? Here’s the latest … »

Richt: ‘It’s great to be able to go on the road in the SEC and get the win’

NOTABLE QUOTES FROM SATURDAY’S GAME

COACH MARK RICHT

On the onside kick . . .

“It was a a great job by (Kentucky kicker Joe Mansour). If that kick would have rolled just a tad bit faster he probably would have gotten it, but it was just kind of creeping along. Their kicker of course had to wait for it to go 10 yards and Connor (Norman) was heads-up to go around there and snatch it and be strong enough to convince the officials that it was his. It was a huge play. There were a lot of huge plays in the game, a game that close, but Connor did a great job.”

On getting the win . . .

“It’s great to be able to go on the road in the SEC and get the win. I think Kentucky did a fantastic job tonight. My hat’s off to coach (Joker) Phillips and his team. I’m also pleased with our team to do what they had to do to win the ballgame. A lot of big plays had to be made. We had to play good down the stretch in order to win it. Again, very thankful and pleased with the victory.”

KENTUCKY …

Continue reading Richt: ‘It’s great to be able to go on the road in the SEC and get the win’ »

Notebook: OLB Jordan Jenkins not flashy but gets job done for Bulldogs

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jordan Jenkins’ stats in his second career start won’t win him any awards. The freshman outside linebacker from Harris County – starting in place of injured All-American Jarvis Jones – finished with just two tackles and was given half-credit for a tackle for loss.

But defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was heaping praise on the young understudy after Georgia’s 29-24 win over Kentucky. He was particularly pleased about Jenkins’ actions on one play for which Jenkins got no statistical credit.

Kentucky ran a reverse right with wide receiver Demarco Robinson on a critical third-quarter drive. Jenkins was not fooled, however, and held his ground on the offense’s right flank. Robinson had to turn up field and Alec Ogletree took down Robinson hard for a six-yard loss. The third-down play simultaneously took Kentucky out of field-goal and four-down range.

“Actually we ran that same play on him in practice and it wasn’t as successful,” Grantham said with a grin. “So …

Continue reading Notebook: OLB Jordan Jenkins not flashy but gets job done for Bulldogs »

UPDATED: Georgia struggles vs. Kentucky, but win sets up monumental matchup with Florida

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Florida did its part by taking down South Carolina on Saturday. Georgia followed suit by beating Kentucky, though it didn’t go down like anyone predicted.

Nearly a four-touchdown favorite, the No. 11-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) found themselves in a street fight with the 1-7 Wildcats. Georgia finally eked out a 29-24 victory, but there was hardly a wild celebration in postgame locker room. Even the tone of the ever-optimistic Mark Richt seemed indifferent and weary.

“You know what, I’m happy with the victory,” Richt said somewhat unconvincingly. “We’re what, 6-1? That’s not bad.”

It’s good enough to set up at SEC Eastern Division showdown next Saturday in Jacksonville. After Saturday’s disparate results — the No. 2-ranked Gators (7-0, 6-0 SEC) thumped No. 7 South Carolina 44-11 in Gainesville — not many will give Georgia a chance in their annual rivalry game next to the St. Johns River. Still, a win over what will be a favored Florida team will put the …

Continue reading UPDATED: Georgia struggles vs. Kentucky, but win sets up monumental matchup with Florida »

UPDATED: UGA’s Jordan Jenkins to start at outside linebacker vs. Kentucky as Jarvis Jones rests injuries

True freshman Jordan Jenkins will get the second start of his young Georgia career today against Kentucky as he fills in for injured All-American Jarvis Jones. (UGA photo by Jim Hipple)

True freshman Jordan Jenkins will get the second start of his young Georgia career today against Kentucky as he fills in for injured All-American Jarvis Jones. (UGA photo by Jim Hipple)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jordan Jenkins will start at “Will” outside linebacker for the Georgia Bulldogs tonight against the Kentucky Wildcats.

All-American junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who normally starts at that position, traveled with the team here but was not dressed out as the Bulldogs prepared for kickoff. He has not practiced since the South Carolina game on Oct. 6 due to an ankle injury. He also has been playing with a groin injury and a sore left knee.

Earlier Saturday, Ronald Jenkins, Jenkins’ father had posted on Facebook that her son was going to start.

“Great news Jordan will start his second game of the season tonight. 7pm EST on Fox Sports South. If you don’t get that channel you can watch it on ESPN3.com live on your Computer. I put all this info on FB because one …

Continue reading UPDATED: UGA’s Jordan Jenkins to start at outside linebacker vs. Kentucky as Jarvis Jones rests injuries »

With an eye on Florida, concentration will be key for Bulldogs against Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Georgia coach Mark Richt grabbed a microphone and stepped on a stage at UGA’s Legion Field on Thursday night and declared himself a Florida Gators fan.

“Believe it or not, I am cheering for the Gators this weekend,” Richt told a thousand or so Georgia students and fans gathered there to hear a Jason Aldean concert. “We need them to beat South Carolina to get us back in the driver’s seat.”

Losing a game in the SEC certainly makes for strange bedfellows.

The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC) were unceremoniously dispatched by South Carolina 35-7 in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 6. But during Georgia’s bye last weekend, the Gamecocks lost at LSU.

That means a loss by South Carolina (6-1, 4-1) to No. 2 Florida (6-0, 5-0) on Saturday — coupled by a Georgia win over Kentucky — will set up what essentially will be an SEC Eastern Division elimination game for the Bulldogs against the Gators next week in Jacksonville. A Georgia win in that game would give them the head-to-head …

Continue reading With an eye on Florida, concentration will be key for Bulldogs against Kentucky »

Disparity on display in SEC East standings

ATHENS – In the top-heavy SEC East, the bottom has fallen out.

The division’s top three teams — Florida, South Carolina and Georgia — are a combined 12-2 in league games. The bottom four teams — Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri — are a combined 1-14 in the league.

The division’s disparities are displayed in Saturday’s Georgia-Kentucky matchup. The rested Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC) are a four-touchdown favorite on the road against the injury-ravaged Wildcats (1-6, 0-4).

The Wildcats are on a five-game losing streak. They trailed Arkansas 42-0 at halftime last week. Their top two quarterbacks are injured. Their coach’s job is in jeopardy. They’re facing a fourth game in five weeks against a ranked opponent.

And they’re playing a sport that has no room for compassion.

“We’ve got our own problems, you know,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We’ve got enough problems of our own.”

Georgia’s problems stem from its 35-7 loss to South Carolina, a loss that reinforced the gap …

Continue reading Disparity on display in SEC East standings »

Storylines and matchups for Georgia’s game at Kentucky on Saturday (w/ video)

THREE STORYLINES

1. Will Jarvis Jones play? The Bulldogs’ All-American outside linebacker hasn’t practiced since spraining his right ankle in the course of the Oct. 6 loss at South Carolina. Jones is also playing with a groin injury and a sore left knee. It might be prudent to rest him against the 1-6 Wildcats and have him at closer to full speed for the Oct. 27 matchup with the No. 3-ranked Florida Gators. Besides, the Bulldogs are very pleased with the play of Jones’ freshman backup, Jordan Jenkins.

2. Can Bulldogs focus on Kentucky? Concentration could be an issue for Georgia with Florida and South Carolina playing in a game that could ultimately determine whether the Bulldogs have a shot at winning the Eastern Division. The Gators and Gamecocks kick off approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes before the Bulldogs, meaning the outcome should be known about the time Georgia runs onto the field for the last time at Commonwealth Stadium. The Dogs must be careful their minds are in …

Continue reading Storylines and matchups for Georgia’s game at Kentucky on Saturday (w/ video) »

Visit by LSU, return to Auburn highlight Georgia’s ‘13 schedule (updated)

By TIM TUCKER

Georgia’s 2013 football schedule restores South Carolina to a familiar early-season spot, includes a visit to Athens by LSU and — in an odd quirk — calls for the Bulldogs to travel to Auburn for a second consecutive season.

The SEC finally unveiled next season’s league schedule Thursday after spending many months sorting through the complexities of expansion to 14 teams. The league emphasized that next season’s schedule, like this season’s, is a transitional “bridge” and not a model for an ongoing rotation.

For Georgia fans, the 2013 schedule might be disconcerting: It is UGA’s first since 1957 without a home game against either Auburn or Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs’ two oldest rivals.

For more than a half-century, Georgia has hosted Auburn in odd-numbered years and Tech in even-numbered years. But the SEC said it shifted next season’s Georgia-Auburn game to Auburn “in order to maintain a balanced schedule for the 2014 season and beyond.” Two other games, Ole Miss …

Continue reading Visit by LSU, return to Auburn highlight Georgia’s ‘13 schedule (updated) »

For now, Georgia’s Josh Harvey-Clemons making his mark on special teams

While awaiting a spot on defense, Josh Harvey-Clemons is making his presence known on Georgia's special teams. (UGA photo by Evan Stichler)

While awaiting a spot on defense, Josh Harvey-Clemons is making his presence known on Georgia's special teams. (UGA photo by Evan Stichler)

ATHENS – Initially, Josh Harvey-Clemons was not at all enamored with the thought of playing special teams for Georgia.

“At first I wasn’t really going all out in it because I really didn’t want to be on it,” said Harvey-Clemons, a 5-star recruit out of Valdosta. “ I wanted to be on defense. But Coach talked it up to me. We were watching film of like the LSU game when Tyrann Matthieu ran that punt back and he was just stressing how important it is.”

Harvey-Clemons has changed his tune since then. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound freshman is a starter on three of the Bulldogs special teams units, getting repped on another, and this week was named Georgia’s special teams captain for the Kentucky game.

Being named a captain as a true freshman is a rare honor in Bulldog annals. The last to do it was linebacker Rennie Curran in 2007.

“I …

Continue reading For now, Georgia’s Josh Harvey-Clemons making his mark on special teams »

UGA freshman Jordan Jenkins says he’s ready if Jarvis Jones can’t go

Freshman outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins recovers a fumble against Missouri in his second game with the Bulldogs. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Freshman outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins recovers a fumble against Missouri in his second game with the Bulldogs. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

ATHENS – Jordan Jenkins says he hopes his friend and position-mate Jarvis Jones will be able to play against Kentucky this Saturday. But his comments belie him.

Jones, Georgia’s All-American outside linebacker, did not practice again on Wednesday. He has now missed every workout since he suffered a right ankle injury in the Bulldogs’ loss to South Carolina Oct. 6. And because of the off week, the Wednesday practice represented what would normally be the Thursday walk-through on a game week.

In other words, it doesn’t look like Jones is in position to start, much less play, against the Wildcats. And Jenkins, his backup at the weakside outside linebacker position, doesn’t seem too bummed about it.

“I’ve been thinking on it,” Jenkins said following Wednesday’s practice. “If (Jones) doesn’t play or plays hurt a little …

Continue reading UGA freshman Jordan Jenkins says he’s ready if Jarvis Jones can’t go »

Mike Bobo: Bulldogs need to get back to running football with Gurley, Marshall

Look for the Bulldogs to get back to basics in the running game with freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley (3) and Keith Marshall. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Look for the Bulldogs to get back to basics in the running game with freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley (3) and Keith Marshall. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS — Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said his biggest regret from the South Carolina game was getting away from feeding the ball to Todd Gurley and fellow tailbacks Keith Marshall and Ken Malcome.

“We’ve got to stay more committed to the run,” Bobo said Tuesday. “Even though we’re down 21-0, there was still a lot of time left in the ballgame and that’s what has made us successful, the balance. If you become one-dimensional against a team like that you’re asking for trouble.”

The Bulldogs ran for just 115 yards on 36 carries against the Gamecocks. They managed only 224 yards overall.

“Basically we learned as an offense that we can be stopped,” Gurley said. “But we’re just going to come together as a team and work on everything. We didn’t blame anybody, the line or the backs or anybody. So we’re …

Continue reading Mike Bobo: Bulldogs need to get back to running football with Gurley, Marshall »

Georgia’s defense looking to stem the tide of big plays

According to the Bulldogs, they're really not far off from playng defense at the level they were last season, when they finished fifth in the nation in total yardage allowed. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

According to the Bulldogs, they're really not far off from playng defense at the level they were last season, when they finished fifth in the nation in total yardage allowed. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

ATHENS – When talk at Tuesday’s weekly news conference turned to the big plays given up by Georgia’s defense, Mark Richt interrupted. “I don’t want to talk about the South Carolina game anymore.

“They beat us, they beat us soundly and congratulations to them,” the Bulldogs coach said. “But we’ve moved forward past that and now correcting mistakes is important.”

Trouble is, Georgia’s mistakes on defense this season have not been limited to the 35-7 drubbing it received in Columbia. The Bulldogs have given up yardage in large chunks to everybody they’ve played this season. The gashes the Gamecocks left in Georgia’s defense were just more notable because of the gravity of the situation.

Against South Carolina, Georgia gave up three plays of 20 or more yards – including a 62-yard …

Continue reading Georgia’s defense looking to stem the tide of big plays »

Notebook: Defensive star Jarvis Jones ‘questionable’ for Kentucky

ATHENS – A right ankle injury has kept Jarvis Jones out of practice since the Oct. 6 South Carolina game and could keep him out of the Kentucky game as well.

Officially the Bulldogs’ are listing their All-American outside linebacker as questionable against the Wildcats on Saturday.

“We’ll see,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We’re not counting him out yet. “He had been running on a treadmill under water and had done extremely well. We thought when we put him on land he’d hit the ground running literally. But he wasn’t ready to practice.”

Jones, who led the SEC in quarterback sacks last year with 13.5, has 5.5 this season. He’s currently third on the team with 36 tackles and has 9.5 tackles for loss.

Jones already missed one game (Florida Atlantic) with a groin injury. He also plays with a metal brace on his left knee.

“He’s banged up a little bit, but he’s working hard to get better,” said defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who is also Jones’ position coach. “Everybody’s …

Continue reading Notebook: Defensive star Jarvis Jones ‘questionable’ for Kentucky »

A quick look at UGA’s next opponent: Kentucky

GEORGIA’S NEXT OPPONENT

Who: Kentucky

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

TV; radio: FSSO; 750, 95.5

About Kentucky

Record: 1-6 (0-4 SEC)

Last time played: Georgia defeated Kentucky 19-10 in Athens on Nov. 19, 2011, to clinch a spot in the SEC Championship game.

On offense: Kentucky has been hard hit by injuries at quarterback, where sophomore starter Maxwell Smith is out with a torn ankle ligament and freshman backup Patrick Towles is doubtful because of a high ankle sprain. Freshman Jalen Whitlow is likely to start at QB for the third consecutive game; senior Morgan Newton is another option. Injuries also have hurt at tailback, where the Wildcats lost 2011 starter Josh Clemons (knee) and 2012 starter CoShik Williams (hip) for the season. Raymond Sanders, from Stone Mountain (Stephenson High), is the Cats’ leading rusher with 324 yards in six games played. Senior La’Rod King is the top receiver with 31 catches for 351 yards and four …

Continue reading A quick look at UGA’s next opponent: Kentucky »

All-American Jarvis Jones still not practicing, availability for Kentucky uncertain

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt and selected players met with media as usual on Tuesday to preview the No. 13-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC) game against Kentucky (1-6, 0-4 SEC) on Saturday in Lexington.

The most pertinent news of the day was that All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones still has not practiced. Jones has been out since the South Carolina game with an ankle injury.

“We’re not counting him out yet,” Richt said. “He had been running on a treadmill underwater and did extremely well. We figured when we put him on land, he’d hit the ground running literally, but he wasn’t ready to practice [Monday]. . . .  If he’s healthy enough to play, we want him to play. There’s no thought of holding him out this game so that he’s 100 percent next game.”

Following is more of the commentary from Tuesday’s proceedings:

HEAD COACH MARK RICHT

On preparing for Kentucky

“We have been getting ready the past couple of weeks for Kentucky. We’re looking forward to going to that …

Continue reading All-American Jarvis Jones still not practicing, availability for Kentucky uncertain »

Georgia Bulldogs getting down with ‘Gangnam Style’ video parody

ATHENS – Georgia’s basketball players are getting down, “Gangnam Style.”

The Bulldogs’ men’s and women’s basketball players, along with mascots “Hairy Dawg,” “Spike” and some UGA students, recently shot a video on campus in which they parody the popular dance song by Korean pop star “PSY,” which is currently sweeping the nation. The video was first unveiled this past Friday night when the teams held their preseason “2012 Basketbash” event at Stegeman Coliseum and will likely be shown again on the video board at Sanford Stadium during a football game.

“[Associate promotions director] Emily Deitz and her staff wanted to do something with our teams to show them in a fun and entertaining light,” said Alan Thomas, Georgia’s associate athletic director for marketing and promotions. “So they got both our teams together with our Dance Dawgs to show them the steps and they had a lot of fun with it. Some of our guys, like Kenny Gaines, he was all over it. They worked with some groups to …

Continue reading Georgia Bulldogs getting down with ‘Gangnam Style’ video parody »

Notebook: With ‘goal still intact,’ Bulldogs focus on ‘winning every game’

By RYAN BLACK
Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATHENS — Just because Georgia was off last week didn’t mean its players stayed away from football.

Starting right guard Chris Burnette attended the Florida State-Boston College game in Tallahassee, Fla., with his fiance. Tight end Arthur Lynch woke up and watched some of ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast before he took in a local Pop Warner football game. But both Burnette and Lynch were in the same place Saturday night: glued to the television, watching South Carolina face LSU. With the Tigers beating the Gamecocks 23-21, the Bulldogs’ chance to win the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division is a possibility once again.

And Burnette couldn’t be more pleased.

“We definitely feel like our goal is still intact,” he said following Monday’s practice. “We can still keep pushing, and as long as we take care of every game, we can be back in the race. It’s great to see the opportunity arise.”

Lynch didn’t watch the game …

Continue reading Notebook: With ‘goal still intact,’ Bulldogs focus on ‘winning every game’ »

South Carolina loss boosts Georgia’s chances in East

Georgia’s hopes of reaching the SEC Championship game despite its ugly loss at South Carolina got a boost Saturday night when the Gamecocks followed their domination of the Bulldogs with a loss at LSU.

South Carolina’s 23-21 loss, one week after its 35-7 rout of Georgia, means UGA will represent the Eastern Division in the SEC title game if:

  • South Carolina loses at least one of its three remaining SEC games, the most difficult of which is this week at Florida.
  • And Georgia beats its four remaining SEC opponents, including — most challengingly — Florida.

Those are big ifs, of course.

“Right now, I think the best thing for Georgia is to focus on getting better, focus on (this week’s opponent) Kentucky,” UGA coach Mark Richt said Sunday. “It’s kind of a boring answer, as always, but it’s really what we’ve got to do.

“We’ve got some things we’ve got to clean up. We’ve been giving up too many big plays. We’ve got to make sure we get back to running the ball like we (were) early …

Continue reading South Carolina loss boosts Georgia’s chances in East »

South Carolina game mars an otherwise promising first half for Bulldogs

ATHENS – Everything was rosy with Georgia football until this past weekend when it ran into a buzz saw in South Carolina operating under the name of Gamecocks. Then the nation’s No. 5-ranked team, the Bulldogs fell behind 35-0 before scoring save-face touchdown in the game’s final minutes.

Now Georgia finds itself having to pick up the pieces. All the optimism the Bulldogs had gained in by annihilating their opponents by an average of 26.3 points in the first five games was wiped away in one nationally-televised butt-kicking.

Since that game, Georgia coach Mark Richt has  anybody who would listen – including his own players — not to read too much into one lopsided loss. As ever, he believes the Bulldogs are still a top-tier  team that can win the rest of its games and contend for the SEC championship

“Whether you lose by a point or you lose by 28 points, it’s only one loss,” Richt said this week. “It’s not five losses. It feels like three or four losses, but it’s only one. The …

Continue reading South Carolina game mars an otherwise promising first half for Bulldogs »

Bulldogs eager for Marcus Thornton to be healthy as basketball practice begins

When healthy, Marcus has proven to be a physical inside presence and strong rebounder for Georgia. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

When healthy, Marcus has proven to be a physical inside presence and strong rebounder for Georgia. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

ATHENS — Marcus Thornton said the last time he felt 100 percent healthy was the semifinals of the state high school playoffs his senior year at Westlake High.

That day Thornton suffered a bizarre injury. He sprained his left ankle jumping up in the air to chest bump a teammate. Thornton, who was named Mr. Georgia Basketball that year, has been dealing with one injury or another ever since.

Now a junior at the University of Georgia, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward is still trying to get well. He’s coming off his second knee surgery – he’s had one on each leg – but is oh so close to feeling normal again as the Bulldogs prepare to open the season.

“I’m getting there,” said Thornton, who also has dealt with a staph infection his right elbow while at Georgia. “Ever since I’ve been here I haven’t really felt well. So it’d be nice to feel …

Continue reading Bulldogs eager for Marcus Thornton to be healthy as basketball practice begins »

Georgia’s tackles feel they gained valuable experience against South Carolina’s ends

ATHENS – The performance of Georgia’s offensive line – and its tackles in particular — against South Carolina this past weekend was one the Bulldogs would just as soon forget. In fact, that seems to be one of their primary goals this week.

“That game’s over,” freshman tackle John Theus said. “We looked at the film and we learned from it and we’re ready to go on to the next game. We’ve all moved on. We’re preparing for Kentucky now.”

On paper, it doesn’t look as bad as it was. Officially the Gamecocks were credited with two quarterback sacks and two quarterback hurries. But anybody who watched this past Saturday’s 35-7 domination of Georgia knows defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor had a much more profound effect on quarterback Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs’ offense.

Murray had career lows with 35 percent completion rate on 11-of-31 passing for 109 yards. The Gamecocks were credited with 10 pass break-ups, several of them occurring nanoseconds after the ball left …

Continue reading Georgia’s tackles feel they gained valuable experience against South Carolina’s ends »

Notebook: UGA players believe vandalism an isolated incident by ’small group’

ATHENS – Georgia linebacker Christian Robinson said he had to go back and delete the tweet he sent out early Sunday morning claiming a “Good Samaritan” had cleaned up his egged and toilet-papered house and yard as he slept.

As it turns out, it was teammate Arthur Lynch, one of his four roommates, who took it upon himself to clean up the mess in the middle of the night.

“I wanted it to be a Good Samaritan,” Robinson said Tuesday after Georgia’s practice. “But I found out later it was Arthur. He said couldn’t leave it out there.”

Joked Lynch: “I needed eggs in the fridge so I was hoping they’d left some for me.”

Robinson and Lynch share an off-campus house on the outskirts of town with teammates Aaron Murray, Ty Frix and Dustin Royston. They returned to Athens in the wee hours of Sunday morning from their 35-7 defeat at the hands of South Carolina in Columbia to find trees covered with toilet papers and eggs splattered on the front door and all over the front of the house.

Lynch …

Continue reading Notebook: UGA players believe vandalism an isolated incident by ’small group’ »

Expectations high for Georgia’s women’s basketball team

A quick update on Georgia’s women’s basketball team, which began practice this past Sunday. Coach Andy Landers met with reporters Tuesday. . . .

GEORGIA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL.

  • Last season: 22-9, 11-5 SEC
  • Starters returning: 4 – F Jasmine Hassell (13.0 ppg), G Khallidah Miller (12.4), F/G Anne Marie Armstrong (11.5), G Jasmine James (10.6)
  • Starters lost: 1 – G Meredith Mitchell (9.2 ppg)
  • Lettermen returning: 5 – G Erika Ford (5.5 ppg), F Krista Donald (5.0), F Tamika Willis (3.5), F Ebony Jones (2.0), G Danielle Bennett (1.7)
  • Newcomers: 5 – G Tiara Griffin (5-7), F Merritt Hempe (6-2), G/F Shacobia Barbee (5-10), G Marjorie Butler (5-8), F Kaelyn Causwell (6-4)

COACH ANDY LANDERS

On general outlook . . .

“Tempered excitement, this time around. . . . I like this team, I like this senior class and I like what they did in the offseason. They worked extremely hard and I like the way they handled their business. I like the way they talk; I like the way the walk. Their heads are in …

Continue reading Expectations high for Georgia’s women’s basketball team »

TE Jay Rome to play hoops again, and other basketball news

ATHENS – We interrupt this Georgia football panic attack to bring you this important news bulletin: It’s basketball time, or at least about to be.

The Georgia women’s team started practices this past Sunday and the men’s team gets under way on Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Both squads are going big with the old “Midnight Madness” theme, only rules this year will allow such events to start as early as 5 p.m. this year. The “2012 Georgia Basketbash” will run from 7-10 p.m. Admission is free and there will be lots of giveaways and such in addition to a sneak-a-peak at the team.

To that end, men’s coach Mark Fox and Lady Bulldogs’ coach Andy Landers held a joint news conference Tuesday to talk about the upcoming season. Some players are supposed to be available later.

In the meantime, I figured I’d give you a quick what-you-need-to-know update and share of some of the insights on the men’s team. So here you go . . .

GEORGIA MEN’S BASKETBALL.

  • Last season: 15-17, 5-11 …

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Video: Bulldogs regroup during off week after South Carolina loss

CineSport’s Noah Coslov and I discuss Saturday’s loss to South Carolina and what it means to Georgia going forward. . . .

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Georgia-Kentucky game time set

Georgia’s next football game – Oct. 20 at Kentucky – has been scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff, the SEC said today.

Television plans for the game won’t be set until after Saturday’s games. It will be on one of three networks: ESPN2, ESPNU or FSN.

It’ll be the fifth UGA game this season to be played at night.

CBS is holding off until after this week’s action before selecting the SEC game for its 3:30 p.m. telecast on Oct. 20. Still under consideration: South Carolina at Florida, Alabama at Tennessee and LSU at Texas A&M. ESPN will televise the two of those games not chosen by CBS, one at noon and the other at night.

Kentucky (1-5, 0-3 SEC) plays at Arkansas on Saturday. Georgia (5-1, 3-1) is off this week.

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Aaron Murray focused on his father as Bulldogs put South Carolina behind them

Aaron Murray poses with his family, including his father Dennis (L) following graduation last fall. (Murray family photo)

Aaron Murray poses with his family, including his father Dennis (L) following graduation last fall. (Murray family photo)

ATHENS – When Aaron Murray tweeted Sunday, “probably the worst 12 hours of my life,” he wasn’t just talking about Saturday night’s 35-7 loss to South Carolina.

Murray found out that his father, Denny Murray, had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “Papa Murray,” as Aaron referred to him in another tweet, underwent surgery today at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa. The family reports that it went well and he is recovering.

Apparently Denny Murray had been diagnosed “a few weeks ago,” but the parents told Aaron only on Sunday. Aaron Murray and his brother drove to Tampa yesterday.

The distressing news followed a depressing Saturday night for Murray and his roommate, linebacker Christian Robinson. As revealed in a tweet from Robinson, they returned from the team’s trip to Columbia to find their …

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