In another edition of the “Back Porch Chat, CineSport’s Noah Coslov and I talk about the challenges facing No. 5 Georgia as it visits Auburn on The Plains on Saturday. . . .
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.
MORE ON GEORGIA FOOTBALL
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
ATHENS – After several days spent watching tape of South Carolina’s defense, Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend was struck by what he had not noticed.
“I was … trying to remember when I saw one score [against the Gamecocks],” Friend said. “I couldn’t think of a team I saw cross the goal line yet.”
It has happened, but rarely.
South Carolina’s defense has allowed only five touchdowns out of 67 opponent drives this season, meaning the opposition has scored a touchdown on 7.5 percent of its possessions. Contrast that to Georgia’s offense, which has scored 31 touchdowns on 74 drives, a 41.9 percent rate.
All of which should make for a compelling clash Saturday night in Columbia.
Georgia’s offense has averaged 48.2 points and 536 yards (287 passing and 249 rushing) per game. But how will it fare against a defense that
ATHENS – The “Gurshall” phenomenon continues to grow.
That is the nickname Georgia receiver Tavarres King coined for the freshman tailback tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, combining syllables from their last names to rhyme with the first name of Georgia’s greatest tailback — Herschel Walker.
“At first it was just a little thing, but now it’s getting big,” Gurley said. “I guess everybody knows about it. We just try to come out there and play our game and try to be like nobody else. But it’s a cool thing.”
Marshall acknowledged “Gurshall” has gotten a lot of attention, especially on social media, “but we try not to focus on that. We try to focus on every day at practice, getting better and not letting that stuff go to your head.”
Through five games, the “Gurshall” tandem has accounted for 964 yards
Georgia ranks higher as a rival for South Carolina than vice versa, according to Steve Spurrier.
“I think Georgia is our biggest conference rival, although we’re certainly not their biggest conference rival,” the South Carolina coach said Wednesday. “They’ve got Florida and Auburn. … At South Carolina, we still have not beaten teams enough for them to consider us a big rival. … I don’t think Georgia sees us as a big rival.”
That may change, of course, if the Gamecocks keep winning.
They beat the Bulldogs the past two seasons and will be trying for their first-ever three-game winning streak against Georgia on Saturday — a point that some UGA players say coach Mark Richt made to them early this week.
“We don’t like to make history in a negative way,” Richt said. “It would be the first time in the history of the school that has happened, so we definitely don’t want to be on that end of the historical event.”
Despite the back-to-back losses, Georgia
By RYAN BLACK
Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATHENS – Every day is an adventure for Malcolm Mitchell.
Georgia’s sophomore cornerback/wide receiver said Monday he doesn’t know where he will practice each day until he arrives and sees which color jersey is hanging in his locker. And yes, he admitted, it does get tiresome.
“It can be difficult sometimes because you never know, but it’s what I signed up for, so I’ve got to deal with it,” Mitchell said following Monday’s practice, a day he noted was spent exclusively on offense.
Mitchell, who started three games at cornerback on defense, played only offense against Tennessee this past weekend. He said he never has an issue separating the offensive and defensive calls in his head given his constant, back-and-forth shuffling. He has played enough with both units already, after all. But he has had his share of issues in another area: punt returns.
Problems have plagued him fielding punts all season, and
How big was Georgia’s game against Tennessee on Saturday at Sanford Stadium? So big that CineSport’s Noah Coslov came all the way down from his home in New York to little ol’ Athens to take in the game. As a result, we got to do a rare side-by-side interview, as opposed to over the world-wide web. Click below to hear our thoughts and those from the the Bulldogs’ coaches and players following Georgia’s 51-44 victory over Tennessee. . . .
Informed Sunday that ESPN’s College Gameday crew is coming to Columbia on Saturday for No. 5 Georgia’s game against No. 6 South Carolina, Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said that’s just the way he likes it.
The last time that group set up outside Williams-Brice Stadium was on Oct. 9th, 2010, and South Carolina knocked off No. 1-ranked Alabama 35-21.
“We certainly do [like games such as this],” Spurrier said on his weekly teleconference call Sunday. “The last time they were here, obviously that was one of the best days in Carolina football history. It was the first time we had ever beat a No. 1 team. It adds to the importance of the game. It sort of lets the world know and the country know South Carolina football’s pretty good. We’re not quite where we want to be yet, but we’re up there amongst them and hopefully we can keep pushing on.”
The matchup everybody anticipated for Week 6 of the season has materialized. Both the Gamecocks (5-0, 3-0 SEC) and Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0) were
Here is another exciting installment of “Chip’s Back Porch Chats,” with CineSport’s Noah Coslov. Today we talk about Georgia transitioning Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo back into the defense, the Bulldogs’ offensive strategy against Tennessee and what we know about No. 5-ranked Georgia to this point in the season. Enjoy . . .
ATHENS – Georgia has survived the Great Suspension Plague of 2012.
While no one is still coming right out and saying as much, we know from outside testimony, school policies, indirect hints and good old-fashioned horse sense that star linebacker Alec Ogletree and All-American free safety Bacarri Rambo are returning from four-game suspensions this week. And they’re getting back just in the nick of time as next on the dance card is Tennessee and its high-octane offense.
Ogletree and Rambo are the last two of four defensive starters that were missing for the Bulldogs this first part of the season as a result of internal team discipline. Cornerback Sanders Commings and outside linebacker Chase Vasser were benched two games each for off-season arrests.
Retrospectively, some might say that there was no great
ATHENS — On Saturday night at Sanford Stadium, the Georgia Bulldogs will play their most anticipated game against Vanderbilt in recent memory. Maybe ever.
Then again, it’s rare that “anticipated game” and “Vanderbilt” are together in the same sentence. But that is the end result of the events that transpired at immediately after the Bulldogs’ 33-28 win last year in Nashville.
Much has been said and written this week about that brief skirmish between Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, which saw them go nose-to-nose in a shouting match during what was supposed to be the postgame handshake. Players, coaches and officials had to restrain the two coaches, each of whom was accusing the other’s side of dirty play.
In the end, two Georgia players
ATHENS — When Georgia coach Mark Richt offered Alpharetta High wide receiver Michael Bennett a scholarship in the summer of 2009, Bennett resisted the urge to accept on the spot.
“I felt like that might seem a little desperate,” Bennett said with a laugh this week. “So I gave it a few days.”
Georgia was the first — and as it turned out the only — SEC school to offer Bennett a scholarship. Richt made the offer on the spot after watching Bennett, who was about to enter his senior year of high school at the time, catch passes against some of the Southeast’s top cornerback prospects during a camp on the UGA campus. The skills Richt saw that day are becoming apparent to all.
After redshirting as a UGA freshman in 2010 and showing considerable promise in 2011, Bennett has emerged as the Bulldogs’ most productive
Following is yet another installment of my weekly “Back Porch Chats” with the video folks at CineSport. This week it was Tara Petrolino asking me what the storylines are for the No. 5-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (3-0), who play host to Vanderbilt (1-2) on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium (7:45 p.m., ESPN2). . . .
The Georgia-Tennessee football game on Sept. 29 in Athens will start at 3:30 p.m.and will be nationally televised on CBS, it was announced today.
The game will be Georgia’s first this season on CBS and will stop a string of three consecutive night games for the Bulldogs.
Announcers for the game will be Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst), and Tracy Wolfson (sideline).
Tennessee (2-1 after losing to Florida) plays Akron (1-2) Saturday in Knoxville (7:30 p.m. on CSS). Georgia (3-0) plays Vanderbilt (1-2) Saturday in Athens (7:45 p.m. on ESPN2).
MORE UGA STORIES:
COMPLETE POSTGAME COVERAGE OF UGA’s VICTORY OVER FLORIDA ATLANTIC:
No doubt there will be a lot of chatter leading up to Saturday’s Georgia-Vanderbilt game in Athens about the shouting match between Vandy coach James Franklin and UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham after last year’s game between the same teams. But UGA head coach Mark Richt doesn’t seem interested in feeding the feud.
Richt reiterated on his weekly teleconference Sunday evening what he had said late Saturday night: that UGA will be “ready” for the game, that he has a lot of respect for Vanderbilt’s team and that “we know it’s going to be a battle.” And “that’s really about it,” he said.
Pressed on whether he’ll address with his team the fireworks from the end of last season’s game in Nashville, Richt said: “I think the big thing is to make sure we just concentrate on playing football and not on the extra-curricular. Because those things turn into penalties. … I don’t want anything to take focus off of executing [or] take focus off of doing the right things
Georgia climbed to No. 5 in the Associated Press college football poll released Sunday, up two spots from last week.
Georgia (3-0) is one of three SEC teams in the nation’s top five, according to the AP’s media vote, and the two SEC West teams that met for last season’s BCS title once again are 1-2 in the poll.
Alabama is No. 1 for the third consecutive week, receiving 58 of 60 first-place votes. LSU moved up one spot to No. 2 after previously No. 2 USC tumbled out of the top 10 in the aftermath of a 21-14 loss at Stanford. LSU got the two first-place votes that didn’t go to Alabama.
Oregon is No. 3 and Florida State No. 4. Georgia, No. 7 last week, moved ahead of Oklahoma, as well as USC, in the AP poll. Oklahoma is No. 6 after being tied with FSU at No. 5 last week.
In the USA Today coaches’ poll also released Sunday, the top four teams are the same as in the AP poll, but Georgia and Oklahoma are flip-flopped. In the coaches’ poll, Oklahoma is No. 5 and Georgia
ATHENS – A video report from Georgia’s 56-20 win over Florida Atlantic Saturday night.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
ATHENS – Georgia put Sanders Commings to work quickly upon his return from a two-game suspension.
A 13-game starter at cornerback last season, the Bulldogs utilized Commings at free safety instead. He played there most of the game Saturday, though he said afterward he did get some snaps at the boundary corner.
“It wasn’t that difficult because I always rep both,” said Commings, who finished with 4 tackles and a pass break-up. “It felt great just to be back out there with the guys. It’s great just to put all that other stuff behind me.”
Outside linebacker Chase Vasser also returned from a two-game suspension and made an impact. The junior compiled 7 tackles and added a forced fumble, 1.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback pressure.
Meanwhile, linebacker Alec Ogletree and free safety Bacarri Rambo, both starters, remained sidelined due to suspensions for the third consecutive week. They’re thought to be serving four-game suspensions but Richt is still not
“We really challenged our guys to go back to work. There was a lot of patting on the back about how great we did in the second half [at Missouri]. They responded with great practices during the week and came out and played well. The effort was outstanding, and when they had an opportunity to make plays they made them.”
– Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on Georgia’s school-record 713-yard output vs. Florida Atlantic
“I wish we had taken care of the ball. I don’t like the turnovers, I don’t like a pick-six, I don’t like throwing interceptions in the red zone. Those were negatives, and we’ve got to continue to build and learn that can cost us some games. But I did like the effort and the way we answered in the first half.”
— Bobo on the negatives for the offense
“I was pretty upset about that interception. I felt like I had probably one of my most complete games I’ve had since I’ve been here, and that kind of stunk to finish the game like that.”
ATHENS — Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have a lot in common –- both from North Carolina, both highly recruited tailbacks, both University of Georgia freshmen.
Oh, and roommates, too.
Saturday night, they had something else in common: 100-plus yards rushing.
It was a race to see which of the two would reach triple digits first against the outmatched Florida Atlantic defense, and as it turned out they did so on back-to-back plays early in the third quarter — Marshall first on a 13-yard run, then Gurley on a 38-yard touchdown run that gave Georgia a 42-14 lead with 10:18 remaining in the quarter.
Neither played much after that as Georgia went deep into its roster for the completion of a 56-20 victory at Sanford Stadium.
Gurley finished with 111 yards and Marshall with 104, both getting 10 carries and both scoring one touchdown.
“It was probably … what they envisioned,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said afterward. “They are good friends, and they wanted to play together
ATHENS — Georgia and its fans got what they paid for and Florida Atlantic got its $1 million check as the Bulldogs rolled over the Owls 56-20 on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium.
The win gets No. 7 Georgia off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2008, when it began the season ranked No. 1. The Bulldogs (1-0 SEC) play host to Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1) on Saturday.
Georgia simply overwhelmed their Sun Belt Conference visitors with offense. The Bulldogs rolled up a school-record 713 yards — breaking the 1993 record of 667 yards versus Southern Miss — and did it with strong running and passing.
Tailbacks Todd Gurley (111) and Keith Marshall (104) each went over 100 yards rushing — the first freshman pair to do that in a game since Thomas Brown and Danny Ware in
ATHENS – Mark Richt didn’t much care for the question. He was asked if he thought Marlon Brown was injury-prone.
“I don’t think that term is fair,” Georgia’s coach said. “I think most anybody who gets injured is unlucky.”
If that’s the case, there must be a broken mirror somewhere in Brown’s past. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior has yet to play a full season for the Bulldogs because of one nagging injury or another. But Brown has always picked up the pieces and moved on, and never did he look more healthy and vibrant than Saturday against Missouri.
Brown was the star of the Bulldogs’ offense, hauling in eight passes for 106 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the 41-20 victory. As Georgia enters Saturday’s game against Florida Atlantic, he’s viewed as one of the team’s potent weapons.
“A quarterback’s dream,”
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
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 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
Who: at Missouri
When: 7:45 p.m. Saturday
TV; radio: ESPN2; 750, 95.5
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