Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

Gurley: ‘We’re going to push that much harder in postseason knowing how close we came’

THEY SAID IT

“It looked to me like we were a little more tired than they were. But I think our guys did a good job of sucking it up when they were tired. It was a good bit warmer than the weather we were practicing in and certainly Athens was a lot cooler. But we fought through. And when you make a big play or two, all of a sudden that gives you a boost of energy.”

— Georgia coach Mark Richt, on the Bulldogs’ slow start

“I’m so proud of Jarvis. Jarvis has been such a breath of fresh air for us at Georgia. Coming from Southern Cal, sitting out a year and doing a super job rallying the scout team … We already knew he was a special player, then we realized what a special person he was and he just played tremendously on the field for us and has been a great leader for us.”

— Richt on junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who set the single-season sack record.

“When I went into the locker room at halftime, I thought Coach Bobo was going to hit me up …

Continue reading Gurley: ‘We’re going to push that much harder in postseason knowing how close we came’ »

UGA-Bama was most-watched TV game of college season

Alabama’s victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship game drew the largest national television audience of any college football game so far this season.

The CBS telecast of Saturday’s game from the Georgia Dome posted a national Nielsen rating of 9.8, meaning 9.8 percent of U.S. households with televisions tuned in on average. Previously, the highest rated game of the college season was the Nov. 24 Notre Dame-USC game, which posted a 9.4 national rating.

CBS said the SEC title game averaged 16.2 million viewers across the country, peaking at 21.8 million for the final half hour of the telecast..

Locally, almost one-third of metro Atlanta households watched the game on average. The local rating of 32.2 was the highest for any football game — college or pro — on Atlanta TV since this year’s Super Bowl, which posted a 51.3 rating here.

The highest local ratings for Falcons games so far this season are 31.8 for last Thursday’s game against the Saints and 31.1 for the …

Continue reading UGA-Bama was most-watched TV game of college season »

Jarvis Jones only Bulldog to make Coaches’ first-team All-SEC

Following is UGA’s news release on six Georgia players being named to the Coaches’ All-SEC team on Tuesday. Junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by The AP on Monday, was the only Bulldog named to the first team. . . .

ATHENS — Six members of the Georgia football team were voted to the All-SEC Coaches’ Team, according to announcement by the league office on Tuesday.

Junior linebacker Jarvis Jones was named to the first team, while junior guard Chris Burnette, freshman tailback Todd Gurley, senior nose guard John Jenkins, junior linebacker Alec Ogletree and senior free safety Bacarri Rambo were named to the second team.

Jones has recorded 77 tackles this season, including 22.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 11 games. Jones currently leads the NCAA in forced fumbles per game and tackles for loss per game, and he is one tackle for loss shy of David …

Continue reading Jarvis Jones only Bulldog to make Coaches’ first-team All-SEC »

Richt: ‘We spent ourselves in a worthy cause…. You’ve got to kind of get over the heartbreak’

Georgia coach Mark Richt said his program is moving on from the “heartbreak” of Saturday’s SEC Championship game loss and “getting back to work.”

Mark Richt: "It was heartbreaking, no doubt." (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Mark Richt: "It was heartbreaking, no doubt." (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

“You know what? We spent ourselves in a worthy cause,” Richt said Sunday night. “We of course wanted to play for the national championship. We knew we were just a couple of yards away, maybe a couple of seconds away or a tipped ball away or however you want to say it. We were at least in position to win it.

“It was heartbreaking, no doubt. We were all highly, highly hurt by it. … We just came up short. It was one of those games where either team could have won. So you’ve got to kind of get over the heartbreak of that. And I’ve always had the ability to understand what the reality is and move on.

“We’re already out recruiting. We’re getting back to work.”

Despite the dashed dream of playing for the national championship, Richt …

Continue reading Richt: ‘We spent ourselves in a worthy cause…. You’ve got to kind of get over the heartbreak’ »

Georgia vs. Nebraska in Capital One Bowl (UPDATED w/ comments)

(Updated 10 p.m.)

A day after coming up five yards short of a trip to Miami for the national championship game, Georgia’s football team learned Sunday that it will play a bowl game in a different Florida city.

The Bulldogs (11-2) will play Nebraska (10-3) in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1 in a matchup of the losers of the SEC and Big Ten championship games.

While Georgia lost the SEC title to Alabama 32-28 on the final play of a stirring game, Nebraska endured an embarrassing 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.

The Capital One, which holds first choice of SEC teams after the BCS games, had been rumored to be considering Texas A&M and its Heisman Trophy candidate, quarterback Johnny Manziel. But after Georgia’s strong performance against Alabama, the bowl opted to take the Bulldogs, who dropped from No. 3 to No. 7 in the final BCS standings released Sunday night.

Notre Dame and Alabama remained Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and will meet in the …

Continue reading Georgia vs. Nebraska in Capital One Bowl (UPDATED w/ comments) »

Notebook: Nick Saban believes Georgia deserves to be in BCS Bowl

From all indications, Georgia will end up in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, after losing to Alabama 32-28 in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. But Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the Bulldogs should be heading to a BCS bowl.

Georgia's Mark Richt and Alabama coach Nick Saban embrace after Saturday's dramatic finish in the SEC Championship game. (AP photo)

Georgia's Mark Richt and Alabama coach Nick Saban embrace after Saturday's dramatic finish in the SEC Championship game. (AP photo)From all indications, Georgia will end up in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, after losing to Alabama 32-28 in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. But Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the Bulldogs should be heading to a BCS bowl.

“I’m going to tell you what, I think it’s a crying shame if Georgia doesn’t go to a BCS bowl,” said Saban, who will take Alabama to its third national championship game in four years. “They should get to go to a BCS bowl game. They played a tremendous game out there today … and could have won at the end just as soon as us. It came down to the last play. …

Continue reading Notebook: Nick Saban believes Georgia deserves to be in BCS Bowl »

Georgia’s final drive ends agonizingly short

The drive of his dreams turned into a nightmare.

Aaron Murray, Georgia’s quarterback, got the ball back one last time with 1:08 to play in the SEC Championship game, 85 yards to go for a game-winning, stuff-of-legend touchdown. Improbably, he got the Bulldogs 80 yards of the way. But there it ended, Georgia 5 yards short of a berth in the national championship game when the clock turned to all zeroes and Alabama began celebrating a 32-28 victory.

“To be (so close) to making probably one of the greatest comebacks in Georgia history, it stinks (to fall short),” Murray said.

“That’s something you dream of as a little kid, to win the game like that. And it’s just (awful) the way it ended, that’s for sure,” he added.

On the game’s last play, according to Murray and Georgia coach Mark Richt, Murray was attempting to throw to wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell in the back of the right end zone. The ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage and landed in the hands of …

Continue reading Georgia’s final drive ends agonizingly short »

Michael Bennett, UGA’s injured starters happy to be on SEC ride

ATHENS — Georgia split end Michael Bennett served as somewhat of spokesman for the Bulldogs’ walked wounded this week.

The sophomore from Alpharetta is one of four starters who has been sidelined for the regular season with injuries. That means they’re missing out on what folks are calling Georgia’s biggest game in 30 years – Saturday’s SEC Championship game matchup with Alabama.

“Me, Marlon (Brown), Abry (Jones) and Chase (Vasser), we’re all just sitting in that training room just kind of sulking,” Bennett joked after practice. “We wish we could to be out there but, at the same time, we’re just glad our team is doing great without us. It just shows the depth we have at receiver. But, yeah, it’s really frustrating, too.”

The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) lost Bennett to a season-ending knee injury in practice the week they were to play No. 6 South Carolina in the sixth game of the season. He was the team’s leading receiver at the time, with 24 catches for 345 …

Continue reading Michael Bennett, UGA’s injured starters happy to be on SEC ride »

Matchup: Alabama’s passing offense vs. Georgia’s passing defense

Each day this week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Alabama’s passing offense vs. Georgia’s passing defense.

Alabama passing offense

Key stats: Quarterback AJ McCarron has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 2,507 yards and a school-record 25 touchdowns and, most impressively, has thrown only two interceptions in 265 passes.

Season high point: Trailing LSU 17-14, Alabama took over on its own 28-yard line with 1:34 to play. McCarron led the Crimson Tide to a game-winning touchdown in 49 seconds, completing passes of 18, 15, 11 and 28 yards.

Season low point: McCarron threw his only two interceptions of the season against Texas A&M, the Tide’s lone loss.

Name to know: Freshman Amari Cooper is Alabama’s leading receiver, with 45 catches for 767 yards and eight touchdowns.

Georgia passing defense

Key stat: The Bulldogs rank second in the SEC in pass defense, giving up 174.4 passing yards per …

Continue reading Matchup: Alabama’s passing offense vs. Georgia’s passing defense »

Chick-fil-A Bowl chairman says SEC loser returning to Atlanta ‘very unlikely’

As reported in the AJC earlier this week, the bowl scenarios for the SEC Championship game loser are very unclear at this point.

The winner will, of course, be in the Discover BCS Championship Game and Florida (11-1) appears slated for Nokia Sugar Bowl. That leaves the Capital One, Cotton, Outback and Chick-fil-A bowls to fight it ouot for the SEC loser. Selections will be announced on Sunday.

The SEC has an agreement with the Chick-fil-A to not let the title game loser fall past it in the selection process. Chick-fil-A Bowl chairman Leeman Bennett, in his weekly selection blog posted on Wednesday, listed as its five SEC favorites LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

But, he also wrote this caveat at the end: “The final thing to consider would be our role to protect the runner-up in the SEC Championship Game that could see either Georgia or Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Bowl this year. Again, not very likely, but something to consider.”

The key is …

Continue reading Chick-fil-A Bowl chairman says SEC loser returning to Atlanta ‘very unlikely’ »

Matchup: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense

Each day this week, the AJC takes a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense.

Georgia’s passing offense

Key stats: Aaron Murray has thrown for 3,201 yards and 30 touchdowns (seven interceptions), becoming the first quarterback in SEC history with three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons.

Season high point: In his past four games, Murray has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Season low point: Murray, like his offensive line and the rest of the team, struggled badly in the loss to South Carolina, completing 11 of 31 passes for 109 yards.

Names to know: Georgia’s leading receivers are Tavarres King (34 catches for 704 yards and eight touchdowns) and Malcolm Mitchell (36 catches for 532 yards and four TDs despite playing mostly defense early in the season).

Alabama’s passing defense

Key stats: Alabama leads the SEC in passing defense, allowing 156.7 yards per game. The Crimson …

Continue reading Matchup: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense »

Richt, Bulldogs talk of facing mighty Alabama, the huge stakes and why this year will be different

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt and several players met with a large media contingent that came to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall on Tuesday to find out the No. 3 Bulldogs’ thoughts as they get ready to play No. 2 Alabama in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. The winner will advance to play Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship on Jan. 7 in Miami.

The main topics of discussion were the remarkable similarities between the two teams, why the Bulldogs believe they’ll play better in this year’s game than they did last year and what they think it will take to beat an Alabama team that everybody seems to believe will win easily.

Here are some of Tuesday’s comments . . .

GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT

Opening statement . . .

“We have Alabama this week, one of the best teams in the country, obviously. The last five years they’ve won 59 games. That’s the most in the history of the SEC, and the last four years they’ve won 48 games. That’s just one off of the NCAA …

Continue reading Richt, Bulldogs talk of facing mighty Alabama, the huge stakes and why this year will be different »

Matchup: Alabama’s rushing offense vs. Georgia’s rushing defense

Each day this week, the AJC will take a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Alabama’s rushing offense vs. Georgia’s rushing defense.

Alabama’s rushing offense

Key stat: Behind an exceptional and experienced offensive line, led by senior center Barrett Jones, Alabama has averaged 214.2 rushing yards per game, second most in the SEC. Texas A&M is first (235.1) and Georgia third (190.1).

Season high point: Against Missouri, Alabama ran for 362 yards and six touchdowns.

Season low point: Surprisingly, Alabama had its fewest rushing yards (103) against Western Kentucky, which stacked its defense to stop the run but saw quarterback AJ McCarron throw four touchdown passes.

Names to know: Like Georgia, Alabama has a terrific tailback tandem — junior Eddie Lacy, who averages 83.4 rushing yards per game, and freshman T.J. Yeldon, who averages 70.6. Combined, they have run for 1,848 yards, only 10 fewer than Georgia’s Todd Gurley-Keith Marshall …

Continue reading Matchup: Alabama’s rushing offense vs. Georgia’s rushing defense »

Bowl options not great for SEC Championship game loser

Everybody knows where the winner of the SEC Championship game will play next — the Discover BCS National Championship game Jan. 7 in Miami, of course. But the bowl destination is less clear for the loser of Saturday’s SEC title game between Georgia and Alabama.

Because there are so many highly-ranked SEC teams, and because bowl dealings have been ongoing for quite some time, there is a very good chance the loser of the league championship game gets leap-frogged in the selection process.  In addition to No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia, four other SEC teams are in the top 10 of this week’s BCS standings — Florida (4), LSU (7), Texas A&M (9) and South Carolina (10).

Most projections have 11-1 Florida — whose only loss was to Georgia — moving ahead of the Alabama-Georgia loser in the final BCS standings and going to the Nokia Sugar Bowl, a BCS game. Conversely, some projections have a losing Alabama team going to the AT&T Cotton Bowl or a losing Georgia team going to the …

Continue reading Bowl options not great for SEC Championship game loser »

Matchup: Georgia rushing offense vs. Alabama rushing defense

Each day this week, the AJC will take a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Georgia’s rushing offense vs. Alabama’s rushing defense.

Georgia rushing offense

Key stats: Todd Gurley has run for 1,138 yards, more than any true freshman in UGA history except Herschel Walker. Keith Marshall — Gurley’s running mate and roomate — has run for 720 yards, eighth most by a UGA freshman.

Season high point: Of many impressive performances, Gurley’s 118 yards on 27 fumble-free carries against Florida’s stellar defense was tops.

Season low point: Gurley and Marshall had 39 and 37 yards, respectively, against South Carolina in Georgia’s lone loss. The offensive line struggled, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo later lamented abandoning the run too soon.

Name to know: “Gurshall”

Alabama rushing defense

Key stats: Alabama is the toughest team in the SEC to run against, yielding 77 rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide has allowed only seven …

Continue reading Matchup: Georgia rushing offense vs. Alabama rushing defense »

Todd Gurley: ‘I knew as soon as I chose to come here the capability Georgia had’

THEY SAID IT

Quotes from the UGA locker room following the Bulldogs’ 42-10 win over Georgia Tech . . .

“That was a great victory for us. You know we had people talking to us all week about trying to look ahead and all that and were you worried about this, that or the other. I didn’t see any signs of that. Our players understand how important this game is. I thought our coaching staff did a good job of staying focused. Certainly I never I had a moment where I was thinking ahead. That’s so dangerous, and I’ve coached long enough to where I can’t even let myself do that. So I knew that wasn’t going to be a problem. I just thought everybody did a super job of preparing. It was a good day.”

– Georgia coach Mark Richt on keeping the focus on Tech

“Am I happy? Yeah, I’m happy. I’m excited about the future. But I really do enjoy these young guys and these other coaches who maybe haven’t experienced it before to get a chance to see what it’s like. I enjoy it, …

Continue reading Todd Gurley: ‘I knew as soon as I chose to come here the capability Georgia had’ »

Bulldogs turn focus to SEC game, BCS shot

ATHENS — The state championship won, Georgia’s football team enthusiastically turned its attention to what’s ahead: the SEC Championship game against Alabama and, for the winner of that game, a shot at the national title.

“We’re fixing to go out there next week and play the game of our life,” said Georgia senior safety Bacarri Rambo, referring to next Saturday’s SEC title game in the Georgia Dome. “Because that is going to determine who makes it to the national championship, which was our goal for the season.”

“Definitely, that’s what the goal was at the beginning of the season. We had the road-to-Miami slogan and everything,” said freshman tailback Keith Marshall, referring to the site of the BCS title game Jan. 7. “It’s good that we can almost taste it, but we’ve got to stay focused and worry about the SEC Championship game.”

Ranked Nos. 2 and 3 in last week’s BCS standings, Alabama and Georgia stayed on their collision course for Atlanta by …

Continue reading Bulldogs turn focus to SEC game, BCS shot »

Notebook: Tony Dungy’s comments place Georgia QB Aaron Murray into NFL discussion

Slowly and surely, Georgia's Aaron Murray is climbing higher in the record books and into the conscience of the NFL talent scouts. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Slowly and surely, Georgia's Aaron Murray is climbing higher in the record books and into the conscience of the NFL talent scouts. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – It may have been a lighthearted gesture from a personal friend or it could have been the firm conviction for a former NFL coach and pro football analyst. Whatever it was, Tony Dungy got a lot of folks’ attention with his answer via Twitter to a question about whom Kansas City should take as its first pick in the NFL draft.

“I would take Georgia QB Aaron Murray if he comes out,” Dungy wrote on Monday.

It didn’t take long for Dungy’s opinion to make its way to Murray.

“I’ve had everyone ask me about that,” Murray said Tuesday afternoon before the Bulldogs’ practice. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m not worried about that until after the season and then I’ll sit down with my family and make the best decision for myself and my future. I’m having too much fun right now. This …

Continue reading Notebook: Tony Dungy’s comments place Georgia QB Aaron Murray into NFL discussion »

Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech

Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams (36) intercepts a pass intended for Orwin Smith during last year's game at Georgia Tech. Williams' "soft" comments are credited for reinvigorating the Bulldogs' defense this season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams (36) intercepts a pass intended for Orwin Smith during last year's game at Georgia Tech. Williams' "soft" comments are credited for reinvigorating the Bulldogs' defense this season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

By RYAN BLACK
For the AJC

ATHENS — Shawn Williams doesn’t want anyone to say he saved Georgia’s season.

The Bulldogs’ senior strong safety said Monday night the defense was always capable of playing the way it has for the last four weeks, during which it has allowed only 33 points. Speaking to reporters for the first time since Oct. 22 — when he made his now-famous comments about the defense playing “soft” — Williams says he’s ready to move on.

“I don’t care if it got everybody stirred up or whatnot, but we’re looking past that now,” he said after Monday’s practice. “We’ve got Georgia Tech, so we’ve got to go out and get another win so we can keep them rolling.”

Williams acknowledged the …

Continue reading Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech »

Oregon’s loss was must-see TV for Bulldog Nation

By late Saturday night, Atlanta was awash in Stanford Cardinal fans.

Word had spread that Baylor was in the process of handily beating BCS No. 1 Kansas State and that Stanford was in a close game with No. 2 Oregon, all potentially good news for the Georgia Bulldogs’ hopes of reaching college football’s national-championship game in Miami.

The closing minutes of Stanford-Oregon became must-see TV for Bulldog Nation.

By the time Stanford kicked a field goal in overtime to win 17-14, the metro-Atlanta audience for ABC’s telecast had grown gradually to 338,000 households from about 80,000 at the start, according to Nielsen ratings figures.

The game posted an overall rating of 8.9 here, meaning 8.9 percent of Atlanta’s TV homes — about 200,000 homes — tuned in on average. That was the sixth highest rating for the game among the nation’s 56 largest markets.

But for the final hour, the game garnered a 12.5 rating in Atlanta, including a peak of 14.7 in the last 15 …

Continue reading Oregon’s loss was must-see TV for Bulldog Nation »

Basketball Bulldogs in Big Apple to face No. 1 Indiana

Atlanta's Tony Parker, who chose UCLA over Georgia and several other schools last spring, is averaging 6.7 points and 12.5 minutes per game for the Bruins. Both teams are playing in New York City tonight. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Atlanta's Tony Parker, who chose UCLA over Georgia and several other schools last spring, is averaging 6.7 points and 12.5 minutes per game for the Bruins. Both teams are playing in New York City tonight. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

What’s little ol’ Georgia and its work-in-progress basketball team doing up in big ol’ New York to face storied Indiana and its No. 1-ranked Hoosiers?

Well, exactly what coach Mark Fox wants.

Certainly it’s not ideal that the Bulldogs (1-2) are heading into the bright lights of the Progressive Legends Classic tournament with one of their younger and less experienced groups in a while. But since taking over Georgia’s basketball team, it has been Fox’s philosophy to get his program on the biggest stages possible as often as possible.

“When I came to Georgia, I felt like we needed to get in as many national events as we could and get on television as much as we could because I just thought we needed to establish a presence,” said Fox, who came to …

Continue reading Basketball Bulldogs in Big Apple to face No. 1 Indiana »

Georgia’s Mark Richt refuses to look into future; focusing solely on Georgia Tech

By RYAN BLACK
For the AJC

ATHENS — In case there were any questions, Mark Richt is focused on Georgia Tech.

Period.

Multiple times during his teleconference with the media Sunday, the Georgia coach was asked about what Saturday’s events — top-ranked Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon both losing — meant to his team. With the losses by the top pair, it is assumed that if the No. 3 Bulldogs can win out, they will clinch a spot in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Richt didn’t want to hear any of it.

“Right this minute, all I can think about is Georgia Tech,” he said. “Does anybody want to talk about Georgia Tech?”

Avoiding distractions this week shouldn’t be a problem, Richt said. His team is well aware of what the Tech game means for the program. Richt went on to list the various stakes riding on Saturday’s outcome, such as the Governor’s Cup, which goes to the game’s victor. Another benefit is being able to use a win for recruiting …

Continue reading Georgia’s Mark Richt refuses to look into future; focusing solely on Georgia Tech »

After Saturday upsets, Georgia can get national title shot by winning out

And just like that, Georgia controls its own destiny for a national title shot.

Same for Alabama. That’s the end result of Saturday’s BCS chaos.

How do you think Georgia will close out 2012 season.

  • Beat Georgia Tech and Alabama and play for BCS championship
  • Beat Georgia Tech but lose to Bama in SEC Championship
  • Lose to Georgia Tech but beat Bama and miss out on BCS chance
  • Lose them both and end up in second-tier bowl
  • Win it all, baby! It’s the Year of the Dawg!

View Results

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No. 1 Kansas State (52-24 to Baylor) and No. 2 Oregon (17-14 in overtime to Stanford) went down in major upsets. That means No. 3 Notre Dame will move up to No. 1 in next week’s BCS standings and No. 4 Alabama and No. 5 Georgia should slide up right behind at 2 and 3, respectively.

If the Bulldogs (10-1) and Crimson Tide (10-1) can get to the SEC Championship game unscathed — each must survive rival games against Georgia Tech and Auburn, respectively, next Saturday …

Continue reading After Saturday upsets, Georgia can get national title shot by winning out »

Jarvis Jones: ‘It’s week by week and we can’t get ahead of ourselves’

THEY SAID IT

“It was a very good game. It was hard-fought. Georgia Southern has an outstanding football team. They run their offense well. They’re well-coached, even the little things like sprinting to the other side at the end of a quarter. They have a plan for everything, and they execute it well.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt on his impressions of the Eagles

“We were just shooting ourselves in the foot. We were driving the ball, but kept committing penalties or turning the ball over, which helped them stay in the game. We need to work this week to correct that and be sharper.”

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray on the Bulldogs’ slow start

“It just took us some time to get comfortable with what they were doing and what plays they were going to run. Once we got comfortable, I thought we played a pretty good game. It definitely will help [playing Georgia Southern the week before Georgia Tech], but we have to come back to practice this week and work. This was a good …

Continue reading Jarvis Jones: ‘It’s week by week and we can’t get ahead of ourselves’ »

Notebook: Todd Gurley gets 1,000 yards, ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel

Georgia's Todd Gurley found the going tough against Georgia Southern, but he managed 68 yards, which made him the first true freshman since Herschel Walker to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia's Todd Gurley found the going tough against Georgia Southern, but he managed 68 yards, which made him the first true freshman since Herschel Walker to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – It wasn’t really a big day on the field for Georgia tailback Todd Gurley — he finished with a modest 68 yards rushing on 15 carries — but it was a big day in the history books.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound running back became the first Bulldogs freshman to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Herschel Walker did it in 1980. Walker had 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading Georgia to the national championship that year. With three games still to play, Gurley now has 1,041 yards and, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, 13 scores.

“Having Todd Gurley — and I like to throw Keith Marshall in there, too, because Keith has really had a fine true-freshman season, too — they’re definitely two important …

Continue reading Notebook: Todd Gurley gets 1,000 yards, ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel »

Notebook: Todd Gurley eyes 1,000 yards while ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel

Georgia freshman tailback Todd Gurley (3) celebrates his 11th rushing TD of the season, which came against Auburn this past Saturday. (AP photo)

Georgia freshman tailback Todd Gurley (3) celebrates his 11th rushing TD of the season, which came against Auburn this past Saturday. (AP photo)

ATHENS — With 27 yards rushing against Georgia Southern on Saturday, Todd Gurley can become only the second true freshman in Georgia football history to go over 1,000 yards in a season. And it’s not beyond the realm of possibility Gurley could still catch that first guy on the list.

Gurley would need to average 160.7 yards in the Bulldogs’ final four games to run down Hall of Famer Herschel Walker. But that likely won’t happen because of the “Gurshall” phenomena, and “Gurshall’s” going to blow past Herschel this week anyway.

“Gurshall” is the nickname dreamed up by receiver Tavarres King for Georgia’s combination of freshman tailbacks, Gurley and Keith Marshall. Together they’ve accounted for 1,595 yards and 17 touchdowns. Walker’s freshman record set in 1980 was 1,616 yards and 16 …

Continue reading Notebook: Todd Gurley eyes 1,000 yards while ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel »

They said it: Georgia Southern’s cut-blocking already on minds of Dogs’ defenders

ATHENS — Georgia’s John Jenkins swears he doesn’t know if he has an insurance policy on himself against career-ending injury. But the projected NFL draft first-rounder told reporters Tuesday he planned to check on it this week.

Playing Georgia Southern will do that a defensive lineman. The Eagles, who play the Bulldogs Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Sanford Stadium, run the exact same triple-option offense that Georgia Tech runs to such great effect. Their head coach, Jeff Monken, has been with Tech coach Paul Johnson since they were running the “spread option” together at Georgia Southern back in 1997. And an integral part of that system is the cut block.

So with their SEC Championship goals on hold for now, the Bulldogs will get two weeks worth of being blocked at the knees. Preparations started with a rare full-pads practice Monday night and coach Mark Richt said Tuesday they might practice in full pads all week. All of it is to prepare for array of cuts and chops they will …

Continue reading They said it: Georgia Southern’s cut-blocking already on minds of Dogs’ defenders »

Georgia’s ‘Boss,’ David Andrews, named SEC O-lineman of week

Georgia's David "Boss" Andrews (61), a sophomore from Johns Creek, graded out at 88 percent with six "dominator" blocks against Auburn. (UGA photo by Perry McIntyre Jr.)

Georgia's David "Boss" Andrews (61), a sophomore from Johns Creek, graded out at 88 percent with six "dominator" blocks against Auburn. (UGA photo by Perry McIntyre Jr.)

ATHENS – The “Boss” of Georgia’s offensive line was named offensive lineman of the week on Monday.

David Andrews, who has been nicknamed “Boss” since his youth football days in Atlanta, played like a man in charge in Georgia’s 38-0 win over Auburn this past Saturday. Andrews, a 6-foot-2, 295-pound sophomore from Johns Creek, graded out 88 percent and recorded six “dominator” blocks and three knockdowns. He anchored a line that helped the  Bulldogs roll up 497 yards against the Tigers and limited them to only one sack of quarterback Aaron Murray.

Murray passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns and tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each rushed for more than 100 yards in the win, which clinched the SEC Eastern Division title. Much of Andrews’ good work came against fellow Georgians Jeff Whitaker and …

Continue reading Georgia’s ‘Boss,’ David Andrews, named SEC O-lineman of week »

Notes from Mark Richt’s conference call

A few notes from Mark Richt’s Sunday evening conference call:

  • Asked if he plans to discuss with his players the possibility that Georgia could be in the BCS title game picture if it wins out (and gets some considerable help): “Quite frankly, we’re not doing that right now. We know we’re playing in Atlanta (the SEC Championship game). We know that’s settled right now. But we know there’s a lot of work in the meantime, which is the job of getting better on a daily basis. … We know we’ve got some work to do as far as playing Georgia Southern this week, too. That’s really where we’ve got to be thinking and keeping our minds. Because if you don’t do that, all that other stuff doesn’t mean much.”
  • On the challenge of defending against the triple option, which Georgia’s next two opponents (Georgia Southern on Saturday, Georgia Tech on Nov. 24) run: “We’re going to play defense so completely different than how we’ve been playing it all year long. Everything changes. The …

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Notebook: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray celebrates his birthday in style (updated)

Two plays after having to be helped off the field following a hard hit, Aaron Murray came back in the game and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Two plays after having to be helped off the field following a hard hit, Aaron Murray came back in the game and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

AUBURN, Ala. – For the first time since he can remember Aaron Murray’s parents weren’t at his football game. His father, Denny, recently underwent radiation treatment in Tampa and was unable to make the trip and his mother Stephanie remained back home at her husband’s side.

That it was Murray’s 22nd birthday made it a bigger bummer. But Mom and Dad sent their son his favorite treat — chocolate-covered strawberries for this birthday — and he shared them with his teammates at the team hotel Friday night.

“When I got to the hotel last night there were balloons everywhere and chocolate-covered strawberries decorated like footballs,” Murray say. “They were great.”

With his parents watching on television Saturday night, Murray continued to share treats with his buddies. He …

Continue reading Notebook: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray celebrates his birthday in style (updated) »