Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

Notebook: Damian Swann emerges as playmaker on UGA defense

On a Georgia defense with no shortage of high-profile players, cornerback Damian Swann has called a lot of attention to himself the past two Saturdays.

Against Florida, he forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and sacked a quarterback. Against Ole Miss, he recovered two fumbles, one of which he returned 53 yards, and made another sack.

“Just play every play,” Swann said, “because there’s no telling what could happen.”

He was especially surprised by what happened on his second fumble recovery against Ole Miss.

“I just looked up, and the ball was coming,” Swann said. “I just grabbed it. I thought it was Christmas already.”

Swann, a sophomore from Atlanta (Grady High), has stepped up his game as Georgia’s defense has hit its stride after disappointing performances earlier in the season.

In the past two games, the Bulldogs have held opponents to 121 yards rushing (75 by Florida and 46 by Ole Miss) and forced nine turnovers (six by Florida and three by Ole Miss). …

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Georgia-Auburn game ‘flip side’ of two years ago (with video)

For a reminder of how quickly fortunes can turn in college football, consider what has happened to the Georgia and Auburn programs since they last met at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Entering the Nov. 13, 2010 game, Auburn was 10-0, en route to a 14-0 season and the national championship. Georgia was 5-5, headed toward a 6-7 finish that left coach Mark Richt on the hot seat.

Dogs one win away from SEC East title

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray says Auburn will be "playing to ruin our season." (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Flash-forward to Saturday night, when the teams will meet again at Auburn.

The Tigers will show up with a 2-7 (0-6 SEC) record that has coach Gene Chizik’s job in jeopardy, while the Bulldogs will bring an 8-1 (6-1 SEC) record and dreams of reaching the national title game.

“Two years ago, Auburn didn’t lose a single game, and now they’ve only won two. It shows you that college football is crazy,” said Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings, who quickly added: “And also they had a guy named …

Continue reading Georgia-Auburn game ‘flip side’ of two years ago (with video) »

Voter turnout not great in Georgia Bulldogs’ precinct

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt opened his news conference Tuesday by talking about the ongoing presidential election.

“I hope everybody got a chance to vote,” Richt said. “I see some stickers out there; that’s awesome. I voted a week or two ago and that was nice. Got a chance to get it done early, which was good.”

Apparently Richt didn’t share that urgency with his players. Very few of the contingent that was made available for interviews on Tuesday apparently got the chance to vote. Most of them said they wanted to but just didn’t have time.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to vote because I was registered in Atlanta but I didn’t have time with the practice schedule and school to drive down and back,” said junior defensive tackle Garrison Smith. “I looked into an absentee ballot but by the time I looked into it, it was too late to do it. I don’t know who can find the time to go back to their home and vote.”

Aaron Murray, a Tampa resident, clearly couldn’t go …

Continue reading Voter turnout not great in Georgia Bulldogs’ precinct »

Knee injury ends Marlon Brown’s UGA career (updated)

For the second time this fall, Georgia’s football team lost a key wide receiver to a season-ending knee injury.

Marlon Brown will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of his senior season as a result of a left ACL injury suffered during Saturday’s victory over Ole Miss, Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday.

“His career at Georgia will be over, or is over,” Richt said. “… We’re very sad and sorry it happened for Marlon – and for Georgia, too.”

Nine games into the season, Brown is tied with Tavarres King for the team lead in receptions (career-high 27) and is second on the team to King in receiving yards (career-high 469). Brown finishes his UGA career with 55 catches for 851 yards and eight touchdowns (four this season).

His injury came one month after fellow receiver Michael Bennett sustained a season-ending ACL tear in his right knee at practice. Bennett led the team in catches and receiving yards at the time of his injury.

Unlike Bennett, who has two …

Continue reading Knee injury ends Marlon Brown’s UGA career (updated) »

‘It was obviously a pretty good beating Georgia put on us today’ (and other postgame comments)

“Ole Miss came out and did a very good job. In the first half, I thought they outplayed us, but we outscored them. I thought their defense outplayed our offense in the first half. Our defense settled in pretty quick.”

– Georgia coach Mark Richt

“It was obviously a pretty good beating that Georgia put on us today. Offensively, we just couldn’t make any plays to give our defense much hope. It was the first time this season that I felt like we were zapped of our passion. We knew it would be really tough to score a lot of points against Georgia.”

– Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze

“I was talking to Cornelius (Washington) on the sideline right after it happened, and I said, ‘That had to be the four craziest plays that ever happened in football.’”

– Georgia cornerback Damian Swann on the bizarre second-quarter sequence that produced four turnovers (two by each team) in a five-play span

“I thought it was huge to score right there when we basically screwed up a …

Continue reading ‘It was obviously a pretty good beating Georgia put on us today’ (and other postgame comments) »

Ole Miss’ progress gets ‘tall test’ at UGA

ATHENS – Ole Miss, one of two teams standing between Georgia and the SEC Championship game, shouldn’t be judged by its recent 16-game conference losing streak, according to UGA coach Mark Richt.

“What I see is a team that has a brand new head coach that’s brought a lot of energy to the program,” Richt said. “A lot of times, you just never know how close you are to winning and breaking through and having success.”

Ole Miss lost its final six SEC games in 2010 and went 0-8 in the league last season, resulting in a coaching change that saw Hugh Freeze replace Houston Nutt. The conference losing streak reached 16 when Ole Miss lost its first two SEC games this season to Alabama and Texas A&M.

But the Rebels broke through with a 41-20 win over Auburn on Oct. 13 and followed that with a 30-27 win at Arkansas, enabling them to bring a two-game winning streak into Saturday’s game at Georgia.

“I know it’s going to be a heck of a ballgame,” Richt said.

Even before …

Continue reading Ole Miss’ progress gets ‘tall test’ at UGA »

Notebook: QB Aaron Murray’s struggles coming mainly versus elite defenses

Aaron Murray says balance and footwork -- not nerves -- led to his poor first-half performance against Florida. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Aaron Murray says balance and footwork — not nerves — led to his poor first-half performance against Florida. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

ATHENS — Aaron Murray is every bit the video junkie. But unlike normal, he dreaded getting up this past Sunday morning to head over to the football complex to review the tape of Georgia’s game against Florida.

Well, the first half at least.

“It was not good,” Murray said, but smiling and laughing as he did. “I tried not to go in but I had to get in here and watch the film. Definitely, there were some errors.”

Definitely.

The Bulldogs’ record-setting quarterback was breaking some personal records on infamy as he threw three interceptions in the opening two quarters against Florida. But Murray rebounded with a 45-yard touchdown pass in the second half and Georgia held on for decisive 17-9 win over the Gators.

Murray’s final line was not one of his better ones: 12-of-24 passing for 150 yards, 1 TD and 3 …

Continue reading Notebook: QB Aaron Murray’s struggles coming mainly versus elite defenses »

Notebook: Georgia’s Mark Richt believes Jarvis Jones is ‘best player in America’

ATHENS — Granted, he’s not exactly an unbiased analyst. But if you ask Georgia coach Mark Richt, the nation’s best college football player is on his team.

“I can’t think of a better player than Jarvis (Jones) in the whole United States of America,” said Richt, wrapping up his weekly news conference Tuesday. “He’s the best.”

A few minutes earlier, Richt had allowed that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o “is a great player as well. They might be, like, equally great, and they are both so important to their team.” But the more he thought and talked about it, the more Richt endorsed the Georgia linebacker as The Best.

“Jarvis is a pretty dynamic player to have the pass-rush ability and the ability to drop back and make the (interception),” Richt said, “or to be the guy who stops the run two or three yards back in the backfield. Just stones somebody who is trying to block him and makes the play right there.”

Jones ranks No. 1 in the nation in tackles …

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Richt, Bulldogs looking for ways reproduce last weekend’s intensity versus Ole Miss

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt and selected players met with the media on Tuesday to preview Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. The No. 6-ranked Bulldogs (7-1, 5-1 SEC) are coming off a 17-9 win over then-No. 2-ranked Florida and will play host to the Rebels (5-3, 2-2) at Sanford Stadium in a 3:30 p.m. game that will be nationally televised on CBS.

The main question the Bulldogs were having to answer is how they can possibly replicate the high-intensity level they achieved against the rival Gators in Jacksonville in a Homecoming Game against a team over which they’re favored by two touchdowns.

“If you guys want to send a couple of tweets saying we’re soft, that might help,” senior linebacker Christian Robinson quipped.

Said Richt: “That’s a good question. You ought write a story about that, maybe make everybody mad. That’d be nice.”

The reality is, it’s very difficult for any team to play at peak level more than a few weeks a year and it’s especially difficult in …

Continue reading Richt, Bulldogs looking for ways reproduce last weekend’s intensity versus Ole Miss »

Notebook: Bulldogs’ Nor’easters keeping a close eye on Hurricane Sandy

By Ryan Black
Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATHENS — John Jenkins was uncertain of his family’s welfare Monday night.

When Georgia’s senior nose tackle spoke to reporters after Monday’s practice, the Connecticut native hadn’t called home yet. With Hurricane Sandy pounding the Northeast, Jenkins has done the best he can keeping tabs on his family. His position coach, Rodney Garner, showed him some pictures from storm-struck Millford, about 30 miles from Stamford, where Jenkins’ grandmother lives. Jenkins spoke to her Sunday night.

“My grandmother said she’s ready for it to be over with,” he said. ” … Stamford has a beach right next to it, right over there in the New England Sound. The sound is between Greenwich and Stamford and my grandmother was saying in Greenwich, they were being evacuated to higher ground. So I don’t know.”

Jenkins, who is from Meriden, Conn., also spoke Sunday night to his mother, who lives farther north.

“I …

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Notebook: Malcolm Mitchell repents for personal foul with 45-yard TD catch

Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell races 45 yards for a fourth-quarter TD just three plays after being yanked from the game by coach Mark Richt because of a taunting penalty. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell races 45 yards for a fourth-quarter TD just three plays after being yanked from the game by coach Mark Richt because of a taunting penalty. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Say this for Malcolm Mitchell: He sure knows how to make good after messing up.

Georgia’s sensational sophomore wideout was called for a personal foul/unsportsmanlike penalty midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 17-9 win over Florida. That in itself was not unusual. The Bulldogs were flagged 14 times for 132 times against the Gators, several of those of the personal-foul variety.

But this one was particularly egregious. Mitchell had just caught a first-down pass at the Florida 35 with the game hanging in the balance. But Mitchell drew a flag for taunting Florida cornerback Louchiez Purifoy after the catch. So instead, the Bulldogs were backed up to the 50.

Georgia coach Mark Richt let Mitchell have it. After a few choice words, Richt pulled Mitchell out of …

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Richt: ‘I’d say we were not soft’ (plus other postgame quotes)

WHAT THEY SAID AFTER GEORGIA’S VICTORY OVER FLORIDA

“I’d say we were not soft. The defense rose to the occasion, and everyone fought their tails off. There was a lot of emotion and two really good football teams getting after it.”

– Georgia coach Mark Richt

“I’ve said all season long — we’re not a team that has a lot of margin of error. Obviously, six (Florida) turnovers led to 10 (Georgia) points, critical plays in the game. … You’ve got to give (Georgia) credit. You’ve got to rise up to those opportunities you have, and you have to make those plays. They did and we didn’t, but six turnovers — wow. That’s tough to overcome.”

– Florida coach Will Muschamp

“What can this guy not do? He gets sacks, forces interceptions, forces fumbles.”

– Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo on linebacker Jarvis Jones’ huge game

“Jarvis is a great player. To come back from an ankle sprain the way he did … and come out here and do what he did, I’d pick him No. 1 …

Continue reading Richt: ‘I’d say we were not soft’ (plus other postgame quotes) »

Dogs overcome Murray’s three first-half interceptions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It has become the norm in the Georgia-Florida football series: Georgia’s quarterback throws three interceptions.

Matthew Stafford did it in 2008, Joe Cox in 2009 and Aaron Murray in 2010 — all Georgia losses. On Saturday, for the fourth time in the past five Georgia-Florida games, UGA’s quarterback again was intercepted thrice — all in the first half this time.

Murray threw only eight passes in the half, connecting four times with Georgia receivers and three times with Florida defenders. The three interceptions were just one fewer than Murray had thrown in 199 passes in the season’s previous seven games.

“I was a little disappointed (at halftime),” Murray said, “but I told myself, ‘Hey, we’re still up 7-6. Start it over. It’s a new half. Go out there fresh and compete and finish the game up.’”

The game ended with one big difference from those other three-interception performances here: Georgia won, posting a 17-9 victory over the …

Continue reading Dogs overcome Murray’s three first-half interceptions »

Georgia’s Jarvis Jones eager to wreak havoc again against Gators

Georgia's Jarvis Jones gave quarterback John Brantley and the Florida offense fits a year ago with four sacks and a forced fumble. (Photo by Getty Images)

Georgia's Jarvis Jones gave quarterback John Brantley and the Florida offense fits a year ago with four sacks and a forced fumble. (Photo by Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lost in all the talk about Georgia’s “soft defense” this week is one rather glaring fact: The Bulldogs have been playing with — and sometimes without — a banged-up Jarvis Jones.

The junior All-American has not been healthy since the second play of the Missouri game in Week 2, when he said he aggravated a groin injury he had suffered earlier that week. He’s also playing with a sore left knee, which he protects with a bulky brace, and an ankle injury suffered in the fourth quarter of the Oct. 6 South Carolina game.

As a result, Jones has missed a ton of practice time, two full games and a significant portion of others.

“I’ve just been getting a lot of treatment,” said Jones, who returned to practice this week in preparation for the Gators. “I’ve just been working really hard, coming …

Continue reading Georgia’s Jarvis Jones eager to wreak havoc again against Gators »

SEC Basketball Media Day notebook

HOOVER, Ala. – Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox insists he was disappointed when the SEC schedule came out and showed, for the first time in almost a half-century, no game at Kentucky for the Bulldogs.

“We’ve got to go to Arkansas; we’ve got to go to Missouri; we’ve got to go to Tennessee; we have to go to Florida; we have to go just about everywhere,” Fox said. “I mean, why not send us to Rupp (Arena), too?

“We like to play there. It’s a fun place to coach and play. So I was a little disappointed.”

You might have expected a different reaction, given that the Bulldogs’ all-time record against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., is 5-57.

The SEC schedule format is different than in the past because of the league’s expansion from 12 teams to 14 and from 16 conference games to 18. Each team has one designated opponent that it will play twice every season — South Carolina in Georgia’s case — while other home-and-home opponents will rotate from …

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Notebook: Bulldogs look to resurrect rushing attack against run-stuffing Gators

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the three games leading up to the South Carolina game, Georgia averaged 301 yards and 5 touchdowns running the football. In the two games since, the Bulldogs have averaged 96 yards and one-half a TD.

The Bulldogs believe the truth that is their 2012 rushing attack lay somewhere in between those two samples. They’re probably not as mighty as they seemed when they were gashing Florida Atlantic for 328 yards on Sept. 15 or as meek as they were eking out 77 yards against Kentucky last week.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be that good every week,” said freshman tailback Keith Marshall, who had 164 yards against Tennessee and leads the backs with a 7 yards per carry average. “This is SEC football, you know. I think teams were just having to respect the run a little more than they were at the beginning of the season. That’s no excuse. I still think we’re capable of doing big things and I think we’ll get back to doing it.”

Fellow …

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A look at UGA’s next opponent: the Gators

NEXT FOR GEORGIA

Who: vs. Florida (in Jacksonville, Fla.)

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

TV; radio: CBS; 750, 95.5

About Florida

Record: 7-0, 6-0 SEC

Last time played: Georgia overcame a 17-3 second-quarter deficit to defeat Florida 24-20 last season, just the Bulldogs’ fourth victory over the Gators in the teams’ past 22 meetings.

Offense: Florida ranks last in the SEC in passing offense (137.7 yards per game) but third in the league in rushing offense (212.7 yards per game). The Gators’ leading rusher is senior tailback Mike Gillislee, who averages 93.1 yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel is 85-of-127 passing (66.9 percent) for 928 yards; four of his eight touchdown passes came in last week’s 44-11 victory over South Carolina. Driskel has run the ball 66 times for 321 net yards (4.9 per carry), including 11 carries for 177 yards against Vanderbilt.

Defense: The Gators rank No. 4 nationally in scoring defense (allowing 12.1 points per game), No. 7 in …

Continue reading A look at UGA’s next opponent: the Gators »

UPDATED: UGA starting DE Abry Jones out for rest of regular season after ankle surgery

Georgia will have to juggle its defensive front after learning that starting defensive end Abry Jones is out 6 to 8 weeks following ankle surgery on Tuesday. (AJC photo by Brant Sander,lin)

Georgia will have to juggle its defensive front after learning that starting defensive end Abry Jones is out 6 to 8 weeks following ankle surgery on Tuesday. (AJC photo by Brant Sander,lin)

UPDATE ON STORY I FILED LAST NIGHT . . .

ATHENS — Abry Jones’ high school coach confirmed what had been floated around on social media and hinted by his Georgia coaches and teammates. The Bulldogs’ starting defensive end is likely out for the rest of the regular season after undergoing ankle surgery on Tuesday.

Kevin Kinsler, the head coach at Northside High in Warner Robins, is the only one to provide anything resembling a confirmation and then only reluctantly so. But he did confirm that Jones underwent ankle surgery on Tuesday at St. Mary’s Hospital and is looking at a long recovery as a result.

“I’ve just texted back and forth with his parents a little bit and that’s it,” said Kinsler, who was Jones’ defensive coordinator when he was at Northside. “All we know is the …

Continue reading UPDATED: UGA starting DE Abry Jones out for rest of regular season after ankle surgery »

UGA notes: Richt might coach kickers; Tech, Georgia Southern return unsold tickets

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt suggested Tuesday that he might take on an added duty next season: direct responsibility for coaching the Bulldogs’ kicker and punter.

“One thing that I can do as head coach is at least spend time learning the kicking and punting fundamentals well enough to be their coach,” Richt said. “Right this minute I wouldn’t say I have enough expertise to do that, but I think this off-season it would be wise for me to do something like that because I am freed up enough to do that.

“And if that’s my contribution to special teams in the future, I think it’d be valuable.”

Richt’s comments came as Georgia continues to struggle on special teams and prepares to face a Florida team that excels in that area.

Georgia’s special-teams problems this season have included extra points (four misses, tied for most in the SEC), net punting (last in the SEC) and punt returns (eighth in the SEC). Florida leads the nation in punting and also ranks …

Continue reading UGA notes: Richt might coach kickers; Tech, Georgia Southern return unsold tickets »

Richt: ‘We’re playing Florida; we’re playing for a shot to go to Atlanta; that’s huge’

THEY SAID IT

Following are comments from Georgia coaches and players at Tuesday’s weekly news conference previewing Saturday’s game between the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) and the No. 2-ranked Florida Gators (7-0, 6-0) at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.

COACH MARK RICHT

Opening statement . . .

“It’s Georgia-Florida. Looking forward to going to Jacksonville. It’s a big game for us and for them to decide who is going to take the lead in the SEC East. That’s what’s at stake. They’re an outstanding football team, obviously. They’re undefeated and No. 2 in the BCS and really have earned it the hard way, starting out the season at A&M and at Tennessee – two very tough places to play to start the season. I believe they got behind in both games and came back and won both. That kind of set the tone for their season. They’ve played outstanding defense. They are a very solid running football team, and their special teams have been off the chain, and that’s …

Continue reading Richt: ‘We’re playing Florida; we’re playing for a shot to go to Atlanta; that’s huge’ »

Georgia’s O-line eager for another chance against an elite defensive front

By Ryan Black
For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATHENS — Georgia was thoroughly beaten in every sense in its 35-7 loss to South Carolina on Oct. 6. As coach Mark Richt put it in his postgame press conference, the Gamecocks “whipped” his team.

No unit on the Bulldogs was more exposed in that game than the offensive line. The Gamecocks’ talented defensive line had its way for the duration, frustrating, flummoxing and fencing in what had been a high-powered Bulldogs’ offense. The holes for true freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were plugged, protection for quarterback Aaron Murray was spotty at best, and the points, which came in abundance in the first five games, almost didn’t come at all. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown with 1:55 remaining to avoid their first shutout since 1995.

“Anytime you play a game and you don’t have the success that you hope for, especially when we were rolling right along with running the ball and protecting well …

Continue reading Georgia’s O-line eager for another chance against an elite defensive front »

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 …

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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 …

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’ »

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 …

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.” …

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

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 …

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’ …

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 »