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,
ATHENS — If linebacker Alec Ogletree played his last game between the hedges on Saturday it was a good one to go out on.
Twenty-one Georgia seniors were honored before the Georgia Tech game Saturday in a 10-minute ceremony shortly before kickoff. And it’s a foregone conclusion that junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones is playing his last season with the Bulldogs. The Butkus Award finalist and 2011 consensus All-American currently ranks No. 1 on most NFL projected draft boards, including the one ESPN’s well-respected “guru” Mel Kiper.
Then there’s Ogletree. The 6-foot-3, 241-pound junior turned in yet another dominating performance Saturday against the Yellows Jackets. Ogletree, who plays the “Mo” inside linebacker position for the Bulldogs recorded a game-high 15 tackles on Saturday. That gives him team-best 87
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
ATHENS — Bacarri Rambo saved one of his better games for his last in Sanford Stadium.
“I have a lot of great memories here between the hedges,” Rambo said after Georgia’s 42-10 victory over rival Georgia Tech on Saturday. “I’m going to miss this place. It’s very emotional, knowing it’s my last time playing here.”
Georgia’s senior safety made the most of the occasion, helping the Bulldogs assume fast and firm control of the game by twice taking the ball away from Tech deep in UGA territory in the first half.
On Tech’s first possession, already down 7-0, the Yellow Jackets were threatening to tie the game when Rambo stripped the ball from Robert Godhigh after the Tech A-back ran 19 yards to the Georgia 1. Rambo rambled 49 yards with the fumble recovery to mid-field, giving Georgia excellent field position to launch its second touchdown drive.
“It was huge,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said of Rambo’s forced/recovered/returned fumble.
“It was deja vu,”
ATHENS -- SEC Eastern Division championship? Check (clinched Nov. 10 at Auburn).
Victory against rival Georgia Tech? Check (42-10 on Saturday at Sanford Stadium).
Date with Alabama in the Georgia Dome with a national championship berth on the line? Coming this week.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) cleared their last hurdle toward making next week’s SEC Championship game matchup against the No. 2 Crimson Tide (11-1) the most meaningful game for Georgia in three decades. The last time Georgia had this much on the line in one game was at the end of the 1982 season when the No. 1-ranked and undefeated Bulldogs took on No. 2 Penn State in the Sugar Bowl. The Nittany Lions won that one 27-23, and Herschel Walker turned pro a few weeks later.
Bama, the defending national champion, easily defeated Auburn on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to secure the Western Division’s bid into the SEC Championship game.
“Well, the Southeastern Conference championship, first of all, stands
1. Can the Dogs stop the spread option (again)? Georgia did a pretty good job against Georgia Southern’s spread option last Saturday, limiting the Eagles to 14 points and 318 total yards. But while Georgia Tech runs the same offense, the Yellow Jackets run it on a whole different level. They’re averaging 47.6 points over the last three games and play behind an offensive line averaging just under 300 pounds. The Bulldogs rank fourth in the nation in three-and-outs with an average 5.4 per game. They’ll be hard-pressed to get half of that against these guys.
2. What about Georgia’s offense? The Bulldogs are on pace to establish school records for scoring (37.6 points per game at this point) and total offense (471.4 yards per game). That’s because they have quarterback Aaron Murray, who has the nation’s highest quarterback rating (173.4) and leads the FBS in pass efficiency, and a pair of freshman tailbacks in Todd Gurley and Keith
ATHENS — On January 13, 2012, 13 draft-eligible juniors, plus quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason, lined up in the front of Georgia’s team meeting room on the first floor of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall and made a declaration. They said they were coming back to play their senior seasons for the Bulldogs in 2012.
The reason they came back will be on full display today at Sanford Stadium. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (10-1) play host to Georgia Tech (6-5) in the annual battle for the Governor’s Cup and those seniors will attempt to end their college careers 4-0 against the Yellow Jackets. But that’s only a side note in this storyline.
Saturday’s game is essentially a BCS championship quarterfinal for Georgia. If it can win, the Dec. 1 matchup with Alabama in the SEC Championship becomes
ATHENS – Georgia did a pretty good job of slowing down Georgia Southern’s spread-option attack this past Saturday. The Eagles managed 302 rushing yards and 19 first downs. But that turned out to be more annoying than agonizing as the Bulldogs cruised to a 45-14 victory.
Enter Georgia Tech, which runs essentially the same offense. But any notion that Georgia will be dealing with the same challenge is incorrect.
Yellow Jackets’ coach Paul Johnson is considered the modern-day guru of the spread option. And with the athletes Tech will bring to Sanford Stadium, for Georgia’s defenders it will be like going from minor league to major-league pitching.
“He knows it so well that he doesn’t even need a call sheet,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said of Johnson. “It’s in his
Move over Summitt and Auriemma, scoot over Krzyzewski and Smith. You need to make room for Georgia’s Andy Landers.
The Bulldogs’ 43-year women’s basketball coach gained entry into an exclusive club with the Lady Bulldogs’ 94-57 win over Savannah State Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Including his time at Roane State, the only women’s basketball coach Georgia has ever had now owns 882 career wins.
Following is a complete report from UGA Sports Communications on Landers’ landmark achievement:
ATHENS – Stegeman Coliseum witnessed history on Tuesday night, as Georgia’s Andy Landers became only the eighth head coach in basketball history – men’s or women’s – to record 800 wins at one Division I institution.
Landers, now in his 34th season as Lady Bulldogs head coach, joined a list including women’s head coaches Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma and men’s coaches such as Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith. Landers, who is still the only full-time women’s basketball coach the
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
ATHENS – Kansas State coach Bill Snyder emerged from the Wildcats’ locker room after his No. 1-ranked team had just been dismantled by unranked Baylor 52-24 this past Saturday night and he fell on the proverbial sword.
In his postgame remarks, Snyder talked about not handling well his team’s situation. And by “situation” he wasn’t talking about blocking and tackling the Bears that night in Waco. He was talking about the Wildcats’ place among the BCS contenders and all that comes with it.
“I don’t think we handled the situation as well as we should have been able to,” Snyder told reporters after the game. “It had nothing to do with young guys wanting to be successful. They wanted to play well; they wanted to play hard; they wanted to win. We just couldn’t handle the environment as well as we could.”
Suffice it to say, Georgia coach Mark Richt doesn’t want to find himself in a similar situation following the Bulldogs’ game against Georgia Tech
ATHENS — Once again, Georgia coach Mark Richt and the Bulldogs spent most of their day Tuesday deflecting questions about acronyms such as BCS and SEC and guiding discussions instead back toward the immediate task at hand, which is trying to beat archrival Georgia Tech and slow down the Yellow Jackets’ spread-option attack.
Get used to it. This will be the Bulldogs’ tact going forward. And it’s the right way to handle their situation, what with Tech coming to Athens and everything on the line and all.
“After what happened on Saturday, it’s a little bit easier for us,” said senior linebacker Christian Robinson, referring to the upset losses of No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon this past weekend. ” You know that if we handle our business, there are no worries. We’re not worried about other people any more. It’s completely on us and it’s on everything we do from this point on. Our focus is completely on Georgia Tech because this is the game. Nothing else matters at this
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
Georgia would be an underdog against Alabama in the SEC Championship game but, if the Bulldogs pull an upset there, would be favored over Notre Dame in the national title game.
That’s the early word from oddsmakers.
Todd Fuhrman, former sports oddsmaker at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, said Monday that he projects Georgia as a 7-point underdog to Alabama in the Dec. 1 SEC title game. But if the Bulldogs beat Alabama in the Georgia Dome, they would be a 4-point favorite over Notre Dame in the Jan. 7 BCS title game in Miami, said Fuhrman, now senior market analyst for betting information services provider Don Best Sports.
RJ Bell, of sports betting news website pregame.com, sees it similarly. He projects Georgia as a 7-point underdog to Alabama but views the Bulldogs as 1-point favorite if they play Notre Dame.
All of this could be altered by what happens Saturday, of course.
Notre Dame, No. 1 in this week’s BCS standings, closes its regular season at USC and needs a win to
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
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
By RYAN BLACK
For the AJC
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
The scores from Eugene, Ore., and Waco, Texas, reverberated loudly across this state, seemingly putting the Georgia Bulldogs two victories away from playing for college football’s national championship.
Saturday night’s losses by previously No. 1 Kansas State (to Baylor) and previously No. 2 Oregon (to Stanford) triggered a celebration among Georgia fans and a shakeup of the Bowl Championship Series pecking order. In the latest BCS standings, released Sunday night, Notre Dame moved to No. 1, Alabama to No. 2 and Georgia to No. 3.
That means, BCS analysts agreed, that if Georgia beats Georgia Tech and Alabama beats Auburn this week, then the winner of the Dec. 1 SEC Championship game between the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide would play for the national title.
The top two teams in the final BCS standings, to be released Dec. 2, earn berths in the title game, which will be played Jan. 7 in Miami. Georgia has not played for a national championship in the BCS era and last won
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.
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
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
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
ATHENS – It wasn’t as easy as it may look on the scoreboard.
No. 5 Georgia beat Georgia Southern 45-14 at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. But for one half at least, the Eagles had the Bulldogs worried.
The teams had played to a tie at 7 through the first 23 minutes and the Bulldogs were clinging to a 10-7 lead inside the final two minutes of the first half with Georgia Southern threatening to score a go-ahead touchdown. But the last 90 seconds of the half changed the course of the game.
Georgia Southern’s Trevor McBurnett was called for a personal foul for a chop block on noseguard Kwame Geathers on a run that would have made it first-and-goal inside the 5. Instead, the penalty backed up the Eagles to the 22 and kicker Alex Hanks missed the 37-yard field goal attempt.
Aaron Murray made the Eagles pay.
Say this for WSB Channel 2: The Atlanta television giant likes its Bulldogs
Not only did the station step up to broadcast Georgia’s 1:30 p.m. game today against Georgia Southern — SEC guidelines allow members to produce one game per year outside the league’s contracts with CBS and ESPN — but it also will be providing UGA content throughout the day Saturday.
ATHENS – When it comes to the BCS championship race, Georgia coach Mark Richt refuses to talk about it. He won’t even acknowledge that the it’s nice just to be in the discussion. This past week he dodged questions about it like spitballs flying across a classroom.
“I don’t worry about it,” said Richt, who will lead the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs into Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern. “I don’t, because I can’t control it. If you worry about stuff you can’t control, you’re really wasting your time and you’re going to make yourself crazy a little bit. I can only control what we do on a weekly basis.”
But that hasn’t been the case with Georgia’s players. While they’re clearly focused on Saturday’s game against
ATHENS – For Georgia, the first half of the Progressive Legends Classic was hard. The second half figures to be a lot harder.
The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 in the tournament with a 62-60 loss to Southern Miss in overtime Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Now the Bulldogs (1-2) head up to New York City for the “championship rounds” of this 12-team, four-game event. There, in the sparkling confines of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Georgia will face No. 1-ranked Indiana Monday night. They will play either No. 13-ranked UCLA or Georgetown on Tuesday, depending on which teams win.
To say the early outlook for Georgia this season is bleak wouldn’t be strong enough.
“We haven’t played well out of the gate, but we have a lot of opportunities in front of us,” Georgia coach Mark Fox. “It’s a game at a time and, with this group, it’s a day at a time. There’s so much to learn from this game. I thought that all of our freshmen, who I thought really hurt us the last time out,
UGA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
ATHENS – To date, most of the conversation regarding Georgia’s game against Georgia Southern on Saturday has been about the Eagles’ triple-option offense. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Bulldogs’ offensive players, who would like it to be known they can advance the football a little themselves.
Wide receiver Tavarres King’s eyes lit up like he was wide open on a go-route when asked if he thought Georgia might have some big-play opportunities against their FCS visitors this Saturday.
“Well, I think so,” he said, grinning wide. “We’re pretty strong out wide and at the quarterback position. We should have a good time out there on Saturday.”
The reality is, Georgia’s needs its offense to have a big day. Again, because of the ball-hogging style of
By the way, Wednesday was the first day of the early signing period for NCAA basketball. And the Georgia Bulldogs took full advantage.
Bulldogs coach Mark Fox on Wednesday announced the signing of JJ Frazier, a point guard from Glennville, and Juwan Parker, a shooting guard from Tulsa, Okla. Both will help address Georgia’s backcourt needs after it loses seniors Sherrard Brantley and Vincent Williams after this season. CLICK HERE to read more about the the newest Hoop Dogs.
Frazier is beginning his senior season at Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici. He averaged 26.2 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game last season for the Crusaders, who won 33 games in 2012. The 5-9, 160-pound guard is considered the state’s top prospect at his position in the Class of 2013.
Parker is currently a senior at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. He averaged 20.5 points and 9.4 rebounds as a junior at Washington, which won Oklahoma 5A state championships
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
ATHENS – You’ll get no wishy-washy answers from Georgia’s defensive players when asked how they feel about playing Georgia Southern and its vaunted triple-option attack this Saturday. Cornerback Sanders Commings probably summarized their sentiments most succinctly.
“It sucks, to be honest,” said the senior from Augusta.
Now add in the fact that the Bulldogs will be facing this exact scheme for two consecutive weeks. The Eagles run the same “spread option” system that Georgia Tech has perfected under coach Paul Johnson. Jeff Monken, Georgia Southern’s head the last three years, worked for Johnson at Georgia Southern, Navy and Georgia Tech going back to 1997.
So the good news is facing the Eagles in Game 11 should prepare Georgia well for facing the Yellow Jackets in Game 12. But the bad news is while the Bulldogs will be deeply mired in the intricacies of reading and reacting to the “counter trey” for the next two weeks, they’ll do so knowing they’ll face