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A playoff scenario few at Georgia have discussed
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A playoff scenario few at Georgia have discussed

A playoff scenario few at Georgia have discussed

A playoff scenario few at Georgia have discussed

Welcome back to the UGA Mailbag, the special Thanksgiving edition, and by that we mean nothing except this is running on a holiday. There will be no corny “What Georgia has to be thankful for” nonsense, or corny “What the Bulldogs are having for dinner” gibberish .. nothing corny, including corn. That’s not a Thanksgiving food, in our opinion. And if you’d like to debate that, go somewhere else.

This column will be all about football.

Also, some basketball later on.

But mostly football. We’re all business here. In fact it shouldn’t have taken this long to get to the first question. We apologize. You see, it’s been a stressful week in the Emerson household as we prepare to host family on Thanksgiving. Not only a 15-pound turkey that needed to be brined, but a series of important side dishes, beginning with …

Sorry. Sorry. Here’s the Mailbag:

Ok…Dawgs beat Tech, Auburn beats Bama, Dawgs beat Auburn…. does that leave 1 loss, non conference champion Bama out, but 1 loss conference champ Dawgs in?
– John Vaughn

Boring answer: That depends on what happens elsewhere. My sense is the playoff committee wouldn’t want two SEC teams in the playoff unless they hadn’t played already, and in that scenario they wouldn’t have. What about matching Alabama and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl semifinal?

The committee does want to value champions, but if there aren’t four conference champions with one loss or less, then I’d bet heavy on Alabama filling a slot.

Here’s a scenario no one’s talking about: Georgia loses to Georgia Tech but then beats Auburn or Alabama. Does Georgia get in as a two-loss SEC champion? Does it beat out potential two-loss champions Ohio State and/or Southern California, or Miami with its lone loss in the ACC title game?

That’s actually a nightmare scenario for the committee, I think, which would rather be able to pick four conference champions with one loss or less. The Pac-12 can’t have that, and the Big Ten’s only hope is Wisconsin. As soon as Wisconsin loses, things get very tricky.

Point being for Georgia fans: Root for chaos, because it could ultimately benefit the Bulldogs. Actually, that’s what every potential playoff team is rooting for: Chaos, except for their own team.

Everyone said they were impressed with the way UGA bounced back vs. Kentucky. The Run D was exposed again. UGA can’t run the amount we did versus Bama/Auburn and win. Am I missing something? The season has been great, but I don’t think we are championship level yet. Thoughts?
– Nick Coia

Well, not literally everyone. In my Second Glance on Monday my final thought revolved around my feeling that Georgia didn’t really answer the questions that emerged from the Auburn game. I don’t think the performance moved the needle for me very much on whether UGA can beat Auburn in a rematch, or Alabama.

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say the run defense was “exposed.” It wasn’t as bad as Auburn. And while I’ve also pointed to the run-pass ratio question, I do think Jake Fromm has mostly produced when called upon.

The overall point, however, is accurate: There are questions as to whether Georgia is at championship level, and it all goes back to the Auburn game. If that game doesn’t happen, if Georgia even loses a close game in Jordan-Hare, something like 24-20, then we look at the Kentucky game differently, as just another easy rout in a season that’s had many. But because of the Auburn game everything gets graded on a harder curve – and I think that’s fair.

That said, the other 10 games of the season don’t just get thrown out because Georgia was routed in the other one. We’ll find out soon whether that was really just a one-off face-plant – a la Georgia-South Carolina in 2012 – or the red-flag game.

I will preface this question by saying, I realize we are 10-1 in part because we run the ball so much. However, I’m wondering what is our run to pass ratio if we take out periods when we are milking clock. In quarters 1-3, what is the ratio? If we are still running 60-65% of the time during the first three quarters, then do you have a guess why we don’t run a more balanced attack?
– Jay Dog

A very good question, especially considering the push-back from Kirby Smart on the blowouts skewing the numbers. So I dove into the research, and here are the pertinent numbers:

  • Overall season: Georgia has run 71.2 percent of the time.
  • First three quarters of all games: Georgia has run 68 percent of the time.
  • First three quarters of all games plus fourth quarter of Auburn and Notre Dame (only games Georgia trailed in the fourth quarter): Georgia has run 66.9 percent of the time.

And considering Georgia was leading in the third quarter of the majority of these games, I also looked at the play calls in just the first half of every game. The result: Georgia ran it 63.2 percent of the time.

Point of comparison: Last season, when Georgia only had one blowout win – and that was by just 14 points – the Bulldogs ran the ball 58 percent of the time.

Another stat: 73 percent of people who consume beets at a Thanksgiving dinner report being unsatisfied with the experience. Beets are not good. This may sound like an unscientific stat, but they come from a source whose wife is hell-bent on serving beets today and who is 100 percent me.

But anyway …

Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. (Philip Williams/UGA)

Do you think Kirby will ever let the offense be more of a balanced attack or should we expect it to always be this run heavy? I don’t think we will win championships being this unbalanced.
– Chris Pugh

My sense is that it won’t always be this run-oriented, but that philosophically Smart wants to be able to rely on the run as much as possible. And you can see why from his perspective:

– The more your offense is on the field, the less pressure it puts on the defense.

– It’s been proven to be more successful, especially at Alabama. Those air-raid Big 12 offenses haven’t won championships yet.

– The run-heavy approach also gives Georgia a recruiting niche, whether it be with tailbacks or offensive linemen.

But a point of comparison: Alabama, for instance, won the SEC and made the national championship last year running it 61 percent of the time. Clemson, on the other hand with Deshaun Watson, passed more 52 percent of the time.

Georgia’s sitting at 71 percent, and Smart is correct at saying that’s skewed a bit by how much the Bulldogs have run in blowouts. But that probably only accounts for about a 5-7 percentage point difference. Georgia is on pace to throw it less than any bowl-bound SEC team has in at least a decade.

We’re going to find out very soon whether Georgia can truly pass the ball when it has to. I suspect that in the Auburn game the Bulldogs were stunned at their inability to run it. This time, whether they play Auburn or Alabama, they’ll have a better backup plan in place.

As for the future, the quest for balance will largely depend on personnel: Do they improve the talent at receiver, can they pass block well, and how do Jakes Fromm and Justin Fields develop as passers?

It seems that the administration opened up to hire more staff that Kirby wanted. Not sure Richt ever asked for that. What are the difference in numbers in support staff under Richt vs. Smart?
– Sam Callan

Back in February 2013, I counted up UGA as having $1.078 million towards the support staff, not including graduate assistants, assistant trainers, team chaplains, equipment managers, etc. There were four staffers (not counting assistant coaches) who were earning six figures. This year the overall support staff figure is a bit under $3 million. And there are 10 support staffers earning six figures.

Three things have happened on that front, in my opinion:

– The administration has signed off on more hires after Smart’s hiring. It’s not that Richt didn’t want some. I remember asking Richt about it around that time, and I actually expected him to scoff at all the quality-control hires by other schools, but instead Richt said he would “do what was best for Georgia,” and left it at that. It left me with the impression that he wanted to hire more, but was being a good soldier by not saying more publicly.

– Smart has come in with the Alabama mentality, which is a sense that you hire as many as possible to help out. This mentality really started when Jeremy Pruitt came here in 2014 and was ratcheted up when Smart became the head coach.

– The overall culture in college football has changed to where more programs are spending on support staff.

Side note: There are many people who believe mashed potatoes are not an appropriate side for Thanksgiving. These people are Communists. The truth is that mashed potatoes are appropriate with any meal. Mashed potatoes are really good. My wife bought me a potato masher for my birthday and it’s the best gift I’ve ever received. Other than a spaghetti measurer.

Will Roquan Smith come back for his senior year? I would love seeing him playing one more year for the Dawgs.
– Stephen Wainwright

Smart and Mel Tucker would love that too. Smith is this team’s most important player, on either side of the ball. Right now my guess is 50-50: Smith isn’t the type of kid who would automatically leave, but if he’s projected safely to go in the first round it would be hard to pass up.

Keep in mind, one reason the current group of seniors returned is that nobody was expected to go very high in the draft. Lorenzo Carter probably had the best shot, but even he wasn’t projected in anybody’s first round. I’ve seen different projections on Smith, who some may see as too small to be drafted high as an inside linebacker, but if you can play as well as Smith some teams don’t care.

Side note: OK, I wouldn’t serve mashed potatoes with spaghetti.

Will Zamir White still enroll early with the ACL injury? I don’t see why not, since he’ll have a great support staff that helped Chubb come back. What’s your thoughts?
– Teddy

The plan was always for White to enroll early, and that shouldn’t change with the injury, and in fact should only harden the decision: As you said, White will be better off rehabbing at UGA, where Ron Courson and his staff have plenty of experience with ACL injuries and their aftermath.

The timing and nature of White’s injury reminds me of Tramel Terry, who was also a highly-touted skill-position player from out-of-state (Terry was from South Carolina) who tore his ACL in December, in a high school all-star game. Terry also enrolled early. That’s where Georgia fans have to hope the comparisons stop.

Terry just never seemed the same after the injury, was moved to defense after a year, and ended up transferring to Jacksonville State. A good kid who had a bright future at Georgia, by all accounts, just bad luck with a bad injury. Now we’ll see with White, who I would guess now may redshirt in 2017, but you never know. It will also depend on the severity of the injury.

Side note: Who came up with the idea to mix green beans with mushrooms and fried onions? Who is sitting around and says, Hey, I know what I’ll mix together! Was it the Swedish Chef?

With the current head coach openings (as well as potential openings) and resulting domino effect, does the current staff have any head coach candidates or possible staff losses to assistant or coordinator at another school? The question can reach to the consultants too.
– John Shevlin

Dell McGee has been mentioned for the Georgia Southern job but so far there’s not been any word on that front. Given McGee’s head coaching experience – albeit as an interim for one game and at the high school level – his name will be in the hopper. Tucker’s will be too. It may take another year like this for a current assistant to be up for a major-conference job, but as things shake out I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia has to fend off other schools for assistants and consultants (Jay Johnson and Scott Fountain) for coordinator roles at other places.

Side note: No, I think the Swedish Chef is too busy to throw together wild things, plus everything he cooks tends to have eggs in it. He also sometimes uses a bazooka.

Basketball segment, where everything is gravy

Who is in the starting five when we get to SEC play?  Last week I mentioned my surprise at the lack of playing time for Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump.  Maybe I jumped the gun as both Harris and Crump were on the floor the last few minutes of Sunday’s game when it was crunch time and the game was in serious doubt.
– David Knowlton

This team is better if Crump is starting, in my opinion, or at least playing a lot of minutes as a result of earning that playing time. So what I’m wondering now is whether Mark Fox is forcing Crump to get better at defense and decision-making, or whether he just doesn’t agree that they need his offense in the game in order to be better.

Mark Fox with Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump. (DawgNation file photo)

Harris evidently wasn’t playing because of some sort of discipline. Fox said Sunday after the game that Harris didn’t complain “when I didn’t play him,” which Fox added may be a sign “that he’s growing up.”

Right now there appear to be four near-locks to start: Yante Maten and Derek Ogbeide are obvious, Rayshaun Hammonds looks too good not to start, and Turtle Jackson is the team’s best option at point guard. The other spot could end up rotating among Crump, Harris, Juwan Parker and E’Torrion Wilridge. They’re trying to figure that out.

But I wouldn’t so much worry about the starting lineup as I would the rotation. In past years I wonder if Fox has either played too many guys or taken too long to pare down the bench, which has resulted in losing a game or two or three early in the season that ultimately cost them a bid. Those four certain starters and the other four I named, plus Nicolas Claxton, give you nine guys, and Teshaun Hightower looks like a solid backup point guard. Is that too many? Do Pape Diatta and Mike Edwards need minutes too? Sometimes a team can have too many options.

Basketball over-under

Also suggested by David Knowlton, one of the UGA Mailbag’s proud basketball-question-asking fans. I believe there are three of you.  

  • UGA wins at the start of SEC play – 6.5 …. Over. As uneven as the Bulldogs have been so far they still banked the three wins they needed, and will have two if not three winnable games this week at the Wooden Legacy tournament, and have manageable games in December: at Marquette and UMass (underdogs in both), home vs. Winthrop, Georgia Tech and Temple (favorites in the first two, the third is a toss-up.) I see either a 9-2 or 8-3 record coming out of that. Only six wins would be disastrous, frankly.
  • UGA win percentage in SEC play – .500 … Push.
  • Maten’s PPG average at season’s end – 20.5 … Under, but only because of extra attention from opponents and Hammonds and Ogbeide picking up some of the slack.
  • Better  3 point shooting percentage at season’s end – Crump or Jackson? … Jackson because he takes less, though he hasn’t been holding back so far.
  • Team 3 point shooting percentage at season’s end – 0.300 … Under.

One more football question

Hey there just wondering if Cameron Nizialek earned the right to wear the spikes after that roughing call. I’d opine that he earned a turnover. Thank you, 
– Ben Bridwell

Good point. Maybe they couldn’t fit the spikes into the medical tent.

And finally …

Favorite thanksgiving side dish? Pecan or Pumpkin Pie?
– Kasey

Pumpkin. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. … PUMP-KIN!

Not that I don’t like pecan pie, but I see it as more spring and summer fare. Pumpkin pie on the other hand is purely holiday season.

I’m a stickler for these things, by the way: I only eat candy corn near Halloween, only eat pumpkin pie in November and December, only drink egg nog in December … and most importantly, don’t listen to any Christmas music until Thanksgiving is over.

There are rules, people, and if these rules are broken the entire system breaks down. That’s when people start serving corn and beets on the side, in place of mashed potatoes, and it ruins the whole experience. Ruins it, I say.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The post A playoff scenario few at Georgia have discussed appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • Hall County fire services responded to a crash between a school bus and a car Thursday afternoon.  The crash happened on McEver Road at Vineyard Way. One person had to be removed from the car and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. One child on the bus complained of injuries but was not taken to a hospital. The school bus was from Gainesville Exploration Academy, which has students K-5. A second bus arrived to transport students home. The car's driver, identified as Soleil Nyasamaza, 23, of Gainesville, has been charged with failure to yield after stopping at a stop sign. TRENDING STORIES: Mary Norwood may challenge votes following Atlanta mayoral recount Omarosa teases tell-all in post-White House resignation interview/a> 93-year-old woman evicted, jailed when she refused to leave, police say
  • An Uber driver was arrested Thursday after a 16-year-old girl said she was raped in Gwinnett County, police said. Abdoulie Jagne, 58, of College Park, was identified as the man police say raped a girl somewhere along South Norcross Tucker Road between Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Old Norcross Tucker Road in unincorporated Norcross, Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said.  Uber officials said Jagne had been with the company for a couple of months and released a statement: “What’s reported here is horrifying beyond words. Our thoughts are with the rider and her family during this time. This driver has been permanently removed from the app.'  After the girl was dropped off at an apartment complex in that area Monday, she seemed intoxicated and banged on several doors, Pihera said. RELATED: Pregnant woman: ‘I kept bleeding’ after being attacked by Uber driver Jailed ex-Uber driver faces additional burglary, peeping Tom charges Uber driver carjacked at Cascade Road gas station Someone called 911 and when police spoke with the girl she said her Uber driver raped her, Pihera said. The girl, whose pants were still around her ankles, was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for an evaluation, Pihera said.  “The officers made contact with the friend who scheduled the Uber ride and obtained identifying information on the driver along with the vehicle information,” Pihera said.  Uber officials have been working with police in the ongoing investigation. Jagne was booked into the Gwinnett County jail Thursday. Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox. In other news:
  • Authorities have arrested a man they say was responsible for bank robberies in metro Atlanta, Athens and South Carolina. Athens-Clarke County police and FBI agents arrested Frank Douglas, 58, on Tuesday in South Carolina, police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez said in an emailed statement. Douglas was arrested on an unrelated charge, Rodriguez said. However, authorities “were able to confirm” Douglas was responsible for robberies in Conyers, Athens and North Augusta, S.C. Earlier, Athens police were seeking Douglas for questioning about a Dec. 5 robbery at a Bank of America branch, according to the statement. A man went into the bank and passed a note to a teller that demanded money, Rodriguez said. Douglas is also thought to be responsible for a robbery at the BB&T branch on Ga. 20 in Conyers on Nov. 30, police spokesman Buck Vaughn said. Police also are seeking a woman in her 60s who was driving a car that the man got into after the robbery, Rodriguez said. She is believed to be from the Monroe area and may have just met Douglas on U.S. 78 while giving him a ride to Athens. They do not believe the woman was knowingly involved in the robbery. “Detectives would like to speak with the female to obtain any information she can provide about Frank Douglas and the activities on that day,” Rodriguez said. Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox. In other news:
  • Aggravated stalking and obstruction charges for a Hall County woman who entered the property of her victim uninvited. Rhonda Leigh Haney, 46, from Flowery Branch then resisted being handcuffed by police. She remains in the Hall County jail. The Hall County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.    Battery and false imprisonment charges for Cindee Sheree Perdue, 33, of Talmo, Ga. The Hall County Sheriff’s Department arrested her after she struck her victim several times on the hand resulting in a laceration. Perdue then held her victim down to the floor preventing them from leaving the location. Perdue was then arrested and booked into the Hall County Jail.    Heroin and marijuana charges for Robert Allen West, 32, of Tucker, Ga, arrested by the Hall County Sheriff’s Department during a traffic stop on I-985. Deputies stopped West for several traffic violations. He was found in possession of a quantity of heroin and less than one ounce of marijuana and booked into the Hall County jail. 
  • Georgia junior inside linebacker Natrez Patrick got some good news on Thursday. According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Patrick had his marijuana possession charge dropped after his arrest the same night as the SEC Championship game. Patrick now likely will not face the consequences of his third suspsension for marijuana Jayson Stanley also had one of his charges dropped, according to Schlabach.   The post Report: Natrez Patrick has charges dropped after recent arrest appeared first on DawgNation.

Bulldog News

  • NORMAN, Okla. — Back in the team meeting room they call the Red Room, underneath Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium, quarterback Baker Mayfield on Thursday met with the local press for the first time since accepting the Heisman Trophy in New York on Saturday. Asked who was the most intriguing person he met during his whirlwind postseason award tour, Mayfield did not hesitate. “Herschel Walker,” the Sooners’ superstar said. Then he gushed. “He looks like he could still play right now,” Mayfield said of Georgia’s greatest tailback of all time. “That’s just impressive. You meet so many special guys, but a guy like that is like a once-in-a-century type of athlete. It was pretty neat.” Reminded that Walker played for the team his Sooners are about to meet in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, Mayfield laughed. “That’s OK,” he said. “It’s Herschel Walker. I don’t have to play him, so it’s all right.” That exchange offered a nice glimpse into the persona of Oklahoma’s record-setting quarterback. The dude knows how to work a room and is quite comfortable at a lectern. And he knows how to butter-up an opponent. Mayfield nsists he wasn’t just trying to endear himself to the Bulldog Nation by offering effusive praise about their greatest player of all time. But one started to wonder when he began to gush about the Georgia defense he’ll face when No. 2 Oklahoma faces No. 3 Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Mayfield was asked if the Sooners’ had faced a comparable defense to Georgia’s this season “They’re the best defense; you can’t compare them to anybody,” he said. “They’re in a league of their own and that’s the reason they’re in the playoffs. They follow behind that defense. You can’t compare them to other people because they’re so talented and they play so well together. To say they’re like anybody else would be downplaying how good they are.” And so it went. If there is going to be any trash-talking in the first-ever meeting between these two powerhouse programs, it wasn’t coming out of the Red Room on Thursday. Led by Mayfield, the Sooners come into the Rose Bowl No. 1 in the nation in total offense at 583.3 yards per game and No. 3 in passing at 367.4. Georgia will counter with the No. 2-rated passing defense (158.3 ypg), tied for third against the score (13.2 ppg) and fourth in total defense (270.9 ypg). Something’s got to give. But that’s what makes it one of the most exciting matchups of the postseason. It’s especially exciting for Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown. The Sooners’ starting left tackle happens to hail from Duluth, where he attended Peachtree Ridge High School. “A lot of those guys in high school tore me up,” said Brown, a consensus All-American as a redshirt junior. “I’m not the same player I was then, so I’m just ready. … I always play with a chip on my shoulder but I’m excited about that. These are guys I’ve known for a long time.” Asked what Georgia players specifically “tore him up” in high school, Brown mentioned Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy. The two seniors start at outside linebacker for the Bulldogs and definitely will get matched up against Brown on occasion if not constantly. “Obviously I played against 7 in high school, Carter,” Brown said. “I think I saw Bellamy at one point at a camp. It’s going to be competitive. They’re great. They play a lot of good ball. Very instinctual, very well-coached. You can tell they make a lot of scheme-related plays and a lot that are not scheme-related. They’re in the playoffs for a reason.” Brown and running back Trey Sermon are the only Sooners who hail from Georgia. Sermon, a freshman from Marietta’s Sprayberry High, rushed for 710 yards and two touchdowns while playing in all 13 games as Rodney Anderson’s backup. Sermon as named to the Big 12’s all-freshman team. Like Georgia, Oklahoma does not allow freshmen to be interviewed. The Sooners certainly don’t need many other voices with Mayfield front and center. The fifth-year senior from Austin, Texas, is as comfortable before cameras and microphones as he is behind that big offensive line that allowed him to throw for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions this past season. It’s understandable considering he and Herschel Walker are the only players to have been invited to three consecutive Heisman Trophy Award ceremonies. The third time was the charm for both. Asked what was the best advice he got from his fellow award winners, Mayfield said it was that the national championship remains the better prize. “It was kind of common theme for the guys who were able to win it and play for a national championship,” Mayfield said. “I got the same advice from all of them: This is a special deal but if you can do anything you need to win the big one at the end. I talked to Chris Weinke about that and he’s a guy who lost to OU. So he was speaking from the heart.” So was Mayfield, he’d have you believe. The post Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield gushes about Herschel Walker, Georgia’s defense appeared first on DawgNation.
  • NORMAN, Okla. – The marijuana charges against Natrez Patrick were dropped, we learned Thursday. That’s certainly good for him. It may be good for Georgia football, too, in terms of its pursuit of wins and championships. Ultimately, we don’t know yet exactly what it means. On the surface, one’s left to believe that the Bulldogs’ starting inside linebacker will be reinstated and play against No. 2 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl in three weeks. But we don’t know that because coach Kirby Smart has yet to weigh in on it. And it’s a bit of a tricky situation when closely evaluated. In the meantime, some charges were dropped out here in Boomer Sooner territory on Thursday, too, and they were much more serious than what Patrick faced. A rape allegation levied against OU running back and leading rusher Rodney Anderson did not result in charges by the local district attorney. The news was shared with local media in a rare news conference by a prosecutor to explain why he wasn’t going to prosecute a case. In a nutshell Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn told reporters that, “after a thorough investigation” that include polygraph tests, interviews of friends of both the accused and the alleged victim and examinations of phone records and texts, “charges are not warranted.” “There are certainly cases where we just simply can’t prove something, so we decline due to insufficient evidence,” Mashburn said. “In this case, I think it’s important for us to tell the whole story so people understand that facts were presented to us through the Norman P.D.’s investigation.” Earlier in the day Thursday, before the D.A.’s announcement, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley had said that Anderson was “still fully on the team” while authorities continued to investigate the allegations. Riley didn’t issue any other statements after the charges were dropped, and Anderson was not made available after the Sooners’ practice he participated in Thursday. But those in the OU camp expect Anderson to be play against Georgia in the Rose Bowl. “Good for him; he’s a great person,” said Sooners left tackle Orlando Brown, a junior from Duluth. “Hopefully he’ll be able to play in the game.” Likewise, the assumption in Georgia’s camp is that Patrick will be able to play in the Rose Bowl. Smart probably won’t weigh in on this latest development until the Bulldogs’ Rose Bowl media day Monday. Georgia has yet to begin its Rose Bowl preparations, and there won’t be any interview access until then. But it might not be as cut-and-dried as it seems. While we know that Patrick doesn’t face any legal ramifications, we don’t know for certain that there won’t be any team repercussions. Patrick already had violated UGA’s marijuana-use policy twice due to previous marijuana arrests, hence his four-game suspension in the middle third of the regular season. A third calls for dismissal from the team. We do know from the body-cam footage provided by police that Patrick was in a car with a teammate who was was either actively smoking or had just smoked marijuana. Jayson Stanley, also a starter as a wide receiver, had DUI charges against him dropped  Thursday but is still charged with misdemeanor possession. So we assume he’ll be subjected to UGA’s first-strike pot policy, which is a one-game suspension in football. That the one game is the College Football Playoff and the Rose Bowl makes it particularly painful. What we don’t know is whether Patrick had to undergo any kind of testing as a result of the encounter. Usually a student-athlete who has had more than one violation is subject to counseling and intensified drug-testing. Perhaps Patrick already has successfully cleared that, or he could be awaiting results. We can’t be sure. We’ll know for sure in 18 days when Georgia and Oklahoma kick off in the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, these off-field issues have been the one downside to an otherwise magical season. While they’ve been piling up wins and points this year, they also have been piling up arrests and disciplinary issues. Duly noting that this latest charge against Patrick was dismissed, there are still 14 known arrests of Georgia football players going back to last season. The latest came earlier this week when freshman defensive back Latavious Brini was jailed on a first-degree forgery charge. It was for an incident that allegedly occurred back in July, or shortly after he arrived from Miami. He hasn’t played this season and is therefore set to be redshirted, but neither Georgia nor Smart has commented on his status just yet either. Generally, UGA student-athletes charged with a felony are immediately suspended on a temporary basis until their legal matter is worked out. The arrest ledger also counts the case of D’Antne Demery, a signee who had his scholarship revoked after he was charged with battery/domestic violence against his girlfriend in April. I don’t know why Demery wouldn’t be included in such an accounting since he already had signed his national letter-of-intent two months before he was jailed in Athens. Most of the other arrests seem relatively trivial, depending on your personal sensibilities. Most of them involve pot. Tailback Elijah Holyfield and wide receiver Riley Ridley also were arrested earlier this year and subsequently suspended for single games for misdemeanor marijuana possession. But 14 is a high number of legal run-ins no matter how one slices it. That begs the question: Does Georgia have a discipline problem on this team? I know that last sentence makes you cringe. It does me, too. There is so much good going on for UGA, nobody wants to throw water on it. But that question bears asking. It’s only fair. Former Georgia coach Mark Richt came under sharp criticism for a perceived lack of discipline during his UGA tenure. It reached a peak when the Bulldogs incurred 11 arrests from March to October of 2010. Then he cracked down. Georgia had only one arrest in 2011 when Cornelius Washington was charged with DUI. There were some isolated incidences and some serious offenses that followed, but they were dealt with harshly. Bulldogs fans don’t need to be reminded that several dismissals occurred from 2012 to 2015. Smart is a coach who preaches discipline on the first line of his mission statement. He expends a lot of time and energy talking about poise and composure. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs were flagged for nine personal fouls in their two games against Auburn (they seem to have a thing for face masks in particular, don’t they?). Georgia enters the postseason as the fourth-most penalized team in the SEC. Is there a connection there? Who knows. Certainly most good football players are aggressive by nature. Arrests numbers and penalty numbers are facts, but the assertion that Georgia is an undisciplined team is not. That’s subjective and speculative at this point. And what has been going on here at Oklahoma proves that UGA is not alone in fighting that perception. It’s not just what proved to be false accusations against the Sooners’ current running back. Lest we forget, quarterback Baker Mayfield, who accepted the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, was arrested in February in Fayetteville, Ark., for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing police. But the Bulldogs need to do better. Obviously, Georgia is a very, very good football team under Smart. Based on recruiting, it appears that will continue if not get even better. But the disciplinary issues need to trend in the other direction, even if you care about nothing other than what happens on the football field. The post Natrez Patrick gets good news, but Georgia needs to tighten up on discipline front appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia junior inside linebacker Natrez Patrick got some good news on Thursday. According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Patrick had his marijuana possession charge dropped after his arrest the same night as the SEC Championship game. Patrick now likely will not face the consequences of his third suspsension for marijuana Jayson Stanley also had one of his charges dropped, according to Schlabach.   The post Report: Natrez Patrick has charges dropped after recent arrest appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Rose Bowl fever is sweeping across the UGA campus and Wednesday one quick-witted student scored free tickets to the game. A time-honored tradition at the University of Georgia is to ring the Chapel Bell after a Bulldogs victory. On this day, it got junior Carter Glenn two seats. 'Unbelievable! I am so excited. Now I have to make my travel plans to get out there,” Glenn said. Rose Bowl officials were on campus giving away tickets to the big game. It was a contest of sorts.They tweeted clues all morning long, like “Where does a UGA fan go after the Bulldogs win?” RELATED STORIES: Kirby Smart vs. Lincoln Riley: Breaking down the Rose Bowl coaches JAKE FROMM: From AJC Super 11 to the College Football Playoff Breakdown of how Georgia has fared against Heisman Trophy winners 'So for the final tweet today, we had a tweet saying where we were and to ring the Chapel Bell and yell 'Rose Bowl.' That's how the winner got it,” Rose Bowl spokesperson Karen Linhart said. Carter is taking fellow student Jack Glenn with him to Pasadena. Jack happens to be his brother. 'Two months ago I told my dad if the team goes to the Rose Bowl, we gotta go, so it's pretty cool,” junior Jack Glenn said. The Glenn brothers had a strategy to win the tickets: They split up. 'You know, North Campus is more scenic, so we'll stay around here. He took the South part.I took the North part and it just worked out,” Carter Glenn said. Rose Bowl officials gave away another pair of tickets a few hours later. On Thursday, they’ll do the same thing at the University of Oklahoma.
  • By Georgia Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith has now been included on the All-America First Team by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FBS Coaches’, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News, Walter Camp and the Associated Press. Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga., becomes the fourth Bulldog over the last 20 years to earn unanimous NCAA First Team All-America honors joining Champ Bailey (1998), Drew Butler (2009) and Jarvis Jones (2011-12). In addition, senior offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and senior tailback Nick Chubb were named to the AFCA All-America Second Team and Wynn was also an AP and College Football Madness Second Team All-American. Also of note, quarterback Jake Fromm and right tackle Andrew Thomas garnered ESPN Freshman All-America honors this week. Smith has also been named a First Team All-American by ESPN, SI.com, Bleacher Report, College Football Madness and The All-American while Wynn was also on the Bleacher Report’s First Team. Smith became the first Bulldog to win the Butkus Award this season, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker. He was also a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award, which are given to the country’s most dominant defensive player. Wynn, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Chubb, a native of Cedartown, Ga., Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., and Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., directed an offense that has averaged the Southeastern Conference’s third-best scoring offense (34.9 ppg) this season while posting the nation’s seventh-best rate for third down conversions (47 percent).  The Bulldogs captured their first SEC title since 2005 and went an undefeated 6-0 versus teams from the league’s Eastern Division for the first time since the SEC split into divisions in 1992. The third-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face second-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) in the College Football Playoff’s semifinal round in the Rose Bowl Game on Monday, January 1. Kickoff is at 5:10 p.m. ET.