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National Govt & Politics
LIVE UPDATES from inside the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing room
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LIVE UPDATES from inside the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing room

LIVE UPDATES from inside the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing room
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

LIVE UPDATES from inside the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing room

The future of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is on the line in a historic Senate hearing on this Thursday, as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from a woman who accused the judge of sexual misconduct at a high school party back in 1982. Kavanaugh will then defend himself later in the day.

The hearing is reminiscent in many ways of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings in 1981, where Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment; after several extra days of hearings, the Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court on a vote of 52-48.

Check back for frequent updates from my spot inside the room.

6:50 pm - President Trump quickly weighs in from the White House. There were reports earlier in the day that the President was not pleased with how the Ford testimony had gone for the GOP. He is probably very pleased with how the afternoon went for Judge Kavanaugh.

6:46 pm - With the quick pound of the gavel, the hearing is over. It's been an extraordinary day in the history of the U.S. Senate.

6:44 pm - After comments from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) leads Kavanaugh through each allegation against him, and asks the judge to 'swear to God' that those aren't true. "I swear to God," Kavanaugh answers.

6:33 pm - After Sen. Cruz jabbed at Sen. Feinstein over leaking the Dr. Ford allegations, Feinstein defends herself, and denies that she or her staff leaked the letter. For Republicans, this is a popular line of argument, blaming Democrats for leaking the Ford information, and thus causing all of the problems for Judge Kavanaugh.

6:25 pm - GOP leaders have to be pleased with the remarks of Republican Senators in the afternoon session with Kavanaugh, sending the message that they are not abandoning Judge Kavanaugh. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) tells Kavanaugh this nomination fight has been "one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the US Senate."

6:15 pm - From outside the hearing room, one Republican takes aim at a Democrat who questioned Kavanaugh.

6:10 pm - After (hopefully) one final break, Judge Kavanaugh is back, with about 30 minutes of questioning left. Kavanaugh sounds a little tired as he answers questions from Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who is asking about his 'temperament.'

5:45 pm - Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) takes the final minute of Sen. Mike Lee's time, and takes an angle that should make GOP leaders feel better about getting 50 votes for the Kavanaugh nomination - Sasse, who has been quiet for the last 10 days, criticized Sen. Feinstein for not bringing up the question of Dr. Ford's charges.

5:30 pm - After a break, Kavanaugh apologizes to Klobuchar, whose father was an alcoholic. The Judge acknowledges that he should not have thrown her question back at the Senator. She accepts the apology, but said she was just asking a legitimate question about his drinking habits. Here is the video of the original exchange.

5:07 pm - Kavanaugh continues to spar with Democrats. In a back and forth with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Kavanaugh bristled at being asked if he had ever blacked out from too much drinking, throwing the question back at the Senator.

Kavanaugh: "I'm curious if you have."

Klobuchar: "I have no drinking problem, Judge."

Kavanaugh: "Nor do I."

4:55 pm - Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) takes his five minutes, as Republicans seem to have given up on the questions from the outside counsel. Cornyn compares recent events to the McCarthy hearings as he tells the judge, "Don't give up."

4:45 pm - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) breaks the silence of GOP Senators today, as he denounces Democrats. Graham is yelling across the dais at Democrats. "This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics."

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

4:35 pm - The way this hearing plays across America will be fascinating to watch. I still think it will be much like the 1991 hearings with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas.

4:30 pm - The hearing picks back up, as Kavanaugh starts sparring with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), who asks about friend Mark Judge. Leahy asks whether the character Bart O'Kavanaugh is the judge. Kavanaugh says Senators should ask Judge - Leahy says, yes, that's what Democrats wanted to do.

4:05 pm - Kavanaugh's opening statement went for around 45 minutes. There was no mincing of words.

4:02 pm - Under questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Feinstein asks Kavanaugh about an FBI investigation - Kavanaugh's voice rises immediately, "My family has been destroyed by this, Senator."

3:54 pm - The take from my next door neighbor at the press table in the hearing room.

3:50 pm - Dr. Ford's lawyers are just sitting a few feet from me. Dr. Ford is evidently not watching Judge Kavanaugh.

3:45 pm - Democratic lawmakers watching Kavanaugh don't like what they see. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).

3:40 pm - Kavanaugh near tears multiple times in his testimony.

3:27 pm -

3:22 pm - Kavanaugh denies that he's done anything bad to women. "I am innocent of this charge."

3:19 pm - Kavanaugh looks directly at Democrats and says 'you'll never get me to quit.' Kavanaugh says this was a 'calculated and orchestrated political hit," which he says is partly because of "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

3:12 pm - Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives, and angrily denies charges against him. "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed." He calls the hearings a 'national disgrace.'

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

3:05 pm - The lawyers for Dr Ford have stayed in the audience to watch Judge Kavanaugh's testimony. Ford is not here.

3:00 pm - Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is back in the room. She responded to my earlier photo of her wiping tears off her face. (My photo wasn't as good as others, but I'm a radio reporter, not a photojournalist.)

2:55 pm - There are cameras everywhere today on Capitol Hill. And my out-of-town friends are watching.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

2:15 pm - Ford's testimony is over. 45 minutes break before Judge Kavanaugh appears. It will be a different kind of hearing.

2:11 pm - Chairman Grassley says that Mark Judge has submitted a statement denying that he knows anything about Ford's allegation of the Kavanaugh incident.

2:08 pm - Ford says Mark Judge would be a witness to talk to. "I would expect that he would remember that this happened."

2:03 pm - Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tells Ford that she was right to ask for an FBI investigation. "Judge Kavanaugh has not." (Photo of Ford listening to Harris.)

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

1:55 pm - The GOP counsel presses Ford about investigating her claims: "I would be happy to cooperate with the FBI, yes."

1:47 pm - Ford says she provided her letter to Sen. Feinstein on July 30, and makes clear that she did not authorize its release. This is partly an effort by Republicans to detail how Democrats leaked the letter.

1:42 pm - Sen Mazie Hirono D-HI: "Once again Dr Ford, thank you very much. This is a moment for our country. Mahalo."

1:37 pm - The hearing is back in session. Ford says she has no political reasons to raise the issue; says it was only because Kavanaugh was on a list of possible nominees.

1:32 pm - From testimony this morning, when Ford was asked what she recalled from the night of the incident. The GOP counsel got her to say that she could not remember how she got to the party, or got home that night.

1:30 pm - Okay, I made a mistake by not getting lunch during this break.

1:20 pm - Out in the hallways, GOP Senators are running into supporters of Dr. Ford.

1:15 pm - From various news organizations, the White House and the President are watching this event closely, and there's a feeling that Dr. Ford is seen as a credible witness. But I will remind everyone that there is a long way to go in this hearing, and this day. If you go back into the C-SPAN files, you can find me saying on day two of the Thomas-Hill hearings that I thought Thomas might be rejected by the Senate.

12:50 pm - Friends asking me for my take on today so far. I guess I would say this. I'm struck by two things so far - Ford talking about the laughter of the boys that has haunted her. And GOP Senators not asking questions.

12:42 pm - The committee takes a 30 minute break. Democratic Senators waited to the side as Dr. Ford leaves the hearing room.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

12:30 pm - Ford at the time was staying with her parents at the beach in Delaware. Asked if she told her parents what was going on, Ford said, "Definitely not." She then went on to describe how she sat in her car in the driveway or in the "Walgreens parking lot" interviewing lawyers, and trying to get legal help.

12:27 pm - Ford says she spoke with Sen. Feinstein in early August, in a brief phone call, to discuss the details of her allegation. This was while Ford was vacationing at the beach in Delaware.

12:20 pm - Sen. Chris Coons D-DE establishes that Ford started trying to get attention to her allegations before Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump.

12:17 pm - Under questioning by the GOP counsel, Ford was asked various ways who she talked about the Kavanaugh incident with, and why. Ford says her "beach friends" urged her to contact the Washington Post and the New York Times. Ford did contact the Post, and her local lawmaker, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

12:13 pm - Ford again talks about the 'laughter' of Kavanaugh and Judge on the night of the incident. This is from earlier.

12:07 pm - The GOP counsel presses Ford on air travel. Ford acknowledges she flew to Washington, but says she has a fear of flying. The counsel talks about Ford working for a company in Australia. Ford says the company had an office in San Francisco. "I don't think I'll make it to Australia," Ford says, though she admits that she has flown to many places around the world.

12:00 pm - If you are joining us late, here is some of the earlier testimony of Dr. Ford.

12:00 pm - Sen. Grassley flashes some frustration after Democrats complain about how the investigation was done by the GOP, defending the effort by Republicans to unearth new information, and how the Ford accusations and others were publicized.

11:50 am - Ford acknowledges that she does not remember who drove her home the night of the alleged attack.

11:45 am - A lawyer friend of mine texts me. "Ridiculous process. 5 minutes of deposition followed by 5 minutes of politics." That summarizes what will probably come out of this hearing. Each party will be locked in a stalemate politically.

11:35 am - The small size of the audience - and the room - makes it feel more like I'm covering a regular Senate hearing - but the details are anything but.

11:25 am - The committee takes a 15 minute break. Ford is escorted into adjacent offices.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

11:20 am - Ford describes running into Mark Judge the first time after the incident at the Potomac Safeway out River Road; she said hello to him, telling Senators that Judge's face "went white" when she said hello.

11:15 am - Questioned by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ford says what she remembers most of the night of incident was the laughter of Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge. saying the boys were 'having fun at my expense.'

11:05 am - Ford says she is sure this is not a case of mistaken identity.

10:55 am - Instead of GOP Senators asking the questions, sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, brought in from Arizona, is starting the questioning of Ford.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:50 am - As Ford describes the immense reaction against her, one lawmaker in the audience, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is in tears in the audience.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:47 am - Ford said she agonized daily about how to deal with the story.

10:47 am - Ford talks about how she tried to get her message out, saying she contacted her local lawmaker in Congress, and sent an encrypted message to the Washington Post. She hoped a confidential accusation would be enough to develop information, without involving a public revelation of her name.

10:45 am - This is already a different hearing than Anita Hill's testimony about Clarence Thomas. Hill was stoic throughout her testimony in describing sexual harassment allegations. This is about a sexual attack, and a much more emotional situation.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:40 am - Near tears at times, Ford describes what she says was an assault by Brett Kavanaugh. Senators are paying very close attention to every word.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:34 am - "My name is Christine Blasey Ford."

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:30 am - As we wait, CNN's Jake Tapper with an interesting thread on who was responsible for the attack on Dr. Ford.

10:27 am - Unfortunately, reporters in the room cannot see Dr. Ford's face. In 1991, I was on the side of the room, and could see both Anita Hill and the Senators on the panel. Those watching on TV get the better angles. Sort of like the difference in going to a sporting event, or watching it at home.

10:24 am - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduces Dr. Ford, and quickly references the Anita Hill hearings, talking about women are reluctant to come forward. "In essence they are put on trial and forced to defend themselves." Ford is sitting at the witness table, between her lawyers, listening to opening statements.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:20 am - If you are wondering who is here, apart from Senators and the 48 reporters.

10:16 am - The latest news alert from the AP:

10:15 am - Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is going through how we got to this point. Grassley repeatedly criticizes Democrats for how they handled the Ford complaining that Democrats were just 'plain politics.'

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

10:05 am - The gavel sounds. Dr. Ford is here, as is the special counsel who will question her for the GOP side.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

9:45 am - Looking down the tables of press people, I would venture to say that I am the only reporter who was in the room for the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, and back here today for the Kavanaugh-Ford hearings. I have to say, while there are certainly differences in the details and the players, the larger debate - and how it may well be resolved - feel very much similar to what I covered then. And I've brought my same notebook.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

9:36 am - Sitting next to me is my longtime colleague Lisa Desjardins, who now works for the PBS Newshour. She just saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in the hallway.

9:35 am - As many of you might know, my voice gave out two years ago, and I am unable to say very much, which doesn't work very well for a radio reporter. But with the new technology that has given me a computer-generated voice, I am able to file stories for the radio. And because of that, I will be the only reporter actually broadcasting from inside the hearing room today. No microphone needed.

9:25 am - I am squeezed between colleagues from the PBS Newshour and ABC. The witness table is not far away.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

9:15 am - I am finally settled in my seat, with my equipment seemingly ready for today. It's going to be cramped at the press tables; only 48 reporters are being allowed in the committee room, and I'm lucky enough to be one of them, just as I was in 1991 with the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings.

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Local News

  • There is a chance of rain and thunderstorms for Athens and northeast Georgia. The threat of severe weather, apparently diminishing overnight, nonetheless leads several school districts in south Georgia—Albany among them—to cancel classes for the day.  From Channel 2 Action News… There are several metro Atlanta counties under a Tornado Watch early Friday morning as a line of storms and rain move into the area. Severe Weather Team 2 has been tracking the system all week as it moved through the country. The Tornado Watch has been issued for Troup, Meriwether, Pike and Upson counties.
  • The University of Georgia gymnastics team begins competition in the NCAA Finals: the Gym Dogs are taking part in the tournament set for this weekend in Fort Worth Texas.  “We’re peaking at the right time,” says Georgia coach Courtney Kupets Carter. Oklahoma is ranked first going into the tournament. UGA is eighth.
  • A Newton County fine arts teacher faces two felonies for allegedly sexually assaulting students last month, authorities said. Christopher Ehren Matyas, born in 1980, of Covington, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority, according to a sheriff’s office arrest report. He was a teacher at Alcovy High School, and both school employees and students reported the alleged sexual assaults on March 22, according to the police report obtained by Channel 2 Action News. Newton County School District spokeswoman Sherri Davis sent the news station a statement that said, in part:  “School officials launched an investigation and immediately reported the allegations to local law enforcement. Mr. Matyas was removed from the classroom setting and placed on leave during the course of the investigation. He will not return to the classroom.” He’s out of jail on a $16,700 bond, records show.
  • A White County judge denies bond for Mitch Simpson. The former Cleveland car dealer closed his auto lot earlier this year; he was arrested in March on theft charges.From WSB TV…   A north Georgia car dealer was denied bond Thursday in what’s now being described as a more than $2 million fraud and theft case, prompted by a Channel 2 investigation. Mitch Simpson was arrested and charged with three counts of felony theft by conversion late last month. They were tied to unpaid state vehicle taxes in which nearly 60 buyers say they paid Mitch Simpson Motors for their purchases, but their TAVT taxes were left unpaid and their titles were never delivered. Those purchases spanned a time period between late 2018 and early 2019, right before the Cleveland dealership shut its doors, and the buyers came to Channel 2 after unsuccessful attempts to contact Simpson. Soon the Georgia Department of Revenue began working with the White County Sheriff’s Office and state Attorney General’s Office to investigate the case. On Thursday, the Georgia DOR filed two additional theft charges in the case and argued against bond in Simpson’s case. A prosecutor revealed a much larger, complex case while highlighting Simpson’s 2011 federal conviction in a car loan scam. He served probation in the case, while several other co-defendants went to federal prison. In addition to $385,000 in unpaid vehicle taxes that were collected, prosecutors say Simpson failed to pay multiple floor planning companies $780,000 for vehicles they financed. Those companies essentially act as a bank for car dealerships, lending them the money to provide inventory on car lots. In a third tier of the ongoing investigation, prosecutors allege Simpson double and sometimes triple-financed the same vehicle through the lenders, pocketing about $1.3 million. Simpson’s attorney hit back at those allegations after a state investigator told the court Simpson’s personal bank records had been subpoenaed but not yet analyzed. Search warrants netted titles and documents from Simpson’s Habersham County home, as investigators say evidence was taken out of the car dealership building. “He has a compelling story, and there are certainly issues with the state’s case,” defense attorney Jeff Wolff told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr. Wolff highlighted in court that Simpson simply managed the namesake lot and that it was owned by his former in-laws.  No one else has been charged in the case, and employees of McGregor Financial, the dealership’s in-house financing company, have cooperated with investigators. They’ve maintained their role was financing and Simpson had access to accounts and paid the bills, according to investigators’ testimony. “It was an underfunded business,” Wolff said. “And that’s a large gap between an underfunded business and criminal enterprise.” About a half-dozen friends and family members served as character witnesses for Simpson, arguing against a notion that he’d serve as a flight risk in this case. Perhaps his strongest supporter was his 86-year-old mother, Elsie Hogan, who said Simpson never had a desire to leave his north Georgia roots, even when he faced trouble in his earlier federal case. “He says he’ll never fly until he gets his wings and goes to heaven,” Hogan said. Hogan also revealed she’d used yard sale money to pay for Simpson’s heart medication while he was in jail. She pushed back against any suggestion that he’d profited from stolen car lot funds. “He has no money at all. He has nothing. He has nothing, sir,” Hogan said, answering Wolff’s questions. Nonetheless, Superior Court Judge Joy Parks ruled against bond in the case, citing the complexity and seriousness of the newly-revealed allegations. A grand jury is set to convene in June. The good news for Simpson’s car buyers is that they are receiving their titles. Fifty-three of the car buyers affected are from Georgia, and the state says it worked with those floor planning companies to get the missing titles. “We've been able to obtain 52 (titles) with the help of the Attorney General's Office. It's been a great win for us,” said Josh Waites, director of special investigations for the Georgia Department of Revenue. The department says it continues to receive complaints tied to purchases from Simpson. Outside of court, car buyers Paul Cleiman and Justin Mathis thanked Channel 2 for exposing the case. Both men have either received titles or expect them any day after four months of uncertainty. “It’s been a long battle,” said Mathis. “We appreciate you, Nicole. We wouldn’t be here today without you.” 'I don’t think it was getting any attention until you stepped in and got the Department of Revenue involved,” Cleiman said. “We need justice, and I think that’s been served today for now.”

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart and his staff will spend hours breaking down film of the G-Day Game exhibition, and the players will, too. But there are some things that don’t require any sort of instant replay and should have been obvious to all. Here are three quick takeaways from the Bulldogs’ annual scrimmage: Backup QBs better than expected For all the hand-wringing that took place when Georgia’s primary backup transferred to Ohio State, the Bulldogs look to be in good shape at the position. Saturday wasn’t Jake Fromm’s best day, but everyone has seen enough from the rising junior and team captain to know he’ll deliver in 2019. RELATED: Jake Fromm ‘didn’t play up to the standard’ Former UGA walk-on and junior college QB Stetson Bennett and early enrollee D’Wan Mathis were two of the most pleasant surprises for many in the G-Day Game, however. Teammates saw what Bennett could do in bowl practices in 2017, and Smart said during the SEC Network broadcast that he had already seen what Mathis was capable of during spring drills. But for Bennett and Mathis to look so good — each in his own way — with the bright lights showing and fans in the stands had to help the coaches sleep easier while validating James Coley’s promotion to offensive coordinator for the few remaining doubters. Bennett was the most efficient quarterback on the team on Saturday, looking comfortable in the pocket when taking snaps for the Red Team and Black Team. Bennett was a combined 12-of-23 passing for 210 yards with a TD and no sacks. The 6-foot-6 Mathis showed off his big arm (a well-placed deep pass was dropped) and eye-popping foot speed. The freshman from metro Detroit was 15-of-28 for 113 yards with an interception, but he also had a 20-yard scramble and caught a 39-yard TD pass on a trick play. Secondary on point Georgia’s award-winning film crew has put out tremendous highlights on its Twitter account through spring and, let’s face it, the sight of a receiver skying high to catch a pass is more pleasing to the football eye than a DB deflecting a pass. But Saturday showed us what else has been happening behind the walls Smart has put up around the program, and it didn’t take long. Eric Stokes burst on the scene at Missouri last season, and since then it seems at each turn he’s making plays and standing out. Stokes’ Pick-6 of Fromm on the opening drive was a “Wow” moment, and the first-team secondary made lift hard on the starting quarterback the rest of the day. The UGA quarterbacks were a combined 43-of-83 for 489 yards with 3 TDs and 2 interceptions — and were sacked seven times. Considering the quarterbacks weren’t “live,” and the defense was laying off on big hits, those are not overly impressive passing numbers. Mark Webb had 3 pass break-ups to lead the secondary, and William Poole and D.J. Daniel each had 2. In addition to Stokes’ interception, Latavious Brini also had a pick. There were only two runs of 20 yards or more — Swift had a 27-yarder, and Mathis sprinted for 20 — and two conventional passes that went for more than 25 yards. Early enrollee Lewis Cine, the No. 3-ranked safety in the 2019 class, had 8 tackles — sharing team-high honors with returning safety starter Richard LeCounte.   Eric Stokes talking about his Pick-6 at the beginning of #GDay pic.twitter.com/Tt4gVHsLtb — 960 The Ref (@960theref) April 20, 2019   Program locked in The Georgia G-Day Game had every reason to be a flop, the cold, damp and windy weather was horrid, and one of the most electrifying players on the team was sidelined by illness. Instead, more than 50,000 Bulldogs tuned out and the Red Team and Black Team came sprinting out of different tunnels and played with great exuberance. A mic’d up Smart put the showbiz aside, interrupting questions and breaking sentences mid-stream to coach his team with every bit of the same fervor he shows in practice each day. Everybody on the team was intent on having their best day, which only seemed to make Fromm feel worse in the post game as he repeatedly beat himself up over his performance. That’s how intense and locked in the Georgia football program is right now, from the fan base, to the head coach, into the locker room and spilling out on the field Saturday. Georgia football DawgNation G-Day Game WATCH: Matt Landers discusses his G-Day performance WATCH: Georgia G-Day Game beat writers breakdown RELATED: Eric Stokes experiences good and bad at cornerback WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on G-Day Game Georgia football lands major commitment on G-Day Demetris Robertson illness revealed by Kirby Smart Stock report from Georgia G-Day Game Instant analysis of Georgia football G-Day Game Georgia G-Day Game football report card   The post 3 takeaways from G-Day: Georgia football quarterbacks surprise appeared first on DawgNation.
  • G-Day in Athens is much more than what happens on the field of play. 
  • ATHENS — Clearly, the Georgia Bulldogs have big plans for Matt Landers. Believe it or not, they’re not based on him throwing touchdown passes. Landers, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman receiver from Pinellas, Fla., was unable to haul in a touchdown catch during the G-Day Game on Saturday. But he threw for one. The 39-yard TD throw came on a reverse off a lateral from running back James Cook and it was caught by quarterback D’Wan Mathis midway through the third quarter. That gave Landers something Mathis wanted — a TD pass — and Mathis something Landers wanted — a TD catch. But nobody was complaining afterward. “I didn’t see that coming,” Landers said with a laugh. How could he have? Landers said they didn’t even practice the play. He said it was something that Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley drew up for the Black Team during Friday’s meeting-room preparations. Coley made it clear they were going to run it on Saturday. They just weren’t sure when or how well it would work. “It worked,” Landers said with a laugh. “We didn’t practice it at at all. We just went over it. Coach Coley drew it up and we came out here and did it today. It just worked.” To perfection, in fact. It’s nothing that we all haven’t seen in little league, or somewhere along the line. Running back James Cook went left and took a handoff from Mathis, who went right. So did Landers, coming from the left side of the field on a revers. “The DB that was on me came on a blitz and they tackled Cook, so they thought the play was over,” Mathis said. “When he pitched it to me, I saw D’Wan wide open and I knew that was my chance to throw. The ball came out good and we executed and scored.” That was a fun play, but not really what Landers was focused on coming into Saturday’s scrimmage or going out. Landers was targeted early and often in Saturday’s G-Day Game. In the end, though, he came away with only two catches for 54 yards. That 52 of those yards came on one catch did help him process the disappointment. “Really it’s just getting an opportunity,” said Landers, who was a 3-star prospect coming out of St. Petersburg High Schoo. “Seeing that a lot of guys left, I knew I was going to be the guy that had to step up. I’d been hearing I have a lot of potential, but I just wanted to go out there and see for myself.” Landers was targeted on deep balls at least two other times on Saturday. But he was unable to come down with either one, a point of contention for coach Kirby Smart. “We’ve seen flashes of really good things from Matt; we’re seeing more of those flashes; with those flashes, we’ve got to see him come down with some 50-50 balls,” Smart said. “There were a couple of balls I thought he should have pulled down early and get going. He’s become a better special teams player, too. He’s able to contribute and been more competitive. We need Matt to really step up for us.” That’s not the first time Landers has heard that. He has been hearing it from receivers coach Cortez Hankton and pretty much everybody else who sees him practice every day. With the departures of leading wideouts Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman and Terry Godwin, it’s hard not to notice the tall kid from Florida who also happens to be one of the team’s fastest players. “He’s fast, he’s got great hands, he comes out of breaks great. He’s a special talent,” quarterback Stetson Bennett said. “He’s still trying to get everything together but, gosh, he’s really good. I love throwing to him. Nobody’s telling us to do that. We just believe in him.” Obviously the Georgia coaches share that belief. They must to trust him to take a pitch and throw a bomb downfield without ever rehearsing it in practice. But that’s not what the Bulldogs are looking for from Landers. Catching balls should be good enough from now on. “Matt’s had a good spring,” Smart said. “Matt’s level of consistency has to improve. Matt has to play to Matt’s standard all the time.”   The post WATCH: Matt Landers on his TD pass and trying to crack Georgia’s WR rotation appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm didn’t take any hits in the G-Day Game on Saturday. Good thing, because Fromm spent most of the post game beating himself up. This, despite his Red Team winning the annual scrimmage over the Black Team by a 22-17 count at Sanford Stadium. “ It is what is it, everybody else on offense played really well, and I didn’t play up to the standard that I wanted to play,” Fromm said. “But as an offensive unit, we played well, we moved the ball.” Fromm was 14-of-29 passing for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception Fromm, it’s worth noting, ranked fifth in the nation in passing efficiency last season. Sophomore cornerback Eric Stokes picked off Fromm’s second pass attempt of the game and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. Junior go-to receiver J.J. Holloman slipped on the play, and that enabled Stokes to jump the route, and he out-fought Holloman for the football. Fromm, the only returning permanent captain from the 2018 season, declined to place any blame on anyone but himself. “Every now and then there’s that game,” Fromm said. “(A) ball that’s a little wet when it’s a little windy.” Fromm conceded the offensive playbook was watered down. Georgia obviously was not wanting to show the new elements coordinator James Coley has added.   But, Fromm pointed out, the defense was limited, too. “It’s a couple factors, obviously some days you have it, some days you don’t,” Fromm said of his uncharacteristically mediocre stat line. “It being a spring game, pretty bland on offense. “We definitely take a lot of things off the table, but that’s part of it, and so did the defense. They did a really good job and made some plays.” Fromm was also complimentary of a Georgia fan base that put more than 50,000 in Sanford Stadium despite temperatures in the 40s on a damp and windy day. “I’m super thankful to the fans that came out with it being Easter (weekend), “ Fromm said, “it being a rainy day, and we’re super thankful for the fans who came out today, showing their love and getting to watch the work we’ve been putting in this spring.” Georgia football QB Jake Fromm Georgia football DawgNation G-Day Game WATCH: Georgia G-Day Game beat writers breakdown RELATED: Eric Stokes experiences good and bad at cornerback WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on G-Day Game Georgia football lands major commitment on G-Day Demetris Robertson illness revealed by Kirby Smart Stock report from Georgia G-Day Game Instant analysis of Georgia football G-Day Game   The post WATCH Georgia QB Jake Fromm: ‘didn’t play up to the standard’ in G-Day Game appeared first on DawgNation.