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National Govt & Politics
With dreams of winning Texas, Democrats to debate in Houston
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With dreams of winning Texas, Democrats to debate in Houston

With dreams of winning Texas, Democrats to debate in Houston

With dreams of winning Texas, Democrats to debate in Houston

For the first time in the 2020 campaign, Democrats will hold a one night debate, as ten candidates will be on stage at Texas Southern University in Houston on Thursday evening, taking the next step in their party's effort to knock President Donald Trump out of the White House.

Unlike the first two debates in Miami and Detroit, only ten candidates qualified for this debate - sponsored by ABC News and Univision - so, there is just a single night of questions and answers .

But ten politicians still make for a crowded stage.

"Yes, it will be messy, and candidates will not get a lot of time to speak," said Sarah Fulton, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University.

"Candidates need to make the most of their limited time by effectively contrasting themselves against their competitors, and delivering memorable moments," Fulton added.

The debate strategy is a basic calculus - how much time do you talk about your own ideas, and how much time do you give to giving the verbal back of your hand to another Democrat on stage?

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With dreams of winning Texas, Democrats to debate in Houston

Along those lines, this debate marks the first time that Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren will be on the debate stage together - whether they tangle directly will be watched closely.

Biden and Warren will be joined by Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Julian Castro.

Democrats are expected to return to the two-night debate scenario next month in Ohio, because of other candidates who have qualified for that gathering.

Both Warren and Sanders warmed up for this debate with big rallies in recent days - Sanders attracting what his campaign said was a crowd of 10,000 on Monday in Denver - and Warren on Tuesday gathered about 5,000 in Austin, the Texas state capital.

While Sanders and Warren were on the road drawing big crowds, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg  were all smiles as they were seated close to each other on a flight to Houston.

As this third Democratic debate arrives, the outlines of the race have stayed fairly stable over the past few months - Biden, Warren, and Sanders in the top tier - with Kamala Harris and then Pete Buttigieg trying to get into that group.

But after that - most of the other Democratic candidates have been unable to generate any kind of magic moment to launch themselves into a higher spot in this campaign - and that's especially true of Booker, O'Rourke, Castro, Yang, and Klobuchar.

Looking to the future - no matter the nominee - Democrats believe they are making inroads in Texas, which could again bring the state into play in a Presidential election.

They point to the retirement announcements of five Texas Republicans in the U.S. House already, and gains in once-reliable GOP suburbs made by Democrats in 2018.

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With dreams of winning Texas, Democrats to debate in Houston

But winning the Lone Star State in the race for President? 

"Do I think that Texas is moving towards becoming more purplish? Yes," professor Fulton told me this week. 

"Will it happen in 2020?" Fulton added. "I don't know - but I'm skeptical that it will happen in the immediate term."

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Local News

  • It is forecast to be the first hard freeze of the season, coming earlier this usual this year: the rain that will roll through the region Tuesday morning is expected to clear out by tomorrow afternoon, ushering in a cold front that will have Athens temperatures in the mid-twenties by Wednesday morning. High temperatures Wednesday and Thursday are expected to top out in the mid 40s before a slight warmup by the weekend.  “It’s going to turn breezy and much colder as we get an Arctic push of air into our area,” says Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Eboni Deon.
  • Sears—in Athens since 1925—is in Athens no longer: the store on Atlanta Highway made its final sale and closed its doors Sunday afternoon. Sears has been closing stores around the state and across the country.  From Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group  Two retail staples are shuttering more stores.  An additional 96 Sears and Kmart stores across the country will be going out of business and will close by February. The latest round of store closings by the parent company of the two iconic chains, Transformco, will close 51 Sears and 45 Kmart locations by early next year. Liquidation sales start Dec. 2, just days after Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales begin, USA Today reported. Over the course of the past 15 years, more than 3,500 Sears and Kmart stores have gone out of business, with 250,000 employees losing their jobs. After February, the company will have only 182 stores remaining, USA Today reported. When the company filed for bankruptcy just over a year ago, there were almost 700 Sears and Kmart stores, CNN reported. The closings do not affect Sears Hometown, a chain of independently owned stores that sell appliances, sporting goods and tools, according to CNN.
  • Today is Veterans Day: the Oconee Veterans Memorial Foundation holds its annual program, 11 o’clock this morning at Oconee County Veterans Park. The featured speaker is the state Adjutant General, Brigadier General John Gentry. From the Oconee Veterans Memorial Foundation… The Oconee Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc. will host a Veterans Day program November 11 at the Oconee County Veterans Memorial located at Oconee Veterans Park. The program will begin at 11:00am.    This year’s program will include recognition of all Veterans by service in attendance and the traditional laying of wreaths will occur at the end of the program. Brigadier General John Gentry will be the guest speaker for the ceremony. Brigadier General Gentry was appointed by the Adjutant General of Georgia in August of 2019 as an Assistant Adjutant General for the Georgia National Guard. He is responsible for Soldier and equipment readiness of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 78th Troop Command headquartered at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Georgia.    Veteran organizations are encouraged to set up display tents and tables to provide Veteran resources and support. Individuals owning refurbished military vehicles and equipment are also encouraged to display beginning at 10:00am.    The Foundation will present an additional 30 names to the North Wall of Honor and announce limited space for the final 32 Wall of Honor names that will be added to the wall prior to Memorial Day 2020. General donations are encouraged in order to provide for the continued maintenance of the Memorial grounds. All proceeds from the Honor Our Patriots capital campaign offset construction and maintenance of the wall itself and the presentation of the 39 Killed in Action names from Oconee County. Partial funding for this project made possible through the sponsorship of the Reverend John Andrew Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Oconee State Bank, Wells Fargo, Oconee Foundations, LLC, Ruppert Landscape and many other Friends of the Memorial. The Wall of Honor tiles and a complete list of nominees to date will be available for review at the ceremony. Wall of Honor nomination forms will be available at the ceremony or at the foundation website http://www.oconeeveteransmemorial.com/ . Additional information on Gold Star sponsorship giving levels can also be found on the website.    For additional questions and information please contact David Kilpatrick or email the foundation at oconeeveteransmemorial@gmail.com . Directions to the park, and the Parks and Recreation Department can be found on online at http://www.oconeecounty.com/. 
  • A University of Georgia student from Alpharetta says he lost $30,000 in a 10-hour phone call with a scam artist. The 20 year-old tells Athens-Clarke County Police the scammers told him his Social Security number had been compromised; he says he made two $15,000 bank withdrawals and wired the money via crypto-currency. A police investigation is ongoing. From Zachary Hansen, AJC… A University of Georgia student told police he answered an unknown 1-800 number last week. After talking and listening to the person for nearly 10 hours, the student realized he had been scammed out of more than $30,000. The 20-year-old from Alpharetta met with Athens police last Friday to report the theft, which took place a day earlier, according to a police incident report obtained by AJC.com. He told officers that after he answered the unknown call, an automated voice stated his social security number had been compromised, the report said. The robocall said he could speak to a person if he pressed “one,” which he did. The person told the student he was with the “Social Security Office,” adding that the student’s identity was being used to purchase property and illegal drugs in Texas, the report said. The student was told he needed to cooperate in order to secure his bank account funds so they wouldn’t be stolen. The student told officers he stayed on the phone for nearly 10 hours as went to his bank twice to withdraw about $15,000 each time, the report said. After withdrawing the money, he went across Athens and Atlanta in an Uber to deposit the money in Bitcoin ATM machines at gas stations. In addition, he purchased several hundred dollars worth of gift cards, providing the card and PIN numbers to the scammer, the report said. The person on the phone ended the call by telling the student he would meet with a U.S. Marshal and a “Social Security Office” representative about the situation and how to get the student’s money back. However, once the student realized that meeting was not going to happen, he figured out he had been scammed and contacted police. The student provided police with receipts, gift cards, text messages and other information stemming from the scam.
  • Georgia football opened as a 3-point favorite over Auburn in Saturday's rivalry showdown at Jordan-Hare Stadium, according to Vegasinsider.com It will be the second week in a row and fifth time this season the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) face a team coming off a bye. 'I've got a lot of respect for their program,' UGA coach Kirby Smart said Saturday night after handing Missouri a 27-0 defeat. 'I know they'll be ready to play coming off an off week.' Georgia lost on its most recent trip to The Plains in 2017, a 40-17 drubbing that temporarily sidetracked what appeared to be a national championship season in the making. The Bulldogs, then ranked No. 2, saw their powerful run game bottled up by the Tigers, wth Nick Chubb held to 27 yards on 11 carries and Sony Michel netting just 21 yards on 9 carries. Gus Malzahn's Auburn team, meanwhile, was rolling, generating 488 total yards to Georgia's 230 behind Kerryon Johnson's 167 yards rushing. The Bulldogs won a rematch against the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game, 28-7, propelling UGA into a Rose Bowl matchup against Oklahoma that it would win en route to facing Alabama in the CFP Championship Game. Auburn is still fighting for a spot in a New Year's Six Bowl, and Malzahn desperately needs another marquee win to help secure his job. ' Gus does a tremendous job, (and) I've got a lot of respect for the way they play,' Smart said. 'They're a physical football team. Great defense. Really good young quarterback. Really hard offense to prepare for. Gus and I have seen a lot of each other over the years.

Bulldog News

  • Mike Soroka finished behind the New York Mets slugger, Pete Alonso in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. Alonso broke Aaron Judge’s rookie-record with 53 home runs. Soroka, Alonso and Fernando Tatís Jr. were all in the running for the 2019 NL ROY award. Soroka finished with one first-place vote, 25 second-place votes and two third-place votes. During his rookie season, Soroka became just the third qualified rookie pitcher to have an era+ of at least 169, over the last 100 years and the first since José Fernández in 2013. Fernández was 12-6 with a 2.73 era over 172.2 innings pitched. Soroka’s rookie numbers 4.0 fWAR 13 wins 174.2 ip 2.68 era 1.111 whip 169 era+ 3.45 fip 142 k 20.3 k% 5.9 bb% 79.9 lob% 51.2 gb%
  • DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played, what they did and which ones might lose one of those newfangled (four games or less) redshirts. Check out the Georgia football edition from the 27-0 home shutout of SEC East foe Missouri. Georgia improved to 8-1 and notched its third shutout of the season on Saturday against Missouri. This stat was well-traveled across the weekend but it bears repeating: That's the first time Georgia has posted three shutouts in a season since 1981. The Missouri game also saw the home team play more Bulldogs (63) than it has in a game dating back to that win in Knoxville over a month ago. That total remains the highest of any game this season against a Power 5 opponent. That meant six more Bulldogs saw the field than in the previous two games against Kentucky and Florida. Georgia also played more redshirt and true freshmen (17) against the Tigers than any other opponent this year outside of Arkansas State and Murray State. How did that freshmen participation compare to previous weeks? 14 of the 57 Bulldogs who helped take down Florida for the third straight time 14 of the 57 players who lined up against Kentucky 15 of the 62 against South Carolina 15 of 63 at Tennessee 13 of 60 against Notre Dame 30 of 86 vs. Arkansas State 29 of 86 vs. Murray State 13 of 61 at Vanderbilt Rapid-fire participation info from Georgia-Missouri UGA started two redshirt freshmen in Azeez Ojulari (OLB) and Kearis Jackson (WR) for the second straight week. The injuries across the OL saw Georgia play three more guys at that position than it had in the previous two SEC games. JUCO transfer DJ Daniel had his sixth straight start. The Bulldogs only played seven true defensive linemen against Missouri. That total includes four players who will exhaust their eligibility after this season. Georgia senior DLs Michael Carter and Julian Rochester did not play. Those two now have appeared in just seven combined games this year. Carter has played in five of those. Who played against Missouri (by classes): Freshmen:10 Redshirt freshmen: 7 Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 2 (Pickens) True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 2 (Cine, Nakobe Dean) Missouri game freshman focus Georgia played 17 redshirt or true freshmen.The big picture tallies up to 27 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to: 0 of 1 QBs (1 QBs played in the previous game) 2 of 6 RBs(6 RBs played in the previous game) 3 of 7 WRs (5 WRs played in the previous game) 2 of 10 OLs (7 OLs played in the previous game) 1 of 3 TEs (3 TEs played in the previous game) 1 of 7 DLs (8 DLs playedin the previous game 2 of 6 ILBs (7 ILBs played in the previous game) 2 of 6 OLBs (5 OLBs played in the previous game) 3 of 13 DBs (11 DBs played in the previous game) 0 of 1 PKs (No change versus the previous game) 0 of 1 Ps (No change from the previous game) 1 of 2 LSs (No change from the previous game) What that study has shown far this year: Georgia plays the same group of DLs, ILBs and OLBs regardless of the quality of the opponent. FRESHMEN BULLDOGS IN 2019 What's more important? Snaps or starts? Both are important, but there is a reason why certain players start the game and stay on the field for the biggest plays. That's because the coaches trust them to play winning football by what they have seen on the practice field. There are common instances where the scheme fit based on each opponent allows for a different starting rotation as well. Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2019. Redshirt freshman TE John FitzPatrick (1 game) Redshirt freshman WR Kearis Jackson (3 games) Redshirt freshman OLB Azeez Ojulari (9 games) Redshirt freshman DB Divaad Wilson (2 games) Freshman WR George Pickens (1 game) Freshman WR Dominick Blaylock (1 game) Who started against Missouri (all freshmen) : Kearis Jackson and Azeez Ojulari How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 96 How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 34 (35 percent of all participation) Georgia football: Participation in 2019 Redshirt or grad transfer seniors: 9 Seniors: 8 Redshirt juniors: 5 Juniors: 15 Redshirt sophomores: 14 Sophomores: 12 Redshirt freshmen: 11 Freshmen: 23 Of note: Georgia has seen six of its true freshmen play in every game this year. That's out of the 23 freshmen who have played so far in 2019. ( Lewis Cine, Nakobe Dean, Trezmen Marshall, George Pickens, Nolan Smith and Tyrique Stevenson.) THE BIG PICTURE, PART I Freshman Game Ball WR George Pickens (Hoover High/Hoover, Ala.) Pickens earns this weekly 'Freshmen Report' honor for the third time this season. The stat line:5 catches/67 yards/2 touchdowns Of note: It was the first multi-TD game for a Georgia receiver in 2019. The biggest play he made was: . a pretty tough choice. His first scoring reception covered 25 yards for the first points of the game. His finishing stretch across the goal line was a remarkable exclamation point to the drive. His second TD catch covered 18 yards and it was one of the best catches we've seen in Sanford Stadium in quite some time. He twisted up and across his body for the grab and then got one foot down in a bang-bang play along the left sideline of the west end zone. The biggest play he didn't make was: Pickens lined up a step off the ball on a beautiful play where Jake Fromm checked to another play at the line. Georgia was flagged for having too many men in the backfield and not on the line of scrimmage. It wiped away a beautiful stretch play to Pickens for what would have been a 68-yard TD and his third score of the game. It would have been the longest pass completion for the Bulldogs of the season. Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation's No. 4 WR/No. 24 overall prospect/Pickens was the fourth highest-rated recruit in Georgia's 2019 class. Former All-American: Yes (Pickens was an Under Armour All-American for 2019.) Notable for Pickens this year: He became the first freshman captain for the Bulldogs of the Kirby Smart era earlier this year at Tennessee. There are a couple of other elements to point out here from the game he had: He is now tied for the team lead with Lawrence Cager with four touchdown catches Pickens is now tied with Arkansas freshman WR Treylon Burks for the most receiving yards by a freshman (389) this season. He trails only Texas A&M TE Jalen Wydermyer for the most touchdown catches by a freshman in the SEC this year. Wydermyer, a former Georgia target, now has six. Pickens has already had a more productive freshman season than all of those stellar Alabama junior wideouts did in their first seasons in the SEC. The same positive comparison applies to all four of the top receivers at LSU. Why did he choose Georgia? He said on the day he flipped from Auburn that it had something to do with Georgia's winning tradition compared to other finalists like Auburn and Tennessee. Georgia football: Freshmen Report 'Game balls' for 2019 Redshirt OLB Azeez Ojualri: (Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Florida) WR George Pickens (Murray State, South Carolina and Missouri) WR Dominick Blaylock (Arkansas State) OLB Nolan Smith (Murray State) ILB Nakobe Dean: Kentucky DB Divaad Wilson: Notre Dame Notable time for other freshmen against Missouri Freshman S Lewis Cine:continues to assert himself as a future playmaker. His future is quite bright. It is no leap of faith to consider he could already be a quality starting first-year SEC safety in 2020. Freshman CB Tyrique Stevenson: Saw extended reps with the injury to Divaad Wilson and played well in those moments. He was matching Missouri's future NFL tight end Albert Okwuegbunam at times. Stevenson finished with two pass breakups. Freshman OLB Nolan Smith: Recorded the first SEC sack of his career against Missouri. Also finished with two tackles, including that tackle for loss. Redshirt freshman RB Zamir White: Had six carries for 24 yards. That's the most carries he's had since he got 12 carries in the home loss to South Carolina. He's shown a knack of late of taking what looks to be little daylight and turning it into a modest gain of three to four yards. Freshman ILB Nakobe Dean: Finished with three tackles to remain among the team leaders in that category for yet another week. Freshman OL Warren McClendon: Saw the first action of his career against an SEC opponent. Freshman RB Kenny McIntosh: Wore the No. 28 jersey at times on special teams against Missouri. He wears No. 6 on the official roster, but the overlap of Otis Reese being on some of the same special teams called for him to wear that No. 28 without a name on the back. FRESHMEN SUPERLATIVES FOR 2019 There are several categories in which a redshirt or a true freshmen Bulldog is already leading the team in 2019. Receptions in a game: 7 (Tied: George Pickens) Longest catch: 60 (Blaylock) Longest TD catch: 60 (Blaylock) Longest run: 62 (Kenny McIntosh) Longest TD run: 62 (McIntosh) Most receiving TDs (game): Pickens Sacks (game): 2.0 (Ojulari Sacks (season): 4.5 (Ojulari) Tackles for a loss (game): 2 (Ojulari) Interceptions (game): 1 (Lewis Cine and Divaad Wilson, tied for season-high) Interceptions (season): 1 (Cine and Wilson, tied for first) THE BIG PICTURE, PART II HOT BOARD: Game-by-game freshman heat check Let's continue the blog with an assessment of the most valuable freshmen and redshirt freshmen to the team for the 2019 season. This feature is a nod to the top freshmen (redshirt or true) who have impacted the overall balance of the season the most up to this point. No. 1: OLB Azeez Ojulari (Redshirt freshman and a former 4-star recruit): Ojulari is one of the top candidates for the team MVP on defense so far in 2019. He charted two tackles against Missouri. No. 2: WR George Pickens (former 5-star recruit): See above. He continues to be an animated player during the game. Pickens is now making the big catches, but he remains an engaged and willing blocker in the run game. No. 3: OLB Nolan Smith (former 5-star recruit): Smith added that sack above. He now has 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for losses in 2019. His 11 QB hurries are the third-best total on the team. No. 4: ILB Nakobe Dean( former 5-star recruit): Dean now has 16 tackles on the year, but 11 of those have come in his last three games. He leads all of Georgia's true freshmen in tackles this year. No. 5: DT Travon Walker (former 5-star recruit): The Georgia defensive line simply has more potential for 'havoc' when he's on the field. He added a tackle for loss against Mizzou. Kirby Smart stated in his Monday press conference for the Auburn game he forgets that Walker is still just a freshman out there for Georgia. No. 6: WR Dominick Blaylock (former 4-star recruit): Blaylock did not record a catch against Missouri, but turned heads after he slipped two tackles on an 18-yard punt return. BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR: Safety Lewis Cine, WR Kearis Jackson OTHERS TO MAKE THE HEAT CHECK THIS FALL: Redshirt freshman RB Zamir White; Redshirt freshman DB Divaad Wilson FRESHMEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA Reminder: George Pickens is only a freshman pic.twitter.com/6L4YaDwH3N SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 10, 2019 Just another reminder that George Pickens is/will be a problem pic.twitter.com/MV88kaaVHI UGA Spike Squad (@UGASPIKESQUAD) November 10, 2019 TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! QB Jake Fromm ( @FrommJake) To WR George Pickens ( @geo_Thagoat) #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/XbbbTzPOHz Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) November 10, 2019 PBU by CB Tyrique Stevenson ( @dreamchaserTy10)!!!! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/xFritcsAfu Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) November 10, 2019 OLB Nolan Smith ( @SmithNoland2) with the SAAAACCCKKK!!! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/1P2rBtZAv0 Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) November 10, 2019 ZEEEEEUUUUUUSSSS!!! RB Zamir White ( @zeus1_34) #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/An2XMu04Z7 Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) November 10, 2019 Nice Pursuit by DL Travon Walker ( @D1Figure_) #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/rCn1KDVhZW Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) November 10, 2019 ZEUUUSSSS!!!! @zeus1_34 pic.twitter.com/Eht7bUCP6b Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) November 10, 2019 FRESHMEN TO PLAY IN EVERY GAME The following true or redshirt freshmen Bulldogs have played in every game so far this season: S Lewis Cine ILB Nakobe Dean Redshirt TE John FitzPatrick ILB Trezmen Marshall Redshirt OLB Azeez Ojulari WR George Pickens CB Tyrique Stevenson OLB Nolan Smith Redshirt walk-on LS Payne Walker Redshirt DB Divaad Wilson Participation for 2019 signees The Bulldogs who have seen action so far in 2019 is worth watching in terms of the new redshirt rules. QB Stetson Bennett IV (redshirt sophomore): 3 games WR Dominick Blaylock: 8 games WR Lawrence Cager (grad transfer senior): 8 games S Lewis Cine: 9 games CB D.J. Daniel (junior college transfer) : 8 games ILB Rian Davis: 1 game ILB Nakobe Dean: 9 games TE Ryland Goede: 2 games OLB Jermaine Johnson (junior college transfer): 9 games DL Zion Logue: 2 games ILB Trezmen Marshall: 9 games (special teams) QB D'Wan Mathis: 0 games OL Warren McClendon: 2 games RB Kenny McIntosh: 7 games DL Tymon Mitchell: 2 games DL Bill Norton: 2 games WR George Pickens: 9 games TE Brett Seither: 2 games OLB Nolan Smith: 9 games CB Tyrique Stevenson: 9 games WR Makiya Tongue: 2 games OL Xavier Truss: 2 games DT Travon Walker: 7 games DL Tramel Walthour: 0 games OL Clay Webb: 1 game TE Eli Wolf (grad transfer senior): 8 games True freshmen signees who did not play this week: ILB Rian Davis, TE Ryland Goede, QB D'Wan Mathis, DL Zion Logue, DL Tymon Mitchell, DL Bill Norton, TE Brett Seither, WR Makiya Tongue, OT Xavier Truss, and OL Clay Webb. Georgia football: 2019 Freshman Reports on DawgNation Georgia football vs. Florida: The Freshmen Report FR: Georgia 21, Kentucky 0 South Carolina 20, Georgia 17 The 'Freshmen Report' from Georgia's 43-14 win at Tennessee The 'FR' from the biggest win of the year so far: Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17 FR: Georgia 55, Arkansas State 0 Freshmen Report: Georgia 63, Murray State 17 Freshmen Report: Georgia 30, Vanderbilt 6 The post Georgia football freshmen report: UGA 27, Missouri 0 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart has seen plenty of Auburn's offense, and it's never a comfortable feeling. Gus Malzahn's offensive creativity for the Tigers presents a unique challenge, unlike any other scheme, as Smart explained on Monday. News update: Injury status of Lawrence Cager and Trey Hill The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) play at No. 13-ranked Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. UGA can clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a win over the Tigers. For Georgia, it will be about surviving the first quarter and getting dialed in on the Tigers' tempo and offensive plans 'It's very different, they do a good job of changing things up,' Smart said, asked about Auburn's offensive creativity. 'You throw in the tempo with it, (and) you throw in some of the most elite speed guys in the country on the perimeter, and what you get a recipe for is potential big plays, and they do a good job of attacking your perimeter and your edges.' The Tigers have gone toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the nation this season. Auburn beat Oregon 27-21 in the season-opening game, won at then-No. 17 Texas A&M 28-20 and lost at No. 10 Florida 24-13 and at No. 2 LSU 23-20. 'They got two really tough losses in which they played two really good football teams and played them right down to the wire,' Smart said. 'Their defense speaks for itself,' he said. 'They've got a ton of guys that are going to be drafted on it. They got guys that seem like they have played in our conference for ten years.' Georgia coach Kirby Smart Georgia football stories from DawgNation Game recap: Georgia shuts out Missouri, 27-0 Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win WATCH: Georgia HC Kirby Smart on Missouri win, injuries Grading the Bulldogs win over the Tigers Saturday night Georgia football Game Ball vs. Missouri, safety Richard LeCounte Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH Georgia coach Kirby Smart: How Auburn presents unique offense, seasoned defense appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart had positive news on receiver Lawrence Cager and center Trey Hill at his Monday press conference. 'We're expecting Lawrence to practice today,' Smart said. 'And Trey has an ankle, but he's going to be able to practiced today, as far as we know. 'They are both cleared to practice.' The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play at No. 13 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium (TV: CBS). Georgia can clinch a trip to the SEC Championship Game with a win over the Tigers, who enter the game coming off a bye week. Cager aggravated his shoulder injury in the second quarter of the 27-0 win over Missouri last Saturday and didn't return to the game. Hill left the game at the end of the first quarter with a left ankle sprain and didn't return to action. Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell saw his first action since the Arkansas State game on Sept. 14. Campbell, a talented sophomore, had been dealing with a painful turf toe ailment. Smart said outside linebacker Walter Grant didn't dress for the game because of an undisclosed injury. He described Grant as 'day to day.' Defensive back Tyrique McGhee remains out with a foot injury, Georgia football stories from DawgNation Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win WATCH: Georgia HC Kirby Smart on Missouri win, injuries Grading the Bulldogs win over the Tigers Saturday night Game recap: Georgia shuts out Missouri, 27-0 Georgia football Game Ball vs. Missouri, safety Richard LeCounte Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Kirby Smart: Georgia football injury status for Lawrence Cager and Trey Hill appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Missouri was driving in the final minutes for what would have seemed like an inconsequential touchdown, down 27-0 to Georgia. But while the scoreboard said one thing, UGA linebacker Monty Rice was thinking about another: something defensive coordinator Dan Lanning had drilled into his players' heads. 'Coach Lanning yells it all the time, No one in our end zone!' ' Rice said following the win on Saturday night. 'He's been yelling that since he's become the coordinator.' The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs have responded on defense, allowing just 8 offensive touchdowns in nine games, all of them via the pass game. It's a defense that leads the SEC and ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in all four major statistical categories: Total defense, scoring defense, rushing defensive and pass efficiency defense. The Bulldogs are also No. 1 in the nation in Red Zone defense. In fact, Georgia is the only team in the Division I, II or III that has not allowed a rushing touchdown. But there were the Missouri Tigers with a first-and-goal at the Bulldogs' 4-yard line with about 6 minutes left. 'You never want them to run straight in and score on you,' Rice said, asked of the team's mindset. Dawson Downing gained 3 yards on first down, and it was second-and-goal at the 1, the Georgia defensive streak seemingly destined to finally come to an end. But on second down, Rice shot in from the backside and dropped Dawson for a 3-yard loss, backing the Tigers up to the 4. 'A lot of guys up front knocked the ball back to free Monty up,' Smart said of the signature play in the defensive stand. 'We had some guys inside who were getting blocked to kind of free him up and he made a nice play, too.' Missouri threw two incomplete passes on the ensuing downs, preserving what would become Georgia's third shutout of the season the first time the Bulldogs have had that many in one season since 1981. 'You can't say enough about the defensive staff and the game plan they put together, the buy in from the kids,' Smart said. 'We preached all week how well these guys ran the ball on us last year, and I thought they ran the ball on us as good as anybody last year. 'The defensive players kind of hung their hats on that and they were all chomping at the bit at the end to make it tough to score. I thought they showed some competitive character there at the end with that stand.' The Georgia defense will be challenged to hold the line at Auburn on Saturday when the teams meet at 3:30 p.m. The Tigers rank second in the SEC and 20th in the nation with 219.3 yards per game on the ground. Georgia football defense rankings Scoring defense No. 1 SEC, No. 2 nationally, 10.10 points per game Rushing defense No. 1 SEC, No. 4 nationally, 74.6 yards per game Total defense No. 1 SEC, No. 5 nationally, 260.3 yards per game Pass efficiency defense No. 1 SEC, No. 9 nationally, 107.95 rating Red zone defense No. 1 SEC, No. 1 nationally, .538 13 RedZone, 4 pass, 3 FG 0 Rush TD 3rd down conversion defense No. 1 SEC, No. 11 nationally, 29.6 percent First down defense No. 1 SEC, No. 6 nationally, 130 allowed Georgia MLB Monty Rice Georgia football stories from DawgNation Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win WATCH: Georgia HC Kirby Smart on Missouri win, injuries Grading the Bulldogs win over the Tigers Saturday night Game recap: Georgia shuts out Missouri, 27-0 Georgia football game ball vs. Missouri, safety Richard LeCounte Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Georgia defense tops SEC in every major category, leads nation in red zone appeared first on DawgNation.