On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
47°
Mostly Cloudy
H 61° L 57°
  • cloudy-day
    47°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 61° L 57°
  • cloudy-day
    58°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 61° L 57°
  • rain-day
    61°
    Morning
    Few Showers. H 72° L 47°
Entertainment
‘Marriage Story’ dominates Gotham Awards with 4 wins
Close

‘Marriage Story’ dominates Gotham Awards with 4 wins

‘Marriage Story’ dominates Gotham Awards with 4 wins
Photo Credit: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Greta Gerwig, from left, Laura Dern and Noah Baumbach attend the Independent Filmmaker Project's 29th annual IFP Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday Dec. 2, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

‘Marriage Story’ dominates Gotham Awards with 4 wins

Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” was the resounding winner at the IFP Gotham Awards, taking four awards including best feature at the annual New York awards-season kickoff.

By the end of the night on Monday, Baumbach, having long ago exhausted his one prepared speech, stood at the podium exhorting cast members Adam Driver and Laura Dern to lend him help. Having already given their own speeches — Driver for best actor, Dern as a tribute honoree — they demurred, content to watch Baumbach squirm again while he improvised a few remarks.

Baumbach turned, ultimately, to his actors — “My special effect, my everything is the cast,” he said — and to Netflix for what he called its “unconditional” support of his film, a portrait of divorce starring Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Earlier, Baumbach thanked Netflix, too, for saving the Manhattan single-screen Paris Theatre, which the streaming company purchased last week.

Praise for Netflix and its chief content creative officer Ted Sarandos, who was also in attendance, was a common refrain throughout the evening. The streaming service, which filled up numerous tables at the banquet at Cipriani’s Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, also celebrated wins for Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five series “When They See Us,” (DuVernay was additionally singled out for tribute) and the documentary “American Factory.”

The Gothams, now in their 29th year, are the premier New York gala for independent film, a kind of earlier East Coast corollary to Los Angeles’ Independent Film Spirit Awards in February. Put on by the nonprofit Independent Film Project with nominees selected by committees, Gotham winners can diverge from seasonal favorites. Last year, Chloe Zhao’s lyrical western “The Rider” took best feature.

But a recent stretch of Gotham winners went on to land best picture at the Academy Awards, including Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” and Alejandro Inarritu’s “Birdman.”

And “Marriage Story,” which begins streaming Friday after playing for several weeks in theaters, seems sure to continue a long march through awards season. Acclaim has been heaped on its leads and its ensemble, and it’s been celebrated as a crowning achievement for the 50-year-old Baumbach.

While not a surprise to others, the most shocked winner of the evening was easily Awkwafina, who took best actress for her performance in Lulu Wang’s family drama “The Farewell.”

“Oh my god. I never won anything. I can’t even win an argument in the Instagram comments,” said Awkwafina.

A handful of movies up for best feature — “Uncut Gems” with Adam Sandler, “Hustlers” with Jennifer Lopez — went home emptyhanded. Trey Edward Schultz’ ambitious family melodrama “Waves,” also up for best feature, scored an award for Taylor Russell as breakthrough actor.

The Gotham Awards liberally sprinkle in tributes throughout the ceremony. This year’s honorees included Dern, DuVernay, Sam Rockwell, FilmNation chief executive Glen Basner and Jason DaSilva, a filmmaker and disability rights activist. DaSilva’s Emmy-winning documentary “When I Walk” chronicles his own experience with multiple sclerosis.

DuVernay shared her tips for directing, among them: treat actors and crew the same, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” and change your socks at lunchtime.

Both Baumbach and Greta Gerwig presented Dern with her award, donning what they called “Laura Dern sweaters” for the occasion. The two filmmakers, aside from living together as a couple with a son, share Dern in their latest movies. In “Marriage Story,” Dern plays a ruthless divorce attorney. In Gerwig’s “Little Women” (an upcoming Sony Pictures release ineligible for the Gothams), she plays Louisa May Alcott’s benevolent matriarch Marmee.

Gerwig and Baumbach swapped their speeches, which resulted in Baumbach declaring that he loved Dern “even more than Leonardo DiCaprio, who I sincerely believed I would someday marry.”

The Gothams reliably serve as pep rallies for independent cinema and those that toil in the ever-threatened lower-budgeted realm of moviemaking. Presenter Natasha Lyonne, whose Netflix series “Russian Doll” was nominated for best breakthrough series in episodes less than 40 minutes, evoked that sense of indie pride with more than a touch of sarcasm.

“If there’s one thing everyone in the room can agree on,” Lyonne said while presenting, “it’s that we can never have enough Batman movies.”

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Read More

Local News

  • The Oconee County High School Warriors football team will play for a state championship: the Warriors, who beat the Sandy Creek Patriots this past Friday night at Warrior Field in Watkinsville, will face the Blessed Trinity Titans in a game that will kick at 4:30 Saturday at Georgia State Stadium--the old Turner Field--in Atlanta. 
  • Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor speaks this morning in Gainesville.From the Lt. Gov’s office… Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan will speak to business executives, educational leaders and students as his office hosts the twelfth annual Business & Education Summit at Lanier Technical College in Gainesville.    'One of the key reasons Georgia's economy is thriving is due to the great strides we have made in workforce development,' said Lt. Governor Duncan. 'College and Career Academies have played a vital role in that effort, and I am honored to speak with those individuals who have been part of that process.'   What: Lt. Governor's Business & Education Summit Where: Lanier Technical College's Ramsey Conference Center, 2535 Lanier Tech Drive Gainesville When: Monday, December 9, 2019 Time: 9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
  • The exhibition hall in the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries will be named in honor of CNN founder, environmentalist and longtime Atlantan Ted Turner, subject to UGA Cabinet approval, thanks in part to a $550,000 donation made by WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner), an entertainment and media conglomerate that merged with Turner Broadcasting in 1996.   Announcement of the donation was made on Friday at a ceremony in Atlanta at WarnerMedia’s Techwood campus, which was dedicated to Ted Turner. The gift amount includes $50,000 to establish the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, which will be matched by the UGA Foundation to endow need-based scholarships to incoming students in the university’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.   “As the home of the third largest media archive in the country and the first school of ecology in the United States, the University of Georgia is an ideal location to preserve the Turner legacy, and we thank WarnerMedia for this gift to help create the Ted Turner Exhibition Hall and Gallery,” said P. Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost. “Ted Turner’s contributions to society have altered the landscape of television, the environment, activism and so much more, and his legacy will continue to change lives through the research, instruction and outreach activities in the UGA Special Collections Libraries.”   The Ted Turner Exhibition Hall and Gallery will denote the entry space for the museum level of the Russell Building, which is home to the special collections units of the UGA Libraries, including the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.   As part of the donation, two large marquee gallery spaces will be dedicated to showcase Turner’s life and legacy through artifacts, photographs and other items. An interactive kiosk will be located at the entrance to the gallery that will focus on Turner’s environmental and conservation activism, and his contributions to the media, entertainment and sports industries.    “Ted Turner has made an indelible effect on our world, and it is impossible to truly quantify the impact, or fully express our gratitude to him,” said Dennis Williams, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility for WarnerMedia. “It is our great pleasure to help establish the permanent Ted Turner Exhibition Hall and Gallery at the University of Georgia Libraries’ Russell Special Collections Building.”   In addition to the scholarship, WarnerMedia is establishing the Ted Turner Maverick Internship position at its newly dedicated Techwood campus in Atlanta to provide experiential learning opportunities to Grady College students.
  • There will be a Tuesday funeral for Johnny Childs, a volunteer firefighter in Jackson County who died last week, a day after helping battle a blaze at a home in Arcade. Childs was 64 years old. He appears to have died of cardiac arrest.  A Winder woman gets a 20-year prison sentence, with five of those years to be served behind bars: Amber Lisy was convicted on an assault charge in Madison County. Investigators in the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office say a man found dead in a park on the shores of Lake Lanier is believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A man walking his dog made the grim discovery at Tidwell Park in Forsyth County.  Atlanta Police investigate a weekend homicide: a 33 year-old woman was shot and killed outside a restaurant near East Point.
  • Taylor Maggiore fell in love with University of Georgia football when she was 6. That Christmas, she received two American Girl dolls, and she didn’t know if her family had “won the lottery or robbed a bank to afford these prized possessions.” Santa, it seemed, had been extra generous because that year Georgia football had won the SEC Championship. And Maggiore’s grandparents owned downtown Athens Georgia fan shops. “Happy fans buy Georgia stuff, and mad fans don’t,” Maggiore said. And because good business meant more American Girl dolls, Maggiore started paying attention to football. Her grandpa, a 1968 UGA graduate, started explaining different routes, flags, flea flickers and other football rules and tricks of the trade during every football game they watched together. Now, Maggiore, who is this fall’s student Commencement speaker, is turning that love for football and sports into a career. On Dec. 30 she’ll start her job as a stage manager at ESPN, based out of Bristol, Connecticut. Working in sports media “When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to be in sports. The only role that I saw for women was being on television, on camera,” she said. “Once I got to Grady, I really learned all the different [behind the camera] roles.” Maggiore, a journalism major from Watkinsville, found her calling in directing. “With directing, it gives you the creative space to figure out what stories you’re going to be telling, and then you get to do it visually. You get to figure out where people should be standing, sitting, what kind of graphics you want, what kind of background you want, camera angles, etc. And I really like calling the shots.” Her whole life was sports, so she came to UGA because of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “You’re not going to get a better journalism education, especially with the sports media certificate. There’s nothing like that in this part of the country,” she said. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else.” Once at UGA, she signed up blindly for the Grady Sports Bureau her freshman year. There, she did live broadcasts of Athens-area football, baseball and basketball games. “I got my mistakes out of the way doing those games,” she said. She’s worked for Grady Sportsource, Daktronics and the SEC Network helping broadcast softball, baseball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming and diving. Most importantly, she gotten to do a little bit of everything: graphics, camera, sound, technical directing and stage management. “You can’t just go into a leadership role, or be a director, if you haven’t touched everything in the room. I think it was really valuable that I got to do a little bit of everything. That’s where I figured out I loved directing, calling the shots.” The advice that’s helped her build her resume is: “Say yes to any opportunity—especially in the sports world. There’s nothing that’s lesser than you. Any experience is going to be a learning experience, whether you’re learning that this is not what you want your career path to look like or this is exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life.” And while it’s unavoidable, she said, “Don’t spread yourself too thin. School is important, involvement is important, but the relationships you make here are going to outlast anything.” Maggiore served as an orientation leader in 2018. “This taught me how to actually have a conversation with anyone. You’re in this room with 25 students—some of them are going to be the most extroverted extroverts and some are going to be the most introverted introverts—and I learned how to connect and talk to everyone and explain that UGA has a place for you to a room of completely different people.” Orientation also taught her that she thrives under pressure. During orientation live, Athens was under a tornado warning—and all 900 students and parents watching the skit had to take cover either in the basement or lower hallways of the Tate Student Center. Maggiore and the orientation leaders entertained the families, passed out snacks and really bonded with students in their groups. It’s one of her favorite UGA memories. “For the chaos that was happening outside, it was so well contained and happy inside.” It’s a skill that served her well at her 2019 ESPN internship. She was in charge of studio guests—telling them where to go, where to sit, where to look, when to start or stop talking. One day, guest sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski wasn’t able to make his call time for live TV because he was receiving breaking news. Maggiore worked with the director to move his segment to the end of the show, when he gave a late-breaking update to the story. “In the moment it was so stressful. It kind of worked itself out,” Maggiore said. On Dec. 13, Maggiore will be the student Commencement speaker.

Bulldog News

  • It was bound to happen with Sam Pittman. He is just too good at his job and had always planned to retire in Arkansas one day. That timetable went fast with the strong pull from Arkansas. Pittman has taken the head coaching job at Arkansas in a most uncommon move from position coach to head coach. He makes the move with zero experience as an offensive coordinator or a head coach for that matter. At least outside of the high school or junior college ranks. But he's the sort that can get it done. Pittman will be able to assemble an excellent staff and make SEC Media Days far more interesting going forward. Sam can recruit. Players love him. He will bring an unmistakable attitude to Arkansas football. He knows the landscape & will ha able to put a solid staff together. Big fan of this move. Congrats @CoachSamPittman https://t.co/gTfQWCP81g Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) December 9, 2019 The big DawgNation questions abound now. Can Georgia keep what was shaping up to be a historic offensive line class together? That doesn't seem likely. Especially given how some of them were so closely tied to Pittman and that long sustained relationship was the reason why they chose Georgia over other elite programs. Pittman also built his classes early. He had his work done months in advance. So that means the Bulldogs haven't had a lot of groundwork with backup plans. The thinking here is the next hire will likely need to have strong relationships built with their own targets to be able to replace any departures with what was set to be the highest-rated overall OL signing class in program history. Let's look at the current Georgia o-line class as a whole and try to anticipate where things stand. We'll assess each of the five commitments with the latest 247Sports Composite rankings. Georgia is now coming up on nine days prior to the first day of the early signing period. The biggest remaining weekend for official and unofficial visitors will be this weekend. 5-star OT Broderick Jones/Lithonia High/Lithonia, Ga. Height/Weight: 6-6/315 Saturday position fit: Left tackle National rankings: Nation's No. 2 OT prospect and No. 19 overall/ Spot in the class: Rankings place him No. 2 out of Georgia's 15 public commitments. Committed since: April 26, 2018 (At least. Was a silent pledge for at least a month prior.) Ties to Pittman factoring in the overall strength of commitment to UGA: Very strong ties here. This should be seen as a decision that now impacts him greatly. He chose Georgia over interest in these programs: Auburn, Illinois, South Carolina and Miami. Early enrollee: No. A thing or two to know here: Jones wasn't planning on signing during the early period. But his fondness for Pittman might have eventually swayed him early. Look for him to now go on all his official visits to several schools like Auburn, Miami and South Carolina, among others. The Bulldogs do have a chance to get back in here with a strong replacement hire. The proximity of Georgia and the scope of the program are major draws here. There's really just an unknown here. He's going to likely hit the reset button on everything now. 4-star OT Tate Ratledge/Darlington School/Rome, Ga. Height/Weight: 6-6/325 Saturday position fit: Right tackle National rankings: Nation's No. 3 OT prospect and No. 36 overall Spot in the class: Rankings place him No. 3 out of Georgia's 15 public commitments. Committed since: May 13, 2019 Ties to Pittman factoring in the overall strength of commitment to UGA: Very strong ties here to both Pittman and his overall feeling of a great all-around fit at Georgia. Ratledge has a sense of investment in the program by now. He was at every home game he could attend and was one of the behind-the-scenes leaders of the group. The well-respected prospect is close to a good group of the current class. He chose Georgia over interest in these programs: Tennessee and Alabama. Early enrollee: No. A thing or two to know here: Ratledge planned to sign during the early period but not graduate early. He grew up a Tennesse plan but the overall scope of Georgia and the relationship with Pittman was the major factor. He did realize that coaches do come and go even one as uncommonly popular and genuine as Pittman. If the right replacement hire is made, he seems like one of the more likely commits to remain in the Georgia class. He's grown close to QB commitment Carson Beck and RB pledge Kendall Milton. DawgNation has learned that the Pittman news does not affect the strength of their respective commitments to UGA. I will not be answering questions on my current situation. This will stay between me and my family for now. Thank you Tate Ratledge (@tateratledge22) December 9, 2019 4-star Sedrick Van Pran-Granger/Warren Easton/New Orleans, La. Height/Weight: 6-4/305 Saturday position fit: Center National rankings: Nation's No. 3 C prospect and No. 103 overall Spot in the class: Rankings place him No. 7 out of Georgia's 15 public commitments. Committed since: Aug. 7, 2019. Ties to Pittman factoring in the overall strength of his commitment to UGA: Very strong ties here to both Pittman and UGA. But he also liked the location in Georgia as he has already has a lot of family in Georgia or planning to move there. The future graphic design major did love the idea of playing for Pittman, though. He chose Georgia over interest in these programs: Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Early enrollee: No. A thing or two to know here: Van Pran was not expected to sign during the early period. He has always placed the focus on his Warren Easton state championship run ahead of any official visits during his senior season Van Pran-Grainger will now likely take the official visits he told Sam Spiegelman of Rivals.com he was planning on taking anyway. Look for him to give Georgia a new look and it might still work out. But this will be one of the toughest commitments to retain in this class. 4-star Chad Lindberg/Clear Creek High /League City, Tex. Height/Weight: 6-6/320 Saturday position fit: Guard or tackle National rankings: Nation's No. 17 OT and No. 169 overall Spot in the class: Rankings place him No. 9 out of Georgia's 15 public commitments. Committed since: July 28, 2019. Ties to Pittman factoring in the overall strength of his commitment to UGA: Very strong ties here. Pittman was essentially the difference. The distance away from his Texas roots wasn't going to be the easiest move, but the Pittman move now makes Oklahoma and Texas major factors. He chose Georgia over interest in these programs: LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. Early enrollee: No. A thing or two to know here: Incredible academic profile with his AP classes and weighted approximate 5.43 Texas-sized GPA. He will enroll in college as a sophomore with those AP credits and was going to be able to get a master's degree in four years. Arkansas could become a factor here with Pittman and the location fit. .. Could play either guard or tackle in college like Cade Mays has for Georgia. Lots of untapped potential here with this young man. A college weight program will retool his body and added another level to his on-field play. He had already taken all five of his officials. This will also one of the toughest commitments to retain in this current class. Josh Braun/Suwanne High /Live Oak, Fla. Height/Weight: 6-6/335 Saturday position fit: Guard or tackle National rankings: Nation's No. 22 T and No. 285 overall His spot in the class: Rankings place him No. 13 out of Georgia's 15 public commitments. Committed since: June 10, 2019. Ties to Pittman factoring in the overall strength of his commitment to UGA: Pittman was the ace in the hole on a well-researched recruiting march. That said,Georgia fit Braun on many tiers. He wanted to play for a championship-level program but do so at a strong academic institution with an elite strength and conditioning program. Those are all still there at UGA. He chose Georgia over interest in these programs: Florida and South Carolina. Early enrollee: Yes A thing or two to know: There's some faith Georgia can retain Braun, but the timing works against him because he planned to sign during the early period and enroll in January. His two older brothers started for many seasons at Georgia Tech and Texas so his family knows how coaches come and go. Don't let the rankings fool you. DawgNation projects Braun to be as likely to play well in the SEC as any O-line prospect in this class. He's wired for success with his mean streak, size, athleticism and military family background. He politely declined to comment about the move other than to wish Pittman well. .. His decision will be a big piece of keeping the line class together at UGA. Josh Braun on the Pittman move: 'It's a tough process but I am thrilled for coach Pittman and I hope he is successful at Arkansas.' Georgia football: 3 things with the Sam Pittman decision The hasty and reckless thing to do here would be to offer up a prediction. That's because so much will hinge on assurances from Kirby Smart with these young men this week and also a quick replacement with a strong background. The only statement with accuracy to be made here is that this O-line class might stay together if the current other commits keep them in the fold because of the relationships they have already established about looking forward to playing together. That's one way. The other would be if a strong voice in this class like Ratledge or Braun decides they still want to be Bulldogs and this class as a unit still comes in together because they want to be special. Even not playing for Pittman. It will be hard for all of them to find another group of young men with so much potential this late in the game. The boards at other elite programs could only shift slightly at this point to take advantage of this opening with Georgia's line class. With that, there are three other thoughts on the matter. Georgia will hunker down to keep all of this together:The first element to try and keep all of this together would be finding the new O-line coach. The right O-line coach. How quickly does that happen? Especially with the early signing period AND the only major official visit weekend left before that time comes up this weekend. Would make a lot of sense to have the new OL coach in place by then. The confidence point here for DawgNation is that this is recruiting time. That is the one time of the year where Kirby Smart and this staff has done nothing but come up aces in that department. Bet on that to be well-executed. The retention of the draft-eligible players on the current roster:Seems logical to consider that Pittman moving on is a pause button for those Bulldogs who were thinking about going pro or not going pro. This forces them to really look at both sides of this. Maybe even when they thought they had it all figured out.Don't think Thomas and Wilson are in play here. But what about a Ben Cleveland or a Solomon Kindley? Coming back to play for Pittman would have been a consideration. He's close with all of his guys. But coming back to play for a new O-line coach with the thoughts of an NFL future looming? Hmm. It makes the pull to the Sunday league even stronger now. Georgia's offensive identity: If there was ever a time to do something differently with the UGA offense, then this would be the time to look at this month and this week as a crossroads. It was already the time to do it after the LSU loss. Why? That's because the way those last two seasons ended with Alabama. The closure to the 2019 season wasn't like those near-misses with the Tide. Georgia wasn't one player away (Sony Michel or D'Andre Walker injury) or a 2nd-and-26 from being right there as a national championship-level team. It can be a time to look at the Georgia Way in the mirror and see if the offensive identity really needed to consider the changes Nick Saban made after those early decade losses to Auburn's Gus Malzahn. The same thing with Ed Oregon and the rejuvenation of the LSU program. And then there's this new sudden change with Pittman leading the offensive line room. Jim Chaney and Pittman were tied together. Not James Coley and Pittman. It might be a moment of opportunity for a program that was going to have to take a hard look at whether some LSU or Alabama changes need to be made to the way Georgia plans to put points on the board going forward. The post Georgia football: What does the O-line recruiting picture look like now without Sam Pittman? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart is doing his best juggling act with players and coaches coming and going at the most fluid time of the football season. Smart, in four seasons, has built a strong foundation in Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall that figures to be tested each season the Bulldogs have success. The price for this season's Top 5 campaign was the loss of offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who built arguably the best offensive line in the nation at Georgia and now heads to Arkansas as a head coach. Smart took his time to replace Mel Tucker when the former defensive coordinator left after the SEC Championship Game last year to become the head coach at Colorado, but he may not have that luxury with his next offensive hire. Particularly if he has any visions of landing another high-profile offensive mind for his staff. Here are three issues that arise out of Pittman leaving he Georgia staff 1. Offensive crossroads Smart oversees the defense and provides a steadying force, Dan Landing a star understudy who himself will likely soon become a head coach. But offense is different, and Smart is at a crossroads of sorts as he considers his next move. Doe Smart make a 'big-name' hire that he could pair with James Coley, and turn the offensive meeting room over to a million dollar assistant? Or does Smart look to maintain control of the framework, and find someone like-minded that will maintain the identity that put Georgia on the doorstep of the 2017 national championship and produced three straight SEC Championship Game appearances? 2. O-Line player attrition We're talking returning players, and we're talking recruiting, because Pittman is a beloved figure who the Georgia offensive lineman rally around. UGA has long known junior Andrew Thomas was leaving for the NFL, as he's a projected Top 10 pick. But for other players who might be on the fence despite appreciably lower draft stock Pittman's departure could play a role. Particularly when they are uncertain of who will be coaching them next season. Juniors Solomon Kindley, Isaiah Wilson and Ben Cleveland would all seem to be in position to benefit from another season at Georgia, but none have committed to returning, or leaving, at this point. Georgia's current crop of commits includes five offensive linemen 33 percent of the class including three who had planned to sign early. 3. Buy-in Smart has had unquestionable buy-in from his players the past two seasons, but with each staff change the chemistry changes. Smart's presence and Lanning's energy has maintained the buy-in on defense. Coley's promotion to replace Jim Chaney was plenty popular with the offensive players, but the disappointing results the second half of the season in conjunction with Pittman's departure threatens the confidence on that side of the football. Pittman, whether he proves to be a successful head coach or not, was a warm and unifying figure in the offensive meeting room. DawgNation Georgia football Zamir White keeps working hard Georgia favored over Baylor in Sugar Bowl clash Arkansas announces Sam Pittman as next head coach Kirby Smart calm at center of Georgia whirlwind D'Andre Swift discusses limits and pain in SEC Championship Jake Fromm makes no excuses after defeat in SEC Championship Game WATCH: Kirby Smart sheds light on LSU, Jake Fromm passing issues Bulldogs stock report, LSU crashes Mercedes-Benz Stadium The post 3 critical Georgia football factors involving Sam Pittman's departure appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia tailback Zamir White just keeps moving the pile on and off the field. White returned to action this season after suffering torn ACL ligaments in his right knee (high school, Nov. 2017) and left knee (UGA fall camp, Aug. 2018). Bulldogs fans, appreciative of the inspiring comeback from injury, have greeted White with cheers of 'ZOOOOOOOOOOOS!' each time he takes the field. Which Georgia running back are you most eager to see carry the ball at Vanderbilt? Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) August 30, 2019 'Georgia fans are great fans, they are huge,' White said after the SEC Championship Game on Saturday night, having turned in a 5-carry performance. 'They supported me through it all.' RELATED: Zamir White explosive in long-awaited return The powerful 6-foot, 215-pound White charged toward the line of scrimmage with the football 60 times for 316 yards this season, scoring touchdowns against Murray State and Arkansas State. White's bulldozing style had its place, though he was quick to admit he's still getting his feel back for running the football. UGA coach Kirby Smart was impressed with White's ability to accelerate through tackles and his improved pass blocking as the season progressed. Still, there was only one game where White exceeded 8 carries. It came in October, when the former Scotland County (N.C.) prep star had a 12-carry, 44-yard performance against South Carolina with Brian Herrien sidelined by back spasms. 'I've just got to be more patient with my runs,' said White, whose style was distinctively North-South with 100 mph velocity hitting the hole. 'The game is moving so fast, you've got to think quick.' White figures to get a lot more work next season with Herrien being a senior and 1,000-yard rusher D'Andre Swift expected to declare for the NFL draft. White said he's up to it, feeling good physically and working hard to keep it that way. ' I get treatment morning, noon, night, always, so my knees are feeling great,' White said. 'I just worked and did what I did to get back, because all I know is hard work and just grinding.' White should get plenty of repetitions and carries during bowl practice and against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. Georgia football RB Zamir White DawgNation Georgia football Georgia favored over Baylor in Sugar Bowl clash Arkansas announces Sam Pittman as next head coach Kirby Smart calm at center of Georgia whirlwind D'Andre Swift discusses limits and pain in SEC Championship Jake Fromm makes no excuses after defeat in SEC Championship Game What's next for Georgia football: Bowl bid, players leaving, staff changes WATCH: Kirby Smart sheds light on LSU, Jake Fromm passing issues Bulldogs stock report, LSU crashes Mercedes-Benz Stadium How LSU beat Georgia in SEC title game, scoring, injuries The post WATCH Georgia RB Zamir White: All I know is hard work and grinding' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia has opened as a 7 1/2-point favorite over Baylor in the AllState Sugar Bowl Game, according to VegasInsider.com. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) and No. 7 Bears (11-2) are both coming off losses in their respective conference championship games. Georgia got manhandled by No. 1-ranked LSU, falling 37-10 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday. Baylor, meanwhile, lost its rematch with No. 4 Oklahoma in overtime, falling 30-23 to the Sooners at . The Bulldogs could be without some marquee players in the Sugar Bowl. Junior tailback D'Andre Swift has been dealing with an injured shoulder that led him to a limited role against LSU. Swift, who has indicated he will declare himself eligible for the upcoming NFL draft, had just two carries and three catches, none after the first series of the third quarter. Georgia junior offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is widely projected as a Top 10 pick, but Thomas seemed to leave the door open to playing following Saturday night's loss in Atlanta. Smart said he learned last season to only bring the players to the bowl site who are 'engaged' and want to be there. 'Bottom line is, it's your job to go play in a football game, and you get a great opportunity,' Smart said on the Sunday night Sugar Bowl teleconference. 'There's a lot of teams all across the country that would be dying to play in a game like this, he said. 'We're gonna sell it that way. It's a once in lifetime opportunity to be Sugar Bowl champs. 'We're going to take the ones that want to do that and want to play well.' The Bulldogs will also be without two of their top three receivers, both sidelined by injuries. Graduate transfer Lawrence Cager underwent ankle surgery on Nov. 29 and is in the early stages of recovery. Freshman Dominick Blaylock suffered a torn ACL in the first half of the SEC Championship Game and will be aiming for the start of fall drills. Smart is also dealing with a coaching vacancy, with celebrated offensive line coach Sam Pittman taking the Arkansas head coaching job on Sunday night. SEC bowl games Dec. 27, Academy Spors & Outdoors Texas Bowl, Houston Texas A&M -5 over Oklahoma State Dec. 28, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, CFP Playoff Semifinal, Atlanta LSU -13 over Oklahoma Dec. 30, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Nashville Mississippi State vs. Louisville, no line yet Dec. 30, Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami Florida 13 1/2 over Virginia Dec. 31, Belk Bowl, Charlotte Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech, no line yet Jan. 1, Outback Bowl, Tampa Auburn 7 1/2 over Minnesota Jan. 1 VRBO Citrus Bowl, Orlando Alabama -7 over Michigan Jan. 1 All State Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Georgia -7 1/2 over Baylor Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Jacksonville Tennessee vs. Indiana, no line yet The post Georgia football favored by more than a touchdown over Baylor in Sugar Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football program is spinning around Kirby Smart with the possibility of coaches and players coming or going. The Bulldogs' head coach, fresh off his fourth regular season, remains calm in the center of it all. Smart, master of time management, has his to-do list in order and seems to be taking the approach the chips will fall where they may in the aftermath of an 11-2 season that has his program ranked No. 5 and headed for the Sugar Bowl to play Baylor. Smart calmly addressed Sunday reports that celebrated offensive line coach Sam Pittman could be headed for Arkansas as the Razorbacks head coach when asked by DawgNation on the Sunday night Sugar Bowl teleconference. 'You always hear rumors flying around and different things, and you don't know what to be true and what's not,' Smart said. 'Right now, we're focused on the Sugar Bowl and getting ready for it.' A source at Arkansas told DawgNation on Sunday night that Arkansas has had several candidates fall through, and that Pittman is indeed in play. Smart said he doesn't have a clear idea of which players will be traveling to New Orleans to play the No. 7-ranked Bears in the 8:45 p.m. game on Jan. 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Dome. Smart confirmed that receiver Dominick Blaylock (ACL) is out for the season. Smart also said it's 'very doubtful' that grad-transfer Lawrence Cager will be healed up from the ankle surgery he underwent on Nov. 29. The other Georgia players who were knocked out of the SEC Championship Game are expected to be back, Smart said. The Bulldogs have a handful of underclassmen, however, who could be leaving early for the NFL draft and may elect not to play in the game. 'That's obviously a fluid situation, I think we'll find out more as it comes about,' Smart said. 'Guys really haven't had time to sit back and evaluate where they are and get information. We really only had one last year, and that was Deandre Baker. '(So) I don't know where that will fall, and I'm really not concerned with that right now as much as I am finishing up final exams, and finishing up recruiting, and then getting started on Baylor.' Junior tailback D'Andre Swift is not expected to play in the Sugar Bowl, while offensive tackle Andrew Thomas has left the possibility open. Junior quarterback Jake Fromm and junior safety Richard LeCounte are other underclassmen who could be considering declaring early for the NFL draft. But, as Smart suggested, players are still in the process of getting NFL draft grades to help them make better-informed decisions. 'What I found out last year was that for a lot of kids, it was the most important game of their season and meant so much to them,and then maybe for some others it didn't,' Smart said. 'You've got to take the guys that are engaged and excited about playing, because that matters a whole lot more than how good they are.' The post Kirby Smart at center of whirlwind: Stays on point amid coaching rumors, player attrition appeared first on DawgNation.