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Latest from Tim Bryant

    Oconee County says the new traffic signal at the three-way intersection of Mars Hill, Virgil Langford, and Rocky Branch roads will become operational next week. Crews have been working for the past several weeks to reconfigure the busy intersection off Highway 316.  The Georgia DOT is partnering with Georgia State University to conduct a survey, looking to find out what drivers think about new express lanes on I-85.  MARTA might see rate hikes next year: that word comes from the CEO of the transit system in Atlanta, who tells a state legislative panel that fare revenue is below the 35 percent threshold required to put towards operating expenses. The last time the authority raised the price was in 2011, when the fare for a one-way ticket increased by 50 cents. Any rate hike would take effect next summer. 
  • The Georgia Bulldogs don’t have the only big game this weekend. There is high school playoff football tonight in Watkinsville: the Oconee County Warriors host the Sandy Creek High School Patriots in a game that will kick off at 7:30 tonight in the last game of the season at Warrior Stadium.  Both teams come into the game with 12-1 records. The winner advances to next week’s state championship game. 
  • The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says its deputies confiscated more than $300,000 worth of methamphetamine this week: US Homeland Security was also in on the arrests of three suspects accused of trafficking more than 25 kilos of meth confiscated in Jefferson. 59 year-old Randy Brown, 58 year-old Tamorah Draper, and 50 year-old Rodney Scott were all booked into the Jackson County jail.  A former Gainesville police officer gets twelve months probation after pleading no contest to a reckless driving charge: Adam Davis is 31 years old, from Cornelia. Davis was arrested last year, accused of driving 90 miles per hour on I-985 in Hall County. Besides the probation, Davis has to pay an $1,100 fine.  Crews worked through the night in Hall County, where a gas tanker overturned on I-985, spilling gasoline on the roadway. Hall County Fire Services says there were no injuries. 
  • The Georgia Bulldogs post-season fate is on the line in Saturday afternoon’s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta: the Dogs take on the LSU Tigers, with a spot in the college football playoffs at stake. The game kicks at 4 o’clock in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, with television on CBS. The Bulldogs are 7-point underdogs to the undefeated Tigers. From John Frierson, UGA Sports Communications… All around Vince Dooley's study, there are plaques and paintings and other items from a life spent coaching, leading and learning. There's one honoring the former Georgia football coach and director of athletics' College Football Hall of Fame induction in 1994. There's one marking the start of the Dooley Distinguished Fellows program at UGA in 2018. There are, it seems, dozens more. The most abundant things in the large and comfortable room, already decorated for Christmas — Barbara Dooley has been busy on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving — are bulldogs. There are bulldogs all over the room, particularly in a pair of bookcases that are overflowing with them, as well as other Georgia knickknacks. The bulldogs range from life-sized Uga lookalikes to thimble-sized pieces. 'Somebody kept asking me, 'How many? How many?' So I had two of my grandsons over here and I said, 'You count this side and you count that side,' and there were close to 300 of them,' said Dooley, Georgia's head coach from 1964-1988 and director of athletics from 1979-2004. On Saturday, the beloved Bulldog, a Mobile, Ala., native and former Auburn player and assistant, will be recognized as a member of the 2019 SEC Legends class at the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It's a fitting honor, one of so many that he's received over the years, for a Georgia legend in every sense of the word. During a post-Thanksgiving Quick Chat, Dooley talked about some other SEC legends, making Athens home for more than 50 years, what's happening in his garden and much more. Here's some of what he had to say:  Frierson: Is there one thing in this room that means the most to you? Dooley: I hadn't thought about that, they're all special in some ways. Of course, the national championship. To have a team that's undefeated, undisputed national champions is special, because it's special to that bunch and special to Frank Ros, who was the captain — the best captain we've ever had. Not only during the season, but he's kept that group together. He's been a real leader with that group and they have remained very close. Frierson: What is a Thanksgiving like at the Dooley household these days? Dooley: Thanksgiving every year, we have been going out to the farm in Madison County. I've got about 300 acres out there and a lake, so I was envisioning spending time out there in retirement. I did for a while, cut paths and got to know the place, but what it has served now is, on two occasions each year, Barbara gets about 60 relatives, kin in some way, I'd say about 55 are hers and five are mine ... and every year we got out there for Thanksgiving lunch. And then we do it for Easter, so those are the two times we get out there. I keep saying this is the time I'm going to spend some more time out there, but I'll take a lap around (the property) and that's about it. Then I'll watch football games. Frierson: You're being recognized as one of the SEC Legends at the championship game. How does that feel? Dooley: I was involved in the start of that, and the idea was that it was supposed to be for the players. I think our first one might have been Billy Payne or Fran Tarkenton, and that was the idea, to recognize those type people. That's what we did for a long time, and all of a sudden they started recognizing coaches, so I think because somebody else was recognizing coaches they thought they ought to recognize me. It's a nice honor and it'll be good. Frierson: When you think about SEC legends in your lifetime, who immediately comes to mind? Besides Herschel Walker, of course. Dooley: Well, you'd have to go back to people you've never heard of [laughs], that was almost two generations ago now, when I was growing up. There was a fellow named Travis Tidwell, who was an Auburn freshman quarterback and I think he made All-American. As a youngster in high school, that was someone I remember.  I remember Harry Gilmer, an Alabama All-American I used to listen to on the radio. I had a scrapbook with guys like Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi, like a lot of young kids I kept a scrapbook with the All-Americans in the SEC, so those were some of the ones from when I was younger. Then there were a lot of my own players: Terry Hoage is certainly one; Billy Payne, not only for what he did as a player but a player that has also continued to have a positive influence, he's definitely one of them; Herschel is definitely one of them. There are a lot of them out there. There were also coaches growing up, I had heroes: Bud Wilkinson, John Wooden, as a young coach I studied Coach (Shug) Jordan, who was my coach (at Auburn), but also Bear Bryant and Bobby Dodd. Anybody that's done well, and they all did it in different ways, in different styles, but you studied them and learned from them. And as you get older your heroes expand and I could throw Nelson Mandela in there and a lot of others. Frierson: When did you know that Athens was going to be home forever? Was there ever any thought post-retirement of going down to Florida somewhere or moving anywhere else? Dooley: No, no. My hometown of Mobile would have been the only one that I would have considered. I grew up around the water in my hometown, so I always liked the water because I grew up around it, and if I'd ever thought about retiring somewhere that would have been it. Certainly, I've had a lot of opportunities to move to other places but I would never let it be known because I didn't want my name associated with every job opening. The only two that I ever considered were Oklahoma before you were born, and that's because Bud Wilkinson called me and told me I ought to take a look. And the other was Auburn where I went to school. But by then I'd been here so long, all of my children were here — when I told Derek I was going over to interview, he started crying. He said, 'I hate Auburn, I'm not going to Auburn.' So it made me realize, they're all Georgia, and we'd been here 17 years. I thought about all the players I'd coached and I'd just been here too long.  My roots were deeper (here) and more recent, so I said, this is where we are. Barbara has mixed in with Georgia people all over the state and here in Athens, so there's no better place than right here. Frierson: It's amazing how much Athens and the University of Georgia have grown and changed in your time here. Dooley: I've spent most of my life around a university, 12 years at Auburn and the rest here, and there are certain things that are great benefits of growing up around a university. That is another big reason that we didn't want to go anywhere. The only other town I thought would be nice is Madison (30 miles outside of Athens). I wish we were about 30 minutes closer to the (Atlanta) airport) — that's about the only thing I could say that keeps this from being 100-percent perfect. It's a great town. Frierson: Do you have anything special going on in your garden these days? Dooley: There's something happening all the time, so I've got a garden for all seasons. Whenever you go out there, something is going on. And we're just now on the back end of what has been a great fall color. I've got so many Japanese maples that over a six-week period have got incredible color — some that turned colors early, some after those start to fade, a medium, and then the last of the Mohicans now. Frierson: Speaking of changes, the view of your house from the road has changed dramatically over the years. You used to see a long stretch of lawn and then the house and now there are so many things growing out front that you can't see much of anything. Dooley: Well, I enjoy going out in the garden — it's my golf. I don't have to have a tee time, I can just go out and I enjoy working outside. It's a get-away in that respect, and I enjoy learning. I've always said, the great thing about living around a university is if you've got a curiosity about anything (there are resources available), and that's how I first got into it, because I knew nothing. I tell people I'm an inspiration for anybody that wants to be a gardener late in life, particularly anybody that wants to write a book about something they don't know anything about — I've written a book about gardening as well. Gardening is a learning process, which is a joy, and that's what's great about the university, and then it's good physically. I enjoy working in the yard and I do most of the work — I just get one of my nephews to come help me, that's all — and then it's good for the soul, so I enjoy it. There's a satisfaction when you see it done and you're always looking for another plant to plant somewhere. You're going to run out of space — there are all these things you plant and they look good then, but then they grow. Barbara will look around and say, 'It's a jungle out there! You've got to do something.' Frierson: When you watch football now, how much of it are you still watching through the eyes of a coach and how much of it can you just watch as a fan of the game? Dooley: Well, I can watch in three ways: I can watch as a fan, particularly when I'm watching Georgia; I can also watch as an athletic director, and I also watch as a football coach. So, three ways, and I find myself shifting from one to the other based on what's happening. That ballgame last night (the Ole Miss-Mississippi State Egg Bowl) was entertaining but then I thought about that guy that did that (the Ole Miss player that now-infamously drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after scoring late to cut State's lead to 21-20). You just can't tolerate that, so I found myself watching as an athletic director and a coach and a fan. It was good to see Ole Miss come back and make a great game out of it. When they scored I thought, this is going to be good, going to overtime. Then the guy pulls that, so I immediately become an athletic director and coach that wouldn't tolerate that, and I wouldn't. ... That's what got us into putting in this (no excessive celebration) rule, because it was getting worse and worse. I was chairman of the rules committee when all that was happening and I am very much against it. 
  • The University of Georgia gets a federal grant: UGA says $7.4 million from the Federal Transit Administration will be used to buy 13 new electric buses. From Allison Brannen, UGA Today… The funding, along with UGA’s 30% matching share, will grow the university’s fleet to 33 electric buses, representing a tremendous step forward in reducing emissions and increasing opportunities for experiential learning and research. Twenty electric buses were purchased in April 2019 through a competitive grant from the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority and are currently in production at the Proterra Inc. plant in Greenville, South Carolina. These buses will begin arriving on campus later this month and are anticipated to go into service this academic year, giving UGA one of the largest electric bus fleets of any university in North America. “The University of Georgia is continually seeking ways to increase the efficiency and sustainability of our campus operations,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “The purchase of additional electric buses with funds from the Federal Transit Administration will help us achieve these important institutional objectives.” Earlier this year, the university built an expandable state-of-the-art charging facility on Riverbend Road to prepare for the electric buses already scheduled to arrive on campus. With this infrastructure in place, the FTA grant funding will be used to purchase electric buses without the need for additional charging capacity. A fleet of 33 electric buses will significantly lower life-cycle costs for the university. The expected useful life of electric buses far exceeds the 12-year standard for diesel buses. Fuel costs will decrease by approximately 90%, and with no internal combustion engine or transmission, maintenance costs will be drastically reduced as well.  Having a large fleet of electric buses on campus also creates opportunities for faculty and students to use field assets in their research and studies. UGA Auxiliary Services has partnered with the College of Engineering to work with four student teams as they complete capstone projects related to electric bus technology. Auxiliary Services also has partnered with the college on proposals for two transportation-related National Science Foundation grants. These projects have the potential to advance electric bus technology and improve lives through better transportation worldwide. “The positive benefits that come from receiving this grant are remarkable,” said Robert Holden, associate vice president for Auxiliary Services. “In addition to reducing costs and contributing to research, advancing electric bus technology on our campus will allow us to provide better, cleaner transportation for the community by significantly reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions.” The additional buses are anticipated to be purchased within the next year.
  • Retiring Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, the first black judge to serve on the state’s highest court, has been chosen to deliver the University of Georgia’s annual Holmes-Hunter Lecture: the lecture, named in honor of the first two black students to attend UGA, is scheduled for February 3 in the Chapel on the University’s North Campus. From Hayley Major, UGA Today… After earning his Bachelor of Science from Tuskegee University in 1967, Benham became the second African American to graduate from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1970. In 1984, he was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Joe Frank Harris where he served for five years before being appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1989. That same year, he earned his Master of Laws from the University of Virginia. In April, Benham announced he will be retiring from the bench at the end of his current term. “Justice Benham represents one of the greatest leaders in the legal profession,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are honored to welcome him back to campus for this important lecture.” A lifelong resident of Georgia, Benham holds memberships in multiple organizations state-wide and nationally, including the Lawyers’ Club of Atlanta, the American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects and the National Criminal Justice Association. He serves as president for the Society for Alternative Dispute Resolution, as a trustee of the Georgia Legal History Foundation, and as chairman of the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. In 2018, the UGA School of Law established the Benham Scholars Program to foster diversity in the legal profession, named in honor of Justice Benham.
  • Georgia’s elected officials issues statements in response to Governor Brian Kemp’s choice of Kelly Loeffler as a replacement for retiring US Senator Johnny Isakson. Congressman Doug Collins “The governor has the right to make this appointment, and I respect the decision he has made. I congratulate Kelly Loeffler on her appointment to serve our great state as Georgia’s next senator. I appreciate the support I have received from the president and many others, and right now, my primary focus is defending our president against partisan impeachment attacks.”   Congressman Jody Hice 'I have known Brian Kemp for over a decade. As a friend and as Governor, he has proven to be an effective leader for both the state of Georgia and the conservative movement. He is a proven champion in the fight to protect life. Simultaneously, he has further developed Georgia's robust and thriving business environment. I congratulate him and Kelly Loeffler on her appointment to the U.S. Senate. I look forward to working with her to promote the conservative principles and values of Georgia and our great President.' Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller   “Governor Kemp was tasked with appointing a replacement for the retiring Senator Johnny Isakson, a huge challenge! He has placed key Georgians in appointments in his brief tenure as governor. His appointment for the United States Senate will be no exception. Kelly Loeffler has a strong business record and she will use those assets in the US Senate representing Georgia. I look forward to working with her.”   State House Speaker David Ralston 'Governor Kemp has chosen the person he believes most qualified to represent our values in Washington. I congratulate Ms. Loeffler, and I look forward to getting to know her as we all work together to Keep America Great.'       U.S. Senator David Perdue    “My number one goal is to continue the best economic turnaround in U.S. history and focus on the needs of the people of Georgia. The only way to ensure that happens is to advance President Trump’s agenda in the U.S. Senate. While Senator Isakson leaves behind big shoes to fill, I look forward to working with Kelly Loeffler, my new partner in the U.S. Senate, to continue that positive change for Georgia and our country.”   U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson 'I congratulate Kelly Loeffler on her historic appointment to the United States Senate. Kelly's business experience and acumen will be an asset to Georgia and the Senate. The same tireless work ethic that has helped her succeed in business will also help her succeed in serving Georgians and our nation. It has been the honor of a lifetime for me to serve this great state in the U.S. Senate, and my staff and I will work closely with Kelly to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Today is Reading Day at the University of Georgia, the traditional day of study before tomorrow’s start of final exams: UGA students wrapped up fall semester classes Wednesday; fall semester graduation is next Friday.  The University of Georgia is looking for nominations for the latest round of graduate teaching awards: UGA says the nomination deadline is January 24. From the University of Georgia master calendar… The University recognizes the significant contribution graduate students make to the instructional mission of the University with several teaching awards. The nomination period is now open for the following awards: Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award This award, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, annually recognizes the top 10% of teaching assistants demonstrating superior teaching skills while serving as instructors in the classroom or laboratory. Excellence in Teaching Award This highly competitive award, sponsored by the Graduate School, annually recognizes five teaching assistants who contribute to teaching at UGA beyond their own assigned classroom responsibilities.
  • Madison County Commissioners have signed off on a proposal that will allow for another half-dozen poultry houses to built off Highway 98 in Madison County. The City Council in Commerce is looking at possible pay raises for city of Commerce employees: a decision could come early next year.  The City Council in Winder has signed off on an increase in wastewater rates in Winder. The city is looking to make up for a budget shortfall in its sewer funding.  The City Council in Homer is looking at rate increases for water and garbage rates in Homer. They could up early next year.  The US Forest Service holds this evening the third of three meetings that have focused on plans for the Foothills Landscape Project: tonight’s 6 o’clock meeting is at the Lumpkin County Parks and Recreation headquarters in Dahlonega. The Forest Service’s Foothills Landscape Project is designed to maintain and improve watershed and ecological conditions on more than 150,000 acres that stretch across the Chattahoochee National Forest. 
  • The Jackson County Board of Elections says the recall elections could take place as early as next month, with January 14 set as a targeted date: recall petitions have been circulating in Hoschton, where Mayor Theresa Kennerly and the Mayor Pro Tem Jim Cleveland are under fire for what critics say were racist remarks.  Some Hoschton City Council members say Mayor Theresa Kenerly admitted to them that she pulled the resume of a city administrator candidate because he’s black and she was worried the town wasn’t ready for a black city administrator. Cleveland was quoted as saying he didn’t approve of interracial marriage. The Georgia Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments against the validity of the recall effort. 
  • Tim  Bryant

    News Director

    Tim Bryant is News Director for Cox Media Group Athens and also works as an anchor and reporter for WSB Radio in Atlanta. Previous stops on the dial include Augusta and Tallahassee. Tim has reported for ABC, CBS, and the Associated Press, and has provided guest commentary and analysis on stations across the US, the U.K., and New Zealand. Tim hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens. 

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Local News

  • 21 faculty members across UGA’s schools and colleges met to discuss the development of UGA’s Innovation District on Dec. 3 in the Peabody Board Room of the Administration Building. The Innovation District Faculty Advisory Council will meet throughout the year to provide input on the Innovation District initiative, with particular focus on programming, resources and support for research commercialization and university-industry engagement. The council will be led by the Innovation District leadership team: Kyle Tschepikow, special assistant to the president and director for strategy and innovation; David Lee, vice president for research; and Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction. The members of the council are: Jenay Beer, Insitute of Gerontology Karen Burg, College of Veterinary Medicine Justin Conrad, School of Public and International Affairs Andrew Crain, Graduate School Joseph Dahlen, Warnell School of Forestry Naola Ferguson-Noel, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center Chris Garvin, Lamar Dodd School of Art Chris Gerlach, New Media Institute Kristina Jaskyte, Institute for Nonprofit Organizations Kirk Kealey, Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center Eileen Kennedy, College of Pharmacy William Kisaalita, College of Engineering Kevin McCully, College of Education Sergiy Minko, College of Family and Consumer Sciences Michael Myers, Small Business Development Center Jonathan Murrow, AU/UGA Medical Partnership Usha Rodrigues, School of Law Pejman Rohani, Odum School of Ecology Christine Szymanski, Complex Carbohydrates Research Center Amitabh Verma, College of Environment and Design Dee Warmath, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • U.S. Rep. Doug Collins was as pugnacious as ever as he delivered his opening remarks during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment. The Gainesville Republican repeated his critique that the Democratic-led investigation was primarily fueled by contempt for President Donald Trump. He described the probe as a rushed attempt to ram through charges without evidence that the president had done anything wrong. “This is nothing new, folks; this is sad,” said Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee. There were some points of levity — including when Collins joked about the room’s chilly temperature and uncomfortable chairs — but most of his comments were pointed and biting, both toward the Democrats on the committee and the three constitutional law experts who backed impeachment. Collins also used his opening statement to criticize the decision to invite four constitutional law experts to the hearing, three of whom were recommended by Democrats and one called by Republicans. One of them, Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan later said she took offense at his insinuation they had not reviewed the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report before testifying. “Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing because I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts,” she said. “So I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts.” Throughout the meeting, Collins and other Republicans forced procedural votes on requests varying from postponing the hearing to requiring House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and an anonymous whistleblower to testify. Democrats, who are in the majority, objected each time.
  • The Athens Symphony will perform the first ever public performance of a new arrangement of “O Holy Night” at their annual Christmas concerts on December 7 and 8.    The piece, arranged by Hollywood film scorer Chad Rehmann, was initially featured in the 2018 film A Christmas Arrangement. Following rave reviews, Rehmann re-arranged the score for orchestral performance and dedicated it to his wife Kari.    “After reaching out to a few regional orchestras known for their holiday concerts,” said Rehmann, “Brad Maffett (Athens Symphony’s Associate Conductor) contacted me expressing interest in performing the work. The more we corresponded, the more excited I became about the Athens Symphony premiering this work, especially given the ensemble’s commitment to family-friendly programming and its focus on a relationship with the Athens community. “   The Symphony will host Rehmann at the December 7 concert with a red-carpet welcome planned for 7:30 p.m.    A Christmas Tradition   A longstanding tradition, the Athens Symphony’s annual Christmas Concerts bring Athenians and Northeast Georgia residents together to celebrate with classic Christmas favorites, a sing-along, and even a visit from Santa.    “The Athens Symphony Christmas Concerts are known for being premier events of the holiday season in our community, bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate the season,” said Symphony Executive Director Dr Richard Hudson. “It’s a privilege that the Symphony is able to continue its mission of providing free concerts that are open to everyone, knowing that the power of music is a unifying force.”   Complimentary tickets will be available at The Classic Center Box Office beginning Nov. 25 and are required for entry into the concerts, which will be held Saturday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Oconee County says the new traffic signal at the three-way intersection of Mars Hill, Virgil Langford, and Rocky Branch roads will become operational next week. Crews have been working for the past several weeks to reconfigure the busy intersection off Highway 316.  The Georgia DOT is partnering with Georgia State University to conduct a survey, looking to find out what drivers think about new express lanes on I-85.  MARTA might see rate hikes next year: that word comes from the CEO of the transit system in Atlanta, who tells a state legislative panel that fare revenue is below the 35 percent threshold required to put towards operating expenses. The last time the authority raised the price was in 2011, when the fare for a one-way ticket increased by 50 cents. Any rate hike would take effect next summer. 
  • The Georgia Bulldogs don’t have the only big game this weekend. There is high school playoff football tonight in Watkinsville: the Oconee County Warriors host the Sandy Creek High School Patriots in a game that will kick off at 7:30 tonight in the last game of the season at Warrior Stadium.  Both teams come into the game with 12-1 records. The winner advances to next week’s state championship game. 

Bulldog News

  • DawgNation has four staffers who cover Georgia football from every angle: Beat, live streams, photos, podcasts, recruiting, etc. The 'Cover 4' concept is: 1) Present a topic; 2) Offer a reasoned response; 3) Share a brisk statement on that opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss the big matchups to pay attention to for Saturday's Georgia-LSU game. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. The focus is always a timely look with each of our guys manning the secondary on a pertinent topic. The quick in-and-out game remains. It is designed to come out quicker than former Bulldog Nick Chubb scored his third touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year. The latest 'Cover 4' question is of the fill-in-the-blank variety: What is the one matchup which will largely decide the SEC Championship game? Brandon Adams: The UGA secondary vs. LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase The 'why' from 'DawgNation Daily' here: ' It's not easy to identify LSU's best receiver, but Chase might win the Biletnikoff Award. The Bulldogs also faced the Biletnikoff winner in last year's SEC championship game and held Alabama's Jerry Jeudy to three catches for 24 yards (including a touchdown) .' Mike Griffith: Georgia offensive line vs. LSU defensive front The 'why' from 'On the Beat' here: ' Georgia has to run the ball effectively on first down to have success against the LSU defense . ' Connor Riley: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Georgia's linebackers The 'why' from 'Good Day UGA' here: ' Edwards-Helaire has been phenomenal this year. When Georgia saw him in 2018, he rolled up 145 yards on the Bulldogs. Georgia's group of linebackers have to be better and win that matchup for the Bulldogs to win the game . ' Jeff Sentell: Kirby Smart, Dan Lanning, J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte III versus Joe Burrow, Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger. The Intel here: 'Plays + players. That's the winning equation here. Can Lanning and Smart make the calls that lead to big stops on the back end from Reed and LeCounte? If so, the Bulldogs can limit the LSU quarterback and the game plans laid in place by Brady (passing game coordinator) and Ensminger (offensive coordinator) which have transformed LSU football in 2019.' The 'Cover 4' topics of late: The most pro-UGA stat to pay attention to versus LSU The way Georgia beats LSU is .. How much will the first-half suspension of George Pickens hurt? What's the desired outcome for the Alabama-LSU game? Who is coaching Georgia when Ohio State comes to town in 2030? The Florida Gators who can do the most damage against Georgia are Name the Bulldog who delivers a key supporting role against Florida What's the big area where the Bulldogs must 'do more' to beat Florida? Cover 4: What will Georgia's record look like at the end of the regular season? What is the toughest game left on the schedule? What is the biggest edge that Georgia will have on Notre Dame? Who has already opened our eyes after just two games? What is your take on the legendary Vince Dooley? Who has the biggest day against Murray State? The most improved Bulldog since last season is . A few big non-score predictions for Georgia-Vanderbilt Which returning Bulldogs impressed the most in fall camp? The players set to become the new fan favorites for 2019 are . What will convince you the Bulldogs are throwing the ball more this fall? What kind of numbers will D'Andre Swift put up in 2019? Jake Fromm 's best quality? The Cover 4 crew chops that one up The post Georgia football: What one matchup with LSU could swing the SEC championship game? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Georgia and LSU both had their walk-through session as Mercedes Benz-Stadium on Friday. The programs offered two different examples of what the experience means to them. Unbeaten LSU had a lot of cell phones out soaking up the moment as they walked onto the turf on Saturday. Georgia did not. That's indicative of the Bulldogs now making their fourth appearance in that venue since December of 2017. Kirby Smart and his Bulldogs will compete on Saturday afternoon in their third straight SEC championship game. That's a feat that has only been matched by Alabama and Florida in conference play. Alabama matched that feat earlier this decade. The Gators (1992-1996) and the Crimson Tide (1992-1994) also both did that during the first decade of the game. LSU Heisman Trophy candidate Joe Burrow and his splendid tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire both took a seat for almost all of the 15-minute media viewing period for their Friday walkthrough. Smart did the same while his team first hit the turf on Friday afternoon. There were a couple of moments in the LSU session which entertained. The first was an impromptu volleyball match among the LSU offensive line. Choose your conclusion A) Check out this new 'play' the LSU offensive line was working on Friday or; B) This just about sums up the pageantry of the media walk-through period at the SEC championship or; C) This really means more. pic.twitter.com/OGC364WFwg Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 6, 2019 The champions of the SEC West also tossed up passes among their receiver group, too. LSU sophomore WR Ja'Marr Chase. 70 catches for 1,457 yards and 17 TDs so far. That's 20.8 yards per catch. pic.twitter.com/A3YoQMAXhj Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 6, 2019 Check out the DawgNation.com photo gallery below from the rest of the events of the day. The post PHOTOS: Walkthrough day for Georgia-LSU at the SEC championship appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Georgia football legend David Pollack has proven to be as aggressive and direct with his analysis as he once was as an All-American pass rusher, and Friday was no different. Pollack emphasized the importance of UGA tailback D'Andre Swift and dished out criticism aimed at Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm on Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. RELATED: Kirby Smart Friday press conference in Atlanta, updates D'Andre Swift Asked to rate the importance of Swift in Georgia's game against LSU at 4 p.m. on Saturday on a scale of one to 10, Pollack replied, '15,' and explained why. 'One of the keys would be to get him and Brian Heroine the ball out of the backfield, because LSU is not covering backs,' said Pollack, a two-time SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American during his UGA career (2001-2004). 'I think (Swift) has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win, and it needs to be inside and outside. It needs to be screens, it needs to be finding ways to get him the ball he's the best back in the country in space.' Pollack also said Fromm, the first quarterback since Florida's Danny Wuerffel to lead his team to three straight SEC title game appearances, is 'not playing his best football' this season. Here's more from Pollack's Q&A on Friday: Can Georgia hold LSU's offense? POLLACK: Define hold?Kirby and Company are going to have to check their egos at the door and understand that from 20 to 20, have all the yards you want, make it a slow death, and then make them be really efficient in the red zone and kick field goals. I don't think anybody can stop this offense. I think Joe Burrow is operating on a level that, his worst game is 71 percent, I think. It's not human. It's an offense where it has great answers for everything you do and great weapons and a running game. And not only that, there's a quarterback who buys time and scrambles and breaks tackles and makes big plays. There are gonna get theirs, and Jake is going to have to play really well. What would you say to Georgia fans who have had questions about the Bulldogs' offense? POLLACK: You should. I Tweeted about being excited about old school versus new school, because it used to be defense wins championships. I don't think it's defense wins championships anymore. I think you have to have a great offense to win a college football championship, and the game has changed so much. We'll get to see if old school defense can still reign supreme. This is a Big 12 offense. This is not an offense that reinvented and does new amazing things that nobody else does. It's just an offense that has answers that spread out so it can throw the football to a lot of different weapons. They are gonna get theirs.' What role do you think Jake Fromm plays for Georgia's offense? POLLACK: He's not playing his best football. I can look at him and watch him, his mechanics need to improve. He's fading away throwing the football way too much. That's the kind of stuff for a three-year starter, where you can't do that. He's definitely culpable. He's missed a lot of throws that are wide open. I think the system and the scheme is getting to know each other still and hasn't really clicked together great yet, and it needs to do that this week. It will change a little bit more. It has done well at times, but it hasn't put together a complete game and it needs to do that.' The SEC West has had three teams in three years, Georgia has won three straight in the East, what does that say? POLLACK: Florida is doing OK. Florida is back to back 10 win seasons for the first time since 2008, so Florida is doing their share and doing well But Georgia is three times in a row here, that's pretty dad gum good. If you had told Georgia fans that when Kirby got hired, they would have said sign me up for that. How about three straight years ending where you're in the conversation for the college football playoff? That's pretty dad gum good. It's still a pretty good young team, that's not going to lose much on defense, offensive line who leaves early? Who leaves early, Swift will leave early. When he leaves, how many leave will be the better questions. So it shows a lot about Kirby and how he has been able to recruit and restore. What is the trick about this LSU offense that has made it that unstoppable? POLLACK: 'There ain't no trick, Bro. It's not a trick, they know how to execute, they know exactly if you blitz them, they have their answers, and if you want to play Cover One they are going to hit deep overs and they are going to hit fades, and gos they do a good job if you are going to pay dime and nickel they are going to run duos all day and run the football at you. They do a really good job of knowing how to attack every level of a defense. The offense (once) trended toward Golden State, it was threes and dunks, it was gos and screens and they do a good job with their mid-range and attack. They do everything well. That's why it's hard to say I'm going to take this away, or that away. Every time you do, they have an answer for it. I think Kirby, as brilliant as he is defensively, can up with something to make a few plays. Tua (Tagovailoa) last year had a roll going coming into the Dome, and cooled off big time, got hurt too. It's what can you find that can slow them down for a possession and you win. Auburn tried the tower approach tried to go with three down and bring in a bunch of speed, it kind of worked, but what can you bring in and slow down just for a little bit, and hold the rope and hopefully your offense makes plays and hold the ball a little bit and works together. Could Coach Orgeron win Coach of the POLLACK: Year? POLLACK: In the league, or nationally? Yeah, Ryan Day, he's done a heck of a job, and you look at P.J. Fleck and Baylor's Matt Rhule, he's definitely in there. How about his record against Top 10 teams, and the hire of the offseason, nobody can debate that. I know who the Broyles Award winner is, I don't think anybody else is nominated, it's just go ahead and give it to Joe Brady. Can Joe Burrow lose the Heisman Trophy? POLLACK: Sure, I mean people have those moments when they start to have doubts and questions. He's by far and away commanding the lead, but what if he struggles mightily and limps to the finish and then all the sudden, you see a huge game from Justin Fields, or somebody like that, it can jump up, maybe. It's a small, small chance. I think Joe Burrow has done enough throughout the season. But it's a big-time stage where you have to prove things, but I think some people could have some doubts, still. I find it very hard to believe he'd lose it. LSU's Grant Delpit says he's close to 100 percent, is that what you've seen on film from him? POLLACK: I'm trying to measure my words here. He hasn't had his best year, this year. I think the secondary on a whole, you see a ton of talent, but you've also see more big plays than you're accustomed to seeing, more missed tackles than you're accustomed to seeing. Yeah, they are getting healthier, but they've got to play better. That's why Ohio State is No. 1. You can nitpick and say Cincinnati is a Top 25 team, or whatever, Ohio State has been more dominant, their defense has been more dominant. That's the difference between LSU and Ohio State. I could also swing the pendulum and say who has Ohio State played offensively that's any good? Even Cincinnati is not very good, Penn State is not very good, Wisconsin's offense, those all leave a lot to be desired. Michigan is a pretty good, and had some success. I think defensively it's very interesting we are sitting on championship weekend and we're pointing the finger at LSU and it's at their defense.' How important is it for Georgia to keep Joe Burrow in the pocket? POLLACK: 'I don't know, it doesn't matter. You better cover really well, and you better get him to the ground. I don't care about where you keep him, when you get your hands on him, you got to get him to the ground. He's strong, he's physical, but he's so dad gum tough. He doesn't give up. He's not like a Manning back in the day, you saw people get close to them, they would kind of take a dive. That's not a shot at them, but Joe Burrow is going to physically go through anybody he needs to. When he runs the football, he lowers his shoulder, he's going to make plays. So when Georgia gets here, whoever that is, get your hands on him and get him to the ground. I think another key will be batted passes. You want to take away some of those throws over the middle, when I'm a pass rusher and I know I can't get to the QB, I get my hands up and knock the ball down. Now maybe it's second-and-10 and you've got a better chance.' Is this game important to determine if Georgia has the right offensive identity? POLLACK: 'We'll see. I think that it's pretty proven now that offenses win, and you have to score. You have to win a championship game, a playoff game and another playoff game to be a champion. And to do that, you're going to play offensive juggernauts, and you better be able to score points. If you can't score points, and you can't be an explosive offense, it's very hard to win that many games in a row. It's like the NFL being in the playoffs, and you have to string three together, that's a tough thing to do.' #Georgia has named Jake Fromm, J.R. Reed and D'Andre Swift as game captains seemingly a good indication that Swift (shoulder) will play, although.. But, Brian Herrien was a game captain for South Carolina and he didn't play in that game (back spasms). Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) December 6, 2019 Georgia football DawgNation Kirby Smart compares Jake Fromm to Tim Tebow CBS analyst Gary Danielson says key for Georgia not Jake Fromm 7 Georgia players to watch vs. LSU Why D'Andre Swift is the most important player for UGA vs. LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron brings great confidence into matchup Georgia aware of Tigers dangerous running back Kirby Smart relays how LSU represents greatest challenge James Cook could provide offensive spark vs. LSU Statistical comparison of Georgia-LSU in SEC title game VIDEO: Kirby Smart shares feelings on George Pickens WATCH: Jake Fromm zeroes in on LSU David Pollack The post David Pollack Q&A: D'Andre Swift has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Kirby Smart said the expectation at Georgia was to be back back at the SEC Championship Game for a third straight season, but by no means is it taken for granted. 'I'm excited to be here because I love the venue and the opportunity to play in it,' Smart said Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'It means you accomplished something and won your division, you don't ever take that for granted. 'It's earned, it's not something we take lightly or for granted, it's something we expected to do, and we're going to always set that as a bar, because this is where you go to take the next step.' The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) are a touchdown underdog against No. 2 LSU (12-0) in the 4 p.m. game on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Tigers feature Heisman Trophy front runner Joe Burrow along with two 1,000-yard receivers. 'They've broke about every record there is in the SEC, and I know our guys are excited,' Smart said. 'It will be a challenge for us.' LSU beat Georgia 36-16 last season in Baton Rouge, but Smart said the Tigers' offense has undergone a complete makeover. 'It's extremely different, you can see remnants, small elements, but the unique thing now is they are doing whatever they want to do,' Smart said. 'Last year they were a little bit more predictable and had more of a run element.' Georgia's offense, meanwhile, is largely the same. The Bulldogs look to be efficient throwing the football and feature a power element on the ground. Smart didn't offer much of an update on tailback D'Andre Swift, who left last Saturday's game with a shoulder injury but hasn't missed any practice time. 'It's hard to measure from practice, because at this point of the season you don't go live and hit,' Smart said. 'He's practiced and done everything we asked him to do.' LSU coach Ed Orgeron said the Tigers expect to see Swift. 'We're planning for him to play,' Orgeron said on Friday. 'Just like other great players we play, I'm assuming this guy is a great competitor, and I'm assuming he's going to play.' Smart said he's confident his team can handle playing on the big stage 'In the SEC, these games are championship games every week,because if you don't win them, you're not in the championship game,' Smart said. 'It's another week you have to go out and play, and you're playing the best from the other side in LSU.' Georgia football DawgNation Kirby Smart compares Jake Fromm to Tim Tebow CBS analyst Gary Danielson says key for Georgia not Jake Fromm 7 Georgia players to watch vs. LSU Why D'Andre Swift is the most important player for UGA vs. LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron brings great confidence into matchup Georgia aware of Tigers dangerous running back Kirby Smart relays how LSU represents greatest challenge James Cook could provide offensive spark vs. LSU Statistical comparison of Georgia-LSU in SEC title game VIDEO: Kirby Smart shares feelings on George Pickens WATCH: Jake Fromm zeroes in on LSU The post Georgia coach Kirby Smart: SEC Championship Game an expectation, but not taken for granted appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Closely matched games have a tendency to come down to four or five plays, moments when a given team takes or is handed momentum. Turnovers, special teams plays and explosive plays are all capable of triggering emotional swings and changing a team's game plan or preferred personnel in a flash. Georgia and LSU have battled their way to the SEC Championship Game by handling those moments and overcoming obstacles. The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) are a touchdown underdog to the No. 2-ranked Tigers (12-0) and figure to need their 'A' Game to pull off the upset. Here are seven Georgia players that will be key against the Tigers. 1. Rodrigo Blankenship Every point will count, every kickoff will count, and the Bulldogs will be relying on their all-time leading scorer to come through in the clutch. Blankenship's third quarter miss against Alabama in last year's SEC title game was an opportunity for Georgia to make that a three score game. This time, UGA may need Blankenship to salvage stalled drives and connect from long distance, as well as hit the pressure-packed kicks. 2. Jake Fromm It's so obvious, but so true, Georgia relies on Fromm to do so much more than complete passes. The junior must change plays at the line of scrimmage, adjust protections and manage the huddle in the midst of chaos and emotion. Fromm has avoided interceptions in 11 of 12 games this season, but against LSU, he'll also need to tuck and run for the offense to be at its best. 3. Richard LeCounte This junior play-making safety has been a ball hawk of late, forcing fumbles in each of the past two games and picking off a pass against Missouri in a 27-0 win on Nov. 9. LeCounte's has also developed into the most fierce hitter in the secondary and an excellent open-field tackler. He'll be relied on to handle speedy receivers as well as powerful runner Clyde Edwards-Hellaire in one-on-one open-field tackling matchups. 4. D'Andre Swift It has been said and written at each turn that Swift is UGA's X-factor, and that is because he is the most explosive skill position player on the team. Swift can run heavy or fast, depending on the situation. Swift has shown home run speed once in the open field, but his sharp cutting is what separates him from other backs. Bumps and bruises have slowed the junior, but this will be a legacy game and an opportunity for Swift to take a place alongside recent greats Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. 5. Monty Rice The heart and soul of the Georgia defense and designated tough guy, Rice is going to need to get to Edwards-Helaire before the LSU running back can get momentum. Rice has proven adept at stepping into gaps, but his pass coverage skills will be tested on first and second down. Young Nakobe Dean often comes on the field on third downs, but the Tigers are a threat to score on every play, and Rice will need to be on top of his game in pass coverage as well as run stoppage. 6. Tyler Simmons Simmons was limited by a shoulder brace most of the season, but he has had it off the past few games and evolved into Georgia's leading receiver over the past two games. The senior has the speed to get open and make things happen, and he's showing consistency with his hands. Perhaps most importantly, Fromm trusts Simmons to be where he's supposed to be and carry out his assignments. It has been a tough year for the UGA receivers, but they have an opportunity for redemption on Saturday. 7. Trey Hill Hill was roughed up at center and his snaps were late in Georgia's only loss to South Carolina, and that can't happen again. In truth, it's going to take Georgia's best collective effort on both sides of the line of scrimmage to win this football game. The last time these teams met, LSU won both sides of the line of scrimmage and was the stronger, tougher and more well-drilled team. The Bulldogs have it all on the line, quite literally, in Atlanta. Georgia football DawgNation Kirby Smart compares Jake Fromm to Tim Tebow CBS analyst Gary Danielson says key for Georgia not Jake Fromm Why D'Andre Swift is the most important player for UGA vs. LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron brings great confidence into matchup Georgia aware of Tigers dangerous running back Kirby Smart relays how LSU represents greatest challenge James Cook could provide offensive spark vs. LSU Statistical comparison of Georgia-LSU in SEC title game VIDEO: Kirby Smart shares feelings on George Pickens WATCH: Jake Fromm zeroes in on LSU The post 7 key Georgia football players against LSU in SEC Championship Game appeared first on DawgNation.