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Bulldog News

    ATHENS Spend five minutes talking to Georgia senior receiver Tyler Simmons, and you can understand why any coach or quarterback would want the ball in his hands. It's clear Simmons is going to be successful at anything in life he chooses after football, but right now the senior captain is focused on helping the Bulldogs win a championship. Simmons is willing to do anything for his team and he has from his special teams expertise, to his downfield blocking and leadership in the receivers room. But football is not always fair, and Simmons has had the misfortune of playing most of the past two seasons in a shoulder brace that has limited his range of motion. There's pain, too, but Simmons accepts that's part of the game. 'Of course, it's football, (pain) comes with the game,' said Simmons, who injured his shoulder the second game of the season. 'You can either sit out and miss those opportunities, or you can go and do what you can do.' This was supposed to be Simmons' season to breakout and use his elite speed to make plays with the ball in his hands. Instead, he's dealt with the regret of missing a pass in overtime against South Carolina that ended up in the hands of a Gamecocks defensive back. Simmons talked to the media for the first time since the difficult loss to South Carolina. Simmons took full accountability while providing insight into Georgia's biggest game of the season, a 3:30 p.m. match with Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. On how he has dealt with adversity of this season TS: 'At the end of the road there's still a plan for me, everything happens for a reason. Of course I got down on myself for a little bit, but you just have to keep pushing. You're either going to dwell on the past or keep pushing for a better future, and that's what I've been doing, keeping a positive mindset and telling younger guys that are stepping up to play, to take advantage of those opportunities because that's big.' On the role teammates played in Simmons bouncing back TS: 'It happens, it's part of the game, I took my eyes off the ball and that's what happens. That was the consequence, dropping the ball. Of course I learn from my mistakes and just try to move on and get better. It is (hard to get over) but as I said, at the end of the day, you can either dwell on the past or get better for the future. '(Teammates) gave me a lot of support, of course they were mad at first, like anybody would be, but they were there to pick my head up when I was down, and tell me to get better for the next opportunity. I've been doing a great job blocking and on special teams, and just playing my part and taking advantage of my opportunities on the field.' On what comes to his mind this week with the game at Auburn TS: '2017, on the road, the energy there, the fans, the environment, how Auburn feeds off the crowd. Just honing in on the details and staying focused. We do a lot of crowd noise during the week to prepare ourselves for that and Jake (Fromm) is doing different things to stay in control of the snap count. '(2017 crowd noise) I feel like it really did (affect us) and the way they fed off the energy of the crowd, it kind of demoralized us and they took off with that. On how teammate Lawrence Cager has emerged despite a shoulder injury TS: 'He's definitely not missing opportunities. He's live and well at practice, he's moving around great, and he's been great this week. He's made some big plays and we're looking to him to play this weekend. 'I think he'll definitely be on the field and it's great having Cager out there. He's great on third down plays, he's always made them since he got here. That's his game style, he takes pride in being one of the best receivers in the SEC and he takes pride in not many DBs in the SEC being able to guard him. He really enjoys the game and he loves helping the team and he does that any way he can. On if he has talked to George Pickens about his emotions, and what Pickens brings TS: 'I've talked to Pickens just because I know he was committed there for a minute, and I know his emotions are going to be going wild, and we're going to need him to make some big plays, so I'm telling him to stay level-headed and hone in on details and do what you need to do. 'George brings a lot of energy a lot of energy he is the energy of the receiver room. He comes in, he's always in a pretty good mood, and he comes in and he loves football, he loves the game of football. He loves coming in and watching film, he's just a student of the game. 'Seeing him make those plays, it kind of encourages other guys to bring juice and make it a competition a little bit. You see George make a play and kind of celebrate, and it's now I want to make a play and celebrate. So be brings competition and energy. '(Talking) is just a part of his game. He likes to get in the DBs heads, he likes to do a little talking now and then, and that's just a part of his game and how he keeps himself going. I don't have any problem with it as long as he's making plays and he isn't doing anything to hurt the team. 'He was pretty understanding about the whole situation, he's not a bad or defiant kid, so he's pretty understanding about what I had to say to him.' On how the team is handling and views the CFP Rankings TS: 'We kind of look at it as a distraction right now. We just try to focus on every week, and focus on getting better and four on us. Try to block all the outside things out and just hone in on the details. Coach Smart emphasizes that a lot, just honing in on us, we don't worry about the outside sources. We just want to get better and focus on us.' Simmons was one of the team's Players of the Week Our Game 9 players of the week !! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/7PMxaQKQcM Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) November 11, 2019 Georgia WR Tyler Simmons Georgia football stories from DawgNation Will Muschamp discusses Georgia and Alabama UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH: Georgia's Tyler Simmons overcomes adversity, providing textbook examples of leadership and resilience appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS It's unlikely Georgia and Alabama will meet on the football field this season, but there have been plenty of comparisons of the two programs in the past 24 hours. The Bulldogs came out ahead of the Crimson Tide in the second set of College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night, leading many to compare the program's resumes. RELATED: Kirby Smart says no difference' for Georgia after Week 2 CFP rankings Rob Mullens, the CFP Chairman, said Georgia got the nod at No. 4 with Alabama at No. 5 because of the Bulldogs' wins over Top 20 teams Florida and Notre Dame. The Tide has yet to beat any Top 25 teams this season. Georgia plays at Auburn at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in a game the Bulldogs likely must win to keep playoff hopes alive. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt have both already seen Alabama and Georgia up close. Neither went so far as to say one was better than the other, but both shared their opinions when asked by DawgNation on the Wednesday teleconference. Muschamp broke down the teams' personalities, while Pruitt was more philosophical. South Carolina beat Georgia in Athens 20-17 in overtime on Oct. 12 and lost to Alabama 47-23 on Sept. 14 in Columbia. 'You take Alabama, Tua (Tagovailoa) is an outstanding player, and the speed that they have at wideout, they've got four guys that can run and create space plays and they create huge issues for you, and that to me is obviously something that jumps out,' Muschamp said. 'Defensively up front (Raekwon) Davis and (Terrell) Lewis are both guys you've got to deal with, and Anfernee Jennings is a guy, a 3 or 4 year starter, that brings a presence on the edge, and they cover extremely well on the back end, and they're going to mix things up on you.' Muschamp, who played at Georgia and has coached with both Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, provided some insight into the Bulldogs, too. 'Georgia, I just think their offensive line is very difficult to match up with, they are massive up front, (but) I think Alabama does have the size to match up with them,' Muschamp said. 'The backs are outstanding. (D'Andre) Swift, the entire corps of running backs are really good players. '(Jake) Fromm is an outstanding player, it's really, what's hurt them in the throwing game is just the lack of experience at receiver,' Muschamp said. 'I think the are very talented at receiver, (George) Pickens is a guy that's going to be great player for them, but when you're dealing with young players, you're going to deal with some inconsistencies. 'When they got (Lawrence) Cager, who is a grad-transfer, obviously he played extremely well down in Jacksonville for them. I think that's the stabilizing factor in the throwing game. They are going to continue to improve because of the youth they have, they have a lot of talent on the edges.' Muschamp sees improvement ahead for the Georgia defense, too. 'Defensively they are really deep in the front seven, Kirby is playing a lot of guys up front and it's motivating those guys, they are playing very hard, and they've got some really talented guys, so they are hard to run the ball against, they create a lot of negative plays,' Muschamp said. 'They've got a good combination of guys they are playing with up front, but they are both really talented teams.' Pruitt's Tennessee team lost at home to the Bulldogs by a 43-14 count on Oct. 5, and then it lost on the road to the Crimson Tide 35-13 on Oct. 19. 'I think they are both very well-coached teams, they are both very talented, (and) neither one of them have a whole lot of weaknesses,' Pruitt said. 'Both of them play some really good opponents down the stretch that will settle it on the field.' 'I think that's the beauty of college football is it does gets settled most of the time on the field and definitely in the SEC.' Georgia and Alabama have games remaining against Auburn, and the Bulldogs play host to a Texas A&M team on Nov. 23 that the Tide beat 47-28 in College Station on Oct. 12. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Will Muschamp compares, analyzes Georgia-Alabama team strengths appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia jumped Alabama in the College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night, but nothing has changed in the Bulldogs' locker room. Tailback D'Andre Swift said four weeks ago Georgia would treat the remainder of the season as playoffs. Coach Kirby Smart echoed that mindset on the SEC Coaches teleconference on Wednesday. 'There's no difference in this game and the last three, four or five since the South Carolina game,' Smart said, asked by DawgNation if he would mention the potential CFP ramifications of the Auburn game to his players. 'I don't know that the ramifications have changed,' Smart said. 'We've got an opportunity to win the East. That's really our next step is to worry about Auburn and take care of business for this game.' RELATED: Georgia jumps Alabama in CFP Rankings The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia's only loss this season came at home on Oct. 12 against an unranked South Carolina team by a 20-17 count in overtime. Alabama, which is ranked No. 5 in the current CFP rankings, fell at home to No. 1-ranked LSU last Saturday, 46-41. The CFP Committee said it valued the Bulldogs two wins over Top 20 teams over the Tide's schedule. Alabama doesn't have any wins over current Top 25 teams and only one win over an SEC team with a winning record (Texas A&M -3). 'T he difference for Georgia being at four was the fact that they have two wins against top-20 teams being Florida and Notre Dame,' CFP Committee Chairman Rob Mullens said on the Tuesday night national teleconference. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything. You're discussing all the wins and the loss, and again, it's an art, not a science, and that's why you have 13 members, and everybody shares their perspective on those losses and those wins, and at the end, you put it to a vote.' The committee noted after the first set of rankings last week that in addition to having a strong defense, the Bulldogs featured and experienced quarterback in Jake Fromm and a talented runner in Swift. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement,' Mullens said on Nov. 5. 'They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back.' It was Swift who threw down the gauntlet after the 20-17 loss to South Carolina, speaking passionately about the Bulldogs' need to pull together and play up to their potential. RELATED: D'Andre Swift makes strong statements in wake of SC loss ' I'm going to address the team today and just tell everybody we need to stick together, we need to be more of a family now than any time, and let them know one loss doesn't define our season,' Swift said the Monday after the shocking loss to the Gamecocks. 'We need to keep going and treat every game like a playoff game, that's really what it is,' he said. 'We should be one of the best teams in the country on offense, in every aspect, and I think we need to do a better job of playing fast in practice and hopefully see that trickle down to Saturday. We haven't played a complete game offensively, at all.' RELATED: UGA looks for elusive road win over SEC West opponent The same could be said as the team heads to Auburn with the season likely on the line. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Kirby Smart: No difference' for Georgia in wake of No. 4 College Football Playoff ranking appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia remains the top-ranked, one-loss team in the nation in the College Football Playoff Rankings. LSU (9-0) took over the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday nighton the strength of its 46-41 win at Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Ohio State (9-0) was No. 2 and Clemson (10-0) was No. 3, and then came the Bulldogs (8-1) at No. 4. The Crimson Tide (8-1) came in at No. 5 with Oregon (8-1) at No. 6. LSU's win last Saturday snapped Alabama's 31-game home win streak and ended the Bayou Bengals' string of futility against the Tide at 8 games last Saturday. The Tigers have four wins over teams ranked in the Top 20 this season: Alabama (No. 5), Florida (No. 11), Auburn (No. 12) and Texas (No. 19). Ohio State (9-0) dropped to No. 2 despite a 73-14 win over Maryland. The Buckeyes' best win was a 38-7 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin on Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio. It's the first time the top-ranked team in the CFP rankings has dropped when coming off a win. Defending College Football Playoff champion Clemson (10-0) is at No. 3 after its 55-10 at North Carolina State last Saturday. Georgia is ranked ahead of Alabama on the strength of its wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16. Notre Dame. 'As you look at (Nos.) 4 and 5, two really good teams, one-loss teams, we just saw Alabama had a tough loss,' said Rob Mullens, the chairman for the 13-member CFP Committee. 'You compare that against Georgia's resume, and the two big wins that Georgia had.' Mullens explained on the teleconference that the committee works to rank the No. 1 to No. 3 teams, and then Nos. 4-6. 'The separator for Georgia in the (4-6) pool is their two wins against Top 20 teams,' Mullen said. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything, all the wins and the loss.' Mullens said the committee spent a lot of time comparing Georgia to Alabama, and it did take into consideration that the Bulldogs lost to unranked South Carolina while the Tide lost to LSU. The Crimson Tide, however, doesn't have any wins over Top 25 teams this season. Its best win is likely considered the 47-28 victory it scored over Texas A&M on Oct. 12. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) was ranked higher than t he Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) in the AP Top 25 poll last Sunday, coming in at No. 4 there with UGA No. 5. Minnesota (9-0) made the biggest jump in the CFP rankings, up to No. 8 from No. 17 after a 31-26 home win over previously unbeaten and now No. 9-ranked Penn State. The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) can clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a win at No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. RELATED: Kirby Smart updates playing status of Trey Hill and Lawrence Cager The committee had Georgia as the top-ranked one-loss team last Tuesday night, too. CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens explained why last week. 'Georgia has beaten two top 15 teams, (then-) No. 10 Florida, (then-) No. 15 Notre Dame,' Mullens said, asked by DawgNation on last Tuesday night's national teleconference about the Bulldogs place in the order of one-loss teams. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement. They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back,' he said. 'But the separator for them at this point was the two Top 15 wins.' Georgia extended its streak of games without a rushing touchdown with a 27-0 win over Missouri, it's third shutout of this season. The rankings will be released the next three Tuesday nights at approximately 7 p.m. on ESPN, with the final rankings coming out on Sunday, Dec. 8, at noon. College Football Playoff rankings for 2019 Week 12 Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post College Football Playoff Rankings for Week 12 released: Georgia jumps Alabama in Top 5 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mike Shildt has been named the 2019 National League Manager of the Year, after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an NL Central title and an appearance in the NLCS. Shildt was followed by Craig Counsell, Brian Snitker, Dave Roberts and Dave Martinez in voting. Snitker earned three of the 30 first-place votes after managing the Atlanta Braves to another NL East title in 2019, leading them to their most wins (97), since 2003.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart said center Trey Hill has been practicing this week after leaving last Saturday's game with a sprained left ankle. 'Trey has been fine,' Smart said at his Tuesday night press conference. 'He's taken all the reps and done everything.' Smart said senior graduate transfer receiver Lawrence Cager has also had a good week of practice after re-aggravating a shoulder injury in the 27-0 win over Missouri. 'He's been good, taking all his reps, catching balls and doing what he's supposed to do,' Smart said. 'Hopefully we can keep him healthy.' Smart said senior defensive back Tyrique McGhee remains sidelined with a foot injury. 'He hasn't been able to practice,' Smart said. Hill's healthy status should pave the way for the Bulldogs to open the game with their starting line intact for the third consecutive week and fourth time this season. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play at No. 13 Auburn (7-2, 5-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia has had a rash of injuries on the offensive line, with left tackle Andrew Thomas the only player to start every game. Smart explained that Cager's shoulder injury is of the sort that the coaches leave it up to him whether or not to play. 'I think he's very tough,' Smart said. 'He's playing with a tough injury to deal with. It's his choice. He has to make a decision whether or not he wants to play. 'He wants to make plays for his brothers on the team.' The post Georgia coach Kirby Smart provides practice updates on Trey Hill, Lawrence Cager appeared first on DawgNation.
  • EDITOR'S NOTE: This original Richard LeCounte III story continues a special series in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau profiling homegrown talent from the state of Georgia. To access the other HomeGrown Talent articles please visit the series hub on DawgNation.com. The year was 2015. It was a summer night in July. The Mark Richt era was on its last season in Athens. There was this rising 2017 prospect who kept bounding up and down. He wasn't the biggest cat, but boy could he move. He was so springy. That young man's name was Richard LeCounte III. He was a 'Down South Georgia Boy' prospect if there ever has ever been one. But back then, those guys didn't go play football at the University of Georgia. LeCounte had the hops and the explosive acceleration. He was often found near rising senior Mecole Hardman, Jr. at that camp. Hardman went on to basically shine as brightly as anyone at that camp that night at both the receiver and cornerback spots. Those two represented potential glory for Georgia. If the Bulldogs could only start signing guys like those two. Georgia did. Hardman put in his three years and is already making millions and weekly highlight reels in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs. LeCounte is still in Athens, but he's currently in a stretch that can be called the best football of his time at Georgia. The program would be lucky to keep him away from Hardman's new league for one more year the way he's playing. The former 5-star safety tied for the team-best total in tackles (6) against Kentucky. He shadowed future NFL tight end, Kyle Pitts, down in Jacksonville with great success and also had six tackles on that night. He picked off Missouri last Saturday in the red zone and returned that theft 71 yards. The former Liberty County star might have scored if he didn't have to vault over a teammate on that return. Those three games came after he managed just one tackle against South Carolina. That was saying something after LeCounte finished his sophomore season with 74 tackles. That led the Bulldogs in 2018. It was an up-and-down year for LeCounte, though. He's made sure that the valley against Carolina didn't become another 'rat trap' trend. 'The difference between Richard now and then is he's bought in a little more into the understanding of what I have to [do]within this system,' Kirby Smart said while describing LeCounte's proper thought process on Monday. 'What is my job? I have to make calls and decisions on my side of the field that is critical to our success. I've said after the [Missouri] game that I think in the last two or three weeks he's taken a little more ownership in that.' 'He's taken a little more initiative to watch [game] tape and not just think I can go out there and ball. I've got to go understand and play within the defense to make plays and he's doing a better job of that.' That's the present for LeCounte. It is a pretty good one at that. But it doesn't change the fact he will always be a bookmark recruit of the Kirby Smart era at Georgia. RELATED: Did you ever know the background story about Richard LeCounte III? He was driving a car at what age? Richard LeCounte III: When he chose to be a Bulldog There will be a time when Kirby Smart's first teams come back to celebrate their success between the hedges in Athens. There is already going to be a definite one with that SEC championship team from 2017. LeCounte was on that team. When he's taking another dip in the cheers of Sanford Stadium, the astute DawgNation fans will be able to point down to the field or to the Jumbotron and say the following: That was the first big-time recruit to take a chance and invest in Kirby Smart's Georgia. DawgNation broke the news Smart was hired by Georgia on Dec. 6. That was a Sunday. Smart earned the commitment from his first 5-star recruit less than a week later. LeCounte wanted to play for a coach like Smart. But he also wanted to play for that winning formula which was firmly in place at Alabama. But he wanted to do it for Georgia. When Smart was hired, it was all he needed to know. His thoughts about Alabama and Ohio State didn't last much longer than that week. When he chose Georgia, LeCounte was rated as the nation's No. 1 ATH and the No. 22 overall prospect for 2017. It was just after he finished his junior season. COUNT one for #SicEm17 #homeGrown #CommitToTheG Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) December 13, 2015 Smart even flashed some creativity with that 'COUNT' reference in his tweet that signaled Georgia just landed a major recruit. From there, LeCounte was a monster for Georgia on the recruiting trail. He became the type of recruiter that every year fans now wish for another 'LeCounte' in that cycle. He was that future Bulldogs who cared so much and bleeds so much for his home state. LeCounte's message was simple. He just wanted all of the 'Dawgs' in the state to stay home. When he showed up at the Rising Seniors game in Atlanta later that month, he started walking up to guys and calling them Dawgs, too. He was proclaiming them a part of 'SICEM17' before those guys fully realized they were going to sign with Georgia, too. There was also that time at the 'Rising Seniors' game when he lost a tooth, threw it to a defensive coach and never missed a practice rep. It will never be forgotten in the history of that game. When asked about it the next day, it suddenly dawned on him that he never bothered to ask that coach for his tooth back. LeCounte showed up at the Opening clad in Georgia gear that next February. He even had a Georgia cell phone case. He did backflips at the Opening finals out in Oregon. LeCounte was working fellow 2017 RB targets, Toniel Carter and D'Andre Swift, on that trip. Those two both chose Georgia. So did Andrew Thomas that week. When he visited for the games each week, he celebrated and cheered for his future teammates as very few recruits have done so before. Or have since. When December rolled around, he was Santa in a pair of DawgNation 'Christmas Commitments' videos. With the 'My Savages' hit from Future playing in the background, he coined the 'we ain't done yet' phrase that still stands in the hearts and minds of the Georgie fan base. It makes a lot of sense to hear Smart say those things about LeCounte now. That's because he has been constantly evolving. Backup and special teamer as a freshman. Full-time starter and leading tackler in 2018. Yet with that, he showed his passion and aggressiveness a little too much in 2018. It might have been he had too much of that 'Hit Stick' he always carried with him as a talented and passionate kamikaze defender a year ago. Those big hits are still there now, but so is the realization he has to be a full-time safety net or an eraser to cover his teammates more for a unit that is putting up some special weekly performances in 2019. Looking back, straight ahead and looking forward When he was on campus that first year, he laid a lot of bricks for the 2017 class in Athens. That one, his class, finished No. 3 overall in the 247Sports Team Composite ratings. But what was that phrase that LeCounte liked to say on the trail? Well, he had a 'we ain't done yet' for the 2018 class, too. He once spoke to a group that included Justin Fields, Kearis Jackson, Jamaree Salyer and Zamir White, among others. The phrase 'national championship' was used while the future core of the 2018 class was on campus, too. 'I guess there was like I don't know maybe 15 guys in the room,' Fields said back in 2017. 'He was just like If we get all you guys then we definitely have a shot at winning a national championship while we are here.' That line caught some ears. 'Then he said If you come in here there might be a guy above you on the depth chart that's pretty good but every day in practice we're going after each other and making each other better,'' Fields said. 'He said We're going 100 percent and full-throttle' in his message to us.' Shooters do like to shoot. LeCounte is one of those. 'I told them that we needed all of those guys to stay home or come here,' LeCounte said after the Rose Bowl win in 2018. 'I told all those Georgia guys that we needed them to stay home and stay in-state. Just to give us a try. I am never going to be the guy to tell anybody where they need to go. But I just wanted them to know that this program could really be something special if we could get every one of them to come.' This seems the perfect time to catalog all the marquee moments for LeCounte in Athens. He's already experienced quite a lot. He enrolled early in January of 2017 as part of Smart's first big class. There was that big reception at the UGA basketball game. Georgia beat Notre Dame in Notre Dame that fall The Bulldogs rolled Florida in 2017 Georgia won the SEC championship and the Rose Bowl during his freshman year The Bulldogs played for their first national title since 1980 The two memorable games with Alabama where the Bulldogs stood toe-to-toe in the reigning dynasty in college football Georgia now has two straight SEC East titles and three straight wins over Florida It means a lot for LeCounte to have been a part of this renaissance of the Georgia program. 'It is something special man,' he said last month. 'Every day I thank God for being in the position that I am,' he said. 'I come out there with a great staff. A great group of teammates and I do the thing that I love. I go to school and I play football.' 'So it is always a blessing when I wake up in the morning.' There has been a flurry of moments with DawgNation for LeCounte. Can he even believe that his first three years at Georgia have included all of that? 'I couldn't even imagine things like that and it happening back then,' he said. 'I'm so blessed to be here with this great group of guys.' Georgia's Homegrown Talent: The DawgNation series Homegrown: From Rodrigo Blankenship to 'Hot Rod' status at Georgia Brian Herrien: Why he embodies the Georgia Bulldog spirit Trey Hill: From Homegrown to the center of the Bulldog offense Homegrown: The twists and turns in Quay Walker's road to UGA Eric Stokes is more like 'UGA grown' Charlie Woerner: Homegrown from a Bulldog family Jake Fromm: From the Little League World Series to duck holes to the face of a program Andrew Thomas develops quickly into a hometown here at UGA Warren McClendon: Family roots run 44 years deep for this Georgia family D.J. Daniel: Likely impact defensive back took a longer route to Athens Travon Walker: Expect big things on the line from 5-star freshman Dominick Blaylock: Talented freshman WR found a homegrown fit in Athens Nolan Smith: From 'Baby Boy' to a long-awaited Bulldog in Athens The post Homegrown: Richard LeCounte III is a unique placesetter for the Kirby Smart era appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS It's been said a team improves most from its first game to its second game, and Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean certainly hopes that's the case. One thing Crean wants to see in the Bulldogs' second game of the season at 7 p.m. on Tuesday against The Citadel in Stegeman Coliseum is better ballers movement and effort. RELATED: Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in debut It doesn't matter whether it's grad-transfer Donnell Gresham, projected NBA lottery pick Anthony Edwards or freshman Sahvir Wheeler bringing the ball up the court, Crean wants more and better. ' I think the ball's got to move better, offensively, (and) we've got to do an even better job of getting to the offensive glass,' Crean said on Monday. 'I think just playing competitive longer, and really understanding that it's not just about a hard to play, it's not competitive you are. It's winning those battles when the shot goes up. 'It's getting back when you're tired and making sure we've got the rim covered in the ball stopped in transition.' Georgia opened the season with a 91-72 win over Western Carolina last Tuesday night in a game that was closer than the final score. RELATED: Bulldogs found a way' to win season-opening game Edwards' scored 24 points the most in a season-opening game since Dominique Wilkins had 26 in 1979. But also, there was Wheeler with 19 points, which was third-most by a freshman in his debut. 'He's a winner I mean he's a pure winner,' Crean said. 'He always has been, and he's infectious. People like playing with him. He moves the ball. He works extremely hard, extremely hard and what I like is he's controlling what he can control. 'He's making passes. He's defending at a really high rate.' Crean is equally pleased with Gresham, who at 6-foot-3, provides more of a defensive presence in addition to putting another player with point guard skills on the floor. 'We needed maturity, and he was a winner,' Crean said, explaining why he sought Gresham as a graduate transfer out of Northeastern. 'We knew we needed a guy who could do different things. We saw on film that he could move without the ball. He could make shots. He'd been extremely well-coached in high school, in AAU, and at Northeastern. To me, that was a plus. 'He fit what we wanted, character-wise, certainly academically.' So now it's a matter of players like Wheeler, Edwards and Gresham the primary distributors applying the lessons learned in game one as a team with 10 new players works to gel together. Wheeler said things are coming together quickly. 'I think the chemistry has been pretty good, especially with a majority of the team being new players,' Wheeler said. 'I think we are working well together for it being so early in the season. I think it will just continue to improve as the season goes on.' DawgNation Georgia basketball coverage RELATED: Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener Georgia basketball strikes exhibition gold vs. Charlotte 49ers Sahvir Wheeler hidden star, directs point after first exhibition Anthony Edwards lives up to hype in exhibition opener Georgia freshman already making basketball history The post Georgia basketball: Tom Crean demands Bulldogs win more battles versus The Citadel appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia's defense leads the SEC in every major statistical category and is only getting stronger, and more importantly, faster. RELATED: Why Georgia tops SEC in defense, with statistical profile The return of sophomore cornerback Tyson Campbell, and the continued development of freshman defensive back Tyriique Stevenson puts two more NFL prototypes on the field. For Campbell it was a matter of overcoming a turf toe ailment that's sidelined him since the third game of the season. Stevenson has had to mature and learn to invest time in the film room. RELATED: Georgia football injury situation updated for Auburn But for the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1), it's exactly what the doctor ordered against a No. 13 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) team that knows how to utilize speed and get players in space on the perimeter. Read: Georgia's College Football Playoff hopes likely rest on Auburn outcome Campbell and Stevenson are two of the three fastest players on the Georgia defense, joining cornerback Eric Stokes. All three ran sub-11-second 100-meter times in high school. Meanwhile, Auburn receiver Anthony Schwartz is the self-declared 'fastest player in college football' with a resume to back it up, having set a world youth record in 2017 with a 10.15-second 100-meter dash in 2017. RELATED: Auburn WR says he's the fastest in college football Schwartz also won the Florida state championship in the 100, running a 10.07, and in 2018, he took silver in the IAAF World U20 Championships. 'Good thing we're not in a track race against him,' Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. 'We gotta play football against him, and he's a really good football player.' Smart said Auburn moves Schwartz around well, and the Bulldogs will need to stay aware of where he's lining up. ' I think awareness is how to handle it, because we got the players we got; they got the players they got, and nobody in the country is as fast as that guy,' Smart said. 'So nobody's going to be able to match up with him and just run with him.' Georgia senior safety J.R. Reed said it's going to take defense to keep Schwartz in check, and that he's confident the Bulldogs have the speed to handle him. RELATED: Georgia football's fastest players include three DBs 'You just have to get people to the ball, we've got to contain him,' Reed said. 'When he's in open space, we have to tackle him, we can't let him break loose. 'We have, I think, three legit track guys on our team, too, on defense, so we'll be fine.' Georgia football safety J.R. Reed Georgia football stories from DawgNation Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH: J.R. Reed confident Georgia has the speed to hang with Auburn appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia's SEC-best defense shined brightly under the lights of Sanford Stadium last Saturday night. Georgia's film crew expertly chronicled Richard LeCounte's soaring interception and 71-yard return into Missouri territory on a night the Bulldogs recorded their third shutout of the season. Georgia football Game Ball vs. Missouri, safety Richard LeCounte Teammates would kid that LeCounte ran out of gas, but the replay shows his blockers weren't fast enough to stay out in front of him. Monty Rice, one of those blockers, atoned for that with his goal line defensive surge. Rice dropped the Missouri ball carrier for a 3-yard loss and preserved UGA's amazing streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown this season. Sacks by Nolan Smith and Quay Walker also were featured in the highlights of the convincing 27-0 win over Missouri. Georgia freshman receiver George Pickens has provided several highlight-worthy moments already in his young career, and he added two more against Missouri. Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Pickens, of course, was a signing day flip from Auburn, an Alabama high school star who saw opportunity at Georgia and went for it. WATCH: Kirby Smart preview Auburn game The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs need Pickens to continue to grow and mature with Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Auburn on deck. Pickenswould have had a third highlight had he been lined up properly. As it was, Pickens stepped up and provided enough of a threat even after go-to senior WR Lawrence Cager left the win last Saturday after aggravating his shoulder injury in the first half. There were other highlights, too, most notably another big-time run through traffic for D'Andre Swift. It was Swift's 47-yard run in the third quarter which set the tone for the Bulldogs to pull away. Georgia football highlights vs. Missouri Relive the best moments from Game 9 #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/X9BfMq0TTq Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) November 12, 2019 Georgia football stories from DawgNation Georgia will have hands full with Derek Brown Game recap: Georgia shuts out Missouri, 27-0 Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Grading the Bulldogs win over the Tigers Saturday night Georgia football Game Ball vs. Missouri, safety Richard LeCounte Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars The post WATCH: Georgia football dazzles in highlight video, championship moments on offense and defense appeared first on DawgNation.

Local News

  • The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team defeated the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 72-54, to win its second game of the season at Stegeman Coliseum Wednesday evening.   Junior Gabby Connally led Georgia (2-0) in scoring, registering 16 points. Two other Lady Bulldogs scored in double digits, as junior Maya Caldwell and redshirt junior Jenna Staiti tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively. Staiti also notched her second straight double-double with a career-high 15 rebounds.    “Jenna’s been great,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “Credit to her, we’ve been on her and we are going to continue to stay on her because I still think she’s got more in her. When she came here, she said she wanted to be great. As long as that is her goal, we are going to challenge her that way. Starters look a different way, talk a different way, and act a different way. That is the only conversation we needed to have and she’s been different ever since. ”   Each Lady Bulldog starter recorded points in the first quarter with eight scoring overall, highlighted by Staiti’s six points.    An early 10-0 run allowed Georgia to force its first double-digit lead of the game. The Lady Bulldogs never conceded their double-figure advantage, concluding the frame with a 22-12 lead.    Georgia continued its hot streak in the second quarter as sophomore Caitlin Hose drained a deep 3-pointer on the first play of the period. Connally followed shortly after with a three of her own, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 30-14 lead.   A buzzer-beater layup from Staiti gave Georgia the 39-26 lead at half. The Lady Bulldogs shot 50-percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.    The Aggies scored four unanswered points early in the third quarter, bringing the score within single digits for the first time since Georgia led 12-4 with five minutes remaining in the first. Six points from Caldwell and four points from Paul with two minutes left on the clock kept North Carolina A&T at arm’s length, 55-44, heading into the fourth quarter.   The Lady Bulldogs sprinted to an 18-point lead in the final period, their largest of the night, with Connally’s seven points and Caldwell’s four in the period. Two layups within the last minute capped the game for Georgia, 72-54.   Up next, the Lady Bulldogs will host Georgia Tech in an in-state battle on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.  
  • Congressman Jody Hice, the 10th District Republican who represents most of Athens in the US House, holds a telephone town hall tonight. It’s set for 6 o’clock: the number for constituents to call is 202 225 4101.  From the office of Congressman Jody Hice… Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) today announced he will host a Telephone Town Hall for Georgians across the 10th District on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. This community call will be the eighth conference of the year. During the forum, Hice will provide a legislative update, take live questions, and offer constituents an opportunity to participate in poll questions. “Telephone Town Halls are a tried-and-true method for me to connect with hundreds of 10th District residents and hear their views,” said Congressman Hice. “I look forward to hearing from folks back home on Thursday evening as we discuss news and policies happening in Washington that affect our community.”  Who: Congressman Hice and 10th District residentsWhat: November Telephone Town HallWhen: November 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.*subject to legislative business* This forum is open to the public. Tenth District residents may RSVP and submit questions for the telephone town hall here or by calling Representative Hice’s Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-4101. Constituents may also join the conference by dialing (877) 229-8493 and using the passcode 117571 or listen online at any point during the event.
  • The official unveiling will come next week at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center: his family says Tate Prezzano will launch a foundation that will set up scholarships for student-athletes at the University of Georgia, those who compete in non-scholarship sports. The hospital says the foundation also will serve as a way to increase security measures on the UGA campus to prevent future incidents from occurring.  Prezzano, a 22 year-old lacrosse player at UGA, was shot and critically wounded in an April robbery attempt on South Milledge Avenue in Athens.  Details Prezzano’s Foundation will be laid out in a news conference set for next Wednesday at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center on Prince Avenue in Athens. 
  • The 4th annual Rural Healthcare Symposium is underway today at UGA, getting started at 9 o’clock this morning at the University’s Dean Rusk Hall. Stacey Abrams, last year’s Democratic nominee for Governor, is the featured speaker.  The University of Georgia plays host to an international conference: the 6th International Conference on Africa and its Diaspora is underway at 7 o’clock tonight at the University’s Tate Student Center.  The University of Georgia sets February 25 as the date for the ceremony that renames UGA’s College of Education in honor of Mary Frances Early, the first black student to graduate from the state’s flagship university. Albany State University President Marion Ross Fedrick will deliver the 20th annual Mary Frances Early lecture on the day of the naming ceremony, UGA President Jere W. Morehead said. Fedrick earned two degrees from the University of Georgia: a bachelor’s degree in adult education with a concentration in organizational development, and a master’s degree in public administration.
  • Funeral arrangements have been finalized for Clark Atlanta University student Alexis Janae Crawford. Crawford's body was found late last week in a DeKalb County park. She was 21. Crawford's roommate and the roommate's boyfriend have both been charged with her murder.  [DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV's News App for updates on this developing story]   On Friday, visitation is planned in Crawford's hometown of Athens, according to Gregory Levett & Sons funeral home. Visitation, which is open to the public, will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Hill Chapel Baptist Church, located at 1692 W. Hancock Ave in Athens.  Then on Saturday, Crawford will lie in state from 10 a.m. until her noon funeral at Cornerstone Church, 4680 Lexington Road in Athens. RELATED STORIES Here's everything to know about the Alexis Crawford murder Roommate now in custody, charged with murder of Clark Atlanta student Warrants reveal how Clark Atlanta student Alexis Crawford was killed Anyone wishing to assist the family with funeral costs should call the funeral home at 770-338-5558. Payments are accepted over the phone, a funeral home spokesman said. In addition to her parents, Crawford is survived by nine siblings, according to the Rev. Markel Hutchins, who is serving as the family's spokesperson. Hutchins said the Crawford family is devastated, but grateful for the outpouring of support.  'They not only need, but also deserve the public's support in laying her to rest with the kind of dignity and decency she deserves,' Hutchins told The AJC.  This report was written by Alexis Stevens , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Spend five minutes talking to Georgia senior receiver Tyler Simmons, and you can understand why any coach or quarterback would want the ball in his hands. It's clear Simmons is going to be successful at anything in life he chooses after football, but right now the senior captain is focused on helping the Bulldogs win a championship. Simmons is willing to do anything for his team and he has from his special teams expertise, to his downfield blocking and leadership in the receivers room. But football is not always fair, and Simmons has had the misfortune of playing most of the past two seasons in a shoulder brace that has limited his range of motion. There's pain, too, but Simmons accepts that's part of the game. 'Of course, it's football, (pain) comes with the game,' said Simmons, who injured his shoulder the second game of the season. 'You can either sit out and miss those opportunities, or you can go and do what you can do.' This was supposed to be Simmons' season to breakout and use his elite speed to make plays with the ball in his hands. Instead, he's dealt with the regret of missing a pass in overtime against South Carolina that ended up in the hands of a Gamecocks defensive back. Simmons talked to the media for the first time since the difficult loss to South Carolina. Simmons took full accountability while providing insight into Georgia's biggest game of the season, a 3:30 p.m. match with Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. On how he has dealt with adversity of this season TS: 'At the end of the road there's still a plan for me, everything happens for a reason. Of course I got down on myself for a little bit, but you just have to keep pushing. You're either going to dwell on the past or keep pushing for a better future, and that's what I've been doing, keeping a positive mindset and telling younger guys that are stepping up to play, to take advantage of those opportunities because that's big.' On the role teammates played in Simmons bouncing back TS: 'It happens, it's part of the game, I took my eyes off the ball and that's what happens. That was the consequence, dropping the ball. Of course I learn from my mistakes and just try to move on and get better. It is (hard to get over) but as I said, at the end of the day, you can either dwell on the past or get better for the future. '(Teammates) gave me a lot of support, of course they were mad at first, like anybody would be, but they were there to pick my head up when I was down, and tell me to get better for the next opportunity. I've been doing a great job blocking and on special teams, and just playing my part and taking advantage of my opportunities on the field.' On what comes to his mind this week with the game at Auburn TS: '2017, on the road, the energy there, the fans, the environment, how Auburn feeds off the crowd. Just honing in on the details and staying focused. We do a lot of crowd noise during the week to prepare ourselves for that and Jake (Fromm) is doing different things to stay in control of the snap count. '(2017 crowd noise) I feel like it really did (affect us) and the way they fed off the energy of the crowd, it kind of demoralized us and they took off with that. On how teammate Lawrence Cager has emerged despite a shoulder injury TS: 'He's definitely not missing opportunities. He's live and well at practice, he's moving around great, and he's been great this week. He's made some big plays and we're looking to him to play this weekend. 'I think he'll definitely be on the field and it's great having Cager out there. He's great on third down plays, he's always made them since he got here. That's his game style, he takes pride in being one of the best receivers in the SEC and he takes pride in not many DBs in the SEC being able to guard him. He really enjoys the game and he loves helping the team and he does that any way he can. On if he has talked to George Pickens about his emotions, and what Pickens brings TS: 'I've talked to Pickens just because I know he was committed there for a minute, and I know his emotions are going to be going wild, and we're going to need him to make some big plays, so I'm telling him to stay level-headed and hone in on details and do what you need to do. 'George brings a lot of energy a lot of energy he is the energy of the receiver room. He comes in, he's always in a pretty good mood, and he comes in and he loves football, he loves the game of football. He loves coming in and watching film, he's just a student of the game. 'Seeing him make those plays, it kind of encourages other guys to bring juice and make it a competition a little bit. You see George make a play and kind of celebrate, and it's now I want to make a play and celebrate. So be brings competition and energy. '(Talking) is just a part of his game. He likes to get in the DBs heads, he likes to do a little talking now and then, and that's just a part of his game and how he keeps himself going. I don't have any problem with it as long as he's making plays and he isn't doing anything to hurt the team. 'He was pretty understanding about the whole situation, he's not a bad or defiant kid, so he's pretty understanding about what I had to say to him.' On how the team is handling and views the CFP Rankings TS: 'We kind of look at it as a distraction right now. We just try to focus on every week, and focus on getting better and four on us. Try to block all the outside things out and just hone in on the details. Coach Smart emphasizes that a lot, just honing in on us, we don't worry about the outside sources. We just want to get better and focus on us.' Simmons was one of the team's Players of the Week Our Game 9 players of the week !! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/7PMxaQKQcM Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) November 11, 2019 Georgia WR Tyler Simmons Georgia football stories from DawgNation Will Muschamp discusses Georgia and Alabama UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH: Georgia's Tyler Simmons overcomes adversity, providing textbook examples of leadership and resilience appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS It's unlikely Georgia and Alabama will meet on the football field this season, but there have been plenty of comparisons of the two programs in the past 24 hours. The Bulldogs came out ahead of the Crimson Tide in the second set of College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night, leading many to compare the program's resumes. RELATED: Kirby Smart says no difference' for Georgia after Week 2 CFP rankings Rob Mullens, the CFP Chairman, said Georgia got the nod at No. 4 with Alabama at No. 5 because of the Bulldogs' wins over Top 20 teams Florida and Notre Dame. The Tide has yet to beat any Top 25 teams this season. Georgia plays at Auburn at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in a game the Bulldogs likely must win to keep playoff hopes alive. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt have both already seen Alabama and Georgia up close. Neither went so far as to say one was better than the other, but both shared their opinions when asked by DawgNation on the Wednesday teleconference. Muschamp broke down the teams' personalities, while Pruitt was more philosophical. South Carolina beat Georgia in Athens 20-17 in overtime on Oct. 12 and lost to Alabama 47-23 on Sept. 14 in Columbia. 'You take Alabama, Tua (Tagovailoa) is an outstanding player, and the speed that they have at wideout, they've got four guys that can run and create space plays and they create huge issues for you, and that to me is obviously something that jumps out,' Muschamp said. 'Defensively up front (Raekwon) Davis and (Terrell) Lewis are both guys you've got to deal with, and Anfernee Jennings is a guy, a 3 or 4 year starter, that brings a presence on the edge, and they cover extremely well on the back end, and they're going to mix things up on you.' Muschamp, who played at Georgia and has coached with both Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, provided some insight into the Bulldogs, too. 'Georgia, I just think their offensive line is very difficult to match up with, they are massive up front, (but) I think Alabama does have the size to match up with them,' Muschamp said. 'The backs are outstanding. (D'Andre) Swift, the entire corps of running backs are really good players. '(Jake) Fromm is an outstanding player, it's really, what's hurt them in the throwing game is just the lack of experience at receiver,' Muschamp said. 'I think the are very talented at receiver, (George) Pickens is a guy that's going to be great player for them, but when you're dealing with young players, you're going to deal with some inconsistencies. 'When they got (Lawrence) Cager, who is a grad-transfer, obviously he played extremely well down in Jacksonville for them. I think that's the stabilizing factor in the throwing game. They are going to continue to improve because of the youth they have, they have a lot of talent on the edges.' Muschamp sees improvement ahead for the Georgia defense, too. 'Defensively they are really deep in the front seven, Kirby is playing a lot of guys up front and it's motivating those guys, they are playing very hard, and they've got some really talented guys, so they are hard to run the ball against, they create a lot of negative plays,' Muschamp said. 'They've got a good combination of guys they are playing with up front, but they are both really talented teams.' Pruitt's Tennessee team lost at home to the Bulldogs by a 43-14 count on Oct. 5, and then it lost on the road to the Crimson Tide 35-13 on Oct. 19. 'I think they are both very well-coached teams, they are both very talented, (and) neither one of them have a whole lot of weaknesses,' Pruitt said. 'Both of them play some really good opponents down the stretch that will settle it on the field.' 'I think that's the beauty of college football is it does gets settled most of the time on the field and definitely in the SEC.' Georgia and Alabama have games remaining against Auburn, and the Bulldogs play host to a Texas A&M team on Nov. 23 that the Tide beat 47-28 in College Station on Oct. 12. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Will Muschamp compares, analyzes Georgia-Alabama team strengths appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia jumped Alabama in the College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night, but nothing has changed in the Bulldogs' locker room. Tailback D'Andre Swift said four weeks ago Georgia would treat the remainder of the season as playoffs. Coach Kirby Smart echoed that mindset on the SEC Coaches teleconference on Wednesday. 'There's no difference in this game and the last three, four or five since the South Carolina game,' Smart said, asked by DawgNation if he would mention the potential CFP ramifications of the Auburn game to his players. 'I don't know that the ramifications have changed,' Smart said. 'We've got an opportunity to win the East. That's really our next step is to worry about Auburn and take care of business for this game.' RELATED: Georgia jumps Alabama in CFP Rankings The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia's only loss this season came at home on Oct. 12 against an unranked South Carolina team by a 20-17 count in overtime. Alabama, which is ranked No. 5 in the current CFP rankings, fell at home to No. 1-ranked LSU last Saturday, 46-41. The CFP Committee said it valued the Bulldogs two wins over Top 20 teams over the Tide's schedule. Alabama doesn't have any wins over current Top 25 teams and only one win over an SEC team with a winning record (Texas A&M -3). 'T he difference for Georgia being at four was the fact that they have two wins against top-20 teams being Florida and Notre Dame,' CFP Committee Chairman Rob Mullens said on the Tuesday night national teleconference. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything. You're discussing all the wins and the loss, and again, it's an art, not a science, and that's why you have 13 members, and everybody shares their perspective on those losses and those wins, and at the end, you put it to a vote.' The committee noted after the first set of rankings last week that in addition to having a strong defense, the Bulldogs featured and experienced quarterback in Jake Fromm and a talented runner in Swift. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement,' Mullens said on Nov. 5. 'They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back.' It was Swift who threw down the gauntlet after the 20-17 loss to South Carolina, speaking passionately about the Bulldogs' need to pull together and play up to their potential. RELATED: D'Andre Swift makes strong statements in wake of SC loss ' I'm going to address the team today and just tell everybody we need to stick together, we need to be more of a family now than any time, and let them know one loss doesn't define our season,' Swift said the Monday after the shocking loss to the Gamecocks. 'We need to keep going and treat every game like a playoff game, that's really what it is,' he said. 'We should be one of the best teams in the country on offense, in every aspect, and I think we need to do a better job of playing fast in practice and hopefully see that trickle down to Saturday. We haven't played a complete game offensively, at all.' RELATED: UGA looks for elusive road win over SEC West opponent The same could be said as the team heads to Auburn with the season likely on the line. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Kirby Smart: No difference' for Georgia in wake of No. 4 College Football Playoff ranking appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia remains the top-ranked, one-loss team in the nation in the College Football Playoff Rankings. LSU (9-0) took over the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday nighton the strength of its 46-41 win at Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Ohio State (9-0) was No. 2 and Clemson (10-0) was No. 3, and then came the Bulldogs (8-1) at No. 4. The Crimson Tide (8-1) came in at No. 5 with Oregon (8-1) at No. 6. LSU's win last Saturday snapped Alabama's 31-game home win streak and ended the Bayou Bengals' string of futility against the Tide at 8 games last Saturday. The Tigers have four wins over teams ranked in the Top 20 this season: Alabama (No. 5), Florida (No. 11), Auburn (No. 12) and Texas (No. 19). Ohio State (9-0) dropped to No. 2 despite a 73-14 win over Maryland. The Buckeyes' best win was a 38-7 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin on Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio. It's the first time the top-ranked team in the CFP rankings has dropped when coming off a win. Defending College Football Playoff champion Clemson (10-0) is at No. 3 after its 55-10 at North Carolina State last Saturday. Georgia is ranked ahead of Alabama on the strength of its wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16. Notre Dame. 'As you look at (Nos.) 4 and 5, two really good teams, one-loss teams, we just saw Alabama had a tough loss,' said Rob Mullens, the chairman for the 13-member CFP Committee. 'You compare that against Georgia's resume, and the two big wins that Georgia had.' Mullens explained on the teleconference that the committee works to rank the No. 1 to No. 3 teams, and then Nos. 4-6. 'The separator for Georgia in the (4-6) pool is their two wins against Top 20 teams,' Mullen said. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything, all the wins and the loss.' Mullens said the committee spent a lot of time comparing Georgia to Alabama, and it did take into consideration that the Bulldogs lost to unranked South Carolina while the Tide lost to LSU. The Crimson Tide, however, doesn't have any wins over Top 25 teams this season. Its best win is likely considered the 47-28 victory it scored over Texas A&M on Oct. 12. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) was ranked higher than t he Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) in the AP Top 25 poll last Sunday, coming in at No. 4 there with UGA No. 5. Minnesota (9-0) made the biggest jump in the CFP rankings, up to No. 8 from No. 17 after a 31-26 home win over previously unbeaten and now No. 9-ranked Penn State. The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) can clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a win at No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. RELATED: Kirby Smart updates playing status of Trey Hill and Lawrence Cager The committee had Georgia as the top-ranked one-loss team last Tuesday night, too. CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens explained why last week. 'Georgia has beaten two top 15 teams, (then-) No. 10 Florida, (then-) No. 15 Notre Dame,' Mullens said, asked by DawgNation on last Tuesday night's national teleconference about the Bulldogs place in the order of one-loss teams. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement. They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back,' he said. 'But the separator for them at this point was the two Top 15 wins.' Georgia extended its streak of games without a rushing touchdown with a 27-0 win over Missouri, it's third shutout of this season. The rankings will be released the next three Tuesday nights at approximately 7 p.m. on ESPN, with the final rankings coming out on Sunday, Dec. 8, at noon. College Football Playoff rankings for 2019 Week 12 Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post College Football Playoff Rankings for Week 12 released: Georgia jumps Alabama in Top 5 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mike Shildt has been named the 2019 National League Manager of the Year, after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an NL Central title and an appearance in the NLCS. Shildt was followed by Craig Counsell, Brian Snitker, Dave Roberts and Dave Martinez in voting. Snitker earned three of the 30 first-place votes after managing the Atlanta Braves to another NL East title in 2019, leading them to their most wins (97), since 2003.