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Dogs prep for Gamecocks
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Dogs prep for Gamecocks

Dogs prep for Gamecocks

Dogs prep for Gamecocks

University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, along with several players, previewed Saturday’s game against South Carolina. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks kick off at noon ET on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. 

 

On Monday, Coach Smart and student-athletes offered the following comments. 

 

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening statement … 

“It's on to South Carolina, who I've been very impressed with. I think they're playing a lot better. They've gotten better throughout the year, you can tell from Game 1 to Game 2. They're healthier, number one. They've got a lot of guys playing at a high level. I’ve got a lot of respect for the way Will [Muschamp] runs the program. I think they're doing a really good job. Both coordinators really get after you. They put pressure on you in three phases -- offense, defense, and special teams. They do a great job up front. Defensively, they've got a lot of big guys and a lot more big bodies than they've had in the past, and they're healthy.

 

Offensively, they've got one of the best wide receivers that I've seen on tape in Bryan Edwards. He does a very good job. [Ryan] Hilinski is a very talented quarterback. We recruited him hard here. He's got extreme arm talent. He can make all the throws. And they're doing a lot of things that are tough to defend offensively, and they put pressure on you from a special teams standpoint.

 

So, an exciting game. I want to challenge our fans, who have always responded to challenges, to get in your seats early and get ready for an early kickoff. Our guys will need that support, and we'll need the crowd noise and the impact that we had in the Notre Dame game, we'll need that same thing going against a young quarterback. With that, I'll open it up.”

 

On if he is happy with the offense and big-play ability … 

“Am I happy with the offense? Yeah, I'm happy with what we've been able to do, sustain drives. Do we want to be more explosive? Yes, we want to be more explosive. I think we're always looking. We have a goal of 1 of every 8 plays to be explosive. In this game, we were 1.1 out of 8.3, so we missed our goal offensively of being explosive. That's our standard. That's not -- some teams may have they want 1 out of every 5, but we want 1 out of every 8 plays is our goal, and we were 1 out of 8.3. So we just missed it. In some of that, they did a good job of — you take one or two blocks downfield and one more play is explosive, and you make that goal. But we're always looking to improve, and the same thing with defense. We're trying to not give up explosives.”

 

On playing better in the second half compared to the first half … 

“Settling down, I think. Playing and understanding what the team is trying to do to us. Maybe we've got to do a better job as coaches of preparing them early in the game. I think, when you're a good defense, I do think that you don't see the same things. So what happens is, in the history of the really good defenses I've been with, you go into a game expecting one thing, and the other team has worked really hard to try to counteract that and get off tendencies to do different things. You see different stuff because they're trying to generate plays against you, and that's been the case for us, but we've got to do a better job starting off for sure.”

 

On his friendship with South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp and their time together at Georgia … 

“Yeah, it was not like a close relationship when we were here because he was a fifth year senior captain and I was a redshirt freshman that we were really in two different places. I mean, he was good to me, but it wasn't like we had a friendship. We were at two different spots in our career. Where we became closer was the opportunity he gave me to come to Valdosta State, and we worked together there, and then we worked together at LSU, and those two years we spent in the same staff, we probably bonded more than we did while we were here. But he's always been a very intense coach, good football coach. I think he does a good job running the program, and that has allowed us to share information when possible, when it's not about scheme and it's more about philosophy, but he has been a good friend. I've got a lot of respect for him.”

 

On Jake Fromm taking deep shots down the field … 

“He's taken some shots, and we've hit some. I mean, we take shots in practice. He has progressions that he reads, and he goes through his progressions, and he looks for the right throws. I don't know that it's all about -- being explosive is a lot of things. It's blocking downfield. It's winning one-on-ones. It's speed, vertical speed versus horizontal speed. There's a lot of things combined in that. I mean, just look at us defensively in reverse and say, okay, what have we given up explosive? Well, two of our explosives are busts. One was against a team that came in. We gave up the play early in against -- was it Murray, I think it was? Or Arkansas - it was Murray. So we gave up a big play in that game off of a bust and then give up a really big explosive last week getting off of a bust.

 

So, some of that is mistakes where he's going to capitalize on those errors if he gets those opportunities, but we haven't had a lot of busts in coverage where they left a guy free or somebody just messed up. George had an explosive where he won one-on-one outside. Those are the ways you get an opportunity to get those explosives down the field, but it's not a matter of him not reading it correctly or us not calling it because a lot of times the progression is deep to short or short to deep or across the board, and he does a good job of finding the right guy with the ball.”

 

On South Carolina running backs coach Thomas Brown and coaching running backs in 2005 … 

“Thomas was one of the hardest working players we had in that room. I had a really good room of running backs. There were four or five really good backs. Kregg Lumpkin, Danny Ware, Tyson Browning, Thomas Brown. There were good backs in that room, and he was probably the hardest working, quietest guy that came to work every day, extremely physical and explosive for his size. He's just a great leader, great person. He continues to be that way as a coach. What was the second part?”

 

On what he learned as an offensive assistant…
“I think coaching the running backs was more than just effort. It was psychology. It was management. You got four guys in the room that all want the ball. Protection, protection of the ball, and protection of the quarterback was an ultimate goal, but it was a good experience for me to see how offenses think about things.

I think that was probably one of the most valuable years of my career because I looked at it through the eyes of an offensive staff – [Neil] Callaway, [Mike] Bobo, Coach Richt -- of how they analyze a defense and how they see things.”

On an update of Jordan Davis and the impact he has on the defensive line…
“To be honest, I didn't see a huge difference when he wasn't out there because the things he impacts are the run game, and we were able to control the run game pretty well. The play he was in there, we actually had a run come out. We would play a run right early when he was in there and fit it a lot more right as the game went on.

We think Jordan is going to be fine. He's not going to be out there today early on. He's going to be rehabbing when you guys are out there, but he's going to be fine to go. We expect him to be able to play.”

On where he sees Brian Herrien from the off-season to where he is now…
“I think the confidence, I don't know that it's major improvement. The Brian that I'm seeing now is the Brian I've always seen. The difference is you guys are seeing him. You say, why didn't he play? The guys that are in the NFL is the reason he didn't play. Brian has been perfectly capable. And when he got that opportunity, he seizes his opportunity the times he got in the past. He's just getting more opportunity now.

I think his vision, his decision-making, he catches the ball well out of the backfield. He runs really hard. I mean, he runs physical and explosive. To be honest with you, he practices that way. So, when he goes out to practice, he doesn't treat practice different than a game. I think those practice habits have allowed him to be successful in games. It's just you guys are getting able to see it now.”

On the continued emergence of depth at running back, particularly with Zamir White…
“I don't see it as an emergence. I see it as it's kind of been there. When you say what's the deepest position on our team, you would probably argue that running back is the deepest position. Those guys compete really hard in practice. They work for their reps. We thought Zamir had some really good work last week. His protections have just become where he's really physical in his protections. He's one of our best pass protectors. So he's earned that right and that trust to get out there, and we're pleased with his growth, and he's added more depth.

I mean, he started on punt return in this game [against Tennessee]. He did more things in this game than he's done in the past. With him, and Kenny [McIntosh] is showing up more and more on special teams for us. He's figured out that that's an opportunity for him to gain trust, and he's done that. So those guys are working really hard.”

On if he’s surprised by the number of true freshman quarterbacks starting in the SEC and if you feel more comfortable having them be game managers towards the midpoint of the season…
“Yeah, I think it's a trend you're going to see because, number one, they're getting hit more. So there's a chance of injury. They're running more, so there's a greater chance of injury. So you're seeing backups who happen to be true freshmen because quarterbacks don't usually stay the long haul and they leave, so you're seeing more backups, but you're also seeing more talented freshmen arrive.

This young man [Ryan Hilinski] is talented. This young man has a talented arm strength. He can make all the throws. To see him go in the games he went in -- I mean, just look at the Alabama tape. He went out and played against one of the elite defenses in the country and spun the ball as good as anybody. He's got a great release. He's got intuition on throws. Very instinctive. He's going to be a really good player in this league for a long time, in my opinion.”

On the injury update of Tyson Campbell and Solomon Kindley… 
“Tyson will be trying to go today. I don't know much, so I haven't seen him since the game or since we left for the game. He didn't go. We're hoping to get him back, but we don't know. I'll know more by the end of the week. Then Solomon should be good. He's cleared to go today. We thought, if he had to go in the game, he would have been able to go. So we have him practicing today.”

On the status of Julian Rochester…
“Yeah, Julian played well. He came in and has just been practicing. We've been grooming him to get him ready and get him in the rotation and felt like it was the time to do it. He'll get opportunities to continue doing that if he continues to do everything he's supposed to do and work hard in practice, if he continues to do that. The biggest thing is we've got to get some quickness and production out of those guys. That's what we're hoping he can help with.”

On if Brian Herrien is the type that you kind of pull for a little more when he has a successful game since he’s been patient in getting playing time…

“I pull for all of our guys. The guys that practice hard and go out there and play, you want them to be successful just like you do anybody else. He works hard. You can say he's been patient, but he's been a contributor in every way. I mean, the guy has played almost every role on every special teams. He's first in line when we do stuff for special teams. I've seen him carry the ball plenty in practices and know that he's talented enough.

I don't think you look for greener pastures at Georgia. You continue to work and get better because the green pasture is what the O-line opens up. I mean, they open up green pastures for you to have the ability to run, and you're not looking to run away from here and run away from a good physical O-line where you get the opportunity to carry the ball.”

 

On assessing the defensive line and stopping the run game… 

“You know, we haven't fit things real well all the time. We haven't tackled the way we're supposed to, especially in space, and some of that comes off the passing game, but we have to play better in space. We have to be a better tackling team. That comes from perimeter runs from running backs. So I'm not pleased with how we have played, as far as contact and contact toughness. We have to improve on that and get better because that's a hole when you watch football in general, tackling tends to go downhill as the season goes, and we can't let that happen. A lot of that starts with our defensive line, controlling it from getting out of there.

 

On facing an opponent coached by a former staff member… 

“Talking about Tennessee's with Coach Chaney. Yeah, I'm worried about South Carolina right now. I've forgotten about that totally. They did a really good job. Got a lot of respect for those guys and how hard their kids played, but I'm worried about South Carolina right now.”

 

On Zamir White handling the ins and outs physically and mentally… 

Zamir's physically -- our kids lift, run, practice every day. There's probably more wear and tear on a Tuesday, Wednesday practice than there are sometimes in games. I think the psychological part of knowing and understanding what my role is in the game, and not every game's the same. I mean, you just don't know. So part of being a good football player is I'm ready to go when my number's called. I tell the guys all the time, because you prepare well in practice doesn't guarantee you'll play, but if you don't prepare well in practice, it guarantees you won't. So that goes perfect for Zamir. He prepares properly and gets ready. It doesn't guarantee that he'll play. He deserves to, and I want him to, but it doesn't guarantee he'll play. But if he doesn't do those things, it will guarantee he won't. He's handled that well. He prepares and gets ready to play. He prepared getting ready for Notre Dame just like he did getting ready for Tennessee. It wasn't different. It was just us making sure it happened and also him preparing to take advantage of the opportunity and practicing the right way so that we know he's ready.”

 

On facing teams coming off bye weeks…

“Well, it's a reality that you deal with, kind of like the kickoff time. You don't have control over it. You take it, and you go, and you do the best job you can with it. In a two off-week year, I found, it seems like, obviously, there's more opportunities just statistically for that to happen. So when there's a two off-week season, which there is this year, there's more that have that chance of happening. You worry about it as a coach, but it's something you can't control. So when you can't control t you just move on and say, hey, maybe we didn't start good defensively last week because we were off the week before. Sometimes there's some roughs there, and sometimes playing in a game is good for you. You get to grow and develop. I do think the healing part is helpful and getting fresher, recovery time. Those things are probably beneficial for the team that's off, but at the end of the day, you've got to go out there and play the game, and everybody's playing the same number of games.”

 

On campaigning Rodrigo Blankenship for the Heisman… 

“I'm ready to start now. I mean, Hot Rod does a great job. He does everything he's asked. He's a great leader for our team, and he's very consistent. He has an approach to the game and an approach to his method of doing things that is unique to him. He believes in it. We trust him a lot, and he's been a tremendous leader, you know, just in this room with our team because people see how hard Rod works. So it's an honor to have him on here, and he works really hard.”

 

On forming connections with families during the recruiting process… 

Yeah, I think you connect during recruiting, and you spend more time with the family during recruiting than you do with them just as a player a lot of times. The toughest part about, when they come here as a player, their families come for either team events in the spring, team events in fall camp, banquets and galas. A lot of times you get to see the family, you don't always get to see them around game time because we're so busy with media and with recruiting afterwards. So you don't get to spend as much time as you want with them. But the connection you form with their family, you know what made their son and daughter who they are through everything they do, and you see a lot of that with these kids, and you know the trials and tribulations they may have had at home, and you're so happy for them when they have success on the field because they worked so hard for it. But just as important to me is the development of the guy that's not having success right now, that's going through the hard time of growing pains, of I haven't quite been able to crack the lineup, but I'm getting close. Those are the ones that stick -- the Brian Herrien and the guys that stick it out and stay and work, they're rewarded by their patience are the great stories.”

 

On how Ryan Hilinski compares to Jake Bentley… 

It's hard because you see Jake in the first game, and we played Jake a couple times. There are a little different quarterbacks. Hilinski has a quick release. He's got the ability to get it out. He's got great velocity on his ball. He's athletic and mobile enough to get around in the pocket and move around and do some things. He just does not play like a freshman. Not that Bentley does because Bentley is certainly not a freshman, but Hilinski's done a great job of whipping the ball, throwing quick game stuff, vertical down the field. He's got a really good group of wideouts, and they do a great job of putting them in successful situations. So he's made that transition really smooth.”

 

#20 J.R. Reed | Senior | DB 

On the hunter vs. hunted message Coach Smart gave against South Carolina two years ago and what he remembers about that game… 

“That is our mindset the entire year. We want to hunt people, attack people, instead of feeling like we are being attacked. Even if we were number one during that game, it feels like everyone is constantly coming for you. We want to play our best against everyone.”

 

On how he has continued to adopt that mindset over the past two years… 

“It is a saying that I really like and a saying that I tell the DBs a lot. We emphasize that you don’t have to be attacked, you can be the one attacking. We apply that to defense all the time.” 

 

On what goes into a halftime at a game like Tennessee to lead to such an effective third quarter defensively… 

“Just making adjustments and staying calm. Everyone figuring out what they need to do individually and then making sure everyone is on the same page. Everyone just focusing on coming out after halftime and doing their job.” 

 

#87 Tyler Simmons | Senior | WR

On what has led to Georgia’s type of offense/its efficiency...

“We’re just big on the running game. We’re a run-first team. That’s shown on the field. When we get the big plays, we get the big plays, but staying consistent and driving down the field is our biggest thing, as long as we keep the ball moving.”

 

On whether Georgia has the potential to be a "big play" offense…

"We definitely have the potential to be a big play offense, where we’re coming out and might score on the first play of the game or first play of the drive. Just keeping the ball moving is our biggest thing, though. As long as we’re doing that, we’re good.”

 

On the uniqueness of Brian Herrien’s [Sr. | RB] situation coming in to his first season at Georgia...

"With Brian coming in, he had some of the best in front of him. He got a chance to learn from those guys and learn from what they were doing right— he gained the little details about special teams and everything. Then it comes down to waiting on your number to be called and being ready then. So, just to see all his hard work and everything he’s put into the game pay off, it’s really great."

 

#35 Brian Herrien | Senior | TB

On describing his own running style…

“My running style, I kind of like to bruise, I kind of just want to hit the defense as much as I can so then as the game goes on, the defense is going to want to come back making the same tackles. They’ll kind of get to the side, hesitate a little bit and at that point, I can just run by them.”

 

On his favorite runs…

“My favorite runs usually aren’t the longest runs, they are the hardest ones, like the tough ones that shouldn’t have been a gain, or should’ve been a loss and kind of get back to the line of scrimmage or a gain a couple yards.”

 

On earning a run by breaking tackles or running through a hole in the offensive line…

“We call it Dawg Yards. If the offensive line opens a big hole and you run through it, that’s kind of like the offensive line’s part; but the Dawg Yards come from you when you get contact and you still break the tackle or you make somebody miss and after contact you get yards, that’s Dawg Yards. We want the runs like that instead of the open hole. We want to work for a lot of them.”

 

#94 Michael Barnett | Senior | DT

On the defense adjusting at halftime to what the offense is doing…

“We just really read our keys and really focus on what we’re messing up. The things that we do well, I feel like we’re supposed to do those things well. That’s the game of football. We practice all week to get those things right. So, when we execute them right, we’re happy, but at the same time, those things that we get wrong, we have to fix those things. So that’s what we primarily focus on.”

 

On the biggest factors to a rush defense besides good tackling…

“Really it starts up front with us. We just have to hold the points and read blocks and making sure nothing comes in our gaps and making sure we push everything that’s supposed to come on the inside to the outside and let the outside defenders handle what they’ve got to handle. I feel like I did pretty good [this season] but there’s always room for improvement.” 

 

On opponents being fresh coming off a bye week… 

“I feel like Will Muschamp is just like how Coach Smart is. So on those bye weeks, I feel like they got a really good work in. Every day in the SEC you have to prepare like you’re going into battle because you never know. They’re going to give us their best shot. They’ve been well rested and they’ve been probably working hard and watching film as well as watching our games to see what they can capitalize on. So I feel like they did exactly what we did, find mistakes and just capitalize on them.”

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Local News

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  • A Hartwell man faces vehicular homicide charges after slamming head-on into a car driven by a University of Georgia student and then leaving the scene, Athens police said. The student, identified as 20-year-old junior Drury Anderson Shierling, was killed about 6 a.m. Wednesday on Timothy Road when the other driver took a curve too fast and crossed into his lane, according to a crash report. The driver who caused the wreck, identified by police as 51-year-old Edward Lee Stowers, was traveling north from the Inner Loop to Timothy Road when his rented 2018 Ford Fusion crossed the raised median and entered the southbound lanes, authorities said. After striking the UGA student, Stowers allegedly got out of his vehicle, flagged down another driver and asked for a ride to a nearby gas station, according to the report. He was arrested after the witness called 911 and told police where he was. Shierling, who was from Leesburg, studied business and real estate, a university spokeswoman said.  Another passenger in the students car was injured in the wreck and taken to a hospital, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.  Stowers is charged with vehicular homicide, hit-and-run resulting in death, traveling too fast for conditions, failure to maintain lane and driving with a suspended license. He remains held without bond at the Athens-Clarke County jail, records show.  In other news: 
  • The Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee is proud to announce Dinner & Conversation with the U.S. Senate Candidates to be held on Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11, at the Cotton Press in Athens, Georgia. On the cusp of one of the most important election-cycles in Georgia history, attendees will get the unique opportunity to hear from Sarah Riggs Amico, Jon Ossoff, Mayor Ted Terry, and Mayor Teresa Tomlinson about their vision for Georgia and the United States.   Dinner & Conversation with the U.S. Senate Candidates will begin at 6:15pm (doors at 5:45pm) on Monday, November 11 at the Cotton Press. Attendees will be treated to a delicious family-style dinner as they hear conversations between candidates and our special guests. After hearing from all 4 candidates and finishing apple pie for dessert, attendees will be invited to mingle with the candidates and continue the conversations in a less formal way at our meet-and-greet.   “This is the first, and possibly only, time that Athenians and the people of northeast Georgia will be able to see all of the Senatorial candidates in one location,'' says Denise Ricks, Chair of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee. “It is an opportunity to witness a one on one, in depth conversation with each candidate and have them answer submitted questions. We know voters want to hear where the candidates stand on healthcare, foreign policy, education, and the environment. This is your chance to hear about those issues and to get answers to your questions!”   The 2020 elections will decide the Presidency, not one but both U.S. Senate seats for Georgia, along with every Georgia Congressional, State House, and State Senate seat.    'Make no mistake, the stakes of the 2020 elections are enormous” says Georgia State Representative and Democratic Caucus Leader Bob Trammell. “ Elections have consequences, and the election before redistricting has consequences for the next decade. We can not afford for anyone to sit out democracy in 2020. All hands on deck.' 
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Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley walked out of the coaches' box after Saturday night's 21-0 win over Kentucky wearing a big smile. No one would have guessed the Bulldogs gained a season-low 270 yards of offense or that his quarterback had a career-low 35 yards passing and failed to throw a TD pass for just the second time in his career. Georgia's head coach, Kirby Smart, was pleased with the play calling and the hard-fought win over the Wildcats, so Coley's mission was accomplished. But many fans at Sanford Stadium booed the No. 10-ranked home team during the game, however, frustrated with what appeared to be very conservative play calling amid the heavy rain and wind. 'I'm not a fan, it's probably frustrating for the fans, but as a team we win however we can find a way to win, that's all we did today, we found a way to win,' Swift said. 'If they boo us, they boo us. I'm fine. As long as we're winning the games.' Some Georgia football followers on social media channels have been imploring reporters to ask Smart about play-calling and his offensive coordinator, James Coley. Smart was indeed asked on Saturday night to assess Coley, who was promoted to offensive coordinator and play caller after serving as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season. ' Very pleased today, I thought we were extremely patient on offense and in tough conditions,' Smart said. 'And, we've got more explosive plays than we did last year at this time, with three wide receivers that are in the NFL.' Smart said he didn't think it very rationale for anyone to try to assess the Georgia offense on a night where the weather conditions played such a large role. 'If you go out there and evaluate that, and you give judgement based on that, you're a lot smarter than me,' Smart said. 'There's not a lot you can do in those conditions.' As for the booing, Smart said he could't hear it because he had headphones on. 'We're trying to make the best decisions that gives us the best chance,' Smart said. 'I mean, you know, fans, that's what they pay their money for, to give their opinions and they are entitled to that. I respect that. 'But at the end of the day our job is to put our kids in the most successful situations and allow them to be successful, you know what I mean? I don't think you make decisions based on that (crowd reaction).' The Bulldogs, two-time defending SEC East Division champs, have a bye next weekend before returning to action on Nov. 2 against Florida in Jacksonville. Georgia-Kentucky stories Georgia football stock report, lock-down defense gets shutout D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post Georgia's Kirby Smart very pleased' with OC James Coley, addresses home fans booing appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart gets paid to win games and compete for championships, so there wasn't a lot of second-guessing after a 21-0 win over Kentucky. Smart has never been too concerned with style points, and especially not on a night of torrential rain and wind gusting up to 20 mph during the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) win over the Wildcats (3-4, 1-4) at Sanford Stadium. Still, there were some scattered boos. Smart shrugged it off after the game, saying fans pay for their right to share their opinions, and it didn't affect him because he had headphones on, anyway. ' I could have told you two days ago we weren't going to go out there and throw it for 200 yards in those conditions,' Smart said. 'We had to put a plan together to give us the best chance to be successful. I thought we did a good job.' Georgia out-gained Kentucky 270 yards to 177 in a game where both teams' pass game was pretty much non-existent. Jake Fromm was 9-of-12 passing for 35 yards considerably better than the 2-of-16 passing, 17-yard output Eddie Gran's Kentucky offense mustered. Fromm attempted only one pass in the second half, a 7-yard completion, as the Bulldogs run game took its toll. D'Andre Swift's 39-yard TD run with 6:20 left in the third quarter broke open what had been a scoreless tie. The Georgia defense seemed to feed off the energy. Safety J.R. Reed delivered a fumble-inducing hit on UK quarterback Lynn Bowden on the Wildcats' ensuing drive, Richard LeCounte recovering the ball on the Kentucky 31, Five consecutive run plays later, Brian Herrien sped around right end for an 8-yard TD that made it 14-0 with 1:43 left in the third quarter. 'I think that's a wear and tear effect,' Smart said, reflecting on how the Bulldogs run game took over the second half. 'You're not just going to walk out there in those conditions and just walk down the field and score on people that's tough. It's tough to get traction.' The Georgia defense dug in one final time in the fourth quarter, stemming a Kentucky drive that reached the UGA 8-yard line when linebacker Jermaine Johnson flushed Bowden out of the pocket and forced an incompletion. The Bulldogs' offense slammed the door shut after the change of possessions, marching 92 yards on 13 plays for the final score of the night, Swift crashing in from 3 yards out with 6:24 remaining. ' I told the team we had to be patient and continue to chop wood throughout the game,' Smart said. 'It was going to be a field-position battle the whole game. I was proud of the way our guys fought in what was a tough environment to play in. 'I told the team if they handled it best, they would probably come out on top.' Georgia coach Kirby Smart Georgia-Kentucky stories Georgia football stock report, lock-down defense gets shutout D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky The post WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' in win over Kentucky appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Rain poured down and a harsh wind blew through Sanford Stadium, gusts over 20 mph at times. Georgia and Kentucky offensive play callers responded accordingly. A slugfest ensured, the Bulldogs finally overpowering the Wildcats in the second half en route to the 21-0 victory. UGA held Kentucky to 177 total yard of offense and just 9 first downs. Meanwhile, tailback D'Andre Swift rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns to lead Georgia, which didn't have he ball in Kentucky territory until the 6:31 mark of the second half. Swift scored on a 39-yard run one play later to give the Bulldogs all the points they would need. It was a scoreless tie at the end of the first half, that first time that had happened in a Georgia game since a 10-0 loss to Alabama in 1991. Georgia out-gained Kentucky 123-52 through the first 30 minutes, but the closest the Bulldogs could et to crossing midfield was a fourth-and-1 attempt. Quarterback Jake Fromm was stopped on the play, coming up short. The Bulldogs average starting position on their six first-half drives was their own 15-yard line, and Smart was not in the mindset to take many chances with a wet ball and a wind. Fromm was 8-of-11 for 29 yards passing in the first half, and UGA ran the ball 16 straight times in the second half before he would attempt another pass. Fromm finished 9-of-12 passing for 35 yards, the Bulldogs gaining 235 yards on the ground. Stock Up D'Andre Swift was the MVP, no doubt, charging into a stacked Kentucky defensive front throughout the night, but still managing to average 8.5 yards per carry in leading the offense. Freshman WR George Pickens made the most of this first career start, making four catches for 35 yards to lead all receivers. Georgia pass coverage: UK's Lynn Bowden didn't complete a pass until there was 4 1/2 minutes left, throwing incomplete on his first nine attempts. J.R. Reed stepped up with physical play, forcing a fumble in the third quarter with big hit on QB Lynn Bowden. Richard LeCounte was strong in run support throughout the night, and he came up with a fumble recovery on the Kentucky 31 in the third quarter. Brian Herrien had four straight carries to extend UGA's lead to 14-0; runs of 3, 5 and 4 to pick up a first down at the 8, and he scored from there. Rodrigo Blankenship came up with a TD-saving tackle on Zach Johnson kick return at Georgia 40 Jeremaine Johnson with the QB pressure on Lynn Bowden on Kentucky's failed fourth down attempt at the UGA 9 in the fourth quarter. Stock Down Georgia short yardage offense: The Bulldogs couldn't convert a fourth-and-1 at the 50 with Fromm, even with Cade Mays and Charlie Woerner in the backfield as pushers. Prather Hudson is known as a special teams ace, but his holding call wiped out a 10-yard Dominick Blaylock punt return and pinned UGA back to the 9. Charlie Woerner holding penalty wipes out 8-yard Brian Herrien run. Woerner got blown up on a James Cook swing pass in the first quarter, too. Safety Divaad Wilson missed open-field tackle on 9-yard RB run for first down The post Georgia football stock report: Defense locks down Kentucky 21-0 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia put the game on D'Andre Swift's shoulders Saturday night, and the junior tailback delivered. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs beat Kentucky 21-0 thanks to Swift's hard-charging ways. The junior from Philadelphia carried 21 times for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. Swift had strong comments about the Bulldogs' offense earlier in the week. Swift felt more passes downfield should be called in the wake of last week's 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina. 'They put a lot of people in the box so it's hard,' Swift said. 'Once you get past one level, there are three guys right there.' That was once again the case on Saturday night. But Swift found a way to break tackles and make Kentucky defenders miss with 6:20 left in the game. The Bulldogs had taken over a the Wildcats' 39 after a 15-yard punt, their first possession in Kentucky's territory in the game. Swift took the handoff and broke right, making two Wildcats' defenders miss at the line before outracing the reminder of the Kentucky defense to the end zone to break a scoreless tie. Swifted added a 3-yard TD run with 6:24 left to make it 21-0, capping a 13-play, 92-yard drive to essentially put the game on ice. Georgia has a bye next Saturday and will return to action at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Jacksonville, Fla., against Florida. The post Georgia football game ball: D'Andre Swift carries Bulldogs to 21-0 win appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia's defense came to play and Kirby Smart planned accordingly Saturday night. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) recorded their second shutout of the season, blanking Kentucky 21-0 amid heavy rain and gusting winds at Sanford Stadium. Tailback D'Andre Swift rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns as UGA played mistake-free football on offense, pounding the Wildcats with its giant offensive line and productive run game. Kentucky managed just 177 yards of total offense, not completing a pass until there was just 4 1/2 minutes left. Jake Fromm was 9-of-12 passing for 35 yards, deferring to a ground game that picked up steam has the minutes passed by. Georgia rushed for 235 yards on 42 carries, scoring three rushing touchdowns in the second half to pull away. Georgia has a bye next Saturday before returning to action at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 against Florida in Jacksonville. Here's how the game broke down: Fourth Quarter Georgia 21, Kentucky 0, 6:24:D'Andre Swift 3-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive:13 plays, 92 yards, 8:18. Key Play: Brian Herrien 14-yard run. Kentucky stopped on fourth-and-goal at 8-yard line, 14:42. Third Quarter Georgia 14, Kentucky 0, 1:54: Brian Herrien 8-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 5 plays, 31 yards, 2:36. Key play: D'Andre Swift 11-yard run. Georgia 7, Kentucky 0, 6:20: D'Andre Swift 39-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick. Drive: One play, 39 yards, 11 seconds. Key play: 15-yard shanked Kentucky punt. HALFTIME NOTES It's the first scoreless first half in a Georgia game since 1991, when the Bulldogs played Alabama in Tuscaloosa, losing 10-0. Georgia held Kentucky without a completed pass. Georgia held Kentucky to 52 yards of total offense. UAG lead the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation in scoring defense (12.3 ppg). Freshman WR George Pickens made his first career start. SECOND QUARTER Georgia explosive plays: Fromm to Pickens, 22 yards D'Andre Swift 23-yard run D'Andre Swift 20-yard run Jake Fromm 8-of-11, 28 yards; Lynn Bowden 0-of-3 passing D'Andre Swift 9-81 rushing; Lynn Bowden 7-26 George Pickens 3-28 receiving Georgia stopped on fourth-and-1 at 50-yard line, 8:51 FIRST QUARTER 53 degrees, feels like 49, winds at 14 mph, rain Georgia wins toss, will receive SEC Saturday 10-19-19 Auburn 51, Arkansas 10, Final Florida 38, South Carolina 27, Final LSU 36, Mississippi State 13, Final Vanderbilt 21, Missouri 14, Final Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m. kickoff Tennessee at Alabama, 9 p.m. kickoff Pregame Mecole Hardman leads calling of the Dawgs CB DJ Daniel announced as a starter; CB Tyson Campbell (foot) appears full-speed in warmups, questionable to play First-team offensive line in warmups: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Cade Mays, C Trey Hill, RG Ben Cleveland, RT Isaiah Wilson George Pickens announced as a starter along with Demetris Robertson and Tyler Simmons in WR corps BIG TEN UPSET: No. 6 Wisconsin falls as 30-point underdog to Illinois SEC Scores: See Below ATHENS Georgia football opens the second half of the season looking for improvement, and it starts with players stepping up and emerging. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs play host to Kentucky at 6 p.m. on Saturday in a game that should provide plenty of opportunities for players on all levels. Redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson is back from a broken hand and could break out, and Coach Kirby Smart has continued to praise the improvement of linebackers Nolan Smith and Nakobe Dean. Freshman defensive back Tyrique Stevenson was identified as one of the most promising players in spring drills and at the start of fall camp, and he could be on the verge of taking the next step. 'He's really improving, he's coming in, he's meeting more,' UGA cornerback Eric Stokes said, asked about Stevenson's progress. 'He's finally learning the ropes, like, I need to come in and start doing a little bit.' 'He was going through a freshman slump like anybody, it's just a learning experience, but he's finally starting to pick it up.' Smart said Stevenson has looked better in practices of late, too. ' Tyrique had a good week of practice last week and he actually played in the game when Mark Webb's injury occurred,' Smart said, reflecting on Stevenson's snaps against South Carolina. 'He had two opportunities to make tackles he missed those opportunities one was on a close sack, 'I think that's more of an experience of playing not a lack of ability. But those are the growing pains you have to go through when you play guys who are getting their first considerable playing time. But he's still in a battle at (dime defensive back) to play, he's in a battle at corner. He's becoming a better practice player.' Pregame Reads Former UGA star Eric Zeier gives his take on Bulldogs' offense Podcast: D'Andre Swift's comments on offense gain attention Kirby Smart concerned about the weather conditions' Promising Nolan Smith grows, expands role Receivers must step up, beat press coverage Closer look: How Georgia's offense adds up The post Georgia football game recap: Bulldogs pull away from Kentucky, 21-0 appeared first on DawgNation.