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Georgia legend Vince Dooley a great coach and graduate student of life

Georgia legend Vince Dooley a great coach and graduate student of life

Georgia legend Vince Dooley a great coach and graduate student of life

Georgia legend Vince Dooley a great coach and graduate student of life

Vince Dooley just returned from Croatia. He wanted to learn about the war that ravaged and reconfigured the former Yugoslavia at the end of the 20th Century. "It all came apart after Tito died," Dooley said, sounding like both teacher and student, which is how he has spent his 87 years. For all the events in this overstuffed life, the thread that runs through it is of continuing education.

I know that sounds a bit arid, and for that I'm sorry. Dooley is anything but arid. He's whip-smart and wicked funny. He's among the great conversationalists. He can talk about anything. He knows something about everything. This week is one of celebration because he led the Georgia Bulldogs to 201 games, six SEC titles and a national championship, but this is a man who'd have merited celebration had, on that momentous Easter Sunday, Herschel Walker signed with Clemson.

Dooley was a football coach, yes, but that wasn't the half of it. When he was a grad assistant at Auburn studying at nights for his master's, his soon-to-be wife who has always dared to pose the pertinent questions asked why he didn't spend his time playing cards, as other grad assistants did. "Because 25 years from now," he said, "they'll still be playing cards."

Technically, Vince Dooley isn't a Georgia alum he's an Auburn grad but he stands as a shining example of the University of Georgia above and beyond its athletic department. He would audit a UGA class every spring. (That's a fringe benefit, often untapped, of being a university employee.) He took a bunch of history courses, and he took one on art and another on wine, and yeah, he took one on gardening. And there, as is invariably the case with Dooley, hangs a tale.

The teacher was Michael Dirr. Dooley would go from student to something of a collaborator. The two have given lectures together. The grounds around Dooley's Milledge Circle home have become a flowering wonder. "The Dooley Botanical Garden," Barbara Dooley has dubbed them, and she makes it clear she has had nothing to do with it. Her husband is the one out there on hands and knees. He's the one who can go on forever about the Japanese maple.

In 1999, Dirr said of Dooley: "He is a student in the classical sense of the world. He sinks his bulldog teeth into a subject, and there is no letting go."

Dooley vacations were never just navel-gazing trips to the beach. A Tastee-Freez on St. Simons served 50 flavors of milkshakes. The Dooleys would buy four a night in the attempt to sample all. En route to the coast, the family would stop at every historical marker. "It was fun," son Daniel said, "and then it became not fun. We were like, Dad, just get us to the beach.' "

Said Barbara of her husband: "I just wish he could do something halfway."

But there are, as she knows better than anyone, no half-measures with this man. His interest in history led to him being long after his days as Georgia's coach and athletic director chairman of the Georgia Historical Society. He has written books on the Bulldogs, yes, but also books on gardening and an essay combining history and football for a scholarly journal. ("Footnotes and all," he emphasizes.) This sort of stuff isn't why the sod between Sanford Stadium's hallowed hedges is being named Dooley Field, but can we separate the coach from the man?

Apologies again. I know you want some football. My two favorite Dooley lines are football-related, sort of. On Oct. 17, 1987, Georgia fell behind 14-0 in Nashville. On the sideline, its head coach began suffering chest pains. Said Dooley: "I thought, I'm having a heart attack and we're losing to Vanderbilt.' "

The Bulldogs would win 52-24. Two days later, Dooley was admitted to Emory for emergency angioplasty. The ol' AJC went whole-hog with this, including in its pages a detailed diagram of the human heart with an arrow indicating the blockage. On Oct. 24, Dooley stood on the field in Athens the one that, come Saturday, will be named after him before the Kentucky game and greeted this correspondent thusly.

"I saw that diagram in your paper," he said, "and I told Barbara, Thank goodness I didn't have hemorrhoids.' "

Lars Tate scored late that day to give Georgia a 17-14 victory. Afterward, captain Mack Burroughs handed Dooley the game ball and said, "We're just glad you didn't keel over." Said Loran Smith: "Today's slogan was, Win one for the ticker.' "

When Tate scored the winning touchdown against Georgia Tech the year before, Dooley ran so far down the sideline that he said, "I almost scored myself." This time, as a slight concession to his health, the coach moved only seven yards but he punctuated it with a hop.

As unflappable as Dooley was in real life, he could be a wild man during games. Legend holds that, in trying to will a field goal through, he swung his leg so high that he booted a assistant upside the head. Dooley's recollection is that his bit of body English inadvertently impacted a squatting equipment manager in the hindquarters, which is a more tepid tale. (Ah, well. Print the legend.)

So there. That's your football allotment. One of the SEC's four greatest head coaches the other three: Bryant, Saban, Spurrier will receive a signal honor Saturday. But the famous field, you should know, won't be the first thing to bear his name.

Twenty years ago, he pointed to a flower in his garden and said, almost sheepishly: "See this hydrangea? It's named after me."

The Dooley Hydrangea is blue.It blooms in July. It's very pretty.

The post Georgia legend Vince Dooley a great coach and graduate student of life appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • The victim of a car crash in Elbert County has been identified as Dorathy Link: the 63 year-old Link (pictured above) was a long time administrator in the Elbert County School District.  The Georgia State Patrol has released the name of a Chamblee man killed in a crash in Gainesville: 48 year-old Vincent Elliot wrecked his pickup truck on Candler Road in Hall County. State Troopers say Elliot was not wearing a seat belt when his truck crashed into a tree. The wife of the police chief in Flowery Branch has been arrested on heroin possession charges: Samantha Spiller, the 51 year-old wife of Police Chief David Spiller, was booked into the Hall County jail.  Gwinnett County Police it was not a case of road rage after all. They say a robbing crew lied about someone else firing into their vehicle on I-85 earlier this week. Gwinnett Police say they were instead speeding away from someone they had tried to hold up; the would-be robbery victims fired at the would-be robbers. One of them—a 16 year-old—was killed, while another was, last report, hospitalized in critical condition.  DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann announces his retirement today: Mann is perhaps best known for his 2017 arrest in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, where he was booked on an indecent exposure charge. 
  • A forum on plans for a traffic circle on West Broad Street is set for 5:30 til 7:30 at the HT Edwards Building on Dearing Extension. Traffic planners are talking about a roundabout for the busy intersection of West Broad and Hancock.  There is an afternoon meeting of the Athens Downtown Development Authority: 2 o’clock in the Gameday Building on Broad Street in Athens.  They are looking to get on the same page in Jefferson: Jackson County Commissioners and Jackson County School Board members are talking about holding meetings and working together in a more cooperative fashion.  First time since 1988: Barrow County School Board members are getting pay raises. The Board approved the salary hikes in a meeting in Winder.  The City Council in Winder signs off on a water sharing agreement with the city of Statham.  A Gainesville City Council work session is set for 9 o’clock this morning at the Administration Building in Gainesville. Hall County Commissioners are also meeting in Gainesville, 6 o’clock this evening at the Hall County Government Center.
  • Today is a deadline day in Athens: this is the last day to get an entry in next month’s Downtown Parade of Lights. City Hall says the registration fee for floats and other parade entries is $40; deadline is 5 o’clock this afternoon. The parade that will make its way through downtown Athens is set for December 5. From the Athens-Clarke Co Government website… The Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department announces that entries are now being accepted for the 2019 Athens-Clarke County Downtown Parade of Lights. This year’s parade is scheduled for Thursday, December 5. The deadline for entries is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2019. The parade entry fee is $40 with checks payable to “Athens-Clarke County.” Annually, more than 60 entries compete for such prizes as “Most Original Float,” “Best Use of Theme, “ and “Best Use of Lights” and the best overall float receiving the “Mayor’s Award.” This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.”The parade begins on the corner of Hancock Avenue and Pulaski Street ending in front of City Hall for the traditional Community Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.The Athens-Clarke County Downtown Parade of Lights is sponsored by the Leisure Services Department and the Athens Downtown Development Authority. Parade information and application forms can be found at www.accgov.com/parade or by contacting Melanie McElroy at 706-613-3800.
  • The University of Georgia Alumni Association has unveiled the 2020 Bulldog 100 list of fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. More than 533 nominations were submitted for the 2020 list.   The 2020 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as technology, cosmetics, entertainment and education. Companies are based as far north as Virginia and as far west as Nevada. Of the 100 businesses, 84 are located within Georgia.    This year’s list of fastest-growing businesses, in alphabetical order, is:   100 Percent Financed, College Park, Georgia A Signature Welcome, Charleston, South Carolina  Ad Victoriam Solutions, Alpharetta, Georgia ADD’s Personal Care Pharmacy, Bogart, Georgia  AGH Strategies, Washington, D.C. Agora Vintage, Athens, Georgia  AHT Cooling Systems USA Inc., Ladson, South Carolina  American Tank Maintenance LLC, Warthen, Georgia  Ansley Atlanta Real Estate, Atlanta, Georgia Applied Resource Group, Alpharetta, Georgia  ASW Distillery, Atlanta, Georgia  Biren Patel Engineering, Macon, Georgia Bitstream, Atlanta, Georgia BOS Security, Athens, Georgia Buckhead Beans, Atlanta, Georgia  Calhoun Sands Valuation & Advisory Inc., Atlanta, Georgia Carroll Media Services Inc., Atlanta, Georgia Castlegate Property Group LLC, Atlanta, Georgia  Charlotte Lucas Interior Design, Charlotte, North Carolina Chicken Salad Chick, Auburn, Alabama Christopher’s Bridge Home Care, Watkinsville, Georgia  Conway Law, Dunwoody, Georgia Crawford and Boyle LLC, Monroe, Georgia Crescent Equipment Co. Inc., Crescent, Georgia  Currie Design + Build, Roswell, Georgia  Dental ClaimSupport, Savannah, Georgia  Eagle Christian Tours, Rome, Georgia  EastWest Bottlers, Austin, Texas  Epperly Travel, Atlanta, Georgia  Expert Technical Solutions, Atlanta, Georgia Fairway Insurance Group Inc., Acworth, Georgia Forest Heights Pharmacy, Statesboro, Georgia Forum Communications, Gainesville, Georgia FTM Travel, Brentwood, Tennessee Georgia Grinders, Atlanta, Georgia Glass & Robson LLC, Atlanta, Georgia Globe Trotter Properties, Falls Church, Virginia Greater Athens Properties, Athens, Georgia Hardy’s Peanuts Inc., Hawkinsville, Georgia  Irvin Retail Group of Marcus & Millichap, Atlanta, Georgia J&M Pool Company, Senoia, Georgia Jackrabbit Technologies, Huntersville, North Carolina Jennings Mill Drug Company, Watkinsville, Georgia  JETT Business Technology, Roswell, Georgia Kabbage, Atlanta, Georgia LeaseQuery LLC, Atlanta, Georgia Lightmark Media, Athens, Georgia MAB Corporate Advisors, Marietta, Georgia Macallan Real Estate LLC, Marietta, Georgia Madison Financial and Associates, Acworth, Georgia Maggie Griffin Design, Gainesville, Georgia Margaret Long Designs, Atlanta, Georgia Mark Spain Real Estate, Alpharetta, Georgia Markert Motor Works, Lawrenceville, Georgia Matre Forestry Consulting Inc., Albany, Georgia McMichael and Gray, Lawrenceville, Georgia Middle Sister Marketing, Marietta, Georgia Millstone Homes Inc., Bishop, Georgia Moore Civil Consulting Inc., Hawkinsville, Georgia Murray Osorio PLLC, Fairfax, Virginia  Nicely Built, Atlanta, Georgia On My Watch Inc., Athens, Georgia oneRepSALES LLC, Athens, Georgia Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Services, Savannah, Georgia PDI, Alpharetta, Georgia PeopleSuite, Mooresville, North Carolina  PharmD on Demand, Watkinsville, Georgia  Puppy Haven, Sandy Springs, Georgia Queen Bee Designs, Alexandria, Virginia Quickpath, San Antonio, Texas RCS Garage Doors, Charlotte, North Carolina RES IPSA, Atlanta, Georgia Rev Coffee, Smyrna, Georgia RGX, Cornelius, North Carolina Roadie, Atlanta, Georgia Roam, Atlanta, Georgia See.Spark.Go, Athens, Georgia Sole Boutique and Dish Boutique, Statesboro, Georgia Samet Corporation, Greensboro, North Carolina SculptHouse, Atlanta, Georgia  SEOteric, Watkinsville, Georgia  SFB IDEAS LLC, Atlanta, Georgia  Smith Planning Group, Watkinsville, Georgia Sock Fancy, Atlanta, Georgia Southern Baked Pie Company, Gainesville, Georgia Southland Pediatric Therapy Services, Savannah, Georgia  Telecom Innovations LLC, Athens, Georgia Terminus, Atlanta, Georgia The Brogdon Firm LLC, Atlanta, Georgia The Brokery LLC, Macon, Georgia The Mullins Companies, Augusta, Georgia  The Service Fort LLC, Atlanta, Georgia  The Sign Brothers, Bogart, Georgia The Southern Coterie, Sea Island, Georgia Three Tree Coffee Roasters, Statesboro, Georgia Tier4 Group, Alpharetta, Georgia TurnKey Compliance, Marietta, Georgia  Vert Digital, Atlanta, Georgia  VeryVera Enterprises LLC, Augusta, Georgia Tape King, Las Vegas, Nevada   Applicants were measured by their business’s compounded annual growth rate during a three-year period. The Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors, a Bulldog 100 partner since the program began in 2009, verified the information submitted by each company.   The UGA Alumni Association will host the annual Bulldog 100 Celebration in Athens Feb. 8 to celebrate these alumni business leaders and count down the ranked list to ultimately reveal the No. 1 fastest-growing business.    “Hosting this year’s Bulldog 100 Celebration in Athens will bring these bright entrepreneurs back to campus to experience how it has grown since their days at UGA,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “We’re excited for the opportunity for these industry leaders to connect with students and share their advice and expertise.”
  • 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.  

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Georgia team captain Tyler Simmons spelled it out where players' attitudes toward injuries are concerned at this stage of the season. 'You can either sit out and miss those opportunities,' Simmons said, 'or you can go and do what you can do.' Simmons is an example of the latter, playing with a shoulder brace since the third game of the season even now that he's no longer returning punts or being targeted with multiple passes. RELATED: Tyler Simmons role now limited, but senior continues to lead and contribute For center Trey Hill, mobility will surely be limited after spraining his left ankle in the 27-0 win over Missouri. Hill was already playing with his right ankle heavily taped. Coach Kirby Smart insisted Hill was fine on Tuesday, however. 'Trey has been fine,' Smart said. 'He's taken all the reps and done everything.' South Carolina's defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw made Hill not look so fine on Oct. 12, and this Saturday it's future NFL starter Derek Brown chomping at the bit to attack the center of the Georgia offensive line. The Bulldogs' line has been deemed one of the nation's 10 best by the Joe Moore Award committee after finishing among the three finalists the previous two seasons. But only left tackle Andrew Thomas has started every game, and the line has not yet made a convincing case that it's the best in the nation. Auburn, with what's regarded as the SEC's best defensive front and quite possibly the best in the country will provide the ultimate challenge. Georgia right guard Ben Cleveland was nominated by the school for the SEC's offensive lineman of the week award, which is more telling in some ways than the fact that he won it. Cade Mays has split starting duties with Cleveland at right guard, so it's fair to speculate if Mays will continue to play center in place of Hill even if Hill is cleared. Mays left the Missouri game after his ankle was 'rolled up on,' but he said in the postgame press conference he's fine and he was featured on Georgia's Game Day show this week. He's just a sophomore, but @cade_mays has already played every position across the OL. How would he rank them? : Sat at 10am on @wsbtv! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/AvZpfSRuyf Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) November 14, 2019 Receiver Lawrence Cager has continued to play despite having a separated shoulder. Cager has been taking reps in practice this week and has shown he can be effective even when he's at less than 100 percent. Smart indicated earlier in the week that senior defensive back Tyrique McGhee was not back at practice after re-injuring an already surgically repaired foot. McGhee has brought a savvy veteran presence and the versatility to play cornerback or safety. Georgia football injury report WR Lawrence Cager (shoulder) probable WR Tyler Simmons (shoulder) probable OL Cade Mays (ankle) probable C Trey Hill (ankle) questionable LB Channing Tindall (unknown) questionable DB Tyrique McGhee (foot) doubtful QB D'Wan Mathis (head) out WR Tommy Bush (groin) out OL Justin Shaffer (neck) out Georgia football stories from DawgNation Homegrown special: Richard LeCounte holds special place 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 Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Georgia football injury report: Bruised Bulldogs hungry for opportunities appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia's season goals are likely riding on the outcome of its game at Auburn, the Bulldogs with no margin for error amid a heated College Football Playoff race. Kirby Smart is keeping the focus strictly on the Tigers and the pending battle at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. It's affectionally known as 'The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry,' but it also ranks among the most bitter. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) and the No. 12 Tigers (7-2, 4-2) recruit against one another and its abundantly clear the coaches are not favorites of one another. Auburn beat writer Brandon Marcello, however, is a friend of DawgNation's and provided some deep insight into Auburn football for Georgia fans this week. Here are five questions with Marcello, who handles the beat on The Plains for 247Sports for the Auburn Undercover Website. For the latest on Auburn sports, follow Marcello on Twitter. 1. Gus Malzahn is known for his offensive innovation, where is Auburn strongest and weakest on offense, and how far along is Bo Nix? BM: Auburn's weak point is along the offensive line, where inconsistency has plagued the Tigers also season. The second weak spot might just be quarterback, where Bo Nix has shown signs of brilliance but also has been pretty average for the most part. The good news for Auburn is Nix is a much different quarterback at home than he is on the road (63.5 vs. 48.5 completion percentage) but that will be challenged against the best defense he has faced all season (Georgia). I really like Auburn's receivers, and I believe the coaching staff needs to find a way to get them more involved, particularly speedster Anthony Schwartz He has world-class speed and might be an Olympian in a few years. They need to utilize him as much as possible in the passing game, but also on jet sweeps, end-arounds and reverses. Auburn has to stretch every defense sideline to sideline and goal line to goal line. Schwartz is the only player on the roster who can do that. 2. The Tigers' defense is filled with veterans, what are Auburn's strengthsand weaknesses at each level? BM: The Auburn defensive line is the strength of the entire team. The combination of Derrick Brown in the middle demanding double teams and collapsing the quarterback's pocket has been tremendous. Defensive end Marlon Davidson has been the star pass rusher. The two are great friends and constantly poke fun at each other for being 'fat,' which has made for some funny stories through the season as they have combined to win five (!) defensive lineman of the week awards in the SEC this season. They'll have to play their best to give the Tigers a chance Saturday. With Brown being from Georgia, I don't see him lacking for motivation. Auburn's secondary has been fine, but there's room for improvement. I think cornerback Noah Igbinoghene has a future in the NFL. Safeties Daniel Thomas and Jeremiah Dinson, both seniors, haven't let many balls go over their heads this season and both have been tremendous in run support. The biggest thing for this defense is its open-field tackling. It helped slow LSU's offense earlier this season and it needs to continue during this tough stretch against the Bulldogs and Alabama. 3. There's been plenty of discussion about how these teams matchup, why or why not are the Tigers a tough matchup for Kirby Smart's version of Georgia football? BM: Auburn's defense is a tough matchup for any offense. Just look at what the Tigers did at LSUin October. They held LSU to four touchdowns under its average. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele introduced a 3-1-7 scheme that confused LSU and put a lot of pressure on Joe Burrow to deliver highly-accurate passes, which he did for the most part, but Auburn made fantastic stops in the open field. 4. The Alabama-Auburn rivalrygets its fair due, how is the Tigers' rivalry with Georgia different? BM: This rivalry seems a bit more heated from a players' perspective, particularly on the Auburn side, because many players hail from Georgia. I'm not sure it's a betterrivalry, all around, than the Iron Bowl, but it's in the same neighborhood. This is something that has obviously been built organically over the years, but for it to truly be personal, the players have to be invested. And with players from both states on both rosters, it's about pride and as one Auburn player put it today, going home to your brother and tell him you beat them. 5. Malzahn has been workingwith a freshman QB and beat a Top 10 Oregon team and stayed even with No. 1 LSU. How importantis this game to his future, and why do some fans seem so intent on pushing the job security issue and hampering the team's ability to recruitin doing so? BM: Everywhere I've been, and I'm sure you would agree one some basis, the fan bases have been incredibly loyal and passionate. They can also be their own worst enemy because of their love for the program and the desire to for their football programs to be the best they possibly can be. You couple that with the old saying that a head coach loses 10 percent of the fan base for every year he's on campus (well, save if you're winning national titles), and Gus Malzahn is near that tipping point after nearly seven years as the head coach and an additional three years as the offensive coordinator. Malzahn has been part of Auburn football for the majority of the last 11 years, and with that comes stability but also the ability to easily identify weaknesses and strengths. Fans feast upon those things, and when a strong, powerful, cash-rich group is not happy with the coach, it makes it easier for fans to jump on the hate train as well. My simple question to people is this, which always brings about heated debate: who can Auburn hire? Who will be more successful? Who will lead Auburn to two SEC Championship games, a national title appearance, two New Year's Six bowl games in six years? Only two SEC West teams have reached the SEC title game since Malzahn has been on campus: Alabama and Auburn. That will change this season with LSU, but you get my point. Sometimes the grass is not always greener, but like listening to someone snore for a few minutes in the middle of the night, even the most beautiful creature during the day can seem like something else entirely if you choose to focus on the things that irk you rather than the attributes that make you happy. Success can be fleeting, especially in the SEC. For Auburn to do what it has done under Gus Malzahn in this era with Nick Saban across the state has been, well, remarkable. Maybe there's a better coach out there who could work under these circumstances and take Auburn to the playoff every two to three years, but can you point them my direction? And would they take the job? I understand frustration. It's fandom. It's why college football is great. But let's have some perspective here, too. Georgia football stories from DawgNation WATCH: How Tyler Simmons has shown leadership, resilience 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 Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post 5 questions with Auburn beat writer Brandon Marcello on heated' Georgia rivalry appeared first on DawgNation.
  • 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.