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Georgia SEC title game loss excruciatingly familiar, leaves room for second guessing

Georgia SEC title game loss excruciatingly familiar, leaves room for second guessing

Georgia SEC title game loss excruciatingly familiar, leaves room for second guessing

Georgia SEC title game loss excruciatingly familiar, leaves room for second guessing

Georgia football-UGA-Tae Crowder-Georgia-Georgia football-Georgia Bulldogs-Alabama-Alabama football-Alabama Crimson Tide-SEC Championship

ATLANTA — For a complete report on Saturday’s SEC Championship Game and Major Heart Surgery With a Butter Knife, you may read on.

 Or, just Google the Alabama -Georgia game from Jan. 8, the one for all the marbles, not just the regional ones. Then simply change all the Tagovailoas to Hurts and all the Hurtses to Tagovailoa. You’ll get pretty much the same flavor.

Like a bad truck stop burrito, Alabama just keeps coming back on Georgia. It never seems to change for Bama. Struggle early. Change quarterbacks. Celebrate in Atlanta.

RELATED: Georgia football loses heartbreaker, scoring, news recap

So went another excruciating day in the big city for the neighboring Bulldogs. They came from ahead to lose Saturday’s SEC Championship game inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium to the unbeaten and top-ranked Crimson Tide 35-28.

Familiar script

Just losing wasn’t bad enough. This loss ran right over the scar tissue from Georgia’s overtime loss to Bama in the national championship game here just 11 months ago.

 Then it was Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa bailing out Jalen Hurts in the second half of the national championship, the Bulldogs sacrificing a third-quarter, 13-point lead.
On Saturday, it was Hurts coming on for an injured Tagovailoa, engineering fourth-quarter touchdown drives of 80 and 52 yards to carry the Tide past a Georgia team that led by 14 deep into the third quarter.

Only this time throw in a large dose of second-guessing, as Kirby Smart’s call to go for a fake punt on fourth-and-11 at midfield with just over two minutes left in a tie game spectacularly misfired. That gave Alabama a half-a-field head start on the winning touchdown drive.

“Thought it was there, and it was there today,” the Georgia coach said of the direct snap to the up man in punt formation, freshman quarterback Justin Fields. Needing 11 yards, Fields rushed for only two. Smart suggested the play was intended to be a pass, but then broke down.

Five plays later, Alabama’s Hurts tucked away the ball and ran the final 15 yards for a touchdown, giving the Tide the lead for the first time Saturday with just 1:04 left to play. Georgia won many of the previous 59 minutes, but will receive no trophy for that accomplishment.

Smart’s most defiant explanation for the fake: “We came to win the game. We wanted to win the game.”

Promising start

And to think, Saturday had begun so promisingly for the Bulldogs. It always begins promisingly for them against the Tide.

Barely four minutes into the game, Alabama was experiencing a sensation new to it this season – discomfort.

Throwing into the same end zone where 11 months ago his pass play to DeVonta Smith had ended overtime and won the national championship at Georgia’s expense, Tagovailoa was intercepted by Bulldogs safety Richard LeCounte. It was only the third interception this season by the nation’s leader in passing efficiency.

Alabama’s angst was further heightened when Tagovailoa, who had been dealing with a balky knee since early October, ducked into the team’s sideline medical tent after that play seeking attention away from prying eyes.

Tagovailoa carried on, although he never seemed quite right the rest of the night. Meanwhile, Georgia went about the business of proving it, too, had a pretty fair quarterback.

Jake Fromm had a brilliant day, finishing 25-of-39 for 301 yards and three passing touchdowns. On the Bulldogs’ first score, Fromm’s arm accounted for all but two yards of the 60-yard drive. The final strike was a 20-yarder over the middle to tight end Issac Nauta.

Historic season

In its unbeaten regular season, in which no team had come within three touchdowns of beating it, Alabama had trailed for a grand total of 75 seconds. Georgia would carry an advantage a good deal longer than that. Just not long enough.

Georgia was a first-half juggernaut, adding touchdown drives of 74 and 51 yards to put them up 21-7 with just four minutes left in the first half.

The Bulldogs were controlling the ball, possessing it for nearly 21 of the first 30 minutes. Fromm was unerring – over one stretch completing 10 consecutive passes (tying a SEC Championship game record). And then Georgia tailback D’Andre Swift began putting his fingerprints all over the stat sheet. He ran for one of those first-half scores – a 9-yard sprint – and caught a pass for another – an 11-yard hook-up.

No team had scored more than 23 points against Alabama this season. And here was Georgia nearly hitting that ceiling in the first 26 minutes of Saturday.

That seemed to be the sharp stick in the eye that the Bama offense needed to rile it up a bit. But even its answering touchdown, just four plays after Swift’s catch made the score 21-7, wasn’t the typical forceful response you’d expect of Alabama. It was as much good fortune as it was good football.

For as Bama’s Josh Jacobs lunged for the goal line, the ball popped loose, raising the specter of a second turnover on the doorstep to a touchdown. But some force of nature kept the ball within Jacobs reach. Laid out, he was able to pull it in and hold it aloft just long enough to make it an Alabama touchdown.

History repeats itself

So, here was Georgia, up at halftime against mighty Alabama, looking quite serious about shocking the world. Eleven months ago, that same vision was a mirage. A cruel tease. The necessary build-up to the let-down.

Surely that couldn’t happen again.

But when the usually sure-thing kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt midway in the third quarter, the omens started to take an ugly turn for Georgia.

The Bulldogs rebuilt the lead to 14 early in the second half (28-14) when Fromm laid a perfect over-the-shoulder, 23-yard touchdown delivery to Riley Ridley. It wasn’t much of a window Fromm threw into, more a narrow transom.

They blunted one Alabama drive later in the third quarter when safety J.R. Reed intercepted a ball on the Georgia 3-yard line.

And still that wasn’t enough. Dynasties don’t exactly yield like wet cardboard.

Nor did Bama buckle when Tagovailoa, caught up in the backwash of another Georgia rush, had to be helped off the field for the last time with a bum ankle with about 12 minutes left to play.

Hurts so good

For Hurts was ready for his moment. Once the star, he instantly, instinctually, picked up the role again He led a long 16-play, seven-minute drive to tie the score, using his scrambling ability to keep the last play alive long enough to find Jerry Jeudy for a 10-yard scoring pass.

Then, with just a little more than a minute left to play, Hurts’ keeper from 15 yards out was the last dagger in an old wound.

“Same as last time,” said Swift, who finished with 75 rushing yards and another 63 receiving. “A new quarterback comes in and we get beat. Can’t dwell on it, but it’s still gonna hurt.”

“Jalen came in and surprised us a bit, a more mobile quarterback,” Bulldogs defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter said. “Those are adjustments you’ve got to make in a game.”

What was left afterward for a two-loss Georgia was to try to make the case that a narrow, heart-breaking loss to lordly Alabama shouldn’t eliminate it from consideration for the four-team college playoff field. The playoff committee will render its verdict Sunday afternoon.

Smart made his stump speech: “Well, it boils down to one thing. Do you want the four best teams in or not? It’s that simple.”

Noting that Alabama won it all a season ago after not even playing in the SEC Championship, Smart added, “They sat at home last year and got to go in the game while everybody else is beating each other up. Give that coach across the sideline (Saban) a vote who he doesn’t want to play. He’ll start with us. I promise you, you don’t want to play us.”

Rewriting the script and beating Alabama would have made for a far more convincing argument.

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The post Georgia SEC title game loss excruciatingly familiar, leaves room for second guessing appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • The GBI joins the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a home in the eastern part of the County. A statement from Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office investigators says the deaths two not appear to be natural. From the Oglethorpe Co Sheriff’s Office Facebook page… The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation after the discovery of two bodies at a home in the Eastern part of the county. The GBI is working with the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office investigators on the case. The names are not being released until the family is notified. The deaths do not appear to be natural. The case will continue to be investigated. Based on the preliminary findings there is no current threat to public safety or the well being of the good citizens of Oglethorpe.
  • An ex-Georgia deputy accused of shooting and killing a University of Georgia graduate student because he believed the man was having an affair with his wife was indicted on seven felonies last week, according to court records. Madison County Deputy Winford “Trey” Terrell Adams, 32, was fired in November after being charged with murder in the death of 26-year-old Benjamin Lloyd Cloer, AJC.com previously reported. On Feb. 4, he was indicted by a Clarke County grand jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, first-degree home invasion, two counts of aggravated assault and two firearm possession charges, court records show. According to previously released 911 calls, Adams immediately called for help and admitted to dispatchers that he shot the college student, who was pursuing a master’s degree in artificial intelligence at UGA. “I just shot somebody,” Adams said on the call. “My wife was cheating on me, and I couldn’t take it. I didn’t shoot her, I shot the guy. I couldn’t stop myself.”  While on the call, Adams did not know the extent of Cloer’s injuries, since he had run away from his alleged attacker. The incident happened in the 6000 block of Old Jefferson Road. “He ran away. I don’t even know if I hit him,” Adams said, breathing heavily. “I’m about to go look for him.” The 911 operator told the deputy not look for him, and to put his gun down as he waited for police to arrive. Adams then threatened to kill himself, telling the operator that he’s a deputy sheriff and “can’t go to jail for the rest of (his) life.”  “I can’t go to jail,” he cried. “I can’t. I’m sorry ... Tell Athens-Clarke County I’m not going to hurt any of them, but I can’t go to jail.” Toward the end of the nearly 5-minute call, Adams expressed concern for Cloer, asking dispatchers if they received a call from him and if he was OK.  “If you’re there, I’m sorry,” the deputy can be heard yelling, presumably to the man he had just fatally wounded. “Oh my God ... I did shoot him. I see him. I see blood on the steps.” The deputy’s wife also placed a 911 call, telling authorities that her husband had just shot her friend.  In the background of that call, her husband can be heard telling her, “I always loved you, even if you didn’t love me.”  The dispatcher on her call then told her to get away from her husband, if possible. Once they arrived, Adams directed first responders to the injured man, according to the tapes. He was arrested at the scene and remains held at the Athens-Clarke County Jail without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 10.
  • Former Georgia Bulldog football star and current ESPN analyst David Pollack headlines tomorrow night’s fundraiser for the Watkinsville-based Extra Special People: the event is at the Classic Center. Extra Special People works with children with developmental disabilities in Athens and across northeast Georgia.  From the ESP Facebook page…   Each year, Extra Special People brings together members of the community with the children and families it serves for one special night: Big Hearts. It’s an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the abilities of some of our community’s most big-hearted individuals, while leaving their disabilities in the wings.Join ESP as our kids and adults of all abilities shine on stage at The Classic Center! Big Hearts is a pageant-style show where the participants of ESP dress in ballgowns and tuxedos to share their talents alongside a theatre production. This one-of-a-kind night shines a light on the incredible abilities of our participants while also raising needed funds to host summer camp and Miracle League! ESP creates opportunities for people with disabilities and their families to engage, connect, and thrive through 8 weeks of summer camp, 19 after school/afternoon enrichment programs, and ongoing family support.This year's theme is Big Hearts in Bloom and we hope you will join us in celebrating our participants of all abilities and supporting ESP's Miracle League! Doors open at 3:30 pm for the PageantBanquet and Silent Action to Follow Silent Auction ends at 10:30 pm Parking is limited so arrive early!
  • The University of Georgia’s College of Education hosts its 15th annual conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: it’s underway this morning at the Georgia Center.  From the UGA Master Calendar… The theme of the 15th Annual College of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference is “Deep Poverty and Our Community: Taking Responsibility for Transforming Our Learning, Working, and Living Environments.' The conference is designed for UGA College of Education students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and school and community partners welcome so that attendees can engage in dialogue and collaborative learning about the current multicultural and social justice issues of our times. The purpose of this dialogue and collaborative learning is to build a more just and equitable environment within our college and community, while fostering sustainability in such movement-building.
  • Today is Arbor Day in Athens: a community observance is set for 2 o’clock this afternoon on a segment of the Firefly Trail between South Peter Street and Inglewood Avenue in Athens. From the Athens-Clarke Co government website… Community organizations will gather to celebrate Athens Arbor Day on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. on a segment of the completed Firefly Trail between South Peter Street and Inglewood Avenue. The public is invited to attend. As part of the ceremony, nine new trees donated by the Community Tree Council for the Trees for Tomorrow program will be planted along the trail. The program will also recognize Athens-Clarke County’s designation as a Tree City USA for the 20th year in a row by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This honor has been bestowed to Athens-Clarke County in recognition of Athens’ dedication to the care of the trees that help define the character of the community and make it such a special place. The program will include a reading of the proclamation signed by Mayor Kelly Girtz to officially declare February 14, 2020 as Athens Arbor Day.  The Arbor Day celebration will conclude with the Georgia Forestry Commission providing free bare root saplings for all attendees, who will be encouraged to plant and nurture them in suitable locations for the benefit of future Athenians. The Arbor Day event is a celebration of the collaboration of community partners for the purpose of improving the quality of life for Athens-Clarke County’s residents through the planting and maintenance of trees. The partners include the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov), the University of Georgia (UGA), the Community Tree Council (CTC), the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), and Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB).  The ceremony site on the Firefly Trail can be most directly accessed either by walking up the ramp onto the trail bridge from Poplar Street or through trail crossings at Peter Street or Inglewood Avenue. Limited parking is available in small lots at 286 South Poplar Street or 354 South Peter Street. Safe parking places along South Poplar Street, South Peter Street, or Inglewood Avenue also may be available. Those attending should be prepared to walk one or more blocks and dressed appropriately for the weather.

Bulldog News

  • UGA has a pretty illustrious sports history, including having produced such stars as Dominique Wilkins, Teresa Edwards, Frank Sinkwich, Courtney Kupets, Spec Towns, Charley Trippi, Fran Tarkenton, Bubba Watson and, of course, Herschel Walker, recently named by ESPN as the second-greatest college football player in the history of the game. You'd expect an athletics program with such a storied history to be celebrated on campus in high style, as a way of commemorating past accomplishments, inspiring current student athletes and impressing future enrollees. Perhaps a statue like the University of Florida has for Tim Tebow? Maybe a street named after them like Peyton Manning has in Knoxville? No? Well, surely, there's at least a first-class museum or hall of fame paying tribute to UGA's past athletes, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case either, a point driven home to me this week when I stopped by Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens to drop off my annual Hartman Fund contribution, and I spent some time in the athletics headquarters' rotunda, perusing the somewhat underwhelming historical displays (you can't really call it a 'museum,' despite the Explore Georgia website optimistically trying to do so ). The best thing you can say is that there's a display case for every varsity team that UGA fields, men's and women's. Plus, there are displays for three of UGA's football coaches ( Harry Mehre, Wally Butts and Vince Dooley), cases for Sinkwich and Walker that include their helmets and their Heisman Trophies, and a display paying tribute to longtime UGA publicist and tennis coach Dan Magill. Another case shows the evolution of football helmets through the years. Although all sports are represented, the emphasis is on football. Kupets winning the 2008-2009 award as the national women's athlete of the year is noted inside the Gymdogs' case, rather than in a display of her own. Around the rotunda are wall displays with photos and artwork depicting different eras of UGA football (the early years, the Butts years, the Dooley years, and 1989 to the present). There's a wall case with the four retired football jersey numbers (Sinkwich's 21, Trippi's 62, Theron Sapp's 40 and Walker's 34), and another display listing all of UGA's SEC championships. The national championship crystal football trophy is on display, too. Also in the building is the Larry Munson Trophy Room, featuring awards and trophies Georgia football has garnered through the years, but that's on the second level (one floor down from the rotunda), where fans aren't as likely to roam. (It's aimed mainly at recruits, I think.) Still, the most prominent display area is in the rotunda, where visitors have more immediate access. Unfortunately, my latest visit to the rotunda displays left me with the feeling the athletic association is not really trying much anymore when it comes to celebrating UGA sports history. The touch-screen audio-video displays with vintage footage and Munson calls that my son used to check out when he was a kid? Gone. And, I noticed the bowl history display hasn't even been updated since 2014! The SEC championship display does at least include 2017, but that is the rotunda's only mention of that fairy-tale football season. (Thankfully, over on the other side of campus, the Hargrett Library's current football exhibit, 'Beautiful and Brutal: Georgia Bulldogs Football, 2017,' runs through Feb. 29. Thank goodness for Hargrett!) Senior Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton explained that 'most of our individual sport museums' are spread around at the respective sport facilities. We have lots of special displays in various facilities the Boyd Golf Center, Stegeman, in and around the men's and women's basketball and gymnastics areas, equestrian facility, etc. All have historical displays (and graphics) of those particular sports.For example, we have a Teresa Edwards display in Stegeman that includes some of her Olympic medals, jerseys, etc.' That's fine, but I believe such displays would have a greater impact (and the historic artefacts more easily could be maintained and protected) if they were gathered together in one proper museum space. I asked Athletic Director Greg McGarity whether, in the current $80 million expansion of Butts-Mehre, there are any plans for the history display area to be expanded/changed/moved at all. Any thought given to a more elaborate museum covering Georgia athletics? 'We do not have any current plans to renovate this space; however, we do have future plans that would address updating this area of the Butts-Mehre,' he said, adding that the timing is still to be determined. As for what happened to the touch-screen displays that my son used to use? 'There were those kinds of screens years ago, but they always malfunctioned, so I assume they were never replaced,' McGarity said, adding that 'they were not here when I returned in 2010.' The only touch-screen they have now is 'a display that indicates the hometowns of our football players, and it's located outside the public entry of the football offices on the second floor,' one level down from the rotunda display. It is open to the public. Also, McGarity said, 'We have TV monitors that display content throughout the indoor [practice] facility, as well multiple areas throughout the entire facility. We have a mix of static' displays and a mix of the monitors that provide content change throughout the year.' However, the indoor practice facility is not open to the general public. So, a proper athletics museum may not be in the cards any time soon, but at least the recognition of UGA's past glories has improved a little bit at Sanford Stadium in recent years, with the addition of wall graphics, such as one emblazoned with 'Oh you Herschel,' borrowing a phrase from Munson. But, aside from the SEC championship banners and the mascot cemetery, that's about it. It seems like they could at least add some plaques or busts or something to Reed Plaza. As I've written before, I've often wondered why you see so little of UGA's football history at Sanford Stadium, in contrast to schools like the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where Tar Heel history is a tangible presence at Kenan Memorial Stadium. UNC generally isn't thought of as a football power these days, but it has a statue of Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice. Speaking of statues, aside from an 8-foot-long bronze likeness of former mascot Uga VI outside the veterinary school and another small statue of one of Uga's predecessors, Mike, in front of Memorial Hall, the only athletics-oriented statue at UGA is that of Dooley, located at the southernmost tip of the campus, in the athletic complex named for the coach. It's not for want of trying. Athens sculptor (and UGA alum) Stan Mullins, who did the bronze statue of Dooley being hoisted by some of his players, also has created an 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Walker, but so far has had no luck getting the athletic association interested in putting it on display. When he approached UGA few years ago, he said, 'the initial pushback was that they needed to honor Sinkwich and Trippi first.' So, Mullins also created clay models of those two players. His grand plan, dubbed the Crowns of Glory Project ( which has its own Facebook page ), called for monuments at the four corners surrounding the stadium, with the Walker statue to be at the bookstore end of the Sanford Drive bridge, a Trippi statue at the other end of the bridge, and a Sinkwich statue near Gate 6 on the east side. A fourth monument, located at the other eastside corner, would have an uncarved 12-ton Carrara marble block as an unfinished sculpture, which Mullins views as a recruiting tool and incentive for players, showing that Georgia is waiting on its next hero. Mullins self-financed the casting of the bronze statue of Walker out of money he made doing a monument at Marshall University, and he unveiled it in 2016. The Walker sculpture spent time at various locations around Athens, and several months at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon, before settling down at Mullins' studio, a renovated and redesigned 18thcentury cottonseed oil refinery on Pulaski Street in Athens. 'He's attacking the Greenway, the entry way to the river,' Mullins said of the Herschel statue this week. The public is welcome to visit the statue there and take pictures, he said. I asked Mullins about the status of his efforts to have the sculpture put outside the stadium. 'I don't know,' he said with a sigh. 'I stopped trying. I kept hitting resistance. ' It seems like everybody else has one,' he added, referring to athletic statues on other campuses. 'It does not make sense. ' McGarity said the issue of adding statues 'will always be an item for discussion moving forward,' but he added that there are 'no firm plans.' These days, Mullins is busy working on a sculpture of Tomochichi, a Yamacraw chief instrumental in Georgia colonial history, to be located in a park near Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. He made the point that commemorating past heroes with monuments is all about inspiring future heroes. 'The pageantry of sports leads to the pageantry of humanity,' Mullins said. 'And, if we don't celebrate it, it goes away.' I've never understood the reluctance to do more to celebrate UGA's athletics history. Whether it's the statues offered by Mullins, or monuments created by someone else, UGA athletics should do more to embrace its past, and not just Walker. As a friend put it, 'We have such a rich history, and I think we undersell it; we're more than just Herschel, as great as he was.' On Georgiadogs.com, it says that part of the UGA Athletic Association's mission is 'to serve as a source of pride, a rallying point, for the legions of supporters that follow its teams.' I think that's one area where greater effort is warranted. The post UGA athletics needs to do more to celebrate its history appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It's referred to as the NFL draft 'process' for a reason. The millions of dollars and championship hopes at stake are two reasons for that, and the NFL teams' changing needs and players' changing bodies and stock value are others. The game film and postseason all-star games are in the books, and next up is the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis from Feb. 23 through March 2. This year's event will have some prime-time evening viewing, so the drill work and testing figure to get more public attention than ever before. Georgia football will have 10 players taking part in the combine tied for second-most among SEC teams with Alabama, behind only LSU. RELATED: The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine The players' performances have the potential to greatly effect their draft stock, for better or worse, as they move up or down the totem pole at their respective positions. RELATED: Andrew Thomas first-round NFL draft lock The interest level in the NFL is such fans can't wait for the actual draft April 23-25 in Las Vegas hence the proliferation of mock drafts. The first round takes place on the first day, the second and third rounds take place on the second day and Day Three consists of the final four rounds of the 255 players who will be selected. A consensus is beginning to shake out that Georgia will have five players selected in the first two days, and possibly six. Related: Jake Fromm more than ready for NFL, per Senior Bowl director NFL.com and CBSSports.com both have at least four Bulldogs going in the first three rounds NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter 2020 NFL Draft First Round No. 18 OT Andrew Thomas, Miami Dolphins No. 26 RB D'Andre Swift, Miami Dolphins 2020 NFL Draft Second Round No. 38 QB Jake Fromm, Carolina Panthers 2020 NFL Draft Third Round No. 67 OG Solomon Kindley, Detroit Lions No. 71 OT Isaiah Wilson, Los Angeles Chargers CBS.com analyst R.J. White 2020 NFL Draft First Round No. 10 OT Andrew Thomas, Cleveland Browns No. 29 RB D'Andre Swift, Tennessee Titans 2020 NFL Draft Second Round No. 61 QB Jake Fromm, Carolina Panthers No. 64 OT Isiah Wilson, Seattle Seahawks 2020 NFL Draft Third Round No. 94 OG Solomon Kindley, Green Bay Packers No. 99 FS J.R. Reed, New England Patriots DawgNation: Georgia in the NFL draft Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process Evaluating Andrew Thomas, why he's a first-round lock Eli Wolf, Charlie Woerner, Brian Herrien, Tyrique McGhee shine in all-star games Todd McShay projects Georgia QB Jake Fromm to have first-round talent Closer look at Jake Fromm's decision, factors and faith The post Pre-combine Georgia football 2020 NFL Draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia freshman track star Matthew Boling set a school record in the 200-meter dash on Saturday at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Boling's 20.66-second time was the fourth-best in the world this year and broke an 11-year-old UGA track record set by the late great Torrin Lawrence (20.77, 2009). WATCH: Matthew Boling, Kirby Smart pull hilarious prank on team LSU's Terrance Laird was a tick faster than Boling on Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center, running a 20.43 time that ranked as the fasted 200-meter time in the world this year. Boling set a personal-best in the 200 meters of 20.31 last July in Costa Rica, a gold-medal winning effort in the 2019 Pan American U20 Athletics Championships. RELATED: Matthew Boling stars in international track event Georgia senior Amber Tanner set a school mark and ran her personal-best in the 800 meters, 2:03.02, on Friday. Freshman Haze Farmer, meanwhile, tied a Georgia school record in the pole vault by clearing 17-8 1/2 on Friday. 'This weekend proved to me that we have some high-quality student-athletes who know how to respond to high-level competition,' head coach Petros Kyprianou said in a school release. 'While we were training through these meets and didn't quite look super sharp, we had some world-class marks that give us some confidence going in to the championship season. The 19-year-old Boling, who is from Houston, Texas, exploded on the scene last spring when he ran a wind-assisted 9.98 seconds in the 100 meters a high school all-conditions national record. The next month, Boeing set the national high school record with a 10.13-second time in the 100 meters running for Strake Jesuit College Preparatory school in Houston. Georgia returns to action at the SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, on Feb. 28-29. The post Georgia track star Matthew Boling sets school record at Tyson Invitational appeared first on DawgNation.
  • James Williamsoperates differently than a lot of his peer recruits. He has all the range and ball skills necessary to play the safety position with his 6-foot-5 frame. The 247Sports Composite ratings also deem him as a rare recruit. That service ranks him as the nation's No. 1 safety, the No. 1 prospect in the state of Florida as the nation's No. 5 overall recruit for 2021.The longtime Georgia priority also rates No. 1 on DawgNation's 2021 top targets listing for the 2021 class. Yet he doesn't think that prospects camps are necessary. He doesn't see them as essential toward the goals he wants to accomplish on the football career. He'd rather be known for being a team leader than a 5-star recruit. Williams celebrates his birthday today. He even chose to release the top 3 schools in his recruitment on this day to mark the occasion. While his peer elite recruits are content to drop much larger listings of their top schools at this time, he just cut right to the chase with his top 3 schools. I'm Just the Same Young King From The Sandbox Top 3 .. #Blessed pic.twitter.com/BFevhoWLT5 James Williams (@Begreat_20) February 16, 2020 Georgia made the cut. As expected. The Bulldogs have continued to get him on campus over the last year. Williams has already bonded quite well with several members of the program up to this point, including several Bulldogs who also grew up in South Florida. His hometown Miami Hurricanes did not make his top group. The 5-star safety included both Alabama and Clemson among his top 3 schools on his birthday release. It has been a busy off-season up to this point for Williams. He visited Georgia for one of its three 'Junior Day' weekends last month. Prior to that, he also opted to transfer from Western in Opa Locka back to the school where he played his sophomore season. That will be at American Heritage in Plantation. Back home #Blessed James Williams (@Begreat_20) January 8, 2020 The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel honored him as a first-team All-Broward County performer after a strong junior year . They listed him with 62 tackles and six interceptions. Williams also added three touchdown receptions to his 2019 highlight reel below. He's already at 220 pounds for that frame. Those that see his frame and immediately project him to be a linebacker should not be so quick with that evaluation. He has true ball skills to cover a lot of ground and play in the box as a safety. Williams has been credited with 14 interceptions at the high school through his first three seasons. DawgNation saw his pick off three passes in a matter of minutes last May at an elite national 7-on-7 tournament in Atlanta. He aims to be a safety at the college level and certainly has the skill level and intelligence to do so. While watching him work in a camp setting, it was clearly evident how well he helped line up the other defensive backs in certain coverages and how well he supported his teammates. James Williams: What stands out here The post James Williams: Nation's No. 1 junior safety includes UGA in a loaded Top 3 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball could have turned things around at Texas A&M, if only the Bulldogs hadn't turned the ball over so frequently. Georgia lost to the Aggies at Reed Arena in College Station on Saturday, 74-69, in a game televised by the SEC Network. The Bulldogs (12-13, 2-10 SEC) turned the ball over 21 times leading to 26 points for Texas A&M (12-12, 6-6), a most glaring metric. 'It's disheartening; you have talent, but they are young and they've been inconsistent,'SEC Network analyst and former Tennessee star Dane Bradshaw said of UGA. 'It's the same thing a lot of teams deal with. How do you keep that focus and attention to detail for 40 minutes?' Junior Rayshaun Hammonds led Georgia with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds with three assists in a strong effort. The Bulldogs, however, were without a healthy Anthony Edwards. The projected NBA lottery pick continues to plagued from the flu bug that hit him more than a week ago, and his 28 minutes were measured. SEC Network announcers reported Edwards is still dealing with shortness of breath at times. Edwards, who had 29 points and 15 rebounds in the teams' first meeting, a Bulldogs win in Athens, scored all six of his points in the first half. He was 2-of-7 shooting in the game, with all of his attempts coming from beyond the 3-point line. It was clear Edwards wasn't 100 percent after intermission, so Coach Tom Crean took him out for much of the second half. Georgia had built a 38-29 halftime lead, but the Aggies charged out of the locker room after intermission with an 11-2 run that tied the game at 40-40. The Bulldogs battled to stay out in front, but Texas A&M finally overcame them. The Aggies took a 61-59 advantage with 3:48 left for their first lead in the game since the 10:40 mark of the first half. The game stayed close into the final moments, but late turnovers by Hammonds and Sahvir Wheeler, combined with Texas A&M's proficiency at the free-throw line, proved too much. The Aggies were 21-of-29 shooting from the free-throw line, while Georgia made 12 of 14 free-throw attempts. Hammonds' strong effort led to the Bulldogs winning the boards, 34-28, but the turnovers were an issue. 'I know Anthony Edwards hasn't been 100 percent,' Bradshaw said. 'But Georgia wins this game if they take care of the basketball. Twenty-one turnovers led to 26 points for an A&M team that struggles to score' Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against No. 11-ranked Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum. The post Georgia basketball drops 74-69 battle at Texas A&M, Anthony Edwards limited by illness appeared first on DawgNation.