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3 keys for Georgia football against Tennessee in Knoxville
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3 keys for Georgia football against Tennessee in Knoxville

3 keys for Georgia football against Tennessee in Knoxville

3 keys for Georgia football against Tennessee in Knoxville

ATHENS The Georgia-Tennessee rivalry is alive and well, but the Bulldogs' players haven't put much focus into the history or border-state nature of it.

It will be another business trip for No. 3-ranked Georgia (4-0) when the game with the Vols (1-3) kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Neyland Stadium (TV: :ESPN).

The coaching staffs' familiarity with one another presents the possibility of a tentative start for Coach Kirby Smart.

WATCH: Changes could be coming to Georgia offense, here's how

Smart exhibited a patient and conservative approach in the Bulldogs' last game out against Notre Dame.

Smart can see Alabama and LSU lighting up scoreboards, just like anyone else. But he doesn't feel any pressure to do anything outside of what he feels his quarterback and team are comfortable with.

"T he other games don't affect us at all," Smart said. "I think that it's not my job to rate what other teams do or how many points they score or how many points they give up.

"Our job is to go play the best football game that our kids can play, and that's what we try to do each week with the ultimate goal of winning the game in mind. We go play at the highest level we can, and if we're not doing that, we try to figure out which ways we can do to do it better. But that's all we do."

Smart is on record as saying Tennessee is a dangerous team, pointing out the Vols could just as easily have a winning record if not for turnovers.

Like any other game, there will be keys for Georgia to take care of business efficiently in Knoxville. This week's all revolve around preventing momentum plays.

1. Protect the ball

Georgia put itself behind the eight ball against Notre Dame by fumbling away a punt inside its own 10-yard line, gift-wrapping the opening score to the Irish for a 7-0 lead.

Notably, Tennessee has six interceptions this season in its well-coached secondary. Jeremy Pruitt, like Smart a secondary coach by nature, will be doing his best to bait Jake Fromm into bad decisions.

Smart emphasized coaches get the play call in to Fromm quicker at the line of scrimmage so the junior QB can check to the best call. But it's a safe bet Pruitt and Tennessee will be disguising coverages and playing cat-and-mouse right up until the ball is snapped.

2. Break even on special teams

Smart didn't waste any time addressing the need for Georgia to improve on special teams.

Tennessee's special teams have performed well, and the Vols will be looking for any break in the game they can find to get the home crowd into the game.

"I think they do a great job, and they're kicking butt in special teams, which will be an extra challenge for us," Smart said, "because we didn't fare as well last time out in special teams."

Momentum has always played a large role in Georgia-Tennessee games, and in this meeting, it's the Vols' only hope.

3. Prevent big plays

Tennessee has bigger, more physical receivers in Jauan Jennings (6-3, 208), Marquez Callaway (6-2, 204) and Josh Palmer (6-2, 195).

The Bulldogs, meanwhile will likely be without cornerback Tyson Campbell. Physical freshman cornerback Tyrique Stevenson has practiced well, Smart said, but he's yet to be tested in games.

Vols offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will work to set up advantageous matchups against projected starting UGA cornerbacks Eric Stokes (6-1, 185) and DJ Daniel (6-1, 185).

" Know a lot about them and all their wideouts, they've got size," Smart said. "They've got a lot of catch radius They're fast guys and they're really tough matchups size wise out on the perimeter and they're (all) really physical blockers on the perimeter."

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The post 3 keys for Georgia football against Tennessee in Knoxville appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • The Chief Economist for the US Department of Agriculture is in Athens today: Robert Johansson delivers the University of Georgia’s annual JW Fanning Lecture, 10 o’clock this morning at the downtown Holiday Inn on Broad Street in Athens. From the USDA…   Robert Johansson serves as Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA). As Chief Economist, he is responsible for the Department's agricultural forecasts and projections and for advising the Secretary of Agriculture on economic implications of alternative programs, regulations, and legislative proposals. He is responsible for the Office of the Chief Economist, the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit analysis, the Global Change Program Office, the Office of Environmental Markets, and the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses. Since 2001, he has worked as an economist at USDA (both at the Economic Research Service and in the Office of the Chief Economist), in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, and at the Congressional Budget Office. In 2011 he was appointed senior economist for energy, environment, and agriculture on the President's Council of Economic Advisers where he also participated on the White House Rural Council and the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Since 2012, Dr. Johansson has been serving as Deputy Chief Economist at the USDA. Dr. Johansson received B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and then served with the U.S. Peace Corps as an extension agent in several African countries from 1990 to 1995. After returning to his home State of Minnesota, he entered the graduate program in Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota at received his M.S. in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2000. His research has spanned a wide range of issues, including biofuels policy, water quality and quantity policies, regulatory economics, food security, and regional modeling of agricultural systems.
  • Brian Parido, who has spent the past seven years as band director at Clarke Middle School, announced his resignation in a letter critical of school district administration funding decisions and discipline issues in the school on Baxter Street in Athens.   From Brian Parido… I would like to begin by saying that it has been my honor and privilege to serve as the Band Director at Clarke Middle School for the last seven years. In that time, we have seen the program blossom into an award-winning powerhouse of music education. I consider myself lucky to have worked with such amazing students and colleagues at Clarke Middle. However, over the course of the last year, the philosophy and direction of the fine arts programs have taken a turn down a path that is, quite frankly, unsustainable. I consider the information presented in this letter to be a matter of public concern and should you feel the need to contact me for more information, I would be happy to respond.  Despite my exponentially growing numbers each year, our district budget remains the same now as it was seven years ago. In our current school year, this equates to around $17 per student. Through fundraising efforts we have been able to supplement the district budget but are consistently unable to meet the demand for instruments. This puts tremendous pressure on me to make sure shared instruments are clean and sanitized for each student, while also spending a considerable amount of time repairing broken instruments because we do not have the money to get them fixed.  With one planning period each day, my commitment to ensuring each student has a working instrument reduces the amount of time needed to effectively plan rehearsals, create lessons, communicate with parents and plan events like Large Group Performance Evaluation, fundraisers, and band trips. The hiring of a full time assistant band director would likely ease this burden a bit, and based on numbers in comparable programs, I have more than enough students to deem this a necessity. However, when a request was submitted to hire an assistant, I was told this would not be possible. I then requested a paraprofessional that could at least assist with managing classroom behaviors and helping with clerical work, and was told this was “approved” but as of yet nothing has been posted. This leaves me trying to plan, execute, and grade lessons for close to 400 students.  For the last seven years, I have confidently and comfortably managed classes of up to 60 students. However, when a beginning student is placed in a classroom with students who have been performing for multiple years, neither student is getting what they need. Every student should have the opportunity to experience a performing arts class, but what is equitable about a student struggling to hold an instrument while drowning in a class full of musicians performing way above their level? This year has been the most challenging year with student behavior that I can remember. When students start chanting “F*** Mr. Parido,” I know something is simply not working. I incur verbal abuse like this from students almost every day and it is definitely more of an issue now than in previous years. No amount of lesson planning can prevent a child from cursing out their teacher. There must be a more effective solution out there.  >  Due to the above concerns, the program we built has become unrecognizable. As a final attempt to save this program, which has provided so much for the students of Clarke Middle, I have decided I must resign my position effective February 17th. I feel that this decision will force our school and our district to think critically about how much our fine arts programs mean to the students and to the community. I also hope that this act will spurn change for the better, knowing that my reputation and integrity might still be called into question. Our students deserve positive change, and our teachers do as well. If our district cannot find a way to support these fantastic fine arts programs and the amazing staff members that run them, I feel I will likely not be the last to resign.  Please understand this decision did not come easily. When I think back on my time here at Clarke Middle, my most treasured memories will definitely be the time spent with my incredibly dedicated students in the classroom. Thank you for your support. This experience has been transformative for me and I will never forget the amazing things we have accomplished as a band program.  All the best, Brian Parido
  • The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team pulled out the 76-75 overtime win against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum.    It was a balanced effort from Georgia with four Lady Bulldogs in double-figures. Leading the way with 18 points each were juniors Que Morrison Jenna Staiti. Gabby Connally and Maya Caldwell finished with 15 and 10, respectively. Connally also paced the Lady Bulldogs in rebounding, grabbing six boards.    'We came out and played really hard with a lot of confidence and made shots,” Georgia head coach Joni Taylor said. “I was really proud of the way we played in the first and second quarter. We got out in transition. And then in the third we didn't do so [well]. With that being said, we had great resolve on our home court and figured out how to win the game.'   The Lady Bulldogs opened the game on a 6-0 run to take an early 6-2 advantage. The Crimson Tide obtained the lead with 3:30 to play but a 3-point shot from Morrison on the following possession gave the lead back to Georgia. Morrison ended the first quarter with 10 points to send the Lady Bulldogs into the second frame leading by seven.    Shortly into the second quarter, another 3-pointer, this time from Caldwell, extended Georgia’s lead to double digits for the first time, 22-12. The Lady Bulldogs continued to extend their lead, going on an 11-0 run over 3:17 to take the 35-17 advantage halfway through the second period. Though Alabama was able to chip away at its deficit, Georgia went into the locker room sporting an impressive 41-25 lead.    Out of halftime, the Lady Bulldogs quickly pushed their lead to 20 thanks to a basket from Staiti. Despite Georgia suffering a scoring drought of close to five minutes, the Lady Bulldogs held onto the 57-49 lead to enter the final ten minutes of regulation.    The Crimson Tide cut their deficit to three in the opening minutes of the fourth period. Success at the foul line from Staiti pushed Georgia’s advantage. A shot from behind the arc from Alabama tied the game for the first time since the opening period, 63-all. Though Georgia regained the lead, a Crimson Tide layup with 18 seconds remaining sent the game into overtime.    The Lady Bulldogs grabbed the early three-point lead in overtime. An and-one play from the Crimson Tide gave Alabama the advantage but two made free-throws from Connally sealed the 76-75 overtime victory for Georgia.   Up next, Georgia hosts the No. 16-ranked Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. The matchup will be televised on SEC Network. 
  • The state Labor Department schedules a jobs fair for later this month in Jackson County: the SK Battery firm plans to hire upwards of 2,000 workers for a facility near Jefferson. The South Korean-based company will have representatives on the Commerce campus of Lanier Technical College on the morning of Saturday February 29. From the Ga Dept of Labor… SK Battery will be looking to hire employees in the following fields: safety, quality, utility, production, process, equipment, and production.    Job seekers with Employ Georgia accounts may use their credentials to register at https://tinyurl.com/v8334xt. New users can create an account and create/upload a resume by visiting employgeorgia.com. Once this process is complete, job seekers can register for the event. Registering can expedite the process of meeting the employer(s).   Applicants are encouraged to bring their resumés and driver’s licenses. Business casual dress is encouraged.
  • Fourth-ranked Georgia completed a three-game sweep of Richmond Sunday at Foley Field with a 5-4 comeback.   The Spiders (0-3) jumped ahead 3-0 in the third courtesy of a three-run home run by Dominic Toso. A two-out, run-scoring single by Georgia senior Patrick Sullivan cut the deficit 3-1 in the fourth. The Spiders go the run back in the fifth on a two-out RBI-single by Dan Leckie and then left the bases loaded.    Georgia loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and got a sacrifice fly from Garrett Blayock. Then, the Bulldogs executed a double steal with Cam Shepherd and Tucker Bradley. With Riley King at plate and on ball four, Shepherd scored on a wild pitch from Garrett Aylor to make it 4-3. With runners at the corners, the Spiders turned to Matt Olson and he got the final out to send it to the sixth.   Neither starter factored in the decision. Junior left-hander C.J. Smith went four innings, allowing three runs on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Spider starter Jacob Marcus left with one out in the fifth after giving up two runs on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts.   Georgia tied the game in the sixth as Chaney Rogers led off with a base hit. Shane Marshall put down a sacrifice bunt that Olson threw low and past first baseman Justin Cook into right field, allowing Rogers to score the tying run as Marshall advanced to second. Freshman Buddy Floyd followed with a bunt to move him to third. Richmond brought in Antonio Balducci to face sophomore Ben Anderson. He smashed a run-scoring double to give Georgia its first lead of the day at 5-4. In the eighth, Rogers made a diving catch in right to take away extra bases from Jordan Schulefand.   Bulldog freshman right-hander Will Childers provided 2.2 scoreless innings for his first victory. Bradley took care of the final four outs for his first save since his freshman year in 2017. He did not pitch in 2018, and his 2019 season lasted just three games before a shoulder injury ended his year.   Dawg Tracks -Before the game, Georgia had a moment of silence to honor the memory of Ray Lawrence who passed away Saturday. He was fixture at Bulldog baseball practices and games for two decades as a member of Team United and was President of Georgia Athletes Outreach. -Redshirt junior Tucker Bradley made his first pitching appearance since 2017 and notched a save with 1.1 scoreless innings. In the series, he batted a team-best .600 (6-for-10) with a home run, three stolen bases and five RBI. -Freshman right-hander Will Childers collected a win his collegiate debut, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. -Sophomore Ben Anderson provided the go-ahead RBI-double to erase a three-run deficit in sixth. -The start of the game was delayed 29 minutes due to rain.   Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin On the weekend… “I think we showed a lot of fight this weekend. We were down 6-2 on Friday on Opening Day, and Emerson Hancock didn’t come out and have the weekend that everyone thought he would. We just kept fighting and chipping away. And then today it was tough, (Jacob) Marcus was really good for them early on and it just was an adverse day. Losing Ray Lawrence (Georgia Athletes Outreach/Team United rep.) yesterday was tough on our team, and it was an emotional day, but I’m really proud of the fight our guys showed and I am glad to get a win.”   On the freshmen… “It was Jonathan Cannon yesterday and Will Childers today. I am just excited for those guys. They’re big-time arms and they can really pitch and they are competitive. They have really good baseball IQ and they’re going to be really good. It was good to see Tucker Bradley get back out there and pitch again. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen that. He’s an excitable kid, he loves to win and loves to compete so I love having him on my side.”  Up Next:  Georgia travels to Kennesaw State Wednesday for its first road game with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Georgia has the best quarterback-receiver duo in the SEC, 'easily,' according to advanced metrics website Pro Football Focus. The PFF website, which grades and charts every player in every game at the NFL and FBS level, ranks Bulldogs' incoming graduate transfer Jamie Newman and returning sophomore receiver George Pickens among the top 10 returning players in the SEC. We @PFF_College are looking forward to the Jamie Newman George Pickens combo.. @PFF_Anthony 'The Bulldogs have easily the best quarterback-receiver duo in the SEC and one of the best in the country.' https://t.co/gumzly4rs5 Brent Rollins (@PFF_Brent) February 17, 2020 LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was rated by PFF as the No. 1 returning player in the league. Stingley Jr. raved about Pickens when asked by DawgNation to assess him at the College Football Playoff Media Day in January. The PFF staff rated Newman the No. 3 returning quarterback in college football behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields earlier this offseason. Most recently, PFF ranked Newman the No. 3 player in the SEC behind Stingley Jr. and LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase. From the PFF assessment: ' No quarterback was forced to throw into a tight window more than Newman last season, and he overcame that to produce the second-highest passing grade on those throws behind only Joe Burrow and the third-lowest rate of uncatchable passes. Newman's arm strength and accuracy will give Georgia an added boost in the deep passing game, an area it was average in at best last season. PFF noted Newman trailed only Burrow on his passing grade on throws of 20 yards or more. Former Georgia football coach Mark Richt, now an analyst for the ACC Network, told DawgNation that Newman could fit into any kind of offense. Of course, Newman hasn't even won the starting job with the Bulldogs yet. Incoming freshman Carson Beck expects to challenge, as do returning redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and redshirt junior Stetson Bennett. RELATED: Carson Beck making easy transition to Georgia football program Of Pickens, PFF penned, the Bulldogs' freshman displayed 'a massive catch radius and sure-fire hands . the man would catch any catchable ball thrown his way.' WATCH: The Pickens Plan, LSU defensive coordinator reveals special plan for Georgia WR Pickens was ranked No. 7 in the SEC coming off a season that saw him have the third-most catchable targets (49) without a drop last season. Georgia's George Pickens had the third most catchable targets without a drop in college football at 49 as a true freshman (per @PFF). His catch radius and hands are flat out unbelievable for his age. Pickens is easily one of the top-10 returning players in the entire SEC. pic.twitter.com/C5M2FtCSFi Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) February 17, 2020 Georgia football newcomer stories Key takeaways on Georgia football newcomers Numbers game: Comparing Jamie Newman to Jake Fromm 3 things about Georgia freshman Carson Beck Kendall Milton making quick fit into Georgia football Podcast: Major Burns had best reason for choosing UGA Carson Beck making easy transition into Georgia QB Trainer: Jamie Newman fits direction of Georgia football offense Kirby Smart talks Broderick Jones 2020 signees best positioned to make Georgia impact WATCH: Mark Richt gives straight-forward analysis on Jamie Newman The post Georgia football has highest-rated quarterback-receiver combo in SEC, per PFF advanced metrics appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football is a work in progress, but some areas require more construction than others. Kirby Smart and his staff planned ahead well, in terms of procuring key graduate transfers and utilizing the recruiting process to find impact players and restock need positions groups with top prospects. RELATED: Early takeaways on Georgia football newcomers, good news The final rank for the 2020 Class was No. 1. But Smart was more concerned with checking all the boxes. More underclassmen are leaving Georgia, leaving gaps that need filling. Five of the departing underclassmen landed NFL combine invites. Here's a pre-spring good news/bad news look at each position group for Georgia, as Smart readies for what should another run at the College Football Playoff: Quarterback Good news: Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman (6 foot 4, 230 pounds) brings a new dual-threat option to the offense. Incoming freshman Carson Beck is a capable competitor and D'Wan Mathis is optimistic he'll be completely cleared in May. Bad news: It's essentially an overhaul at the position. There figures to be a lot of newness with coordinator Todd Monken and offensive line coach/associate head coach Matt Luke added to the staff. Running back Good news: Georgia scored well in recruiting with California blue-chip Kendall Milton (6-1, 227) and South Georgia back Daijun Edwards (5-10, 201). The Bulldogs have just about every type of back to choose from. Bad news: D'Andre Swift was essentially 'every type of back' rolled up into one and will be difficult to replace. None in the stable currently project to fill Swift's shoes, it will take a committee effort. Receiver Good news: Smart went deep addressing this position. Georgia landed five receivers and two incoming tight ends to ensure talent and depth at the position. RELATED: George Pickens graded top true freshman in nation by PFF Bad news: The 'newness' factor once again. The only one of the seven new pass catchers to early enroll is Justin Robinson, meaning a lot of the work and timing can't get done until voluntary summer drills and fall camp. Offensive line Good news: Matt Luke proved a capable recruiter, securing elite offensive tackles Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge, along with the nation's No. 1 center, Sedrick Van Pran. Bad news: It's hard to imagine anyone filling Andrew Thomas' shoes at left tackle, commonly referred to as the most important line position on either side of the football. Defensive line Good news: Malik Herring's decision to return for his senior season and former starter Julian Rochester getting a redshirt means strong experience returning. Freshman Jalen Carter is good enough to make the rotation. Bad news: If Georgia could put more pass rushers on the field at one time, it would. Azeez Ojulari, Nolan Smith, Jermaine Johnson, Adam Anderson and newcomer MJ Sherman are forces. Linebacker Good news: Middle linebacker Monty Rice heads into the offseason healthy and ready to improve himself and lead the others around him. The linebackers took a step forward last season. With Nakobe Dean a quick learner, the group figures to be even better in 2020. RELATED: Adam Anderson turning heads in Georgia football offseason Bad news: Teams went after Georgia's linebackers in pass coverage, and the tackling wasn't always the best in the open field. There's room for improvement in both areas along with a need for more playmaking in the form of forced turnovers. Secondary Good news: Richard LeCounte's decision to return seemed to set the trend on defense, and the talented rising senior should emerge as a permanent captain. Lewis Cine showed he could fill J.R. Reed's shoes in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia has four NFL talents at corner with the addition of Kelee Ringo. Bad news. None. Special teams Good news: Jake Camarda is back for his junior season. Most probably don't know his 46.8 average last season is third highest among the returning punters in the nation. UGA has several fleet-footed incoming freshmen who could spice up the return game, which took a hit last season with Mecole Hardman moved on to the NFL. Bad news: Rodrigo Blankenship is headed to the NFL, so Smart will have a new kicker for the first time in his tenure. Dominick Blaylock had earned Smart's trust on punt returns, but he underwent knee surgery in January and the timeline for his return is uncertain. DawgNation Georgia football Kirby Smart curiously short on early Todd Monken praise 21 names to know for Georgia football 2021 recruiting class Brandon Adams podcast: Recruiting key to national titles Freshman RB Kendall Milton finding quick fit at Georgia Jeff Sentell: How the nation's No. 1 class came together Georgia football produces 10 NFL combine invites Pre-combine Georgia NFL draft projections, top 3 rounds The post Georgia football: Good news, bad news offseason outlook in position groups appeared first on DawgNation.
  • 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.