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College
LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout
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LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout

LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout

LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout

Even a healthy Georgia team performing optimally probably would have lost Saturday's SEC Championship Game. Let's face it, the Joe Burrow-led LSU team they faced was just that much better than them.

But, alas, poor play and too many missed opportunities by a banged-up Dawgs team let what could have been an honorable loss turn into an embarrassing blowout.

Between a half-dozen dropped passes (starting with the very first play of the game), quarterback Jake Fromm missing wide-open receivers, a negligible running game, and a previously superb defense getting shown up by a single-game Heisman Trophy highlights reel from Burrow, Georgia basically didn't stand a chance against the Bayou Bengals.

Still, if a couple of dropped touchdown passes and two missed field goals had been made by Georgia, it might have been a much closer game. (Even that's not definite, because LSU coach Ed Orgeron pretty much called off the Tigers in the fourth quarter, preferring to eat up clock with running plays rather than allow Burrow to pad the Tigers' 27-point lead.)

The passing game again was lacking for the Dawgs, a situation exacerbated by the two leading receivers being unavailable in the first half ( Lawrence Cager to injury, and George Pickens to suspension) and the next best two wideouts ( Dominick Blaylock and Kearis Jackson) going down during the game with injuries. (At times during the game, Georgia's sideline looked like a hospital ward as players were taken off the field.) What was left in Georgia's receiving corps frankly wasn't very good.

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LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout

Also, as had been the case all season long, because the opponent didn't have to worry much about Georgia's air attack, they were able to load up the box against the Dawgs' running game, which was itself a shadow of its former self, as an obviously not-100-percent D'Andre Swift got only 2 carries in the game. ( Brian Herrien led Georgia runners with 24 yards on 8 carries as the Dawgs amassed only 61 yards net rushing for the game, a season low.)

Unlike some earlier games this season, head coach Kirby Smart's devotion to the outmoded pro-set offensive philosophy which has become the chief complaint among fans and sports columnists wasn't really the problem against LSU. As Smart noted after the game, the Dawgs "didn't come out with a mentality of running the ball down your throat today."

No, Georgia came out throwing. They just didn't do a very good job of it. Part of that was due to several dropped passes that should have been caught, including the first throw on the first play of the game to Tyler Simmons. However, another big part of Georgia's offensive futility was the previously reliable Fromm underthrowing or overthrowing wide-open receivers in his fifth straight sub-par performance.

What's been wrong with Fromm? Why has a QB who's shown in the past that he can make pin-point throws been so off-target the latter half of this season? Maybe it's poor coaching (with several former players noting his shaky fundamentals of late). Or, perhaps it's a lack of confidence in his receiving corps, depleted after last season and hurt by injuries this year.

Smart seemed to opt for putting the onus on the lack of talent at receiver, and personally took the blame, saying, "The first two years, Jake's numbers were better, so the indicator of that was four wide receivers were on our sideline that were drafted that are playing in the NFL. And the loss of those wideouts, the vertical threat, has probably hurt our team. That's my responsibility, right, to replace them. That's my responsibility to replace them in recruiting, and we probably haven't done a good enough job of that."

For the day, Fromm completed just 20 of 42 passes for 225 yards, one TD and 2 interceptions, as Georgia had 286 yards of total offense, while Burrow made 28 of 38 passes for 349 yards, 4 TDs and no picks. Georgia converted just 3 of its 13 third-down plays while the Tigers made 9 of 16. If you want a silver lining, Georgia converted all three of its fourth-down tries to set an SEC Championship Game record.

On the other side of the ball, coming into the game Georgia rankedsecond nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 10.4 points per game, and second nationally in rushing defense (71 yards per game). The thought was that the Dawgs' D would be the best yet faced by a Tigers team that came in ranked second nationally in scoring offense (48.7 points per game).And, sure enough, Georgia did hold LSU to just 17 points in the first half, and, for much of the game, the Tigers' running attack mainly consisted of QB runs by Burrow.

But, the one knock on the Georgia defense as they approached the LSU game was that they really had only faced two decent quarterbacks this season, feasting mostly on backups and inexperienced starters. They had not come up against anything like Burrow, who more than lived up to his hype.

The third-quarter play where the Tigers QB twice escaped the arms of Georgia's Travon Walker, scrambled until he could find an open receiver, and connected on a 71-yard pass, was the quintessential "Heisman moment."

As Smart put it after the game, "You learn in coaching that good players make big-time plays, and that was an incredible play by Joe Burrow."

But Georgia's attempt to mix up its defensive schemes backfired on a number of early plays in the game when the Dawgs, trying to replicate what Auburn did against LSU, rushed only three and put seven men into coverage. However, that ended up allowing Burrow to wait patiently in the pocket to find an open receiver one time for an amazing 8.7 seconds!

And, at times, the Tigers' up-tempo attack caught a confused Georgia defense trying in vain to substitute personnel.

The Dawgs occasionally did stymie the Tigers' offense, but weren't able to capitalize. Following LSU's first of three 3-and-outs for the day, Georgia couldn't get any momentum, as Fromm was sacked and injured on a safety blitz.

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LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout

When Fromm, ankle heavily taped, returned to the game on Georgia's next series, it looked like he was about to work his old 2-minute-drill magic, only to have LSU's Derek Stingley Jr. grab the first of his two interceptions on the day both cases where Fromm locked in on a receiver who was closely covered by Stingley.

There followed, however, the defensive high point of the day for the Dawgs, as they forced three straight Burrow incompletions deep in Georgia territory, and the Tigers missed 48-yard line field goal, keeping the score a respectable 17-3 at halftime.

The Georgia defense continued to play stout early in the second half, as LSU opened with a 16-play, 77-yard drive that took nearly 7 minutes off the clock, but resulted only in a field goal.

Then came a Georgia drive in which Fromm converted on fourth down with a pass to the previously suspended Pickens (who returned in the second half to have a team-best 4 catches for 54 yards and one TD). It all went for naught, however, after Matt Landers (one of Georgia's most inconsistent receivers) dropped a pass in the end zone and Rodrigo Blankenship missed a field goal attempt, his second errant try of the night. (Blankenship also had a kickoff go out of bounds. As former mentor Kevin Butler said later, "Rod didn't have a good game.")

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LSU is the better team, but Dawgs’ poor play turned SEC title game into a rout

There immediately followed Burrow's 71-yard masterpiece, which set up an LSU score to put the Tigers up by 27-3. And, then, on Georgia's first play of its next series, Stingley got his second pick of a poor Fromm pass, and, shortly, the Bengals were up 34-3 and the game was, for all intents and purposes, over, with many Georgia fans (who had made up about 70 percent of the crowd) leaving Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Georgia added a late touchdown in the fourth quarter, LSU tacked on another field goal, and that was it for the scoring.

So, yes, it was a disappointing night for Bulldogs players and fans. Like I said earlier, LSU obviously was the more talented team, and Georgia would have been hard-pressed to beat the Tigers even if the Dawgs had been healthy and playing at a peak level of performance.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

A year ago, the late loss to Alabama in the SEC title game left Bulldog Nation angry and frustrated over a game that Georgia should have won. This year, the feeling seems more akin to sad resignation amid the realization that the Dawgs haven't yet become the elite program they aspire to be.

Let me hear from you!

Well leave the discussion of what changes, if any, Georgia needs to make in order to compete at an elite level until next week, when I'll dip into the Junkyard Mail. So, please share your views on the Dawgs getting blown out in the SEC Championship game, Smart's "offensive philosophy," and the 2019 season in general by emailing me at junkyardblawg@gmail.com .

The post LSU is the better team, but Dawgs' poor play turned SEC title game into a rout appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • U.S. Rep. Doug Collins announced his campaign for U.S. Senate on Fox News on Wednesday with a pledge to support President Donald Trump. “We’re in for the Georgia Senate race. I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he said. “We’re getting ready for a good time down here.” The decision by the four-term congressman sets up a battle with U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a wealthy Republican executive tapped by Gov. Brian Kemp in December. The Rev. Raphael Warnock, along with several other Democrats, are also poised to join the November race. Collins hopes to earn support from Trump’s inner circle, if not the president himself. Trump privately lobbied Kemp on at least three separate occasions to tap Collins to fill the coveted seat, though he’s stayed publicly neutral since Loeffler was sworn into office. Loeffler, a political newcomer little known to many local GOP officials, has aggressively tried to win over the president - and prevent a Collins run. She has slammed the “impeachment circus” and promised to support Trump’s agenda. The congressman’s decision, first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, forces state Republicans to pick sides between a conservative with grassroots support and a little-known incumbent backed by a powerful governor. Since the race is a special election with no primary to filter out nominees, the GOP division heightens the possibility that a unifying Democratic candidate can win the race outright. Still, the Democrats have their own internal commotion to sort out. Matt Lieberman, an entrepreneur, and Ed Tarver, a former federal prosecutor, plan to qualify. And Warnock is set to soon enter the race and position himself as the front-runner with support from leading party figures. This report was written by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Brenau University has decided to halt its exchange program with China because of the coronavirus. Channel 2′s Tom Jones is in Gainesville, where the university is pausing its exchange program with a university in Wuhu, China. The way the exchange program works is that students from China complete their last two years of their undergraduate degrees at Brenau. But before they come to the U.S., students and faculty from Brenau go to China to prepare the Chinese students for their new life here. There are currently 87 Chinese students enrolled at Brenau. Another batch of students are scheduled to arrive in the summer. Students hope the virus is under control by then. Now, the program is on hold. The university will not send student ambassadors and faculty to China until the threat for contracting the deadly virus has diminished. “It’s just caused us to want to make sure that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of our students and our faculty,” said Dr. Jim Eck, provost of academic affairs at Brenau. Student Phil Xu is a long way from home and worried about his friends and family back in China. He also doesn’t want anything to jeopardize the program. “We very much enjoy the environment of study here. And I think it’s a great program,” Xu said. Sarah Outler was a student ambassador for the program last year. '(I loved) getting to see someone else's culture through their lens and being put in their footsteps,' Outler said. She planned to go back in May, but the school has now put that trip on hold. 'I think it's for the safety of not only our students but also for our Chinese students,' Outler said. Faculty member Wenwen Guo has family and friends in China and had planned to travel there next month as part of the exchange program. She said she's already booked her flight, but may not end up going. “We’re looking to see how the situation in China will develop, so we don’t know yet,” Guo said. The school said so far, it hasn’t seen problems for Chinese students already here. None of the current students went home for the holiday break, so there are no concerns about those students spreading the virus. Students said they appreciated the school using an abundance of caution. “I feel like our university officials have handled it appropriately,” Outler said.
  • A Madison County farmer says he will run for a seat in the Georgia House: Tripp Strickland (pictured above) says he is joining the race to replace retiring state lawmaker Tom McCall, the Elbert County Republican who announced last year that he would not run for reelection. Strickland is running as a Republican in a primary that will be held in May. Strickland is one of three announced candidates for the House seat in the May 19 Republican primary, along with Elberton attorney Rob Leverett and Colbert real estate agent Bruce Azevedo. Gerald Couch says he will run for another term as Sheriff in Hall County. Couch was first elected to the Sheriff’s Office in Gainesville in 2012. Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway says he will not run for reelection this year.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs were defeated by the Missouri Tigers, 72-69, on the road Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena.    Freshman Anthony Edwards led Georgia in scoring and rebounding, recording his first-career double-double with 23 points and a career-high 10 boards. This is the 12th time this season that Edwards has paced the Bulldogs in scoring. This also marks Edwards’ ninth-career 20-point game.    Senior Tyree Crump and freshman Toumani Camara joined Edwards in double figures, scoring 13 and 12, respectively.    “I told my team, momentum is always up for grabs,” Georgia Head Coach Tom Crean said. “Reed Nikko was living proof of that today. He came in and was much tougher than us around the rim. He changed it in the second half, gave them confidence and we did not guard as well in the second half. We did not guard the dribble as well. We had some guys who really struggled tonight and they really struggled on both ends of the floor. If you are struggling on one, you certainly can’t struggle on the other. We had that. We have to learn that when we play hard and play together like that, we can do a lot of really great things. Momentum is up for grabs and no one went and grabbed it back. That is the level of toughness you have to have to be able to make strides and to be able to win on the road. Our offense left us a little bit. Bottom line, we did not guard them well enough at the end of the game.”    After Missouri gained an 8-2 advantage as the result of an 8-0 run, a basket in the paint from Camara knotted the game 8-all to cap a 6-0 Georgia run.    The Bulldogs took their first lead of the contest, 12-11, off Edwards’ second shot from behind the arc with 12:46 to play in the opening half.    The combination of going three-of-three from the field and forcing a 2:43 Missouri scoring drought resulted in Georgia’s first double-digit advantage of the matchup (27-17).    The Bulldogs continued to extend their lead. A tip-in from freshman Rodney Howard capped a 15-1 Georgia run over five minutes to grab the 35-17 advantage.    While the Tigers were able to get within nine points of Georgia at one point in the closing minutes of the opening half, the Bulldogs went into the locker room sporting the 42-30 lead.    Missouri cut its deficit to single digits (46-37) off a 7-0 run out of the locker room. Edwards drained another 3-pointer to extend Georgia’s lead to 20 points, 59-39, for the first time with 13:33 left to play.    The Tigers, off a 10-point run, cut Georgia’s lead back to single digits with 7:04 remaining. Missouri, for the first time since 11:13 remaining in the first half, regained the one-point lead with 2:20 to play.    A layup from graduate transfer Donnell Gresham Jr. reclaimed the one-point Georgia lead on the following possession. While the two teams traded leads in the final minutes, Missouri grabbed a two-point advantage with 37 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs were unable to overcome the last-minute deficit, falling to the Tigers, 72-69.    Up next, Georgia returns to a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum to host the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m. The matchup will be televised on SEC Network. 
  • Athens State Rep Houston Gaines is pushing a bill that would crack down on human trafficking: the measure from Republican Gaines would take away the commercial drivers licenses of those convicted of sex trafficking in Georgia.  “Survivors and victims across Georgia are counting on us to bring this evil activity into the light and work together to end this horrific industry,” said Rep. Gaines. “I want to thank the first lady and governor for their commitment to this issue, and I am proud to join with them, the GRACE Commission and advocates across the state to find ways to defeat human trafficking in Georgia.” The legislation would allow the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services to revoke a person’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued in Georgia, as well as permanently disqualify him or her from driving a commercial motor vehicle if he or she is convicted of trafficking an individual for labor servitude or sexual servitude and used a commercial motor vehicle to commit the offense. This legislation would work in accordance with a federal regulation that was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2019.

Bulldog News

  • It's hard to imagine the awkward silence on the Georgia basketball plane ride back from Missouri late Tuesday night and into the early morning hours of Wednesday. The Bulldogs blew a 20-point lead to drop their fourth-straight game in deflating fashion, 72-69. There are growing pains, and then there's this, a team that lacks an identity with players who appear to either refuse or be unable to accept roles. Missing point guard Sahvir Wheeler (ankle) was no doubt a factor in the loss. But this was a game Georgia had won, up 59-39 with 13:33 left. The Tigers (10-10, 2-5 SEC) were just as desperate for the win as the Bulldogs (11-9, 1-6), as they snapped a four-game losing streak with the win. RELATED: Meltdown in Missouri, how Georgia lost to the Tigers Crean tried to take the approach on the postgame radio show on the Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network that it was another lesson learned. 'We've got to learn that when we play hard and we play together like that, we can do a lot of really good things,' Crean said, focusing on how Georgia played through contact early and controlled the glass in the first half. 'But momentum was up for grabs, and no one ever went and grabbed it back, and that's the level of toughness that you have to have to be able to make strides and to be able to win on the road.' The Bulldogs have been outscored in the second half of each of their seven road games in the SEC. Here are three things from the Bulldogs' heartbreaking loss at Missouri Anthony Edwards' effort The freshman played all 40 minutes and left it all out on the court, leading the team with 23 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Edwards' missed a potential game-tying 3-point shot at the buzzer, and he had his shot blocked at the rim the previous trip down the floor. But anyone who watched the game could see Edwards' effort providing the lifeblood for the team on a night point guard Sahvir Wheeler was sidelined by an ankle injury. Edwards' downfall was his 3-point shooting. He was just 3 of 12 beyond the arc after a 3-of-10 shooting performance from three in the loss to Ole Miss on Saturday. Rayshaun Hammonds stat line Hammonds roller-coaster season continued at Missouri. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound junior played 33 minutes but failed to score and had just two rebounds. 'It's a tough stat line,' Crean said. 'We'll watch the film.' Hammonds attempted just one shot in the game. Hammonds was coming off a 4-point outing in the loss to Ole Miss, 1-of-8 shooting in that game in 30 minutes. Georgia seems at its best when Hammonds is asserting himself inside: offensively, defensively and rebounding. Plus-minus It's always interesting to see how the team does with each player on the floor, and the plus-minus statistic can provide a window. Tye Fagan played only five minutes and made the only shot he took. But the Bulldogs outscored Missouri by 15 when he was in the game. Conversely, Jordan Harris played 23 minutes and scored 8 points on 1-of-4 shooting, and UGA was outscored by 13 with him in the game. The most puzzling plus-minus came from Donnell Gresham Jr.,. Gresham had a minus-12 despite going 2-of-2 shooting from the floor, 5-of-5 from the line while pulling down five rebounds and recording two steals. DawgNation Georgia basketball Anthony Edwards needs to get back to having fun Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post 3 things from Georgia basketball's perplexing 72-69 loss at Missouri appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball squandered a 20-point lead in the second half at Missouri on Tuesday night, losing its fourth game in a row, 72-69. 'We have witnessed a meltdown,' UGA play-by-play man Scott Howard said, encapsulating the game on the Georgia Bulldogs Sports Network. Anthony Edwards recorded his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, playing the full 40 minutes before the crowd of 8,451 Mizzou Arena and an SEC Network television audience. Edwards, however, came up short on the final play of the game when his 3-point shot attempt from the wing went off the front of the rim just before time expired. The Bulldogs (11-9, 1-6 SEC) led 59-39 with 13:33 left when Edwards, who was 9-of-24 shooting including 3 of 12 beyond the arc, hit a 3-pointer. Georgia, playing without injured point guard Sahvir Wheeler (ankle), appeared to be in control of the game against the Tigers (10-10, 2-5) at Mizzoui Arena, on the verge of outscoring an SEC opponent in the second half for the first time this season. Instead, Missouri rallied behind Xavier Pinson moments later. Pinson, who scored all 16 of his points in the second half, sparked the rally in full with a 3-pointer that ignited a 23-4 run. 'I told my team, momentum is always up for grabs,' Crean said on his post-game radio show. 'We did not guard as well in the second half, we didn't guard the dribble as well, and we had some guys that really struggled tonight.' Georgia failed to score a field goal for more than seven minutes during the Tigers' run, missing seven shots during that stretch. Senior Reed Nikko , a 6-foot-10 post, hit a pair of free throws with 2:20 left to put Missouri up 66-65, the Tigers' first lead since a 14-13 lead led than nine minutes into the game. But Nikko's biggest play of the night came with 8.6 seconds left and Missouri clinging to a 71-69 lead, when he blocked an Edwards' shot at the rim. UGA fouled immediately, but Mitchell Smith split a pair of free throws to extend the lead to three, leading to Edwards' final trey attempt of the night. The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak with the win despite Edwards recording his first 20-point scoring outing since he went for 26 in an 80-63 win over Tennessee on Jan. 15 in Athens. Senior Tyree Crump scored 13 points and Toumani Camara added 12 for the Bulldogs, who out-rebounded Missouri 32-31 and went 17 of 21 from the free-throw line to Missouri's 16-of-21 effort from the charity strip. Georgia junior Rayshaun Hammonds, who entered the game as the team's second-leading scorer, took just one shot missing it and had only two rebounds in his 33 minutes on the floor. The Bulldogs held a 42-30 lead at the half on the strength of 52-percent shooting and a 21-13 rebounding advantage through the first 20 minutes. Edwards scored the first 14 of his points in the first half, 5-of-12 shooting while pulling down five rebounds. Crump had 11 first-half points, coming off the bench midway through the first half to hit a pair of free throws and consecutive 3-pointers that ignited a 22-3 run. Rodney Howard's jumper closed the Bulldogs' pivotal surge by scoring a basket from in the paint, giving UGA its largest lead of the game to that point at 35-17 at the 4:53 mark. Georgia returns to action at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Texas A&M (10-9, 4-3) at Stegeman Coliseum. The Aggies won at Tennessee, 63-58, on Tuesday night. DawgNation Georgia basketball Anthony Edwards needs to get back to having fun Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Meltdown' in Missouri, Georgia squanders 20-point lead to lose fourth straight appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia basketball team arrived in the 'Show Me State' on Monday night intent on being prepared to show Missouri a new brand of physicality. Bulldogs' coach Tom Crean said playing that style of basketball, with toughness, will be needed against Coach Cuonzo Martin's Tigers at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Columbia (TV: SEC Network). 'W e've got to deal with [Missouri's] physicality, because they're a very physical, aggressive basketball team,' Crean said on Monday before the team practiced and flew to Missouri. 'We've got to defend their guards and definitely have to be able to continue to run our offense, because of that physicality and the way they help and recover.' Georgia (11-8, 1-5 SEC) will be looking to snap its season-long three-game losing streak against Missouri (9-10, 1-5). The Tigers rank 33rd in the nation and second in the SEC in scoring defense, opponents averaging just 62.3 points per game against them. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are fourth in the SEC in scoring with 76.7 points per game. The improved health of freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler figures to be key, as he has been battling back from an ankle injury suffered in the 80-63 win over Tennessee on Jan. 15. ' He's got to push the ball better, (and) we have to get out and go,' Crean said. 'We have to get him flying up the court and doing a better job with that. There's no doubt about that and when he does, he's really good. That's what we have to have. 'Push it, throw it ahead, get it back, attack, get his confidence back making layups. Continue if it's not there keeping the ball alive, don't try to force a shot, keep it alive, keep it moving. Hopefully his confidence will come back to him.' Tempo, spacing and ball movement are all near the top of the priority list for the Bulldogs. But on Tuesday night, it starts with toughness. 'At the end of the day we've got to get some loose balls, we've got to get some guys that will put their body on the ground, be quick, react quicker, and that's part of it,' Crean said. 'You want to make this your career and it doesn't stay your career very long if you're not aggressive if you're not tough, you're not physical, if you don't have a mindset for winning. That's what it is.' DawgNation Georgia basketball Anthony Edwards hits 'Freshman Wall' like no other Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Georgia basketball Coach Tom Crean plans physical showing at Missouri appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Former Georgia quarterback and SEC Championship Game MVP (2005) D.J. Shockley knows all about offseason competition, drawing from his days playing with David Greene under Mark Richt. Shockley, recently speaking with WSB on the Bulldogs Game Day show, discussed how pivotal it is that incoming grad-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman will be present for spring drills. 'You've got some young guys who have already been there,' Shockley said. 'Stetson Bennett has already been there. D'Wan Mathis is coming off his injury, he has been there, he's been a part of the system. 'So (Newman) is going to need this time to really dive into that playbook and understand all the nuances of it.' The Bulldogs hired new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to replace James Coley earlier this month. Coley left for Texas A&M last Friday, opening up a spot on the staff many expect newly hired analyst Buster Faulkner to fill. RELATED: Football stars endorse new Georgia hire Todd Monken Monken has been active on the recruiting trail since his hire, but with the start of a dead period fast approaching (Feb. 3), Kirby Smart and his staff could have time to crunch some Xs and Os. RELATED: Terry Bowden shares thought on drop-back to dual-threat QB flip Georgia will likely retain some of its base offense, but there are sure to be plenty of twists. Monken, an 'Air Raid' pass scheme expert, will bring part of his playbook and look to maximize UGA'sdual-threat quarterbacks. Mathis, Bennett and incoming freshman Carson Beck all have good mobility. And then there's Newman who rushed for 574 yards and 6 TDs last season, including a 50-yard run. Of Newman's 180 attempts, 128 were designed runs, per PFF advanced metrics. The former Wake Forest quarterback was recently tagged among the top five Heisman Trophy favorites, and PFF ranks him the third-best quarterback returning in the nation behind Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence. 'Joe Burrow (was) far and away the highest-graded quarterback throwing to a tight window, but Newman is second and third isn't anywhere near him,' PFF penned earlier this month. 'He also limited his uncatchable pass rate to the fourth lowest. 'Newman has some rushing ability and has seen the eighth-most designed rushes for a quarterback (128). While some may say it's his rushing that can be his greatest weapon, it's clearly his arm.' But the key where Georgia is concerned is that Newman is already on campus and working out with his teammates. 'So him being here early,' Shockley said, 'I think, gives him an opportunity to be the guy.' Former Georgia QB D.J. Shockley With Jamie Newman already on campus in Athens, @DjShockley3 says spring practice will be huge for him to prove he can be 'the guy'! : Sat at 11am on @wsbtv! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/5Z7ND86mUG Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) January 27, 2020 DawgNation Georgia football Malik Herring spearheads dominant defense ESPN details how Georgia might win national title Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change UGA recruiting in South Florida affected by James Coley departure Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post WATCH Former Georgia QB D.J. Shockley: Key to Jamie Newman being The Guy' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football opening game with Virginia is more than seven months away, but talking season is well underway and Heisman talk has begun. Incoming graduate-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman ranks among the Top 5 among Heisman favorites before throwing his first pass in a formal practice, currently at 14-to-1. Newman is ranked the No. 3 returning quarterback by Pro Football Focus, behind Ohio State's Justin Fields and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any kind of offense Fields, who spent his 2018 freshman season at UGA backing up departed starter Jake Fromm, is the co-favorite with Lawrence to win the Heisman, both at 4-to-1. Sophomore tailback Zamir White and sophomore George Pickens are also among the current favorites. White is at 80-to-1, and Pickens is at 100-to-1. The bettable opening Heisman odds are evidence there's plenty of outside buy-in on Kirby Smart's well-documented offensive makeover at Georgia. The Bulldogs hired 'Air Raid' pass game expert Todd Monken to take over as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, replacing James Coley who has since departed for Texas A&M. Monken was the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns last season, but the year, before, he was the OC and play caller for a Tampa Bay Bucs offense that led the NFL in passing yardage. Newman, who transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest, is a dual-threat quarterback with dynamic arm strength and running ability. Smart's past three UGA offenses have leaned more toward a power run game, the head coach intent on utilizing dynamic backfields that included NFL stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and projected first-round pick D'Andre Swift the past two seasons. Georgia, however, appears to be intent on a more aggressive pass scheme now that the receiving corps is loaded up with talent at receiver and tight end. RELATED: Georgia top-ranked SEC team in PFF Way-too-early' Top 25 Smart has always professed coaching to the talent, and the hiring of Monken is an indication the Georgia head coach is betting more offensive balance is in order. The Bulldogs return a championship-caliber defense, with nine of 11 starters back on that side of the football from the 26-14 Sugar Bowl-winning team. Georgia's offense can afford to be more aggressive in marquee matchups with that sort of defense behind it. Most notably, in the Sept. 19 showdown with Alabama in Tuscaloosa that the college football world has circled. Favorite Player/School Odds T-1. Justin Fields/ Ohio St. 4-1 T-1. Trevor Lawrence/Clemson 4-1 3. Spencer Rattler/Oklahoma 12-1 T-4. Sam Ehlinger/Texas 14.1 T-4. Jamie Newman/Georgia 14-1 T-6. Travis Etienne/Clemson 20-1 T-6. Chuba Hubbard/Okla. St. 20-1 T-6 Ian Book/Notre Dame 20-1 T-9. Kedon Slovis/USC 25-1 T-9. Myles Brennan/LSU 25-1 11. Mac Jones/Alabama 25-1 12. Bo Nix/Auburn 25-1 13. D'Eriq King/Miami, Fla. 25-1 14. Adrian Martinez/Nebraska 30-1 T-15. Sean Clifford/Penn State 40-1 T-15. Najee Harris/Alabama 40-1 17. Kellen Mond/Texas A&M 50-1 T-18. Tyler Shough/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Brock Purdy/Iowa State 60-1 T-18. CJ Verdell/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Kyle Trask/Florida 60-1 T-18. Charlie Brewer/Baylor 60-1 T-18. Sam Howell/North Carolina 60-1 24. Master Teaguelll/Ohio Sate 60-1 25. Zamir White/Georgia 80-1 DawgNation Georgia football Malik Herring spearheads dominant defense Podcast: How Todd Monken might use Zamir White Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football QB Jamie Newman ranked among Top 5 Heisman Trophy favorites appeared first on DawgNation.