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Travel Headlines

    Delta Air Lines said it will ban service and support animals under 4 months old, and will also ban emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. The change, effective Dec. 18, is the latest tightening of policies on service animals and emotional support animals by the airline.  >> Read more trending news  The company said in a Monday announcement that it has seen an 84 percent increase in incidents reported involving service and support animals in 2016 and 2017, “including urination/defecation, biting” and a mauling by a 50-pound dog. Delta said its new policy aligns with the CDC vaccination policy, and the limit on emotional support animals on long flights lines up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act. “These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs -- such as veterans with disabilities -- to travel with trained service and support animals,” John Laughter, Delta senior vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance, said in a statement. Some of the airline’s policy changes earlier in the year have prompted criticism from groups representing people who use service animals, including those who use pit bulls.  The new policy takes effect for tickets booked Dec. 18 or later. Regardless of booking date, it will also take effect for flights Feb. 1 or later. Delta said it will contact customers to adjust reservations if the policy affects them. More information on the airline’s service and support animal policy is at Delta.com. 
  • Delta Air Lines has rolled out facial recognition for international travel at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for what it calls the first biometric terminal in the United States. It’s now making plans to expand the technology in Detroit. >> Read more trending news  In September, the airline announced plans to make the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson into a biometric terminal, including facial recognition at check-in, at the security checkpoint, at gates and at Customs. Passengers essentially show their faces to a camera instead of showing identification or a boarding pass. During boarding, the use of facial recognition saves an average of two seconds per passenger, or a total of nine minutes for boarding of a wide-body plane, according to Delta. The Detroit News reported that the airline plans to expand facial recognition to the international terminal in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport by mid-December. It will then roll out facial recognition throughout that airport in 2019.
  • We know flying comes with extra costs. A pillow, blanket or even meal now come with price tags on top of your fare, but when did having to pay for repairs to the plane start being added to the tab? A LOT Polish Airlines flight that was scheduled to take off from Beijing Capital Airport couldn’t get into the air when it needed a new pump for the hydraulic system, Metro reported.  A Boeing repair person at the airport wouldn’t take the airline’s bank transfer and would only perform the work if they got the cash in hand. An airline spokesperson said the two companies are supposed to have non-cash transactions only, RT reported. Passengers were asked to pass the plate by a member of the airline staff, RT reported. >> Read more trending news  The effort collected almost $340 to pay for the repair and get the flight in the air. One passenger on the flight to Warsaw told Metro, “We are at the international airport. I cannot believe that transactions take place here in cash under the table with the mechanic standing next to the plane. Incredible.” A spokesperson with LOT Polish Airlines told Metro the employee at the Beijing airport refused all payment methods other than cash, leading to confusion.  The passengers who chipped in got their money back when they landed in Warsaw. They were also given vouchers and may get compensated for the 10-hour wait they had as the repair was made. As for the employee who asked the passengers for the donations, the company spokesperson said he or she will face disciplinary action, Metro reported. “There are no circumstances that justify asking money from passengers,” Adrian Kubicki told Metro.
  • The Transportation Security Administration has confirmed that an 11-year-old boy got through a security checkpoint at Atlanta’s airport without having a boarding pass or ticket. >> Read more trending news  The child went through the main security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and was screened, according to WSB-TV.  Officials said the boy then tried to board a flight by blending in with a family. The boy was caught when the family said he wasn't with them.  “How is that even possible?” traveler Empress Love said. “He should have never been able to get past the security. From right there they should have stopped him. The incident happened Friday afternoon. TSA representative Sari Koshetz said the child didn't have to show identification at the security checkpoint because he is a minor. Koshetz had no comment when asked about the fact the boy didn't have a boarding pass. She said after he was screened an officer asked the boy where his parents were. That's when the child got away. “It's hard to understand how something like that could happen,” one woman, who asked not to be identified, said.  The boy got to a gate where he tried to blend in with a family and board a plane. When the family said they didn't know him, he took off before officers eventually found him. The boy's mother refused to comment about the incident. When WSB told her they were to figure out how this happened she responded. >> Related: 7 of 10 most stressed states in country are in the south; where do you rank? “OK, well you should be at the airport asking them how that happened,” the boy’s mother said.  The TSA isn't saying much about the incident. “I can't understand how he would have gotten past the security piece because you have to show them your ticket and your ID,” a traveler said.  The TSA said the incident wasn't a breach of security since agents screened the child. The child is back home with his mother. WSB reported he took a bus to the airport and indicated he just wanted to get away.
  • Walt Disney World is revealing more about some of its new attractions -- and showing off some of its newest technology -- that are coming soon to Central Florida. “We’ve made the conscious decision to control our own destiny – to be the disruptor, not the disrupted,” Bob Chapek -- chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products -- said at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions conference in Orlando.  At the conference, Chapek unveiled new animatronics called A1000s, which he said is Disney’s most innovative and expensive animatronics yet. >> Read more trending news  Disney is even developing new technology called stunt-tronics: Animatronics that can do stunts too dangerous for humans, like flying through the air and doing superhero-like moves. Disney also revealed more about a much-anticipated attraction coming to Epcot: A new 'Guardians of the Galaxy' ride being built at the former Universe of Energy pavilion.  Chapek said it will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world. Just building the foundation was the largest concrete pour in Walt Disney World’s history. The building is so big, it can fit four Spaceship Earths inside, Chapek said. The new roller coaster will spin as it moves, and will have a storyline that revolves around the plot and characters from the movie. >>Read: Disney pass holder displays pro-Trump signs at park, gets banned again “Guests will be able to experience it when it opens in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021,” Chapek said. Disney also revealed more about the gondola system called Skyliner, which Disney now says will be operational in the fall of 2019. Crews have been building towers across the landscape of the property for months. When it opens, Skyliner will connect Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and four resorts: Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and the new Rivera Resort, which is set to open in 2019. >>Read: Up, up and away: WFTV gets exclusive look at Walt Disney World's Skyliner What the actual gondolas look like remains a secret, though Disney has circulated artist renderings of the project. One thing is clear, though: Mickey Mouse may be turning 90, but he and Disney aren’t slowing down. “In this industry, complacency is the biggest threat,” Chapek said.
  • The biggest cruise ship in the world is now at Port Canaveral.  Royal Caribbean's 'Symphony of the Seas' arrived at about 4 a.m. Thursday.  It's part of the port's push to get bigger ships and more passengers into the area.  At Wednesday's State of the Port event, CEO John Murray talked about record revenue and the 4.5 million cruise passengers who moved through the port.  >> Read more trending news  'It's great for the port, great for Orlando, great for the theme parks, space center, local area, so that it all helps grow the local economy,” he said. “We're here to facilitate commerce between the ocean and the community, and that, to me, is first and foremost.' Symphony of the Seas is 1,184 feet long and can hold 6,680 passengers and 2,200 crew members.  Carnival plans to bring its largest ship to Port Canaveral in 2020.
  • New documents filed this week in Orange County, Florida, offer a first look at plans for Universal Orlando’s fourth theme park. >> Watch the news report here The plans will transform 540 acres of empty land near Lockheed Martin. That’s in addition to the construction of two hotels on the old Wet ‘n Wild property as part of the 4,000-room Endless Summer Resort. “I see a very big easel for Universal Orlando and Comcast to paint through over the next few years,” said theme park analyst Rick Munarriz. “Universal now has the coloring book; now they just need to show us their crayons.' Documents filed with the county this week show plans for major infrastructure upgrades. There will be 100 acres of new roads and more than 5,000 parking spots. Munarriz said 5,000 parking spots seems like a conservative number. “So I’m thinking there's going to be a transportation system to get people from the resort to the new resort,” Munarriz said. >> Read more trending news  The plans do not show exactly what's coming, but Universal has trademarked the name “Universal's Fantastic Worlds.” The new Nintendo Land, including Mario Kart and a Donkey Kong roller coaster, was supposed to be built at the KidZone section of Universal Orlando. But analysts said those rides, which are already designed, will likely go into a new park. “[Universal] really needs to step up its game if it's going to compete with what Disney has coming in three years. That is why we have this new playground coming,” Munarriz said.
  • Your marathon trips to Disney are nothing compared to what one couple from Tennessee has planned.  They want to hit six Disney parks on both coasts within 24 hours Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  Clark and Heather Ensminger are planning to start their day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, have breakfast, then walk over to Epcot. After hitting that park, they’ll go to Magic Kingdom and finish their Florida day at Animal Kingdom.  >>Read: Walt Disney World's new ticket pricing structure takes effect Then they plan to leave Walt Disney World in Florida and grab a direct flight to Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m., the AP reported. Using the time zones to their advantage, they will hopefully be in California Adventure by 8 p.m. and in Walt Disney’s first park Disneyland before it closes at midnight.  So how do they plan to stay on schedule? The Ensmingers have a spreadsheet with all of their times mapped out for where and when they have to be, the AP reported. 
  • It could cost you more to visit Walt Disney World. New ticket prices began Tuesday and the new pricing structure varies based on the date you're going. It also comes with a new online planning tool. Disney World officials said in September that prices at the resort's four theme parks will be tweaked so they're the same. For some time, the Magic Kingdom had a higher price on any given day than Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. >> Read more trending news  Disney introduced flexible pricing at U.S. parks three years ago as an incentive for guests to visit during less busy times. Each month was divided into value, regular and peak days. Single-day tickets now range from $109 to $129, depending on how popular the day is expected to be. Disney said the pricing structure could cost guests more or less than with the previous pricing structure. Travel and Leisure reported that the price of annual passes and parking also increased.  Visitors can find the lowest-priced days by clicking on a calendar on Walt Disney World's website. Recently, Disney increased the cost of snacks and soda on the property, Travel and Leisure reported. The Associated Press and the National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • She’s only 5 months old but a little girl is finishing up something that may be on the bucket lists of many adults -- to visit all 50 states in the U.S. But age isn’t stopping Harper Yeats. Her parents have taken her on a road trip to end all road trips and hope to finish the journey on Oct. 18 when the family gets to Vermont, “Good Morning America reported”.  The Green Mountain State will finally get crossed off Cindy Lim and Tristan Yeats’ list that took them four months to complete.  And while many will say little Harper is too young to remember the once-in-a-lifetime trip around the country, her parents have taken a photograph after they crossed each state line to help document the journey. The trip has been documented on Instagram. >> Read more trending news  The trip will also make Harper the youngest member of the All 50 States Club and she may even get a Guinness World Record title out of the trip. But Guinness has to create the record before the family can submit the application, “Good Morning America” reported. Lim and Yeats are originally from Australia but live in Canada. They started their drive around the country in June just a few weeks after Harper was born and near the beginning of Lim’s year-long maternity leave, “Good Morning America” reported. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Local News

  • Athens-Clarke County Police have a homicide on their hands: police say a man died after being taken to an Athens hospital, shot last night on Oak Hill Drive, passing away with what investigators say were multiple gunshot wounds. The victim is identified as Walter Brown Jr, 31 years old.Police say they are canvassing the neighborhood, looking for possible witnesses and for information. There is, in a brief police report on the incident, no mention of suspects or motive for the deadly shooting. 
  • The Athens Downtown Development Authority is meeting this afternoon, 5 o’clock at Authority offices in the Gameday building on Broad Street.  Oconee County’s Board of Tax Assessors meets this morning: it’s a 9 o’clock session at the Oconee County courthouse in Watkinsville.  Barrow County Commissioners meet tonight, 7 o’clock at the Historic Courthouse in Winder.  There is a new assignment for the sheriff in Gainesville: Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch has been appointed to a seat on the state Criminal Case Data Exchange Board.
  • A man serving time in the Hall County jail is facing new charges after a fight with another inmate at the lockup in Gainesville: 40 year-old Osmond Douglas is facing an aggravated assault charge after allegedly stabbing the other man with a sharpened pencil, causing extensive damage to one of the man’s eyes.  A Gainesville man is facing child molestation charges: investigators in the Hall County Sheriff’s Office say charges against 40 year-old Patrick Leaphart involve an underaged girl. He was booked into the Hall County jail and is being held without bond. 
  • Georgia Bulldogs senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named to the 2018 Associated Press All-America First Team while sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas has been included on the AP All-America’s Second Team.   Baker, a Miami, Fla., native, became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award last week for being nation’s best defensive back in college football. He was also a Walter Camp First Team All-American. Thomas, a native of Lilburn, Ga., was named to the Walter Camp All-America Second Team as well.   Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield named to the AP’s First Team since Bacarri Rambo in 2011.   A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia and has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.   Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, only missing the Middle Tennessee State game with an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.    The Bulldogs are averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and a their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his offensive line unit were named a Joe Moore Award finalist for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.   The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America teams are expected to be released later on Monday. The Sporting News All-America teams are scheduled to be released on Tuesday and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) teams on Wednesday.   The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first matchup between the teams since 1984.
  • There are two more days of fall semester final exams at the University of Georgia, with fall semester commencement exercises set for Friday in UGA’s Stegeman Coliseum. This morning’s delayed opening makes for changes in the schedule for today’s tests.From the University of Georgia… The final exams scheduled for the 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. time slot will be postponed until 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, December 11. Students and faculty affected by the rescheduling should consult the University of Georgia Registrar’s Office (reg.uga.edu) to learn if there is a new location for their exam. This information will be posted at the Registrar’s website by 10:00 a.m. All other exams scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2018 will take place as previously determined.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS – The difficulties of playing cornerback in football increase exponentially as one moves up the ranks. Nobody has to remind Tyson Campbell of this reality because he lived it this past season. Campbell, who signed with Georgia as a 5-star prospect out of Fort Lauderdale this year, earned the rare distinction of becoming not only a 10-game starter for the Bulldogs as a true freshman corner this season, but a first-game starter, as well. Campbell That Campbell did NOT start the last three games of his freshman season is equally notable. But he’s choosing not to make a fuss about either designation. “It was tough, it was fun,” Campbell said of his first season as a college football player. “But, at the same time, it was a wake-up call, a learning experience. I feel like I learned a lot about football. And, you know, it’s just an all-learning year for me to get ready for next year.” Indeed, Campbell got the proverbial trial by fire this season playing the corner opposite of All-American and Jim Thorpe Award recipient Deandre Baker. From the outset, he found himself — and his side of the field — under attack. Campbell was exploited in the second game of the season at South Carolina as veteran receiver Bryan Edwards beat him twice for touchdowns. He also struggled in games against LSU and Auburn. There were good times as well, though. Like the trip to Missouri in Week 4 when Campbell scooped up fumble on one bounce and returned 64 yards for a touchdown. That would end up being a short day for Campbell, however, as he suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return. His replacement that afternoon was redshirt freshman Eric Stokes, who did some great work in relief.  Stokes finished the Missouri game with four pass-breakups and blocked-punt touchdown. Campbell returned to the starting lineup the next week, but the competition with Stokes for playing time would continue. Finally, in the 10th game of the season against Auburn, Georgia coaches subbed in Stokes for a struggling Campbell after a second pass-interference penalty. Stokes finished the game, then started the last three for the Bulldogs. Speaking with reporters for the first time all season after the SEC Championship Game last week, Campbell has taken the demotion in stride and claims no hard feelings. “Not every job is secure,” Campbell said after Georgia’s 35-28 loss to Alabama. “You’ve always got to have that chip on your shoulder. Anybody can be replaced. I’m not mad or anything. I’m supporting my teammates. I’m just ready to move forward.” Campbell’s first season was definitely a rollercoaster. His season high for tackles came against LSU when he finished with 11. But part that was mainly because he was tackling receivers downfield. He finished with 42 tackles, which was fifth on the team, but ended up with only one pass breakup and no interceptions. Stokes had eight pass breakups, including one in the end zone against Alabama. “We’ve talked for a long time about we’re going to play the players that play the best,” Smart said after the Auburn game. “I still think Tyson Campbell is a really good football player.” Campbell feels like he has identified his primary problem. “I panic sometimes,” he said last week. “Other than that, I’m working real hard in practice and staying focused. I feel I’ve got a bright future and I’m not really stressing or worrying about anything.” Georgia’s coaches believe Campbell has a bright future as well. The reason he was in the starting lineup in the first place is his tremendous speed. A two-time state champion in the 100- and 200-meter at American Heritage High and remains one of the fastest players on the Georgia team. Meanwhile, Campbell’s getting a lot of help on his DB skills. Baker, who came to Georgia as a 3-star prospect out of Miami and didn’t start until midway through his sophomore season, is one of Campbell’s primary tutors. “He’s helped me develop a lot, taught me a lot,” Campbell said. “I’m like a sponge out there with Coach Tuck and Coach Smart and the older guys in the secondary. They all teach me a lot and I just take whatever they tell me and just try to input it into my game.” Georgia needs to Campbell to remain alert and motivated. Regardless of who starts the rest of the way at left cornerback, both he and Stokes are sure to be in the Bulldogs’ plans as Baker moves on to the NFL. Regardless of how it went this season, Campbell knows his script isn’t written yet. “It’s football,” he said. “Things are going to happen. It’s a rollercoaster. There’s going to be swings. … I just have to focus on what’s ahead of me now.” The post Georgia CB Tyson Campbell believes ‘rollercoaster’ season will only make him a better appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia Bulldogs senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named to the 2018 Associated Press All-America First Team while sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas has been included on the AP All-America’s Second Team.   Baker, a Miami, Fla., native, became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award last week for being nation’s best defensive back in college football. He was also a Walter Camp First Team All-American. Thomas, a native of Lilburn, Ga., was named to the Walter Camp All-America Second Team as well.   Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield named to the AP’s First Team since Bacarri Rambo in 2011.   A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia and has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.   Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, only missing the Middle Tennessee State game with an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.    The Bulldogs are averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and a their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his offensive line unit were named a Joe Moore Award finalist for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.   The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America teams are expected to be released later on Monday. The Sporting News All-America teams are scheduled to be released on Tuesday and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) teams on Wednesday.   The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first matchup between the teams since 1984.
  • ATHENS – Woodruff Practice Fields sit empty and wet. The Butts-Mehre Complex is unusually quiet and inactive. Georgia players are busy preparing for and taking exams. On Friday, several of them will walk in fall semester graduation ceremonies. All the while, another football challenge is looming. Three weeks from now, the No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will be teeing it up against No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Meanwhile, the anguish of another excruciatingly close loss to No. 1 Alabama still lingers. The question on everybody’s mind is whether the Bulldogs can shake the grief and misery of that disappointment and refocus on the challenge of defeating a storied opponent in the rather lofty consolation of a New Year’s Six bowl game. To that, the Georgia players offer a resounding, “hell, yes.” “For sure,” junior wideout Mecole Hardman said. “We’re not going to go out there and just let anybody beat us. We’re definitely going to have motivation to play because we’ve got to get taste out of our mouths somehow. So, somebody’s got to feel us, and they will.” Added Riley Ridley: “Most definitely. This is Georgia football. No matter what happens, we never give up. We love football. That’s what we’re here for. We play for each other.” Undoubtedly, the Bulldogs will head to New Orleans with good intentions. That the Sugar Bowl has become a consolation prize for speaks to the heights of which Kirby Smart has raised the standard of expectation for Georgia football in three short years. But it’d understandable if the Bulldogs’ found their focus was a bit clouded considering the depth of their disappointment not 10 days ago. After building an impressive lead against a team called one of the best in Alabama football history and having an opportunity to expand it three scores in the third quarter, Georgia was outscored 21-0 over the final 18 minutes of play on the way to a 35-28 loss. Central to the outcome was a controversial decision to attempt a fake punt with the game tied with three minutes remaining. So, there was the added pang of how the Bulldogs lost on top of playing toe-to-toe with the nation’s No. 1 team. Then there were the postseason implications. Georgia played Alabama so well for so long, it proved to any remaining doubters there might’ve been that it was among the top four teams in college football. That should have been enough for the selection committee to include the Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff for the second straight year. But, ultimately they chose Oklahoma, a one-loss Big 12 champion, over the two-loss SEC runners-up. That added a layer of disappointment the day after the conference championship loss. But Georgia players insist there will no lingering grief. “We’re not hanging our heads,” freshman cornerback Tyson Campbell said. “We know we played our best and we’re just ready to move forward. We’ve got to focus on what’s ahead of us now.” Said junior tight end Isaac Nauta: “It’s definitely not a lost season for us. We have another game to play and we’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to getting better throughout the month of December and winning the next one.” Georgia is already getting cmparisons to Alabama’s 2008 team, which entered the SEC Championship Game undefeated and ranked No. 1 only to lose to No. 2 Florida 31-20. The Gators went on to play for the BCS title and the No. 4-ranked Crimson Tide then lost to Utah 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl. Lack of motivation was considered Alabama’s primary undoing that New Year’s Day in New Orleans. Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who was defensive coordinator for that 2008 Alabama team, admitted that the Tide “didn’t play as well as we probably should have.” But he also said this year’s Georgia team is very different that one. “This is a much younger team than any of those Bama teams,” Smart said of the Bulldogs, whose roster is comprised 68 percent of freshmen and sophomores. “A lot of these kids, this will be their first or second time in a big-time bowl environment. We’re still getting accustomed to that.” No, this appears to be a Georgia team that still feels it has much to prove to the rest of the college football world. The same chip the Bulldogs carried on their collective shoulders into the SEC Championship Game will be making the trip to New Orleans. While a national championship is not in the cards this year, Georgia very much wants to validate its distinction as one the best teams in the country in 2018. “We can’t hang our head about (losing to Bama),” Hardman said. “We know we had the game; we know we played great. It just didn’t go our way. But I think everybody knows we’re one of the best four teams.” One more decisive win surely would remove any doubt. DawgNation’s Sugar Bowl Coverage Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker will play in Sugar Bowl Mel Tucker ready for a new challenge as Colorado head coach Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace when he leaves Georgia football       The post No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs have something to prove vs. Texas in Sugar Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football sophomore Jake Fromm is playing as well as any quarterback in the nation, but the Bulldogs’ rotation at that position remains a hot topic of discussion. How does Coach Kirby Smart divide time in the Sugar Bowl between the red-hot Fromm and promising freshman Justin Fields. SEC Network analysts Jordan Rodgers, Gene Chizik and Marcus Spears weighed in on whether and how much Fields should play. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 15 Texas (9-4) looking to win a bowl game for a fifth straight season on the heels of a heartbreaking 35-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1. Fromm was 25-of-39 passing for 301 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and was sacked only twice by the Tide’s impressive defense. Fields’ playing time was limited against Alabama, as he attempted just one pass the was incomplete and most notably failed to execute a fake punt in the fourth quarter. RELATED: Fields put on spot in SEC title game “If anything, I would love to see  a better plan for Justin Fields,” Rodgers said. “The first time he comes in the (SEC title) game, I don’t feel like the plan was right. The first time you pass with him, it’s not a play-action, there’s not a quarterback threat to run, you just do a straight drop back. “If we see him, I want to see him for a drive, that’s very calculated for a reason, and then get him back out … Jake Fromm is the better quarterback.” Smart has said all season that there is no plan going into games, and that Georgia plays the quarterback that gives the team the best chance to win. From game to game, situations change, and that dictates when and how much Fields plays. RELATED: Kirby Smart has plan to avoid QB controversy Marcus Spears said it’s important that Fields does indeed earn the snaps instead of there being any perception he’s being handed playing time. “When you get into the mindset as a coach that I’ve got to coddle this guy to make sure he’s not going to leave, you start setting yourself up for disaster,” Spears said. “And I’m going to show you how it works on the field. (Against Alabama) when Justin Fields came in the play went for 1 yard, it was second-and-9 when Jake Fromm ran back on the field. And guess what they did, they went 0-for-6 in the second half on third downs. “So when you look at how they tried to keep (Fields) involved, I think it hurt them at times during the season.” Smart knows how important it is to have a capable backup quarterback in the SEC. Fromm came off the bench last season to replace an injured Jacob Eason and led the Bulldogs to an SEC title and College Football Playoff Championship Game appearance. Fields has been a work in progress this season, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Fields has also rushed for 266 yards on 42 carries, proving to be a valuable weapon in short-yardage situations after the Bulldogs’ midseason struggles in that area. Former Auburn national championship coach Gene Chizik says the Bulldogs should play to win, plain and simple. “My quick take is you’re going to play the guy that gives you the best chance to win, and if it’s not him, then he doesn’t play, you’re not playing to keep him on your roster, you’re playing to win,” Chizik said. “I’m protecting wins and our program, that’s what I want, (and) right now I’ve got maybe the hottest quarterback in the country,” Chizik said, explaining what he would be thinking if he was in Smart’s shoes. “(Fromm) threw for 3 touchdowns (versus Alabama), he threw for 300 yards, he was on point again, he’s playing as good as anybody, and he’s playing against a Texas secondary that’s struggling. “I’m playing the guy that gives us the best chance to win, and it’s not Justin Fields right now, that’s just the way it is.” DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl Tim Tebow : Georgia will be challenged to be motivated for Texas Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker will play in Sugar Bowl   Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace, when or if he leaves Georgia football   The post SEC Network analysts: Georgia quarterbacks’ playing time in Sugar Bowl hot topic appeared first on DawgNation.