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Georgia Bulldogs. 2012 SEC East and state champions.



Updated: 2017-07-21T00:53:56-04:00

 



Searching for sympathy in Oxford, and coming up short.

2017-07-21T00:53:56-04:00

Hugh Freeze once famously challenged anyone with evidence of misconduct within the Ole Miss football program to email the University to tell them about it. I don’t think he believed former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt’s lawyers would one day take him up on the offer, and that it would cost him his job. Let’s back up a little to examine how we got here. Hugh Freeze’s team has looked highly suspicious for some time. The NCAA said as much in writing. Ole Miss responded by saying Freeze didn’t participate in wrongdoing and it was mostly Houston Nutt’s fault anyway. Nutt responded by suing the university for defamation. It seems that as part of the windup for that suit Nutt’s attorneys sent open records requests for Freeze’s university cell phone records. According to Y Sports those records included one brief call to a Florida escort service. But they also included other calls which according to Ole Miss showed a "pattern of behavior" egregious enough that athletic director Ross Bjork confirmed the school would have terminated Freeze under the moral turpitude clause of his contract had he not resigned. Which he did. No buyout. No explanation. Just...poof. Suddenly the guy who two years ago was wedging his mug in front of every camera he could find was out the door with only a vague reference to personal misconduct. An illicit relationship with a staffer? Attempts to influence witnesses in the ongoing NCAA probe? Playing candy crush in staff meetings? Nobody knows. But it is worth remembering that Freeze already had a star player’s gas mask bong photos and screen captures of a coach agreeing to give that player rent money leak and Ole Miss stood by him like Tammy Wynette. So whatever it is, it has to be impressive. And you have to admit that there’s a touch of poetic justice to Nutt using the same procedural device that dogged his tenure at Arkansas to bring down his successor. You just gotta respect that move of move straight out of a Mario Puzo novel. Houston Nutt had a lot of trouble during his time in Oxford beating his SEC West coevals. But he beat Hugh Freeze so badly that the guy may not recover. To be clear, Hugh Freeze has enemies. SEC coaches have groused quietly for some time about the divide between his pious public persona and his cutthroat recruiting tactics. As the evidence mounted that there was fire behind all the smoke coming from Oxford, Freeze and Ole Miss responded by pointing the finger at Nutt. The Right Reverend’s suit against Ole Miss and Freeze may have just gotten that much more interesting, not unlike the lives of some other people. Hugh Freeze has a wife and three teenage daughters. I feel sorry for them, because whatever personal peccadillos Freeze may have succumbed to, they are the ones who’ll have to put up with the whispers and giggles. The jokes. The move to somewhere other than Oxford to try to escape the scandal that is likely coming. But I don’t feel a lick of sympathy for Hugh Freeze. That preening jackleg has made his bed and now gets to lie in it. I may feel even less sympathy for Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork, who oversaw the mud flung in Nutt’s direction and now is shocked, just shocked, that Hugh Freeze may not have been 100% on the up and up. Bjork and the Ole Miss administration have spent tens of thousands of dollars defending the guy they just fired. I find that hilarious. If Bjork was surprised at what he had to do today he’s a worse AD than Houston Nutt was a coach. He now gets to go before the NCAA committee on infractions and explain that the coach he just fired for personal failings and unforgivable deceit was somehow above board and honest in his professional dealings. Good luck with that, Ross. I do feel mild sympathy for Ole Miss fans. They’re the ones whose football team will start fall practice in two weeks with an interim coach. Though the ones who spent the past couple of years encouraging members of this site’s staff to fornicate with various animals, family members, and inanimate objects (electrical outlets and wood chippers, [...]



British Open Day 2: A bit Knackered, but Smashing results.

2017-07-20T22:00:02-04:00

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The weather gods unleashed their fury a day early at the Open Championship, as Wednesday evening and overnight had rain and thunderstorms. Thursday dawned much calmer and only got better through the day. The professional golfers in the field took note and took advantage. You can’t win the tournament the first day, but you can lose the tournament the first day with a bad round.

Justin Spieth (Texas) went out early and posted a 5 under par 65. Current US Open champ Brooks Koepka (FSU) was right on his heels and also carded 65. Matt Kuchar (GT) shot 5 under the first nine and even par the second nine to tie them at 5 under par. Several others made runs but fell just short.

A total of 39 players recorded a score under par Thursday, and another 19 shot even par. Our 4 Bulldogs were thankfully included in these groups.

Russell Henley shot even par very early. He’s tied for 40th after a solid round but finishing with 2 bogeys on his final 3 holes. He tees off Friday at 6:48 am ET (1:48 am local).

Brian Harman had a similar round as Henley: a couple birdies early but a couple mistakes down the stretch. Tied with Henley and 17 others at even par, he tees off Friday at 7:30 am ET (2:30 am local).

Kevin Kisner had a double bogey and three other bogeys. Normally that’s not good. But he offset it with 5 birdies for an even par round and tied with Harman and Henley. He puts peg to ground 8:47 am ET (3:47 am local).

Bubba Watson was the last to finish of our foursome, and he followed Kisner’s suit. 5 birdies, 3 bogeys, but thankfully didn’t double-bogey a hole. So he’s low ‘Dawg at 2 under par and tied for 12th with 13 other golfers. He starts his Friday round at 10:20 am ET (5:20 am local).

So if you’re not working Friday and want quality morning TV, flip it on over to Golf Channel. Or if you’re like me, I bring my iPad and use the Golf Channel app to watch live coverage (ahem “in the background” ahem) while I work. Either way, we’re in good position after Day 1.

And as always...

GO ‘DAWGS!!!




Dawgs add potential return man for 2017

2017-07-20T09:40:02-04:00

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Oh, you thought recruiting for 2017 was done back in February? Or once the grad transfer market sorted itself out this summer? Never heard of Ahkil Crumpton before today? Well, we share your sentiments friend. But guess what, Kirby Smart has gotten a small, speedy WR out of Philadelphia by way of the California JUCO circuit.

Below is the highlight reel for Crumpton while at Los Angeles Valley Community College.

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Committed to Temple out of high school, Crumpton is expected to join the team when they begin fall practice in the very near future. His size, skill set, and style of play will make most of us think he’s a replacement for Isaiah McKenzie. This could be good news in added depth and competition, or interpreted as bad news because it means we haven’t liked what we’ve seen this summer from the guys slated to be here as well as someone not getting in that we otherwise were expecting to open a scholarship for him (Robert Beal and Devante Wyatt are the only ones who have yet to enroll if I’m not mistaken).

Either way, expect Crumpton to provide competition at both kickoff return and punt return for the likes of Mecole Hardman, Eric Stokes, and others, as well as Hardman, Terry Godwin, Tyler Simmons, and others for WR reps in the slot or trying to burn opponents over the top.




Your morning moment of zen: Todd Gurley fired out of a cannon & into Dabo’s face.

2017-07-20T07:03:01-04:00

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I believe it was Sir Isaac Newton, or perhaps Sir Verne Lundquist, who said that a Todd Gurley in motion tends to stay in motion. Exhibit A:

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A few salient points:

  1. No one or no thing as large as Todd Gurley should be able to move as fast as Todd Gurley does on this kickoff return without registering with either the FAA or NASA. It’s a matter of public safety.
  2. If you’re gonna lead block for Todd Gurley, you might as well be in a Ludacris video. Moovvveee. Get out the way! Get out the way!
  3. Despondent Clemson bro is despondent.
  4. Tiny jitterbug kickoff returners are not all they’re cracked up to be. There’s something to be said for a kickoff guy who can bounce defenders like so many lawn darts thrown at an Abrams tank.
  5. Again, Todd Gurley may be Freightliner with dreadlocks and I can’t understand how the federal highway safety commission allows him to run the public roads without a governor. Until later....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!




Jacob Eason among six SEC QBs on preseason O’Brien watchlist

2017-07-19T20:01:02-04:00

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Every year the Davey O’Brien Award is presented to the nation’s top collegiate quarterback. This year, there’s a decent chance the winner will play for an SEC school. The winner could in fact be Georgia Bulldog Jacob Eason, who’s one of six SEC quarterbacks on the recently released thirty-member O’Brien watch list.

Joining the nation’s foremost jet ski passer on the list are Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, Arkansas’s Austin Allen, Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald, Ole Miss’s Shea Patterson, and South Carolina sophomore Jake Bentley. It’s worth noting that Hurts, Eason, Patterson, and Bentley are all sophomores (Fitzgerald is a junior). In other words, there’s a good chance that the SEC’s recent run of mediocre quarterback play may be coming to an end by virtue of sheer experience.

To be fair, each of these SEC quarterbacks is probably a longshot to take home the O’Brien. The favorites are defending Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville and 2017 Heisman contenders Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, USC’s Sam Darnold, and J.T. Barrett of Ohio State. Other high profile quarterbacks on the watch list include Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, and Washington QB Jake Browning. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!




British Open Bulldogs: Tee Times, How to Watch

2017-07-19T16:00:02-04:00

The oldest golf tournament in the world may be contested across the pond, but that won’t stop UGA from putting its stamp on it. Read on for who is playing, when they play, and how to follow. Tournament: The Open Championship, July 20-23 Course: Royal Birkdale, 7,146 yards, par 70. Technically Southport England, on the northwest shore of England, just north of Liverpool, and on the banks of the Irish Sea. Purse: $10,250,000; $1,8450,000 to the winner Defending Champion: Henrik Stenson. In one of the best final pairings in recent memory, Stenson’s Sunday 63 allowed him to overtake Phil Mickelson by a stroke and capture the Swede’s first major. Fun Fact: The purse will be awarded in US Dollars, not British Pounds Sterling. This was recently announced by the Royal & Ancient (governing body of golf in Europe and the British Open), based on the devaluation of the pound thanks to Brexit. Television: Thursday-Friday, 1:30 am -4 pm ET (Golf Channel); Saturday 4:30 am - 7 am ET (Golf Channel), 7 am - 3 pm ET (NBC), 4:30 pm - 6 pm ET (NBC, encore presentation); Sunday 4 am - 7 am ET (Golf Channel), 7 am - 2 pm ET (NBC). Former 'Dawgs in the Field ( Four ): Bubba Watson, Russell Henley, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner. They’ve been playing golf here for hundreds of years, but the course wasn’t formalized until 1886. Of the British Open course rotation, Birkdale is pre-pubescent. It is a true links-style format with long, wispy fescue and wind-hardened gorse bushes just off the fairways. The biggest factor is the nearby Irish Sea, capable of whipping up rain squalls and delivering umbrella-inverting winds. Even with somewhat decent conditions here in 2008, the winning score was 3 over par (Padraig Harrington). The weather forecast for this week is currently.... optimistic. Thursday looks nice with temps in the 60s and wind only in the high teens. Friday is potentially fun with 80% chance of rain and wind around 25 mph. The wind and rain look to decrease slightly after that. Personally I love for the rain to blow sideways, the temps to drop into the 50s or below, and players forced to get out of their comfort zone. I don’t want to see this every week, but I do love to see it once a year. But aye, there’s the rub. Thursday’s weather is supposed to start out damp and windy, but improve through the day. Friday is supposed to have short bursts or squalls. With pretty serious daylight hours up there in those latitudes, and with sandy soil capable of absorbing everything but lightning, they play all day long. So if your tee time allows you to finish before the bad weather sets in, you’re golden and will likely advance. If you draw a tee time that puts you in the thick of the rain and wind, you will suffer and likely have a poor finish. So the tee time draw becomes uber-important but nothing that can be adjusted or accounted for much in advance. Just gotta play the hand you’re dealt. Being British, you can expect slightly different patron fare than you would Stateside. And there is also a bit of British pride exhibited: the haddock for the fish & chips is from sustainable and certified stock. The coffee is “100% fairtrade” - whatever that means. No word on the sausage rolls, but the Glenmorangie House serves up Highland Single Malts and the Champagne Bar is there for the asking. Here’s the weird thing... they serve up ice cream. It appears odd to see visitors under umbrellas, wearing full raingear, freezing their baguettes off, yet licking away at a double scoop. Maybe it’s just me. And enough of that anyway, here’s who to root for: Bubba Watson (Round 1 3:21 pm local, 10:21 pm ET) has played every British Open since 2009, yet with mixed results. His finishes are between T23 and T39, which was last year at Royal Troon. He qualifies for being inside the top 30 of the 2016 FedEx Cup points list, top 50 in the world earlier this year, and being a Masters cham[...]



Your morning zen: Hearst > Herbie

2017-07-19T07:02:00-04:00

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It’s the middle of the week, and here’s hoping you get over the hump by ruthlessly attacking your day over and over and over again like Garrison Hearst attacking the Ohio State defense in the 1993 Citrus Bowl.

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The pride of Lincolnton gashed the Buckeye defense for 163 yards on the ground that day. But in the end the difference in the game was Eric Zeier hitting nine different Bulldog receivers for 242 yards while OSU quarterback Kirk Herbstreit ran into his own tailback, dropping a fumble that was smothered by UGA lineman Travis Jones, setting up the winning score in the Red and Black’s 21-14 victory.

It cemented Georgia’s first ten win season in nearly a decade, and was the high point of the Ray Goff era. And while I can’t prove it, there’s a part of me that will always believe that Kirk Herbstreit’s thinly-veiled distain for Georgia football over the years was a result of this, his final collegiate game, a loss which Ohio State coach John Cooper seemed to pin on Herbie afterward. Totally worth it. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!




10 ‘‘Dawgs poised to pounce: #9, D’Andre Waker

2017-07-18T16:45:02-04:00

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Your Georgia Bulldogs will take to the practice field in less than a month to begin preparations for the 2017 season. Which players are most likely to step up and shape that season? We’ll be addressing that question in this new feature, counting down 10 ‘Dawgs Poised to Pounce. Today’s spotlight player? Junior linebacker D’Andre Walker.

D’Andre Walker is a man with a very simple role. The junior outside linebacker is situated squarely on the second string by virtue of the return of seniors Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter. Bellamy and Carter are about as entrenched as anyone on the UGA defense, and are both angling for the kind of season that can turn a college standout into an NFL millionaire.

D’Andre Walker’s job is to be what those guys were in 2016: a talented former blue chip recruit making the next step. The former Langston Hughes High standout has played in all 26 games of his UGA career, 13 each as a freshman and sophomore. But he’s never started a one. That’s because in both seasons the Red and Black were stacked with guys in front of him. In addition to Carter and Bellamy Walker’s played behind the likes of current New York Jet Jordan Jenkins and Chicago Bear Leonard Floyd. It’s not Walker’s turn yet. But it will be soon. And 2017 will be all about positioning himself to become the guy next year.

Kirby Smart singled Walker out this spring for his intensity in practice, and he was awarded the coveted Coffee County Hustle Award, given to the player who shows the most desire during the spring. If you watched him at all in 2016 you saw it in games as well. The 6’3, 223 pounder is perhaps a little on the small side for a 3-4 outside linebacker. But Walker’s fast-twitch style makes him a dangerous pass rusher.

That style translated over to the stats page as he tallied seven QB pressures, good for third on the roster ahead of a host of players who saw the field more often (he racked up nineteen total tackles). Part of that is that Walker tended to be off the field on obvious rushing downs, because he’s not as good holding the edge as the 240 pound-plus Carter and Bellamy.

In 2016 Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker made a tacit bargain with D’Andre Walker: we’ll get you on the field in the situation that best fits your skill set, as long as you give us balls-to-wall effort when you’re between the chalk lines. For the most part, both parties upheld their end of the deal.

But 2017 is the year when D’Andre Walker will be tasked with showing that he can become an every down player who remains a lethal pass rusher when called upon. If he can do that, it will be D’Andre Walker getting the NFL buzz in 2018. Until later . . .

Go ‘Dawgs!!!