Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fromm Named Freshman Of The Week

UGA Sports Communications

Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the second time in the last four weeks after the win over Missouri, according to a league announcement. 

This is the Dawgs’ fifth SEC weekly honor of the season.  Senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was named the Defensive Player of the Week after the win at #24 Notre Dame; Fromm garnered Freshman of the Week honors in the victory over #17 Mississippi State; senior tailback Nick Chubb was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week at Tennessee; and senior left tackle Isaiah Wynn was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week last week.

Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, extended his record to 6-0 as the Dawg starter and is ranked second in the league in Passing Efficiency at 170.4 through seven games.  Against the Tigers, Fromm had 16 completions for 326 yards (both career highs) on 26 attempts and finished with a pair of passing touchdowns.  He also rushed for 16 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown scamper.

Fromm directed an offense that piled up 696 total yards, which ranks second in UGA history, and scored a season-high 53 points against Missouri.  The Dawgs lead the SEC and rank fifth nationally in Third Down Conversions at 51 percent and are averaging 43 points per game through their first four SEC contests.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Post Game Quotes

UGA Sports Communications

Coach Kirby Smart 

Thoughts on the game: 

“The offense really saved us.They did a tremendous job converting third downs, making plays and answering the bell. We had two deflating plays defensively and the offense had the backs of the defense.” 

On continuing to improve: 

“I was a little disappointed in some of the things we didn’t do well. We just can’t do that to beat really good teams. … We did some poor things tonight that cold get us beat in the future. … We’ve got to continue to improve. Offensively, we still have series where we shoot ourselves in the foot. What if we execute at the highest level? Defensively, what if we keep the players in front of us? How good could we be? We’ll keep showing things to the players and hopefully get better.” 

On this week’s schedule: 

“They have to embrace work if they want to be champions. We’ll find out about this team this week. Some call it an off week, some call it a bye week, we call it a work week. The seniors carry that load. They drive that message home. It’s their team and the young guys need to listen.” 

On Florida in two weeks: 

“It’s a great atmosphere and a great rivalry. It’s a great tradition game.” 

On the open date: 

“It’s been seven weeks in a row in our league along with Notre Dame and Appalachian State. We need some rest and recovery. It’s coming at a great time. We’ve got some healing to do. It’s tough and it wears on your depth. We’ve got to get some guys healthy.” 

Redshirt Sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship 

On making adjustments with his kickoffs... 

“My mind just wasn’t right, wasn’t where it needed to be and wasn’t in the right place at the beginning of the game. I’ve got the best teammates in the country. They got me back into it and got me into a groove. Everyone on that sideline, we’re all our brother’s keepers and we all have each other’s back. When someone’s struggling, you get on ‘em and you get ‘em back on track.” 

On his 4-of-4 performance on field goals, which matched his career best performance vs. Kentucky in 2016... 

“It’s my job to try and make as many touchbacks as I can and try and make as many field goals as they send me out there for. I’m just thinking that if I can do something to contribute to the team effort towards a great victory, that’s what I’m going to do.” 

Junior ILB Roquan Smith 

On defensive halftime adjustments… 

“We had to make some adjustments. [Missouri] was doing a lot of nice protections and then just taking shots and it was fast ball shots. We just have to make those adjustments at halftime and did a little bit better in the second half, but we still have room to improve.” 

On the offensive test that Missouri posed... 

“They definitely have a great offense. They’re averaging like 400, 500 yards a game [469 entering the game]. We knew they had a great offense, but we have a great defense, too. We felt like it was gonna be a stalemate, but they made a few plays on us and we just have to get better.” On the bye week and next test vs. Florida... “There’s no days off. It’s the bye week and we’ll go and enjoy this for 24 hours. Then throughout the bye week we’re gonna do some things, a lot of things, to work on ourselves and we’re gonna focus on Florida. We’re excited for the opportunity.” 

Senior NT John Atkins 

On the leadership and experience among the defense… 

“It’s very different this year. The guys, we’ve been together now for some years now. Me, Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, we’re kinda like... what we said in the locker room earlier before the game is it’s a different vibe. The vibe that we have now, I haven’t felt that on other teams.” 

On freshman quarterback Jake Fromm’s leadership and poise… 

“I expect that with all of my teammates because we practice it. The way we practice is the way you’re gonna play. I feel like with Jake — in the locker room he’s on my row, and he’s always just talking and happy. I’ve never really seen pressure get to him, that’s one thing I can say about him. 

On the importance of the bye week for recovery and preparation... 

“It’s real important. Right now, we’re low on numbers, but a lot of guys will come back on this bye week and right now we can use this bye week to get our bodies right. It’s gonna be a big bye week and it’s gonna be a work week.” 

Missouri head coach Barry Odom 

On the Georgia team as a whole... 

"I want to give credit to Georgia and Kirby Smart. They did a heck of a job, they have a really good team. As complete of a team as I've seen in a long time. I've known [Georgia offensive line coach] Sam Pittman for a long time, and I respect the job that he's done everywhere he's been. I think that offensive line is playing really, really well, at a high level.’’

On how the Georgia defense adjusted in the second half... 

"Well they adjusted a little bit on what they're doing coverage-wise. They loosened up coverage-wise. When you're as good as they are, and they can put five or six in the box and stop the run, and then change the things they're doing coverage-wise, that changes how you play it offensively.’’ 

On the Georgia football program... 

"They're a really good team. That's what I want Mizzou to be, from a game day atmosphere, to a roster, to all the above. And that's my vision on where we're going. It's going to take time, but absolutely, that can be done. That football team is really good in every area, and that's what I'm striving for." 

On the Missouri pass rush... 

"In our man-to-man coverage we weren't very good, and we went to more of a zone concept, and we didn't get enough rush in time to be able to cover up all the zones. And the quarterback played well, and they've got tremendous skill too. I was hoping we could get a little more pressure there on a couple things, and it didn't happen, and then they just had time. When you look at match-up wise, there aren't many, when you look at this true matchup-wise, and you say we've got the advantage there. With that you've got to be creative enough.’’ 

On the Georgia run game... 

"I think the way that they play, there's a little bit of an element of tempo in there, which stresses you. Their offensive line is just, they're not overly huge when you look at some of the lines in the country, but they're physical and they play really hard. They're tough. Their backs, they're not looking to avoid contact. They're looking to, they're looking for contact. I respect that, the way they play the game." 

Linebacker Terez Hall

On defense tonight… 

‘’We couldn’t get it off the field, that was the main thing. That was basically it, you had to stick to the scheme, do your job, you can’t do extra. If you do extra you’re going to get beat on big plays and that’s what happened. You have to jump out of the gap and have a big run. That’s all. The scheme worked because they didn’t have nothing but once you start hopping out of the gap trying to make plays on your own, not getting out the field on third down, that’s what you get right there. There weren’t better than any other team we’ve played before. They’re just like any other team.’’ 

Staying on the scheme in the first quarter… 

‘’We stayed in it then maybe the drilling got to pumping and those guys tried to make all of the plays. You just have to know your assignment and you have to do what the coach put out there for you.’’ 

On playing in Georgia... 

‘’It’s the same old, same old. Like I told you in Florida, i don’t care if we go out and play Rockbridge High School or any other team. Playing in Georgia really doesn’t mean anything. I just came to play football.’’ 

On playing pass defense… 

‘’We just have to get better that’s all. It’s going to come with practice and you have to believe we can get there. We’re going to make something happen. That’s the main thing, we just have to get up the field on third down. I don’t think they were a better team than us, I don’t think so personally.’’ 

Defensive Tackle Terry Becker 

Did the team get worn down as the game went on? 

‘’I wouldn’t say they wore us down but I think they just kept with it and that’s their strong point and they went with it. It went in their favor.’’ 

On improving on third downs… 

‘’I mean we have to see what we have to do tomorrow. Watch film and just go from there.’’ 

On playing pass defense without getting a rush on the QB…

 ‘’It’s pretty tough because we have to have pressure. Talking about the secondary it varies, they have to do the same thing on the back end. They have to hold up and let us get it home and vice versa.’’ 

Quarterback Drew Lock 

On the defense and what they changed…

‘’I think giving some looks at what they did last year, when they went cover two they didn’t sprint off the hash, kind of open their hips up, played tight, and that’s where I messed up on my pick. Saw a safety open his hips so I knew I would be able to play the other side as I peaked it I should have felt him squeeze on it and got outside my one, my receiver on the left, but I think they adjusted giving us some different fronts. Trying to mix things up out there, kind of confuse us up front but I think we handled it well.’’ 

On when there isn’t much of a running game… 

‘’They like to be balanced out every single game but sometimes it’s going to fall into the hands of maybe the passing game and sometimes into the running game. I think you have to find ways to adjust and they did a good job of that tonight. Recognizing different match-up’s and trying to get the ball in the guys hands.’’ 

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Dawgs Enter Bye Week 7-0: 

With tonight’s 53-28 victory over Missouri, fourth-ranked Georgia improves to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. This marks the Dawgs best start since the 2005 season when they began the year 7-0. Georgia notches another win on Homecoming as it’s now 76-18-2 on this day. Georgia is 6-1 in the all-times series with UM. After a bye week, the Dawgs face Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 28 at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

Offensive Explosion:

Georgia put up a season-high 53 points and 696 yards of total offense, and the yards was the second most in school history (record is 712 vs. Fla. Atlantic in 2012). Georgia tallied 31 points and 407 total yards on 45 plays in the opening half.  This already was more yards than the Dawgs registered in their wins over App State, #24 Notre Dame, #17 Mississippi State and Tennessee. The 53 points was the most by the Dawgs since a 55-9 win over Charleston Southern in 2014 and most in an SEC contest since a 63-31 win over Kentucky in 2014.

The Dawgs were was 3-for-3 in the Red Zone in the first half and 6-for-6 in the game, staying a perfect 29-for-29 this season.  Directing the offense was freshman QB Jacob Fromm, who finished 18-for-26 for a career-high 326 yards with two touchdowns and a pick and added a 14 yards rushing, including a 4-yard scoring run. Fromm was 4-for-4 on the opening drive, including two passes on third down conversions, for 58 yards.  On the second scoring drive, Fromm went 4-for-6, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore WR Riley Ridley.  All 75 yards on that drive came in the air.  Fromm highlighted the Dawgs’ fourth scoring drive with a 50-yard strike to sophomore TE Charlie Woerner.  This was a career long for Woerner.  Senior Javon Wims led the receiving attack with five catches for 95yards.

The Dawgs also finished with 370 yards rushing. Freshman TB D’Andre Swift took off for a 71-yard rush in the third quarter to set up the Dawgs’ fifth touchdown and he finished with a team-best 94 yards on six carries.  He had the longest run for a Georgia player since Nick Chubb went 83 yards for a touchdown versus #13 Alabama in 2015.  In addition, sophomore WR Mecole Hardman ran a reverse 35 yards for his first rushing touchdown to give Georgia a 7-0 edge at the 10:30 mark in the first period.  Hardman’s run highlighted a season-long 91-yard scoring drive that took 3:04 to open the game for Georgia.   He later hauled in a 59-yard touchdown catch to give the Dawgs a 53-28 advantage. Chubb finished with 70 yards on 16 carries.

Dog ‘D’: 

In the first half Missouri scored 21 points and tallied 200 yards of total offense on 24 plays. In the second half, they were limited to 7 points, getting only 112 yards on 25 plays. Missouri gained just 45 yards on its first 13 plays of the game.  However, the Tigers’ 14th play went 63 yards for their second touchdown.  Then, Mizzou connected on a 64-yard touchdown.  For the game, the Tigers finished with 312 yards and only 59 of that came on the ground.  Mizzou’s 28 points is the most against the Dawgs this year.  Notre Dame’s 19 points in the Irish’s loss was the previous high against the defense in 2017. Junior ILB Roquan Smith was Georgia’s leading tackler with eight stops.

Blankenship Goes For A Career High:

Redshirt sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship drilled all four of his field goals, tying his career high, and connected on five PATs to score a career-high 17 points, which ranks second in school history for a single game.  Blankenship hit field goals of 37, 43, 29 and 27 yards on the day.  He came into the game 6-for-7 on the year.

Sanders Sets INT Return Record: 

Senior S Dominick Sanders snagged the 14th interception of his career in the second quarter and returned it 18 yards.  Sanders now holds the school record for career INT return yardage with 329, passing Jake Scott who had 315 on a school record 16 picks.  Sanders is tied on the NCAA active career list with his 14 picks.

Starters:

Freshman ILB Monty Rice earned the start for the first time in his career.  He is the 13th new Dawg starter this year and the fourth true freshman.

Turnovers: 

Georgia is +1 in Turnover Margin this season and was even on the night.  Opponents have forced nine turnovers and turned them into 31 points while the Dawgs have forced 10 turnovers and registered 34 points. Fromm threw his third interception of the season deep in Dawg territory and Mizzou returned it to the 5-yard line.  The Tigers scored a touchdown two plays later.  Dominick Sanders recorded the second INT of the year (14th of his career) and returned it 18 yards in the second quarter.  Jake Fromm scampered in from 4 yards out to put Georgia up 31-21 on the next drive.

Tonight’s Captains:

Senior DB Aaron Davis, junior WR Terry Godwin and senior N John Atkins served as the Dawg captains.

Homecoming King & Queen:

Senior Maddie Dill who is from Dunwoody, and majoring in Anthropology, International Affairs and Spanish with a certificate in Global Studies was crowned the 2017 Homecoming queen.  Senior Cameron Keen who is from Dublin, and majoring in Political Science and International Affairs was crowned this year’s Homecoming king.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dawgs Offense Explodes In 53-28 Win

UGA Sports Communications

A 696-yard explosion by the Georgia offense lifted the No. 4-ranked and undefeated Dawgs past Missouri in front of a capacity crowd of 92,746 at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. 

The 696 yards is the second-highest single game yardage total by a Georgia team in school history (record is 712 vs. Fla. Atlantic in 2012). The Dawgs’ 7-0 record marks the team’s best start since 2005 as Georgia improves to 6-1 all-time against Missouri. 

Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm finished with a career-high 326 yards through the air with two touchdowns passing and one on the ground. The true freshman hit 18-of-26 passes and led a balanced Georgia attack that included the four running back tandem of D’Andre Swift (94 yards), Sony Michel (86 yards), Nick Chubb (70 yards) and Elijah Holyfield (48 yards). 

“The offense really saved us,” coach Kirby Smart said. “They did a tremendous job converting third downs, making plays and answering the bell. We had two deflating plays defensively and the offense had the backs of the defense.”

Georgia struck first on its opening offensive possession. The Dawgs marched 91 yards on seven plays, capped off by a Mecole Hardman 35-yard end-around that put the home team on the board first. 

After a Missouri punt, the Tiger defense came up with a big play with Georgia backed up in its own territory. Cale Garrett picked off a Fromm pass at the Dawgs’ 26-yard line to set the Tigers up at the 5. Missouri capitalized on a 4-yard pass play to knot the score at 7-7. 

The back-and-forth pace continued on Georgia’s next drive. This time, Riley Ridley reeled in a 19-yard pass while he was falling out of bounds to put the Dawgs back ahead 14-7. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock then connected on a 63-yard bomb with Emanuel Hall down the right sideline to again tie the score. 

Michel had the answer for the Dawgs on the next possession, racing 36-yards down field to give his team a 21-14 advantage early in the second quarter. Hall was not finished for the Tigers, however. The receiver used another 63-yard TD reception to tie it at 21-21. 

Georgia scored the final 13 points of the first half thanks to two Rodrigo Blankenship field goals and a Fromm TD rush. 

With a 34-21 lead, the Dawgs’ scoring continued in the second half. Blankenship connected on two more field goals — one coming after Missouri muffed a punt to set Georgia up deep in Tiger territory. Michel put the Dawgs up 47-21 in the third quarter with a 16-yard TD run. 

Georgia added another late score and the Dawgs held on to stay undefeated. The team now has a bye week and will take on Florida in Jacksonville on October 28th at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Practice Report

UGA Sports Communications

The fourth-ranked Dawgs conducted a two-hour workout in full pads utilizing their Indoor Athletic Facility.

The Dawgs (6-0, 3-0 SEC) face Missouri at home Saturday night after two straight weeks on the road. Georgia holds a 5-1 edge in the series history with the Tigers, and the last two meetings have been thrillers. In 2016, the Dawgs rallied past the Tigers 28-27 in Columbia while the 2015 contest in Athens featured a combined five field goals with Georgia posting a 9-6 victory.

After Wednesday’s workout, selected players met with the media and discussed how the season has gone, the Dawg running game and the team’s preparation for the Tigers.

“It’s good that we’ve won six in a row but our focus is on Missouri,” said senior wide receiver Javon Wims. “It’s about the next game up and a one game at a time mentality. Our offensive line has been doing a good job, and we’ve been able to run the ball so we haven’t had to throw it much. For me, every ball thrown to me is an opportunity to make a play, and it’s good to be trusted.”

“This season has been a blast; we’ve been winning and we want to keep notching W’s,” said sophomore tight end Issac Nauta. “We’re taking it day-by-day and week-by week and just preparing for the next game. We’re not looking back and not going to look far ahead. We just have to keep pushing and getting prepared for Missouri.”

Georgia is averaging 268.3 rushing yards a game to go with 145.7 yards passing a game. For Wims and Nauta, they said they are enjoying blocking for the running backs.

“We haven’t had to pass a lot this season, but this is the SEC, and we know we’ll have to throw it more at some point so we have to practice hard and be ready,” added Nauta. “It’s all about opportunity, and when it comes your way you make it.”

On a related football note, the location for the Saturday visit by SEC Nation to the Georgia campus has been changed from Myers Quad to the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries lawn.  The change is due to the ground conditions at Myers Quad following recent rains associated with the weather system from Hurricane Nate. The new location is on Hull Street near the intersection of Hull and Baxter Streets. The location change will not affect the standard content of the show hosted by Laura Rutledge, Marcus Spears, Tim Tebow, and Paul Finebaum, along with reporter Lauren Sisler. On Friday, Rutledge, Spears and Tebow will be taping at 4:50 p.m. and Finebaum will be on set from 2-7 p.m.  On Saturday, the show will be live from 10:00 a.m. until noon.

Kickoff Saturday for the Georgia-Missouri contest will be at 7:39 p.m. ET and be televised by the SEC Network.