Friday, November 30, 2012

Dribble Dawgs Dropped By Bulls 64-53

BASKETBALL

Despite having the game’s top scorer, the Georgia men’s basketball team dropped a 64-53 decision to the South Florida Bulls on Friday night. The game, however, was much closer than the score would reflect. The game, played in front of 5,167 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., was part of the SEC/Big East Challenge. The loss saw the Dawgs season record fall to 2-5.

Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the team and the game with 19 points, he was the only Dawg to score in double digits. Junior forward Marcus Thornton led Georgia in rebounding with 6 boards. Sophomore center John Cannon record a career high eight points and was Georgia’s second highest scorer.

The Dawgs took their first lead of the game mid-way through the first half on a Caldwell-Pope lay-up that put Georgia up 13-11. After the Bulls retook the lead, sophomore forward Tim Dixon gave the Dawgs a 15-13 lead before USF rallied to go into the locker room at half-time leading 27-24.

After hanging with the home team for the early part of the second period, it was Caldwell-Pope again giving the Dawgs the lead on 11:32 with an explosive dunk. The Bulls rallied again, however, but were not able to separate themselves from the Dawgs with junior forward Donte’ Williams hitting a 2-pointer while falling down to tie the contest at 50-points apiece. The game, however, got away from Georgia as the USF took advantage of being in the double bonus with free-throws down the stretch seeing them secure the 64-53 final.

“It felt like what really failed us in the game was our defense. We started the game poorly but then we settled down, ground things out and got the lead. In the gut of the game, when it was decided late in the second half, our defense and our rebounding failed us. We just didn’t get the stops we needed to get,” said coach Mark Fox. “Offensively in the second half we were playing very well until the end when we had to fire up some desperation shots. I thought offensively we had some pretty good numbers.”

The game was the first time Georgia and South Florida have played each other; it was also Georgia’s third straight appearance in the annual SEC/Big East Challenge. The defeat marked Georgia’s third loss in the annual event.

The Dawgs return to action on Tuesday when they travel to face in-state rival Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jarvis Jones Named A Lott IMPACT Trophy Finalist

FOOTBALL

Lott TrophyGeorgia junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has been named one of four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, according to an announcement from the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation on Thursday.

Jones, who was named an AFCA All-American for the second consecutive season this week, joins Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Stanford’s Chase Thomas and Kansas State’s Arthur Brown as the award’s finalists.

The award goes to the defensive player who has had the biggest IMPACT on his team, both on and off the field. The IMPACT acronym is Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

The winner will be announced at the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy banquet on December 9th at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. The event will be televised live by FOX Sports beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The keynote speaker will be former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The IMPACT Foundation will award $25,000 to the general scholarship fund of the winner’s university with each of the runner-up’s school receiving $5,000.

Former Bulldog All-American David Pollack won the inaugural Lott IMPACT Trophy in 2004.

A 6-3, 241-pound outside linebacker from Columbus, Jones has accumulated 71 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss of 107 yards and 10.5 sacks, one interception, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in only 10 games this season. He is the current NCAA active leader in sacks per game (1.0) with 24 in two seasons and is tied for the lead in tackles for loss (1.6) with 39 through this season and last.

Jones has also been named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi, Bednarik and Butkus awards.

He has twice been named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Lott IMPACT, Nagurski and Walter Camp awards in 2012 and the SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season following his performances during wins at Missouri and versus #3 Florida.

Jones has sparked a defense that has given up a combined 19 points (one touchdown, four field goals) during the team’s last three SEC victories. During that span, Jones has tallied 20 tackles, including five sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Jones earned All-America honors last season after leading the SEC and tying for fifth nationally with 13.5 sacks to go along with 70 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss.

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Defense

FOOTBALL

Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On the importance of emotion for the defense…

“If they get their blood high, I think they play better.”

On the emotion of the defensive players…

“They’re all young and excited, and they say what they want to say sometimes. I don’t think it’s going to matter much what everybody says before the game. I think it’s going to matter when we kick it off, so I’m not too worried about that.”

On Damian Swann…

“Damian is a very talented guy, and he’s really the youngster in our defensive backfield right now. As soon as this class leaves, he’s going to be the veteran. He has ball skills of an offensive player. He’s got good length, and he’s got great coverage skills. He can make acrobatic interceptions, and he made a big jump in his physicality from a year ago. He got very serious about getting in the weight room and getting stronger and about playing more physical. He’s been in the nickel position which is a run-support guy to the field side, more so than your field corner. Of course your boundary corner is a support guy, as well. I think Swann has the cover skills to play in the field, and he’s got the physicality to play the nickel or the boundary corner. I think he could play safety, as well. He’s really a pretty good player.”

On the play of special teams this season…

“My goal this year was for us to be solid on our special teams. My goal wasn’t to try to lead the nation in any one category. I wanted to make sure that every time we force them to punt, I want to make sure we have the ball. If someone makes a fair catch, that’s okay with me. At the end of the kickoff, I want to make sure we have the ball in our hand. Let’s have a good, solid return, secure the football, and do well. Of course when you punt, you have to make sure you protect. My goal is just to kick that sucker high and have the least amount of big plays in that situation. We did have the one returned for a touchdown, but other than that, we’ve given up very few return yards. Now is our net punt quite as high as Alabama’s, which is almost 44 yards? No, but even if it’s 38 or 39 yards and it’s got good hang time and we fair catch it, we can then move the ball for four downs and get a good play out of it. My goal was for a really solid kicking unit this year, and I think we are solid. In the kickoff return, Malcolm Mitchell returns it back to the 50. It’s not like we’re not trying to get a touchdown. We had Todd Gurley return one for a touchdown, and we blocked a couple punts this year. We’ve done some good things in there, but the big thing is to make sure that they don’t become a huge momentum play for the other team.”

Linebacker Amarlo Herrera

On being labeled as one of the best defenses in the nation…

“I feel the same as some of my teammates that have been saying we’re the best, I back those guys up. I haven’t seen anybody play as well as we have in the second half of the season. You can probably say that we were lacking some confidence early in the year because we weren’t playing as well as we should have been, but now we have the swagger back and we’re feeling like the best again.”

On playing with emotion…

“We just have to play with more confidence and keep up the same level of confidence that we’ve been playing with these past couple of weeks. It all goes back to what Shawn [Williams] said earlier this season, and that whole week of practice leading up to the Florida game. It has a lot to do with the way we prepared for that week and how we’ve been preparing from that day on and really playing up to par.”

On playing in the SEC Championship…

“It wouldn’t matter where we’re playing at. It doesn’t matter how big the stage or where we’re playing, we’re just going to go out there and keep playing the way we have been all year, especially the second half. We’re going to play just like that. It’s a big difference having gone through the same experience last year, because now we know what to expect. We know to try and control our emotions and not let them overwhelm us because I think that’s what happened last year. Our emotions ran out and we stopped playing with confidence and with the crowd emotion. I think we’re feeling more confident going into this game because we’ve had a great year and we’ve been playing together for a long time now”

Linebacker Christian Robinson

On turning around the defensive play in the second half of the season…

“It’s kind of a tale of two seasons. The first half of the season we didn’t really live up to anybody’s expectations on defense, and now we’re winning the way people thought we should have been winning all along. Now we have a chance to really do something special, something that hasn’t been done here in a long, long time so now we have to see it all the way out.”

On getting to play in the SEC Championship game…

“When you live around the metro Atlanta area, getting a chance to play in the Georgia Dome is something that you dream about. Especially on this stage, and with what this game means, everybody from around that area knows the significance of this game. This is huge. This is everything that we’ve dreamed of our whole lives and now we’ll have the world watching us. “

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Practice Report

FOOTBALL

Third-ranked Georgia held a two-hour practice in jerseys, shorts and helmets Wednesday as the team finalizes preparations for its game against second-ranked Alabama for the SEC Championship.

Coach Mark Richt said preparations have been going well this week as Georgia (11-1) is focused on the Crimson Tide (11-1).

“I thought the energy level was good, and the scouts did a good job and we competed well during 11-on-11 at the end,” said Richt.

When asked if the excitement of the upcoming championship game was evident in the players as Saturday approaches, Richt said he saw it a bit today and reminded the team to stay in the moment and focus on the process, and their job.

“I’ve been practicing what I’ve been telling the players, and for me it’s to think about my job and certain situations that may come up during the game,” Richt added. “It was called the ‘iffy’ meeting that Coach Bobby Bowden had. If this comes up…if this happens… you have to have a plan now of what you’re going to do and not try to deal with it for the first time during a game with the emotion. It’s all about preparation.”

Richt said during Friday’s practice at the Georgia Dome, the freshmen specialists might get there early to get some work. He felt like both freshmen punter Collin Barber and freshmen placekicker Marshall Morgan have improved as the season has progressed. This year, Barber is averaging 41.2 yards a punt while Morgan has tallied 78 points on eight field goals and a school record 54 extra points.

On Wednesday, cornerback Damian Swann (cervical strain) and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (shoulder contusion) were in green jerseys and limited to no contact in practice. However, Richt said they will be fine and ready to go Saturday.

Alabama features the nation’s top scoring defense (9.25 ppg) and one of the most balanced offenses (2,570 yards rushing and 2,626 yards passing). Alabama is making its eighth appearance in the SEC Championship game while the Dawgs are making their fifth. Georgia is 2-2 while the Crimson Tide is 3-4. Overall, Alabama holds a 36-25-4 edge in the series history with Georgia. However, the Dawgs are 3-1 against the Crimson Tide under Richt.

Murray Named A Manning Award Finalist

FOOTBALL

Georgia junior quarterback Aaron Murray has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Manning Award, according to an announcement from the award and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Murray, Alabama junior AJ McCarron and Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel are three players on the list from the Southeastern Conference. During the regular season, Murray was one of the award’s Stars of the Week twice.

The winner will be announced after the bowls on Wednesday, January 9th, and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.

Murray, a 6-1, 210-pound native of Tampa, Florida, has developed into one of the nation’s elite at his position. He has been named a finalist for Wuerffel Trophy and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. He became the first SEC quarterback in history to have three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons after completing 14-of-17 for 215 yards and two touchdowns versus Georgia Tech last week.

Currently, Murray leads the SEC in passing efficiency at 177.2. In his 27 wins as a starter, he has 69 TDs to just 15 INTs. Murray is the SEC’s leading active player in total offensive yards (9,618, which is 10th in SEC history), completions (660), TD responsibility (99, which is fifth in SEC history), TD passes (89, which is tied for second SEC history) and passing yards (9,399).

Diamond Dawgs Ink Eight More To Close Out Early Signing Period

BASEBALL

University of Georgia head baseball coach David Perno announced the signing of eight additional student-athletes during the early signing period for the 2013-14 academic year. Here is a glance at the latest group of signees that completes this year’s early class.

Michael Carpin: Went 5-2 with a 2.02 ERA for the Wando High School Warriors and coach Dirk Thomas as a junior in 2012…He struck out 54 in 45 innings pitched in helping the team to a 20-6 mark and the district playoffs…Son of Tracey and Dennis Carpin.

“Michael is a solid right-handed pitcher with a plus breaking ball, and he’s got very good command with a bright future as a Dawg,” said Perno.

Jarrett Freeland: An All-Region left-handed hitting catcher/infielder/pitcher that batted .371 with four home runs and 23 RBI for the national champion Parkview Panthers and coach Chan Brown…Team went 31-6 en route to region and state titles…Also named a Georgia Dugout Club All-Star and to Team Georgia squad…Hit .417-5-28 as a sophomore as Panthers won state title with a 29-10 record…Played summer baseball with the East Cobb Astros…Son of Tina and Buddy Freeland…“I grew up watching the UGA baseball team, and I had always dreamed of wearing the ‘G’ on my chest,” said Freeland. “I am very humbled and honored for the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of playing at Foley Field for the Dawgs!”

“Jarrett is a physical, big body, versatile student-athlete,” said Perno. “He is a catcher, can play the infield and has a stiff fastball on the mound so he’s got a lot of possibilities for our program.”

Wesley Jones: Ranked No. 31 in the ESPN High School Top 60 and No. 83 among Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft…A three-year starter at shortstop/pitcher for the Redan Raiders and coach Marvin Pruitt…Batted .566 with 30 RBI as a junior and hit .400-3-27 as a sophomore…Named preseason 1st Team Perfect Game Underclass All-America in 2011 and 2012…Also plays shortstop for the East Cobb Astros summer league team…Son of Lana and Emmett Jones.

“Wesley is one of the best defenders in the Southeast with good action, arm strength, and his bat is coming along,” said Perno. “He is a pro prospect so we’ll see how the draft goes.”

Nick Senzel (Sen-ZELL): An Honor Roll student and All-State selection, batted .407 with seven home runs and team-high 46 RBI as a junior for the Admirals and coach Matt Buckner in 2012…In the 2012 state playoffs, he hit .600 (6-for-10) with seven RBI in helping Farragut post a 35-9 record…Part of state championship team as a sophomore in 2011, batting .341-1-27 to earn All-Region and All-District honors…Played on Diamond Baseball/Simcox Academy 17U summer league team and named to 2012 Perfect Game World Wood Bat All-Tournament team…Son of Jeff Senzel…“I felt like the University of Georgia was the right fit for me,” said Senzel. “It’s going to be a great place to attend school and play baseball.”

“Nick is a blue-collar baseball player who comes from a tremendous program that is used to winning,” said Perno. “He is a versatile infielder, a plus runner and a good student-athlete.”

Zack Sims: A three-sport standout in baseball, football and basketball and preseason All-State selection as a first baseman by the Georgia Dugout Club…A two-time First Team All-Region 8-AA selection and First Team All-State pick by the Georgia Dugout Club as a sophomore…Hit .313 with one home run and 13 RBI as a junior for the North Oconee Titans and coach Dwayne Sapp…Led Titans offensively as a sophomore by hitting .408-7-30 in 25 games…Part of Titan Leadership Club and EPOCS (Excellence Promoted in Oconee Co. Schools) Award for 2010 and 2011…Played summer baseball for Team Elite including second place finish in tournament in Jupiter, Fla. And third in Perfect Game 17U event in East Cobb…Son of Lori and Mitch Sims…“I am excited to be a Georgia Bulldog and look forward to the opportunity to play SEC baseball,” said Sims.

“Zack is a strong, athletic, left-handed hitter who suits our ballpark well,” said Perno.

Blake Shouse (like House): A Dean’s List student and All-Region hitter who batted .349 with nine doubles, three triples and 35 RBI in 57 games and made one appearance on the mound for Middle Georgia College and coach Craig Young…Helped the Warriors go 46-13 and win the conference and runner up in the region…A 2011 Honor graduate of Rutland High School in Macon where he played for coach Wally Pritchard…Tossed school’s first no-hitter as a senior against Veterans…A four-time All-Region selection for the Hurricanes…Son of Tammy and Steve Shouse…“I’m excited and honored to have the opportunity to join the UGA baseball program,” said Shouse.

“Blake is a two-way guy for Middle Georgia, and pitching is in his future but he does swing a good bat too,” said Perno. “He is a potential star on the mound.”

Robert Tyler: Ranked No. 98 among Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft… Participated in the Perfect Game All-America Classic at Petco Park in San Diego as well as the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field…Went 8-0 with a 0.73 ERA and averaged 10.9 strikeouts per game in the regular season for the Crisp County Cougars and coach Bill Pate…Also batted .377 with a team-best 24 RBI…Named Region Player of the Year along with Scholar Athlete of the Year…Son of Andrea and Rob Tyler…Played summer baseball for the Savannah Chain.

“Rob is the most projectable right-hander in the state with a 93-to-95 mile per hour fastball,” said Perno. “He’s a guy who can log many innings in his career at Georgia if he gets through the draft.”

Stephen Wrenn: Ranked No. 36 in ESPN High School Top 60 and No. 53 among Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft…A scholar-athlete and outfielder/pitcher for the Walton Raiders and coach Shane Amos…Batted .404-3-21 with a team-high 25 stolen bases as a junior plus went 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA and team-best 60 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched…Two-time MVP selection, also won Hustle Award and team’s Cy Young Award…Led team in batting as a sophomore at .422-3-23 and posted a 6-3 record, 2.03 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched…Earned 2012 East Cobb Offensive Player of the Year in summer baseball league and won WWBA National Championship for East Cobb Yankees…Son of Lisa and Steve Wrenn…“I can’t wait to join the Georgia baseball family and compete for a College World Series title,” said Wrenn.

Stephen is an impact freshmen who can step in and play the outfield,” said Perno. “He has great tools and is one of the fastest players in his class who will be one to watch in the pro draft.”

Along with the five members announced earlier this month, this year’s early class features a total of 11 high school seniors and two from the junior college ranks. Eleven of the 13 new Dawgs hail from Georgia with one each from South Carolina and Tennessee.

2013 Georgia Baseball Early Signing Class

Name POS. B-T HT. WT. HOMETOWN (Previous School)

Mike Bell INF R-R 5-11 180 Union City, Ga. (Langston Hughes HS)

Michael Carpin RHP L-R 6-2 200 Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (Wando HS)

Clint Frazier OF R-R 6-0 195 Loganville, Ga. (Loganville HS)

Jarrett Freeland C/INF/P L-R 6-6 210 Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview HS)

Connor Jones LHP R-L 6-3 185 Johns Creek, Ga. (Johns Creek HS)

Wesley Jones INF R-R 6-2 185 Lithonia, Ga. (Redan HS)

Ryan Lawlor LHP L-R 6-0 185 Savannah, Ga. (Middle Georgia College)

Nick Senzel INF R-R 6-0 185 Knoxville, Tenn. (Farragut HS)

Blake Shouse P/INF R-R 6-2 185 Macon, Ga. (Middle Georgia College)

Zack Sims 1B L-L 6-3 215 Bogart, Ga. (North Oconee HS)

Robert Tyler RHP L-R 6-4 195 Cordele, Ga. (Crisp County HS)

Skyler Weber C L-R 5-10 175 Gainesville, Ga. (Gainesville HS)

Stephen Wrenn OF R-R 6-2 175 Marietta, Ga. (Walton HS)

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Offense

FOOTBALL

Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On Georgia’s offensive pace…

“We can go very fast, we can go relatively fast, or we can just be at the line of scrimmage a long time. We really have about three different tempos we try to use. So we’re not like the Oregon's of the world where every single play we’re going at breakneck speed, but we can go at a pretty good pace. I think one of the rules that changed was the 40-second clock rather than the old 25-second clock. I think that has sped up the operation of the officials in our league. I think they were very methodical before with the 25-second clock where that ball wasn’t going to get set until about 13 seconds after the play was over. Now to me, they’re more apt to set the ball and let you play if you don’t substitute. If you don’t substitute our officials will let you play about as fast as you want to play.”

On Aaron Murray’s decision not to talk to media this week…

“He really loves to submerge himself into the film study of every game, and this one he just wants to focus on nothing but Alabama. He doesn’t want to have any other distraction, so that’s okay with me.”

On the friendship between Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart…

“They are good friends, and they’re going head-to-head basically. It’s our offense vs. their defense, so there’s a lot of pride there. They want to win. They’re both highly competitive guys. They love football, and they’re great football coaches. They’re super-competitive, they want to win, and they certainly want to win against one of their best friends in life that they’re going to have to talk with and deal with for the rest of the year and the rest of their career. That is an interesting match-up right there.”

On Bobo and Smart coaching together for Georgia in 2005…

“They were just like two peas in a pod. I don’t know if they were trying to relive any of their glory days back in college, but they’re just good ball coaches and good people.”

Split End Rhett McGowan

On the defense’s preparation for another big game…

“You can always learn from something like [the loss to South Carolina]. You want to forget the bad things, but you also want to learn from it and I think we have. That will benefit us going into another big game like this one. To be on a big stage again, like we were at South Carolina – I think maybe we were a bit over-hyped for that game. But it also gave us experience that will help us.”

On the Georgia defense…

“You don’t want to get them mad. They’re physical guys. They love contact and they’re not going to shy away from it. They love the game of football. When their blood gets hot it makes them better.”

On the receivers…

“The injuries we had earlier in the year helped us in that it gave some other guys opportunities to get out on the field. We all got more experience than we had already had, which will help this coming week. We’ve all played in big situations this year and have shown that we can execute. We are all confident in each other.”

Tight End Jay Rome

On the mindset heading into this SEC Championship vs. last year…

“We’re a more confident team. The guys that played last year know they came up short, and after they tasted that victory they didn’t get it. I feel like the taste was left in their mouths all year and we’ve had that in the back of our minds. All year we’ve wanted to get back and finish the drill.”

On the tight ends…

“We’ll have a key role in the passing game and running game. Over the past couple weeks we’ve come on a bit more in the passing game, and we’re taking the opportunity to get better and make plays. We’re ready for what’s thrown our way, and if it is, we’re going to make plays.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference

FOOTBALL

DSC_6838Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

“We have Alabama this week, one of the best teams in the country, obviously. The last five years they’ve won 59 games. That’s the most in the history of the SEC, and the last four years they’ve won 48 games. That’s just one off of the NCAA mark in that period of time. If they beat us they would tie it, and if they win the next game they would break the national record. They’re just at a time where they’re dominating college football really. So we have a lot of respect for them obviously. Coach Nick Saban has done a wonderful job there, no doubt.”

“They’re just a very complete football team, a very solid football team, a team that rarely loses. We know we have our work cut out for us. Our guys are excited about the opportunity to compete with them, and we’re working hard as a staff, getting our plan together. Yesterday was the only practice we had so far, but they came out with good energy and Coach Joe Tereshinski said they got in a good lift, so today will be a big day to put the pads on and do the physical part of the preparation we have to get done.”

On whether he senses a more confident team than last year’s team entering the SEC Championship…

“I think last year after 6-7 the year before and 0-2 to start, we were just fighting for our lives. We had won 10 in a row, and we were able to win the Eastern Division after going down that opening game. It was a cause for celebration. This year we definitely celebrated those things. They are very important to us. Winning the East is a big deal, and beating Georgia Tech is always a big deal to us, so we celebrated those things. I think they’re hungry for some more, and we just want to have a better performance than we had a year ago in Atlanta. I think the celebration wasn’t quite as hard as it was a year ago.”

On Georgia over the years and its similarities to Alabama…

“We really haven’t changed much offensively. We actually have done a lot more up-tempo stuff. I don’t think Alabama is really interested in trying to go that up-tempo. As far as the pro-style type that we’ve had, it’s really what we’ve been doing for a while. What is different is when I hired Todd Grantham. If we go back to that time, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a 3-4 guy or a 4-3 guy. I was just trying to find the best man for the job, and I thought Todd was that guy. As it turned out, it’s very similar to what Alabama does defensively. I think it’s probably more coincidence than anything, but Todd has certainly done a great job. I don’t think the 3-4 scheme is the reason why we are having success as much as we have the right coaches and the right players performing well. I think you could be a 4-3. There are a lot of different ways to line up defensively, and a lot of teams are having a lot of success. I wouldn’t say LSU is a 3-4. When they start out they’re more of a 4-3 look, and they’re pretty good. South Carolina is the same way. It just so happened that Todd was a 3-4 guy and I felt like he was just the best man for the job.”

On coaching hires…

“I didn’t hire Todd Grantham because he worked for Nick Saban 20 years ago. He did work for him and there’s some influence there, but Todd had a lot of experience. Stacy Searels was not directly from Coach Saban because he was with Les Miles at the time. When I hired Coach Searels, I watched the film of LSU’s offensive line and I felt like they were the best line in our league. I felt like they were the best-coached bunch. It wasn’t like I had to get a guy that had that experience. There’s a bunch of good coaches out there.”

On whether he can take anything away from Texas A&M’s game against Alabama…

“I don’t know if it was the tempo they had problems with as much as Johnny Manziel. He creates problems for everybody because he can scramble like he can. If you come at him too hard you create these seams and he takes off. You just can’t account for that. If you decide to contain him in the pocket, then you aren’t rushing quite as hard, so he’s standing there holding the ball a while. I think it changes the mindset of defenses as to how they’re used to playing the game. I think that was probably more problematic. Not to say the tempo wasn’t an issue as well, but if you had to say the one factor I’d say it would be Johnny Manziel.”

On Georgia’s football program in the 1980s and what it means to him today…

“When I first came to Georgia I was a first-year head coach and I was just hoping to survive. I was hoping to do a good job, and I felt like the Lord was leading me to this opportunity, and my wife and I took it in faith. We just started trying to do things that in a way we hoped would be able to sustain itself over time. I felt like Georgia had all the resources, the fan base, the passion, the administration, facilities, the talent base in the state of Georgia. I thought it had all the ingredients to be one of the best - if not the best -teams in the country. I really didn’t know a lot of history. I knew about the Herschel Walker era, the Vince Dooley era and the national championship of 1980. I was surprised to hear it had been 20 years since Georgia had won the Southeastern Conference, but I found that out after I got here. My goal really has been to try to on a daily basis do the best job I can do. We have a lot of people excited about the possibilities of what’s happening right now, but that’s something that I can’t really focus on right now. It’s fun for the fans, but right now I have to keep my vision on the things I can control.”

On comparing the current Georgia team to UGA squads of the past…

“I think we’re probably more similar to the 2002 team. I felt like as the season went on that year, we just got better and better. I thought we slowly improved as we went, and we weren’t very apt to shoot ourselves in the foot. We seemed to be the kind of team that we were going to make somebody beat us. I don’t know what’s going to happen Saturday, but that’s kind of the direction we’ve gone.”

On his relationship with Nick Saban and the similarities of what Alabama is doing now compared to when Georgia faced LSU under Saban…

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Saban. I think there is a mutual respect among all the coaches in the league. We know everybody has a tough job, and we know it’s hard to win in this league. He’s won more than anybody really the last few years. You have to have a lot of respect for that. I don’t know if any of us have a lot of time to get to know each other on a personal level, but I think we all respect each other very much.

“I guess we’ve played five times in the past – three at LSU and two at Alabama. I think they’ve changed a little bit. Back in the LSU days when we were playing them, I think defensively they were more apt to blitz and pressure people, play press coverage and maybe not as much help on the back end. Now they tend to line up a little more often in more of a two shell defensive look, and they’ll play coverage a little more. They put the pressure on by having four beasts up front that they don’t really need to blitz with. I think they are a little bit more apt to play coverage than they did in the past. I think in the past they’d try to bring one more than you could block and try to knock the quarterback out and tell their DBs to lock up and take care of business. I think they’ve changed just a little bit in that way. Offensively, I think they’ve always been very serious about running the football, protecting the ball and playing great special teams, defense, running the ball physically and wearing people down. I don’t think that’s changed.”

On whether this season has been rewarding…

“When we win I’m thankful. I don’t get too carried away with ‘my this or my that.’ I do enjoy coaching and enjoy competing and winning as much as anybody, but I do enjoy watching the players celebrate victories and the coaching staff do the job they’re doing. Quite frankly our coaches are doing a great job. This staff has just been phenomenal. I’m trying to manage the big picture, and there are certain things that a head coach has to do, but as far as the X’s and O’s, I still get involved to a certain degree offensively. I’ll have some thoughts about defense or special teams, but the reality is this coaching staff is really taking care of business right now, and I’m really pleased to see that for them too.

“My job is to get everybody in position to win. That’s how I see it. My job is to get the coaches and players and everybody involved in this program in position to do their job the best they can do it so we can win. It’s different than the day I got here. I was coaching quarterbacks and offensive coordinator and play-caller, so that role as changed over the years. It’s challenging nonetheless. Of course recruiting is a huge part of this entire picture too, so to manage everything that had to be managed in the right way and get everybody in position to have the freedom to go coach and play and do their thing, that’s a challenge as well.”

On the play-off type aspect of this game…

“It’s different. I guess technically we don’t know for certain, but everybody’s pretty much saying that the winner is going to go play for the national championship, so that certainly adds something to it. I said it the other day that the Southeastern Conference Championship to me stands alone as something that’s really, really special. Just look at our game, the ticket sales, and the people trying to get tickets. I was listening to the radio on the way in and somebody said that the cost of these tickets rival any BCS National Championship game. There’s something about our league that’s special. If you win the Southeastern Conference, you’ve really done something special, and if you win the East, you’ve done something special in my opinion. I think our fans really understand that and embrace that. When I came from Florida State to Georgia, that’s one of the things that I learned. Every victory is precious in this league, and the style points don’t really matter all that much. Just win. Whereas before when I was at Florida State, we were wanting to win, but we wanted to win with a certain flair or a certain style. At Georgia I realized really fast that it doesn’t matter if you have style points or not. Just win. This league is so competitive on all levels, so it’s just fun to be a part of.”

On the importance of the SEC Championship game over the years…

“I don’t think the championship game has changed much since I’ve been here. I think it’s a huge game. It’s a monster game. It’s a sellout, and people are always fighting to get tickets. It’s a game that I think everybody across the country wants to watch. Of course, this game in particular because everybody’s sitting there saying that the winner is going to go play for the national championship. Everybody already knows Notre Dame is in. I think there will be a different focus maybe nationally even more so than what we normally get, but what we normally get is pretty good. I’m sure that maybe there will be a little bit more interest in this one than in some of the ones in the past. The last six or seven years, the winner of this game has gone on to play for the national championship, so it’s not all that new.”

On the future four-team playoff format…

“I’ll say this. I’m not sure of the format. I would say that if there is a four-team playoff and each league can only have one team in it, I don’t think I would like that as much as the format now. But if you’re allowed to have at least two teams in it, I think it would be good.”

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Practice Report

FOOTBALL

The Georgia football team kicked off preparations for Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Alabama with a 60-minute workout on the Woodruff Practice Fields on Monday.

The No. 3 Dawgs and the No. 2 Crimson Tide will square off Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Each school went 11-1 in winning its respective league division title. The game will be televised nationally by CBS.

"It's a blessing for our program that we have that opportunity to be practicing this week," coach Mark Richt said. "There are only two teams in our league practicing to get ready for the championship game, so we look at it as a privilege to be out here. Everyone is in good spirits, and I thought the energy and tempo tonight were good. We need to do all the right things this week to be ready for the opportunity and for the challenge that we have on Saturday."

Before Monday's practice, three Dawgs took part in a teleconference with the media to help promote the SEC Championship Game.

"It's just a wonderful opportunity for us," linebacker Jarvis Jones said. "For the Dawg Nation to get a chance to play in this game means so much to us. We're just looking forward to it. Very happy. Had a great season thus far. Lot of guys sacrificed a lot, many hours, practices, fighting through injuries and all that stuff just to get to the point where we are today. We're just grateful for this opportunity. … We understand the weight that this game holds. It's a big challenge for us. It's a great opportunity, so we really want to make the best of it. We're glad to get to this point. We've worked tremendously hard all season and offseason, and our focus is to go in here and give it everything we've got."

"We're very excited about the opportunity that we have playing such a great Alabama team," receiver Tavarres King said. "The SEC Championship is going to be a high energy game. I think our focus this week is going to be getting after it like we have week in and week out this season, in practice, and hopefully that correlates over to the game on Saturday. … If we win this game, we're SEC champions. That alone is enough motivation for us to get after it this Saturday. Our main focus and objective is winning this game and winning the SEC Championship. Our focus is all on the Crimson Tide right now. … Week in and week out in the SEC, it's a fight, it's a battle. Every Saturday, you've got to put the pads on and go to work because it's a tough league. Anybody can slip up and beat anybody. So I think it's so rewarding to get to the SEC Championship because it's a hard road. It really is."

"I think our coaching staff has done a great job every week just getting us prepared for what we face," linebacker Christian Robinson said. "And we did happen to play two option teams back‑to‑back, but we also went against our offense every day in practice for at least four periods of just getting back to normal football for us. It was intense. We did well. … I know that we'll just take what we've done up to this point and continue to be disciplined and work hard. Our practices haven't slowed up. We've intensified in the past two weeks. I think we're in better shape than we were prior. That would just help us getting ready for this game. We've played two physical teams, cut‑blocking teams, and we have our hands full this week with a big offensive line and some great skill position players. … They have great athletes and great coaching. When those two things are as well done as Alabama does, you're going to have some problems. We're just going to do everything we can this week to get prepared for it. They're the best team we'll face up to this point."

Richt announced the captains will be Jarvis Jones, guard Chris Burnette, safety Bacarri Rambo and nose John Jenkins.

Monday's injury report included nose Mike Thornton, who missed practice with a right ankle sprain sustained against Georgia Tech.

In other news on Monday:

Bacarri Rambo was named the Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week following the Dawgs’ win over Georgia Tech. Rambo shared the award with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Rambo also was named the National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. Rambo matched Jake Scott’s Georgia mark for career interceptions with his 16th, which is tied for seventh all-time in SEC history. Rambo added eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a 49-yard fumble return against Georgia Tech. Rambo also stands third in school history with 293 interception return yards, 22 behind Scott’s 315.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has been chosen as one of the five finalists for the Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top assistant coach. The Dawgs are averaging 38.0 points (with a school-record 456 points) and 463.7 total yards per game. Quarterback Aaron Murray has passed for more than 3,200 yards and 30 touchdowns, while tailback Todd Gurley has rushed for 1,138 yards. Murray is the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for 3,000 yards in three straight seasons.

• The SEC reminds fans to take precaution when purchasing SEC Football Championship tickets on the secondary market. Georgia, Alabama and the SEC advise buyers to be aware of possible counterfeit or stolen tickets. Any individual in possession of a counterfeit or stolen ticket will be denied access into the game. The SEC and the Georgia Dome will be offering a “Ticket Validation Window” at the main box office of the Georgia Dome beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the authenticity of the ticket can be confirmed by a box office representative on site. When purchasing tickets on the secondary market, fans are advised to look for the authentic SEC holographic foil on several locations of the tickets. Two strips of the foil are located at the top of the ticket. The championship game logo in the middle of the ticket also contains the foil. Within the foil, the SEC circle logo and the words “Southeastern Conference” should be visible when rotating the ticket back and forth.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dawgs Turn Attention To Tide

FOOTBALL

After a decisive 42-10 win against in-state rival Georgia Tech, the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs shift focus to the SEC Championship game and the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide.

“We had the big rival game last weekend against Georgia Tech,” said coach Mark Richt. “I think our guys really did a super job of preparing for them. I thought our defense did a really good job. Offensively, we were ready to go. I thought all of our phases of the game really played a good game.”

Alabama also faced its in-state rival, Auburn, this past Saturday and clinched the SEC West with a 49-0 victory.

While the Dawgs have not faced Alabama this year, they have faced a No. 2 ranked team.

“We’ve already played the No. 2 team in the country once this year and had a good day against Florida,” Richt said. “We’ll be well prepared, and they will too.”

There are a lot of similarities between the Georgia and Alabama teams, which Richt pointed out.

“I think there are some similarities,” said Richt. “We both run a pro style attack offensively, run a 3-4 defense and have quarterbacks that have been highly efficient and played in some big games over their careers.”

Richt expanded on the similarities between Aaron Murray and AJ McCarron.

“I think they’re No. 1 and No. 2 in the country in pass efficiency,” continued Richt. “I think they’ve both had great seasons to this point and are tremendous leaders for their programs. No quarterback has success without his teammates, so the game will certainly come down to a lot of things, but the quarterback play is very crucial. Guys can get in the middle of the game and make some great plays, but guys can get in the middle of the game, try to do too much and put their team in a bad situation. It’s going to be a matter of making good decisions and managing the situations as they go. I think everyone’s going to have to be a little patient in this game because there are going to be two really fine defenses playing. Everybody’s not just going to have a ball offensively; they’re going to have to work hard to earn everything they get.”

In facing Alabama’s talented defense, Richt knows that every possession will count.

“Every single drive is going to be crucial,” said Richt. “Every series is going to be very, very important. It’s a game where we feel like we’re going to have to be very patient offensively and that we’re playing a defense that’s the best in the country. We’ve got to be patient and look for opportunities to make plays.”

Richt is also looking for Georgia’s defense, including nose guards John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers, to affect Alabama’s offense.

“When you’re running a 3-4, it is key to have a big man inside that will force you to have to use more than one blocker on him in the run game,” said Richt. “If he stays in there for the passing game, his job is to push the pocket back into the face of the quarterback so that when he steps up into the pocket, he has no where to go. Jenkins has done a very good job of that, and Geathers has done well there as well. They are two big nose guards that can eat up a lot of space and force double teams. I’m pleased with what those guys are doing.”

In the end, Richt is looking at the overall performance of his team as the key to success.

“I think we’ve been playing pretty solid football on both sides of the ball,” said Richt. “I think our special teams have been solid. That’s what you’ve got to do; you’ve got to play a good, solid game. You’ve got to be able to run the ball good enough to make your play action pass worth it. You’ve got to gain enough yards on first and second downs so you’re not sitting there with third-and-long situations all day long. Defensively, you’ve got to be able to get after people, and in the red zone, force field goals instead of allowing touchdowns. I think we’re doing a lot of the things you need to do to be able to compete in a game like this. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens Saturday.”

The SEC Championship game will be played on Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 4:00 p.m. The Dawgs have played in the SEC Championship game four times and have a record of 2-2. Georgia last played for the championship in 2011, when it lost to LSU.

The Dawgs have not faced the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game. The last time the two teams met was in 2008 in Athens when Alabama won 41-30. While Alabama owns a 36-25-4 record in the series, the last ten games have an even 5-5 record.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lady Dawgs Win Lobos’ Tournament

BASKETBALL

Jasmine James scored 17 points, grabbed six steals and dished out five assists to lead No. 8 Georgia to a 72-42 victory over New Mexico in the championship game of the Lobos' Thanksgiving Tournament before 6,509 at The Pit on Saturday evening.

James was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by Jasmine Hassell, who scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. Anne Marie Armstrong, Merritt Hempe and Khaalidah Miller all chipped in eight points, while Hempe secured a game-high nine rebounds.

"The entire team played very, very well, but I'm so happy for Jasmine James," coach Andy Landers said. "This is a kid who's been hurt, beat up, overplayed the past few years. Now, in her senior year she has the luxury of playing well and playing with people who play with her."

Hassell spotted Georgia (7-0) with a quick lead with consecutive buckets before New Mexico (5-1) tied the score at 4-4 41 seconds later. A steal and layup by Shacobia Barbee ignited a 10-0 Lady Dawg run over the next 4:21.

Georgia's defense turned into offense throughout the opening period as seven steals resulted in easy buckets on the other end.

The lead reached 20 points at 34-14 on a Hassell bucket with 3:09 remaining in the period. The Lady Dawgs equaled their largest advantage of the period when a three-point play by Merritt Hempe with three-tenths of a second on the clock made it 40-17. Georgia shot 50 percent from the field in the half and built a 23-point lead despite not hitting a 3-point basket in the period. The Lady Dawgs dished out seven assists to just two turnovers and scored as may points off turnovers (17) as the Lobos did overall.

"We were pretty good defensively," Landers said. "This is a really good offensive team. They shoot the ball 30 or 40 percent from the three. For us to come out and handcuff them was impressive."

Tiaria Griffin hit a three to open the second-half scoring and the Lady Dawgs scored the first nine points of the half to go up 49-17 before Bryce Owens hit a three for the Lobos with 15:00 left

James scored nine points during the opening stanza and in the process climbed from No. 29 to No. 26 among the Lady Dawgs' career scoring leaders. James moved past Pam Irwin-Osbolt, Carla Green and Cynthia Collins.

Georgia will return to action on Wednesday when the Lady Dawgs host Furman (3-1) at 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.

Single-game reserved seat tickets for Lady Dawg home games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Both season and single-game tickets are available via georgiadogs.com, by calling the UGA Ticket Office at 877-542-1621 or at the Butts-Mehre Ticket Office from 8:30-4:30 on weekdays. In addition, tickets go on sale at Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 60 minutes before tip-off of all home games.

Dawgs Trounce Tech 42-10

FOOTBALL

With a 42-10 victory today, No. 3 Georgia (11-1) now has set a school record for points in a season with 456. The old mark was 450 by the 2002 team in 14 games. Also, the 2012 squad becomes the ninth in school history to win at least 11 games in a season. This is Georgia’s first 11-win season since 2007. Up next, Georgia will play in the SEC Championship game, December 1st in Atlanta at 4 p.m. (CBS).

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

“This was a game that everybody was worried about us looking ahead. You don't do that when you're playing Georgia Tech. This game means a lot for us. Our coaches prepared hard, they were diligent, and the players took to the coaching, I thought we played a superb game. I'm so proud of everybody. I could not have asked for a better day than today."

"Our goal was to win every phase of the game, for every unit to win. I think we may have done that. That's more than a coach can ask for really."

"Turnovers are huge when you play this team. The time of possession was 40-20 in their favor and they look to control the clock and move the ball down the field methodically. When they hold it, it reduces your number of possessions. To end a possession for them with a turnover was huge. Then to score, that was huge, too. Offensively, early on, we did whatever we wanted to do. It was a great job by everybody staying focused. They did about as well as you can do."

"When you go to practice and the scouts are in full pads and slashing you on every down, you'd better be focused or you're going to get hurt. Our scouts are awesome. They play for the love of the game and for their love of Georgia. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them. If you're looking to make a hire, hire a walk-on. Those cats are serious about team and hard work."

"Rambo had a big day. It was great to see him tie that record. He's a fantastic player."
"We'll be grinding and working hard and coming up with the best plan possible as quickly as we can. We know it's going to be a battle. We're looking forward to the opportunity to get back to that game, and it's another chance for us to play well. That's the goal."

Defense: Tech was held to a season-low 10 points on 426 yards of total offense. In the first half, Tech was limited to 3 points which was its lowest this year. Tech’s lone touchdown came with 7:25 left in the contest as Georgia was up 42-3. Tech’s first drive was halted at the Dawg 1 by a turnover caused by senior Bacarri Rambo, and it led to a touchdown. Junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree posted a career-high 15 tackles which was a team-best this season while senior inside linebacker Christian Robinson had a career-high 13. Senior nose John Jenkins had a career-high 11 stops.

Linebacker Christian Robinson

On playing his final home game...

"It was emotional. I got down there and saw my family, and it's the first game that everyone has been here, and it was emotional. It was a great day, a great win and a great way to go out.

On moving forward...

"It's an opportunity and we have to take advantage. We have to see next week as just another game. Sure, where we're ranked might mean certain things, but bottom line is that it's just another week. We're still in it and this is everything that we've worked for all year.

Rambo Tied Interception Mark: Senior safety Bacarri Rambo tied a school record with his 16th career interception, matching College Football Hall of Famer Jake Scott. He returned it 27 yards to give him 293 career return yards, which ranks third in school history. Earlier in the game, Rambo had a forced/recovered fumble. Rambo finished with eight tackles.

Murray With 3,021 Passing Yards: In the opening touchdown drive, junior quarterback Aaron Murray eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark for a season becoming the first quarterback in SEC history to have 3,000 passing yards in three straight seasons. For the half, he finished 7-for-9 for 126 yards including a 57-yarder to Malcolm Mitchell and a 11-yard touchdown pass to junior split end Rhett McGowan. In the second half, he connected with tight end Jay Rome for a 24-yard touchdown strike. Murray finished 14-of-17 with 215 yards, and 2 TDs in three quarters as sophomore Parker Welch took over in the fourth quarter.

Highlights By The Offense: Georgia took a 7-0 lead on a 4-play, 44-yard drive in just 1:03. It was set up by a 47-yard kickoff return by sophomore Malcolm Mitchell and capped by a three-yard rush by freshman Todd Gurley. Gurley added his 2nd rushing touchdown of the day and 14th of the year for a 14-0 edge with 6:14 left in the first quarter to close out an 8-play 50-yard drive in 2:42 following a Tech turnover. Freshman Keith Marshall’s 15-yard touchdown scamper capped a 3-play, 85-yard drive in 29 seconds for a 21-3 edge. Gurley finished with 97 yards on 12 carries with 2 touchdowns while Marshall had 66 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns. In the second half, redshirt freshman tight end Jay Rome notched his first career touchdown catch, a career-long 24-yarder to make it 35-3. Marshall added a 17-yard touchdown run for a 42-3 lead.

Tailback Todd Gurley

On moving forward...

"We have to be ready. This is the biggest game of the year so far, so we have to come out this week and be prepared."

On his play today...

"The offensive line was playing great and I was just running behind them. We were just going from the beginning"

On today's game-plan...

"We wanted to start the game with tempo and we did and then kept it up the entire game. We just rode the momentum the whole game."

Tight end Jay Rome

On moving forward...

"We going to go into this week like it's any other. This was the situation that we wanted to be in and now we're here. We're going to game-plan, practice hard and then when its time for the game we'll be ready to go."

On scoring his first career touchdown...

"It was a great feeling. I've been waiting a while for it so I'm happy to have finally gotten it. Coach has been telling me to just keep grinding and eventually a touchdown will come. Let's hope the first one was the hardest."

Wide Receiver Rhett McGowan

On today's game...

"We put our foot on the pedal from the start and didn't let up the entire game. I think that we executed in all three phases of the game--offense, defense
and special teams--and it showed out there today."

Points off Turnovers: Georgia got 14 points off one Tech fumble and one Tech interception. On Tech’s first possession, senior safety Bacarri Rambo caused a fumble and recovered it, returning it 49 yards to the 50. It led to a touchdown. Later in the 2nd quarter, Rambo notched his 3rd interception of the year and 16th for his career. It led to a touchdown. For the year, Georgia is now +8 in turnover margin and scored 65 points off 25 turnovers.

Series With Tech: With a 42-10 win, Georgia now leads the series 63-37-5 including 11-1 under Mark Richt. Georgia retains the Governor’s Cup Trophy. The Dawgs are 48-8 against teams from outside the SEC under Richt.

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson

Opening Statement…

“If you watched the same game that I did, it was a pretty good thumping. We could not slow them down and we could not finish drives offensively. It was almost like de ja vu. The same kid made a play against us two years ago when he took the ball out of our guy’s hands. You have to give him some credit because that play was a killer. We couldn’t match Georgia score for score, which is what we have been doing all season.

On the offensive struggles in the red zone…

“We had some penalties and couldn’t convert a couple of fourth downs. You can’t do things like that against a good football team and they have a pretty good football team. When you do that against a good team, you don’t give yourself a chance. What we couldn’t do is turn the ball over and we did. We knew we had to maximize the possession. I think in the first half we had the ball four or five times, we get down there and miss two field goals. They get the ball out of our hands on the 12-yard line. In the other games we have played this year, we have managed to score touchdowns when we get to the other end of the field and we were still in the game. This one we couldn’t.”

On the turnovers…

“Any time you turn the ball over it isn’t a good thing, but I think it hurt the flow of the game. They got off to a great start, scored, and we got the ball back and went right down the field and looked like we were going to go in for a score and turn it over. Instead of us having a first down inside the 10, they had it at midfield and went back and scored in about four or five plays.”

Georgia Tech Quarterback Tevin Washington

On today's game...

"Today was very frustrating. We've been preaching all week to take care of the football, and we did just the opposite. We just went out there and laid an egg. We didn't play good as a team today. It was just a bad overall effort. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot, but we've still got a shot at an ACC Championship and a BCS bowl game, so we've still got a lot to play for."

Georgia Tech A-Back Robert Godhigh

On Georgia Tech's offensive performance...

"We moved the ball on them pretty much the whole game, but we lacked the focus to finish out our drives. We also didn't take care of the football. Georgia's fast, and they play with a lot of effort. They're always flying to the ball."

For Starters: Junior right guard Chris Burnette returned to the starting lineup after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury. Senior Christian Robinson made his second straight start at one of the inside linebacker spots.

Captains: Seniors Tavarres King (flanker), Sanders Commings (cornerback), Shawn Williams (strong safety) and Ty Frix (long snapper) served as the game captains.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dribble Dawgs Blast Buccaneers

BASKETBALL

The Georgia men’s basketball team used a 21-2 first half run to down the East Tennessee State Buccaneers 54-38 Friday night in Athens.

Sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia with 13 points and seven rebounds. It’s the fifth time this season he’s led the Dawgs in points, and second time this season that he’s led Georgia on the boards.

“I thought that it was a very hard fought game tonight,” said coach Mark Fox. “We have played five games in 12 days, so we have not had a lot of time to practice recently. We now know all what we have to work on, so we have had to work on these things in our games. “

Georgia went to the locker rooms leading 31-13 after shooting nearly 70 percent in the first half. The Dawgs committed just two turnovers in the first half’s final 11 minutes, while the Georgia defense held ETSU to shooting 17 percent in the first frame.

“We have a young team,” said junior forward Donte’ Williams, who 12 points. “Each game, we see progress. Each game, we get better. And we look to continue that.”

ETSU shrunk the lead to as few as 11 in the first half, but Georgia reeled off eight straight points capped off by a three-pointer by Vincent Williams to put the game away.

Lester Wilson paced ETSU offensively with 12 points and John Walton led the Buccaneers with six rebounds.

For the game, Georgia shot 63 percent from the field, it’s best performance of the season. Georgia dominated the paint, outscoring ETSU in the paint 28-to-12.

Georgia won’t play again for seven days when it travels to Tampa, Florida to take on the South Florida Bulls as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge. The game is televised on ESPNU and is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m.

Notes…

  • With the win, Georgia improves to 2-2 all-time against the Buccaneers
  • Georgia didn’t score from the free throw line for the first time since playing Vanderbilt on 1/14/09.
  • Tonight (63.2 percent) marked the best shooting performance since 1/15/11 when Georgia shot 63.5 percent from the field
  • Georgia ended the first-half on a 21-2 run that lasted over 12 minutes to lead 31-13 at halftime.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia with 13 points and seven rebounds. It’s the fifth time this season (19th in career) he’s led the Dawgs in points, and second time this season (6th in career, including ties) that he’s led Georgia on the boards. It’s the second time this season (fifth in career) that he’s led Georgia in both categories in a game.
  • Nemanja Djurisic set a career-high with five assists.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Defense

FOOTBALL

Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On how Georgia will handle the triple option against Georgia Tech…

“I don’t know. We’ll find out how well we handle it against Georgia Tech. They are averaging 47 points over the last three or four games. They are just so explosive that I just don’t how we are going to handle it. We are going to have to find out.”

On Christian Robinson…

“I think he’s had a pretty good season. When Alec Ogletree was out for a while, the roles were different for Amarlo Herrera and Michael Gilliard and Christian Robinson, and when Ogletree came back it changed the dynamic of that linebacker group. I think he’s led all the way through. He’s had a tremendously positive attitude. When he’s getting his opportunities to play, he’s played well. He’s been playing more nickel stuff. Like you said this last game he was a starter and played a lot and played well. He made a bunch of tackles. He’s just very good at identifying things and trying to communicate it with his teammates. He’s always there with a smile on his face and ready to go to work. He’s just a great guy.”

“Is he overachieving? I think the fact that he’s very intelligent and very diligent, it helps him function out there, there is no doubt about it, but he’s a good athlete. He’s a good football player. A lot of people wanted him out of high school just like we did. He’s a good athlete.”

On the play of Branden Smith this season…

“Branden’s been great. He’s one of those seniors that you just love and appreciate. He has been effective for us offensively, defensively and with some special teams stuff. I see tremendous improvement in him in two areas. One is his intensity on a daily basis in practice. I think he’s become much more physical in his defending of the pass and his defending of the run. Sometimes a guy is a field corner because you don’t want him to be at the point of attack a lot in the run game. You don’t want him to be the guy that has to support the run a lot, but he’s become a very physical guy in that way, and he plays the screens much better. He plays the plays they get outside the field and the run game out there. He’s just tenacious as a defender. I’m just seeing big improvements over his career, and he’s become a really fine player.”

Linebacker Amarlo Herrera

On the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech rivalry…

“Being from Atlanta this is a huge rivalry for me. Even though it might be predominantly a Georgia fan base, it’s still split pretty evenly because Tech is right there in Atlanta. With me being from Atlanta, I still here about it when I go home. It’s pretty crazy. I’ve been a Dawg my whole life, so this game means a lot to me.”

On the importance of this game…

“You can never overlook any game on your schedule, especially these guys. Like I said before, they’re going to play their hearts out no matter what.”

On playing against the triple option offense for the second week in a row…

“It helps us a big amount going against this offense for the second week in a row, because you get a feel of how the cut blocks will be coming against you in a live game. It gives you an extra week of practice as well as game time experience on how to defend against those cut blocks.”

Defensive End Garrison Smith

On the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech rivalry…

“I wouldn’t say this game is bigger than the Florida rivalry, but I’d say it’s about the same. I try and treat every game about the same because it’s all a matter of winning or losing. I don’t want to lose against anybody; I hate losing more than I like winning. A loss against Tech might hurt more than some other losses but as long we go out there and do the best we can, then win or loss all that matters is that you gave your all.”

On the BCS implications of Saturday’s game…

“Everyone is focused on the game at hand. We can’t look too far ahead of anybody; we have to take it one game at a time. In order to have the best record, like we want to do, we have to take it one game at a time and focus on the task at hand and just do the best that we can.”

On playing against the triple option offense for the second week in a row…

“I wouldn’t say that we’re getting the hang of defending this offense; I would just say that our guys are trying really hard. You can never get the hang of this offense because it’s so good and so tricky. All you can do is go out and execute your assignments, which is what everybody is doing. Georgia Tech has some great coaches with Paul Johnson who has coached their team really well, and they all execute very well. It’s going to be a challenge trying to stop them."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rumph Is A Dawg

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs received their second commitment of the week Wednesday evening when Holmes Community College wide receiver Jonathon Rumph became the 29th member of the class of 2013.

The 6-5, 215 pound Rumph has great hands and should offer immediate help at the wide receiver position, he will enroll in December.

Rumph joins cornerback Brendan Langley who changed his commitment from South Carolina to Georgia yesterday as the newest family members of the Dawg Nation.

Wednesday Practice Report

FOOTBALL

Third-ranked Georgia held a two-hour practice in full pads Wednesday as the team finalizes preparations for Georgia Tech.

Coach Mark Richt said preparations have been going well this week as Georgia (10-1) is focused on the Yellow Jackets spread option attack.

“The scout team is doing their best, and we know it’s not what it’s going to be Saturday but I appreciate them,” said Richt. “It’s not easy to simulate the spread option in full pads for two weeks in a row with the exception of one day when we weren’t in full pads.”

The Yellow Jackets (6-5) feature the nation’s third-leading rushing attack at 324.9 yards/game. They have won three straight, four of their last five games and will be the Coastal Division representative in the ACC Championship game against Florida State on December 1st. Georgia leads the all-time series with Tech 62-37-5 including winning 10 of the 11 meetings under Richt.

Georgia will likely have junior starting offensive guard Chris Burnette back for the Tech game. He has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury, however Richt indicated that Burnette has been practicing this week. Also, freshman tailback Keith Marshall (shoulder contusion) practiced in a green non-contact jersey Wednesday, and Richt said he’ll be fine and would play Saturday.

The Dawgs will have a morning practice session the next two days to prepare for the early kickoff. Saturday’s game will begin at 12:01 p.m., and the contest will be televised by ESPN.

“It’s part of what we did today and again Thursday and Friday to get the guys used to waking up early, get them practicing because this will be earliest game of the year for us,” said Richt. “We never practice on Friday except after Thanksgiving. We want the players and coaches to enjoy Thanksgiving, and then get everybody locked in, moving around for about a 50-minute practice Friday to get their minds right.”

Richt closed out the media session by wishing everyone a “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Seniors To Be Recognized Saturday

FOOTBALL

Twenty-one University of Georgia senior football players will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to the game against Georgia Tech on Saturday. Kickoff for the Dawgs' regular season finale is set for 12:01 p.m. with the contest to be televised nationally on ESPN.

The 21 seniors to be recognized are: Taylor Bradberry, Winder; Marlon Brown, Memphis, Tennessee; Luis Capella, Augusta; Sanders Commings, Augusta; Scott Eichler, Oakwood; Reuben Faloughi, Martinez; Ty Frix, Calhoun; Michael Gilliard, Valdosta; John Jenkins, Meriden, Connecticut; Abry Jones, Warner Robins; Tavarres King, Mount Airy; Jamie Lindley, Savannah; Ricky Lowe, Duluth; Bacarri Rambo, Donalsonville; Ben Reynolds, Bainbridge; Christian Robinson, Norcross; Dustin Royston, Royston; Richard Samuel, Cartersville; Branden Smith, Atlanta; Cornelius Washington, Hephzibah; Shawn Williams, Damascus.

Governor Will Present Cup To Winner

FOOTBALL

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal will join Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta by honoring the winner of the Georgia–Georgia Tech football game with the Governor’s Cup during a postgame presentation on Saturday, November 24th.

Since 1933, Children’s has awarded the Governor’s Cup to either the Yellow Jackets or Dawgs. The tradition started when Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children was on the verge of shutting down. Georgia Tech and Georgia decided to play a freshman football game on Thanksgiving to benefit the hospital. It became an annual event, and for many years the proceeds from that game were enough keep Scottish Rite in business. To show its appreciation, Scottish Rite presented the Governor’s Cup to the winner of the game – then called the “Scottish Rite Football Classic.”

In 1993, the freshman game dissolved due to NCAA-mandated scholarship limitations and the Governor’s Cup was awarded to the winner of the varsity game in 1994.

For many years the governor of Georgia would declare Thanksgiving Day as “Scottish Rite Football Classic Day,” and he would be on hand to present the Governor’s Cup to the winner. Gov. Deal’s presence at the game marks the first time in nearly 20 years that the governor has been there to give the trophy.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not‐for‐profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 30 pediatric specialties and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact in the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit www.choa.org for more information.

Postgame Presentation Plan

imageIf Georgia Wins:   Governor Deal and representatives from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will join the Georgia players and coaches midfield immediately following the game to present the Governor’s Cup.

 

imageIf Georgia Tech wins:  The presentation will take place in the visitor’s locker room. Governor Deal and representatives from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will present the Governor’s Cup to the Georgia Tech players and coaches.

**The Governor’s Cup will be located on the Georgia sideline near midfield before and during the game for additional photography.

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Offense

FOOTBALL

Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On offensive line coach Will Friend’s impact this season…

“Coach Friend has really been a blessing. He came in and first of all works very well with Coach Bobo and the rest of the offensive staff. He understands team when it comes to the staff and the players. He’s just a very good technician, and he knows what he’s talking about. He’s a good communicator. He’s good at figuring out these guys and what works with them and what doesn’t work with them, as far as motivation. Again, what we looked like in the spring compared to what we look like now, it’s night and day. He’s done a great job. It helps them – the veteran quarterback and some backs and the receivers that can make plays. All of that helps, but if you can’t give the quarterback time and the backs a little room to run, it’s not going to be a good year.”

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On the Georgia Tech game...

"I don't know how you could overlook Georgia Tech. It's a heated rivalry, and there will be trash talking on the field. It's fun. It means so much to everyone on both sides, you can't look past it. I'm excited - I woke up Sunday morning ready to go for this week."

On the offense...

"I feel great about it. Our receivers have stepped up after two major losses [to Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown]. We've had guys continue to step in and fill that void. Chris Conley has been awesome, the tight ends have been awesome, Justin Scott-Wesley had his first touchdown last week. We've got guys stepping up and making plays. It's a credit to how hard everyone has worked to get prepared to play."

On being prepared for Georgia Tech...

"I like the game plan we have going in. Coach Mike Bobo has it ready for us already, which is pretty fast. It gives us time to watch film, also having no school this week with Thanksgiving, so we can dissect their defense and figure out what will work and what I feel comfortable with. I feel good. I'll be ready to go."

Tight End Arthur Lynch

On Georgia Tech...

"No matter what the records are, or what's happening, nothing changes the fact that if we lose them it's a living hell for the next 365 days. It's what fuels me and gets me motivated. If you're not motivated for this game, you probably shouldn't have come to Georgia. You always have to beat Tech."

On not looking ahead...

"Eight weeks ago before our big SEC stretch, Coach Kirk Olivadotti came to us and said that if we want to do these things, win the SEC East, win the conference, everything else, we need to buckle down and take it one game at a time. After South Carolina, especially, we had to take a step back and realize that we can't control our future. This is a one-game season, and we're two days into it. We haven't looked ahead right now. We haven't all season."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Landers Cements Place in History

BASKETBALL

Stegeman Coliseum witnessed history on Tuesday night, as Georgia's Andy Landers became only the eighth head coach in basketball history – men's or women's – to record 800 wins at one Division I institution.

Landers, now in his 34th season as Lady Dawgs head coach, joined a list including women's head coaches Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma and men's coaches such as Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith. Landers, who is still the only full-time women’s basketball coach the University of Georgia has ever had, focused on the sacrifices his family has made through the years for him to reach this milestone.

“I’ve been very blessed the last 34 years, and I want to thank my wife, Pam; my son, Drew; and my daughter, Andrea, for sacrificing and allowing me to do something that I’ve really enjoyed,” Landers said. “Tomorrow we take off for New Mexico and it will be the 33rd out of 34 years that I’ll be away from the family on Thanksgiving. They’ve just been terrific, especially Pam and her support.”

Landers, whose career win mark now stands at 882 after winning 82 games at Roane State prior to coming to Georgia, has been keen to deflect attention away from the achievement in the days leading up to the game. Even after his players wrote 799 on a white board in the team's locker room after defeating Belmont this past Sunday, Landers remained focused on the task in hand. However, after defeating Savannah State 94-57, Landers took a moment to credit his current and past players and assistant coaches for the role they have played in his success.

“I want to thank this group behind me who I hope you’re enjoying because, as coaches, we’re really enjoying working with them. This isn’t something that I’ve done; it’s something that we’ve all done. I’ve been blessed with terrific assistant coaches through the years,” Landers said. “It is not about me. It’s something we can share with everyone who’s touched our program the past 34 years. We’re in a place where the administration thinks women’s basketball is very important, and we’re very thankful for that.”

Never one for clich├ęs, Landers said that, regardless of anything, winning is important. He still has been proud of the way his program has gone about each of the 800 wins.

“Someone once said that it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. It matters whether you win or lose, and it matters in life whether we win. We’ve been fortunate to do that, but it also matters how you play the game,” Landers said. “I think what I appreciate and what I’m proudest of is not the wins, but how we’ve played the game. We have done it the right way and done it with classy kids. Our kids have graduated, and it’s just been a wonderful experience that I hope you appreciate that because I can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated you through the years. Thank you very much.”

An indication of the immense achievement Landers cemented Tuesday night is that combined the other 13 SEC coaches own 954 wins at their respective institutions. Next on the list of milestones for Landers to achieve is career victory 900, a mark he is now only 18 wins shy of reaching.

Lady Dawgs Capture Lander’s 800th Win

BASKETBALL

The No. 8 Georgia Lady Dawgs recorded their highest score in five years in beating Savannah State, 94-57, and celebrating head coach Andy Landers' 800th win at UGA on Tuesday night.

“We had a lot of people play well, and some had more opportunity than others to play better and they cashed in on it," said Landers. "That’s kind of what it boils down to. I say it all the time, but basketball is such a game of opportunity. You get a chance to make a good pass or get an assist, you do it. You get a chance to shoot it, you shoot it. If you don’t get those chances but you get a chance to take a charge, you take the charge. The first thing you do is go to the scoring column. That’s what everyone does to see how someone played and how many points they scored, but we had a lot of people play well in a lot of ways tonight.”

The last time the Lady Dawgs scored over 94 points was Dec. 17, 2007, when they defeated Mercer 102-45.

Georgia (5-0) was highlighted by three double-digit scorers, with Jasmine James putting up a season-high 18 points, Jasmine Hassell recording 14 and Tiaria Griffin also having a season-high performance of 15 points. Hassell led the Lady Dawgs on the boards, for the third time this season, with seven rebounds.

With 11:36 left in the game, Hassell sank a pair of free throws to become Lady Dawg Basketball's 33rd 1,000-point scorer.

Additional season highs notched by Georgia included Tamika Willis' nine points, Shacobia Barbee's six points and Anne Marie Armstrong's four steals.

Savannah State (1-2) was led by Andrietta Thomas, who scored 22 points.

Georgia jumped to an early lead with a 19-4 run to open the game and never looked back. With a little under 14 minutes on the clock, Savannah State closed the gap to 23-13 with a 9-4 run of its own that lasted three minutes.

The Lady Dawgs refused to give the Lady Tigers a chance to come any closer and went on another run, this time outscoring Savannah State 17-2 and increasing the margin to 40-15. In the final four minutes of the period, the teams looked fairly even as Savannah State matched Georgia basket-for-basket. The Lady Dawgs left the court with a 49-26 lead at halftime.

In the first half, Georgia shot a blistering 87.5 percent from the charity stripe as well as recorded a 50 percent effort from the field.

Savannah State played more aggressively in the second half and did not allow Georgia to surge ahead as it did in the first period.

The Lady Dawgs maintained a steady lead of about 27 points for the first eight minutes of the game, until Hassell's 999th and 1,000th points sparked a quick two-minute, 8-0 run that put Georgia up 71-37.

Georgia's largest lead of the game of 38 points occurred three times, the first of which was with 5:15 left in the game and wrapped up a 6-0 push by the Lady Dawgs and brought the score to 81-43. The Lady Tigers executed a 13-6 surge of their own that ran down the clock to 1:39 and decreased Georgia's lead to 87-56.

The Lady Dawgs struck quickly with a 7-0 push that once again brought their lead to 38. Savannah State fought until the final buzzer and hit a free throw with 16 ticks left on the clock to bring the final score to 94-57.

Georgia continued its tremendous shooting from the floor and ended the game with a 50.7 percent showing. Savannah State's 26 rebounds mark the fewest allowed by the Lady Dawg's the season.

The Lady Dawgs will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday and will play in the University of New Mexico's Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Georgia will face Saint Bonaventure at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday, with New Mexico taking on North Texas in the other first-round matchup.

Notes

• Georgia moves to 6-0 all-time against Savannah State, including a 3-0 record in Athens.

• With tonight’s win, Andy Landers became just the eighth basketball coach in history to have 800 wins at one Division I school. At the end of the game, the other 13 SEC women’s basketball head coaches owned a combined 953 victories at their respective schools. He is only 18 wins shy of his 900th career win.

• Eleven different players played at least 11 minutes in tonight’s game.

Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits

Jasmine James scored 18 points, the 53rd double digit game of her career, and 3rd of the season.

• Jasmine Hassell scored 14 points, the 47th double digit game of her career, and 4th of the season.

Tiara Griffin scored 15 points, the first double-digit game of her career.

Coach Andy Landers

On Savannah State…

“They’re very athletic. They shoot it very well, especially in their mid-range game, and they play well off the bounce. Once again, I thought we defended well. We made a decision yesterday that we were going to play some 2-3 zone because we haven’t done that. There’s going to be times where we’ll need to play some zone, and we don’t want it to be on the road or when we’re behind and never have played it before. I was pleased with that, and I thought we did a nice job in the zone. We kept them pushed out for the most part, and we didn’t give up too many open looks.”

Savannah State Head Coach Cedric Baker

On tonight’s game:

“Coming into the game I knew it would be a special game. All of the highlights, coach going after his 800th win, Jasmine Hassell was trying to get 1,000 points so of course we were very elated to be a part of all of that. Of course, we definitely wanted to come in and meet expectations and give a good basketball game and try to come out with a win. Rebounding has been an Achilles heel for us this year and tonight they had great size inside and they pounded on the boards. I think if we had rebounded better and controlled tempo and not given up so many second chance shots and turnovers in the back court it probably would have been a closer game and margin. You have to give Georgia credit. They definitely pressed on the defensive end and they utilized their size on the boards.”

On what to take away:

“This is a great experience for us. Coming in Georgia was ranked 8th in the country. They have a great basketball tradition. My kids, I told them they definitely want to go into arenas and match the intensity. We executed well. I thought in the man to man offense we handled that pressure pretty good. Zone wise I thought we executed better than we had in the past. Even though we got out rebounded I thought we had good position. Now we want to close out on those possessions and not give up so many second chance points. It was a great experience for my kids and I think they will take away from this keeping their composure and being poised.”

Dawgs Fall to #11 UCLA 60-56

BASKETBALL

Freshman Shabazz Muhammad scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as 11th-ranked UCLA overcame a double-digit deficit to outlast Georgia 60-56 in the Progressive Legends Classic here Tuesday night.

Georgia, for the second consecutive night, led a nationally-ranked team throughout the first half, and also for much of the second period. The Dawgs (1-4) were led in scoring by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had 16 points. Seven other Georgia players scored, including three with eight points: Donte' Williams, Nemanja Djurisic and reserve John Cannon.

"It was a tough, hard-fought game again, but for the second night in a row, in the gut of the game, the other team made the big plays and we didn't," coach Mark Fox said. "UCLA's zone defense was effective; give them credit for that. We just didn't execute well against it, particularly in the second half. We also were outscored by a wide margin at the free throw line. And in such a low-scoring game, that was the difference."

Georgia took quick command of this game, bolting to an early lead on buckets by Djurisic and Williams. A pair of foul shots by Williams with 7:40 left got the Dawgs their first double-figure lead at 22-12. Their largest margin of the half came on a turnaround jumper by Cannon that boosted them in front 30-19 at the 3:31 mark.

UCLA (4-1), however, wasted little time gaining an even foothold in the second period. Muhammed scored on the Bruins' first two possessions, and a 3-pointer by Normal Powell with 16:43 left put UCLA ahead for the first time at 35-33.

The Bruins built their lead to five before Georgia mounted a rally to reclaim command. A jumper by reserve guard Charles Mann put the Dawgs back in front at 44-42 with 10:04 left.

UCLA broke a 49-all tie and took the lead for good on a jumper by Travis Wear with 4;38 left. A key moment for Georgia came with the Dawgs trailing 55-52, when Caldwell-Pope lost his balance and possession, a turnover that UCLA converted into foul shots by Powell with 57 seconds left.

Georgia will resume their 2012-13 season this Friday at home against East Tennessee State. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. (EST).