Friday, October 16, 2009

Dawgs Ready For Commodores

FOOTBALL

Saturday's contest is the second of three consecutive road games for the Dawgs. They fell to Tennessee in Knoxville, 45-19, on Oct. 10 to open the road swing. After this week's game against Vanderbilt, the Dawgs will have a bye on Oct. 24 before meeting top-ranked Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 31. The Dawgs will have gone 35 days without playing a game at Sanford Stadium when they return home to face Tennessee Tech on Nov. 7.

"We need momentum," coach Mark Richt said in regards to the importance of the game against Vanderbilt prior to the bye week. "You gain momentum by executing well and by ultimately winning the ball game. It's like I said Sunday to the team – priority one. There's no priority but to focus on the preparation of this football game. The best thing that can happen to us right now is to win this game, but we got to earn it. This game is crucial. It's big."

Richt named this week's team captains. Three of the four captains will be tackles -- Geno Atkins and Kade Weston on defense and Clint Boling on offense. Redshirt freshman Sanders Commings earned the first captain's "C" of his career to represent the special teams.

The last time the Dawgs played in Nashville was in 2007, they defeated the Commodores, 20-17, with a Brandon Coutu field goal as time expired. Last year, UGA won its second-straight game over VU by a score of 24-14 in Athens. Vanderbilt's only win against UGA during the Richt era came in 2006 in Sanford Stadium by a 24-22 margin. In the all-time series between the schools, the Dawgs lead 49-18-2 overall including a 22-7-1 mark in Vanderbilt Stadium.

Junior linebacker Rennie Curran has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, according to an announcement from the award’s committee late Wednesday.

Injury Report:

Starting fullback Shaun Chapas is doubtful due to “burners,” which are injuries to one or more nerves between your neck and shoulder and are common among athletes who play contact sports like football. If Chapas is unable to play, junior Fred Munzenmaier would be in line to make his first career start and senior Justin Fields would be the backup.

Gymnastics

Courtney Kupets received the Sportswoman of the Year Award for individual sport athletes Tuesday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. She was honored at the Womens Sports Foundations 30th Annual Salute to Women In Sports Dinner.

As a senior in 2009, Kupets led the Dawgs to their fifth straight NCAA Championship title, and she won the all-around, bars, beam and floor individual competitions. She became the first gymnast ever to win a national title in all four events and received five First-Team All-America honors, making a total of 15 for her career, the maximum for only competing three years.

Kupets is the all-time NCAA leader with nine individual championships and was named SEC Athlete of the Year, as well as the AAI National, NCAA Southeast Regional and SEC Gymnast of the Year. Kupets became the third Gym Dawg ever to record a 10.0 in all four events, and she had seven 10.0s in 2009, including three at the NCAAs.

She was a National Honor Society member, was chosen as ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American and was a recipient of NCAA and SEC postgraduate scholarships. She was also a member of the Blue Key Honor Society and a recipient of the Richard B. Russell Student Leadership Award. She won UGAs Marilyn Vincent Award as the senior female student-athlete with the highest GPA.

It was a great night and a great honor for Courtney and our program as a whole, head coach Jay Clark said. It was a who's who of female athletes and former female athletes in New York and it was great for her to be able to share the stage with them. It was a tremendous honor for her personally and we are awfully proud of her.

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