Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Diamond Dawgs Drop Home Opener


Kennesaw State’s Andy Almonte scored the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning on a two-out fielder’s choice to edge Georgia 2-1 Wednesday at Foley Field in the Dawgs home opener.

Kyle Farmer went 1-4 with an RBI and a double, while Hunter Cole, Sean McLaughlin and J.T. Phillips each recorded a hit apiece for the Dawgs. Cole also added a double and a walk on the evening.

With the loss, Georgia drops to 1-3 on season while Kennesaw State improves to 4-0. Justin McCalvin earned the win for the Owls after allowing just one hit, no runs and three strikeouts through two innings of work. Sophomore Jared Walsh took the loss for the Dawgs, giving up one hit and one run over 1.1 innings.

“We need to get some confidence, and we’ll be in good shape because we’re still working the kinks out,” said coach David Perno. “That’s why you play 56 games, and I’m confident it will come together. I give credit to Kennesaw State, they threw strikes and played well. We just have to create some more scoring opportunities. I thought our pitchers did a good job, and I liked how David Gonzalez did in his debut.”

Gonzalez made the start for Georgia, the first of his career, and he opened the game by recording a strikeout against Jacob Bruce. Neither team scored through the first two innings, and it wasn’t until the third inning that the Dawgs finally placed a runner on base. Justin Bryan reached first in the bottom of the third with one out on an error by the third baseman, but the Dawgs were unable to push any runs across.

In the fourth inning, Gonzalez issued a lead-off walk to Bo Way, and the next batter grounded out to third, allowing Way to advance to second. Max Pentecost then singled to center to score Way, giving Kennesaw State a 1-0 lead. Senior Blake Dieterich entered the game to relieve Gonzalez and forced the next two batters to pop out and strike out, respectively.

Cole recorded Georgia’s first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth, ripping a two-out double down the left field line, but a fly out to left ended the inning without any runs scored.

Neither team scored in the fifth inning, but Georgia third baseman Curt Powell had a strong defensive effort in the top half of the inning, diving across his body to stop a hard-hit ball down the line that prevented a base hit. Bryan Benzor entered the game to pitch for the Dawgs in the sixth inning, and he surrendered a leadoff single up the middle to Way before Georgia quickly turned a 6-4-3 double play on the ensuing batter to get out of the jam.

The Dawgs finally pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth inning that began when Phillips recorded a lead-off single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt down the first-base line by Nelson Ward moved Phillips to second with just one out. Two batters later, Farmer dropped the ball in just fair down the left-field line for a two-out double that scored Phillips and tied the game at one run apiece.

The Dawgs retired the Owls in order to start the seventh before threatening to score in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Sean McLaughlin sent a two-out single to center and then advanced to second on a wild throw by the pitcher over to first, but a strikeout ended the inning for the Dawgs.

Georgia brought in reliever Jarrett Brown in the eighth inning, and Brown hit the first batter of the inning, Kal Simmons, to place a runner on first. A sac bunt by the next batter allowed Simmons to move into scoring position at second with just one out. The Dawgs committed an error two batters later that placed runners on the corners with two outs, but Walsh entered the game at this point and came up with a huge strikeout against Pentecost to end the inning

Georgia was unable to score in the bottom of the inning, and in the top of the ninth, Walsh issued a lead-off walk to Almonte to put the go-ahead run on base. A sacrifice bunt down the first base line by Chris McGowan allowed Almonte to move down to second, and an infield base hit by Kody Belcher put runners on the corners with just one out. Walsh then struck out Anthony Duran, but a fielder’s choice on the next play allowed Almonte to score the go-ahead run for the Owls.

Cole drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth as Georgia attempted to rally for the tying run, but two back-to-back fly outs to center field sealed the 2-1 victory for Kennesaw State.

The Dawgs return to action this Saturday in a doubleheader against Belmont. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Foley Field. This is a slight change to the schedule as the series with the Bruins was set to begin on Friday. Fans with tickets for Friday’s game can exchange them for a ticket to Saturday’s game at the Foley Field ticket window or to a future game. They can also exchange that ticket to a future home game this year at the UGA Ticket Office. Tickets for Saturday’s game will be good for both games that day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Belue, McCormick Inducted Into Hall Of Fame


images (2)Former University of Georgia all-star quarterback Buck Belue and national champion gymnast Heather Stepp McCormick will be inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Saturday evening during annual ceremonies held in the Macon City Auditorium.

Belue led the Dawgs to the 1980 SEC and national championships while Stepp led the Gym Dawgs to the 1993 national title.

Belue was a winner, leading Georgia to a record of 27-3 in games he started. He came from the high school football hotbed of Valdosta. Dawg fans got their first taste of Belue in 1978. As a true freshman, he came off the bench late in the game to lead Georgia to a dramatic 29-28 come-from-behind victory over arch-rival Georgia Tech on national television.

Over the next three seasons, he led Georgia to two SEC championships (1980 and '81), a national championship in 1980, and earned first team All-SEC honors twice (1980, ‘81).

Belue was probably the most productive quarterback to play under Vince Dooley who coached the Dawgs for 25 years. Following his senior season, Belue was prominent in the Georgia record books. He was second in career pass completions (264), second in career passing yards (3,864), second in career completion percentage (54.6%), and second in career TD passes (32).

buck-belue-uf-1980-ugaWhile his career was exemplary, he is still most remembered for a single game in his junior season. Dawg fans will certainly never forget November 8, 1980, against Florida in Jacksonville. Georgia, ranked second nationally in the polls and undefeated, had been carried all day by Herschel Walker and a stingy defense, but the Dawgs found themselves down 21-20 with less than two minutes to play. Even worse, the Dawgs were backed up inside their own ten, and Belue was suffering through one of the worst games of his career.

But late in the game on a third and seven from Georgia's own seven-yard line, Belue scrambled out of the pocket, found wide receiver Lindsay Scott going across the middle, and completed what has become a legendary 93-yard TD pass. The improbable touchdown with 1:04 left in the game kept Georgia's undefeated season intact and elevated the Dawgs to the nation's number one ranking over Notre Dame which had been tied earlier the same day. Georgia then defeated Auburn and Georgia Tech to close out the regular season 11-0 and defeated Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl to claim the undisputed national title.

He was also an all-star college baseball player being named All-SEC first team as a freshman. That year, he hit .373 and set a Georgia record with 13 home runs. He continued his college baseball career and, as a senior, hit .328 with six home runs and 31 runs-batted-in.

LHYVDKCULDMGSAZ.20091112140440Stepp’s gymnastics career couldn’t have ended any sweeter. In 1993 the native of Mt. Clements, Michigan, led the Gym Dawgs to their third NCAA national team title and the next day she added two more individual NCAA championships to her already impressive resume.

In all, Stepp was one of Georgia’s most decorated gymnasts, winning three individual national titles and two individual SEC titles. At the time of her graduation, she held the school record on every event including the all-around. She was named an All-American a total of nine times.

But it wasn’t the titles that defined Stepp’s career at Georgia. In 1991 she suffered a season-ending elbow injury while warming up on the vault at a meet in Utah. Suzanne Yoculan called it the most serious injury in her first eight years as head coach.

Doctors said Stepp had just a 10 percent chance of regaining normal use in her arm – much less attempting any more gymnastics. It seemed as though her Georgia career was over.

But Stepp proved the doubters wrong. She immediately began the rehabilitation process that lasted all day, every day, for the entire summer of 1991. What started as mobilization and range-of-motion exercises eventually turned into strength and flexibility drills. Somehow it looked as though she would compete again.

As a junior she had arguably her best season. Stepp won the all-around competition in Georgia’s first meet of the year, but that was just the beginning. She was the national vault champion and the national runner-up in the all-around. She was a first-team All-American on three events, won two SEC titles and two NCAA regional titles and was the team MVP. The Honda Sports Awards Program honored Stepp with a unanimous selection for the Inspiration Award, which is presented to a female athlete who shows courage, perseverance and determination in overcoming obstacles to compete athletically.

Toby Johnson Signs With Dawgs


Defensive lineman Toby Johnson of Hutchinson Community Community College has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia according to an announcement Tuesday by coach Mark Richt.

Johnson is a native of College Park and a graduate of Banneker High School. At 6-4, 310 pounds, Johnson was rated as the number two junior college defensive end prospect in the country.

“We are thrilled that Toby has decided to become a Dawg,” said Richt. “We’re looking forward to watching him compete for playing time this upcoming season.”

Johnson is the 33rd signee for the Dawgs, he is currently rehabbing from a torn MCL/ACL injury suffered last November and has the option of a redshirt year if necessary. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dribble Dawgs Fall In Overtime


Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson scored 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half and overtime, to hand Georgia an 84-74 overtime loss Saturday night at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.

Georgia was led by sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell Pope, who picked up his 4th double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

“That’s a tough loss,” said coach Mark Fox. “I am really proud of our team, proud of how they competed, how hard they played and how they laid it all out there. It’s a game that we should have won in regulation.

“I thought we played really, really hard. I thought we competed hard, I thought we were unselfish and I thought that we defended pretty well throughout the whole game. We just couldn’t keep them off the foul line and that’s so hard to overcome, but I was really pleased with a lot of things…We had a lot of guys play well and I thought our team played well we just didn’t finish the job.”

After leading nearly the entire second half, Ole Miss took a 66-64 lead with under three minutes remaining, eventually forcing the game into overtime after junior forward Donte’ Williams nearly ended the game with a tip-in as the buzzer sounded.

Georgia trailed early in the first half, down by as many as five but closed the half on a 15-4 run, holding the Rebels scoreless in the half’s final four minutes to take a 41-35 halftime lead.

The Rebels fought back in the second half, taking the lead 51-49 off of a Nick Williams jumper, but Georgia went on a 10-0 run to grab back the lead 59-51.

With just 3:36 remaining and the Dawgs up 64-56, the Rebels’ Henderson, who was limited to just 25 minutes in the game due to foul trouble, went on a 10-0 run to put Ole Miss 66-64, and eventually force the game to overtime.

Ole Miss outscored Georgia 14-4 in overtime, including six from the free throw stripe. In the game, Ole Miss went 30-for-36 from the free throw line, while Georgia shot 13-for-19. The game was physical from the start, with four players fouling out and 48 total fouls being called.

Georgia outrebounded the Rebels 45-30, and shot nearly 50 percent from the field. Ole Miss capitalized on points off turnovers, scoring 24 to Georgia’s 10.

Worth Noting...

• The starting line-up was V. Williams, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Florveus and D. Williams. They’re now 5-2.

• With the loss, Georgia is now 0-3 in overtime games.

• Georgia scored its 39th point with three minutes remaining in the first half off of a Kenny Gaines 3-pointer. In Tuesday’s loss, the Dawgs didn’t score its 39th point until the 3:20 mark in the second half.

• Georgia outrebounded Ole Miss, 45-30, and drops to 9-4 when outrebounding its opponent.

• Georgia had a 2-1 (10 assists, 5 turnovers) assist-to-turnover ratio in the first half, but finished the game with an even ration (18 assists, 18 turnovers).

• With his 19 points tonight, Caldwell-Pope has still scored in double figures in every game this season. He also picked up his fourth double-double of the season with 12 rebounds.

• Caldwell-Pope remains one of just 11 players in all of NCAA Division I that have scored in double figures in each of their team's games. He's the only SEC player to accomplish this feat and one of just five from the "BCS" leagues to do so.

• In Georgia basketball alumni news, former Georgia forward Travis Leslie was named MVP in the NBA D-League All-Star game. Leslie had 19 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes of play, leading the “Prospects” to a 139-125 over the “Futures.” Leslie was drafted with the 47th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. He is currently a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors (affiliate of the Golden State Warriors). Leslie is averaging 16.2 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 21 games this season.

Career Highs:

Vincent Williams set a career high with seven assists (Previously… 6 vs. Jacksonville (11/9/12).

Kenny Gaines set a career high with 13 points (Previously… 12 vs. Tennessee (2/6/13). Gaines has set a new career high in points three different times in February.

Tim Dixon set a career high with three assists (Previously… 1 vs. Multiple)

The Series: Georgia still leads the all-time series 66-40, but Ole Miss now leads in Oxford, 25-24. Ole Miss’ victory marks the first time since 2009 in the series that the home team has won a game.

Next Up: Georgia travels to Fayetteville to play Arkansas on Thursday. The Razorbacks lead the all-time series 16-13, including 6-3 in Fayetteville. The Dawgs have won the previous three match-ups.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Diamond Dawgs Win Opener


Sophomore Jared Walsh made his pitching debut in the ninth and struck out the side plus added a home run Friday to lead Georgia to a 6-5 win over Georgia Southern.

A near-record crowd of 3,103 at JI Clements Stadium were treated to a thriller in the season opener and first meeting between the in-state rivals since 2005.

The Dawgs (1-0) loaded the bases with two outs in the first but came up empty. The Eagles (0-1) used the momentum to build a 2-0 lead in their first at bat. Scooter Williams reached on a leadoff walk and Ben Morgan followed with a base hit. A wild pitch moved both Eagles in to scoring position. On a 3-2 pitch, catcher Chase Griffin delivered a two-run single. He would move to second on a passed ball and then scored on a base hit by Garren Palmer for a 3-0 advantage.

Georgia stormed back in the second, sending 10 men to the plate and surging ahead 5-3. Walsh, who started the game in right field, got the rally started by blasting the first pitch of the frame in to the trees in right field. It was his second career home run. Freshman J.T. Phillips collected an infield single in his debut and came around on an RBI-triple by sophomore Nelson Ward (4-for-5). Senior Curt Powell (3-for-5) tied the game with a run-scoring single. Later in the frame, sophomore Hunter Cole made it 4-3 with an RBI-single and freshman Daniel Nichols capped the scoring with a fielder’s choice. The Dawgs took advantage of a two-out miscue by the Eagles to add a run in the third for a 6-3 lead. The Eagles cut it to 6-5 with a two-out, two-run single by Hunter Thomas off senior Blake Dieterich in the fifth.

Georgia starter Sean McLaughlin tossed four innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts in his debut. He became the first freshman pitcher in Dawg history to start a season opener, and he wound up with a victory too. GSU starter Justin Hess got the loss after surrendering six runs on eight hits in three innings. The Eagles got exceptional relief from Josh Stevenson, who blanked the Dawgs for 4.1 innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. He left with two on and one out in the eighth. Chris Myers came on and got senior shortstop Kyle Farmer to hit into a double play to keep it a one-run contest.

Georgia turned to its bullpen again in the bottom of the eighth in sophomore Ross Ripple, and he hit the first two Eagles of the inning. Ripple got Tyler Avera to pop out on a 3-2 offering for the first out. Then with a 1-1 count to Kyle Streicher, the Dawgs lifted Ripple in favor of redshirt sophomore Grant Earls. It was the Dawg debut for Earls who was redshirted in 2011 and was injured and didn’t pitch in 2012. Streicher swung at Earls’ first pitch and bounced one to third for a fielder’s choice as the Dawgs got the runner at second while Eagle left fielder Hunter Thomas made it to third. Pinch-hitter Stryker Brown reached on a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Ben Morgan. He got him to ground out to first to protect the one-run advantage.

In the ninth, Georgia looked to Walsh who was limited to a designated hitter role a year ago while recovering from elbow surgery. This season, he is projected as the closer, and he passed his first test. Entering the game with a 6-5 lead and facing the middle of the Eagle order, Walsh struck out the first two hitters in Griffin and T.D. Davis before allowing an infield hit to Palmer. Then, he battled back to strikeout Thomas to clinch the victory and his first career save.

“This was a good win, a hard-fought game, and it was Jared Walsh day, he did a bit of everything for us,” said coach David Perno. “The top of the order in Nelson Ward and Curt Powell had a very productive day too. Grant Earls came through, and it was the first time he got to pitch as a Dawg, and it was a tough spot in a tight game. This was good atmosphere, great crowd and a good start for us. We need to play better, and we’ve got two more games here. Overall, I was pleased with how we responded.”

Ward set a career-high with a four-hit game including an RBI-triple in Georgia’s five-run outburst. Walsh became the first pitcher since Josh Fields in 2008 to hit a home run and register a save in the same game. Incidentally, Fields did it in the season opener, a 9-7 win over top-ranked Arizona.

The series continues Saturday with first pitch slated for 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dribble Dawgs Win Streak Snapped


Alabama closed the game on a 12-4 run, overcoming a late surge by Georgia, to beat the Dawgs 52-45 Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

The loss snaps Georgia’s (12-12, 6-5) five-game conference win streak.

Georgia was led by sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had 22 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Nemanja Djurisic also tallied 12 points.

“ We made too many errors to win the game, just made too many errors to win,” said coach Mark Fox. “Give Alabama credit, both teams defended well. At the moment of truth, they made a couple baskets, and it comes down to their offense was just better than our defense late in the game when they took the lead.”

In the first half, Georgia got the early momentum, building a 15-6 lead ten minutes into the half. Alabama (16-8, 8-3), however, responded with an 11-0 run in a three-minute span to snatch the lead, and eventually take a 25-22 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Alabama led until the 2:36 minute mark, when junior forward Donte’ Williams capped an 11-2 run with a put-back dunk to give Georgia a 41-40 lead.

Alabama responded with back-to-back three-pointers to take back the lead 46-41 with 1:36 to play. From that mark until the final horn, Georgia went one of five from the field, losing its 12th of the season.

Alabama was led by Rodney Cooper who scored 14 points.

Georgia outrebounded the Crimson Tide 41-33, but couldn’t overcome shooting just 31 percent (16-52) from the field, including 23 percent (5-22) from behind the three point arc.

Postgame Notes

Worth Noting...

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Vincent Williams, Donte' Williams, Brandon Morris, and John Florveus started today's game. It’s their first loss of the season (5-1).

• Georgia’s winning streak was snapped at five games.

• With his 19 points tonight, Caldwell-Pope has still scored in double figures in every game this season.

• Caldwell-Pope is one of only 11 players to score at least 10 points in every one of their team's games this season. He's the only SEC player and only one of five players from "BCS" conference schools to accomplish the feat.

•Caldwell-Pope scored 19 of Georgia’s 52 points tonight (36.5%) Caldwell-Pope ranks sixth in the nation in percentage of team's points scored. The Greenville native has scored 421 of Georgia's 1,424.

The Series: Alabama improves to 92-47 in the all-time series, including 31-27 in Athens. Georgia has now lost four straight to the Crimson Tide.

Next Up: Georgia travels to Oxford, Mississippi to play Ole Miss on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The game is televised on ESPN2. Georgia leads the all-time series 66-39, and the series is tied 24-24 when the game is held in Oxford.

Richt Contract Extended


DSC_7372A one-year contract extension and increase in total compensation for coach Mark Richt were approved Tuesday highlighting the February meeting of the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors.

The contract, which will soon be finalized, will include an increase in total compensation from $2.81 million to $3.2 million per year, as well as add an additional year to the contract, now set to run through 2017.

“He’s done a tremendous job leading our program,” said Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Twelve wins and the manner in which he’s done it, it’s just something we felt like we needed to do.”

Richt will be entering his 13th season as head football coach next fall.

"I'm honored and very thankful to Dr. Adams, Greg McGarity, and the Athletic Board for their support in what we are working daily to accomplish," said Richt. "I look forward along with our staff to preparing this team for the challenges of another season. From what I've heard, our team is working hard in the off-season conditioning program and paying the price necessary to be successful in the Fall. I do want to express my gratitude to Dr. Adams for his support and continuing confidence in our program over the years. He's been a special supporter who has always been in our corner. And we look forward to working with President-select Jere Morehead. He's been in several roles in the University administration, including a former Faculty Athletics Representative, and always supported our program in every respect."

The board also approved the Young Alumni Ticket Program. The program will enable recent graduates to be awarded season tickets without initially making a contribution to the Hartman Fund.

Academics were also highlighted at the quarterly meeting. Faculty Athletic Board representative David Shipley reported that all student athletes combined for a cumulative fall semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.96, and that UGA’s graduation success rate of 81 percent was the highest the school has had since the system was implemented.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dribble Dawgs Defeat Aggies


Georgia survived a late 8-0 run by Texas A&M to secure its fifth straight win, beating the Aggies 52-46 Saturday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.

Georgia’s current five game winning streak is its longest since the 2001 season.

Sophomore Nemanja Djurisic led Georgia (12-11, 6-4) with 13 points. Sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 10 points, all from the free throw line.

“Well that was a slugfest, really a physical game, a hard fought game, both teams really defending,” said coach Mark Fox. We had a lot of respect for Texas A&M’s defense coming into the game. They guarded us very well, and I thought our defense was pretty solid from start to finish. Our kids were hungry and made enough plays to win it, but give A&M credit for playing super hard.”

Georgia raced out to a 12-3 lead, holding the Aggies (14-9, 4-6) without a field goal until the 12-minute mark. Despite Caldwell-Pope being held to just two first-half points, Georgia took a 25-16 lead into halftime after holding Texas A&M to 18 percent shooting in the half.

After leading by as many as nine in the second half, the Aggies pulled to within three, 35-32, with an 8-3 run that ended with nine minutes left in the game. Georgia responded with an 8-0 run, capped off by a Sherrard Brantley three-pointer, to go up 43-32 with six minutes remaining.

With the Dawgs up 50-40 with a minute remaining, Texas A&M scored eight straight points, but Caldwell-Pope hit two free throws with 17 seconds to secure the win.

Nine different players scored for Georgia.

“We’ve just found more guys that score the ball,” Fox said, when asked what has changed over the last five games. “We don’t have a designated second gun, but we had a lot of guys scoring tonight. We’ve become a pretty solid team on the offensive end when we play together and every one does their job.”

Georgia outrebounded the Aggies 37-33 and outscored Texas A&M 23-8 off the bench.

Georgia returns to action Tuesday night against Alabama at 9:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Postgame Notes

Worth Noting...

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Vincent Williams, Donte’ Williams, Brandon Morris, and John Florveus started today’s game. It’s the same group that started in Georgia’s win versus Texas A&M last month. The lineup is 5-0 this season.

• Georgia has won five straight games for the first time since 2001.

• Georgia made 25 free throws—a season-high.

• Texas A&M’s 46 points is the fewest a Georgia team has allowed since 2/19/05 vs. Auburn (UGA won 57-45).

• Caldwell-Pope has scored in double figures in every game this season. Interestingly enough, tonight he scored 10 points without making a field goal, going 10-for-10 from the free throw line. It’s the first game of his career that he hasn’t scored from the field.

• Caldwell-Pope is one of only 11 players to score at least 10 points in every one of their team's games this season. He's the only SEC player and only one of five players from "BCS" conference schools to accomplish the feat.

•Caldwell-Pope ranks sixth in the nation in percentage of team’s points scored. The Greenville native has scored 402 of Georgia’s 1,372.

Nemanja Djurisic led the team with 13 points. It’s the third time in his career that he has led the team in scoring.

• With an attendance of 7,380, today’s game was the highest-attended of any this season.

The Series: Georgia improves to 2-0 all-time against the Aggies. Today was only the second meeting between the two schools with Georgia winning the first matchup on January 26th 59-52 in College Station.

Next Up: Georgia will square off at home with Alabama Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. Alabama leads the all-time series 91-47, including 30-27 in Athens. Georgia’s last win in the series came in 2010 at home, 76-70.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

National Signing Day Summary


The Dawgs signed the largest recruiting class in the Mark Richt era today. A total of 32 high school and junior college players officially became Dawgs after faxing their national letters of intent to the coaching staff.

The link to each players biography is located to the right. (2013 Recruits)

The Dawgs are still awaiting the decision of defensive lineman Toby Johnson and he stated today that he is planning to announce on February 19th.

Nationally today’s class ranked 12th on the composite list.

Dribble Dawgs Win In Knoxville


Georgia used 11 three-pointers to beat Tennessee 68-62 Wednesday night at Thompson-Bowling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Georgia (11-11, 5-4) win marks the first time since the 2003 that the Dawgs have won four straight SEC games.

“It was a really hard fought game,” said coach Mark Fox. “Our kids were so tired that they didn’t even celebrate and that shows you how hard fought of a game it was. When you can win here, it’s a good win because this is a hard place to play.”

Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia with 24 points, 15 of which came from behind the three-point arc. Freshman guard Kenny Gaines and senior guard Vincent Williams score 12 and 10 points, respectively.

After leading by as many as 10 in the first half, the Volunteers cut the Georgia lead to just four with three minutes remaining, but three-pointers from Caldwell-Pope, V. Williams and Nemi Djurisic gave Georgia a 35-26 halftime advantage over Tennessee (11-10, 3-6). The Dawgs shot 45 percent from the field in the half, including nearly 55 percent from distance.

In the second half, Tennessee tied the game 43-43 when Jordan McRae converted a three-point play with 13 minutes remaining, but Georgia responded with a 9-0 run. A short time later, the Volunteers went on a run over their own to pull to within one point, 54-53, with just five minutes left. However, Caldwell-Pope scored nine of Georgia’s final 14 points in the remaining minutes, including a deep three-pointer with 51 ticks left, to secure Georgia’s 11th win of the season.

“We’ve been in a lot of close games and lost some of them,” Fox said. “We lost a close game to UCLA and lost a couple of overtime games. Those experiences have helped us have a little more poise now.”

In the game, Georgia’s defense held Tennessee to shooting just 28 percent from three-point range.

The Dawgs return to Athens for a two-game home stand starting Saturday afternoon against Texas A&M. The game tips-off at 5:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.

Worth Noting...

• Georgia has won its last four conference games for the first time since 2003.

• Georgia’s 11 three-pointers are a season-high (10 – Missouri)

• Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in scoring for 20th time this season. The sophomore has scored in double figures in every game this season.

Career Highs…

Kenny Gaines scored a career-high 12 points. He has now scored a career high in the last two games.

The Series: Tennessee still leads the series 92-55, including 55-15 in Knoxville. Georgia’s win in Knoxville is only its sixth in its previous 21 meetings. With tonight’s win, head coach Mark Fox is now 4-3 against the Volunteers. These two teams will meet again when Tennessee visits Stegeman Coliseum on March 2nd.

Next Up: Georgia returns home to face Texas A&M on Saturday. It will be only the second meeting between the two schools with Georgia winning the first match-up on January 26th 59-52 in College Station.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dribble Dawgs Have Three Game Win Streak


Three Dawgs scored in double figures to lead Georgia to its third win in a row, a 67-56 win over South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina Saturday afternoon.

Georgia (10-11, 4-4) was led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had 19 points and seven rebounds.

“I thought the second half we played a very complete basketball game,” said coach Mark Fox. “Offensively, we were really sound. We finished plays and got a lot of good shots. On defense, outside of fouling a little too much, it was pretty good. Kenny Gaines and John Cannon were a big force in the second half, and it’s a really good win.”

The first half featured 12 lead changes and five ties, with neither team ever holding more than a four-point advantage.

With South Carolina (12-9, 2-6) holding a 30-29 advantage to begin the second half, Georgia opened the half on a 6-1 run to take a 35-31 lead. With just under 10 minutes remaining, the Dawgs increased their lead to 51-44 off a Vincent Williams 3-pointer.

With under two minutes remaining, South Carolina pulled to within five points after Brian Richardson hit a three-pointer from the corner, but Brantley and Caldwell-Pope responded with a pair of three-point baskets to go up 59-49 and secure the Georgia win.

Kenny Gaines scored 11 points and John Cannon scored six of his eight points in the second half.

Today’s game marks the first time since late December that more than two Georgia players have tallied double figures. Eight different Dawgs contributed points offensively in the Georgia win.

“We had a lot of guys contribute,” Fox continued. “This is starting to become a team and that’s how you win some games.”

Georgia shot nearly 60 percent for the game, and limited the Gamecocks to 35 percent shooting from the field

South Carolina was led by Michael Carrera who had 16 points and seven rebounds.


Worth Noting...

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Sherrard Brantley, Vincent Williams, Donte’ Williams and John Florveus were the starters in today’s game. It’s the 12th different starting lineup that Georgia has used this year.

• Today’s win marks the first time that Georgia has had three straight SEC wins since Feb. 2-11, 2011 (excludes non-conference game versus Xavier).

• Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in scoring for 19th time this season. The sophomore has scored in double figures in every game this season.

• Georgia is now 5-2 versus South Carolina under head coach Mark Fox.

• The Dawgs outscored South Carolina 34-21 off the bench and score more points off turnovers than the Gamecocks (16-9).


Kenny Gaines set a career-high with 11 points.

Charles Mann tied a career-high with six assists

The Series: Georgia improves to 51-48 all-time versus the Gamecocks. South Carolina still leads the series in Columbia, 30-17

Next Up: Georgia travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee on Wednesday. Tennessee leads the all-time series 92-54, including 55-14 in those games played in Knoxville. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lady Dawgs Win 23rd Game Consecutive Against Alabama


Six different Georgia players scored eight or more points to lead the 13th-ranked Lady Dawgs to a 65-59 victory over Alabama on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.

Khaalidah Miller and Jasmine Hassell led the Lady Dawgs with 11 points and 10 points, respectively, while Merritt Hempe tallied nine points to go along with three rebounds and a steal. Anne Marie Armstrong, Tiara Griffin and Jasmine James each chipped in with eight points apiece, and Griffin pulled down a career-high eight rebounds on the night.

With the win, Georgia (18-3, 6-2 SEC) notched its 850th victory in program history, becoming just the 10th school in Division I history to accomplish the feat.

"We did what we needed to do to win, and that's the way it goes in the record book, even though the process wasn't pretty,” said coach Andy Landers. “There were some good decisions and some bad decisions made. A lot of makeable shots were not made tonight."

The Lady Dawgs opened the game with a strong defensive effort, holding the Crimson Tide (12-9, 2-6 SEC) without a point for the first three and a half minutes of the game. The two teams traded baskets throughout much of the next 10 minutes before Georgia reeled off an 8-0 run to open up a 20-11 lead.

A jumper from Hassell and a three-pointer by Griffin in the final minute of the first half helped give Georgia a 32-25 advantage entering the break.

The Lady Dawgs began to pull away early in the second half, opening up a 14-point lead with just over 12 minutes remaining. Georgia led by as many as 15 points, but Alabama mounted a comeback effort in the final minutes to narrow the lead for the Lady Dawgs.

The Crimson Tide used an 8-0 run in the final four minutes to come within four points, but two free throws each by Armstrong and Miller helped seal the victory for Georgia.

Georgia finished the game shooting 34.3 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from the charity stripe. The Georgia bench contributed 25 points compared to just 11 points from Alabama’s reserves. Georgia’s defense also forced 23 Crimson Tide turnovers while holding Alabama to 35.1 percent shooting from the floor, including 25.8 percent from three-point range.

The Lady Dawgs return to action on Sunday when they travel to Lexington, for a 2 p.m. tip with Kentucky.

Georgia will return home on Thursday, February 7th, to host Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m.


• With tonight’s 65-59 victory over Alabama, Georgia improves its record to 18-3 (6-2 SEC).
• UGA is now 36-9 all-time against the Tide, with a 16-3 mark in Athens. The Lady Dawgs have now won 23 consecutive meetings with Alabama dating back to 1998.
Andy Landers is now only five wins shy of his 900th career victory.
• The Lady Dawgs’ all-time record is now 850-356.
• The Lady Dawgs used their seventh different starting lineup of the season and the fourth different set of starters in the last four games.
• Freshman Merritt Hempe made her first career SEC start.
• Georgia started three freshmen – Shacobia Barbee, Tiaria Griffin and Merritt Hempe. It marked the first time the Lady Dawgs started a trio of freshmen since Ashley Houts, Christy Marshall and Angel Robinson did so in an 82-69 victory over Brown on December 30th, 2006 at the Surf ‘N Slam Classic in San Diego, California.
• After tallying 10 points, Jasmine Hassell has 1191 points for her career, passing Angel Robinson for the No. 24 position.
Khaalidah Miller is now No. 3 in career three-point attempts in Lady Dawg history. With her five attempts tonight, she now has a total of 467 3FGAs.
• With two steals tonight, Jasmine James now has 239 career steals, passing Carla Green for the No. 8 position among UGA’s career leaders.
Anne Marie Armstrong’s two blocks tonight ties her at No. 10 among UGA career block leaders with 104.
Tiara Griffin collected 8 rebounds tonight, besting her previous career-high of six.

Lady Dawgs In Double Digits

Jasmine Hassell tallied 10 points, her 14th double-digit performance this season and 57th of her career.
Khaalidah Miller scored 11 points, her 10th double-digit performance this season and 47th of her career.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dribble Dawgs Beat Auburn


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points and pulled down ten rebounds, leading Georgia to a 57-49 win over Auburn Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

The performance is Caldwell-Pope’s third double-double of the season. Freshman guard Charles Mann also contributed ten points.

The win is Georgia’s (9-11, 3-4) third conference win of the season, and second in a row.

“That was an SEC Dawg fight,” said coach Mark Fox. “Both teams played really hard and it was an extremely physical game. We were really gritty defensively. I thought offensively we got a little careless and turned the ball over too much. We just kept fighting, and Auburn kept fighting too. It was a physical, physical game. We feel that’s a good win, and we feel fortunate to get it.”

After both teams traded the lead in the first half, the Dawgs went on an 8-2 run to end the half, taking a 26-22 lead into the locker room.

With just under four minutes remaining in the game and the score tied 43-43, the Dawgs scored five straight, capped off by senior forward Donte’ Williams converting an three-point play.

After Auburn (8-12, 2-5) fought back to trail UGA 48-46, Caldwell-Pope pulled down a rebound on a missed three-pointer and found senior guard Sherrard Brantley on a long outlet pass. Brantley missed the contested lay-up, but Caldwell-Pope followed with a put back to put Georgia up 50-46.

After Auburn was forced to foul with under two minutes to play, Georgia shot five-of-six from the free throw stripe to secure the win.

Auburn never led during the second half, and the last tie came with just under five minutes remaining at 43-43.

“In our last eight halves of basketball, we’ve played winning in seven of them,” Fox continued. “We are becoming more consistent, still making some mistakes, but there is a lot of room to grow here. They just keep battling and trying to get better, and I am really proud of our team. These kids have worked really hard and have been fully committed to the process.”

Georgia held Auburn to just 28 percent shooting from the field, including 20 percent from three-point range.

Auburn was led by Allen Payne and Frankie Sullivan who each had 13 points.

Georgia will hit the road for a conference bout against South Carolina on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.


Worth Noting...

• Caldwell-Pope picked up his third double-double of the season with his 20-point, 10-rebound performance.

• Georgia outscored Auburn off the bench, 22-6.

• Georgia has won three of its last four games.


Charles Mann had a career high six assists

Sherrard Brantley tied a career-high (and set a season-high) with four rebounds

The Series: Georgia improves to 90-88 all-time versus the Tigers and 59-22 in those games played in Athens. In the last 22 years, the home team has won 18 times.

Next Up: Georgia hits the road to take on South Carolina Saturday at 1:45 p.m. Georgia leads the all-time series 50-48. The Dawgs will be looking to improve upon a 30-17 mark in those games held in Columbia.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fifty Seven Dawgs Make Honor Roll

Fifty-seven student-athletes from the University of Georgia have been named to the 2012 Fall Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll according to a recent announcement by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

Georgia’s 57 student-athletes named to the honor roll is the second-highest total of any SEC institution. To qualify for the SEC Academic Honor Roll, student-athletes must: maintain a 3.00 grade point average for the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 at the nominating institution, if the student-athlete is enrolled in summer courses, the GPA for those courses must be included in the calculation for cumulative GPA, have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree, and have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

The following UGA students were named to the Academic Honor Roll:


Faton Bauta, West Palm Beach, Florida, Arts & Sciences; Greg Bingham, Columbus, International Affairs; Taylor Bradberry, Winder, Health Promotions; Christopher Burnette, LaGrange, Finance; Corey Campbell, Hephzibah, Biological Sciences; Luis Capella, Augusta, Finance; Christian Conley, Dallas, Journalism; Watts Dantzler, Dalton, Health & Physical Education; Scott Eichler, Oakwood, Agricultural Engineering; Michael Erdman, Merritt Island, Florida., Management; Adam Erickson, Athens, Real Estate; Reuben Faloughi, Martinez, Psychology; Ty Frix, Calhoun, Biological Engineering/MBA; Austin Herod, Woodstock, Exercise & Sport Science; Ethan Jackson, Sandersville, Exercise & Sport Science; Jesse Jones, Habersham, International Affairs; Kyle Karempelis, Roswell, Management; Richard Lowe, Duluth, Biology; Arthur Lynch, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, History; Keith Marshall, Raleigh, North Carolina, Management; Hutson Mason, Marietta, Communication Studies; Taylor Maxey, Statham, Finance; Rhett McGowan, Calhoun, Sport Management; Gregory Mulkey, Fairmount, Agricultural Engineering; Aaron Murray, Tampa, Florida, Psychology; Connor Norman, Duluth, Exercise & Sport Science; Alexander Parsons, Fayetteville, Exercise & Sport Science; Jamal Payette, Cleveland, Finance; Geoffrey Rapp, Kennesaw, Psychology; Lucas Redd, Jefferson, Health & Physical Education; Ben Reynolds, Bainbridge, Biology; Christian Robinson, Norcross, Sport Management; Dustin Royston, Royston, Political Science; Garrison Smith, Atlanta, History; Michael Thornton, Stone Mountain, Communication Studies; Kosta Vavlas, Tarpon Springs, Florida, Biological Sciences; Hugh Williams, Atlanta, Advertising; Drew Wilson, Tignall, Mathematics Education.

Women’s Soccer:

Torri Allen, Stafford, Virginia, Animal Health; Ashley Baker, Lilburn, Recreation & Leisure Studies; Madeline Barker, Atlanta, Communication Studies; Jenna Buckley, Atlanta, Consumer Economics; Susannah Dennis, Franklin, Tennessee, Human Development & Family Science; Kathleen Eastman, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, International Affairs; Laura Eddy, Atlanta, Economics; Meghan Gibbons, The Woodlands, Texas, Sport Management; Nikki Hill, Scottsdale, Arizona, Biology; Callie Corbin Langford, Tallahassee, Florida, Psychology; Ansley Morgan, St. Simons Island, Journalism; Alexa Newfield, Atlanta, Sport Management; Jenna Owens, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Exercise & Sport Science; Caitlin Woody, Boca Raton, Florida, Psychology.


Briana Bahr, Pensacola, Florida, Housing; Nicole Choi, Alpharetta, Health Promotion; Elena Perri, Richland, Michigan, Advertising; Gaby Smiley, Alpharetta, Exercise & Sport Science; Stacey Smith, Eden, New York, Marketing.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Smith Invited To Join Roundtable


Georgia football player Garrison Smith has been invited to take part in the 2013 NFL and NCAA Student-Athlete Life Skills Roundtable. The event will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 14-15.

Run jointly by the NFL and NCAA, the Life Skills Roundtable is designed to provide student-athletes with a forum to discuss the resources and support that they need in order to meet their personal and professional goals. Both organizations hold intimate discussions with a diverse group of student-athletes through which the NFL and NCAA hope to gain a better understanding of the personal and professional development needs and goals of student-athletes in transitioning from college to their chosen profession or the NFL.

Smith is a rising senior defensive end from Atlanta. He appeared in all 14 games for the Dawgs in 2012, starting in eight and recording 57 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack. He was one of 292 Georgia student-athletes named to the Athletic Directors Honor Roll for Fall Semester 2012, maintaining a Grade Point Average above 3.00 as a history major.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lady Dawgs Defeat Gators


Jasmine Hassell led a trio of double-digit scorers as the No. 14 Georgia Lady Dawgs cruised past the Florida Gators, 69-52, on Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.

Hassell notched 13 points, Tiaria Griffin tallied 12 points and Krista Donald recorded a season-high 11. Shacobia Barbee led the Lady Dawgs on the boards, pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds and tying her season high.

"I thought everything today started with our defense," said coach Andy Landers. "We were very good defensively, but especially early on in the game. We also rebounded the ball well, and those two things resulted in possessions. Many of those possessions were transition possessions, so that was good to see. One of the things that we wanted to do today was to get the ball up and down the floor. We did that early, and that helped to create the lead."

Georgia (17-3, 5-2 SEC) took control early by scoring the first points of the contest with less than a minute off the clock. Florida matched the Lady Dawgs for the first couple of baskets, but failed to take the lead before a Hassell layup ignited a 10-0 run that put Georgia up 14-4.

Florida (13-8, 2-5 SEC) slowed Georgia with a three-pointer, but the damage was done and the Gators were unable to gain momentum. The only time in the first half that Florida connected on back-to-back possessions was with a pair of jumpers at around 11 minutes, bringing the score to 24-14.

While the Gators kept the Lady Dawgs from embarking on another double-digit surge, Georgia eventually stretched its advantage to 39-20 before halftime.

In the first half, the Lady Dawgs shot an efficient 41.7 percent from the field, while holding Florida to 30 percent. Georgia also out rebounded the Gators 27-18 and used those rebounds to score 16 second chance points, compared to just six from Florida.

The first four minutes of the second period were fairly well matched, as neither team was able to take control until a trey by Merritt Hempe started a 17-2 run that lasted over eight and a half minutes and gave Georgia its largest lead of the game at 64-33.

The Gators were productive in the final seven minutes of the game, cutting Georgia's lead to 69-52, but it was too late to make a difference.

The Lady Dawgs finished the game shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the charity stripe. After a couple of narrow wins and last week's loss, this was the most productive game offensively for Georgia since its 95-83 victory over Alabama on Jan. 10.

Georgia will return to action on Thursday, when it hosts Alabama at 7:00 p.m.


• With tonight’s 69-52 victory over Florida, UGA improves its record against UF to 47-14, including a 26-3 record in Athens.

• The home team has won each of the last nine meetings between UGA and UF.

• Georgia held Florida to 20 points in the first half, this was the lowest first half scoring total by an SEC opponent this season.

Andy Landers is now six wins shy of his 900th career victory.

Jasmine James’ two steals tonight puts her one steal behind No. 8 Carla Green among UGA’s career steal leaders

Jasmine Hassell’s 13-point performance lands her as No. 25 among UGA’s career scoring leaders, she is five points shy of No. 24 Angel Robinson.

Khaalidah Miller’s two 3FGAs tonight places her one shy of No. 5 Kelly Miller among UGA’s 3FGA leaders.

Lady Dawgs In Double Digits

Jasmine Hassell tallied 13 points, her 13th double-digit performance this season and 56th of her career.

Tiaria Griffin scored 12 points, her sixth double-digit performance this season and sixth of her career.

Krista Donald notched a season-high 11 points, her first double-digit performance this season and fifth of her career.

Shacobia Barbee collected 11 rebounds, her second double-digit performance this season and second of her career.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dribble Dawgs Pick Up First Road Win


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 22 points, including a key 3-pointer late, as Georgia fended off a desperate rally by Texas A&M to defeat the Aggies 59-52 in an SEC basketball game here Saturday.

Georgia (8-11, 2-4) posted its first road win of the season in beating the Aggies (12-7, 2-4), who dropped their fourth straight conference game after winning at Kentucky early in the league schedule.

Caldwell-Pope led all scorers and was the only Georgia player in double figures. Yet nine Dawgs in all scored, a fact that was not lost on coach Mark Fox.

"It's great to win on the road, but especially in league play, and I was really proud of our guys and the way they kept their composure," Fox said. "I thought we played extremely well offensively in the second half and got big contributions from a lot of people. Tonight was an important step in the growth of our young team."

The Dawgs spent much of the first half shooting free throws to grab a 27-23 advantage at intermission. They made just nine of 22 field-goal attempts in the first period, yet took control by making 13 of 16 free throws, more than in seven entire games this season.

A tip-in by reserve Tim Dixon with 12:48 left in the first half gave Georgia the lead for good at 7-6. Caldwell-Pope scored consecutive baskets to, followed by two foul shots by Charles Mann, to give the Dawgs their first sizable lead at 14-6.

After Texas A&M rallied within two, Caldwell-Pope and Mann again restored safety to the Georgia lead. They sank a 3-pointer and two free throws, respectively, the latter with 2:49 left before halftime, to give the Dawgs a double-digit margin at 27-17.
The Aggies scored first in the second period before Georgia erupted with a 16-2 run. Twelve of the 16 points came from 3-point range, including two from Sherrard Brantley and one each from Caldwell-Pope and Vincent Williams.

Freshman Kenny Gaines gave Georgia its largest lead of the night at 48-31 on a press-breaking layup with 10:20 left.

The margin remained comfortably wide for the Dawgs until the final seven minutes. Texas A&M cut its deficit back into single digits at 50-41 on a 3-pointer by Fabyon Harris at the 7:04 mark. He followed a Caldwell-Pope miss with another jumper with 5:58 left.

Things got really interesting when A&M turned up its full-court pressure in the waning minutes. Harris intercepted a Brantley pass in rear court and sank a 3-pointer that pulled the Aggies within 52-48 with 3:59 left.

After the teams traded empty trips, Georgia turned to its offensive leader to right its struggling offense. Caldwell-Pope connected from 21 feet with 2:10 left, giving the Dawgs a 55-48 lead.

Still, victory was not secured until a tip-in by Donte' Williams -- his only bucket of the game -- with 26 seconds left, putting Georgia ahead 57-52.

"I thought our kids showed a lot of character and composure late in the game," Fox said. "We turned it over a couple of times and that allowed Texas A&M back in the game. But we responded with some really big plays near the end. It was just a great win for our guys."

Georgia resumes its SEC schedule at home Wednesday night against Auburn in a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Malcome To Transfer


Georgia redshirt sophomore tailback Ken Malcome has told the coaches he will be transferring to another institution.

“I have made this decision because I think I can get more playing time some place else,” Malcome said. “I have enjoyed my time at Georgia and appreciate the opportunity that Coach Richt and the other coaches have given me here. I look forward to my next challenge.”

Malcome, a 6-0, 226-pound native of Decatur, carried the ball 57 times this season for 274 yards (4.8 avg.) and two touchdowns. He started the 2012 opener and played in 10 games this past season.

Malcome finishes his career at Georgia with 446 yards rushing and two scores to go along with two catches for 23 yards in two seasons.

"We are very appreciative of Ken's contributions to our program and will certainly assist him any way we can in finding a school to continue his career,” said Richt. “We wish him nothing but the best."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Post Season Press Conference


The Dawgs recently wrapped up one of the most successful football seasons in school history, finishing with 12 wins, an SEC Eastern Division title and a Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska.

The 2012 squad became just the third Georgia team in program history to finish a season with 12 wins, joining the 1980 national champions (12-0) and the 2002 SEC champions (13-1). As the team looks back upon and enjoys the numerous accomplishments from the 2012 season, coach Mark Richt and the rest of the squad must also begin the process of transitioning into offseason workouts and preparing for another exciting year in 2013.

With the losses of key defensive players to either graduation or the NFL Draft, Richt knows that the defensive unit will face a number of questions and challenges during the offseason.

“We better be ready,” said Richt on Thursday afternoon. “We don’t really have a choice. I have a lot of faith in these guys, but they’ve got to work. They have to prepare right now. They can’t just sit here and wait until camp starts, or even until summer. They have to start now…They need to prepare to try to be the very best in America at what they do.”

Along with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, new defensive line coach Chris Wilson will play an important role in developing the young talent coming to Athens.

“We are very fortunate to get Chris with his experience as coordinator, co-coordinator and those type of things,” Richt said. “He’s actually had some special teams responsibilities over his career, so he’s a very well-rounded coach. He’s very experienced and very mature. He’s a great family man and just a great role model for our guys.”

Thirteen incoming freshmen have enrolled early at Georgia for the spring semester, and Richt looks forward to seeing the freshmen in action at the start of mandatory weight lifting sessions on Monday.

“I think these guys are almost a class to themselves, meaning that there are 13 of them,” Richt said. “Last year we had 15. So it’s a really large number of mid-year guys. I told them just to look out for each other and to help each other out. Our coaches have done a good job catching up with them. We had a team meeting last night, and they all had a chance to introduce themselves to the entire team, which was good. They got to feel a little bit more part of the family little by little, so I think they’re doing fine.”

The Georgia offense, which returns every starter from last season except for receivers Tavarres King and Marlon Brown, is already expected to be one of the most prolific scoring offenses in the nation in 2013.

After quarterback Aaron Murray announced his decision to return for his senior season and forgo the NFL Draft, it became clear that the Dawgs would not have a shortage at the quarterback position. Hutson Mason, along with Christian LeMay, Parker Welch, Faton Bauta and incoming freshman Brice Ramsey are all also available at the quarterback position next season.

“I’m expecting everybody to learn what to do and to keep getting better,” Richt said. “Hutson is to the point where he certainly knows what to do. He is ready for the next step, which is playing time. Like I said before, what that looks like, I don’t know. But the other guys still have other things to learn and perfect in order to get to the point where they’re ready to go. We’re in a situation with Aaron and Hutson, and Aaron is obviously our quarterback. He’s the guy right now, and everybody knows that. There’s no question about that part. But if something happened to Aaron, would Hutson be ready to play? I think yes he would.”

Richt also looks forward to the return of wide receiver Michael Bennett, who missed nine games last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

“He’s doing very well,” Richt said, when speaking on Bennett’s rehabilitation. “He has a very good attitude, and (Georgia Director of Sports Medicine) Ron Courson feels that he’s making great progress. As far as spring ball, I know that he won’t be doing anything live. I don’t remember if Ron thought there’d be a possibility of him doing any route-running or catching balls out of competition phase. He may be able to do that, but I don’t remember. It may be a little early on that.”

Incoming freshman Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C.), who has spent time at both wide receiver and running back in high school, also suffered an ACL injury in December at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. However, Richt remains excited about Terry’s potential and his ability to impact the offense in the future.

“We just want to make sure that he gets very healthy,” Richt said. “If we do get him into a competition setting of learning what to do and trying to compete, we just want him to be really healthy before we do that. We don’t want him to have any setbacks, so we know that if we needed to redshirt, we could. It might make sense, but we’re not going to say that that’s what we’re going to do. We want to see how well he rehabs, how fast he rehabs, and what he’s capable of when the time comes. It is a long season, and he might not be ready for game one, but he could be ready sometime not long after that. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

With the incorporation of a talented freshman class on defense and a strong unit of returning starters on offense, Richt knows that the Dawgs are once again capable of emerging as one of the nation’s elite teams next season.

“We plan on being that,” Richt said. “We hope to be that, but we’ve got to earn it.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chris Wilson Hired As Defensive Line Coach


coach_wilson_chrisChris Wilson, defensive coordinator, co-defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach at Mississippi State the past three seasons, has been named defensive line coach at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Wednesday by coach Mark Richt.

”Chris is a tremendous teacher, outstanding recruiter, mentor and brings a wealth of knowledge in coaching the defensive line to our program,” said Richt. “He has an extensive background not only as a position coach but also as a coordinator and is a very solid fit with what we do on defense. Just as important, Chris is a great role model as a father and husband. He and his wife, Tina, are awesome people and along with their children, Colby and Caleb, will be outstanding additions to our football family.”

Wilson joined the Mississippi State staff as co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in 2010 before being named defensive coordinator in 2011. Under Wilson’s leadership, Mississippi State improved in seven major statistical categories in 2011, while ranking 16th nationally in scoring defense (19.7 points per game). In 2010, Wilson served as the Mississippi State defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator after spending the previous five years tutoring defensive linemen at his alma mater, Oklahoma. Wilson is a veteran of 16 years coaching at the collegiate level with stints at Indiana State (linebackers, 1993-94), Northern Illinois (linebackers,1995), Illinois State (defensive line, 1997-99), Colorado (defensive line, 2000-04) and Oklahoma (defensive ends/special teams coordinator, 2005-09).

"Our family is excited to have the opportunity of coaching at one of the top
institutions in college football,” said Wilson. “I'm looking forward to being part of the Georgia program and putting all our energy and effort into winning games and championships which I know is the goal of all those in the Georgia football family."

Wilson has coached many outstanding players during his career including Mississippi State’s All-America defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, 12th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft (Eagles); Oklahoma’s DE Jeremy Beal (2009), two-time All-Big 12 and team leader in sacks and tackles-for-loss; Oklahoma’s All-Big 12 DE Auston English (2007); and Sooner Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and Holiday Bowl MVP C.J. Ah You (2005).

The 2011 Mississippi State defense placed 17th in the country in red-zone scoring (73.91 percent) as well as eighth in the FBS in big plays allowed (37 of 20-plus yards). Wilson helped lower the points-per-game output and lessened the passing yards per game by more than 500 yards from 2010. Wilson coached defensive ends at Oklahoma and, for the last three years of his tenure, also served as special teams coordinator. In 2009, Wilson helped mentor a defensive front that finished eighth nationally against the run, allowing only 92 yards per game, and posted the sixth-most sacks in the country. The Sooner defense also finished the season ranked eighth in total defense and seventh in points allowed.


2011-12: Mississippi State (Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line)
2010: Mississippi State (Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line)
2007-09: Oklahoma (Special Teams Coordinator / Defensive Ends)
2005-06: Oklahoma (Defensive Ends)
2000-04: Colorado (Defensive Line)
2000 (Spr.): Army (Defensive Line)
1998-99: Illinois State (Defensive Line)
1997: Indiana State (Linebackers / Recruiting Coordinator)
1996: Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line)
1995: Northern Illinois (Linebackers)
1994: Indiana State (Linebackers)
1993: Indiana State (Graduate Assistant)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Gurley Named Freshman All American


Georgia true freshman tailback Todd Gurley has been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team, according to an announcement on Monday.

Georgia has now had a freshman All-American for the last six consecutive seasons. Gurley is one of only four players from the Southeastern Conference on the All-America squad and one of only 13 true freshmen on the 30-man squad.

Gurley, a 6-1, 218-pound native of Tarboro, North Carolina, became the 12th Dawg to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the first since Knowshon Moreno in 2008. Gurley went for 1,385 yards, which ranks sixth in school history for a single season, and 17 touchdowns (a UGA freshman record) on 222 carries (6.2/carry).

Only Gurley and Herschel Walker have tallied 1,000-yard seasons in their true freshman seasons. Gurley finished 2012 with nine games where he went for at least 100 yards rushing, which ranks third in school history for a season. Currently, the Associated Press All-SEC First Team selection is second in the SEC in Rushing Yards Per Game (98.9), second in Scoring (106 pts.) and third in All-Purpose Yards Per Game (124.6).

Fellow true freshman tailback Keith Marshall, who is Gurley’s roommate, combined with Gurley to rack up 2,144 yards and 25 touchdowns while leading the Dawgs to only the third 12-win season in school history.

Gurley was also named to the Sporting News Freshman All-America Team and to Phil Steele’s All-Freshman First Team.

The Dawgs kick off the 2013 season at Clemson on Aug. 31.


QB—Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 6-1, 200, Kerrville, Texas

*RB—Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech, 6-0, 215, Strong, Ark.

*RB — Todd Gurley, Georgia, 6-1, 218, Tarboro, N.C.

*WR — Amari Cooper, Alabama, 6-1, 198, Miami, Fla

WR — J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State, 5-10, 185, Phenix City, Ala.

WR— Davante Adams, Fresno State, 6-2, 200, Palo Alto, Calif.

OL — Tyler Johnstone, Oregon, 6-6; 292, Chandler, Ariz.

OL—Jake Brendel, UCLA, 6-4, 295, Plano, Texas

OL— Jack Allen, Michigan State, 6-1, 295, Hinsdale, Ill

OL—Austin Blythe, Iowa, 6-3, 275, Williamsburg, Iowa

OL—Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech, 6-5, 303, Rockdale, Texas

OL — Parker Ehinger, Cincinnati, 6-7, 290, Rockford, Mich.

*TE—Devin Funchess, Michigan, 6-5, 229, Farmington Hills, Mich.


*DL Devonte Fields, TCU, 6-4, 240, Arlington, Texas

*DL Leonard Williams, Southern Cal, 6-5, 270, Daytona Beach, Fla.

DL Deion Barnes, Penn State, 6-4, 246, Philadelphia, Penn.

DL Samuel Ukwuachu, Boise State, 6-4, 222, Pearland, Texas

LB —Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss, 5-11, 203, Loganville, Ga.

LB— Tyler Matakevich, Temple, 6-1. 220, Stratford, Conn.

LB—Kyler Fackrell, Utah State, 6-5, 236, Mesa, Ariz.

LB—Cory James, Colorado State, 6-0, 235, Del Rio, Texas

*DB- Ronald Darby, Florida State, 5-11, 189, Oxon Hill, Md.

*DB- KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame, 5-11, 182, Everett, Wash.

*DB-Trevon Stewart, Houston, 5-9, 183, Patterson, La.

DB-Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee, 5-11, 220, Lithonia, Ga.

Special Teams

*P—Tyler Williams, Marshall, 6-0, 195, Fort Wayne, Ind.

*K—Austin Lopez, San Jose State, 6-0, 170, Euless, Texas

PR—Jaime Wilson, Western Michigan, 5-11, 196, Belle Glade, Fla.

*KR—Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.), 5-9, 188, Miami, Fla.

*AP-Stefon Diggs, Maryland, 6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md.

*-True Freshman

Friday, January 4, 2013

Jones Declares For NFL


Jarvis JonesUniversity of Georgia junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has decided to forego his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

A finalist for the 2013 Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Butkus and Lott awards, Jones announced his intentions on Friday, just three days after leading the Dawgs to their 27th all-time bowl victory.

“This has been a difficult decision, and one that I have talked over with my family and coaches,” said Jones. “I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches and support staff and the Dawg Nation for everything over the last three years. I will always appreciate the chance Georgia gave me after my injury at Southern Cal. There is nothing like the Bulldog fans and I will forever be proud to wear the 'G'. I think this decision comes at the right time for me and my family and I look forward to seeing what the next level holds for me. Go Dawgs!”

A 6-3, 241-pound native of Columbus, Jones played in 26 games over his two seasons with Georgia, starting all of them. He finished his career with 28 sacks in that span (1.08/game), which is tied for third in school history. Jones also recorded 44 tackles for loss of 235 yards, 155 total tackles, nine forced fumbles and an interception during his time as a Dawg.

Jones, a 2012 consensus First Team All-American, finished this season leading the nation in sacks (14.5 for loss of 103 yards) and tackles for loss (24.5 for loss of 132 yards) and forced fumbles (seven). He was third on the Dawgs with 85 stops and added an interception and two fumble recoveries in 12 games played this season (Jones was injured for two of Georgia’s 14 games).

In his final game with the Dawgs, Jones set the single season record for sacks (14.5) after adding a pair versus Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. He also took over the No. 1 ranking for tackles for loss in a season (24.5) with two against the Cornhuskers. Jones finished with eight tackles during Georgia’s 45-31 victory over Nebraska.

Jones joined the Dawgs as a scout team member in 2010 after transferring from Southern California. He was a consensus First Team All-American in 2011 after leading the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) and piling up 70 tackles in 14 games.

The 2013 NFL Draft will run from April 25-27.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dawgs Win Capital One Bowl


With today’s 45-31 victory, the fifth-ranked Dawgs under Mark Richt become only the third team in school history to register at least 12 wins in a year. They join the 1980 national champions (12-0) and the 2002 SEC champions (13-1). Georgia improved to 27-18-3 in bowl games in this their record 16th consecutive trip to the postseason. Georgia is 4-1-1 in bowl games in Orlando. Also, Georgia had its eighth game this year with at least 40 points and finishes with a school record 529 points this year, an average of 37.8, also a school record.

Bowl Records: Georgia’s 45 points was a bowl record, the old mark was 44 in the 2009 Independence Bowl victory over Texas A&M (44-20). The six TDs today tied a bowl record, also by the 2009 team in the aforementioned bowl and the 1942 Orange Bowl.

Jarvis Jones Sets 2 Records: In the first half, junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones collected two sacks to give him a school record 14.5 for the year (the old mark was 14 by David Pollack in 2002 who is here today broadcasting for ESPN). Jones also set a school-record for a season with 24.5 tackles for loss, breaking Pollack’s record of 23.5 in 2002. Jones had a team-high 7 tackles at the half. Jones missed a pair of games this season due to injury and the final two games of the regular season came against spread-option offenses. Jones finished with eight tackles.

Defense: After allowing 24 points in the first half, the Dawg defense limited Nebraska to seven points and 197 yards of total offense in the second half, and the Cornhuskers got 75 yards and the TD on their first possession in the second half. The leading tackler was junior Alec Ogletree with 13, 3 TFL and a sack. Senior Shawn Williams had 11 including a blocked punt.

Records Galore For Bowl MVP Aaron Murray: Junior quarterback Aaron Murray finished 18-for-33 for 427 yards and a school record-tying 5 TD passes. The 5 TDs and 427 yards plus 87-yard TD pass were all Georgia bowl records. The 427 yards was the fourth most in a game in school history. In the first half, Murray was 11-for-23 for 195 yards with 2 TDs, 2 INTs. Following a safety on a blocked punt, Georgia compiled a 10-play, 80-yard drive for a TD, capped by a 29-yard TD pass to tight end Arthur Lynch. Murray set the single-season Passing Yardage Record on that play, giving him 3,544, eclipsing Eric Zeier’s 3,525 yards in 1993. Later in the first quarter, Nebraska got a pick-six to take a 14-9 lead with 4:15 and erase a 9-0 deficit. Murray came right back to throw a 75-yard TD pass to senior Tavarres King for a 16-14 lead. That big play gave Murray the single-season Total Offense Record with 3,548. The old mark was 3,499 by Matthew Stafford in 2008. The 75-yard TD completion was the longest of the year until later in the contest. Murray connected with sophomore Chris Conley for a 49-yard TD strike and then a two-point conversion to sophomore Rhett McGowan to tie the game at 31 with 7:26 left in the 3rd. It was a career-long catch for Conley. Georgia is now 3-4 on 2-point conversions this season.

Murray found freshman tailback Keith Marshall for a 24-yard TD pass to make it 38-31 in the 4th. It set several marks including a bowl record 4 TD passes; tied his single season TD passes mark with 35 and established a TD-responsibility record for a season with 38. He was not done as he hooked up with Conley for an 87-yard TD bomb, the longest in Dawg bowl history to make it 45-31 with 11:03 left. It was the longest TD pass in school history since a record 93-yarder in 2003 from David Greene to Tyson Browning at LSU. Murray’s tied a Georgia record for TD passes in a game. For the season, Murray finishes with 3,893 yards, 36 TD passes, completing 249-of-388.

Another Safety To Start a Bowl: Senior safety Shawn Williams blocked a punt on Nebraska’s first possession that rolled out of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead. It marked the second straight bowl that the Dawgs first points came on a safety. Last year in the Outback Bowl, it was Brandon Boykin with a tackle in the end zone on a screen. Today marked the fifth safety in Dawg bowl history along with the 1943 Rose Bowl, 1969 Sugar Bowl, 1989 Peach and 2012 Outback Bowl. Prior to today, Georgia’s last safety came against Ole Miss this year (Alec Ogletree -TFL-3).

Points off Turnovers: Georgia got 7 points off 2 INTs (Damian Swann-2) and 1 fumble (Alec Ogletree, forced and recovered). Nebraska got 7 points off 2 INTs including a pick-six by Will Compton. Sophomore cornerback Damian Swann notched his 3rd and 4th interceptions of the year to tie a bowl record. He returned the first one to the Nebraska 38 and the Dawgs eventually scored a TD on a 24-yard run by freshman Todd Gurley and a 24-13 lead. Georgia is now +11 in turnover margin and has scored 71 points off 30 turnovers. Opponents have tallied 66 points off 19 Dawg miscues. Swann is the fifth Dawg in bowl history to have 2 picks in a game.

”Gurshall:” Georgia split carries between freshman tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley with Marshall making his first career start. Gurley finished with 125 yards on 23 carries with 1 TD while Marshall had 8 carries for 36 yards. Gurley wound up with 17 rushing TDs for the year, which ranks in a tie for third most in a single season. For the year, Gurley had 1,385 yards which is the second most in school history by a freshman, trailing only Herschel Walker (1,616 in 1980). Gurley’s season total ranks 6th overall in Dawg history. Gurley tallied 9 games with at least 100 yards rushing, which ranks tied for 3rd in school history for a season.

For Starters: Two first-time starters today in freshman tailback Keith Marshall and junior split end Rhett McGowan.

Captains: Seniors Tavarres King (Flanker), Shawn Williams (Strong Safety) and Ty Frix (Long Snapper) plus juniors Aaron Murray (Quarterback) and Jarvis Jones (Outside Linebacker) served as the captains.

Injuries: Sophomore split-end Malcolm Mitchell left the game in the first quarter with a concussion and did not return. Senior defensive end Abry Jones did not play as he was aiming to come back from an ankle injury, which had sidelined him since late October.

Final Game: In addition to the seniors on the team, junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree confirmed that he will not return for his senior season and will enter this years NFL draft.