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Georgia Sports News

  • ATHENS Georgia football is coming off one its worst upsets in Sanford Stadium history, but as bad as things are, the Bulldogs still opened as a 27-point favorite over Kentucky. COLUMN: Changes needed after historic upset in Athens This, even though the Wildcats are coming off their first SEC win of the season, a 24-20 home victory over Arkansas. UGA plays host to Kentucky at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium (TV: ESPN). The Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1) dropped to No. 10 in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll after their 20-17 double-overtime loss to South Carolina, a game that saw Georgia struggle at the most inopportune times. A review of the boxscore reflects the Bulldogs outgained the Gamecocks 468-297 and controlled the clock 36:04 to 23:56. Four UGA turnovers and two missed field goals, however, proved too much to overcome. Georgia enters the week with many second-guessing offensive coordinator James Coley, even though the Bulldogs rank 10th in the nation in total offense with 504.8 yards per game. Contrast that to Kentucky (3-3, 1-3), which ranks 89th in the nation in total offense (384.3) under offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. It was Gran who reportedly indicated to Kentucky media last spring that he received an offer from Kirby Smart to become the Bulldogs offensive coordinator. Some suspected it was an attempt to leverage a new contract in his coordinator role. RELATED: Georgia didn't offer Eddie Gran offensive coordinator position Georgia sources confirmed to DawgNation that coach Kirby Smart talked with Gran about a position on the staff, but an offer to become the offensive coordinator was never forthcoming. Indeed, the Wildcats offense last season ranked 103rd in the nation, and that was in a 10-win season. Coley was being groomed for the OC position at Georgia for some time, having been promoted to coach quarterbacks and work alongside Jim Chaney as co-offensive coordinator last season. It's hard to imagine any political fallout from Gran using his UGA interview to boost his stock at Kentucky playing a role in the game, but it's safe to say the Bulldogs will look to get their offensive on track to its fullest potential after the embarrassing loss to the Gamecocks. Georgia handled Kentucky last season in Lexington, 34-17, in a game that was never really in doubt. 'They beat us in all phases,' UK coach Mark Stoops said after the Bulldogs out-rushed the Wildcats 331 yards to 84 in a game that determined the SEC East Division champion. Other SEC Games, per VegasInsider.com Alabama 35 1/2 vs. Tennessee LSU -18 at Mississippi State Auburn -16 1/2 at Arkansas Missouri -21 1/2 at Vanderbilt Texas A&M -6 at Ole Miss Florida -6 1/2 at South Carolina Georgia-South Carolina Game coverage Loss to Carolina could prove season defining WATCH: Rodrigo Blankenship discusses missed field goals Georgia recap: How the Bulldogs lost 20-17 in 2OT to South Carolina Stock Report: Bulldogs stock falls in mistake-filled loss to Gamecocks Twitter reacts to Georgia loss to South Carolina Demetris Robertson clutch in fourth quarter for Bulldogs Georgia-Kentucky game time announced Remainder of 2019 season impossible to predict The post Georgia football favored to bounce back impressively against Kentucky appeared first on DawgNation.
  • GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona's Kliff Kingsbury said he didn't even bother to watch Matt Bryant's extra point attempt near the end of the fourth quarter. The Cardinals coach was too busy trying to figure out what his offense was going to run during the minute and 53 seconds left in the game. The way it worked out, Kingsbury could have relaxed. Bryant missed the extra point, and Arizona escaped with a 34-33 win over the Falcons on Sunday behind Kyler Murray's 340 yards passing and three touchdowns. 'That's the way it goes sometimes,' Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. 'I feel like today we had some things that went our way.' Fitzgerald was talking about several close calls that went in favor of the Cardinals, who have now won two straight games. Damiere Byrd looked like he might have fumbled after a 58-yard catch, but the call was upheld after a review. Murray ran for a first down on the game's final drive on a play that was close to being short of the marker, but that review was also confirmed. Even with those advantages, Atlanta could have tied the game with 1:53 left after Matt Ryan hit Devonta Freeman on a 12-yard touchdown pass. But the 44-year-old Bryant missed left on the extra point, and the Cardinals ran out the clock from there. Ryan - who threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns - didn't blame his kicker. The Falcons erased a 17-point deficit in the second half. 'These kinds of games never come down to one play,' Ryan said. 'Everybody in the locker room can look at four or five things they did throughout the game that we could have done better, that we would have been in a different situation at the end of the game.' The Cardinals (2-3-1) took a 34-27 lead with 5:12 remaining on David Johnson's 14-yard touchdown catch from Murray. Johnson made a great adjustment to his route on the slightly underthrown ball, catching the ball between two defenders. The Cardinals won at home for the first time since last Oct. 28. 'It's been a while,' Fitzgerald said. 'Nice to get back on the right track.' After showing flashes during the season's first five games, Arizona's offense put together the complete performance it expected after bringing in coach Kliff Kingsbury and Murray during the offseason. 'Guys are understanding what we can be if we play together as a team and hopefully we can take it into next week,' Kingsbury said. The Falcons (1-5) have lost four straight games. The way this one ended was a stunner. Bryant had missed just three extra points over the past 11 seasons before Sunday. After the miss, the kicker took off his helmet and walked off the field with his head down. 'The only thing that matters is how the game ends,' Bryant said. 'I have gotten a lot of support but it doesn't take away from the feelings of being depended on to do my job and coming up short.' Arizona scored on a 20-yard touchdown from Murray to Maxx Williams early in the third quarter to take a 27-10 lead and looked like it might turn the game into a blowout. Atlanta responded with a field goal and then a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Freeman to pull within 27-20 by the fourth quarter. The Falcons tied the game at 27 with 10:50 left in the fourth quarter after Ryan's 6-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper. Hooper finished with eight catches for 117 yards. The Cardinals were productive on offense in the first half and this time had some success in the red zone, which was a problem in previous games. Chase Edmonds scored on a 2-yard pass from Murray and Johnson ran for a 1-yard score as Arizona built a 20-10 halftime lead. Murray showed off his arm strength and touch on a few big plays, including the 58-yard pass over the middle to Byrd and a 38-yard completion to Trent Sherfield down the left sideline. LONG, FRUITLESS TRIP Atlanta was trying to bounce back after a 53-32 loss at Houston last week. The Falcons stayed on the road, flying directly to Phoenix and practicing for a week in the desert before Sunday. It looked like the strategy might work until Bryant's miss. Atlanta jumped to a 7-0 lead early on Ryan's 9-yard pass to Calvin Ridley that capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive, but the Falcons managed just 50 yards the rest of the first half. Ryan completed 30 of 36 passes and the Falcons slightly outgained the Cardinals with 444 total yards. ANOTHER ONE Arizona's Chandler Jones had arguably the biggest defensive play of the game when he sacked Ryan and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter. The Falcons recovered, but the play forced a punt and stopped Atlanta's momentum. COMPLETE PERFORMANCE Murray is the first NFL quarterback to have at least 20 completions in his first six career games. UP NEXT The Falcons return home to face the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday. The Cardinals travel to face the New York Giants next Sunday. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • South Carolina has officially apologized for tearing off pieces of UGA's treasured hedges to celebrate Saturday's upset over the Bulldogs. UGA athletics director Greg McGarity told DawgNation that South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner contacted him on Sunday afternoon. 'Ray just apologized for those actions,' McGarity told DawgNation. What did McGarity, who has taken a strong stance against 'property destruction' to the hedges in past years, think about what happened after Saturday's game? 'I don't like it all. 'We sure don't do that when we win at an opponents' venue under Kirby's leadership.' The hedges are the historic green bushes that surround Vince Dooley football field at Sanford Stadium which ESPN called 'the most famous shrubs in sports.' It's obviously a sensitive issue to many UGA fans and school officials when opposing teams damage the hedges after games. On Saturday, unranked South Carolina upset then-No. 3 UGA in college football's biggest upset of the season. To celebrate the historic win, the celebrating Gamecock players ripped off pieces of the hallowed hedges as souvenirs. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and several of the team's assistants were also seen carrying souvenir pieces of the hedges (see below picture) . Ironically, Muschamp was fully aware of the sacredness of the hedges, as he played football for UGA from 1991 to 1994. In the videos below, Georgia's stadium security (along with one police officer) tried to block the South Carolina players from the hedges but they were eventually overwhelmed Saturday was the 90 th birthday of the legendary hedges, which made their debut on Oct. 12, 1929, for UGA vs. Yale. WATCH: When you knock off the No. 3 team in the nation in their home, you do a little post-game gardening. Some Gamecocks taking a little souvenir from the hedges at Sanford Stadium after beating the Bulldogs today pic.twitter.com/XrtWur0fsL Cam Gaskins (@CamGaskinsTV) October 12, 2019 #Gamecocks players literally taking a bite out of the hedges. They pull the upset off in Athens 20-17 over (3) #UGA. @abcnews4 pic.twitter.com/yufMMROK9n Greg Brzozowski (@GregBrzozowski) October 12, 2019 Will you accept these hedges? pic.twitter.com/HYqnbNh7U9 Ryan Bethea (@RyanBethea_) October 12, 2019 Muschamp played between those very hedges from 1991-94. You'd think he'd have a little more respect for his alma mater. https://t.co/ftckCkApyk UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) October 12, 2019 The post South Carolina's AD apologizes for damage to UGA's treasured hedges appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Nobody is making excuses for UGA: The loss to unranked South Carolina at home was the college football's biggest upset of the year, and embarrassing to the Bulldogs program. Even SEC Network personality Paul Finebaum didn't sugarcoat that in his appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter on Sunday. 'Georgia just absolutely laid an egg.' There will be more anger and frustrations expressed over the next day or so, but eventually UGA will have to move on in the grieving process. Here's how UGA coach Kirby Smart will do it, per Finebaum: 'It is worth remembering though that in the last five years the champion four times has lost a game. Only Clemson ran the table last year. That's what Kirby Smart will tell his team. Whether they listen or not remains to be seen.' Thoughts? Please post below. The post Finebaum predicts what Kirby Smart will tell the team this week appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The decision not to allow Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship to attempt what would have been a 60-yard field goal at the end of regulation has led to some second guessing. Kirby Smart explained how a 5-yard illegal shift penalty led to UGA deciding to attempt a deep pass rather than kick on the final play of regulation. COLUMN: Georgia football changes needed after historic and shocking upset Blankenship's career-long field goal is 55 yards. But Blankenship had a 53-yard attempt blocked at the end of the first half in the 20-17 double-overtime loss to South Carolina. WATCH: Rodrigo Blankenship postgame, discusses missed kicks 'We thought 38 yard line (55-yard attempt), it was a long, long field goal but it was a shot to make it,' Smart said. 'We felt like we had to take one more chance to get five or six yards and we were going to kick it. Thought we could get some more yards back but the penalty obviously killed us.' Indeed, some thought Georgia was rolling the dice trying another play with six seconds left and no timeouts. The penalty on the play an incomplete pass made the decision costly. 'Not only did we get the penalty, but we lost the play,' Smart said. 'When you lost the play and you get the penalty, now you're forced with three seconds left to kick a 60-yarder or try a Hail Mary.' The illegal shift occurred when Jake Fromm appeared to change the play with just three seconds on the play clock. Fromm's audible or route change triggered a shift from receivers George Pickens and Demetris Robertson. One stepped up on the line of scrimmage, one took a step back. The receivers, however, did not shift quickly enough to be set for one second. That led to the 5-yard penalty that Smart felt took Blankenship out of range. Blankenship said he trusted his coach's decision and understood the concern a 60-yard attempt would have created. Rodrigo Blankenship says he wanted the chance to kick the ball at the end of regulation. pic.twitter.com/g6XAj9r3tL 960 The Ref (@960theref) October 12, 2019 'When we had it at the 38-yard line, that was going to be in range,' Blankenship said. 'But the penalty pushed us back, and I think with them blocking one earlier, we really didn't want to risk that again. 'I trust coach Smart, and he trusts me. I think he would have given me that chance from 55 yards. I'm already ready, I'm ready for anything.' Georgia coach Kirby Smart Georgia-South Carolina Game coverage Loss to Carolina could prove season defining WATCH: Rodrigo Blankenship discusses missed field goals Georgia recap: How the Bulldogs lost 20-17 in 2OT to South Carolina Stock Report: Bulldogs stock falls in mistake-filled loss to Gamecocks Twitter reacts to Georgia loss to South Carolina Demetris Robertson clutch in fourth quarter for Bulldogs Georgia-Kentucky game time announced Remainder of 2019 season impossible to predict The post WATCH: Kirby Smart explains not trying field goal at end of regulation appeared first on DawgNation.