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  • ATHENS, Ga. — Kirby Smart made it clear Georgia football isn’t ready to go away, even after a 36-16 defeat at LSU that dropped the Bulldogs to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 rankings. “T he message for us is everything we want is in front of us,” Smart said. “The key for us is to move forward. We still have a good football team. We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do. “Every opportunity that we had before this game is still in front of us. The margin of error is just smaller. We’ve got to get better.” The Bulldogs’ odds to win the College Football Playoff championship are sure to drop from where they were last Monday, at 7-to-1 per VegasInsider. But odds and betting lines aren’t always accurate indicators, as last Saturday’s game in Death Valley proved. Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was a 7-point favorite over LSU, largely based on the respect the team earned during its SEC championship season and College Football Playoff title game run of a year ago. This season’s UGA team has not beat an opponent that’s currently ranked in the Top 25 The Bulldogs lost several key pieces and rank as the youngest team in the SEC with more than two-thirds of the roster (68 percent) freshmen or sophomores. Still, Georgia controls its own destiny, with showdowns against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 and at Kentucky on Nov. 3. “W e’re a team, and that we’re going to bounce back from this,” Smart told his team following the loss in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. “This is very similar to last year (losing at Auburn), we probably played better leading up to our loss last year, I didn’t think we had played as well this year.” SEC East Division co-leader and No. 11-ranked Florida (6-1, 4-1), like Georgia, has a bye this week. But upstart Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), ranked No. 14, is in action against Vanderbilt in a 7:30 p.m. game in Lexington. The Wildcats have opened as an 11 1/2-point favorite over the Commodores, according to VegasInsider.com. Vanderbilt was a hard-luck loser in Nashville on Saturday to Florida, 37-27. Kentucky, like Georgia, controls its own destiny having defeat the Gators 27-16 in Week 2. The Wildcats, whose only SEC defeat came at Texas A&M, play at Missouri on Oct. 27 leading up to their showdown with the Bulldogs. Here is the line for all of the SEC football games this week: Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11 1/2) Alabama at Tennessee (TBA) Tulsa at Arkansas (TBA) Memphis at Missouri (-7) Auburn (-2 1/2) at Ole Miss Mississippi State at LSU (-6 1/2)   The post Georgia football odds for title diminish with loss, but Bulldogs control destiny appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation will offer this report every Sunday after games which focuses on the freshmen who played, what they did and who has lost one of those newly-reshaped (four games or less) redshirts.  Check out this edition for UGA football after another disappointing 36-16 loss on the road in the SEC West at LSU.    This will be a planned Sunday feature where DawgNation can show the path between the nation’s top-rated recruiting class for 2018 onto the playing field. The 20-point loss on Saturday offered some of the most critical evaluations this season about Georgia’s youngest players. The guys just didn’t give the UGA faithful a lot to cheer about on Saturday. Tyson Campbell -UGA football-Georgia football” width=”3231″ height=”3037″ /> Tyson Campbell was tested early and often on Saturday in the 36-16 loss at LSU. (Bob Andres/AJC) Potential + Preparation = Performance Legit not-so-obvious opening question: The Justin Fields talk is everywhere, but that line of thinking pervades several depth chart conversations with these freshmen. Georgia’s ILBs didn’t turn in a game-winning performance. at the tackles were made by defensive backs on Saturday? Tyson Campbell (11 tackles), Richard LeCounte (9 tackles) and J.R. Reed (7 tackles) on Saturday. All told, the defensive backs tallied up 32 of UGA’s 95 tackles against the Tigers. The entire UGA linebacker corps had just 31 tackles on Saturday. How close are Channing Tindall and Quay Walker to earning more time at ILB? Just how close continued: How close is James Cook to becoming a reliable threat as an all-purpose back on third down as a check down guy? What about Jordan Davis getting a heavier rotation of reps at noseguard as well? Can the bye week allow the staff to give all of these guys a really long look? The Tyson Campbell stuff from Saturday: Campbell was matched up against LSU’s talented receivers a lot on Saturday. The opinion here is that the LSU group has more elite talents and is a deeper group than what the Bulldogs have at this time. Campbell did not win the majority of those matchups and he finished with eight solo tackles and a team-high 11 tackles. That is not what any defensive coordinator wants to see from one of his cornerbacks on the stat sheet as they leave Death Valley. The Justin Fields stat line: Fields had one rushing attempt for three yards. He was in the game for a total of five plays. A deeper Justin Fields stat line for the season: The Bulldog backup has a full passing stat line of 18 completions across of 25 attempts for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception. Fields also has 18 carries for 143 yards and three touchdowns to rank as Georgia’s fifth-leading rusher. However, here is the passing totals he has accumulated against SEC teams this year. South Carolina: 1-1-0 for 8 yards. Missouri: No passing attempts. Tennessee: 1-2-0 for 5 yards. Vanderbilt: 3-6-0 for 53 yards. LSU:  No passing attempts. Bottom line: Fields has thrown the ball just nine times this year against conference foes. Best game as a Bulldog: This space is going to have to be empty for this week. For obvious reasons. An interesting game film nonetheless: We have to at least mention Robert Beal Jr. here. He did come up with an early sack and he saw some extended time against a top-tier opponent. Beal came out of that game with four tackles and a rare non-D’Andre Walker Bulldog sack for this year. Freshmen who might be contributing more column: It is very very hard to play in the SEC. But when I look at the stat line for Brenton Cox this year, I see just two solo tackles, nine total tackles, zero stops for losses, zero sacks and three passes broken up. I felt he was capable of a little bit more than that by now but he has also not been as widely used as other playing options. Adam Anderson also has just five tackles and one stop for a loss this year. A 5-star dose of reality: To be clear, the previous topic was not an indicator of how Anderson and Cox were rated or as a critical assessment of how those are progressing so far at Georgia. It is more of a gauge of just how hard it is for even All-Americans like those guys to earn the trust of their coaches to play in the SEC for a team that is contending for championships. Freshmen Bulldog Tweet of the game: This one from Cade Mays has already grabbed a lot of attention. Mays is developing a very nasty playing style in the SEC. He plays to the echo of the whistle but I can see how some fan bases already view him as a true intimidator at UGA. Cade Mays, all 318 pounds of him, just bellyflopped this pile. @cade_mays pic.twitter.com/4Ywo5M2dRL — Dayne Young (@dayneyoung) October 13, 2018 How many freshmen played (true or redshirt) : 16 Who started (all freshmen) : P Jake Camarda; CB Tyson Campbell; OG/OT Cade Mays; OT Isaiah Wilson The 13 true freshmen who played against Vandy:  Camarda + Campbell + Mays and : OLB Adam Anderson RB James Cook OLB Brenton Cox NG Jordan Davis QB Justin Fields TE Luke Ford OL Trey Hill OG Jamaree Salyer ILB Channing Tindall ILB Quay Walker Who played (redshirt freshman column) : OLB Robert Beal Jr. CB Eric Stokes OT Isaiah Wilson (starter) Position breakdown for the true freshmen who saw action against Vandy (with last weeks number): DB: 1  (2) ILB: 2 (2) OLB: 2 (2) OL: 3 (5) DL: 1 (1) P: 1 (1) QB: 1 (2) RB: 1 (1) TE: 0 (1) WR: 0 (1) Interesting freshman travel roster note from Saturday: Freshman OT Owen Condon made the trip for the LSU game on Saturday. That came a week after his Georgia debut at home last week against Vanderbilt. The 10 true freshmen who have played in every game Simply put, they can no longer use 2018 as a redshirt year. OLB Adam Anderson P Jake Camarda (7 starts) CB Tyson Campbell (7 starts) RB James Cook OLB Brenton Cox QB Justin Fields OL Trey Hill OL Cade Mays (4 starts) ILB Channing Tindall ILB Quay Walker Fields first came into the game when: He entered the game with 5:09 seconds left in the first half for one play. Georgia trailed 16-0 at the time. Brian Herrien ran the ball for one yard on the snap and Jake Fromm returned to the huddle for the next snap. PICTURE THIS, PART I The Georgia fan base represented itself well this weekend supporting the program. There was no doubt about that this weekend. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) True freshmen players who did not play: WR Tommy Bush; OT Owen Condon; OL Warren Ericson; TE John FitzPatrick; WR Kearis Jackson; OLB Azeez Ojulari; DB Otis Reese; DB Chris Smith; RB Zamir White (out for the season); DB Divaad Wilson (likely out for at least 3-4 more weeks.) Participation report for the 2018 freshmen signees so far This will be worth watching in terms of the new redshirt rules. OLB Adam Anderson: 7 games WR Tommy Bush: 1 game P Jake Camarda: 7 games CB Tyson Campbell: 7 games OT Owen Condon: 1 game RB James Cook: 7 games OLB Brenton Cox: 7 games OL Warren Ericson: 1 game QB Justin Fields: 7 games TE John FitzPatrick: 2 games TE Luke Ford: 6 games OL Trey Hill: 7 games WR Kearis Jackson: 4 games OL Cade Mays: 7 games OLB Azeez Ojulari: 1 game DB Otis Reese: 5 games OL Jamaree Salyer: 6 games DB Chris Smith: 3 games ILB Channing Tindall: 7 games ILB Quay Walker: 7 games RB Zamir White: 0 games (Redshirt-Summer ACL injury) DB Divaad Wilson: 0 games (Spring ACL injury PICTURE THIS, PART II LSU quarterback Joe Burrow exchanged a few words and what looked to be mutual respect with Georgia freshman Justin Fields after the game on Saturday. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) 2017 signees who did not show on the game participation report: R-Fr. DB Tray Bishop; R-Fr.DB Latavious Brini; Sophomore DB Deangelo Gibbs; Redshirt junior OT D’Marcus Hayes; ILB Jaden Hunter; OL Netori Johnson; WR Matt Landers; Sophomore DB William Poole; Sophomore CB Ameer Speed. PICTURE THIS, PART III The Georgia offensive line on the right side with redshirt freshman OT Isaiah Wilson and true freshman Cade Mays bodes very well for the future of the program. It bears repeating that those two both have at least three combined years after this season with the program. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) 5-star Top 5 ratings through seven games: Here’s a feature I’ve been thinking of using for a while now but wanted to get past the midterm mark to see where it all lands on the film. I’ll update this over the balance of the season. What exactly is this? This is a nod of the head to the record number of 5-star recruits (7 off the 247Sports Composite) that the Bulldogs signed in the 2018 recruiting cycle. These 5-stars are rated on the basis of how much they have contributed to Georgia’s overall success this season. CB Tyson Campbell OG/OT Cade Mays QB Justin Fields P Jake Camarda OLB Brenton Cox Got to end on a lighter note  Want to flush the bad mood from the big LSU mood from the weekend. A UGA X pic should fill that role. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) The post Freshman report on UGA football: LSU 36, Georgia 16 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. 'It was all hands on deck,' Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. 'The play is a play you run once,' tight end O.J. Howard said. 'It was a great call. We almost got it.' Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. 'Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's,' Ryan said. 'But I'm more excited about the win.' He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. 'I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,' Quinn gushed. 'He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach.' JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards - his third 100-yard game of the season - and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • On Saturday, Georgia had one of its worst games in recent memory, as the Bulldogs struggled in a number of phases in its 36-16 loss to LSU. And now that the Bulldogs no longer sport a perfect record, they took fell in the AP Poll, going from No. 2 to No. 8. Georgia came in at No. 6 in the Coaches Poll. A number of things went completely wrong for Georgia on Saturday. It gave up 275 rushing yards, were stagnant on offense for most of the day and made some critical mistakes on special teams. Jake Fromm in particular struggled as he completed just 16 of his 34 pass attempts while also throwing two interceptions. LSU, who went  from No. 13 to No. 5 after the big home win, was clearly the better team in Tiger Stadium on Saturday. Georgia wasn’t the only top 10 team to lose on Saturday, as No. 6 West Virginia, No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Penn State all also lost. The top 4 is now Alabama at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2, Clemson at No. 3 and Notre Dame at No. 4. As for the SEC teams, there are seven teams ranked, with Florida coming in at No. 11, Kentucky at No. 13 and Texas A&M at No. 17. Mississippi State  is ranked No. 22 Auburn, which was ranked No. 21, fell out of the rankings after a 30-24 loss to Tennessee at home. Georgia’s next three opponents are Florida (in Jacksonville, Fla.), Kentucky (in Lexington, Ky.) and Auburn. The Bulldogs will have a bye week this week to correct some of the issues that came about during the LSU game. Below you can see the whole AP Poll for week 8. AP Poll Top 25 Week 8 1 –   Alabama SEC 7-0 1,524 _ Share 2 1   Ohio State Big Ten 7-0 1,457 _ Share 3 1   Clemson ACC 6-0 1,392 _ Share 4 1   Notre Dame Division I FBS Ind 7-0 1,355 _ Share 5 8   LSU SEC 6-1 1,244 _ Share 6 6   Michigan Big Ten 6-1 1,146 _ Share 7 2   Texas Big 12 6-1 1,144 _ Share 8 6   Georgia SEC 6-1 1,085 _ Share 9 2   Oklahoma Big 12 5-1 999 _ Share 10 –   UCF The American 6-0 979 _ Share 11 3   Florida SEC 6-1 931 _ Share 12 5   Oregon Pac-12 5-1 917 _ Share 13 7   West Virginia Big 12 5-1 700 _ Share 14 4   Kentucky SEC 5-1 678 _ Share 15 8   Washington Pac-12 5-2 640 _ Share 16 4   North Carolina State ACC 5-0 592 _ Share 17 5   Texas A&M SEC 5-2 551 _ Share 18 10   Penn State Big Ten 4-2 523 _ Share 19 –   Iowa Big Ten 5-1 266 _ Share 20 5   Cincinnati The American 6-0 243 _ Share 21 2   South Florida The American 6-0 242 _ Share 22 2   Mississippi State SEC 4-2 231 _ Share 23 8   Wisconsin Big Ten 4-2 226 _ Share 24 –   Michigan State Big Ten 4-2 199 _ Share 25 –   Washington State Pac-12 5-1 136 _ Best Stories from around DawgNation Report Card: After bombing midterm exam, Georgia Bulldogs seek perfection rest of way Georgia’s heralded rushing attack went AWOL in loss to LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron says Tigers had message to send to Georgia Kirby Smart defends Georgia QB Jake Fromm: ‘All the struggles weren’t his’ at LSU Georgia believed fake field goal vs. LSU would work based on film study Georgia coach Kirby Smart won’t second-guess not using Justin Fields more at LSU Georgia football stock report: LSU cashes in on Bulldogs’ mistakes The post Georgia takes big drop in AP Poll after loss to LSU appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Falcons are dedicating today’s game against Tampa Bay to Dylan Thomas, who died from injuries suffered in a Pike County High School football game on Sept. 28. Thomas’ family and teammates will be part of the flag crew during pregame activities.