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Georgia Sports News

  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart was setting a quick pace on Scrimmage Two day, his voice booming throughout Sanford Stadium via microphone and speakers. 'On the hop!' Smart commanded, leading his team into 7-on-7 drills that served as a warm-up for a more than 120-play scrimmage. The Bulldogs have some fine tuning to finish up before the opening game week arrives. Georgia, ranked No. 3 in the nation, opens the season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday against Vanderbilt in Nashville. RELATED: 6 Georgia players who could use a strong Scrimmage Two Jake Fromm will enter his third season as the Bulldogs' starting quarterback. Fromm will need every bit of his experience to help meld an inexperienced receiving corps missing the top four pass catchers from a season ago. Fromm's struggles in Scrimmage One were well-documented. RELATED: Fired-up Kirby Smart calls out lethargic' starters in Scrimmage One Teammates said it went beyond the quarterback and throughout the entire first team offense. Senior tight end Charlie Woerner said last Saturday's 100-degree heat index contributed to the offensive struggles, suggesting players need to be mentally tougher. The heat index was 91 degree on this Saturday at the start of the scrimmage, and Fromm, for his part, was throwing darts in the warmups. Receivers Tommy Bush, Jaylen Johnson and Makiya Tongue had drops in the early part of practice. Meanwhile, Matt Landers, Demetris Robertson and Tyler Simmons continued to go first in the wide receivers group. Like the running backs, the receivers rotate, but it appears there's some semblance of a depth chart based on the consistency the players line up for drills at their positions. D'Andre Swift, who missed the start of practice on Tuesday, was dressed out for the scrimmage and appeared to be 100 percent. Smart will likely be asked about Swift's health following the Saturday practice. On defense, Azeez Ojulari appears to be holdingdown the top spot in the outside linebacker rotation and was a partnering will Walter Grant in warmups. Nolan Smith and Adam Anderson were working together behind them along with Robert Beal and Jermaine Johnson. Monty Rice and Tae Crowder have consistently been the first inside linebackers on the field through drill work, with Channing Tindall and Quay Walker with the twos. RELATED: J.R. Reed says defensive Havoc Rate out the roof' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' D'Andre Swift returns, Brian Herrien first through drill work Skyrocketing Georgia ticket prices spiked by Notre Dame Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' Jake Fromm working to gain chemistry with receivers The post Georgia football on the hop' for Scrimmage Two, starters look for vindication appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football fans crave a national championship, and this season might be the year their wait comes to an end. However, the first step toward making that happen is for UGA coach Kirby Smart to lead the Bulldogs to a third-straight SEC East title. With that in mind, DawgNation is proud to present in partnership with Georgia's Own Credit Union the 'Own the East' series. A season preview content series focused on what it will take for UGA to dominate the division once again, and possibly return to the College Football Playoff. Georgia has been on an unprecedented run of recruiting success since Kirby Smart became coach in 2016. The program has never collected talent at the rate it currently is, and the result of those Signing Day wins is increased anticipation for those Bulldogs players' college debuts. 2019 will be no different in that regard. UGA signed five 5-star recruits in its most recent class offensive lineman Clay Webb, wide receiver George Pickens, defensive lineman Travon Walker and linebackers Nakobe Dean and Nolan Smith. All of them could make a significant impact this season, but they might not be the only newcomers to accomplish that feat. Some of the Bulldogs' other 2019 signees including a trio of 4-star prospects such as safety Lewis Cine, wide receiver Dominick Blaylock and defensive back Tyrique Stevenson are also in the mix for playing time based on the early buzz. In fact, it's likely all these freshmen along with most of the Bulldogs' 2019 signees will play at least some this season. UGA only redshirted five members of its 2016 class, seven from the 2017 class and eight last season which was the first year of a new NCAA rule that allowed players to retain a redshirt after playing in up to four games. However, while it's safe to assume most freshmen will play, it's still a bit of a mystery to determine which of them will play well. The SEC's recent past suggests success for a few of the newcomers is possible, but expectations should maybe be tempered a bit. For instance, only nine true freshman in the last five years have made either the coaches or Associated Press' first or second-team All-SEC teams. The last UGA player to accomplish the feat was running back Nick Chubb a first-team selection in 2014. Yet despite not showing up on many All-SEC teams in recent years, freshmen have been major contributors for some of the league's best teams including UGA in 2017 which was led to the College Football Playoff in part by two freshmen starters, quarterback Jake Fromm and then-right tackle Andrew Thomas. Could first-year players lead the Bulldogs in a similar fashion this season? It seems unlikely. UGA's depth is arguably far greater now than it was then. Take Webb for instance, He was the No. 26 recruit in the country for the class of 2019 19 spots higher than Thomas was in 2017. Yet Thomas was able to earn a starting position immediately for the Bulldogs. That probably won't be possible for Webb this season. Four of UGA's presumed offensive line starters were named to the Preseason All-SEC team and the two top backups sophomores Cade Mays and Jamaree Salyer were also 5-star recruits. The future looks bright for Webb, but he'll probably need more patience than Thomas required. The chances of early playing time might be better for Pickens and Blaylock, but what are the realistic expectations for them in year one? In 2015, two SEC freshmen eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving Alabama's Calvin Ridley and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk. However, since then, only three SEC freshmen have surpassed 600 receiving yards, and UGA has only had two freshmen exceed 300 receiving yards in the last seven years Isaac Nauta (361 yards in 2016) and Terry Godwin (379 yards in 2015). Pickens and Blaylock might not match the highs of Ridley and Kirk, but they have a strong chance to outpace what has been the typical freshman Bulldogs receiver. Pickens was rated as the No. 24 prospect in the country for the class of 2019. Blaylock was No. 36. Prior to adding them, UGA hadn't signed a wide receiver rated among the top-100 recruits since 2009. On the other side of the ball, there are seemingly more opportunities for freshmen. Walker, Smith and Dean might eventually emerge as starters. Yet if that happens, they're unlikely to rank among the Bulldogs' statistical leaders. Only one true freshman in the SEC has exceeded 80 total tackles in a season over the last five years (Arkansas' Dre Greenlaw with 95 in 2015). Eight freshmen have collected at least 60 tackles over that span. As for rushing the passer, three of the SEC's top sack totals came from freshmen in 2014. However, only 10 freshmen since then have collected at least three sacks in a season. No freshman managed that feat in 2018. Of course, Walker, Smith and Dean's stats could be bolstered by UGA's offseason emphasis on Havoc Rate. However, their productivity could also be diminished by the crowded nature of their position groups. The SEC has seemingly been a little easier for first-year defensive backs to navigate. Five freshmen ranked among the league's top 29 in passes broken up last season. That could be good news for Stevenson and Cine, but that also appears to be one of UGA's most competitive battles for playing time with Richard LeCounte and J.R. Reed returning as starters at safety, Eric Stokes back at cornerback and possibly Tyson Campbell a partial starter last season potentially manning the other corner spot. Ultimately, projecting freshman performances isn't easy. While it's true that SEC newcomers occasionally emerge as some of the conference's top players, more often than not they rank below more-experienced players in the stat column. In other words, the safest bet is to assume these freshmen and the rest of the 2019 class are more likely to be a supplement to the Bulldogs' championship pursuit rather than be the catalyst for it. The post Own the East: Fans have high hopes for UGA's latest collection of elite recruits appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football Scrimmage Two gives players to get dialed in and make yet another case for playing time at Sanford Stadium, some needing to impress more than others. Coach Kirby Smart said the first scrimmage was 'lethargic' and will be looking for improvement from the first-team offense and first-team defense. For that matter, the order of a few rotations may have shifted since the first scrimmage, particularly in the running back and receiver rotations on offense. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs are just two weeks away from opening the season with a 7:30 p.m. game in Nashville against Vanderbilt. Smart was disappointed with the pass game, in particular, not surprising since QB Jake Fromm lost his top five pass catchers from a season ago. For all the 7-on-7 the team did the summer and throwing and catching after practice, getting a pass game into sync in 11-on-11 full scrimmage action is a different matter. No doubt, that's why more than one of the five players identified as needing a good scrimmage is part of the receiving corps. 5 players who need a good Scrimmage Two for Georgia 1. WR Matt Landers The redshirt sophomore appears to be running with the ones, ahead of Miami transfer Lawrence Cager. But if there's one thing we've seen from Smart and his coaching staff in the past, it's how quickly rotations can change in the receiving corps and secondary, where multiple players are used in each game. As fluid as the depth chart is, there's still a matter of pride earning the start. Landers has the talent to start, but he needs to continue to show the consistency in the second scrimmage. 2. WR Demetris Robertson Robertson had a strong sprig and looks to be in sync with Fromm as any of the receivers, but he's being pushed by redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson and true freshman Dominick Blaylock. Robertson didn't catch a single pass last season, juggling a ball thrown behind him out of bounds in one game. An illness kept Robertson out of the G-Day Game, so Bulldogs fans are ready to see the former 5-star prospect and FWAA Freshman All-American live up to the hype. 3. DL Malik Herring Is this talented junior defensive lineman ready to live up to his potential? A former Top 100 national prospect, Herring appears to have the athleticism to develop into a standout player, but for whatever reason, it hasn't happened to this point. For the Georgia defensive line to be at its best, Herring will need to practice and play with the sort of maturity the head coach is looking for in what may be the most pivotal position group on the team. 4. RB Zamir White White looked so good in Scrimmage One that the head coach turned the page on his comeback and started talking about the areas he needed to improve. White hasn't played in a real football game in more than a year and a half, and Smart indicated his pass blocking and ball protection would be priorities. It's possible the second scrimmage could also represent a psychological hurdle, of sorts, as it was in the second scrimmage of last fall the White tore his ALC in a non-contact incident while on special teams. 5. TE Eli Wolf The Tennessee transfer was less than 100 percent for Scrimmage One, so Saturday's opportunity to shine will be a big one for Wolf. Wolf had a strong offseason in the weight room and ranks as the fastest tight end in the group, and OC James Coley has praised him for his hands and route running Tennessee might have needed Wolf to play at 250 pounds because of the issues on its offensive line. But the former Ohio high school receiving record breaker fits perfectly into the slot left open by Isaac Nauta's early departure playing in the 235-pound range. Wolf is faster than Nauta, but can he show the same sort of consistency catching the football and carrying out blocking assignments? Scrimmage Two will hold some answers. 6. QB Jake Fromm Yes, even Jake Fromm needs to have a good day for the Bulldogs working in Coley's refined Georgia offense. Fromm's Saturday afternoon was so rough last week that Kirby Smart spoke for more than 16 minutes and said more than 2800 words without saying Fromm's name one time. Teammate Charlie Woerner blamed the heat, but it's a good bet Fromm blamed himself and watching film until his eyes fell out of his head. Fromm has been razor sharp in practice all week and will be determined to show out against the Bulldogs' deep and talented secondary. DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' D'Andre Swift returns, Brian Herrien first through drill work Skyrocketing Georgia ticket prices spiked by Notre Dame Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' Jake Fromm working to gain chemistry with receivers The post 6 Georgia football players who need strong Scrimmage Two performance appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are hitting home runs at a record pace, and manager Dave Roberts loves every minute of it. 'It makes me look really good, and it makes the Dodgers look really good,' Roberts said. 'These are guys that really understand situations, what a pitcher is trying to do to them. Guys like that you want in big spots.' Cody Bellinger hit his 41st home run, Max Muncy and Justin Turner connected against reliever Sean Newcomb in the seventh inning, and Los Angeles beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 Friday night in a matchup of NL division leaders. It was nothing new for the powerful Dodgers, who set a major league mark with 22 homers in a five-game span when Will Smith launched a two-run shot off Jerry Blevins in the eighth. 'I think we're a pretty complete team all around,' Muncy said. 'Obviously the home runs are what you notice, but look at what happens before the home runs.' Los Angeles continued to dominate the Braves, too. The Dodgers improved to 18-6 against Atlanta since 2016, using Muncy's three-run homer and Turner's solo shot to lead 6-3 after Newcomb replaced starter Mike Soroka. Los Angeles led 1-0 in the second when Bellinger crushed a homer to right-center , his fourth in five games to take the NL lead. He began the night tied with Angels star Mike Trout for most in the majors. The NL East-leading Braves pounced on Kenta Maeda in the bottom half, going ahead 3-1 on Matt Joyce's two-run double and Ronald Acu a Jr.'s hard RBI single to left-center. Maeda avoided further trouble when Freddie Freeman lined out with the bases loaded. The right-hander struck out seven straight before Josh Donaldson singled with two outs in the fifth. Adam Kolarek (5-3), who replaced Maeda and pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings, got the win. Julio Ur as worked three scoreless innings for his fourth save. The two-time defending NL champion Dodgers, who eliminated the Braves from the postseason last year and swept them at home in May, got a run back in the third off Soroka on Joc Pederson's RBI single. Soroka has gone six straight starts without a win, but was in line for his 11th when Newcomb (5-3) replaced him with two outs in the seventh. Soroka allowed three runs and seven hits. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth when Edwin R os grounded into a double play. But the Atlanta bullpen settled into its familiar role of falling apart this month. Newcomb set the tone by walking the first batter he faced. 'When you come in, you can't walk guys,' manager Brian Snitker said. 'I know it happens and they're not trying to or anything like that, but it's rough when you keep adding the baserunners. The most important person that guy faces when he comes out of the bullpen is that first one pretty much all the time.' Muncy's 30th homer sailed into the seats in right-center as the sellout crowd moaned. Turner followed with a drive to the same part of the ballpark, the 14th time the Dodgers have gone back-to-back this season. Muncy figured Newcomb would come back with a slider after starting him off with two breaking balls and a fastball. 'It kind of popped out of his hand a little bit,' Muncy said. 'He didn't throw it where he wanted to and I was able to put the barrel to it.' The NL West leaders are 13-3 since July 30. NICE COMPANY Muncy is the first Dodgers player with consecutive seasons of 30 homers since Shawn Green in 2001-02. ... Acu a stole his NL-leading 29th base and needs one more to join Trout in 2012 as the only player in baseball history with a 30-30 season before his 22nd birthday. Acu a has 35 homers. ... The Dodgers won their 82nd game to clinch a winning record and haven't had a losing season since 2010. TRAINER'S ROOM Dodgers: Roberts said INF Chris Tayler (broken left forearm) and utilityman Kik Hern ndez (left hand sprain) could return by the middle of next week's homestand against Toronto and the New York Yankees. Both are on rehab assignments. Braves: CF Ender Inciarte left after hurting his right hamstring while rounding third base to score a run. Rafael Ortega took his place. ... SS Dansby Swanson has missed 22 games with a bruised right foot and has no timetable yet for a rehab assignment. UP NEXT Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-2) pitched seven scoreless innings last Sunday against Arizona and leads the majors with a 1.45 ERA. In four career starts against Atlanta, he is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA. Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 6.24 ERA) will face the Dodgers for the fourth time. He is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA against Los Angeles. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,009 (Aug. 116, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about how UGA's key leaders will respond after being called out by Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart after a disappointing performance in the first summer scrimmage last Saturday. Georgia football podcast: UGA's starters have chance to correct lethargic' effort in first scrimmage Beginning of the show: Georgia coach Kirby Smart wasn't pleased with some of the effort he saw in the first scrimmage of summer practices last Saturday. I'll explain on today's show why some of the offenders including UGA's offensive line have a chance at retribution this Saturday. I'll also share some audio of Smart discussing some of the most buzzed-about freshmen on the Bulldogs roster. 10-minute mark: I discuss the confidence UGA players and Smart seem to have regarding the Bulldogs' secondary. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include An update on 4-star linebacker B.J. Ojulari who's set to announce his college decision Friday The latest on 4-star offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran Reaction to some online chatter regarding 5-star cornerback Elias Ricks The latest on UGA's running back recruiting efforts including a discussion about 5-star prospect Zachary Evans And a defense of my seeming fixation on 2020 tight end targets 35-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including Florida losing another member of its 2019 class, a potentially serious injury to a key LSU offensive lineman, the slow process the NCAA is following regarding Tennessee transfer Aubrey Solomon and an early preview of Florida-Miami which is on tap for next Saturday. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA's starters have chance to correct lethargic' effort in first scrimmage appeared first on DawgNation.