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Bulldogs Cruise to Victory Over the Commodores

Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) during the Bulldogs’ game with Vanderbilt in Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Georgia Sports Communications

Sept. 25, 2021

 

Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) during the Bulldogs’ game with Vanderbilt in Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs started fast and cruised to a 62-0 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores in front of 32,178 fans at Vanderbilt Stadium and an SEC Network nationally televised audience on Saturday afternoon.

 

Georgia (4-0, 2-0 SEC) tallied 532 yards of offense: 291 passing and 241 rushing. Junior tailback Zamir White led the Bulldogs’ runners with 48 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.

 

Redshirt junior quarterback JT Daniels finished 9-for-10 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns before senior quarterback Stetson Bennett relieved him in the second quarter. Bennett finished 11-for-15 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown, while freshman tight end Brock Bowers led the team with four receptions for 69 yards and three touchdowns – one rushing and two receiving.

 

On the defensive front, the Bulldogs held the Commodores (1-3, 0-1 SEC) to just 77 yards of total offense, including only 53 on the ground. The Bulldogs also racked up two interceptions, a sack, and four tackles for loss. Senior outside linebacker Robert Beall led all tacklers with three solo stops, while a slew of Bulldogs totaled three tackles.

 

“I was proud at how fast the guys started,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “I’m really proud of our fan base. I thought the turnout was incredible, as it normally is when we come up here. Our guys came out here and started fast. That was the goal all week… We talked about starting fast and playing to our standard.”

 

“Tough atmosphere to play in early on. From warm-ups throughout. We talked about it being early, not letting it be an excuse. If you’re going to be elite as a team, you have to be elite all the time. Not some of the time. That is not how elite teams play. Our guys embraced that and I’m proud of them,” Smart said.

 

After winning the coin toss and differing to the second half, the Georgia defense immediately made their presence known by forcing back-to-back Vanderbilt three-and-outs. On offense, the Bulldogs made quick work. Bowers, a native of Napa, Calif., took an end-around for a 12-yard touchdown before catching a 25-yard touchdown pass on the next Georgia drive.

 

Back-to-back Commodore turnovers led to the Bulldogs’ next two scoring drives. First junior Jaylen Johnson forced a fumble on kickoff, which led to White punching one in from the goal line. On the very next play from scrimmage, senior defensive back Christopher Smith recorded his second interception of the year. Two plays later, Daniels found redshirt-freshman Ladd McConkey for a 12-yard touchdown pass, his first career score.

 

“It felt good to get my first touchdown,” said McConkey. “At the end of the day, the win is all that matters. It was good to have some individual (accomplishments), but as long as we win that is my biggest thing.”

 

After forcing yet another Vanderbilt three-and-out, McConkey found the end zone again. This time on a 24-yard end-around run to give the Bulldogs a 35-0 lead in the first quarter. Georgia continued to dominate and cruised to a 62-0 win, in the two teams’ first meeting since 2019. The Bulldogs move to 59-20-2 all-time against the Commodores after today’s win.

 

“The vibe on the sideline is always positive, but we still treat every play likes it’s 0-0,” said junior outside linebacker Nolan Smith. “We try to always cause more turnovers. We have a standard here. We always try to meet that standard every game…We always say that there is no drop-off. If you’re on the field, you’re a starter… We say no one gets in our endzone, and that’s the standard for everybody.”

 

Next up, Georgia returns to Athens to host No. 16 Arkansas (3-0, 0-0 SEC) next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. The game will broadcast on SEC Network.

 

Georgia Pair Earn SEC Football Weekly Honors

Georgia wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) during the Bulldogs’ game with South Carolina in Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia junior linebacker Nolan Smith and freshman receiver Adonai (AD) Mitchell have earned Southeastern Conference weekly honors, according to a league announcement.

 

Smith was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.  He shares this week’s honor with Alabama linebacker Will Anderson.  Mitchell was named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week.

 

This marks the first weekly awards for both Smith and Mitchell.  Last week, senior quarterback Stetson Bennett (Offensive Player) garnered an SEC honor following the win over UAB.  Senior safety Christopher Smith (Defensive Player) and senior nose tackle Jordan Davis (Defensive Lineman) garnered a pair of the conference accolades after the season-opening victory over No. 3 Clemson.

 

Smith, a native of Savannah, Ga., ignited the Bulldog defense with a career-high eight tackles during Georgia’s 40-13 dismantling of South Carolina.  He had 1.5 sacks in his performance, including splitting one with Jordan Davis that resulted in a Gamecocks safety before the half.

 

Smith also forced a fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by the Bulldogs and led to Georgia’s fifth touchdown of the game.  Thanks in part to Smith’s performance, the Bulldog defense has only allowed a single touchdown this year.

 

Mitchell, a native of Missouri City, Texas, posted career highs of four catches for a team-high 77 yards and his first career touchdown during the victory over the Gamecocks.  He hauled in a career-long 38 yarder for a score from JT Daniels to give the Bulldogs a 21-6 edge in the second quarter.  Mitchell’s other three catches went for first downs, including two on third-and-long situations.

 

The No. 2 Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC) travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt (1-2) on Saturday.  SECN will televise the matchup at 12 p.m. ET.

 

Georgia-Arkansas kickoff at 12:00 noon

For Immediate Release

Sept. 20, 2021

ATHENS——— The Saturday, Oct. 2, Southeastern Conference football game between Georgia and Arkansas in Athens will kick off at 12:00 noon ET and be televised by ESPN according to an announcement Monday by the SEC office.

Georgia’s all-time record on ESPN is 54-34-1.

No. 2 Bulldogs Dominate Gamecocks In SEC Opener

Georgia defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (95) during the Bulldogs’ game with South Carolina in Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Georgia Sports Communications

Sept. 18, 2021

ATHENS, Ga. — Led by another stifling performance from its defense, the No. 2-ranked Georgia football team opened up Southeastern Conference play in emphatic fashion on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs got multiple explosive plays from their offense — junior quarterback JT Daniels threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns — and a dominant showing from the defense in a 40-13 win over South Carolina.

 

Along with intercepting a pass and forcing a fumble and a safety, the Bulldog defense held the Gamecocks to just 96 yards on the ground. Getting persistent pressure up the middle and often from the edge too, the Georgia defense spent much of the game in the South Carolina backfield. The defense piled up 3 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and many more hurries, pressures and quick throws. Junior linebacker Nolan Smith had a busy night with a team-high 8 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, and he forced the fumble.

 

With Daniels back in the starting lineup after missing last Saturday’s win over UAB, the Bulldogs ran onto Dooley Field and started very fast. Daniels hit freshman tight end Brock Bowers for 21 yards on the first play from scrimmage. A few plays later, senior running back James Cook ran the ball in for a 23-yard touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.

 

One big play on the ensuing drive, a 61-yard completion, allowed South Carolina to get into field-goal range and cut Georgia’s lead to 7-3, on a 37-yarder. Those were the first points that Georgia’s defense had allowed in the first half this season.

 

Less than two minutes on the clock later, Daniels was lofting a pass down the right side to a wide-open sophomore receiver Jermaine Burton, who caught the ball inside the 5-yard line and strolled into the end zone for a 14-3 lead with 7:00 left in the first quarter.

 

The Gamecocks got back into scoring position with an interception — Georgia did have xxx turnovers Saturday. South Carolina started its drive at the UGA 12 and only managed 3 yards against the Bulldog defense, settling for a 27-yard field goal to make it 14-6 with 1:34 left in the opening quarter. That was as close as the Gamecocks got the rest of the way.

 

Converting a couple of third-and-longs with completions midway through the second quarter, Georgia drove down to the 38-yard line. Daniels then dropped back, paused a moment, and hit Mitchell in the end zone for a 38-yard TD. It was the first touchdown catch of the freshman’s career.

 

A 42-yard punt by senior Jake Camarda was downed at the 1-yard line in the final minute of the first half. On the next play, Georgia senior nose tackle Jordan Davis and Smith sacked quarterback Luke Doty for a safety with 24 seconds left, giving the Bulldogs a 23-6 lead.

 

A quick drive after the kickoff got the Bulldogs into field-goal position and junior Jack Podlesny booted a 36-yarder as the half expired to put Georgia up 26-6.

 

Georgia got the second half rolling with an interception by senior defensive back Derion Kendrick, who returned it 9 yards to the Carolina 29. Soon after, junior running back Zamir White ran for a 15-yard touchdown and a 33-6 lead. Following a strip-sack by Smith and a recovery by junior linebacker Quay Walker, Georgia added to its lead when Daniels hit Cook for a 4-yard TD and a 40-6 lead with 7:37 left in the third.

 

With 10:55 to play in the game, Georgia’s defense, playing a lot of backups, surrendered its first touchdown of the season, on a 36-yard completion. South Carolina drive deep into Georgia territory in the closing minutes but once again the Bulldog defense held firm, preserving the 40-13 win with a stop on fourth-and-goal from the 9.

 

Before the game, the UGA Athletic Association honored five pioneers — Richard Appleby, Horace King, Larry West, Clarence Pope and Chuck Kinnebrew — who 50 years ago became the Bulldogs’ first African-American scholarship football players, enrolling in 1971. There is now a permanent monument in Reed Plaza that commemorates the trailblazers and their Bulldog careers.

 

The Bulldogs hit the road for their first true road game of the season next Saturday, playing at Vanderbilt. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network. Georgia opened its season at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., beating Clemson 10-3 on the neutral field.

Georgia Defeats South Carolina 40-13 in SEC Opener

Georgia wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) during the Bulldogs’ game with South Carolina in Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Georgia running back Zamir White (3) during the Bulldogs’ game with South Carolina in Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATHENS, Ga- Second-ranked Georgia (3-0) beats South Carolina (2-1) 40-13 in front of a packed Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. Georgia improves its series lead to 53-19-2 over the Gamecocks.

 

Quarterback JT Daniels on the atmosphere, “92,000 is awesome. I’ve never experienced or believed in a true home field advantage too much until I saw a real SEC game and hearing that when the other team is on 3rd-down is something else. I would hate to play against us in Sanford and it’s what we do.”

 

JT Daniels returned from a one-game absence due to an oblique injury and threw for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23-31 passing. On his injury he said, “I definitely feel very confident and that goes to Ron Courson and the whole training staff. They have done so much and brought so many things in specific for my injury. I’ve had muscle pulls, tears, and strains and I’ve never had one heal this fast.”

 

Freshman tight end Brock Bowers led the team in catches for the third straight week to begin the season tallying 5-catches for 53-yards. Adonai Mitchell led the team in receiving yards with 77 including a touchdown. Kendall Milton led the way for the Bulldogs on the ground with 66 yards. Zamir White and James Cook both contributed 51 yards as well as a touchdown each on the ground. Cook also added a touchdown through the air to his tally.

 

The Georgia offense was efficient on 3rd-down finishing 9-of-12 for the game on 3rd-down. Head Coach Kirby Smart on the 3rd-down success, “Impressive. Our offensive line stepped up. Kenny McIntosh stepped up and hit a guy in between the eyes on a blitz. They went soft zone, they went max blitz, they did it all and we converted on each one. When you are efficient on 3rd-down you are hard to beat.”

 

Nolan Smith led the way for the defense with 8 total tackles including 1.5 sacks. One sack forcing a fumble and the other combined with Jordan Davis for a safety. Channing Tindall follows a good performance last week with 7 total tackles. Derion Kendrick added an interception, his first of the season.

 

 

Georgia opened the second half on the South Carolina 20-yard line following an interception by senior cornerback Derion Kendrick. Junior Zamir White would follow with 2 rushes for 15 and 5 yards and a score giving Georgia a 33-6 lead just over a minute into the second half.

 

The Bulldog’s defense would force its second-straight turnover to start the second half after Nolan Smith strip sack’s Gamecock quarterback Luke Doty giving Georgia possession at its own 47-yard line. The Georgia offense follows with another touchdown following a 4-yard touchdown reception by James Cook on the 8th play of the drive pushing the Georgia lead to 40-6. This would be senior James Cook’s 2nd touchdown of the day.

 

South Carolina would punt on their following drive giving Georgia the ball on the UGA 11-yard line with 4:18 remaining in the half. The Gamecock defense responds after Jaylan Foster records his second interception of the day on the 4th-play of the drive.

 

Following a Gamecock punt and a Georgia fumble from Kendall Milton, South Carolina finds the endzone for the first time of the day on a 36-yard pass to Josh Vann cutting Georgia’s lead to 40-13. This would be the first touchdown given up on the year for the Georgia defense.

 

Stetson Bennett would re-enter the game for the Bulldogs and lead a 4-play drive resulting in a Georgia punt. South Carolina would follow with its longest drive of the night resulting in a turnover on downs at the UGA 9 on the 12th-play of the drive. Georgia would take over with 1:21 remaining and kneel-out the clock giving Georgia a 40-13 victory.

 

Georgia improves to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in SEC play. The Bulldogs will face Vanderbilt next week on the road at 12:00 in an interconference matchup. The game is scheduled to air on SECN.

 

See Georgia Jumps Out to 26-6 Lead on South Carolina for first half recap.

 

Georgia Jumps Out to 26-6 Lead on South Carolina

Georgia running back James Cook (4) during the Bulldogs’ game with South Carolina in Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATHENS, Ga- The 2nd-ranked Georgia Bulldogs lead South Carolina Gamecocks 26-6 in a loud environment under the lights at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium and a nationally televised audience on ESPN.

 

Quarterback JT Daniels was efficient for the Bulldogs offense in his return from injury going 17-21 with 235 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Brock Bowers led all receivers in catches with 5 catches for 53-yards while Adonai Mitchell led the way in receiving-yards tallying 77. James Cook led all rushers with 51 yards and a touchdown on just 4 carries.

 

Nolan Smith led all tacklers for the Georgia defense with 5-tackles including a sack combined with Jordan Davis for a safety.

 

Georgia wastes no time getting on the board scoring on the opening possession of the game in just 6 plays amassing 75 yards following a 23-yard touchdown run by James Cook.

 

The Gamecocks followed the Bulldog scoring drive with a 7-play drive stalling in Georgia territory with the majority of yards coming from a 61-yard reception by Josh Vann. Kicker Parker White would hit a 37-yard field goal cutting the Bulldog’s lead to 7-3.

 

Jermaine Burton would continue the scoring trend on the Bulldogs following drive bringing in a 43-yard pass from quarterback JT Daniels making the score 14-3 following Jack Podlesny’s extra point. The Bulldogs would again only need 6 play to move 75-yards using only 1:51 of the play clock.

 

Following a punt by the Gamecocks, Stetson Bennett would enter the game for the Bulldog’s 3rd-drive of the day. His first pass would be intercepted by Jaylan Foster giving the Gamecocks the ball at the Georgia 12 following the return. The Georgia defense would follow by not allowing a first down and forcing the Gamecocks into their second field goal of the day making the score 14-6 with just 1:34 remaining in the first quarter.

 

After trading punts, the Bulldogs would take the field at their own 10 to begin their first drive in the second quarter. JT Daniels would later hit Adonai Mitchell for a 38-yard touchdown strike on the 11th-play of the drive pushing the lead to 21-6. The drive included converting all three third-downs.

 

Georgia would take the field at its own 35 with just 2:45 left in the half following a Gamecock punt. Georgia would run the ball 4 straight times and punt back to the Gamecocks downing them at the 1-yard line. South Carolina quarterback Luke Doty would be sacked by Jordan Davis and Nolan Smith giving Georgia a safety and making the score 23-6.

 

Georgia would take over at its own 42 following the kickoff return by Kenny McIntosh and move the ball to the Gamecock 19. Kicker Jack Podlesny would come on to drill a 36-yard field goal to end the half giving the Bulldogs a 26-6 lead.

QB Gunner Stockton Honored as a 2022 All-American as Part of All- American Bowl’s Road to the Dome Tour

Four-Star University of Georgia Commit Gunner Stockton Welcomed to 2022 All-American Bowl with Virtual Jersey Presentation

STAMFORD, Conn. – September 15, 2021 – Quarterback Gunner Stockton (Tiger, Georgia/ Rabun County H.S.), the University of Georgia commit, was officially honored today as a 2022 All-American during a virtual jersey presentation as part of the first episode of the Road to the Dome digital series.

The episode was released tonight at 8 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports YouTube channel. Additional All-Americans featured in tonight’s episode include Hunter Erb, Sam M’bake, Bryce McFerson, Toriano Pride Jr., and Tegra Tshabola.
Having been selected to play in the twenty-second edition of the All-American Bowl, Stockton will play in the annual East vs. West matchup inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Bowl will be nationally televised, live on NBC, and will feature the nation’s top 100 high school football players

The Road to the Dome tour will continue to honor all 100 All-Americans with virtual jersey presentations during a 15-episode series that is released weekly through various digital and social platforms across NBC Sports. Stockton was selected by the All-American Bowl Selection Committee, consisting of the All-American Bowl and 247Sports. All-Americans are eligible for the All-American Bowl Player of the Year Award, the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year Award, the Defensive Player of the Year Award, the All-American Bowl Man of the Year, the All-American Bowl MVP Award. Only 100 football players receive the honor of putting on the All-American Bowl jersey each year. Each player selected to participate will culminate their high school careers at the All-American Bowl. About the All-American Bowl As an NBC Sports-owned property, the All-American Bowl is part of a marquee lineup of elite events that includes the Olympics, the NHL, the Premier League, and the number one primetime show since 2011: Sunday Night Football. The All-American Bowl is annually the most-watched, most-talked about, and most-prestigious high school all-star event with more than 4,100,000 unique television viewers and over 20,000 in attendance. The history and tradition of the All-American Bowl is unparalleled: 496 draft picks; 74 Super Bowl champions; 174 Pro Bowl selections; 13 Heisman finalists including, but not limited to: Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, Tim Tebow, Derrick Henry, DeVonta Smith, and Trevor Lawrence. For more information, visit NBCSports.com/AllAmericanBowl, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@AABonNBC)

Coach Smart and Defensive Players On Upcoming SEC Play 

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs’ game against Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday. Sept. 4, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

GEORGIA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

ATHENS, Ga.University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, along with a pair of defensive players previewed Saturday’s first SEC matchup against South Carolina. The Bulldogs and the Gamecocks kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET in Athens, GA.

 

On Tuesday, Coach Smart, Junior Travon Walker and Senior Ameer Speed offered the following comments.

 

On Jack Podlesny… 

“Yeah, he’s battling through it, he’s pushing through. I thought he kicked the ball well today. We actually just walked off the field and did field goal periods, and I probably kicked the ball well. But yeah, you know, we’re always in competition as you well know, Chip, it’s one of those things that we got to help him out and push him to he’s been really consistent in his career as a starter here, still believe in him and we’re gonna work through it, and I think he’s still got a great leg you know he’s hit a clutch field goals multiple times but we’re pushing through it and you know (Jared) Zirkel out there kicking and so is (Jake) Camarda so those guys are kicking as well.”

 

On improvements and William Poole…

 “Yeah, he’s ineligible for the first four games due to academics but he is. He did a tremendous job to get himself in that position to get back. So, he was not, he was not gonna be able to play this year, he was able to get a waiver, and he now is eligible, after the, what would that be Vanderbilt game I think he’ll be back with us so we’re looking forward to getting his depth back to help us out. Improvement wise, you know, we really probably did not play as well in the second game, you know, as we did in the first, we really did not strike blockers and play run fits to the standard that we expect. We did get some turnovers, which we didn’t get in the first, but the biggest thing was playing our gaps, strike and blockers, and, you know, communication, there’s still breakdowns that we have if we’re trying to get right defensively. We’re fast enough, we’re big enough that we haven’t been exposed to some of those. We’re gonna do a better job of definitely playing the run.”

 

On when it’s too late to adjust defense… 

“I don’t think it’s ever too late to adjust it’s probably too late for them to hear us, you know what I mean like at some point, they’ve got to go get ready to play the play but that is probably simultaneous with snapping the ball, in terms of we always say the hays never in the barn in Georgia, you’re always getting ready before the game, we’re going over adjustments, you want everything that can happen, halftime we’re going over everything that’s gonna happen, in drive we’ll pull a guy out and go over something new they did to say hey this is how we got to play this. But a lot of times you see us doing that it’s a guy’s not lined up right, wanting to get wider, or we might know a tendency the other team has and we’re trying to help somebody out with what we think it is, because ultimately offense is trying to copycat other offenses right so if we’ve given up whatever the play might be an inside zone, this formation, they might try to copy that, and so we’re trying to let our guys know we’d sometimes know the answer to the test better than a player, so we’re trying to help them out, but a lot of time it doesn’t help. We just confused them more.”

 

On recruiting and hiring David Cooper… 

“Yeah, it’s extremely competitive. It’s the number one, you know attribute to having success is getting good players, you got to develop them, you got to make sure they go to class and do their academics and they develop as a player, but number one thing you can do is be able to sign players and we’ve got a tremendous recruiting staff. The group we have is just awesome. They’re a joy to be around, they’re smiling every day. I just passed by two of them in the hallway coming up here and you know they’re always recruiting. This recruiting world has changed so much, they used to be, you know the coaches did the recruiting, they did it when they got off the field and now, it’s I mean, it never stops. It’s like, year-round, and the staff we have with David and so many others, Katie does a great job, Angela, Logan, and Christina, we just have a wonderful staff that works, works really, really hard to do that. Cam is another guy that helps us. We got a great recruiting staff.”

 

On the reserve offensive line… 

“Well, they’re probably right at 789 10 is where they are, they’re getting a lot of reps and a lot of work, you know Devin has gotten a tremendous amount of work at twos with the guard at guard and Amarius has gotten a ton of work at right tackle. And we’re trying hard to bring those guys along but it’s not just on us to bring them along you know it’s their responsibility to fight, scratch, claw for every inch, for every rep they get and you have to be careful that they don’t fall in a comfort zone right, I’m comfortable being right here there’s no pressure on me versus I’m hungry, and I want to be the best, and I want to go out and compete to be the best every single day. I want those guys to continue to get better, but they need playing time to get better and they got to earn that and that’s not gonna be given to them, like they got to get some of this last week but for the competitive game time reps and the SEC they got to earn that.”

 

On JT Daniels’ injury and the quarterback situation… 

“Yeah, JT feels much better. He’s continued to improve. I think he’s better now than he was on Saturday. I don’t know if he’s 100 percent but he’s certainly getting closer to that. Stetson is repping, JT is repping, and Carson’s repping. Stetsons actually got some lower back issues that he strained some stuff but he’s able to go but I don’t know if he’s 100 percent. He’s been dinged up since Monday morning, but he went out and practiced as well, so they’re all three practicing, and I wouldn’t say 100 percent, I think Carson is 100 percent healthy but the other two are still pushing back”

 

On rotating cornerbacks…

“To me, I want the best players to play, right, so the guys that practice the best, the guys that compete out there and make plays. Part of it is not necessarily just the fastest, best player, it’s knowing the system and understanding the checks and alignments and knowing how to play in our defense. I think that all the guys that have played can do that. DK (Derion Kendrick) has played quite a bit of snaps, so has Ameer (Speed), so has Kelee (Ringo), (Jalen) Kimber got in some, (Jake) Camarda got in some, so we’re continuing to bring that and develop that position along, but I’m not gonna sit here and say I want two guys to play, three guys to play. I want guys that are capable of playing to be able to play, I’m always trying to create depth so that if we have injuries, or if a guy doesn’t have a hot hand, we can play the other guy.”

 

On having a coaching tree that texts about him…..

“No, I don’t think that they would have that. I definitely don’t see them as my tree because, you know, two of them are my elders and I learned a lot from them, you know, Mel (Tucker) has a ton of experience, a lot more experienced than I do, and he’s been all over NFL staffs and he was on Nick’s (Saban) staff, he’s been really successful so I was very blessed to have somebody of Mel’s nature to help me start this program and build this thing. Sam (Pittman), the same way you know, Sam was great for us here and good friend, so I don’t take credit for either one of them and then you know, Shane went and he wanted to learn a different way and he went to Oklahoma to do that, he’s part of our trees part of his dad’s tree, part of Lincoln Riley’s tree, so he’s kind of his own person and he’s cut his own claw, so I doubt those guys have time to have a text thread to complain about me.”

 

On preparation for South Carolina in the quarterback position…

“It really doesn’t. I mean, everybody always asked that. The plays are the plays. Now the person running the plays and the mobility of the quarterback certainly changes, I think it probably changes third down. Maybe more than anything else. Is he a pocket passer? Are they gonna move the pocket? Is he a scrambler? Is he a guy that’s gonna sit in the pocket? You know, it’s just, everyone’s a little different, but the plays they run that aren’t designed for the quarterback, are the same. So, the offense doesn’t change based on the quarterback, not a lot of times the mobility might change, but that’s really about it.”

 

On wide receiver updates and injury updates for Kearis Jackson and Dominick Blaylock….

 “Kearis (Jackson) is improving by the day. I felt that Monday coming off of a light Saturday for him. And they were off Sunday, I thought Monday looked really good. Today, I didn’t notice him as much, but he’s working his way back, I feel like he’s closer than he’s been, you know, we felt like Dom (Blaylock) was a little ahead of him in terms of cutting and breaking and doing that and confidence is now he’s like right there and he’s also doing a little bit of a hamstring issue so it’s not so much the knee now with him, it’s a little bit of a hamstring and that sometimes happens because he hasn’t been doing this kind of volume. So, we’ve been trying to walk him along as we bring him back, but I couldn’t tell you when they’re gonna be able to go. I feel like Kearis will be able to play some this week, he’s played, right, he’s playing punt returner, it’s just getting him out there and getting him in the offense and getting them cutting and breaking more. But outside of that, you know AD (Adonai Mitchell), Marcus (Rosemy-Jacksaint), Arian (Smith), Jermaine (Burton), Justin (Robinson), Jackson (Meeks), all those guys are working hard, Arik (Gilbert) is not back with us yet. We don’t know when he’ll be back.”

 

On John Rhodes being named 2021 Game Warden of the Year…

.“The Rhodes family is a wonderful family. I felt like it was a home away from home for me in college, being from a long way away, Greensboro, which is right down the road actually Union Point is where his dad had a store, and I’d go down there with him a lot and grew up kind of in college with Trey and John, his younger brother, and we kind of took John in and he came up, stay with us all the time and he finished up at Georgia Southern and he does a great job with DNR. I run into him sometimes on the lake, so he’s always a joy to be around. He’s always got a smile on his face, so he’s one of the best at it, I’m glad he got that award.”

 

On lack of run gain against UAB…

“Yeah, you know, you gotta do it better. You can’t do that now. We may not have a running back get over 100 (yards), but that can happen because we may split them up, you know, we may share it out, but certainly, we thought we would’ve had more than 34 (yards) and should. We gotta work hard at that, we got to be able to create run gained. Some of our passing gains come from the run gain, right, the play-action. So your play action is not going to be real good if you’re not a good run team, that’s part of the success we have on defense is we don’t have to honor play-action because we got a good run defense, so we got to be able to make that a threat, we got to be able to make that count and hit people and we did not do that at a high rate. Now, how much I had to do with UAB and how much they had to do with us, you know, I don’t know. I still think UAB has a pretty good team and a pretty good defense, but we did hit them on some explosives.”

 

On Arian Smith and Jermaine Burton….

“It was big for him. He’s practicing with us, he’s not 100 percent, but he is practicing with us. He did get dinged up, but it was a bruise so we’re pushing through and he’s doing the things he can do to be healthy and Jermaine had a good game and hopefully got some confidence, both of them got some more confidence, but Arian is still a work in progress in terms of developing as a route runner and in growing as a player has been really valuable in terms of special teams with his speed.”

 

#44 | Travon Walker | Jr. | DL

 

On how the defense has prepared so far and how it’ll translate to South Carolina….

“My thoughts on the defense so far, we’re doing pretty good, playing some good ball right now but as always looking out, we always have things to improve on. This upcoming week, playing South Carolina, an SEC East opponent, we just have to play to our expectation, and just keep improving as a defense every week.”

 

On how much pride the defense takes in outscoring the opponents…

“We really haven’t talked about it too much but that is something we do take a lot of pride in because we always emphasize getting the ball on defense and pointing up points on defense. As long as they don’t score, they don’t win and if we’re putting up points on defense then that’s just a positive contribution to the win.”

 

On the biggest thing that South Carolina presents as a challenge….

“Putting the ball on the perimeter. Like you all stated earlier this week, we didn’t do too good against the run and that’s something that we’re working to do this week – stop the run more and less yards.”

 

#9 | Ameer Speed | Sr. | DB

 

On the memories with Shane Beamer [South Carolina Head Coach] and being on special teams….

“I believe I was on punt return and kick return then, but yeah he’s a good guy, you know I had him here so I’m looking forward to that match-up.”

 

On what has worked well for the defensive backs through two games and how to improve…

“I think honestly, we all have areas we can improve on. But I think that we’ve just been emphasizing takeaways and working on getting the ball out of people, so I feel like that repetition and putting those words in our heads are starting to pay off and a lot has made plays with the ball.”

 

On Will Muschamp’s impact during his time here…

“He’s had an amazing impact. He’s just a scheme person, he’s very smart with knowing defenses and everything so he’s been very helpful. His energy also is just immaculate, just his energy that he brings to me and the way he talks to us, it gets people going. Having him around – on top of Kirby is definitely a good combo.”

How the Bulldogs in the NFL fared in Week 1

Georgia inside linebacker Monty Rice (32) during a game against Auburn on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Rams 34, Bears 14

Leonard Floyd, OLB: Floyd posted three tackles for the Rams.

Sony Michel, RB: Michel had a 2-yard rush in his first game for Los Angeles.

J.R. Reed, DB: Reed was on the Rams’ inactive list.

Matthew Stafford, QB: Stafford made his Los Angeles debut by going 20-of-26 for 321 yards and three touchdowns (including one of 67 yards and one of 56 yards).

Alec Ogletree, OLB: Ogletree had five tackles in his first game with the Bears.

Roquan Smith, ILB: Smith paced Chicago with 11 tackles.

 

Chiefs 33, Browns 29

Deandre Baker, DB: Baker was on the Chiefs’ inactive list.

Mecole Hardman, WR: Hardman had three catches for 19 yards and one punt return for seven yards for Kansas City.

Nick Chubb, RB: Chubb rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and had two catches for 18 yards for Cleveland.

Richard LeCounte, DB: LeCounte made his NFL debut with 12 snaps on 12 special teams and five more on defense for the Browns.

 

Dolphins 17, Patriots 16

John Jenkins, DL: Jenkins celebrated his return to Miami with four tackles.

Solomon Kindley, OL: Kindley logged all 54 offensive snaps at guard and helped the Dolphins roll up 259 net yards.

David Andrews, OL: Andrews registered all 75 offensive snaps at center and helped the Patriots accumulate 393 net yards. He also recovered a teammate’s fumble.

Isaiah Wynn, OL: Wynn took all 75 offensive snaps at tackle and helped the Patriots post 393 net yards.

 

Chargers 20, Football Team 16

Tre’ McKitty, TE: McKitty was on the Chargers’ inactive list.

Mark Webb, DB:  Webb made his NFL debut by appearing on 15 special teams plays for Los Angeles.

 

Cardinals 38, Titans 17

A.J. Green, WR: Green had two catches for 25 yards in his first game for Arizona.

Ben Jones, OL: Jones helped the Titans accumulate 248 total yards as he registered all 64 snaps at center.

Monty Rice, ILB: Rice made his NFL debut with two tackles for Tennessee.

 

Texans 37, Jaguars 21

Chris Conley, WR: Conley made his Houston debut with two catches for 27 yards.

Jordan Jenkins, OLB: Jenkins had one tackle in his first game with the Texans.

Tyson Campbell, DB: Campbell made his NFL debut with two tackles for the Jaguars.

 

49ers 41, Lions 33

Charlie Woerner, TE: Woerner saw action on 23 special teams plays and nine more on offense for the 49ers.

D’Andre Swift, RB: Swift had eight catches for 65 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown reception, and 11 carries for 39 yards for the Lions.

 

Bengals 27, Vikings 24 (OT)

Trey Hill, OL: Hill was active for the Bengals, but he did not see any action in his first NFL game.

 

Broncos 27, Giants 13

Lorenzo Carter, OLB: Carter registered four tackles for the Giants.

Tae Crowder, ILB: Crowder posted four tackles for New York.

Azeez Ojulari, OLB: Ojulari made his NFL debut with three tackles, including a sack, for the Giants.

Andrew Thomas, OL: Thomas logged all 61 offensive snaps at tackle and helped New York roll up 314 net yards.

 

Raiders 33, Ravens 27 (OT)

Ben Cleveland, OL: Cleveland was on the Ravens’ inactive list.

Justin Houston, OLB: Houston had two tackles and a quarterback hurry in his first game with the Ravens.

Nick Moore, LS: Moore snapped on four punts, three extra points, and two field goals for Baltimore.

 

Falcons 32, Eagles 6

Cameron Nizialek, P: Nizialek made his NFL debut by averaging 46.5 yards on six punts for Atlanta. He kicked off three times and held on two successful field goals.

 

Steelers 23, Bills 16

Isaiah McKenzie, WR: McKenzie returned the opening kickoff 75 yards and finished for four returns for 143 yards for Buffalo. He added a 1-yard punt return and a minus-1-yard rush.

 

Seahawks 28, Colts 16

Rodrigo Blankenship, PK: Blankenship converted a 21-yard field goal and one extra point for the Colts.

 

Saints 38, Packers 3

Eric Stokes, DB: Stokes, the Packers’ 2021 first-round draft pick, made his NFL debut, with one defended pass.

 

Practice Squads

Bills: Jake Fromm, QB

Cardinals: Jonathan Ledbetter, DL

 

Reserve Lists:

Broncos: Natrez Patrick, ILB

Chiefs: Malik Herring, DE

Jaguars: Terry Godwin, WR

Smart, Bulldogs Preview the South Carolina Game

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the BulldogsÕ game against Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)

Georgia Sports Communications

ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, along with players, previewed Saturday’s game against South Carolina. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

On Monday, Coach Smart, redshirt freshman defensive back Kelee Ringo, sophomore wide receiver Marcus Rosemy- Jacksaint, and junior running back Kenny McIntosh offered the following comments.

 

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening Statement…

“We are excited as begin today our prep for South Carolina. Shane (Beamer) has got the program rejuvenated. I know there is a lot of excited fans and rightfully so.  Their guys are playing extremely hard in the first two games of the season. We have been able to watch those guys really been able to compete and grow. It looks like a lot of new faces compared to last year, it looks like they have a lot of new guys that are signees or portal transfer guys that have helped them roster wise. Our guys are excited to start the SEC East, anytime we play an SEC East opponent around here we know that is a team we are going to play every year. Be able to play at home and get a home opener in the SEC is exciting. I am certainty thankful for our fanbase, I thought the turn out we had last week was awesome and you don’t always get that for non-conference opponents so I know that this week will be even more special. We will need our fanbase to help us out with the crowd noise and the environment.”

 

On an update on JT Daniels…

“I don’t know any more than I did last time. He has been in treatment twice and Ron (Courson) has said that he has certainty improved. He threw the ball Saturday more than he threw the ball all last week, so he was better Saturday than he was the previous days. I will know a little more after practice today in terms of his mobility and his ability to move around and throw the ball. I know he has been to treatment twice and the update from Ron and has improved.”

 

On an update on injured players…

“All those guys are working through different things. We are excited about Tykee (Smith) and Darnell (Washington), they are out of their boots and they are able to do some weightbearing running. They will be running some this week and like I said I am so hopeful to get those guys back and get them back quickly. I think Ron had them scanned yesterday and the scans looked good. They’re healing. It is probably not optimistic that they will be able to play this week but we are hopeful that we will get them back soon. They both have been doing underwater running out of the boot. They look better, they are able to go to meetings and things but not sure when we will get them back, doubtful for this week.”

 

On moving Jamaee Salyer inside to offensive guard…

“It is something we look at each week. He practiced inside last week and played outside and rotated around there. It is something we look at every week trying to get our guys in the right pieces in the puzzle. I think Broderick (Jones) playing at tackle and gaining confidence there certainly helps give you that option. It was Broderick’s first really substantial playing time out of games we had leads in last year. As we improve and figure out who is the best five are, we are trying to figure out the best way to move people and obviously that takes mass and strength and also to be able to protect so we can throw the ball…finding the best five. So Jamaree will continue to rep in there and work in there and see who we think the best five are.”

 

On South Carolina and the last time they played at Sanford… 

“No, I mean that was brought up some last year, a lot more similarities in their team last year and in their staff, with the exception of Will [Muschamp] being gone. You know, what happened the last time they were here was really about us, not about them. It’s always going ot be about what we do and how we execute. We’re trying to do that at the highest level, and whatever we can do this week in practice to be able to execute at a high level, that’s what I want to focus on – not the other. As far as their quarterback situation, we got to see Luke last year. Doty, he’s an incredible athlete, he creates problems in terms of extending plays. You know, he’s a really good athlete; he can move the pocket around, against us last year on offense, but a good athlete. But, my man down the road right here, Zeb, has done a good job. He’s come in and played really well. It was interesting, I’m good friends with his dad and getting to watch him play in those first two games was just unique because he played really well, and I’m like, this guy was a GA, and he jumped in and played quarterback, played winning football, and made good decisions. He made good throws, and it’s got to be very cool for him, an opportunity to play at an SEC program after going in to being a GA. And they use other guys at quarterback, as well, and they do a good job of changing it up, trying to give you a change of pace at that position.”

 

On JT Daniels’ injury… 

“The approach is rest, recovery, and treatment, and we’ve done the best we can with that. The biggest thing that we’ve been told is that you don’t want to aggravate it. He’s been dealing with it since – he felt it prior to Clemson. He felt like he had a tweak, but something happened in the Clemson game to fire it back up. We don’t know. We’ve gone back to watch the tape, you know, he didn’t take a lot of shots. But there was one the first play of the game that he took that may have made it worse than it was going into that game, but whatever reason, he woke up Sunday and that it when he really felt it. It was really, really painful injury that is hard to relieve that pain. He has to heal, and it takes time, but again, he’s improving through each and every day.”

 

On Devonte Wyatt’s absence against UAB… 

“No, he is not dealing with an injury.”

 

On how big an impact Will Muschamp has on preparations for South Carolina… 

“I don’t know that. It’s personnel change, right? We go through this all the time with DK on Clemson, we go through it every year – somebody changes spots. You guys write about it, make a big deal about it, and it’s not that big a deal. He’s not in their meetings, he doesn’t know their game plan. He does know who their players are, and I just don’t know how that helps you a lot. We know their heights, weight, and we’ve got their tape, and the tape speaks for itself. He just might know more about them in terms of what strengths and weaknesses there are. So, we always do personnel with somebody who knows teams, and we get the personnel information, but at the end of the day, I think some of these kids can improve, get better, and they’re year older. You don’t always know exactly what they’re like.”

 

On Shane Beamer and his qualities…

“He was part of our original staff like Sam (Pittman) was. He’s a guy who has always had good leadership skills, he ran most of our special teams. He’s always had leadership qualities that would make him a good head coach and I think he took the job at Oklahoma so he would have an opportunity like this, and that’s what he has done.”

 

On Shane Beamer as a recruiter and qualities he saw in him as a head coach…

“To be honest, I don’t remember what year he left, y’all would have to tell me. I don’t know if we have anybody left that he was involved with in recruiting. Your team turns over so fast, so I don’t think there were many guys he recruited on the team we still have. When he was here, he was a good recruiter and he worked hard at it. I think that’s 90% of being a good recruiter: what letter you have on your chest and what the value is of your organization you’re selling. It’s more than the recruiter, it’s what you’re recruiting them to and we’ve got a special, special place here in terms academics, community, and support as well as facilities.”

 

On Channing Tindall getting playing time…

“Channing has done a tremendous job. He’s earned the trust and respect, he works really hard every day. Nobody comes out to practice with more toughness and effort. The part that people don’t see is that he has been a major role on special teams for a while. His confidence has grown on defense, he’s got tremendous speed and closing ability. I’m so proud of someone who works so hard and has done so much to be a good player. He’s producing and playing at a high level, coach (Glenn) Schumann is doing a really good job of developing his talents. He came early on and was transitioning from inside to outside in high school to just playing inside. He’s come a long way, he’s been able to do this because hard work pays off.”

 

On if Beck will be involved again on Saturday…

“You’ve got to take it day-by-day, because I don’t know what JT (Daniels) will be able to do in terms of volume and reps. Sure I’d love to keep Carson involved in the plan, but I don’t know where those reps are going to go. It’s hard to prepare three quarterbacks.”

 

On Sam Pittman…

“Sam is a tremendous leader. A great man. One of the funniest, wittiest, humorous person I’ve been around. He did a great job for our organization. We wouldn’t be where we are now, with some of the guys that have had the opportunity to leave here and grow and become head coaches and coordinators and things. Sam fits that mold. He was part of the original crew that came in. He and Jamie are special people to us and I’m just happy to see him succeed. I didn’t get to see much of the game, but I heard they played really well. I’m excited for him and honored that he was here. I’m happy that he helped build this place.

 

On the details from this past weekend…

“We had some small goals for this week. Attention to detail came out of the Clemson game…(audio went out) We didn’t approve our ability to stop the run and technique. Offensively we wanted to be explosive. We were explosive, but we didn’t have the communication, attention to detail, IDs, points and things that we need to have in order to be successful. We have to figure out why that is. What’s causing that. Is it something that they’re doing or is it something that we can control. I actually came out of the game feeling better about our ability to run the ball from the Clemson game than I did last week. The same way in run defense. Give UAB some credit, but what can we do to improve in those areas.

 

On Coach Beamer…

“I’ve known Shane for a long, long time. We were around the same age and kind of grew up as graduate assistants and things together. He interviewed with Nick (Saban) one time, a long time ago. We got to be friends and we’ve always been close ever since. I have a lot of respect for his family, his dad. We both have been around Lake Oconee in the summers and always spent time together. His family is friends of our family. I’m happy and excited for him to get the opportunity he’s got at South Carolina.”

 

On the interior offensive line…

“Yeah, like we started last week with Warren (Ericson) at right guard and Jamaree at left tackle. We did a lot of work during the week in terms of preparing for guys to play different spots. Like I said Jamaree has taken snaps some at center early in camp but now he is taking some at guard as well. (Justin) Shaffer has kind of been the constant over there and Warren has kind of been the constant over at right tackle and Shaffer at left guard. The backups that came in did a decent job. I want to see them play more physical and aggressive, I’m talking about Devin Willock, Chad Lindberg, Owen Condon, Amarius Mims. They got to play more than your normal amount of playing time. Those guys got to grow and get better. But I want to see them play more physical, play more aggressive, play with reckless abandonment. Some of them were in there for the first time and they were playing a little more timid and getting their first playing experience, some of them this year and some of them all together. But we will continue to look at those starting guys and figure out the best puzzle pieces to put in. The decision won’t be based on just Warren being the center, he is not going to be punished because, ‘oh I am the center,’ or (Sedrick) Van Pran is the center. We will put the best five out there. We have to play better up front, I think those guys will be the first to tell you that. It is not all about ability, some of it is about dependably. We have to do a better job of moving people and being physical up front and open up some stuff.”

 

 

# 5 Kelee Ringo | RFr. | DB

On his first two games… 

“Going into my first game against Clemson, there were a lot of emotions. It was my first time actually getting into the collegiate level playing football. I mean, just being able to rely on my teammates and also my coaches, and seeing the support of my family, it was a lot of emotion out there. I felt pretty well. We’re greatly prepared. Going into my pass interferences, just trying to stay poised and keep my head around going down the field is something that we worked on this entire past week going up into UAB, and I was able to execute that and come away with my first interception. It was a great feeling, man, it was unexplainable, and I’m greatly blessed to have this opportunity.”

 

On his mom and her story… 

“Seeing from the picture, you could see all the emotion she had. Seeing her kid go out there and have his first interception at UGA, especially in Sanford, was a huge accomplishment, as well. Last year I wasn’t able to play, so my mom saw me go throughout that process and struggling mentally, just trying to stay locked in and engaged, and just looking forward to the next opportunity, honestly. So, just continuing to be prepared, and my mom, I’m sure as soon as I made that play, she just thought about all the things that I had gone through, and I was able to seize the moment, and she was really proud.”

 

On Brock Bowers… 

“Most definitely. Brock Bowers is a great player. I was actually able to guard him myself a good amount of times. Just how he is able to move his body against anyone that’s guarding him, whether it’s linebackers or safeties, he’s able to get open. Just being really agile and how fast he is with great, strong hands and a wide catch radius – it’s a big thing to his advantage.”

 

#81 Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint | So. | WR

On Stetson Bennett’s performance and his limited involvement against South Carolina… 

“Stetson had a great game. To be honest, I’m fine with not being able to get in time, I’m just happy to see my teammates who were able to go out there this past weekend and make big explosive plays that help us get in a position to win. So, I feel like Stetson did his job, we did our job as a unit, and played a great game.”

 

On the South Carolina game… 

“I know that we are going to keep doing what we have to do, and we are going to keep working on what we need to work on. I don’t know what South Carolina is going to come out with this coming weekend, but I know that we are going to have to do what we are going to have to do. We are going to have to do our jobs, and at the end of the day, we have to go out there and execute and play football, at the end of the day. That’s the only thing we can do, and we can focus on it.”

 

On getting up to speed in Georgia’s offense… 

“I wouldn’t say it takes very long, it’s just with every offense you just have to get in the playbook. It’s been like that since high school, and it’s going to be like that until you get into the league. The most important thing is that you have to study and get into the playbook, and once you do that, then everything will come to you.”

 

#6 Kenny McIntosh | Jr. | RB

On what the team has been doing and where they can take it…

“I feel like we have the ability to take it as far as we want. Our offensive line is very talented. We have a lot of great players that can get that push to get to the second level. Just being able to run behind these guys and that connection, it’s going to take us far away.”

 

On his growth and improvement…

“Coming from practice and having the ability to go against our defense, there’s a lot of great players. Just being able to get those reps and finding where the hole is going to be at in certain plays. That’s just on being at practice and gaining experience.”

On Will Muschamp and what it will be like for him on Saturday…

“Muschamp is a great coach. He knows what he’s doing when it comes down to that. I feel like he has a plan for us to be prepared and to have us in the right position to be successful.”