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Bulldogs Continue Preparations for Arkansas State

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs' session on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

ATHENS, Ga. — The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs continued their preparations for Saturday’s game against Arkansas State with a two-hour practice on Tuesday afternoon.


Head coach Kirby Smart, along with two defensive players, junior Mark Webb and senior Michael Barnett, spoke with the media after practice.


Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening Comments

“It was hot yesterday and it’s hot today. The guys are pushing through it.  That’s what we need to do. We probably had a better practice yesterday than today. But we’ll clean a lot of things up from today and come back tomorrow.”


On his thoughts about noon kickoffs and what he appreciates about them…

“Yeah, my family afterwards, I mean I get to see them. We get more time with recruits on the back end. The biggest thing is just the recovery for the players because the next game is most furthest off.  To get to go home and watch the night games with my kids and my wife is probably the most enjoyable.


On what it’s been like to watch Michael Barnett develop…

“It’s been a pleasure. He’s a bright kid, works his tail off. He played D-line most of the first year and then he switched to O-Line that next spring and didn’t complain about it. We thought it would help our team. Then he moved back and he just continued to work. He’s really helped us a lot. He’s tough. He plays really hard and he’s a high character kid.


On Mark Webb’s development…

“He’s playing. He’s playing a lot more. He didn’t play near as much last year, he played more towards the end of the year and a little more in dime. So when he gets an opportunity to play more, he’s going to get more tackles. He’s bright. He’s tough. He’s fast. He covers well. He continues to improve. I think he’s a guy that still has upside because he just didn’t play defensive back his whole life. So he’s still growing at the position. His redeeming quality is that he likes to tackle. In a day and age when guys don’t love to tackle and hit, he does. And he plays with really good toughness.”


On where Mark Webb can grow the most…

“From playing the ball in the air, recognizing formations, understanding the leverage, what our coverages are, where his help is, those kind of things. The simplest thing to do is go play man. And he started out doing just that. Because It doesn’t take as much to do that. But then when you start talking about combination coverages, you start talking about zone defense, understanding what offenses are trying to do to you. He did have that awareness that he has now where he’s grown into it. The first couple of years that was a struggle.”


On having players who have graduated that stay to play at Georgia…

“I think it’s great. I think most of the guys that have graduated and contributing for us are major players. I think the rule is a blessing because it allows someone to go, after they’ve finished their education, to go play somewhere if they’re not able to play where they’re playing. Or if they just want a change of scenery and go play somewhere. To me, that gives them an opportunity and we’ve taken advantage of that from a standpoint of receiving them. We haven’t had many leave that have graduated because most of our guys that have graduated are playing for us.”


On how much Kearis Jackson can play with his injured hand…

“He’s available. But I don’t know if we’re going to put him out there with a club, it’d be pretty one dimensional. Unless he’s able to catch every ball with one hand. He’s practicing. He takes routes. He catches punts, he’s doing everything, but we’re not ready to use him until he’s 100%.



That’s what all of our guys do. If you can practice, you practice. There’s nothing wrong with his legs. He needs conditioning. He needs mental reps. He loves it. He gets behind every play he runs the motion, runs the route. We’re watching the tape last night of the play and he’s behind it, running it. But so are our quarterbacks D’Wan Mathis, Nathan (Priestley) are back behind it, taking the snap, dropping back, reading the defense. They’re just 15 feet behind the play. You have to get reps somehow, and you don’t have enough time to have their own practices.”


On the update on Tommy Bush…

“Tommy Bush is a couple weeks away, he’s had some sports hernia… I can’t even say the word and won’t even try to. We’re hoping to get him back, but don’t know when.”


On what the team is looking to clean up for Saturday…

“How long do you have? We had penalties. We had substitution errors. We had critical eye violations, busts. We had guys not having good movements up front, being fast enough and understanding what they’re supposed to do. There’s a lot of things to improve. We had guys missing assignments on special teams, we have to possess the ball on special teams. There’s a ton to clean up.”


On how much analytics are used in football…

“We use it a lot for the perspective of game management, clock management, decision-making, fourth downs, third downs. I mean, we use it a ton in that world and that’s usually based on who your opponent is, more than anything. It’s your style of play and your opponent’s and what the percentages say the outcome of the situation will be. What their strengths are, what our weaknesses are. So we use a lot of analytics from that standpoint.


As far as tendencies of the opponent, we have tons of break down on that, but that could change. Have they thrown it on 3rd and 7 for the last two years, well you know they may not do that against you depending on what we do. Sometimes you use it, sometimes you don’t. But it’s there.”


On making decisions based on analytics before the game…

“A lot of them, but you can’t say that what’s happened in the game doesn’t have an affect on that.  So the decision is made beforehand- in this situation I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this. But at the end of the day, if you’re not running the ball well or you’ve had two short yardages. You can’t say that doesn’t impact you as you go forward. It all depends on how you’re playing. Are you getting movement upfront? Are you having success?”


On being conscientious of the scoreboard…

“I don’t pay attention to it. I get so entrenched in the game and the coaching of the players because I want the players that are in the game whether we’re up one point, down 10 points, or up 40 points to feel the same intensity that the ones that are in at the beginning of the game to feel. I don’t get caught up in the scoreboard part because I just want the players that are in the game to have success, especially if the margin, one way or the other, up for us or down for us, is out of control. We’re not going to ever stop coaching the kids that are in the game because they’re all learning opportunities. And those kids want to play good just as much as the ones who played earlier in the game.”


On how he feels UGA will match up against Arkansas State…

“We are going to find out. It’s going to be a real test. They have great wideouts. They have wideouts at all positions and they have tight ends. They’re really athletic. They’ve given some people major problems with match ups.  I can’t tell you how we’re going to match up. It’s going to be interesting to see. They have a guy that can spin it and they have guys on the perimeter that can catch it. They have experience doing it in big games and in big stadiums.”


On coaches having to step away for family matters…

“We’re human. A lot of coaches don’t want to remove themselves and they feel like they’re letting people down, but they also don’t want to have regret. There’s a lot more to life than football. Blake Anderson’s been a great example of that. I thought he handled it with such class.”



#23 Mark Webb | Jr. | DB

On the defensive mindset…

“I needed to get a hit during the game. You get beat on a play and you just have to stay your mindset. It’s only one game so you always have to keep playing. Coach Smart always talks about how we have to keep our head in the game.”


On earning playing time…

“I’ve had to learn everything about defense. Blitzing, covering, making calls, talking and tackling. I had to learn everything because I’ve come a long way since switching from receiver. I won’t lie to you the hardest thing I’ve learned is tackling. You come in and may want to guard people but the first thing you’ll do in this program is tackle people.”


On playing high school football in Philadelphia…

“I think coming from Philadelphia is different because you may not play a bunch of big guys but every week you play someone in a skilled position. There are lots of great coaches, Catholic league and public league.”


On learning to tackle…

“It’s funny, my first hit was against (Elijah) Holyfield. He tried to run me over but I made the tackle. That is how I learned how to tackle. And the second one was against Charlie Woerner on the sideline. My shoulder definitely went numb for a little bit but it was basically my initiation.”



#94 Michael Barnett | Sr. | DT

On his role with the defense…

“I feel like I just try to help the young guys get on pace with the plays and understand the playbook. My role is just to do whatever the team needs and whatever coach wants.”


On being a veteran on the team…

“It has been such a learning experience with the coaching changes to truly understand the game and the playbook.”


On the defensive line…

“I feel like every day we try to execute and get better. We really work on our technique and we don’t try to rush into making we plays. We really want to be a part of this system and really hone into everything we do. The more we do that the more things fall into place. We’ve done a lot more film study this year and I think we’re better for it but we need to maintain consistency.”


The Bulldogs and Red Wolves kick off at noon ET on Saturday, September 14 on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium.

Week 1: Bulldogs In The NFL

Week 1 Recap 

    Rams 30, Panthers 27

    Todd Gurley, RB: Gurley had 14 carries for 97 yards and a 4-yard reception for Los Angeles. He had 64 of his rushing yards in the fourth quarter. Gurley stands sixth in the NFL in rushing yards.

    Natrez Patrick, LB: The Rams rookie logged 19 special teams plays but did not have any stats.

    Elijah Holyfield, RB: Holyfield is a member of the Panthers’ practice squad.


    Bills 17, Jets 16

    Isaiah McKenzie, WR: McKenzie logged four plays on offense and three on special teams for the Bills, but he did not record any stats.

    Jordan Jenkins, LB: Jenkins recorded three tackles, including a sack, and forced a fumble for New York. One of Jenkins’ tackles resulted in a safety.


    Packers 10, Bears 3

    Leonard Floyd, LB: Floyd recorded two sacks among his four tackles for the Bears. Floyd’s sacks total is ranked third in the NFL.

    Riley Ridley, WR: The rookie was on the inactive list (coach’s decision) for Chicago.

    Roquan Smith, LB: Smith notched five tackles, including one for loss, for the Bears.

    Javon Wims, WR: Wims was targeted twice but did not have any catches for Chicago. He was on the field for 22 offensive plays.


    Chiefs 40, Jaguars 26

    Mecole Hardman, WR: The Kansas City rookie returned two kickoffs for 45 yards and had a fair catch on a punt. He was targeted just once as a receiver but was on the field for 53 of the team’s 68 offensive plays.

    Chris Conley, WR: Conley made his Jaguars debut with six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. His receiving touchdown has him ranked 10th in the NFL.

    Abry Jones, DL: Jones had two tackles for Jacksonville.


    Titans 43, Browns 13

    Ben Jones, OL: Jones played all 61 snaps at center and helped the Titans roll up 339 total yards.

    D’Andre Walker, LB: Walker is on the Titans’ injured reserve list for the season.

    Nick Chubb, RB: Chubb rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries and added 10 yards on three receptions for the Browns.


    Chargers 30, Colts 24

    Thomas Davis, LB: Davis made his Chargers debut by leading the team with 14 tackles. That was the highest tackles total in the NFL in Week 1.

    Justin Houston, DE: Houston had four tackles, including a sack, in his first game with the Colts.


    Lions 27, Cardinals 27

    Matthew Stafford, QB: Stafford went 27-of-45 for 385 yards and three touchdowns for the Lions. He also rushed three times for 22 yards. Stafford ranks third in the NFL after Week 1 in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and total yards.

    John Atkins, DL: Atkins is a member of the Lions’ practice squad.

    Isaac Nauta, TE: Nauta is on Detroit’s practice squad.

    Lamont Gaillard, OL: The rookie was on the Cardinals’ inactive list due to a knee injury.


    Patriots 33, Steelers 3

    David Andrews, C: Andrews is on the Patriots’ injured reserve list for the season.

    Sony Michel, RB: Michel had 14 yards on 15 carries for New England.

    Ben Watson, TE: Watson will miss the Patriots’ first four games due to suspension.

    Isaiah Wynn, OL: Wynn played all 70 snaps at left tackle and helped the Patriots accumulate 465 total yards.


    Ravens 59, Dolphins 10

    John Jenkins, DL: Jenkins recorded four tackles in his Miami debut.

    Reshad Jones, DB: Jones had five tackles for the Dolphins.

    Jonathan Ledbetter, DL: The Miami rookie had four tackles, including half a sack.


    Seahawks 21, Bengals 20

    Geno Atkins, DL: Atkins had two tackles and a quarterback hit for the Bengals.

    Cordy Glenn, OL: Glenn was on Cincinnati’s inactive list as he remains in concussion protocol.

    A.J. Green, WR: Green was on the Bengals’ inactive list due to an ankle injury.

    Shawn Williams, DB: Williams recorded four tackles for Cincinnati.


    Cowboys 35, Giants 17

    Deandre Baker, DB: The New York rookie posted two tackles.

    Lorenzo Carter, LB: Carter had two tackles and a quarterback hit, and he defended a pass for the Giants.

    Alec Ogletree, LB: Ogletree recorded six tackles and defended one pass for New York.


    Week 2 Schedule Involving Bulldogs

    (Games are on Sunday unless otherwise noted)

​Buccaneers (0-1) at Panthers (0-1), Thursday; Cardinals (0-0-1) at Ravens (1-0); Colts (0-1) at Titans (1-0); Bills (1-0) at Giants (0-1); 49ers (1-0) at Bengals (0-1); Chargers (1-0) at Lions (0-0-1); Jaguars (1-0) at Texans (0-1); Patriots (1-0) at Dolphins (0-1); Chiefs (1-0) at Raiders (1-0); Saints (1-0) at Rams (1-0); Bears (0-1) at Broncos (0-1); and Browns (0-1) at Jets (0-1), Monday.


Georgia Runs Past Murray State in Home Opener, 63-17

ATHENS, Ga. – A 35-point second quarter helped the No. 3-ranked University of Georgia football team defeat Murray State, 63-17, Saturday afternoon in front of 92,746 fans at the newly-named Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. 

Before kickoff, former head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley was joined by his family and captains from each of his 25 Georgia teams for the unveiling of Dooley Field. 

The 2019 Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC) then used an efficient 10-of-11 passing effort from junior quarterback Jake Fromm, as well as 269 rushing yards from seven different running backs to run past the Racers. 

Redshirt-freshman tailback Zamir White led all rushers with 72 total yards and scored the first touchdown of his career off a six-yard scamper in the second quarter. 

“We’re always proud to get a win,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “At the end of the day, a lot of work goes into a game, and I want the kids to be able to celebrate that. We just need to fix a few things. … We’ll work this week, like we always do, on fundamentals. We’ve got to tackle better. We had sloppy, sloppy tackling. Against good people, that will come back to haunt you. We’ll work on that.”

Fromm directed a four-play, 56-yard drive, capped off by D’Andre Swift’s first touchdown of the season to open the game. 

Murray State quickly answered as quarterback Preston Rice connected with wide receiver DaQuon Green for a 60-yard score to knot the game at 7-7 with 6:36 remaining in the first quarter. 

The opening frame ended with Georgia driving at the Murray State 15-yard line. The Bulldogs scored back-to-back touchdowns early in the second, thanks to a Brian Herrien two-yard rush and a J.R. Reed fumble recovery that he took back for a 14-yard score. 

With Georgia up 21-7, Swift added a 10-yard touchdown rush, followed by freshman wide receiver’s George Pickens’ first career score — a 15-yard reception from Fromm. That set up White’s six-yard touchdown that put Georgia up 42-7.

On the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession of the second half, Racer defensive back Nigel Watson intercepted a Stetson Bennett pass and ran it back 35 yards to cut into Georgia’s lead. 

The home team quickly answered as Bennett connected with Demetris Robertson for a 15-yard strike — the quarterback’s first career touchdown pass. 

The Bulldogs led 49-17 at the end of three quarters, and maintained their lead the rest of the game. 

Georgia will now host Arkansas State next Saturday, Sept. 14 at noon ET. 

2019 Bulldogs in the NFL

Arizona Cardinals

Lamont Gaillard, OL


Buffalo Bills

Isaiah McKenzie, WR


Carolina Panthers

Elijah Holyfield, RB **


Chicago Bears

Leonard Floyd, LB

Riley Ridley, WR

Roquan Smith, LB

Javon Wims, WR


Cincinnati Bengals

Geno Atkins, DL

Cordy Glenn, OL

A.J. Green, WR

Shawn Williams, DB


Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb, RB


Detroit Lions

John Atkins, DL **

Isaac Nauta, TE **

Matthew Stafford, QB


Indianapolis Colts

Justin Houston, LB


Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Conley, WR

Abry Jones, DL






Kansas City Chiefs

Mecole Hardman, WR


Los Angeles Chargers

Thomas Davis, LB


Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley, RB

Natrez Patrick, LB


Miami Dolphins

John Jenkins, DT

Reshad Jones, DB

Jonathan Ledbetter, DL


New England Patriots

David Andrews, C *

Sony Michel, RB

Benjamin Watson, TE

Isaiah Wynn, OL


New York Giants

Deandre Baker, DB

Lorenzo Carter, LB

Alec Ogletree, LB


New York Jets

Jordan Jenkins, LB


Tennessee Titans

Ben Jones, OL

D’Andre Walker, LB *









Quarterbacks (1)

Matthew Stafford, Lions


Running Backs (4)

Nick Chubb, Browns

Todd Gurley, Rams

Elijah Holyfield, Panthers **

Sony Michel, Patriots


Wide Receivers (6)

Chris Conley, Jaguars

A.J. Green, Bengals

Mecole Hardman, Chiefs

Isaiah McKenzie, Bills

Riley Ridley, Bears

Javon Wims, Bears


Tight Ends (2)

Isaac Nauta, Lions **

Benjamin Watson, Patriots


Offensive Linemen (5)

David Andrews, Patriots *

Lamont Gaillard, Cardinals

Cordy Glenn, Bengals

Ben Jones, Titans

Isaiah Wynn, Patriots














Defensive Linemen (5)

Geno Atkins, Bengals

John Atkins, Lions **

John Jenkins, Dolphins

Abry Jones, Jaguars

Jonathan Ledbetter, Dolphins


Linebackers (9)

Lorenzo Carter, Giants

Thomas Davis, Chargers

Leonard Floyd, Bears

Justin Houston, Colts

Jordan Jenkins, Jets

Alec Ogletree, Giants

Natrez Patrick, Rams

Roquan Smith, Bears

D’Andre Walker, Titans *


Defensive Backs (3)

Deandre Baker, Giants

Reshad Jones, Dolphins

Shawn Williams, Bengals


* Injured Reserve

** Practice Squad


Dooley Field dedication set for Saturday, Sept. 7

ATHENS——— On Oct. 12, 1929, Sanford Stadium was dedicated and named for Steadman V. Sanford, who would go on to become president of the University of Georgia and chancellor of the University System of Georgia.


On Saturday, Sept. 7, during pre-game ceremonies prior to the Georgia-Murray State game, the field at Sanford Stadium will be dedicated in the name of Vincent J. Dooley, who enjoyed a more than 40-year association with the university as head football coach and director of athletics.


The dedication follows a May 2 proposal made by the University of Georgia to the University System Board of Regents to create Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in honor of Dooley. The Regents approved the proposal on May 14.


President Jere W. Morehead, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, University System Board of Regents Chairman Don Waters, and team captains from Dooley’s 25 years as head coach will join Dooley and his family for the pre-game ceremonies Saturday between the hedges.


For over 50 years now, Dooley has had an enduring impact on the University of Georgia, the Southeastern Conference, and college athletics across the country. Serving as head football coach at UGA from 1963 to 1989 and as director of athletics from 1979 to 2004, he has been a man of great foresight in times of charting the future, a man of stability in times of change, and a man of vision in critical times that have shaped the path of college athletics.


Dooley is the only person ever to hold the presidency of both the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics—a testament to his contributions to coaching and athletics administration.


He has received numerous national honors, including the John Wooden Citizen Cup Award for his positive influence on the lives of others, the Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in coaching both on and off the field during his career, and the Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award for his contributions to amateur football.


His contributions to the university were recognized in 2008 with the dedication of the Vince Dooley Athletic Complex. A statue and garden commemorate his accomplishments along with the naming of all of the south campus athletic facilities in his honor.


Dooley’s 25 years as head coach earned him the distinction as the most successful football coach in Georgia history. He guided the Bulldogs to a career record of 201-77-10, becoming only the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win over 200 games. The Bulldogs won one national championship (1980) and six SEC Championships under his direction. He took his teams to 20 bowl games and coached a Heisman Trophy winner (Herschel Walker, 1982), a Maxwell Award Winner (Walker, 1982), an Outland Award Winner (Bill Stanfill, 1968), 40 First Team All-Americans and 10 Academic All-Americans.


During his tenure, seven of his players earned the prestigious National Football Foundation post-graduate scholarship, and 11 former players received the equally coveted NCAA post-graduate scholarship. Seventy-seven of his players earned Academic All-SEC recognition.


Dooley was named NCAA National Coach of the Year by every major poll in 1980 and by Chevrolet-WTBS in 1982. He was named SEC Coach of the Year seven times and NCAA District Coach of the Year on six occasions. He holds the unique distinction of being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in two different states: Georgia and Alabama. Dooley is a 1978 inductee into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and a 1994 inductee into the National College Football Hall of Fame. In 2001, he received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association for lifetime contributions to the sport of football. He was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2004 and the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame in 2019.


Under Dooley’s watch as athletic director, Georgia teams won 23 national championships (10 in his final six years), including an unprecedented four during the 1998-99 year (gymnastics, women’s swimming, men’s tennis and men’s golf). Also during his tenure, Georgia athletic teams won 78 SEC team championships and numerous individual national titles in both men’s and women’s sports.


He has authored several books, including two editions of Dooley’s Dawgs (with Loran Smith); My 40 Years at Georgia (with Tony Barnhart); Dooley’s Playbook: The 34 Most Memorable Plays in Georgia Football History; Dooley’s Garden: A Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach; History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia; and The Legion’s Fighting Bulldog: The Civil War Correspondence of William Gaston Delony, Lieutenant Colonel of Cobb’s Georgia Legion Cavalry, and Rosa Delony, 1853-1863. Dooley also has written an article on the two great football teams on the UGA campus in 1942, which was published in the fall 2014 issue of The Georgia Historical Quarterly.

In addition to his writings, he has also done hundreds of speaking engagements and appearances for numerous charitable causes.  Dooley is a former Georgia Historical Society Chairman of the Board and Head of the Nominating Committee.  He is also a former chair of the Education Committee and current member of the Government Relations Committee, Marketing Committee, and the Development Committee of the American Battlefield Trust.


A native of Mobile, Alabama, Dooley is married to the former Barbara Meshad of Birmingham. They have four children: Deanna (Mrs. Destry Rogers); Daniel (married to the former Suzanne Maher); Denise (Mrs. Jay Douglas Mitchell) and Derek (married to the former Allison Jeffers), who is currently offensive coordinator at the University of Missouri. The Dooleys have eleven grandchildren: Patrick Cook (married to Lauren Oyler); Catherine and Christopher Cook; Michael and Matthew Dooley (Daniel and Suzanne); Ty, Joe and Cal Mitchell; and John Taylor, Peyton and Julianna Elizabeth Dooley (Derek and Allison Dooley). Two great grandchildren are the most recent additions from Patrick and Lauren: Murphy Elizabeth and Miles Marie are identical twin girls born on Dec. 21, 2018.


Quotes on Vince Dooley through the years


“Vince has shown more common sense in coaching and administration at the college level than anyone I have observed.”

— Bobby Bowden, former head coach, FSU


“He’s been one of my real ‘look up to’ guys.  I have always admired him, and respected his judgment.  In my mind, he’s been one of the

top ADs in the country, and he’s done it the right way.”

— DeLoss Dodds, former athletic director, Texas


“He has contributed to college athletics as a player, as

a great coach, and as an outstanding athletics director. I’d say he’s given about as much to college athletics as anybody ever has.”

— Darrell Royal, the late former Texas head coach


“I observed first-hand the impact Vince Dooley has had on the Southeastern Conference. His leadership has played a prominent role in developing the SEC as the leader in intercollegiate athletics.”

— Mal Moore, the late former athletics director, Alabama


“Coach Dooley left a permanent mark on college football, as well as the University of Georgia.  His teams were always very well coached and tough to beat as evidenced by his illustrious record.  He was one of the best!”

— Terry Donahue, former head coach, UCLA


“Vince Dooley has done one of the truly outstanding jobs in the Southeastern Conference, not only as head football coach at Georgia for 25

years, but also as Athletics Director. He led the University of Georgia through an unprecedented time of success. His leadership and integrity have not only have benefited Georgia but also college athletics in general as he has made valuable contributions to the NCAA and other national committees.”

— Doug Dickey, former athletics director, Tennessee


“Every school needs an athletic director like Vince Dooley.  His expertise and his vision and his judgment are unsurpassed by anyone I’ve ever known.”

— Frank Broyles, the late former head coach/athletics director, Arkansas


“Vince Dooley represents all that is good about college sports. As a coach, he cared about his players. As an athletic director, he cares about his university. As a person, he cares about his family and his friends. He’s been a leader, a visionary and a model of success whose talents and accomplishments have helped set a standard of excellence in Southeastern Conference athletics.”

— Skip Bertman, former head baseball coach, athletics director, LSU


“Vince’s experience as a coach and as an administrator made him a valuable resource in any NCAA meeting or on any NCAA issue.  We would always seek out Vince’s opinion because he was thoughtful, stable and well-respected.”

— Tom Osborne, former head coach, Nebraska


“Vince Dooley has been and will continue to be one of the shining jewels of the Southeastern Conference.  When I think of the University of Georgia, I think of Coach Dooley.  He demonstrated leadership, wisdom and loyalty to both the University of Georgia and the Southeastern.”

— Larry Templeton, former athletics director, Mississippi State


“Few people have influenced the SEC and all of college athletics as much as Vince Dooley, and he’s always done it with a touch of class.  When you think of Coach Dooley, you think of Georgia and you think of class–that’s not a bad legacy–that’s a pretty dawg gone good legacy.”

— David Housel, former athletics director, Auburn







Claude Felton

Sr. Associate Athletic Director

University of Georgia

PO Box 1472

Athens, GA 30603





Georgia Continues Preparations for Home Opener

ATHENS —— The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs continued their preparations for the 2019 home opener vs. Murray State with a two-hour practice on Tuesday afternoon.

Head Coach Kirby Smart, along with a pair of Georgia linebackers, sophomore Quay Walker and junior Walter Grant, fielded questions from the media after practice.  Excerpts from their sessions follow:

Head Coach Kirby Smart:

Opening Statement

‘’I thought practice yesterday was good.  It was a little hot, but they pushed through and today was much better.  Guys practiced a lot better today and had good energy.  We did a lot of ‘good on good’ periods, worked against each other, about 50 percent of the practice, and then the other 50 percent against Murray State.  Good tempo.’’

What can you say about the type of team Murray State has?

‘’They’re an Air Raid-type.  They spread you out, throw the ball around.  Mitch has got a history with Coach Hatcher.  They throw the ball around, spread it around with a lot of screens, intermediate passing game, get the ball out quick.  They run the ball really well for what you think they would do.  Everybody thinks they throw the ball every snap, but they’ve got large splits, which make it tough to play the gaps.  They make you defend the entire field.  They do a really good job defensively, too.  They really dominated last Saturday.’’

What does it mean to you to ‘play to the standard at Georgia,’ like a lot of the guys like to say?

‘’We talk about being relentless competitors, about toughness, effort, never watching the scoreboard.  You play to that standard and the rest kind of takes care of itself.  I think when you worry about results, like so many people in our society do, it makes it tough to ever be happy.  So we don’t concern ourselves with results.  We try to focus on what exactly it is that we want to achieve, which is unbelievable effort, toughness, resiliency, relentless effort.  We just keep saying the same words over and over so the kids understand.  That’s what matters.  When you do that, you usually get good results.’’

Is Jamaree Salyer in a position to play and help the team?

‘’I saw him yesterday and I was wondering ‘where was that last week?’  He jumped into being in shape pretty quick or not being injured as bad.  He had Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday off, so he got a lot of recovery time.  But I haven’t seen the tape today, so obviously I’ll have to wait to see that.  But I thought he looked better yesterday.’’

What does it look like for players that don’t travel?  How are they scheduled?

‘’They lift extra on Friday, when we’re traveling, and they lift on Monday as well.  We do, too, but they lift before us.  They get a little extra development to grow.  If they’re injured, they get 2-3 extra rehab treatments.  Ron (Courson) does a good job when he’s not here of using the Coliseum and the Olympic sports staff to rehab our guys.’’

Do you spend much time managing that, the ones that get to travel vs. the ones that don’t?

‘’There’s not a lot to talk about.  They get it.  I mean, there are guys that are really close that, you know, you’re honest with them and explain to them why.  Next week’s gonna be different.  Next week we may play a different team.  Next time we travel it may be different.  It changes by the minute and I think the guys understand.  We try to call guys in that have an expectation, or maybe they’ve traveled before and they’re not traveling this time, out of courtesy.  But we can’t do that with every player.’’

How big of a benefit can it be for a guy to not travel?

‘’Look at a guy like Fitz (TE John FitzPatrick).  Fitz last year played left tackle for, like, 15 practices because we had no scout team O-line.  I think it was for the bowl practices.  And I really think it made him a better player now because he’s being asked to block the kind of cats that he was blocking at left tackle, like Tyler Clark and Devonte Wyatt.  Now, you go out there at tight end and it’s a little easier.  It creates toughness.  I think Isaiah Wilson, his first year, for the first 2-3 weeks we didn’t send him to the scout team.  When we realized he might not play, with Isaiah Wynn and Andrew (Thomas) playing, we sent him down there and he got a lot better faster.  So, you get a lot of development down there.  Sometimes kids don’t understand it, but there’s a greater means to the end.  We really, really, really harp on scout team.  Our coaches will tell you that I’m relentless about how many reps this guy gets, this guy gets, this guy gets.  Michail Carter, Julian Rochester, they go get reps on scout team.  There’s nobody that’s too good for that because it’s part of your development.  And to be honest with you, the NFL, people don’t realize it, but the twos are the scout team.  The ones are the scout team.  So you might as well learn and figure out that I’m servicing the team and I’m getting myself better when I do it.  Michael Barnett.  He went down there and played the whole year, and the next thing you know, he’s starting against Georgia Tech because he’s tougher than everybody else because he played every single snap down there.’’

On Mark Webb and his growth from his freshman year, when he was a receiver, to now in his second year at defensive back, and was his potential to play DB ever discussed during his recruitment?

‘’We never discussed it and to be honest with you, when he came in he was a really good wideout.  He made a couple of plays and we were like, ‘Man, we’ve got a good wide receiver here.’ But we were so deep at the time.  I mean, we were looking at Terry (Godwin), Mecole (Hardman), Crump (Ahkil Crumpton).  There were just so many guys, and they were gonna be there for at least two more years.  We just felt like Mark could be one of our best 11 defensive backs.  And we knew the transition would take a while.  We didn’t know if he’d be a corner, a safety or what he’d be, but he’s drawn into a really good Star.  He’s really physical, he’s aggressive, he’s tough.  Mark’s fun to coach.  Mark loves football.  He’s very coachable, so he’s been a blessing for us.’’

What are some of the ways in which Quay Walker has grown?

‘’Quay has come a long way, but Quay still has a long way to go.  It’s interesting to watch because this is a kid who played out in space as an outside backer in high school.  When you go inside, it changes your world.  You go from seeing one thing to seeing everything.  You’ve got five linemen in front of you and things are going sideways.  He struggled some last year.  He got frustrated.  And this year it’s amazing how far he’s come with understanding our defense and being able to pick things up.  He’s a really good blitzer.  The sky’s the limit for him because he’s athletic and big, and he’s come so far.  But he has to decide if he wants to be great and work really hard every day to put himself in a special category.’’

How will Dominick Blaylock help fill the role that is now missing with Kearis Jackson out with an injury?

‘’Dom’s been awesome.  That was unfortunate that he didn’t get to play the other night because he’s earned the right to play and we didn’t get an opportunity to put him in.  We kept trying to put the game away and score, and we really just never could get into position to put him in there.  But he’s gonna be thrust into it now. I thought he had a really good practice today.  He caught some balls. He makes contested catches, he finds ways to get open, he’s really smart, he’s tough and physical.  He and Kearis are similar.  Kearis probably has a little more experience than him, and Kearis is a little stronger than him.  But they’re both really good players.’’

Junior OLB Walter Grant:

On how going against the starters (1’s) helped him develop as a player…

“I would say you won’t face anybody else who’s going to challenge you more than your own teammates are going to challenge you, especially when you first come in and are going against the 1’s who are going to play on game day. So, that’s always a challenge when you know you’ll be going against players who are playing up to that level.”

On whether the preparation in the week leading up to games focuses more on the opponent or on the players’ own jobs…

“Obviously a lot of the focus is on the team [we’re playing next], but we mainly focus and work on ourselves to try and get better on the junk we messed up on. You wouldn’t want to put all your focus on that next team, because then you wouldn’t take care of what you need to work on.”

On the things he hopes the OLB room will improve on in this week’s game…

“From our room, I just want all of us to work on our techniques and our eyes and our discipline as a team. The childish and foolish penalties— we don’t need those. All they do is hurt you at the end of the game. We’re just trying to clean up all those penalties.”

Sophomore ILB Quay Walker:

On transitioning from high school to Georgia…

‘’I think that was the most difficult thing I faced coming from high school. Coming from high school and playing on the line of scrimmage then getting to college and playing behind the line was a difficult task but I started seeing things different and adjusting. I think I have picked up on everything pretty well so far.’’

On playing to the Georgia standard…

‘’It means a lot to me. There is a lot that comes with that saying. You always go out and put everything on the line. You just have to be able to do whatever you need to do. For me, coming in, it took me awhile to get used to the saying but I think I do what I am supposed to do.’’

On the linebacker room…

‘’We know what we are not supposed to be doing or not. We know when we go out there and don’t play to the standards. But we know when we’re not doing things the right way and we know when we are doing thing the right way.’’

SEC Recognizes 150 Great Moments in Football History

As part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, the SEC is launching a social media project during the 2019 football season to recognize 150 of the greatest games and moments in the history of the 14 institutions of the SEC.

Each of the SEC’s 14 members have submitted to the Conference Office 10 great games or moments, and the SEC has added 10 conference-wide highlights to produce a total of 150 great moments to be celebrated throughout the 2019 football season.

Because the project is in recognition of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football, the great moments will include highlights that took place prior to the SEC Era and will also include highlights for the non-SEC Era of schools who joined the conference via expansion.

The daily series will be rolled out chronologically during the season, beginning Monday, August 19 with two games from the 1909 season, 23 years before the SEC began competition as a conference.

Week 1: 1909-1931

Week 2: 1932-1951

Week 3: 1951-1959

Smart, Bulldogs Preview Murray State Game

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during a press conference in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during a press conference in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATHENS, Ga. —  University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, along with several players, previewed Saturday’s game against Murray State. The Bulldogs and Racers kick off at 4 p.m. ET at Sanford Stadium. 

On Monday, Coach Smart, redshirt-freshman linebacker Azeez Ojulari, junior wide receiver Demetris Robertson, sophomore defensive lineman Jordan Davis and junior tailback D’Andre Swift offered the following comments. 

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening statement … 

“We will open up with Murray State practice today. Head coach Mitch Stewart, who I know well, and was at Valdosta State when I was there before. He has been a part of Chris Hatcher’s staff — he played for Chris. I have a lot of respect for the job he has been able to do there at Murray. I am also excited about this weekend with the naming of Dooley Field. That is a tremendous honor for him, one that he deserves and one that so many Bulldog fans can associate with the history that he has done. His family — his wife Barbara — has been such a great part of the Athens community and the University of Georgia. It’s such a great honor for him, so we are excited to do that as well this weekend. With that, I will open it up for questions.” 

On his first interactions with Coach Vince Dooley … 

“As a player, he would come in and talk to the team annually. He would come speak to the team at the team meeting room when I played for Coach (Ray) Goff, and I remember I had some interactions with him on Student-Athlete counsel and things like that. He’s always been tremendous to me. My first real meaningful interactions were probably at LSU when Derek (Dooley) was coaching and he would come over and be around the staff and come up to the lake where my parents live. They had a home up there, so Coach Dooley has been unbelievable to my family, my parents and also to me. So, I am just honored that we could do this and we could get the field named for him.” 

On using external factors and losses by other programs  as motivation … 

“Nothing that those programs have going on has anything to do with us. We are 100 percent concerned with the improvements we have to make. We’ve got so much work to do from a discipline standpoint, timing in the passing game — a lot of things to work on —  that our focus is us and our opponent, Murray State.” 

 On if any of the issues Saturday night were due to it being the first game … 

“Some decision-making, some aggressive, some just poor decisions. Each one different because sometimes being aggressive is a good thing and can help you, and sometimes making poor decisions kills you in big moments. We can’t have them, so you make sure you expose them to it. You try to put them in the same situation again, and you try to encourage them to make better decisions.” 

On short-yardage plays against Vanderbilt … 

“We ran the same play earlier in the game and got a first (down). So, if you look at it and analyze it, the exact same play was run in the exact same situation and it worked once and didn’t work once. It really boils down to execution, making sure that each guy does his job — that you control the line of scrimmage, that you give yourself a chance to be successful. We are always trying to improve in that.” 

On his team’s ability to affect the quarterback on Saturday against Vanderbilt … 

“Good in some cases and poor in some, which is usually the case every game. You wish you could do more. We had some good four-man rushes where we got him out of the pocket and did not contain him. We had some that we did better than others. It’s usually the case when you play teams from the SEC. They have a plan to get the ball out quickly. You have to have a plan to counteract that. You have to mix and mingle how much you rush more than four. You have to be able to rush three and drop eight. You’ve got to be able to be multiple and be able to do it, especially this week with a Murray State team that is able to get the ball out quickly.” 

On the status of redshirt-freshman wide receiver Kearis Jackson … 

“He’s got a couple of different breaks. He’s going to be out a little while. Should be back in the club shortly, but we don’t know how long he is going to be out. It could be three to four weeks. It will be week to week once we get him back, so he’s going to get it repaired. It was a tough hit he took right on the hand, and we will get him back as soon as we can.” 

On what he has seen from redshirt-freshman linebacker Azeez Ojulari … 

“Effort. Toughness. He brings a great attitude every day to work. That guy practices his tail off every day. I thought our defensive staff did a tremendous job of showing clips today where guys had the same practice rep they had in a game, and they used a tool from the practice to help them in the game. It is just a great indicator of how practice carries over to games.” 

On when he will see the potential of how far this team can go and some areas where the team has to improve … 

“We have to improve in every area. There is not an area where we are like comfortable. I don’t think we are comfortable anywhere. You can say ‘well, we scored the opening drive, are we comfortable there?’ No. We are not comfortable there. There are things we did not execute well. Blocking on the perimeter — we had some good blocks on the perimeter, we had some missed blocks on the perimeter. Tackling — we had some really good tackles and then we had some really terrible tackling. So, there’s not really anywhere. I think that you have to be careful how much you delve into one game when we’ve got an opportunity to go out to practice today and get better at everything we did not do well, including the things we did do well.”

On if there is anything we have not seen from this team that he is banking on …

“I am banking on habits. I really believe the fundamentals of football is what’s important. Why is it important to do it right day-in and day-out? Explaining that and then having them do it. I am banking on the overall fundamentals and effort at practice to create habits that show up in the game. If good habits show up at practice, they tend to show up at the game. If bad habits show up at practice, they tend to show up at the game. My history as a coach is the guy that shows his colors on the practice field is probably going to do the same thing on the field, and that is going to repeat itself. So, in a good way or a negative way, that will happen. You can’t read too much into it or over-analyze it the point of who is this team. It is what it is. We have to go out and get this team better. We’ve got to get our 70th guy better all the way to our first guy better, and keep improving.”

On which players who didn’t make the Vanderbilt trip could see time this week…

“All of them. We’re going to have an opportunity for every guy to go out there and practice and get better. Those guys will get the opportunity to grow and get better. I’m excited about the guys who will get the chance to play this week that didn’t travel.”


On using games like this weekend to form habits…

“You’re assuming we’re going to get to play a lot of those guys, but I don’t assume that. I think Murray State’s got a great program. They’ve got a lot of tempo; they do a great job offensively and defensively. We’re going in thinking we’ve got to beat Murray State. We’ve got to go in and execute and get better during the week on us, and then go out and play Murray State. You hope a lot of guys get to play but we don’t know the outcome of a game. I think you’re assuming we get to play more guys. We get to play more guys in practice, that’s what I do know, and they’re going to get a chance to get better.”


On Demetris Robertson learning and benefitting playing behind guys in practice last year…

“Every player benefits from that experience, getting to block and be a part of things. Demetris wasn’t that far off what he was on Saturday last year. He had really good football players in front of him. We’re going to play the best guys who have experience doing it and he’s getting his opportunity now to do it and he’s got to continue to work because there’s good players behind him now. A lot of the plays he had weren’t necessarily designed for him, the defense gave Demetris the opportunity. If they play different coverage on the deep ball, it doesn’t go to him. A lot of things are dictated on what the defense does.”


On the adage ‘teams have the most improvement from the first to the second game…’

“It’s probably true. It’s also true of the team you’re playing. The greatest leap is there but it’s relative because if we all leap, then we’re all getting better and most of the time, the anxiety is removed. If you take the anxiety in just the freshmen, there’s a lot of guys out there that are sophomores who haven’t played a lot of snaps for us that have anxiety and you get to see them react and they get more comfortable. Murray State’s the same way.”


On Travon Walker on the kicking team in his first college game…

“He’s one of the best 11 guys we put out there. He’s extremely athletic, he’s got spatial awareness, he understands blocking schemes, he’s hard to block and he runs fast. So, we want the best 11 players we can put on our special teams and he’s one of them.”


On Malik Herring not playing in the Vanderbilt game…

“We talked about it after the game. If he continues to use practice and get better, he’ll play.”


On D’Andre Swift not satisfied with his performance…

“I think you see that from all our players. To say that you’re perfect or you play a perfect game doesn’t exist. We’re in the pursuit of excellence, not perfection. I don’t think he would say he played excellent; I mean go back and watch some of those runs, I don’t think he got touched the first 10-15 yards. Some of that, Charlie Woerner, Solomon Kindley, and Ben Cleveland, when he makes guys miss, I think that’s where he measures his skill set. He made a lot of people miss but I think there were some opportunities in there where he could’ve made a different cut and got more yards. That’s a great competitor to me, is trying figuring out what I can do better to help the team.”


On Ben Cleveland and Cade Mays at right guard in Vanderbilt game…

“All those will keep working hard. They’re developing. They compete. I’m proud of the way that group works. Hopeful to get Jamaree (Salyer) soon, get him out there and competing. All those guys have done a great job.”


On more guys getting snaps at linebacker…

“Nakobe (Dean’s) hurting still. We thought he was close to being able to go in the game and it’s still bothering Nakobe. He’s not one hundred percent yet. It was tough for him not to go out there but he didn’t feel like he could go a hundred percent so we held him out after that. Quay (Walker) got a few snaps and he’s continuing to grow. Quay keeps getting better.”


On Zamir White being back on the field…

“I think the relief came after the scrimmages because that was the first real opportunity. I think he was anxious to get out there and go run the ball the other night. I thought he did a good job with opportunity. … He continues to get better and get healthier. I think the sky’s the limit because he continues to improve. He improves through protection and reps and getting more opportunities.”


On playing best-on-best as a response to good not being good enough…

“We do that every week. It’s not about who we play, it’s about what we do. We always say, ‘to get better, we have to go against the best.’ We like competing against ourselves. That’s what this program is built on is competition. We’ll get an opportunity to go good-on-good all this week.”

On how Jake Fromm allows the running game to flourish…

“He makes a lot of decisions that people don’t understand. I don’t think anyone in the room would understand what he’s doing when he’s doing some of the mechanics. Some of it is pass, some of it’s run, some of it’s nothing. Some of it is window-dressing. He does that so that we can be successful, so that people don’t get a read on what we’re doing. And it’s not easy to do. Some of the rules he has are complicated. I don’t need to get into it right now with you guys, it’d take me another 30 minutes to explain what he’s doing on half of the stuff, but he does a nice job of making sure we’re in successful plays.  As a defensive coordinator, I can tell you, going against him every day is frustrating because it’s hard to be right a lot of times.”


On Brian Herrien being one of the few non-five-star running backs on the team and what he’s done to put himself in important position…

“What does that mean? What does a five-star rating mean because when Brian came out, in my mind, he was rated just as high as the guys that are here.  I don’t give relevance to those numbers because I knew Brian as an 11th-grader, I knew him as a senior, I knew him when he came to camp and when we went through the recruiting process. He’s just as talented as those guys.  He wasn’t from some of the same places and he didn’t have his academics as much in order, and Brian plays with a chip on his shoulder because of that, but I never perceived Brian to be any less than other guys.


His practice habits have always been very good. Brian loves football. He competes on special teams, he runs the ball hard. He was on the scout team for a while and carried the ball one spring more than anybody because Sony (Michel) and Nick (Chubb) weren’t getting many reps.  We’ve said it before, Brian is a worker. He’s earned the right to get these carries. Last year he didn’t get as many opportunities as he probably wanted and looking back, maybe we should have given him some more opportunities because he earns it by the way he practices. He is taking advantage of those opportunities right now.”


On the overall performance of the inside linebackers against Vanderbilt…

“Well, we have to play better. We have to play better at every position- defensive line, secondary, tackling, communication.  We had some busts up front, affecting the quarterback, stopping the run, not getting stretched- and inside backer is no different.  We just have a long way to go, a lot to improve. And we will do that.  Those kids are eager to learn and get better. We’re not where we need to be as a team, but especially as a defensive unit and offensive unit.”


On the defensive line … 

“They have to control the run game. When they have an opportunity to rush the passer they have to be successful. They have to affect the quarterback. We have to give them the opportunity to get one-on-ones by bringing more people in forward, so they’re not fighting two people as much as we possibly can and be effective.  I’m not disappointed with the effort.  They didn’t give up a touchdown. In college football today, I don’t care who you’re playing, that’s hard to do. They played hard and they played well in the red area. We have to do a lot of things better.”


On if there were pleasant surprises when watching film that he didn’t pick up on in the game…

“I can’t say that anything stuck out. I thought the movement up front was probably what I thought it was going to be. The guys are physical. I see them go against our guys every day.  The blocking on the perimeter, I noticed it more in the game, but I was pleased for the most part.  We have some guys that have to buy into that and know that perimeter blocking can make you really explosive offensively.  Defensively, I thought the corners held up well. They didn’t get a lot of opportunities to make a lot of plays on the ball, but they covered guys well.”


On the progress of Matt Landers and the attitude he has to approach everything…

“He has come a long way. Matt and I have had our differences on the practice field many of times and Matt has come a long way.  I think that Matt has finally figured out that ‘if I play special teams and I play well, then I have an opportunity to contribute on offense and maybe even get some balls’. You earn the right to do that by how you compete, what you do, and he’s come a long way. I’m really proud of Matt and how he’s grown up.  He still has ways to go, but Matt has come a long way from a freshman that probably never played special teams.”


On what he saw from George Pickens…

“I don’t think those were targets. One was a max-blitz. So the max-blitz didn’t say we’re targeting him, that’s something the defense did to dictate that.  There were a couple times the look he happened to be in. Matt Landers caught a comeback on their sideline that if that would have been George, George would have been in.  The coverage dictated where the ball went. Sometimes that’s controlled by that. I don’t think there is anything that he could have done different to have a ball-call. Some of it was what people did around him to affect it. What he controls is how he blocks, how he runs his routes and what kind of effort and toughness he plays with.  I thought he did a good job doing that.”


On if it’s more rewarding when the kids you have to continue to push finally get it and make the decision to get better…

“Absolutely. The blessing you get as a coach is when you see a kid have success that has worked so hard for it. Sometimes it comes more natural, sometimes kids come into really good situations and they’re forced into playing maybe before they should, but then sometimes a guy goes the hard way and a guy works. You look at Justin Young, who has been nothing but a worker since he’s been here. You look at Michael Barnett, nothing but a worker and then to see him have success. Matt (Landers) is the same way, he’s not as old as those guys, but Matt has worked tremendously hard to get where he is and he started to buy into the culture of the program. It’s the reason why when kids stay, they’re usually successful and will be more successful in life because they’ve gone through hard times.”

#7 D’Andre Swift | Jr. | RB

On Georgia’s mindset and how it allows for great leaders and success..

“We’ve got some great leaders on this team like Jake (Fromm) and Andrew Thomas, who do a great job for this team. Everyone just tries to reach excellence. We try to be perfect knowing we’re never going to be perfect. We always want to play to the Georgia standard and understand that everyone on the team wants to see each other win. We have the mentality that there’s always something to get better at— we play and go against Georgia each day in practice. We’re going against the best defense every day in practice; we’re going against the best offense every day in practice. So, if we take that mentality into every day, we’ll be fine.”

On what it means to play at home in Sanford Stadium … 

“It’s amazing. We’ve got the most loyal fans. It felt like a home game on Saturday (at Vanderbilt). Sanford Stadium, though, it’s like no other. It’s so loud, and our fans are great. My first game I was really nervous, but I was really excited. I was just happy all my hard work had paid off, and I knew it was the start of something bigger.”

On Brian Herrien [RB, Sr.] getting to start/if it was a cool moment for Swift…

“That was a cool moment. Everyone wants to see each other win no matter who is starting. Everyone is going to get the amount of touches needed to win the game. So, we just go into games according to the game plan we have that game knowing we just want to see each other win.”

On what preparation looks like for Murray State as of now…

“We’ve got to start with today. This week is important because it’s the next game. So, we’ve got to start with practice today, looking at and working on everything we messed up on Saturday.”

#16 Demetris Robertson | Jr. | WR

 On his decision to come closer to home … 

“To be closer to my family. My family needed me here, so I chose to come back.”


On what he did in the offseason to get ready … 

“I had to get the playbook and learn the offense. Coach (James) Coley is the new coordinator now and I had to learn how he did things.”

#13 Azeez Ojulari | R-Fr. | OLB 

On how you feel the team did with pressuring the quarterback and if you could bring that much continued pressure without dialing up as many guys… 

“I feel like we have guys on our team that can just put pressure on the quarterback and bring that pressure by winning one-on-one battles.” 

On how competitive the OLB position really is… 

“It has been extremely competitive. We are all in there, pushing each other, coming in and getting each other each day and working as hard as we can day-in and day-out.” 

On what you did in the offseason to increase playing time so drastically… 

“I really used that ‘Do More’ mentality and continued on that type of grind. Coming in everyday, working hard and focusing on improving one day at a time.” 

#99 Jordan Davis | So.| DL 

On his stamina and continuing to work on that aspect of his game… 

“It has been something I have been battling for a while. I try and spend extra time after practice conditioning. I also focus on spending the time to make sure I am eating right, doing the right things, drinking a lot of water and making sure I stay hydrated. It is a long road and the farther into the season we get, the more pressure there is going to be, and I am going to be need to be able to be out there more. Right now, I am working to maintain my stamina.” 

On Murray State … 

“Definitely not. Murray State has an extremely respectable game, they are very explosive, scoring 40 or more points in five out of nine games. They have an explosive offense, both running and passing, that we are going to need to stop. They have a very athletic team. I was watching some highlight clips and their running back is extremely explosive. And, not to discredit our offense, but their defense is also explosive so we just need to play all-around a good game. Continue to think about us and what we know how to do and we should be fine.” 

On how you have transformed since you arrived on campus… 

“I can feel myself getting stronger, mentally and physically. It is like a 360 change for me since high school. I have learned so much in terms of better technique.” 


Thomas and Blankenship Earn SEC Weekly Awards

Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (98) speaks to members of the media at a press conference on Monday, Oct., 1, 2018. (Photo by Kristin M. Bradshaw)

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia junior offensive tackle Andrew Thomas and senior place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship have been awarded Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors following their performances during the Bulldogs’ 30-6 road win over Vanderbilt, according to a league announcement.

Thomas was named Offensive Lineman of the Week while Blankenship was tabbed as Special Teams Player of the Week.

For Blankenship, this marks the third time in his career that he has earned SEC weekly honors while it is the second instance for Thomas. Blankenship received Special Teams Player of the Week recognition following the Bulldogs’ win last season at South Carolina and the Kentucky game in 2016. Thomas shared Offensive Lineman of the Week with Alabama’s Jonah Williams last season following the Kentucky game.

Thomas graded out at 92 percent for the Vanderbilt contest, tallying five knockdowns from his left tackle position. In addition to allowing no sacks of junior quarterback Jake Fromm, Thomas and rest of the offensive line helped the Bulldogs amass 481 total yards, including 325 yards rushing and 149 from junior tailback D’Andre Swift. Thomas’ blocking allowed Fromm time to complete passes to eight different targets during the game.

Blankenship was perfect on the night, converting 3-of-3 on both field goals and extra points. His first field goal in the third quarter came from 50 yards out, improving himself to 4-of-5 from 50 or more yards in his career. He also extended his school record to 157 consecutive PAT makes, moving him to No. 3 on the SEC’s all-time list and within striking distance of second place entering this week.

The No. 3 Bulldogs (1-0, 1-0 SEC) will play host to Murray State (1-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.


Jake Stanley
University of Georgia – Assistant Sports Communications Director
SID for Swimming & Diving
Phone: (513) 382-9703

Bulldogs Open Season With 30-6 Win at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs opened their 2019 season with a 30-6 victory over Vanderbilt in front of 40,350 fans at Vanderbilt Stadium and an ESPN nationally televised audience on Saturday evening.


With the victory, Georgia improved to 96-27-3 in season openers and 13-10-1 in openers against SEC opponents. Saturday’s win was the first opening game at an SEC opponent since a 24-21 Bulldog victory at South Carolina in 1994.


Junior quarterback Jake Fromm began his third season under center for the Bulldogs (1-0, 1-0 SEC) with a 15-of-23 passing performance for 156 yards and a touchdown. Along with Fromm’s passing, the Georgia offensive attack was bolstered by a dominant ground game that amassed 325 yards. Junior tailback D’Andre Swift led the Bulldogs with 149 yards rushing, the fifth time he has eclipsed the century mark in his career.


The Georgia defense also turned in a stout effort, allowing 225 total yards of Vanderbilt offense and only five plays of over 10 yards. The Bulldogs were especially impressive on third down, with the Commodores (0-1, 0-1 SEC) only converting on 3-of-14 opportunities. Junior defensive back Mark Webb and junior inside linebacker Monty Rice tied for the team lead with seven tackles, while redshirt freshman outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari followed close behind with six tackles and a half-sack.


“We’ve still got a long way to go,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “But, I’m proud of our guys. I don’t take it lightly when you go on the road in a SEC opener and you open up with a couple touchdowns. We had a lot of young guys on defense step up and play well…We wanted to come in here and play physical, establish a brand of football that we play. I thought we did that.”


The Bulldogs opened the contest with an impressive 8-play, 75-yard drive, asserting their strength on the offensive line with six rushes for 60 yards before Fromm found junior wide receiver Demetris Robertson in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, the first catch of his Georgia career. After Vanderbilt’s first possession stalled near midfield, Georgia turned toward the air with Fromm connecting again with Robertson on a 17-yard completion and redshirt sophomore receiver Matt Landers for 15, finishing with sophomore running back James Cook scoring on an 18-yard rush to cap off a 10-play, 89-yard drive. On their first two drives, the Georgia offense exhibited remarkable efficiency, tallying 11 first downs with an average pickup of 8.8 yards per play.


Following a tremendous open-field tackle by senior linebacker Tae Crowder on third-and-2, the Commodores retained possession with a successful fake punt, followed by a 23-yard rush from Justice Shelton-Mosley that brought them into Bulldog territory. The momentum proved to be short-lived for Vanderbilt as a pair of penalties forced a third-and-31 that shorted the drive.


Fromm and the offense continued to roll on the ensuing possession, highlighted by a game-high 38-yard strike to graduate receiver Lawrence Cager and a 16-yard run from Swift. After a Commodore pass interference penalty in the end zone, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 21-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Brian Herrien, completing a 7-play, 80-yard drive.


On the following sequence, Vanderbilt finally broke through with its first trip to the Georgia red zone, but the Commodores had to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Ryley Guay that sneaked inside the cross bar despite being deflected at the line by sophomore defensive lineman Jordan Davis. The Commodores tacked on another score with a 46-yard Guay field goal, narrowing Georgia’s 21-6 halftime lead.


After Georgia stopped Vanderbilt on its first drive of the second half, the Bulldogs slowly made their way down the field on an 8-play, 48-yard drive, culminating in senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship’s first field goal of the season from 50 yards out. During the drive, redshirt freshman running back Zamir White made his on-field debut for Georgia with a 3-yard run, completing his comeback from two ACL injuries.


On their next possession, the Bulldogs opened the drive in Commodore territory following a 27-yard punt return from senior Tyler Simmons, but came away empty when Swift was stopped at the 17-yard line on fourth-and-1. Georgia then pinned Vanderbilt deep in its own territory, leading to a thunderous third down sack of quarterback Riley Neal by Ojulari and sophomore inside linebacker Channing Tindall.


Georgia’s next score of the game came from the foot of Blankenship as he converted a 37-yard field goal. On the following Commodore possession, the Bulldogs defense forced their first turnover of the season when junior defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt recovered a Neal fumble at the Vanderbilt 45-yard line. Later in the fourth quarter, Blankenship finished the evening’s scoring with his third field goal of the evening, hitting from 31 yards away.


“We have a chance to be explosive offensively, and we’re going to try to be aggressive defensively,” said Smart. “We’re going back to work Monday, and go out there and go good-on-good, and put the hammer down and find out who’s going to get better.”


Next, Georgia opens its 2019 home slate against Murray State (1-0) at Sanford Stadium at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. Prior to the game, the playing surface at Sanford Stadium will be dedicated as Dooley Field in honor of legendary head football coach and athletics director Vincent J. Dooley.