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8/2012


From the editor : vance leavy Well, last week in this space I put my best University of Georgia foot forward rather than slinging too many arrows after the disaster in Columbia. And this week? I guess I will try to do the same because although the victory at Kentucky was far from stellar, the stage is set in Jacksonville with the victor controlling their destiny towards playing in the SEC Championship. However, let’s not kid ourselves. The Will Muschamp led Florida Gators are playing well disciplined, complete team football, while Mark Richt’s boys in Red and Black are struggling to find continuity that even sniffs championship level. But in a series that has been so grossly out of whack as the GeorgiaFlorida one over the last 20+ years, perhaps, even though the previous weeks don’t say it, something very special is going to happen Saturday on the banks of the St. Johns River. Yes, I’m talking about finally beating the hated Florida Gators twice in a row for the first time since 1988-89. If that doesn’t make you nauseous, then you must not share the same disdain for the orange and blue that I do. Here at BI, we’ve gone throwback in our attempt to finally overcome the albatross of beating the Gators in consecutive years. On our cover and pictured here, is the artwork Jack Davis did for the 1989 Georgia-Florida game program. Surely this baby still has some magic??? I hope so because beating the M i g h t y Gators this year is going to be a herculean task. Wow, are they playing some inspired football or what? Defensively, their blitz packages with their cornerbacks are downright nasty. If Richt, Bobo and Murray don’t pick these up, then they better bring a shovel to Jacksonville because they will be scraping number 11 off the turf all day long. Offensively, the Gators have a slew of nifty

plays that expose opposing teams defenses that lack discipline. Unfortunately so far that has been the exact M.O. for Todd Grantham’s crew throughout 2012. Is it time for him to shake up his line-up to send a message to some of the leaders that aren’t cutting the mustard? Or sit the guys that continue to be flagged for unnecessary penalties. I’ll leave that to the crew chief, but definitely think freshman Jordan Jenkins needs to be on the field as much as possible after his play in Lexington. How nice and refreshing to see a defensive-end perform the simple assignment of keeping outside containment. Great job, young man! Finally, the Gators biggest asset this season has been their unbelievable special teams play. My goodness … blocked kicks, fake punts, forced fumbles. You name it and Florida has been masterful at it in 2012. And the Georgia Bulldogs? Not so masterful. Okay, okay, I did say something earlier about putting my best foot forward. Sorry for my digression. How about this? As everyone that knows anything about college football knows, anything can happen once the ball goes into the air. So let’s simply throw out all the facts that point to Florida rolling this Saturday with the confidence that this Mark Richt led University of Georgia football team is tired of being Florida’s whipping boy. In 1989, I was a senior in high school. I turned 40 in July. Yes that’s right for over half my life I have seen Florida dominate the Dawgs. DOMINATE! Let’s right this trend now. And how sweet it would be to trip up the undefeated Gators. There’s nothing like seeing reptiles slithering back to the swamp. Please enjoy this issue of BI. The Georgia-Florida one is always special as we get to welcome the Bulldog Nation to our hometown of the Golden Isles. Please get here as soon as possible as the businesses are ready to show you another great time. However, please do our beautiful area the favor of picking up after yourself. Finally, let’s call a spade a spade one last time. It hasn’t been pretty in 2012, but punking Muschamp and Florida would certainly be exactly what the doctor ordered. Let’s do it Dawgs. We’re behind you!

Georgia-Florida Cha Cha Cha Publishing Inc. Editor Vance Leavy Editorial & Ad Director Cheri Leavy Sports Guru Jeff Dantzler Sales Caroline Kinney, Holly Stanfill Sports Murray Poole Travis Ragsdale Layout/Design Cheri Leavy, Vance Leavy Cover art Jack Davis Sports Photography Rob Saye Columnists Carlton DeVooght Al Hickson Rob Sherrell Loran Smith Chad White Student Online Editor Travis Ragsdale Interns Fan Hughes, Katherine Parke, Pierce Persons. Annie Trice Delivery Hatton Abernathy, Martin Cameron Jake Davis, Will Hayes, Frank Sinkwich IV, Champ Vance

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This is the chance to swing two troubling numbers. Georgia fans saw it plastered all over their television screens during the demoralizing 35-7 lashing at the hands of South Carolina. Assuming the Gamecocks finished the season in the polls, Georgia is 0-10 since 2010 against teams that end the year ranked. That number goes to 2-15 dating back to 2008. That mark against Southeastern Conference teams since ’08 is 0-10. This is embarrassing. Georgia has one of the great histories, support systems, fan and alumni backing and most fertile recruiting bases in all of college football. Now comes Florida. From 1990-2010, the Bulldogs were a morbid 3-18 against the Gators. Last year, though, Georgia won 24-20. Former Georgia safety Will Muschamp is in his second season as the Gators head coach, and he’s 0-1 against his alma mater. The last Florida coach to have a losing record against Georgia at any point in his career was the interim Gary Darnell in 1989. Steve Spurrier went 11-1 against Georgia. Urban Meyer went 51 against the Bulldogs. Even Ron Zook was 2-1 against the Bulldogs, his Gators besting superior Georgia teams in 2002 and 2003, shattering red and black national championship dreams. But just as Florida fans liked to remind the Georgia faithful during some dark days in the early ‘90s, “Herschel, Lindsay, Butler and Dooley are all gone.� Well with a win over the Gators, the Georgia people can remind Florida’s fans that “Meyer, Spurrier (though unfortunately wreaking havoc at South Carolina still), Wuerffel and Tebow are all gone too.� That would make it two straight in the series for the Bulldogs, and provide a coveted victory over a ranked SEC rival. For Georgia’s players, the motto this season was: “Our time. Our team. No regrets.� Impressive statistics, all-star accolades and draft statuses are all big parts of players’ careers. But what they are most remembered for are their performances in the biggest of games. That’s where the legacies of greatness are made and never, ever forgotten. Bring up Richard Samuel and Jarvis Jones, and what immediately comes to mind for Georgia fans are their performances against Florida a year ago (backed up by big plays from both at Missouri this year). It is exciting for me to do a pair of radio programs with one of my childhood favorites, Kevin Butler. During commercial breaks and before and after games, Georgia fans shake his hands and he gladly signs helmets, pictures, posters and old programs (in

college and with the Bears, he might have signed some other things, but those records are sealed). I have yet to hear one of the hundreds who have approach him say they remember how he was a four-time All-SEC performer, All-American or where the Bears drafted him. They all tell him where they were when he made the kick against Clemson in ’84. Or Brigham Young in ’82. Or whatever their favorite moment with Kevin may have been. Herschel Walker is the greatest college football player ever. As impressive as the stats are – here’s what stands out – eight touchdowns and an average of over 200 yards per game in three years against Florida. And a perfect 6-0 record against Florida, Auburn and Tech. It’s the runs in those games more than the record books. For Georgia’s seniors and for the players who will be moving on to the NFL, this is a legacy game. And what a legacy Saturday can provide, ending this horrible draught against ranked teams and helping swing this series back the way of the red and black with a second straight win over the Gators. That’s something these young men will be forever remembered for by the Georgia people. Peyton Manning has thrown for more yards than Tom Brady. Who’s the greater quarterback? Brady has won three Super Bowls and been to five. Manning has won one and been to two. You tell me? Several Georgia quarterbacks have thrown for more yards, but Buck Belue and John Lastinger never lost to Florida. John Rauch led Georgia to a win over Florida in 1946 and ’48. Mike Cavan piloted Georgia to a demolition of the Gators in ’68. Andy Johnson in ’71. Spurrier won the Heisman in ’66. Ask him if he’d trade that for Kirby Moore’s performance in Jacksonville in victory on that fateful day in Jacksonville. For current signal caller Aaron Murray, who has been behind center for every game as the Bulldogs starter since 2010, he has put up some impressive stats. What would set him apart? Quarterbacking the Bulldogs a second straight victory over the Gators. There’s no way Georgia can lose to Florida and have a great season. Good would still be in play at 10-2, but the third part of Georgia’s 2012 motto is no regrets. And with the talent on this team and this schedule (sans Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Mississippi State), anything short of great would be a regret for Georgia in 2012. A second straight victory over Florida and an end to that embarrassing number against ranked foes would signal that this team has found itself at just the right time.

Bulldawg Illustrated


poole shots By Murray Poole

Gators THE game for student rep on athletic board Come Thursday of this week, University of Georgia students will be shutting down their normal campus routine and begin their annual migration south to St. Simons Island, Amelia Island and Jacksonville, Fla. The occasion, of course, is Saturday’s annual clash with the hated Florida Gators on the banks of the St. Johns River, at Jacksonville’s Everbank Field. And one of those students heading for a contest that could have a big say in whoever wins the SEC’s East Division title this season is Ryan Scates. And in Scates’ case, he’s a third-year student in the university’s touted school of law who maybe has a little more insight into Georgia football and all things Bulldogs athletics than does even the most avid UGA student sports fan. That’s because Scates presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Athletic Association as the university’s student representative. And while you will find no one these days who’s a more loyal Georgia Bulldog than Ryan Scates, he said that wasn’t always the case. “I’m from Kennesaw, Ga.,” Scates said. “My wife, Kiel, and I both went to Kennesaw Mountain High School and we graduated from there in 2006, and then much to the dismay of my family I went to Georgia because you see, I grew up a big Tennessee fan. But since I did come to Georgia, my allegiance has changed accordingly.” Scates graduated with degrees in political science and speech communication in 2010 and now, as mentioned, is in his third and last year of law school. Ryan and Kiel first met in elementary school and then dated off and on at Georgia before becoming man and wife following Scates’ first year of UGA law school. Kiel Scates is presently a special education teacher at North Oconee High School. Scates, during his undergraduate days and early years in law school, did work for Bulldawg Illustrated. “I worked for Bulldawg Illustrated for just under four years,” Scates said. “I started off as an intern and then finished as editor of Bulldawg Illustrated Athens. I then left Bulldawg Illustrated because I took a job this year working for the governor’s executive council in Atlanta, from January through May.” Scates, like everyone else in Bulldog Nation, is eagerly anticipating Georgia’s opportunity to hand the BCS 2nd-ranked and unbeaten Florida Gators their first defeat Saturday afternoon in the CBS nationally-televised game, a win that would catapult the Bulldogs into the driver’s seat for the East Division crown. “I definitely think for people my age Florida is the premier opponent Georgia plays every year,” declared Scates. “It’s always really special to go Friday, sometimes Thursday if you’re lucky, on to St. Simons to get ready for the game. Like I said, I grew up a big Tennessee fan and so one thing that’s stayed constant being from a family of Tennessee Vols and then becoming a Georgia Bulldog, is that you hate Florida. That’s the game you have circled every year and obviously, playing in Jacksonville it’s a bowl-game type atmosphere and Florida is our biggest rival, bar none. “Florida is unbeaten this year so this is a huge game for Georgia,” Scates continued. “And I think sitting in Columbia in the third quarter of our game with South Carolina, it would have been hard to believe that Georgia would be in the driver’s seat or deserve to be in the driver’s seat in the SEC East and be in position to go play in Atlanta again but if we win Saturday against Florida, that’s the position we’ll be in. And being a die-hard Georgia fan, you’ll take that although I definitely think the Georgia alums and fans deserve a season where Georgia controls its own destiny from start to finish and we don’t have to sit around and wait for other teams to beat the teams in front of us to be able to go to Atlanta.” In the following question-and-answer session, Ryan Scates talks more about his background and his role on the Georgia athletic board. What is your future occupation?

I hope to be an attorney after taking the bar in August. Right now I’m a law student and have worked in several law offices for the past several years and I’ve worked for different agencies like the governor’s office. And, also, I guess in my former life, I was a newspaper editor. How many years have you served on the UGA athletic board?

I was put on the athletic board at the May meeting this year. Every year one student is appointed to the athletic board. The student government association puts three names before the athletic board for consideration to see who would be elected by the board to be the student rep and this year I was one of those three names and I’m very thankful that the board had confidence in me to choose me for this position. We have two student-athletes, Chris Burnette (football) and Noel Couch (gymnastics), serving on the board and they don’t have a vote but I do have I guess the honor and burden of voting for the other 35,000 students that are enrolled at Georgia. Obviously, athletics is a huge part of the college experience and what Georgia means to everybody

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that goes to school here and so I take that very seriously and I’m happy to have a vote on the athletic board. Where did you grow up and what made it special?

I grew up in Cobb County, Ga. and the special thing is all the history in Kennesaw. Obviously, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain happened in Kennesaw and being able to have all those great historical resources nearby and going to the national park and learning about the Civil War and everything, it’s been incredible. When my parents built their house when I was in high school and we were excavating, we saw several artifacts, like paraphernalia from the Civil War and that’s definitely one of the unique things about northwest Cobb County that I take pride in. What has been the most exciting part for you serving on UGA’s athletic board?

It’s definitely the opportunity that athletic Greg McGarity has given me to voice student concerns to the different staff members in the athletic association. As soon as I was put on the board I had been forwarded a ton of different concerns about the things that the athletic association does that relates to students and Greg and Frank Crumley and Claude Felton have all been instrumental in helping to address those concerns to see how we can best serve students and make sure we’re reaching them in the best possible way. That’s been very exciting for me to get that help and encouragement as we go about that. What has been the most exciting aspect of your career studies thus far?

Definitely working on the governor’s legal team during the 2012 legislative session was an incredible experience. I got to be a part of some substantial legislative efforts that the governor was pushing through including criminal justice reform and constitutional amendments that will be before the citizens of Georgia on the November ballot. So to be able to do that kind of thing and to kind of see the law you study in school come to life through the legislative process and to have impact on it at the executive level is a thrill that I will always cherish. What do you think are the biggest challenges for Georgia athletics in the near future?

I definitely think we have a new and different kind of student attending UGA today than we did five years ago, 10 years ago and 15 years ago The Hope Scholarship has radically changed the culture, the environment and academic integrity of the university and all for the better, but as our students have become more sophisticated I think the athletic association will always have a challenge in finding the best way to engage the students. I think that’s been reflected in maybe addressing some of the student attendance at football games so maybe we can find different ways of doing a better job of getting students excited and be Bulldogs for life, not just a Georgia fan during the four years they’re here but to be like the lifelong Georgia fans we’ve had and taken so much pride in for decades before. As we have more students, we have students maybe like me that didn’t grow up being Georgia fans so we’re always going to have a challenge to kind of figure out how to reach them to make them lifelong supporters of Georgia athletics. Your favorite UGA sports moment?

My first away game working for Bulldawg Illustrated was the 2009 Georgia-Tennessee game and growing up as a big Tennessee fan it was special being able to cover Georgia and that game in particular from the field at Neyland Stadium. And even though Georgia got blown out (by 45-19) that day it was a really great experience to be able to see operations of how our football team works up close and personal and that definitely got me hooked on thinking of ways how we can make athletics better for everybody, from the casual fan buying tickets on the day of the game to the student-athlete that’s completely committed to all things UGA. So that day was definitely a watershed moment for me and from that day moving forward, I’ve never been so proud to be a Dog.

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Dogs vs. Gators It’s all on the line in Jacksonville, can Georgia answer the challenge? By Travis Ragsdale

W

hen seemingly all hope for another trip to the SEC championship was lost, Steve Spurrier and South Carolina giftwrapped an opportunity for the Dawgs. A loss to LSU and a loss to Florida this past weekend have opened the door for Georgia. But will they be able to seize the opportunity? Coach Richt teams tend to have trouble on the big stage and they don’t get bigger than this. A trip to Atlanta is hanging in the balance. Can the Dawgs capitalize? As Jarvis goes, so goes the defense

Coming into 2012, many pundits and analysts listed the Georgia defense as one of best in the country; certainly one of the best in the SEC. But Todd Grantham’s unit hasn’t come close to living up to those expectations. A lot of the issues have been attributed by players and coaches to “communication issues.� This may be pertinent given the fact that to start the year off, many starters were missing from the first few games. But they’re back now and these “issues� continued with their struggles against Kentucky this past Saturday. So how else could it be explained? A key cog in any successful 3-4 defense is a solid outside rush from the outside linebackers. In the Georgia scheme, that comes in Jarvis Jones. But Jarvis has been hurt all year. First, it was a groin and now it’s an ankle. He didn’t even play against Kentucky and it showed. The argument to this is that no player can determine how well a defense plays. For the Dawg’s though, it certainly could. If Jarvis is healthy, he is one of the best outside rushers in the country. As a result, the defensive ends in the scheme can cheat up the middle a little bit to stop the inside run because they know that Jarvis has at least one of the edges covered. You’ve seen a lot of room allowed to opposing running backs in the middle of the Georgia defense. If Jarvis is back and at 100%, there won’t be as much of this against Florida. Florida’s dominating defense

Bowling Green is not generally thought of as a football powerhouse. Heck, most people don’t even realize Bowling Green is a college. So when Florida struggled against the Bowling Green Falcons, they were written off as a team that wouldn’t compete for an SEC title in 2012. Now, Florida is ranked 2nd in the BCS standings and have more than just the SEC title on their mind. So how are they doing it? With Urban Meyer as head coach, fans got used to seeing a Florida team that would score 40+ points every game with a high-powered offense. Now, with Will Muschamp at the helm of the Gators, you’re seeing a very different team. The offense struggles when playing against any semblance of a good defense. But the defense is nasty. Real nasty. They’ve taken on the intense attitude of their head coach and it’s showed up in a big way on the field. With linebacker Jelani Jenkins back in the mix, the Gator’s defense is at full power heading into Jacksonville. There is one thing that the defense is lacking though, and that’s a dominant, pass rusher. Gator fans were hoping that guy would be Ronald Powell but he hasn’t lived up to that billing quite yet. So that means Aaron Murray won’t be on his back most of the game like he was against South Carolina. It will be up to him at that point to be smart with the football and avoid turnovers to the talented Florida secondary.

photos by Rob Saye

Muschamp vs Richt

You would be hard-pressed to find a couple of coaches who were more different in their coaching styles and attitudes than Mark Richt and Will Muschamp. Georgia fans have gotten to know Coach Richt over the past 12 years and have learned that no matter, Richt is cool, calm and collected. Even at the worst possible moment, he is able to crack a quick joke and give that wry smile to lighten the mood. Sure, behind closed doors he gets onto players and will give them a jawing when necessary but for the most part he keeps than even keel. Muschamp, is the exact opposite. Perhaps the most intense man in the SEC (and that’s saying something with Evil Nick in Tuscaloosa), Muschamp let’s that intensity fly and doesn’t hold back. Watching him on the sidelines during games is almost as good as watching the game itself. It’s only a matter of time before the guy pops a blood vessel by screaming so much. Two very different styles between these two head coaches, but which one works better? Obviously, Muschamp has only had a short time to strut his stuff and Richt has been around for a while. As Muschamp becomes more seasoned, this will be a hot button issues for both Florida and Georgia fans and will give them just another point to argue about. Intangibles

Georgia football teams are all about confidence. Always have been. Coming off a devastating loss to South Carolina, Georgia needed a resounding win against Kentucky to gain that confidence back. They didn’t do that. In fact, they struggled with Kentucky and will now have to deal with questions about why they didn’t take apart Kentucky all this week leading up to Jacksonville. Florida, on the other hand, just dismantled a top-ten team with out hardly breaking a sweat. They have more confidence and momentum than they know what to do with. Also, under Coach Richt Georgia has struggled in Jacksonville. Will this year be different? Will Richt finally be able to win the game in Jacksonville when it has a lot of meaning? It’s all on the line this Saturday and there couldn’t be a better atmosphere to have it that way.

THE 2012

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Bulldawg Illustrated


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13


.com m

WWW. WW WW W. W.

FANS OF THE T WEEK

TRIVIA TRRIVIA CONTEST CONTEEST

Dana and Mark Watkins Watkins Haley(19) Athens Athens-UGA s-UGA Hannah(16) Hollyn(14)

How w many touchdowns did Herschel Hers schel Walker Walker score score in his s career car e against Florida? eer Answer: Answ wer: Eight

Win Winner: nner: Becky W Wood o ood Carlan Carllan of Commerce, C Commer ce, GA

Hometown: St. Simons Island, GA Other than Herschel, who is your favorite Bulldog Bulldo og and why? Dana: K nowshon Moreno Moreno - ““Love Love w atching h im h urdle” Knowshon watching him hurdle” Stafford Mark: Matthew Staf ffo forrd – “What a great grreat e QB” Haley, Haley y, Hannah and Hollyn: Hollyn: David Greene Grreene e - “SEC SEC and Sugarbowl” Sugarbowl on the current and why? Who is your favorite player p currre ent UGA roster roster o Mark: Aar Aaron ro on Murray - “Smart quarterback” Girls: All the W a atkins g re eally like Parker W e elch. They T really e Watkins girls really Welch. think he is really cute too.

What makes you a true tru ue Bulldog? Haley: I h ave grown grown u p in in G eorgia a ife. G oing to to c heer o n tthe he Dawgs Dawgs have up Georgia allll m myy llife. Going cheer on has h as b been een a tradition tradition since since b before efore I c can an rremember. emember. II’ll ’ll n never ever fforget orget tthe he d days ays Simons dressed in our when my family would drive d all the way up from frro om St. S drressed e We would football jerseys. jerseys W e wou uld meet up with all of our friends frie ends for some of the best football cooked food and an afternoon aftterrn noon of throwing thrrowing o the footba all back and forth awaiting the time when we would woulld walk into the stadium and in n complete awe would gaze at the 92,746 people peop ple that had come together to o cheer for the Dawgs. I made believe that becoming a student here herre at UGA has ma ade me a true Georgia Georrgia g Bulldog. It’s It’’s in my roots ro oots and it’s it’’s a part of who I am ttoday not just during ffootball ootball season season but but year year rround. ound. Some off m myy ffavorite childhood memories are off g going UGA games Dana: S ome o avorite c hildhood m emories a re o re oing tto oU GA g ames with my dad. I am so proud prro oud to be an alumni and now w to have a daughter that iiss a sophomore sophomore tthere. here.

Go to bulldawg bulldawgillustrated.com gillustrated.com Chance to win $25 gift cards carrd ds for the UGA Bookstore TATE Boo okstorre at T ATE if you answerr trivia correctly. corrrectly e y.

Mark: W We ea allll llove ove tthe he sspirit pirit o off U UGA GA g games. ames. What memorable play W hat is is tthe he most most m emorable p lay you you have have experienced experienced in in person? Dana: N Not ot a p play lay b but ut w watching atching E Erk rk R Russell ussell b back ack iin n tthe he d day ay w when hen I w was as was something else. l little Hannah: Thomas Br Brown rown o rrunning a 97 yard yarrd touchdow touchdown. wn. Which one of our rivals do W do you enjoy beating the most? m W atkins: a Watkins: The WHOLE family says Florida!!! Of course - It is the closest game to home and the fans on St. Simons and Sea Island go wild! What makes your tailgating W tailgating scene so special? has its own Haley: UGA’s UGA’s tailgating scene sc cene is truly one of a kind. Itt really really e home southern Georgia d down southerrn charm m with a mix of raging like true t Georrgia g From B Bulldawgs. Frrom o the music c everywhere everywherre to the smell of o burgers burrg gers grilling joins o the corners, on corrners, n everyone jo oins together in their best red red e and black u nder one one c ommon g oal of of h earing the the roar roar of of the the stadium stadium and and under common goal hearing a championship c celebrating p on Saturday Saturrd day in Athens. Dana and Mark: We We u usually sually sstay tay a att tthe he H Hotel otel IIndigo ndigo a and nd tthen hen jump jump ffrom rom ttailgate ailgate to to ttailgate ailgate visiting visiting o old ld friends friends in in their their traditional traditional places places and and Haley’s m meeting Haley’ ’s new UGA friends. It is great grreat e family time. tim me.

GOO DAW DAWGS! WGS! get thee

2012 20 12 UGA SPIR SPIRIT RIT SHIRT It’s It ’s s student tudent designed and student student voted. voted. It It’s ’s y your our school. will students It should be your your shirt. Proceeds Proceeds wil ll go to to benefit s tudents s Student Affairs. and student student organizations organizations associated associated e with S tudent A ffairs.. Farm Thanks to to the the students students and State State F arm ffor or their support. Pick up your Bookstore your Spirit shirt today today at at the UGA Books tore or order orrder online at at w www.ugabookstore.com. ww.ugabookstore.com.

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14

Bulldawg Illustrated


loran smith

On behalf of the Phil Hughes family and those of us associated with Phil Hughes Honda and Athens BMW, we want to express our appreciation to all of you who have extended so much love and support to us following the unexpected death of our founder and principle Phil Hughes.

Good time enjoyed by all

We thank you for your show of affection and compassion for the loss of such a wonderful man who touched so many lives in our company, our community and beyond. Phil Hughes set a great example as a family man, friend, businessman and philanthropist. We are deeply saddened by his untimely death, and as we move forward without him, we will miss his unfailing enthusiasm and reliable leadership, and so many other attributes Phil demonstrated.

photo by Rob Saye

There seemed to be less red about in Lexington last weekend, owing, perhaps, to a number of reasons, but those who made the trip to bluegrass country were treated to another emotionally fulfilling excursion. Kentucky, however, came close to spoiling the weekend. Perhaps, the economy had something to do with the fact that there were plenty of Bulldog fans trying to dump tickets at the last minute. Back to back road trips with the cost of travel might have been a factor, but more than likely Bulldog partisans were so down after the stinging loss to South Carolina—coupled with the fact that Kentucky has won only a single game this year--that many opted for the easy chair and television. A blowout was expected by everybody, most of all Kentucky fans. Of all the years, I have followed Georgia football, I don’t think I have ever been around an opposing constituency more down in the mouth. “You all are going to kill us,” fans were saying. Even loyal blue coats like Joe B. Hall, the former Kentucky basketball coach, held the view that all the Bulldogs had to do to win in a walk would be to simply show up. Kentucky, on an emotional high, led by the 21 Georgian’s on its roster, had other ideas and keep the game in doubt until the very end when the Bulldogs closed the game out, 29-24. “Slipped by,” is the way the Lexington papers referred to the game on Sunday morning. Those 21 players with Georgia addresses were bitterly disappointed. It was Rich Brooks, the predecessor of current head coach, Joker Phillips, who began the trend of recruiting players from the state of Georgia. Brooks, who had coached for the Atlanta Falcons, knew the quality of high school football players in the state was exceptional. He also knew that Georgia couldn’t sign every outstanding player and conceded that, “some of the players Georgia passes on could certainly play for us.” Then Joker Phillips hired Steve Pardue, the head coach at LaGrange High School, and the Wildcat roster began displaying more and more names of players from the Peach State. For those wearing red and black, the trip home to regroup for the big game in Jacksonville, was one to celebrate, but nobody was gloating. Fans are anxious for a spirited game by the Dawgs who seem to be in something of a slump. With I-75 being a pleasant thoroughfare through the state of Georgia up through the heart of Tennessee and Kentucky, the drive to Lexington is not only efficient, this time of the year, with the autumn leaves near peak of color, it is the most pleasant of trips. Because of the scenic beauty, the drive does not seem long at all. For those with a driver, it is almost a luxury trip. Count me in that group as our friends Don and Barbara Hemrick are always anxious to travel to Lexington. Don once worked was an executive with IBM, and was based in Lexington so the trip is something of a homecoming. Additionally, he is a competent and alacritous driver. We left Atlanta soon after breakfast on Wednesday, made it to Lexington just past lunch. NASCAR Don got us there quickly and safely in time to check into our motel. Then we drove up to Cincinnati in time to visit the six Bulldogs on the Bengals roster—A. J. Green, Robert Geathers, Clint Boling, Dennis Roland, Orson Charles and Geno Atkins. They had just finished a long day at Paul Brown Stadium, preparing for their Sunday game with the Steelers. With autumn color lifting all spirits every day, there was plenty of “sides” to enjoy. A visit with Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman trophy winner, at his office in downtown Louisville was followed by a cup of coffee with Foster Northrop, member of the 1980 national championship team. At Churchill Downs, he is a lead veterinarian whose services are frequently in demand. He is one of the most highly respected vets in thoroughbred racing. Foster led the effort to save Barbaro, the horse which won the Kentucky Derby in 2006 but broke a leg in the Preakness, dashing Triple Crown hopes. Even if you don’t collect at the betting window, how can you not enjoy an afternoon at Keeneland, perhaps the prettiest horse track in the country? Immersing oneself into the sun splashed setting at Keeneland is always a highlight. If you don’t spend much time collecting at the betting window, then there is an “all’s well that ends well” conclusion with the Dawgs winning at Commonwealth Stadium on a cool evening in October. This Georgia team, which has a big question mark in the minds of the critics, has an opportunity to give passionate Bulldog fans a chance to enjoy successful back to back road trips. A tall challenge indeed, but the Bulldogs have often been the underdog in this game in the past. Glorious opportunity awaits.

www.bulldawgillustrated.com

Among those characteristics was a keen business sense and the ability to establish a sound business footing, as well as the knack for looking ahead. We all are benefiting not only from the strong foundation Phil built for this company, but also from the strategic vision he outlined for its future. Though Phil won’t be alongside us physically, his indomitable spirit and entrepreneurial passion will guide and sustain us as we continue this great enterprise he started thirty-six years ago. We look forward to working with our loyal customers, vendors and other business partners who helped Phil Hughes Honda and Athens BMW grow into the successful ventures they are today and we expect that success to extend for many, many years in memory of Phil. Sincerely,

Apryl Hughes, Vice-President D Wilcher, General Manager

706-549-3530 3200 Atlanta Highway

www.philhugheshonda.com

3040 Atlanta Hwy, Athens, GA 30606-6967

706-549-5340

www.athensbmw.com 15


Bulldog Open

Harris English, Brian Harman, Chris Haack , Kevin Kisner and Jeremy Elliott

Ryan Weathington and Crystal Ellis

Jody Young and Marshall Roberts

16

Jim VandenBerg, Madden Hatcher, Wright Waddell and Don Leebern

Bill Brown, Maury Beasley, Skip Evans and Brad Johnson

Mike Fitzgerald, Dick Copas and Peter Persons

Grant Campbell, Chad Brown, Jeff Suits and Sonny Hires

Chris Martin, Oliver Pryor, Charlie Peeler and Charles Pryor

Bulldawg Illustrated


M

TIN G

EL

est.

2005

P E AT . 11.01.12 11.02.12 11.03.12 11.05.12 11.06.12 11.07.12 11.08.12 11.09.12 11.12.12 11.14.12 11.15.12 11.16.12 11.17.12

O I N T

DRINK.

LISTEN

C L O S E LY .

An evening with Buddy Greene, Jeff Taylor & Ron Block Stewart & Winfield, Cicada Rhythm Tim Miller Band Pegi Young & The Survivors (ft. keyboardist Spooner Oldham, bassist Rick Rosas, guitarist Kelvin Holly and drummer Phil Jones) Terrapin Tuesday Americana series with Buttermilk Revival Grayson Capps & The Lost Cause Minstrels // with The Steepwater Band An Evening with Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin & Wood) & Will Blades Duo (Stanton Moore Trio) Junior League presents...Swingin’ Medallions The Hoot: Featuring Matuto, Kenney-Blackmon String Band & Susan Staley A night of storytelling with RABBIT BOX Steve Coughlin & Friends CD release party The Big Payback (James Brown Tribute) // Those cats The Other Brothers Band (a tribute to the Allman Brothers Band)

Athens Regional has been awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Hospitals that have received this accreditation have demonstrated the highest level of expertise in providing care for all patients with chest pain.

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www.bulldawgillustrated.com

Athens • Gainesville • tnbg.net

17


JD’s

5

keys

to a victory

photo by Rob Saye

1. Competent Kicking Game – Through the years of losses in Jacksonville, the Bulldogs have had a devil of a time with special teams. There have been a slew of costly missed field goals, fake punts and ill-fated kick returns. Even in last year’s win, the Bulldogs surrendered a 99-yard kickoff for a touchdown. For a team as talented as Florida, when the Gators can cash in and score on special teams, it makes the mountain all that much taller to climb. Georgia has had some plusses on special teams this year, but too many struggles as well. Caleb Sturgis is a wepon for Florida, one of the country’s top kickers. Georgia must make the plays and at least play Florida even in the kicking game to chalk up a second straight win in the series.

2. Avoid the Devastating Turnover –Through the drought of the 1990s and 2000s, the other constant in Georgia’s losses to the Gators were catastrophic turnovers that the Gators turned into touchdowns. There were enormous pick-six’s or fumble returns for Florida TD’s – or to set up TD’s – in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Again, as is the case with the special teams, when a program as talented as Florida gets those “extra scores,” they are awfully hard to beat. On the flip side, remember back to the turnovers Georgia created last year and how huge they were, especially the fumble with the Dogs trailing 17-3. The Bulldogs defense came into the 2012 campaign praised as potentially one of the country’s best units. This is the day, they can truly make their mark.

3. Red Zone TDs – Going back to Key Number One and the numerous missed field goals through the years in windy Jacksonville, it is vital for the Bulldogs to chalk up touchdowns when knocking on the door. In 1997, Georgia scored five touchdowns and won. In 2004, the Bulldogs scored four touchdowns and won. In 2007, Georgia scored six touchdowns and won. Last year, the Bulldogs scored three touchdowns and ended the game inside the Florida five and won. If Georgia is forced to settle for field goals, the Dogs have gotta make ‘em. But when the Dogs are in close, it is essential to strike for six. Those two fourth-down touchdown passes were game-winners for the Dogs a year ago. Simply going for field goals in those spots would have led to defeat.

4. Win the Rushing Battle – This is another no-brainer. Richard Samuel ran like a man possessed last year in the fourth quarter, and was the Bulldogs offensive Most Valuable Player. In 1997, Robert Edwards topped the century mark and scored four touchdowns. In 2004, Danny Ware ran for over 100 yards. In 2007, Knowshon Moreno ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Georgia has a special back in Todd Gurley, a big play counter-puncher in Keith Marshall and power with Ken Malcome and Samuel. Florida has a senior stalwart in Mike Gillislee. It’s held pretty strong in this series, the team that runs better wins. Georgia must stay patient. The beauty of a strong running attack, even if it’s not going great, if you keep pounding away, eventually you’ll break one – like LSU did to South Carolina two weeks ago.

5. Pop a Long One – Another common denominator in Georgia’s four wins over Florida dating back to 1997 has been hitting big plays in the passing game. Strong running attacks lend a great advantage in play-action passing. There were the fourth-down TD’s and the fourth quarter completion last year. Mohammed Massaquoi and Mikey Henderson hauled in long scores in ’07. Reggie Brown caught a deep pass to set up the game clincher by Fred Gibson in ’04. Hines Ward and Corey Allen had deep grabs in ’97. The Dogs must grind away, and take advantage with explosive plays in a passing game that has several weapons – most notably Malcolm Mitchell. — Jeff Dantzler 18

Bulldawg Illustrated


University of Florida Gator stars By Jeff Dantzler

Scouting the Gators By Murray Poole

#6 Jeff Driskel, QB 6-4, 237 Soph. Oviedo, Fla. (Hagerty H.S.)

#22 Matt Elam, DB 5-10, 202 Jr. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer H.S.)

In the season opening struggle against Bowling Green, Florida was rotating quarterbacks. The following week in College Station, the Gators were trailing Texas A&M 17-7 at the half. Since, Florida has flourished behind Driskel, who has arguably been the best quarterback in the Southeastern Conference. He has an excellent arm and is a big, strong, fast runner. Urban Meyer recruited this blue-chipper to succeed Tim Tebow. Florida runs a different style offense now under Will Muschamp’s watch, but Driskel has put forth a couple of Tebow-esque performances, highlighted by a spectacular performance two weeks ago in Nashville. In Florida’s 31-17 victory at Vanderbilt, Driskel ran for three touchdowns and 177 yards – breaking Tebow’s Gator record for quarterback rushing yards. With an excellent tailback accompanying him, Florida’s backfield is a lethal weapon with dual-action running and play-action passing. Tight end Jordan Reed is a dangerous target over the middle and one of Driskel’s favorite targets.

One of several five-star prospects now flourishing for Florida’s defense, Elam is a big-time, big-game player. He makes tackles for loss, picks off passes, causes and recovers fumbles – gamechanging plays. As a sophomore, Elam, who can play safety or cornerback, bust onto the Southeastern Conference scene, leading the Gators in tackles for loss, pass breakups and fumbles recovered. His 78 tackles ranked second on the squad. His best performance came against Ohio State, as Elam had a sack, two tackles for loss and six unassisted stops. He’s a sure-fire All-SEC and AllAmerican candidate who absolutely flies around the field. Florida has stout defensive front, one of the nation’s best, and a great group of linebackers, led by Jonathan Bostic. This gives Elam a lot of flexibility and freedom, equaling big plays and lots of bell-ringing stops.

#23 Mike Gilleslee, RB 5-11, 209 Sr. DeLand, Fla. (DeLand) A breakout star in the Southeastern Conference, Gilleslee won the tailback competition in preseason camp and hasn’t looked back. In a league that is loaded with dynamic tailbacks, Gilleslee is right up at the top of list – averaging triple digits and a touchdown per game, and over five yards per carry. A senior, this guy has flat out emerged. In his first three years, he rushed for a total of 920 yards, picking 267 yards as a freshman and 328 yards as a sophomore and junior. He really started to shine in Florida’s exciting 20-17 comeback win at Texas A&M – the game that jumpstarted Will Muschamp’s Gators in here is 2012. Gilleslee ran for two touchdowns and 83 yards on 14 carries against the Aggies. He earned a place in Gators lore with a sterling second half performance in Florida’s 14-6 victory over LSU, chalking up 146 yards and both Gator touchdowns on 34 carries. He is a crafty, strong runner with balance and a burst. And he is physical – really moves the pile.

The major match-ups to watch By Jeff Dantzler Punting Florida ranks first nationally in net punting. Georgia ranks 109th. The Gators special teams have been the nation’s best – especially over the last three weeks. Where it really stands out is in the punting game. In Georgia’s 35-7 loss to South Carolina, Ace Sanders returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown. In the Gamecocks 44-11 drubbing at the hands of the Gators, Sanders fumbled a punt to set up a Gators touchdown. South Carolina also fumbled a kickoff to set up a Florida touchdown. The Gators have dominated on special teams and defense to substantially win the field position battle. If Florida dominates the punt game, the Gators will have short fields and the Bulldogs long ones. That is not a recipe for success. Florida OTs vs. Bulldog DEs In Georgia’s last two games, the containment just hasn’t been there on “the edge.” In the loss to South Carolina, Connor Shaw sprung loose on third downs way too often. Kentucky was able to get outside and pick up first downs on third and long far too often. Jeff Driskel is an excellent runner and thrower with a terrific tailback. He burned Vanderbilt on the ground for 177 yards and three touchdowns, the final score coming on a keeper around right end. The Gators have highly touted, highly-recruited offensive tackles. Georgia’s highly touted defenders on the edge must be at their best for the Bulldogs to spring the upset. Georgia WRs vs. Florida CBs Florida’s cornerbacks are fast and physical. One Southeastern Conference coach talked about how they really were grabbing and holding their receivers. Georgia’s pass-catchers are really going to have to fight to get open. To win Saturday, the Bulldogs receivers are going to have to make big plays. Malcolm Mitchell scares opposing teams. He went for over 100 yards against Kentucky and is clearly back in the flow, focusing primarily on offense. Marlon Brown is big and strong and physical, and he can run after the catch. In the run game, Georgia’s receivers can help set the tone and send a message to Florida’s corners by getting physical blocking.

Location: Gainesville, Fla. Conference: SEC East Enrollment: 49,589 Gators in a thumbnail: Coming off last season’s 7-6 season (3-5 SEC), Will Muschamp’s second Gator edition was generally predicted for a thirdplace finish in the SEC East this season, behind Georgia and South Carolina. But Florida didn’t buy into that particular forecast and, consequently, has used a tenacious defense and the play of sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel to storm over seven consecutive opponents and to a No. 2 ranking in the BCS standings. The Gators, 6-0 in the SEC, opened with a modest 27-14 victory over Bowling Green but then proceeded to reel off consecutive conference wins over Texas A&M (20-17), Tennessee (37-20), Kentucky (38-0), LSU (14-6), Vanderbilt (31-17) and South Carolina (44-11). A look at the Florida offense: The Gators have fashioned a punishing ground attack to date, getting major production from senior tailback Mike Gillislee (652 yards, 7 touchdowns) and QB Driskel, who has rumbled for 321 yards and four scores while passing for 929 yards and eight touchdowns, four of which came in the rout of South Carolina. Driskel (6-4, 237) erased the legendary Tim Tebow’s school single-game rushing record for a quarterback when he ran for 177 yards in the win over Vanderbilt including a 70-yard touchdown gallop. A look at the Florida defense: The tenacious Gator defense is fronted by senior linebacker Jonathan Bostic, who led the team in tackles last season, junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins, junior strong safety Matt Elam, junior tackle Dominique Easley and senor nose guard Omar Hunter, who hails from Buford, Ga. But senior free safety Josh Evans has been the Gators’ tackling leader this season with a total of 44 stops. Elam has 39 tackles while Bostic follows closely with 38. The Gators are allowing only 12.1 points per game, which ranks fourth in the country in scoring defense. What Gators head coach Will Muschamp says: “What you emphasize is what's important. I knew going into the season we had good team speed, good specialists and good returners. ... We put a lot of emphasis on it (special teams, which was sensational against South Carolina). We meet a lot. We play in Jacksonville next week. We’ve got one game. A one-game season (to clinch SEC East).” Game Prediction: I switched my preseason pick of South Carolina over Georgia to Georgia over South Carolina when that week rolled around and we all know how that one turned out. And back in August, I predicted the Bulldogs would defeat the Florida Gators by 28-21 in this coming Saturday’s 2012 meeting and well, I’m changing that pick again as, to date this season, Georgia shows no reason why they should be picked to defeat a Gator team that has gotten better each and every week in soaring unbeaten and to a No. 2 BCS national ranking behind Alabama. A shaky Georgia defense that hasn’t lived up to its lofty preseason billing and a running game that has fallen off drastically the past two games against South Carolina and weak Kentucky will put too much pressure on Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray to have to win this game. Hoping this switch will prove me wrong again, as the South Carolina forecast did, the Gators should clinch the SEC East crown with a 31-21 win over Georgia.

The Brunswick News is proud to present:

The 2012 Georgia Literary Festival at the Golden Isles Hosted by College of Coastal Georgia, Jekyll Island Authority, and Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau

Featuring UGA graduate Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey ’89 United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner

The keynote speaker for this year’s literary festival, she will be reading excerpts and discussing her new collection of poetry, Thrall. As an undergraduate, she was captain of the UGA cheerleading squad.

Other featured authors will be on hand to discuss and read excerpts from their recent work, including coastal ecology, history, fiction, and popular children’s books.

November 10 Jekyll Island Convention Center For a full schedule of events, visit www.GoldenIslesLiteraryFestival.com www.bulldawgillustrated.com

19


recruiting news By Carlton DeVooght

Seven spots still available for 2013 class

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20

While the season is heating up recruiting season has flown under the radar a little bit lately. My neighbor, Jack Terry, told me it was time for another recruiting update. Here are a couple of quick hitters on where the Bulldog recruiting class of 2013 currently stands. The Bulldog coaches would like to sign at least two, maybe three more offensive linemen. With the de-commitment of Trenton Brown, UGA has turned up the heat on Rockingham North Carolina offensive lineman, Tyrone Crowder. It is clear that Laremy Tunsil is the Bulldog’s top target at offensive tackle, and it looks like the Bulldogs still have the edge over Alabama. Crowder is a four star prospect who is ranked as one of the top eight interior offensive linemen in the country. While many originally felt that Clemson led for Crowner, it appears that the Bulldogs have pulled even with the Tigers at this point. There are two other offensive linemen the Bulldogs have been recruiting heavily recently. Joshua Outlaw, from Martin Luther King High School in Lithonia, Georgia has been in touch with the Bulldogs since his de-commitment from the University of Florida. Outlaw projects at Guard, but has the length to play Tackle if needed. The Bulldogs have also been in contact with Hargrave Military offensive tackle prospect, Sonny Odogwu. Odogwu is a massive offensive tackle prospect (6’8”, 315 pounds) who has long arms and is very effective in pass coverage. Look for one of these two prospects to be the third offensive lineman in this class. The Bulldogs are still heavily recruiting Hutcheson Community College defensive lineman, Toby Johnson. Toby is a four star JUCO standout who could make an immediate impact in 2013. Many believe that he is better than any defensive end that is currently on the Bulldogs’ roster. While several top programs are still chasing Toby, many feel that the Bulldogs have the edge because he wants to get back to his home state of Georgia. Some pieces in the running back puzzle are starting to fall into place. Recently, the American Heritage Running Back indicated that Georgia was outside of his top five and may not get an official visit. In that interview, he indicated that he recognized how well Georgia’s two freshman running backs were playing, and that this concerned him. Many believe that the Bulldogs lead for Norcross All-Purpose back Alvin Kamara, the number three ranked All-Purpose back in the country. The Bulldogs are competing with Alabama for this blue-chip prospect, and many feel that the Bulldogs currently have a slight edge over the Crimson Tide. Additionally, A.J. Turman, from Boone High School in Orlando Florida has the Bulldogs in his top three and will be taking an official visit for the Ole Miss game. Turman is a physical back who does not shy away from contact. If the Bulldogs show him that he is a priority, it would not surprise me if he committed to Georgia during his visit

the weekend of the Ole Miss Game. One other Running Back note concerns current commitment Tramel Terry from Goose Creek High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Terry has had a tremendous year at Goose Creek at Wide Receiver, but has recently been getting some looks at Running Back. He appears to be continuing to fill out without losing a step, (4.4/40) leading some folks to believe he may become a RB/Slot guy. There is also some chatter that Camden County standout J.J. Green, may get some looks at Running back as a slash type player. Several recruiting prognosticators have compared J.J. Green’s size, strength and speed to current NFL star Maurice Jones Drew. At wide receiver, it looks like Jonathon Rumph from Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi, and Marquez North from Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, North Carolina are still the Bulldogs top two prospects at Wide Receiver. Although North appears to want to make a decision early, he has seemed relatively uninterested in the recruiting process to date and is more focused on his senior season right now. Many believe that Rumph still favors the Bulldogs, but that Tennessee and Arkansas may be making a push for his services. Current Clemson commit and Peach County High School standout Demarcus Robinson may take a visit to Athens this fall. He is currently listed as a “soft” commitment to Clemson and will definitely visit a few other schools. If I had to guess which of these three blue-chip prospects will wind up signing with the Bulldogs, it would be Rumph. The Bulldogs are also making a very strong push for Dooly County Defensive Lineman, Montravious Adams. It appears that the Bulldogs have at least pulled even with Clemson and Auburn and have given Adams a lot to think about. On a recent visit to Athens, Adams said that he really enjoyed spending time with the coaches and bonded with a number of the defensive players. Additionally, Adams and his mother will visit Athens for the homecoming game against Ole Miss. This will likely come down to the wire, but I like the Dawg’s chances the longer Adams takes to pull the trigger. It looks like the Bulldogs are also searching for one more defensive back prospect. Some names that have been floated include Riyahd Jones from Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas and a couple other prospects from out of state. If the numbers work, look for the Bulldogs to add one more defensive back to this class. The Bulldogs currently have 27 commitments to their class of 2013. The coaches are trying to sign 34 in this class, so there are seven spaces left to be filled by these blue-chip prospects. Look for an exciting finish to this year’s class, as the Bulldogs will definitely have a recruiting class ranked in the top five nationally this year. As always, Go Dawgs.

Bulldawg Illustrated


A view from Jacksonville ... By Jeff Dantzler

Frank Frangie, esteemed talk show host, radio and television personality, good friend, and one of the great college football minds in the country gives us his take on the Dogs and Gators. What’s your take on Georgia?

As loaded as I've seen them in awhile. I thought South Carolina would beat the Dawgs, but I'm surprised by the margin. I called that game for Touchdown Radio and that is as electric as I've ever seen Williams-Brice Stadium, and that was my 12th time there. So it was going to be a tough challenge for anyone who came in there that night. But I'm surprised Georgia got beat so badly. And I'm a little surprised they aren't a little more dominant defensively. Still think Georgia is awfully good, though. What are some of your most memorable games in Jacksonville?

Two that will always stand out for me are 1980 and 1984. The latter was a 27-0 Florida win after they had lost six in a row and finally broke the streak, with what ultimately still might be their best team, but one on probation that couldn't win the SEC title. The 1980 game of course was the Florida-Georgia debut of Herschel and Buck to Lindsay; I was a student at Florida and devastated by it. Funny story -- the following summer I faced Buck in a summer league/college league baseball game. I vowed to get even. He and John Lastinger both played for the Valdosta Red Sox, I played for a Florida team. In the first inning, with Lastinger on third (he lead off, Buck hit third) and one out and an 0-1 count, I threw Buck my best fastball. Belt high. The result? I don't think it has landed yet. If it did, it was somewhere around Bainbridge. Buck and I laughed about that for years.

photo by Ryan Scates

Are the Florida people in love with Will Muschamp after all the big wins this year?

Should the game stay in Jacksonville?

Without a doubt. It is one of the great spectacles in college football, 40,000 fans from each team, the weekend starting on Thursday, Mardi Gras on the First Coast. Dallas got the hint -- starting in 2014, Arkansas and Texas A&M will play their SEC game there every year. Why ruin a wonderful thing? Is there are concern that the Jags may move to Los Angeles, and if they do, that the city may lose the game?

First, I don't think the team will ever move to Los Angeles. The lease the team has with the city makes it almost impossible, a fact the national media often misses. Beyond that, even if it happened, it would have no effect on the FloridaGeorgia game. If anything, the city might pour even MORE money into it -- in the way of guarantees to the teams -- because it would be even more important to Jacksonville. Who do you think will play for the national title?

Alabama and Oregon. I don't see anyone getting either one of them. What does Georgia have to do to win?

Get a lead and stop the run. The achilles heel for the Gators is they still don't throw it downfield all that well, but they haven't had to. They haven't faced a deficit or more than 10 all year, and 10 only once, so they have been able to run the ball and wear people down. But we've all wondered what would happen if they got down a few scores.

I'm not sure they are in love yet -- probably too early for that -- but there is a general feeling that he is the right guy. Unlike Urban Meyer, who was a great coach, but a bit of a standoff guy, Will is a regular guy, a southern guy, who really connects with Gator Nation. And it looks like he may be a pretty darned good coach. That is a combination any fanbase would covet. Who do you think will win?

Boy, since we're doing this BEFORE Florida-South Carolina, I'm not sure. (How is that for a copout?) Tell you what, if Florida beats South Carolina, then I think the Gators are headed for a huge season and will beat Georgia, too. If the Gamecocks win, my guess is I will pick Georgia to beat the Gators. If Georgia does win, to make it two straight and give Muschamp an 02 record against Georgia, do you think Florida’s domination can be put in the rear-view mirror a bit, and perhaps signal a shift in the series?

I don't know if I would go that far. Georgia has won 4 times in 22 years. I'm not sure 5 times in 23 years signifies a shift, but for the 'Dawgs, it certainly would be an important step in the right direction. It would be the first time they won in back to back years since 1989. Here is another reason its important for the Dawgs. The general thinking around here is that Muschamp will have his best team next year with Driskel having a year under his belt, defensive end Ronald Powell returning from ACL surgery, very few impact seniors on this year's team, etc. So this is a big game for Georgia for sure.

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Jeff Dantzler’s Top 25 It was another great weekend of college football, highlighted by seven top 25 vs. top 25 match-ups. Florida, Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State all flexed their muscles. Oregon State and Mississippi State kept on winning, as did Notre Dame. There are some heavyweight showdowns on tap for this Saturday, including Mississippi State at Alabama, the big one in Jacksonville and the Irish visiting Oklahoma. The next Saturday is Oregon-USC and Bama-LSU. 1. Florida – What an awesome defense, special teams and power game for the Gators. Florida has the most impressive hit list in America – by a way’s. They have won three straight games while passing for under 100 yards. Yet Jeff Driskel threw four touchdowns in a rout of South Carolina. Florida is licking its chops for sagging Georgia. 2. Alabama – Nick Saban just keeps on churing out big wins for the Crimson Tide. The schedule really toughens the next two weeks. Mississippi State heads to the capstone in a battle of unbeaten, and then comes the trip to Baton Rouge. 3. Oregon – After a quick turnover and 7-0 hole in Tempe, it looked like the undefeated Ducks may be in trouble on Thursday night. Check that. Halftime score, 43-7. Ducks. Oregon may score 80 against Colorado, which took it on the chin from Southern Cal Saturday. The following week, it’s the biggest game of the year in the league, as Oregon goes to L.A. to play the Trojans. 4. Kansas State – Holy smokes are the Wildcats rolling. Collin Klein is at the top of the Heisman Trophy list and Kansas State is rightfully dreaming mighty big. Klein accounted for seven touchdowns in Morgantown! They absolutely jack-hammered West Virginia and that porous defense. 5. Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish survived the tweener upset scare against Brigham Young. This week is one of their toughest tests of the year, as Notre Dame heads to Oklahoma. Notre Dame’s defense has been downright outstanding this year, and ever since the second week of the year, the Irish have had some serious magic. 6. LSU – The Tigers defense was outstanding in College Station, keeping them in the game until the offense got cranked up. LSU has Saturday off, which is big in this brutal schedule. Then Alabama comes to Baton Rouge for a megashowdown. 7. Oregon State – It has been over a century since the Beavers were undefeated this late in the season. They are the unbeaten – along with Mississippi State – that has gotten the least attention. Oregon State has an excellent defense that was on high display in a late night 21-7 win over Utah. 8. Mississippi State – Dan Mullen has the Maroon Bulldogs playing excellent football. Mississippi State is undefeated and all set for one of the biggest games in school history on the capstone. If State could pull this off, Starkville will be the happiest place on Earth. 9. Ohio State – Urban Meyer’s team was dead and gone in the Horseshoe against Purdue, but the Buckeyes had a magic comeback touchdown and twopointer, then won it in overtime. The Boilermakers had chances against the Irish as well, but it got away. 10. Oklahoma – There was no letdown after humiliating their Red River Shootout punching bag Texas. There was no look-ahead with Notre Dame coming in. Oklahoma is on a roll, and Bob Stoops’ troops put a beatdown on Kansas. 11. Texas Tech – Tommy Tuberville has the Red Raiders rolling. Coming off of that blowout over West Virginia in Lubbock, the Red Raiders went across the state and survived an all-timer over TCU in Ft. Worth. Texas Tech is in the midst of the teeth of the schedule, but nobody wants any part of the Red Raiders the way they’re playing. 12. Southern Cal – The Trojans blew out pitiful Colorado – as expected. Matt Barkley had a spectacular showing, hitting 19 of 20 passes with six touchdown passes. USC has come back and played well since losing to Stanford.

Kevin Butler’s Players of the Game Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2012 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 29-24 win over Kentucky in Lexington Saturday night. OFFENSE – Junior quarterback Aaron Murray, who enjoyed a sensational night, setting the school career touchdown pass record with 75 while completing a career-high 30 passes for a career-high 427 yards and four touchdowns. Also, he set a school record for best completion percentage in a game with at least 30 completions. He had a 78.95 mark, breaking current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s mark of 76.92 vs. Ga. Tech in 1997 when he was 30of-39. “Aaron Murray was the offensive highlight, setting the Bulldog record for completion percentage,” said Butler. “His accuracy was at an alltime high even as our rushing game was non-existent. Most of the time when a team’s running game is not working the quarterback has to deal with that extra pressure and Aaron did it perfectly Saturday night in Lexington. His being very accurate on the short and long passes enabled Georgia to outscore their opponent and go 4-1 in the SEC.” DEFENSE – Freshman outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who filled in admirably for sidelined All-America Jarvis Jones with several tackles including onefor-loss in the close win over the Wildcats. “True freshman Jordan Jenkins got his second start in the absence of

photo by Rob Saye

Jarvis Jones,” said Butler. “He plays tremendously hard on every play; he is an intelligent player as well as a physical player which is going to play the most important role in the game with Florida coming up Saturday.” SPECIAL TEAMS – Sophomore defensive back and special teams standout Connor Norman, who made a diving recovery of Kentucky’s onside kick with less than four minutes remaining after the Wildcats had pulled within 29-24 of the Bulldogs. “With his continued hustle on the coverage teams, Connor is a leader on the specialty teams as a captain,” said Butler. “His recovery of the onside kick late in the game helped seal the victory for the Bulldogs, and we will need a spectacular game from him this week for our specialty teams to be able to compete with Florida.”

13. South Carolina – The bottom line is, in the Southeastern Conference, every year there’s going to be a team from the East and a team from the West that gets the most brutal schedule. This year it’s the Gamecocks. After their blowout of Georgia, they lost a heartbreaker at LSU and then got blown out at Florida. It’s a tough bounceback, and they better be ready for Tennessee. 14. Florida State – After losing so many one-point heartbreakers through the years to Miami – costing the Seminoles at least two or national championships – it is always a good feeling for Florida State to beat Miami. That N.C. State loss is really going to linger if they win out. 15. Clemson – What a show for the Tigers, and tip your cap to Clemson for how strong they’ve come back after that crushing loss at Florida State. And a 3-0 record the last two seasons against Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech is especially sweet for the Clemson people. 16. Boise State – Chris Petersen is a hot coach. The Broncos lost all kinds of talent – including Kellen Moore and Doug Martin – off of last year’s squad, but they are still awfully good. Boise really gets after it on defense and they are physical in the running game. 17. Texas A&M – The Aggies jumped out to a 12-0 lead against tough and physical LSU, but slowly but surely got beaten down. Sound familiar? The same thing happened at home against Florida. They are really in the teeth of their schedule now. 18. Louisville – The Cardinals had their hands full with South Florida, but Charley Strong’s team was able to pull out a two-point thriller. Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati are the class of the league, though the Bearcats fell to in-state foe Toledo Saturday. 19. Rutgers – Things got a little scary against Temple, as the Scarlet Knights fell behind 10-0. But they hung 35 straight to roll to another victory and stay undefeated. This program used to be a laughing stock. Now they are one of the best in the big East. 20. Georgia – The Bulldogs escaped a scare against Kentucky, which fell to 1-7. Aaron Murray had a big night throwing in Lexington. The Dogs have an enormous chore, with the rollin’ Gators in Jacksonville. Georgia has a bunch of leaks to plug and in a hurry. 21. Stanford – It was 30 years ago when Stanford was the victim of one of the most famous plays in the history of college football. There was no magic for the Golden Bears this year, as the Cardinal beat their arch-rival on the heels of a heartbreaking loss in South Bend. 22. West Virginia – In two weeks, the Mountaineers have gone from a national title contender with the Heisman Trophy front-runner in Geno Smith to a middle of the pack Big XII team. Such is life in a major conference. Their weak defense has gotten smoked two straight weeks by Texas Tech and Kansas State. 23. Louisiana Tech – After dropping that heartbreaking thriller 59-57 to Texas A&M in Shreveport, the Ruston Bulldogs came back with a vengeance and pounded Idaho 7028. It’s 6-1 on the season and high times, despite what happened with the Aggies. 24. Duke – Not since Steve Spurrier led them to the 1989 Atlantic Coast Conference championship have the Blue Devils been riding this high. Once-beaten in league play and 6-2 overall, Duke has a legit shot to play in Charlotte. David Cutcliffe has done a fantastic job in Durham. 25. Toledo – How about a little love for the Mid-American Conference?! Toledo improved to 7-1 with a big win over previously undefeated Cincinnati. The Rockets give the MAC another highly sought after scalp from a BCS Conference foe.


Issue 13, 2012  

Can the Dawgs take out the Mighty Gators? Plenty of game coverage, fan photos from Kentucky, McGladrey Classic, Bulldog Open, athletic depar...

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