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8/2012


From the editor : vance leavy Ahhh … that time of year has finally arrived … kickoff is Saturday. We here at Bulldawg Illustrated are thrilled to again be your companion as we navigate the 2012 season. However this season is pretty special for our publication as it marks our 10th football campaign. Wow, where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday when I came back from the 2003 Final Four with a Kansas Jayhawk publication in my hand as my inspiration for what would become Bulldawg Illustrated. What that publication was doing for Kansas basketball could just as easily be done for Georgia football. However at Cheri’s insistence our publication could not just cover sports, it would have to include the social side of the Bulldog Nation. Thankfully, I did as most smart men do and listened to my better half. And because of that, we began not only covering the UGA players on the field, but all the incredible fans in the stands and beyond as well. I just did some fun, quick mathematics to discover we have published over 150 issues. And at an average of 75 fan photos per issue, we have included over 12,000 shots of Bulldog fans doing what they love the most … following the Dawgs. Now, isn’t that pretty special? Along the way, we’ve obviously met a ton of incredible people, but there are a few moments that stick out the most. If you are familiar with BI, then you know Jack Davis’ art certainly has gone a long way to putting us on the map. I got to know Jack from my days as the Golden Isles Bulldawg Club president in the late 90s. Never did I imagine that not only would Jack contribute to our first issue, but he would continue to create new art year after year. In fact, the 2012 Bulldog blasting across this cover came in at 7:30 a.m. this past Monday. How cool! Then there was the time when Cheri and I darted off to Savannah (early fall 2004, I think) to get our first vistit with the one and only Sonny Seiler. Not only were we there to interview Sonny about his upcoming book, we were there to dress Uga in Marti Gras garb for the upcoming LSU issue. With that deep southern charm, Sonny had Cheri at hello. And from that moment on, we’ve had many more special times with the incredible family that continues to make Georgia’s mascot the most famous in the world. Then there was the year Steve Spurrier returned to Athens leading the Gamecocks. Our BI cover extraordinaire, Boyd Martin, hit the nail on the head when he came up with the headline, “Return of the Sith.” Holly Rowe of ESPN thought the cover was so clever that while holding it in her hand mentioned it to the national television audience just before kickoff. Wow. Let me thank everyone who has ever contributed to our 10 years, particularly our sports

guru and great friend Jeff Dantzler, who has been there every step of the way. It’s a labor of love that still requires a commitment to making deadlines and doing it the right way. Thankfully, we’ve had a host of people that were up to the challenge. Our subject matter has certainly done their part. From the players to the coaches to the fans, the last 10 years have been pretty damn stellar. We would have done a good job either way but having a top-notch team for most of the years certainly made those 16 hour Sundays a lot more doable. Finally to our advertisers and readers, we salute you. You are the ones that have made this decade of having an absolute blast a reality. Thank you so much. Now let’s talk about 2012, which starts Saturday when the Buffalo Bulls arrive in Sanford Stadium for a 12:20 p.m. kick. As JD points out on page 4, the Bulldogs have had better openers, but that’s ok because while the competition is sure to be lesser than what will come a week later in Missouri, the Bulldog Nation will at least begin to know what this 2012 team is all about this season. Touting the motto, “Our Team, Our Time, No Regrets,” I’m hoping these Bulldog seniors/leaders can navigate the season the way they did pre-season practice. There was a steady calm, team-wide, where the focus was about getting better each and every practice. Sure, this team is loaded with superstars, but I think it says a lot when Coach Grantham talks about how Jarvis Jones has improved over the last few weeks because he knows every offense in the land has been working on new ways to contain him. The same can be said for Aaron Murray, who while ultra productive over the last two seasons knows a rise in his completion percentage and taking better care of the football is paramount towards his team’s goal of playing for the national championship. Enough of the talk, I say bring it on … I think we have done our part at BI with this issue. There’s plenty of game coverage for the football fanatics (pages 4, 6, 11 and 18). There’s the return of columnists like Loran Smith (page 15) and Rob Sherrell (page 20). Murray Poole spotlights (page 5) another key member of the athletic association, Jere Morehead. And the social side of being a Bulldog can be found with picture pages from Cindy and Mark Fox’s Suits and Sneakers Gala (pages 8-10) and shots captured from Picture Day (page 17) a few weeks ago. Cheri spotlights two of Athens’ top chefs (pages 12-13) for all the Bulldog foodies out there. Yes, we Bulldogs love our football, but good eats are definitely a priority as well. And if you’re looking for something fun to do the Friday night before the game, don’t miss Murray’s story (page 16) on David Richt making his Athens musical debut. Don’t you know mama and papa are proud? That will do it for me. We look forward to seeing you on the gridiron. A magical season starts with being 1-0. Let’s take care of business and move on to the next one. Go Dawgs!

Buffalo 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 Design Boyd Martin Photography Becky Reynolds, Rob Saye Columnists Carlton DeVooght Al Hickson Rob Sherrell Loran Smith Chad White Student Editor Travis Ragsdale Interns Katherine Parke Pierce Persons Annie Trice Delivery Hatton Abernathy, Martin Cameron Jake Davis, Will Hayes, Frank Sinkwich IV, Champ Vance

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Season openers offer great teams a golden opportunity to make an early mark. For me personally, I always favor playing a strong opponent in the opener. You certainly find out a lot more about your team. Even in a loss. For some who questioned playing Boise State last year, you could certainly make the argument that the Bulldogs perhaps wouldn’t have run off ten straight wins without playing stiff competition in the opener. Since college football regularly went to a 12-game schedule, Georgia has done an excellent job of playing at least one other opponent from a Bowl Championship Series league, in addition to the eight Southeastern Conference games and Tech. This year, that’s not the case. So there is no Boise State or Clemson to open with. It will be the Buffalo Bulls. In most of Georgia’s greatest seasons, the Bulldogs slayed high caliber competition to set a championship tone. Famously in the early 1980s, the golden era, Georgia secured four of the most significant season opening victories in school history. Herschel Walker burst upon the scene in the Bulldogs unforgettable 16-15 comeback win at Tennessee in Georgia’s perfect 12-0 national championship campaign of 1980. A year later, the Volunteers came to Athens, and the Bulldogs thrashed the Volunteers 44-0. Georgia would go on to post a 10-1 regular season mark and earn backto-back SEC championships for the first time in school history. The most highly anticipated opener came in 1982 when he 1980 national champion Bulldogs topped the 1981 national champion Clemson Tigers 13-7 between the hedges – with Walker’s arm in a cast due to a broken thumb. Georgia beat defending and eventual Rose Bowl champion UCLA 19-8 to open the 1983 campaign. Those four Bulldog teams went 43-41, captured the 1980 national championship, won three SEC titles and finished in the top five with at least 10 wins in each of those seasons. There’s no question the strong competition in Georgia’s openers went a long way towards the Bulldogs success. In the Mark Richt era, the Bulldogs have been to four SEC Championship Games. The opening foe in those four seasons – Clemson, Clemson, Boise State and Boise State. The Bulldogs edged Clemson in a 3128 thriller to start the 2002 campaign. The Bulldogs went on to go 13-1 and finish No. 3 nationally, winning the school’s first SEC title since 1982 Georgia crushed Clemson in Death Valley 30-0 to open the ’03 season. The Bulldogs fell to national champion LSU in the SEC Championship Game. In 2005, Georgia bludgeoned Boise State 48-12 to star the season. The Dogs downed LSU in Atlanta to win the SEC title. Then last year, Georgia fell to Boise State and then South Carolina to start the year 0-2. The Bulldogs then won 10 straight to return to Atlanta for the first time since 2005. The Bulldogs didn’t play for the SEC

title in 2007, but Georgia went 11-2 and finished No. 2 in the land, opening the season with a 35-14 win in Athens over Oklahoma State. Georgia beat Baylor 16-14 to open the ’78 season, in which the Bulldogs went 9-2-1. In 1976, the SEC champion Bulldogs beat Cal in the opener. The 1968 SEC champions tied Tennessee in Knoxville (the Vols helped mightily by the striped shirts). Vince Dooley’s first SEC title team opened the ’66 campaign in Jackson, topping Mississippi State 20-17. Going back the glory days of the 1940s, Georgia’s SEC champions of 1942 beat Kentucky7-6 in Louisville to start the season. The 1946 SEC champions slayed Clemson 35-12 in Athens. Wally Butts final SEC championship squad of 1959 topped Alabama 17-3 to start the season, the Crimson Tide in the second year of the Bear Bryant era. Speaking of openers, tough foes and the Bear ‌ one of Dooley’s best moves was to help get the SEC schedule maker to not have Bama as the Bulldogs annual season opener. Bryant led Bama to three national titles between 1961 and 1965 – including the Bulldogs famous flea-flicker victory to start the ’65 campaign. Georgia and Alabama opened every season between 1959 and ’65. It’s one thing to play someone good in the opener, but when you’re trying to build a program as a young coach, starting with the Bear in Bama’s heyday (in Dooley’s first game at the Georgia helm, the Bear’s quarterback was none other than Joe Namath) – well, there’s no need to go to extremes. In fact, Dooley said of that night in Tuscaloosa when Alabama defeated the Bulldogs 31-3 – “Coach Bryant was very kind to us that night.â€? Obviously Buffalo is not early ‘60s Alabama. Or Tennessee. Or Clemson. Or Boise State. They still must be respected the Bulls do have a standout tailback in Branden Oliver and it’s an avenue for Georgia to give early signs of just what kind of season it can be. It would be nice to be clicking heading into Missouri, and not having to use too much gas out of the tank. Missouri, by the way, has won 48 games over the last five years, and the Tiger faithful are billing the September 8 showdown with the Bulldogs as the biggest game in school history. That will be the first of two road trips to Columbia’s this year. The Bulldogs second game away from home is the first Saturday in October at South Carolina. And the Gamecocks are hot. Did you ever this would be the case for the Gamecocks: over the last two years, South Carolina is 10-0 vs. Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Clemson, Alabama and Nebraska. Georgia’s great accomplishment from last season was beating Tech, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee in the same season for the first time since 1981. That and the return to the SEC Championship Game were huge steps forward for the program. If this Georgia team can make the jump that last year’s did from 2010, it will be a season to remember – like so many of aforementioned, even if a traditional powerhouse isn’t on the slate to start the campaign.

Bulldawg Illustrated


poole shots By Murray Poole

Board member Morehead ‘All Dog’ now

What is your occupation?

I serve as the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia and the Meigs Professor of Legal Studies in the Terry College of Business. The provost is the chief academic officer of the institution. The deans of the schools and colleges as well as several vice- presidents report to the provost. The vice-president for research, the vice-president for instruction, the vice-president for public service and outreach and the vice-president for student affairs report to my office as well as the deans of the schools and colleges. How many years have you served on the UGA athletic board?

I’ve been serving on the athletic board since 1998, for 14 years now. And then in 2003, President Adams appointed me as the Faculty Athletics Representative and I served in that role for seven years, until I became university provost. David Shipley, who’s a law professor and former dean of the law school, followed me as the Faculty Athletics Representative but as provost I serve as vice-chairman of the athletic board. Where did you grow up and what made it special?

I think of myself as a Georgian. I spent many of my formative years in Lakeland, Fla. My family moved to West Palm Beach Fla. for a few years then Daytona Beach and then, ultimately, ended up in Atlanta when I was a teenager. All of these places certainly provided a lot of great memories. What has been the most exciting part for you serving on UGA’s athletic board?

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Jere Morehead

For me personally the most exciting part has been to see the growing strength of our teams, not only athletically but academically. In the last several years we have made great strides in the number of our student-athletes graduating as well as succeeding in the classroom. If you look at all of the measurements that are used to evaluate athletic programs Georgia is near the top in terms of its success with student-athletes in the classroom. So I think it’s the combination of seeing our student-athletes succeed athletically as well as earn their college degrees that makes me proud. What has been the most exciting aspect of your career?

I’ve had the distinct honor, except for serving as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan several years ago, of spending my academic career at this institution, and I’ve had the opportunity to serve the institution in a variety of roles, from being a faculty member to serving as director of the honors program to serving as vice-president for instruction and to my current position as university provost. Certainly, the opportunity to impact the campus for the better as provost has been very exciting, and I have appreciated the opportunity to serve the university in this role.

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Jere Morehead spent many of his growingup years in that sunshine state to our south where an ugly gator, not a lovable bulldog, is the mascot of choice but after moving in his teen years to Atlanta and then matriculating first at Georgia State and then the University of Georgia law school, Morehead now pronounces himself “all Georgian.” And in his role today as the senior vicepresident for academic affairs and provost of UGA, as well as being a 14-year member of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Athletic Association, Morehead indeed has his hands wrapped around all things Bulldog and bleeds red and black with the most loyal of Georgia supporters. “I grew up in Lakeland, Fla. and came to Georgia when my father was transferred with Western Union, and then my associations with the University of Georgia were developed when I was a law student at the university,” recalled Morehead. “I’ve been a Georgian since I was a teenager. I went to high school for one year at Southwest DeKalb and graduated early and then after college at Georgia State, I came to the University of Georgia law school. I was 20 years old when I enrolled in law school. And I graduated from the UGA law school in 1980 and then served for six years as an assistant United States attorney with the Department of Justice before returning to UGA as a faculty member in 1986. “I did not play competitive sports growing up, I’m afraid to say, although I’m a huge fan of Georgia sports and have always attended many different sports team competitions over the years. So it was a real treat for me to be selected to the athletic board by President Adams in 1998.” Morehead has served the university in a number of leadership positions since joining the UGA faculty. He was named vice-president for instruction in 2007 after serving on an interim basis in 2006. He was named Meigs Professor of Legal Studies in the Terry College of Business in 2004. He served as vice provost for academic affairs from 2004-06 and as associate provost and director of the Honors Program from 19992004. He was acting executive director for the Office of Legal Affairs from 1998-99. In 2009, Morehead was chosen by UGA President Michael Adams from among four finalists identified in a national search to fill the role of provost, the second-highest position in the university’s administration. “I was appointed in the fall of ’09 but I didn’t actually take office until January of 2010, as provost,” Morehead pointed out. In the following question-and-answer session with Bulldawg Illustrated, Jere Morehead talks more about his background and his role on the Georgia athletic board.

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What do you think are the biggest challenges for Georgia athletics in the near future?

We have to remain focused on insuring that our students make good progress toward their degrees as well as succeeding on the athletic field so I think the greatest challenge is insuring that we maintain the balance that we currently have between academics and athletics. I believe the current leadership of our athletic administration has done an outstanding job in maintaining that balance and I congratulate them on the success that they’ve had, both on the field and in the classroom. How has the knowledge from your occupation helped in the betterment of UGA athletics?

As provost I meet with the senior athletic officials every month and we review all of the issues that are confronting them relating to the academic life of our student-athletes. And we use that meeting as a problem-solving opportunity to look for ways for our student-athletes to succeed in the classroom. So I would say my greatest contribution is working with our athletic officials to put in place the programs and the support mechanisms that are necessary for our student-athletes to be successful in their academic pursuits. Your favorite UGA sports moment?

Well, certainly, there are many that I could identify. Winning the SEC championship in 2002 after such a long period without being a championship team was a special moment. I thought the Auburn blackout game (2007) a few years ago was a special memory for any Georgia fan but I have to tell you, for me, attending some of our swimming and diving events when we first did the NCAA and seeing the success of some of our teams there has been quite special. And I always enjoy the NCAA men’s and women’s tennis tournament when it comes to Athens and have many great memories from watching our teams compete in that event. So there are a lot of special memories and I could go on for some time listing them.

5


Dogs vs. Bulls Kicking it off in Sanford Stadium is exciting, no matter the opponent By Travis Ragsdale

I

t’s the first game of the season. The team is geared up. The fans are anxious. The coaches can’t wait to get started. And the Dawgs aren’t playing Boise State! Sounds like a great start to the 2012 season already. Instead, coming all the way down from New York, it’s the Buffalo Bulls. This is one of those out of conference games that athletic directors schedule at the beginning of the season to allow their teams to get into the flow of the season and get used to being back out in front of those big crowds. With the Bulls coming off a 3-9 season in 2011, Dawg fans don’t have much to be worried about in this one. Brand-new Bulls QB photos by Rob Saye

Teams go through changes all the time with having to add new players into the starting lineup. Heck, that’s part of what makes college football so great. But sometimes, and in the case of Buffalo’s quarterback situation, it can be a scary proposition. Just last week it was announced that junior Alex Zordich will get the nod as the starting quarterback against Georgia this coming weekend. Imagine the emotions that Zordich is feeling this week. His first start as a college quarterback and he’s going to be facing what has been predicted to be one of the best defenses in the country. Oh, and don’t forget the 90,000+ Georgia fans that are going to be trying to disrupt anything he tries to do Saturday. Poor guy. He does have a few things going for him however. First, he’s a junior, if nothing else he knows the Bulls offense backwards and forwards. So if things began to spiral out of control for him, he can rely on that. He’s also returning a running back in Branden Oliver who ran for over 1400 yards in 2011. That’s something that not many quarterbacks in the country have the luxury of leaning on. But even with all of that, it could be a long and frustrating first career start Mr. Zordich. Who will be the ‘Man’ for the Dawgs?

A lot of talk has been made about Georgia’s two new freshmen running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Marshall, the speedster who when he walked on campus immediately became one of the fastest players in the SEC. And Gurley, the perfect mixture of speed and power; an every-down back. But somebody has been left out of the picture. Ken ‘Boo’ Malcome is the oft forgotten guy in the Dawgs backfield but he’s going to be the starter on Saturday, not one of the freshmen phenoms. Malcome has had a roller coaster of a time since he’s been in Athens. Just last year Malcome quit the team for a few days before deciding that wasn’t the best choice he could have made. He was allowed back on the team and has since dedicated himself to being the best player he could be. It’s clearly paid off as he’ll get the start Saturday. Don’t be fooled though, Marshall and Gurley will get plenty of carries too. It will be exciting to see what those guys can do once the pads start thumping. With all three of these guys having a great level of talent, expect to see a three-headed monster out of the Dawgs backfield this year rather than just one guy taking the load onto his shoulders. It will likely be a group ef-

fort, much like LSU had in 2011. However, it may be hard to tell if this format is going to be successful over the whole 2012 campaign against a team like Buffalo. Their defense will be out-manned and out-sized by the Dawg offense which should lead to great success for this running back trio on Saturday. Kick and Punt Returns

For the past four years, Georgia fans have had the luxury of expecting and receiving great things in the kick and punt return game because of the irreplaceable talent of Brandon Boykin. He was one of the most exciting players in college football because of what he could do on the receiving end of the kicking game. Now, that position is a bit of a question mark for Georgia. Coach Richt has said that he will use the Buffalo game as a sort of “try-out” for the guys he believes could be successful in trying to repeat what Boykin was able to do. Expect to see a large group including, Branden Smith, Malcolm Mitchell, Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley and freshman Sheldon Dawson get their opportunities vs. Bulls to show what they can do. Keep a close eye on this aspect of the game. All it takes is one big one. If one of these guys is able to break off a big gainer, don’t surprised if that’s the guy who locks down the position of the rest of the year. Intangibles

It pretty much all goes to the Dawgs here. No, Buffalo doesn’t have anything to lose in this game but they also don’t have the players to compete. This one could be a laugher before the first half is out. Although, the Bulls has experienced the raucous environment that is an SEC stadium on a Saturday. Last year, they traveled to Knoxville where they were pummeled by Tennessee 41-10. Think of the excitement and anticipation that the players that strap on the “G” must be feeling as well. Fans probably have goosebumps just thinking about getting to be back in Sanford Stadium on Saturday. Imagine what the players must be like this week. For them, all their hard work and sacrifice over the past eight months has led to opening day this Saturday between the hedges. And they’re going to leave it all out on the field. Even if it is against the Buffalo Bulls.

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Stacey Palmore, Chuck Dowdle and Karen Stowers

Jay Mancini, Rachel Fleming and Dina Ghiotto

Glenda and Monk Mayhue and Vicki Beaver and Scott Beaver

Sandy Boyles, Olivia Thaw and Rebecca Thaw

Jeff Bell, Brooke Ellard, Becky Reynolds and John Smoltz

Kim Walpal’s shoes

Mark Fox and Dan Davis

NE VER SE E T TLE FOR L LESS NEVER SETTLE YOU DESERVE MOORE

Kevin and Melanie Baer

Ina and Jim Hopkins

The Brunswick Brunsw wick N News ews is p proud roud t to o present: presen nt:

The T he 201 2012 12 Geo Georgia rg giia Liter Literary rar ary Festival Festiv val al at a t the the Go G Golden lden Is Isles le es Hosted by Hosted by College Coll lege of of Coastal Coast tal a Georgia, Georgia g , Jekyll Jekyll Island Island a A Authority, u uth horit t y, and an d Golden Golden Isles Isles l Convention Convention and Visitors Visitors Bureau Burea au

Some So me o of f ou our rP Page age a T Tu Turners rners are Tr Truly ruly T Taste-Tempting aste e-Tempting and Cookbook — Presenting Pres senting the e Culinary Culinar ry a Cookbo ook Track Reservations R eeserrvation a ns required requir e red e for these ticketed ticketeed events evvents e at the Dine Saturday Dine Saturday with w Festival Festival authors at a food and wine w gala orchestrated orchestrated Hugh ugh hA Acheson cheson, author by Chef H of A New New e T Turn uurn in the South, South, and wine columnist Jane prepared Jane Garvey, Garveyy, pr epared by by Jekyll Island Island Club Cllub Hotel Hotel Executive Executive Jekyll Abigail g Hutchinson. Hutchinson. Chef Abigail $100/person On On Saturday, Satur a dayy, lunch and learn with w oe SSavannah avannah Cooking School’s School’s Cheff JJoe Taste aaste of Heritage: Heerittage: Randal Randalll, author of A T The New American Cuisine. Neew African A merican C ui uisine. $30/person $30/pe erson

IS YOUR YOUR BUSIN BUSINESS NESS GE GETTING T TING THE A ATTENTION T TEENTION IT DESER DESERVES? VES?

Have afternoon Tennessee’s Have Friday Friday afte ernoon tea with T ennessee e e’s Miss iss First First Lady of Southern Southern Cooking, M featuring eaturing her newest newest D Daisy aisy K King ing, fe eeett Me Me on Jekyll Jeekyll Island. Isslandd. cookbook, M Meet $25/person For F or o tickets: 912.635.26 912.635.2600 600 x1000 visit or vi isit www.GoldenIslesLiteraryFestival.com www w.G .GoldenI o IsslesLiterrarryyF Festiv e al.com

Na Nathalie at thalie Dupree Dupree and C yn nthia Graubart Gra aubar rt Cynthia SSouthern outthern Biscuits Biscuits co-authors

Damon Da mon Le Lee e Fowle Fowler r SSavannah-based av a an nnah-based culinar culinary ry historian, food writer w r, and cookbook author writer,

Other featured Other featurreedd authors will be on hand to discuss an andd rread excerpts ead e ex cerpts from frrom o their recent e worrk, k including incluuding fabulous fiction and recent work, popular children’s childrreen’s books.

November N ov vember 10 Jekyll IIsland Jekyll sland d Conv Convention ention Center Foor a full schedule schhedule of ev ents, visit For events, www w.G .GooldenIIsle s esLiterarryF yFeestivval.com a www.GoldenIslesLiteraryFestival.com

The culinary culiinary track of the 2012 Festival Festival is sponsor sponsored red e by by Rich Products Pro oducts Corporation

Sponsored S ponsored by by th the e Georgia Georgia Ce Center nter fo for r the Book Boo o k and and the the Georgia Georgia Humanities Huma anities Cou Council. ncil.

Atlanta

Coastal Georgia

Gwinne

www.mstiller.com w ww.mstiller.com

1612 Newcastle Street ˜ Suite 200 ˜ Brunswick, GA 31520 ˜ 912-265-1750 10

Bulldawg Illustrated


Scouting the Bulls

A view from Buffalo

By Murray Poole

By Jeff Dantzler

Location: Buffalo, N.Y.

Paul Peck, voice of the Buffalo Bulls, offers his insight into Saturday’s season opener.

Conference: Mid-American Enrollment: 29,049

What are Buffalo's goals this season? The Bulls goals are ultimately to win the MAC Championship. Aside from that, a winning season and a chance at a bowl game would be a big step forward for a program that has not sustained the success they had in 2008 when U.B. won the MAC Championship. What are the team's strengths? The teams strengths on offense are the running game, led by Maxwell and Doak Walker Award nominee Branden Oliver. The offensive line returns four starters. On defense, the front seven returns key starters in Steve Means, Khalil Mack and Lee Skinner. The two starting cornerbacks are two of the team's better players on defense. What do you need to do to pull off the win in Athens? Like any MAC team that plays a top ten opponent, the Bulls would need a few lucky breaks and a few big mistakes by the Bulldogs. Georgia turnovers that lead directly to points are almost required for an upset. If Branden Oliver has a big day, the Bulls could control the clock, keep Aaron Murray off the field and keep the game close. What is your take on Georgia? My take is that Georgia is a supremely talented team with an excellent coach. But the suspensions and new starters playing for the first time could lead to closer game than everyone expects. The Bulls played Tennessee last year and lost, and I think Georgia has twice the amount of talent than the Vols. I am excited to see it first hand and excited to experience a game "Between the Hedges."

How good is Khalil Mack? Khalil Mack is very good, and it will hurt the Bulls that he is suspended for this game due to a violation of team rules. He is a legitimate NFL talent, and this would have been a good test against NFL-caliber players. He is a dominating pass rusher and disruptive player, and he is a worthy nominee for the Lombardi Award. How good is Branden Oliver? "Bo" as he is called has already broken the school single season records of James Starks, who plays for the Packers. He is a tough inside runner, who never lets up and never goes down easy. He is also the team's hardest worker and one of it's leaders. As Head Coach Jeff Quinn says, if I had a whole team of Branden Olivers his job would be easy, and U.B. would win a lot of games. What are your favorite stadiums and environments you've traveled to? Most of my personal experience has been at NFL Stadiums. U.B. has only recently started to play some big time opponents, like Tennessee last year. Next year, Ohio State is on the schedule. Those are meccas of college football and it's a great thrill for me to broadcast games from legendary places like Sanford Stadium. The MAC, while on a much smaller scale, also has some great atmospheres for college football and that makes every week fun.

The playmakers ... By Jeff Dantzler #22 Najja Johnson, CB 6-0, 182 Jr. Marietta, Ga. (Marietta H.S.)

#19 Alex Neutz, WR 6-3, 205 Jr. Grand Island, N.Y. (Grand Island H.S.)

#32 Branden Oliver, TB 5-8, 202 Jr. Miami, Fla. (Miami Southridge H.S.)

Buffalo’s top defender is honorable mention All-American linebacker Khalil Mack, who is suspended for the game at Georgia. Najja Johnson is the Bulls best defensive back, and this All Mid-American Conference candidate figures to charged up to play in his home state. Johnson led the MAC in pass breakups and had one of his best performances at Tennessee. He had seven tackles and three pass breakups against the Vols, showing he could perform on the big stage. A redshirt in 2009, Johnson played sparingly in 2010 and then made the big jump to standout starter a year ago. Buffalo will sorely miss Mack for the Georgia game, but when he returns from suspension, the star linebacker will team with Johnson to give Buffalo one of the MAC’s best defensive combo’s.

Buffalo’s best wide receiver, Alex Neutz teams with standout tailback Branden Oliver to give the Bulls one of the MAC’s top one-two skill position punches. What is so impressive about Mack, Oliver and Neutz is that they all had outstanding games against Big East foe Pittsburgh in the 2011 season opener. Neutz hauled in 10 passes for 108 yards against the Panthers, one of three games in which he went over the three digit plateau. Neutz missed the final three games of the season, but still led the team with 641 yards receiving and four touchdown catches. In his first ever game as a freshman, the 2010 opener against Rhode Island, Neutz had five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Buffalo won just three games last season, but the Bulls have a big time tailback to build around for 2012. Branden Oliver was one of the nation’s top runners last season and was first team All Mid-American Conference. As a freshman he ran for 298 yards, then last season exploded. He ran for 1,395 yards – the 14th best total in the country – one of three school records he set in 2012, along with 306 carries and 1,760 all-purpose yards. Packers standout James Starks was the previous record holder. This gamechanger went over the century mark eight times last season, including a 114-yard performance against Pitt. In a 38-37 victory over Ohio, Oliver chalked up 179 yards on the ground with three touchdowns and caught 5 passes for 43 yards. He earned national running back of the week honors in a 51-10 pounding of Akron, shredding the Zips for 235 yards and a pair of scores. Starks closed out the campaign with a splendid performance in a loss to Bowling Green with 127 yards and a TD on the ground and six catches for 92 yards.

www.bulldawgillustrated.com

Bulls in a thumbnail: Buffalo is hoping for much better things after going 3-9 in 2011, just 2-6 in the MAC. The Bulls return 16 starters from that team, split evenly between offense and defense. After a 30-year absence, Buffalo returned to Division I-A football in 1999 when it joined the Mid-American Conference. In addition to Georgia, other notables the Bulls will meet this season are Pittsburgh and Connecticut. A look at the Buffalo offense: The Bulls, in their multiple offense, averaged 30 points a game at home last season. Head coach Jeff Quinn recently named junior Alex Zordich (6-3, 220) as his starting quarterback and Zordich will be handing the ball off to junior tailback Branden Oliver (5-8,204) who shattered school rushing records last season when he ran for 1,395 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 116 yards per game in the process. Zordich’s top target will be junior wideout Alex Neutz, who at 6-4, 209 should provide the Bulldog secondary a taste of what they will see next week in highly-touted Missouri freshman Dorial GreenBeckham (6-6, 220). A look at the Buffalo defense: The Bulls have a new defensive coordinator in Lou Tepper, who was a former head coach at Illinois. In their 3-4 alignment, the Bulls are led by sophomore linebacker Lee Skinner (6-2, 237), who recorded 80 tackles last season as a freshman. But Buffalo will be without another stellar linebacker, Khalil Mack. The junior was suspended indefinitely after missing a team scrimmage Saturday before last. After earning first-team All-MAC honors last season, Mack was recently picked for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy watch list. What Bulls head coach Jeff Quinn says: (On standout running back Branden Oliver) “There is no doubt that we have one of the nation’s premier running backs in Branden Oliver. He has a tremendous impact on our team not only because of his talent on the field but because of the way he displays his love of the game each and every day both on and off the field. We just need to improve in all areas as we get ready to play Georgia.” Game Prediction: In my annual preseason predictions, I called this game 48-10, Bulldogs. That sounds about right. An inspired Buffalo team will attempt to take the fight to Georgia early on but then the Bulldogs’ depth and that Deep South humidity will have the Bulls gasping for air in the second half. Look for Mark Richt to get all his talented freshmen in this game as Georgia gets a good tuneup for its huge confrontation with the Missouri Tigers.

11


Get to know Chef Peter Dale D

Rising star s chefs s of Athens: Athen ns: Whitney Whitn ney Otawka Otawka and Peter P Dale e

BI: You You o were were graduated from from UGA UG GA with a PR degree degree then went we ent to DC, what was it that you y originally wanted want ed to do?

By Cheri Leavy Known as a mus music sic mecca since the 1980s, it i is exciting to see Athens’ burgeoning b rg bur geoning food culture. culture. Call Ca all me a foodie nerd nerd but there there is something s fascinating in listening listening to your well-versed server talk t about not only the ingredients ingredients e in the dish but wher where e they the ey came from from too. That is what w you can expect at both local local favorites, Farm 255 and d The National. While the students studen nts were were away this summer, summerr, I had the privilege of spending g some quality time with Chef Che ef Otawka Whit Whitney Ot k ffrom from Farm Farm 255 and Fa d Chef Ch f Peter P t Dale D le off The Th National. They were were both botth named Atlanta Rising Starr Chefs for Athens this summer summer. r. Dale was also recognized recognized in n the UGA Alumni Association’s Association n’s 40 Under 40 program program for 2012. Be sure sure to check k out the Georgia Georgia Club video o we were wer e all involved in where wherre the two chefs talk about the the farm to table movement in Athens. Ath hens. I enjoyed dinner with Chef Whitney at Farm 255 the e evening that we produced produced the video. I got to try the chanterelle cha anterelle mushrooms mushrooms she menme en[PVUZVUÄSTHZZOLKLZJYPILZOLYYLZ[H\YHU[»ZTPZZPVU[V [PVUZ VU ÄST HZ ZOL KLZJ JYPILZ OLY YLZ[H\YHU[»Z TPZZPV VU [V rreconnect econnect food to its roots roo ots and people to their food. After dinner when I stopped b by The Manhattan for a nightcap, nighttcap, tcap I discovered discover ed that the bartender barte ender was the one who foraged foraged the mushrooms mushr ooms for Chef Whitney. Wh hitney. Mission accomplished accomplishe ed for Farm 255.

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www.thegeorgiaclub.com/watch-videos

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TRIVIA TRIVIA CONTEST CONTESST

Hank H kR Randolph Randolp d lph h Tall T all Boy Bever a Beverage rage

Who was wa as the FIRST Geor Georgia gia co coach oach to lead the Bulldogs to 100 win wins ns in his car e eer? career? Answer: Answer r: W Wallace allace Butts

Athens, Geor Georgia rgia g

Winner: Winne er: Jeremy Jeremy Lackman Lackma an

Why do Why do you you consider consider y yourself ourself a g great reat B Bulldawg ulldawg ffan? an? Iw was as b born orn a and nd rraised aised iin nG Georgia eorgia sso o iit’s t’s iin nm myy b blood lood tto o llove ove U UGA GA a and nd II’ve ’ve had had sseason eason ttickets ickets ssince ince I g graduated raduated iin n2 2000. 000. IIff yyou ou d don’t on’t llove ove F Fall all iin nA Athens thens tthere here iiss something wr wrong ro ong with you. y Georgia is Georgia is expected expected to to contend contend ffor or a n national ational ttitle itle tthis his s season, eason, w what hat d do oy you ou worry w orry the the most most about about ffor or 2 2012? 012? Beating B eating ourselves ourselves w with ith d dumb umb p penalties enalties llate ate iin ng games. ames. W We e make make way way too too many many TPZ[HRLZ[OH[OH]LJVZ[\ZV]LY`HYKZVMÄLSKWVZP[PVUPUHSV[VMNHTLZ[OL T PZ[HRLZ[OH[OH]LJVZ[\ZV]LY`HYKZVMÄLSKWVZP[[PPVUPUHSV[VMNHTLZ[OL llast ast few few years. years. Y You ou c can’t an’t d do o tthat hat a and nd w win in a n national ational c championship. hampionship. W We e have have to to be be more mor re disciplined this yea year ear if we want to cr cross ro oss that line between b good and gr great. re eat. Favorite o Favorite offensive ffensive player, player, w why? hy? Have H ave to to g go o with with Murray. Murray. H He e iiss w where here iitt a allll b begins egins a and nd iiff he he stays stays healthy healthy he he will will play play at a very high level this year yyear.r. Favorite d Favorite defensive efensive p player, layer, w why? hy? 0RUV^[OPZPZIVYPUNI\[1HY]PZ1VULZ^PSSILOLHKPUN\WWYVIHIS`[OLÄULZ[HZ0RUV^[OPZPZIVYPUNI\[ [1HY]PZ1VULZ^PSSILOLHKPUN\W WWYYVIHIS`[OLÄULZ[HZ V sembly sembly of of linebackers linebackers in in college college football football tthis his yyear ear a and nd iitt w will ill m may ay b be e his his last last year year with with the the Dawgs Dawgs before before he he plays plays on on Sundays. Sundays. There There iiss sso o much much depth depth for for the the Dawgs Dawgs at at that that position position and and we’ll we’ll need need iitt iiff w we ea are re g going oing tto o keep keep a 3-4 3-4 package package on on [OLÄLSKHSS`LHYY [OLÄLSKHSS`LHY

Go to bulldawgil bulldawgillustrated.com llustrated.com Chance to win $25 $2 25 gift cards carrd ds for the UGA Bookstore Booksstorre at TATE TATE if you answer trivia trrivia correctly. corrre ectlyy.

Favorite Favorite coach, coach, why? why? Todd Todd Grantham, Grantham, his his tenacity tenacity is is what what the the team team needs needs to to stay stay on on task task through through a whole whole game. game. I feel feel like like we we need need coaches coaches that that will will g get et in in a player’s player’s face face ifif that that needs needs to to happen happen to to keep keep the the intensity intensity level level at at the the peak peak for for 60 60 minutes. minutes. I’m I’m a fan fan of of Richt Richt too t but I think it takes a good co cop-bad op-bad cop balance to keep the e team motivated. Favorite Favorite tailgate tailgate food, food, why? why? I’m I simple. Good brats and cold d beer is all I need. Do you you have have a favorite favorite gameday gameday ritual? ritual? Do hare m eason ttickets ickets w ith o ne o ery b est ffriends riends a nd h is w ife sso ow e I sshare myy sseason with one off m myy vvery best and his wife we meet up up at at my my house house then then head head down down to to the the tailgate tailgate for for at at least least 4 hours hours before before meet e game to get our “heads rig ght”. each right”. What’s your your (record) (record) prediction prediction for for this this season, season, why? why? What’s 10-2 for for the the regular regular season, season, losing losing close close games games to to South South Carolina Carolina and and Tech. Tech. We We 10-2 make itit back back to to the the SEC SEC Championship Championship game game but but Spurrier Spurrier will will keep keep his his streak streak make going to to 3 games games on on us us and and Tech’s Tech’s option option offense offense will will b e too too much much for for us us the the last last going be game of of the the regular regular season. season. But But that that primes primes us us to to win win in in the the SEC SEC title title game! game! Go Go game D Dawgs!!!!

GOO DAW DAWGS! WGS! MEE MEET ET THE AUTHOR: AUTHOR: VINCE VI NCE DOOLEY DO OOLEY Former F ormer UGA F Football ootball he head ead c coach oach and Geo orgia Sports Hall of F ame Member Georgia Fame Coach h Dooley will be signing copies c of his books. Saturday, Sa turda d y, Sept September ember 1 | 9:3 9:30 30 am - 11:30 am Autograph Signing: Ch Autograph Charley harley T Trippi rippi Saturday, September 10:00 Sa turda ay, Sept ember 1 | 10:0 00 am - 12:00 pm

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Bulldawg Illustrated


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Faye Jones, the oldest of Coach Wallace Butts’ three daughters, lives in Athens. She appreciates the arts, the symphony and all things cultural, but she has had a life-long passion for the Bulldogs. She follows all the Bulldog sports teams, especially the football team. There are a number of her kin in and around Athens. They are all keen on the ‘Dogs. That spelling was the way it was in her daddy’s day but she won’t fuss any if you use the latter day spelling of Dawgs. However you say it, she is connected and eager to join the action. “We love all the teams,” she says, “but it has become harder for me to enjoy sports like basketball because it is difficult for me to drive at night, but we are interested in all sports. We all bleed Red and Black.” While she is not given to taking to the stump, a coffee conversation with her reveals that she and her family— though not the first family of Georgia athletics anymore—have a love and loyalty for UGA that would impress any diehard Bulldog fan. The family has maintained season tickets for years and can’t wait for fall Saturdays. For years they rented a room at the Georgia Center where they gathered pregame for their own tailgate party. Then they walked to Sanford Stadium for an afternoon between the hedges. “We have a lot of fond memories,” she says. “It was such an exciting time in the forties and fifties when we were in high school and college. My sisters Jean and Nancy and I all graduated from the Grady School of Journalism.” Jean, who lives in Richmond, Va., and Nancy, who died of cancer three years ago, were cheerleaders. Jean married Frank Jones who became football coach and athletic director at the University of Richmond. For years

you would see Nancy on the field in her cheerleading uniform, cheering with the alumni cheerleaders on Homecoming Saturday. “With our heritage, it would be hard for us to live in Athens and not support and follow the Bulldogs,” Faye says. “We were caught up in the excitement growing up and it is ingrained in us. I lived in Atlanta for years and found it very comforting when I moved back to Athens. There have been a lot of changes, but it is still a wonderful community. It has grown, but we can find our way around and appreciate the opportunity to visit all the landmarks like the Chapel Bell. We rang it like everybody else when Georgia won, and while we don’t do that anymore, it gives us great pride to hear it ringing Saturday night when Georgia wins a game. Five Points, where we all grew up, is still a lovely place for us to shop and spend time with our friends.” Faye (and Nancy until her death) has been a loyal supporter of the Wally’s Boys Association which is an organization of the players who lettered for Coach Butts and friends and supporters of her late father. In addition to the lettermen, there are auxiliary members—those who were fond of Coach Butts and the players who played for him…friends of Wally’s Boys. “Every spring when the family attends the Wally’s Boys breakfast, we get to see so many of the players who played for my daddy, and that always brings back good memories. He is no longer with us, but it gives us a lift to see those who appreciated him and remembered him as their coach. That means a lot to us, and the University has always been good to include us with so many functions over the years.

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15


David Richt debuts Friday night Coach’s son to play ‘in the round’ with noted Athens’ musicians and songwriters By Murray Poole

D

David Richt

Mike Dekle

Tyler Hayes

Mark Lee

avid Richt is very excited and, admittedly, a little nervous, too. That’s because David, the 17year-old son of Georgia head football coach Mark and Katharyn Richt, will be making his official musical debut on the eve of the Bulldogs’ season opener against Buffalo. David, a senior at Prince Avenue Christian School, will be singing that Friday night, Aug. 31, in The Rialto Club at Hotel Indigo in Athens. And young Richt certainly has due cause to be a little anxious about his big moment because he will be performing “in the round” with hit songwriters Greg Barnhill, Mike Dekle, Tyler Hayes and Mark Lee in what has been dubbed “Bulldog Fever Friday.” “Yes sir, I’m so excited and I’m a little nervous; in fact, I’m really nervous and excited,” David exclaimed. Tyler Hayes, who is co-producing Richt’s new EP (extended play) record along with fellow songwriter Mark Lee, said she thinks David will handle his big moment just fine. “I think David will be fantastic with this,” said Hayes. “I don’t blame him for being nervous because we’re a bunch of old-school songwriters and we’ve been doing it forever but I think he’ll fit right in. I really love that he’s making his debut with songwriters because I think, as they say in the music business, it all begins with a song, and I think it’s cool that he’s starting out with songwriters because I really do think the magic is in the music and I know he’s nervous but I know he’s going to just do fantastic. “David will sing some and also sing along with us,” she added. “Every song writer there including myself has at least one or more hits that have been on the radio so David’s going to sing the hits with each writer as well as the new stuff from his upcoming EP that Mark Lee and I are producing,” said Hayes, noting Richt’s EP should be released in late fall. “I’m so excited for David,” she continued. “He’s really talented and he has incredible sense of melody in his music and he is working with Jan Smith, aka ‘Mama J.’ She is the vocal coach to many celebrity recording artists. David’s really come to me and embraced the world of song writing and record production and he’s just diving in headfirst. He’s really, really a gifted kid and I have enjoyed every second working with him as have the other songwriters in the room. All of us, Greg Barnhill, Mike Dekle, Mark Lee and myself, have worked with David on some of the songs for his project and so I think we would all agree he’s really and up- and-coming star and somebody to kind of keep your eyes on. He has a beautiful heart and he really is so excited to inspire hope, especially in young people, and he has a real passion to be a role model for his generation, not in a sense of being preachy but just in a sense of being loving and kind and a great example, and I think he does that really well at such a tender young age.” Hayes is a multiple award winning songwriter. She has written songs for Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney, Bebe Winans, Rob Thomas, Tina Arena, Little Big Town and most recently, the band Gloriana. Her very first song to reach No. 1 status was “If This World,” recorded by Jaci Velasquez. The song was No. 1 for over 14 weeks, which placed Hayes in the elite ASCAP No.1 club. Her song “Bring It on Home” was a Top 5 single for the group Little Big Town. She is currently writing a book “The Door Swings Wide” that includes a record of the same name slated for a late fall 2012 release. Greg Barnhill is a Grammy Award-nominated and three-time Emmy Award winner for most notably “Best Original Song” for the Today Show theme. He has written such hits as “Walkaway Joe” for Trisha Yearwood, House of Love for Amy Grant and Vince Gill, and had songs recorded by Etta James, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, John Berry and Lee Ann Womack. Mike Dekle, an Athens native, is also an entertainer himself, having released five albums and placing on both Billboard and Americana charts. He has written No. 1 songs “Size Matters” (Joe Nichols) and “Country Must Be Country Wide” (Brantley Gilbert), and had Top Ten hits for Kenny Rogers and Tracy Byrd. Mark Lee is the lead guitarist and a founding member of the four-time Grammy-award winning Christian rock band, Third Day. Lee has performed over 1,400 shows with the band, traveling throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. Third Day became the first Christian artist to embark on a USO tour, and also became the first Christian artist to appear on the cover of Billboard magazine. As a songwriter, Lee has co-written over 20 number-one songs with Third Day. David Richt said, from a very young age, he loved to sing. “And when I was in fourth grade, I started really getting interested in piano and started taking lessons then, even though I had actually never learned how to read music,” he related. “But I loved music and in seventh grade somebody told me – I think it was my voice teacher, Mr. (Brit) Jones – that I sounded good and just encouraged me so that’s when I started trying on my own to get better singing and playing the piano. Mr. Jones is the 6th grade Bible teacher at Prince Avenue Christian School and also the high school praise band teacher. He also leads worship for Athens Church and he was my first voice teacher. And then I took from a few other people in the beginning, who really helped me. My second voice teacher was Dr. Greg Broughton. He works at UGA, and then my next voice coach was Amy Winkles who is also singing at Athens Church. The voice teacher I have now is Jan Smith; she is a world renowned voice teacher who teaches Justin Bieber, Usher, Sugarland, the Band Perry, David Crowder, and many more famous singers and bands.” David says he has grown to love his music, Christian Contemporary, even more as he has advanced through his high school years. “I started playing at my church, Prince Avenue Baptist Church, for my praise band and also my praise band at school,” he said. “So I played there a lot and I’ve slowly gotten better. When I started tying in to the business part of it was last year. And this year, right before the summer in March, I started doing an EP with Tyler Hayes, which is one of my co-producers and a senior songwriter. And then my other co-producer is Mark Lee, who is the lead guitarist for Third Day. Another person who was doing the EP of three songs with me was Peyton Howell, a girl from my school. “Kind of in preparation, we sang at the AtlantaFest, a big Christian festival over there where a ton of really big artists sang and stuff. It was on June 15 before my dad spoke there and they gave us a chance before he spoke to sing like two songs from the EP. In the EP, which is also Christian Contemporary, Peyton Howell did her own stuff and I did my own stuff, and I’m still doing Christian Contemporary. We did the EP together but we’re not a duet,” David explained. “We’re separate people who came together to do an EP. We’re getting a few songs I’ve been writing with my co-producers all summer and actually Tyler and I got to write with Mike Dekle one day which was really a cool experience. Mike Dekle is a senior songwriter who has written a lot of songs for Kenny Rogers and he did ‘Country Must Be Country Wide’ for Brantley Gilbert. So he’s written a lot of hit songs.” While he’s sung before many groups and sizable audiences, Richt said his debut night will be something different entirely. “This will be unique because it will be four artists who are senior songwriters and they’ve all written really big hits,” David said. “It will be like a writers’ round where they’re all in a line and will take turns singing the songs they have written and I will sing along with them on their hit songs. Then when I do my songs it will be songs I’ve written with my co-producers and Mike Dekle. These songwriters are doing this to basically show people they’re supporting me and that I’m a new and upcoming artist, that sort of thing, just helping me and giving me a little bit of a platform. I’m really appreciative of them for doing this and I’m also very appreciative of my dad’s job because I can sing and stuff but a huge reason this is happening is because of my dad and his platform and everything he stands for. It’s given me the opportunity to do what I love to do. My dad, he’s awesome.” Like his dad Mark puts in the Bulldogs’ game plan for a big game, David said he’s likewise worked long and hard for his Aug. 31 debut. “I’m just preparing for this chance as well as I can,” he said. David said he enjoys playing soccer when he’s not involved in his music. “I’m trying to get a team for varsity guys at our school, I don’t know if it’s going to happen. If not, I will play in the rec leagues.” For David Richt’s musical debut, the doors at The Rialto Room of Hotel Indigo will open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 o’clock. Tickets will be $15 and can be purchased online at ticketbiscuit.com. They will also be available at the door.

Greg Barnhill

16

Bulldawg Illustrated


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Jeff Dantzler’s five keys to victory ...

photo by Rob Saye

1. Avoid Major Secondary Breakdowns – With Georgia at less than full strength in the secondary, it’s important to “keep it front.” Don’t get beat

opener means more miscues. One of Georgia’s top priorities to make the jump from good to great is to limit the self-inflicted wounds – especially the catastrophic mistakes, like the four interceptions that were returned for a touchdown last year.

deep. The supremely talented Malcolm Mitchell gets his first work in the secondary for Georgia. Damian Swann at corner, and Corey Moore at safety, will have major snaps. We’ll likely also see freshman Sheldon Dawson make his Bulldogs debut. The silver lining of not being at full strength is that if the BullCome out with Fire – It’s an early kickoff and not a marquee opdogs can survive and win until returning to full strength, the talent and depth ponent. But it’s the season-opener, and even though a big Southeastern will be better heading into the teeth of the schedule. Conference game at Missouri (it’s going to take a long time getting used to saying that) is on deck, the Bulldogs figure to be chomping at the bit to block and tackle someone in different colored jerseys. The last time Georgia played Contain Branden Oliver – Buffalo’s breakout ball-carrier from a year a game, the Dogs let one get away to Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl. ago was one of the nation’s leading rushers, gaining a school record 1,395 That bitter Orlando pill should serve as great motivation for the Bulldogs. yards, including eight 100-yard performances. Slowing down Oliver and the Buffalo ground game will be a good test for the Bulldogs run defense, with so many standout tailbacks awaiting on the schedule. Oliver is also a standStrong Special Teams – This is one of those “Duh’s” that every out receiver, so the Bulldogs will have to be en guarde. It all starts in the coach on the planet emphasizes every week. But Georgia is breaking in a trenches, and then it’s up to Georgia’s sensational ‘backers to rack up the freshman kicker and a freshman punter. And Georgia’s special teams last tackles. season at times was poor. The Bulldogs gave up touchdowns via punt fake, kickoff and punt return. But that’s history. Like every team in the land, Georgia has the chance to be strong on special teams and it all starts Saturday. Limit the Offensive Miscues – On Georgia’s first offensive play of This much is certain, if the Dogs are going to make the jump from good to 2011, the Bulldogs were penalized for a false start. That was not a good great, the kicking game has to at least be a push in 2012. tone-setter in the 35-21 loss to Boise State in the Georgia Dome. Nobody wants penalties and turnovers, but they’re going to happen, and usually the — Jeff Dantzler

4.

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18

Bulldawg Illustrated


Picture Day

Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley

Patricia and Jeff Andrews

Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones

Sonny Seiler and Kent Hannon

Bobby Dibble and Josh Harvey-Clemons

Aaron Wolcott, Christian Robinson and Kevin Wolcott

Daniel and Ella Tanneberger with Russ

Dallas Lee, Austin Long, David Andrews, Kolton Houston and Zach DeBell

James DeLoach and Jordan Jenkins

Morgan Palmer and Aaron Murray

Hannah Lech, Landon Lamb and Mackenzie Stokes

Chris Conley, Rantavious Wooten, Marlon Brown and Tavarres King

Stephanie Ross, Alexa Carr, Alyssa Ford and Malloy Gilliam

Emily, Jimmy, Kristen and James Baugnon and Mark Richt

Shannon Vreeland, Rob Saye, Allison Schmitt and Jack Bauerle

(front row) Erin Feger, Leslie Pitts, Katie Fisher, Leah Nelson (back row) Page Halter, Emily Bakhaus, Catherine Borden, John Fowble, Burgess Foster and Mimi Marshall

Benny, Harrison, Hudson and Jennifer Hilton with Mark Richt

www.bulldawgillustrated.com

Maddy Barker, Nikki Hill, Nichole Locandro, Megan Gibbons, Sooz Dennis and Kathleen Eastman

19


one on one

Catching up with a great Bulldog ... Fred Gibson

By Rob Sherrell

First off, can you tell the Bulldawg Nation what you've been up to the last few years? Well, I've been out of football now for two years and I went back to Georgia and actually graduated. It was at a chapter in my life of where was I going to work next? Right now, I'm basically looking for a job as we speak. I've been going to a lot of interviews and trying to find a job here in Atlanta. But everything else is going great. Coming out of high school, you were a huge Gator fan. It was no secret that Gainesville was where you'd end up. However, once you got down there for a trip, The Ole Ball Coach sort of rubbed you the wrong way. Can you elaborate on what happened? Well you know it's the craziest thing. You know I'm from Waycross, Ga. and you know Waycross is not too far from the border so I grew up a Florida fan all my life. I used to watch them throw that football back in the day. And I didn't start playing football until my 11th grade year in high school. So I really started liking it. Next thing you know, all these schools start coming around. I figured out my real calling was football. So back then, most colleges would come in and fly you out on a private jet. I was keeping it on the hush hush, but I was going to Florida. Once I was down there, Coach Spurrier put me in a crazy position. He tried to like force me to sign with them and commit then and I didn't really like that. So when I got back from my trip, Coach Eason and Coach Richt came to my house. That's when I decided to go to Georgia. You don't have to mention any school by name, but back then were there any schools that ever crossed the line in their recruiting with any offers that you knew were not above board? Well back when I was going through it, I didn't see anything going on illegal as far as myself or any other players. I'm surprised really too with me being a high profile recruit. Of all the visits I went on, they were good visits. Nobody really crossed the line or anything like that. So I never saw anything with any other player and it didn't happen to me as well. Well let's get back to your relationship with the Gators. For someone that was going to go there, you sure had some big games against them. After lighting them up in a loss for 130 yards receiving your freshman year, you didn't play in 2002 because of a hand injury. How disappointing was that? I still don't know why I didn't play that game. Right before the game, Coach Richt told Coach Eason I wasn't going to play. I have no idea why he did that because the whole week I had been practicing. Actually two weeks because we had that week off. So I was still practicing the whole two weeks after thumb surgery trying to learn how to catch with a cast on and I think I did pretty good. I wish I could've played. I mean at least they could've used me as a decoy. I still don't know why Coach Richt decided not to play me. I mean we could've played in a National Championship Game, I'll tell you that. With that in mind, tell us how great it felt to ice the game in 2004 with the 4th quarter TD catch in Jacksonville to avoid the seniors going 0-4 in the series? I know, man! It felt real good. Not only for me but for all the seniors. You always want to win that last game in every series. But with Florida being our biggest rivalry and the fans put so much emphasis on that game, if you don't win any other game you better win that Florida game. It was a hell of a feeling. I'll tell you that. And catching that touchdown pass, it was really awesome. About that TD catch, there was a small bobble where it almost popped out. Then you reached out and grabbed it. Were you making the fans sweat a little bit? Hey, it was a slant and I don't think David Greene should have ever thrown that ball. If you ask me, the cornerback should've blown me up and the safety should've picked that ball. A lot of people don't remember you beat Florida in Gainesville as a freshman on the basketball court. I think you scored like 15 points that day. I do remember you went to the foul line with the game on the line and hit your free throws to seal the deal. Then you started doing the Gator chop to their fans. How'd that go over? Man it was a great to be able to play both football and basketball at Georgia. To get to play for Coach Harrick, and with Jarvis Hayes, was awesome. But that was a great game for me. I remember that game and still even watch it some. I've got the cassette tape at home. That was a big win for us that year. We had a great team. I just remember before the game their student section just booing me nonstop. So that's why I decided to do the Gator chop. They just couldn't get over me changing my mind and going to UGA. So I just got my little revenge at the free throw line.

The Great Larry Munson one time said you looked like a deer with a football on kick returns. Is that a fair comparison? Man, I've never been referred to as any animal. And hey, the only reason I run so fast is I don't want to get hit. I don't think any receiver wants to get hit looking at these big-time linebackers in the SEC. When I'm running across the middle do you know how many people want to tear my head off? You can motivate me yourself just by running at me. I don't like getting hit. I'm going to tell you that. Well the easiest way to not get hit is to not get touched. In 2002, right before Clemson kicked off I stood up and screamed at them not to kick to the ball to Fred. Maybe it's because I had been drinking for 12 hours or maybe they just couldn't hear me, but why do you think they didn't listen? I know! I think it was a little of both. I don't know why they kicked me that ball. I mean it was a night game. It was on national TV. You always want to put your players in a position on the field to make something happen. And they happened to kick the ball to me. I think that was the worst decision they could possibly make that night. Well let's talk about another night game. I believe it was 2002 vs. Ole Miss. You ran a slant in from the right hash. You caught the ball took one step and put a spin move on that cornerback that he, nor anyone else, had obviously ever seen before. Then you walked into the endzone while he looked for his jockstrap. How did you come up with that? It was just a slant route and saw him on the outside. I knew I was going to stop on a dime. You know man, it just happens. I mean it was already in my head. I had already thought it through. I knew I was going to catch the ball and and he was going to be on the outside. So I was going to stop on a dime. I mean it was a great play. I remember all the big plays I made at Georgia and that's one of the biggest ones. Well I'd love to ask you about another 2002 game. You were involved in one of the greatest plays and worst plays I've ever seen offensively at UGA in the Alabama game. Can you explain what happened on the amazing touchdown catch and then what happened when the ball popped out of your hands and Charlie Peprah took it to the house for six? That catch was just one of those things as a receiver when the ball's in the air you just make a play. Whether you catch it on your butt or how you do it, you just make the play. From this day, I still can't tell you how I caught that ball. It was just good concentration I guess and I made a play on the ball. I'm just glad I caught that ball because then I had that catch that went out of my hands. I mean sometimes you have those times where things happen and you just don't know why that ball just fumbles out of your hands. But it happens. However, the big thing was we won the game, beat Alabama and I think we were Man Enough that day! Everyone knows you were drafted by the Steelers. However, they cut you late in camp and wanted to move you to practice squad. You decided to reject that and take your chances as a free agent. I know you said that turned out to be a big mistake. Can you elaborate on that?

It was a bad decision being a young guy and really not understanding the NFL. When I first got to Pittsburgh, I really wasn't ready to actually play. As a player like me, you want to be on the football

field. And like I said I made one of the worst decisions. They thought they were going to put me on practice squad and let me come into myself. I was upset that they cut me and kind of embarrassed that they did. And I didn't really want to be a part of Pittsburgh anymore. You know Miami gave gave me a phone call. So I didn't sign a contact (with Pittsburgh), I signed with Miami, and that was one of the worst decisions I could possibly make. At one point did you say "I'm done with football" and decide to move on? I think at one point I signed a $50,000 contract for one year in Canada. At that point, once I got up there I really wasn't into football anymore. I had been living here and living there and was just tired of it. I just wanted to be happy. And I wasn't happy at the time. I mean I was miserable because I wasn't doing what I loved. I was so miserable and after that I just called Coach Richt and asked him if I could just come back to college. I then went back to Georgia and focused on the next chapter in my life. Before you got back to school, you actually took a shot at the NBA which proves what an amazing athlete you really are. Not many people could do that. But you got drafted and spent a year in the NBA D-League. Can you talk about that experience? After I got done with football, I got in touch with my old coach, Coach Jim Harrick. He got me a workout and I actually got drafted in the D-League. I got drafted by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. I actually made the team, played in a lot of games and had fun. It was a great experience. I never got called up to the NBA that first season. Then I got traded to Austin, Texas. And the NBA much like the NFL, is very political and I just got tired of it. So I decided to move on. Can you explain the difference in the quality of the groupies, if you will, between the NFL and the NBA DLeague? (Laughter galore) We don't really have groupies in the DLeague. I mean the D-League is just the minor leagues. The NFL? I mean every girl is looking at the NFL. I mean that's just how it works. I don't think I ever ... well maybe I have had a couple of groupies in my life, but not too many. You've seen a lot over the last few years. What's next for one of the Bulldawg Nation's favorite people? The most important thing is I just want to be happy. When I was playing football in the NFL, I wasn't happy whatsoever. You would think "Oh, you're in the NFL? Everybody's happy there". But it ain't like that. I just want to get a great job and raise my little girl. I have a seven-year-old little girl and I just want to watch her grow. You already brought this up, but I wanted to ask anyway. A lot of guys go back to school and get their diploma. Did you do that for yourself, or more for a parent, other family member, or someone else altogether? t was just a personal decision. Even when I got drafted I knew at some point I would have to go back to college. I mean I knew I couldn't play football and basketball forever. I knew I had to have a backup plan and getting a four year degree is really important. In this world, you have to have a four year degree to even get a job. I mean in a million years I would never have thought my football career would be over at this point, but I always knew I'd need a backup plan.

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Bulldawg Illustrated


The 2012 SEC schedule A brief week-end-by-weekend glance at what’s to come with the goal of finishing in Atlanta, then Miami By Jeff Dantzler September 1

As usual, the mighty Southeastern Conference will be involved in the most attractive games to start the campaign. South Carolina visits Vanderbilt Thursday. So before the calendar hits September, someone will be 0-1 in the league. That same night, Texas A&M plays its first game as a member of the SEC, visiting Louisiana Tech. Then on Friday, it’s the first of a Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic twin-bill, as Tennessee tangles with North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome. The Vols need this one to have a successful season. Then on Saturday, in what will be a mighty tough ticket, Clemson clashes with Auburn. The main event takes place in Dallas, as defending national champion Alabama takes on Michigan, which went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl a year ago. There is great history between these two. September 8 Missouri and the Aggies play their first intra-conference games, and they have royal foes coming to visit. Georgia goes to Missouri and Florida visits Texas A&M. Both the Bulldogs and Gators badly need wins to open league play. Georgia has sky-high hopes, while Florida doesn’t want to be 0-1 in SEC play heading to Knoxville. September 15 There are two mega-showdowns, as Arkansas goes to Bama and Tennessee hosts Florida. This will be one of the most highly anticipated games in Razorback history, and if they could pull it off – even with the Bobby Petrino scandal – it could be a special year. If they lose, they could free-fall. The pressure is on in Knoxville. For the loser, it’s a long road back in the race for Atlanta. For the winner, they are right in the thick of the picture. September 22 LSU goes to Auburn, and what a decade-plus it has been for these two. They have played some of the SEC’s most memorable games of the 2000’s, and LSU and Auburn have produced some of the league’s most unforgettable seasons during this span as well. Missouri goes to South Carolina. Georgia had better be careful with Vandy. September 29 Georgia hosts Tennessee. If the Dogs aren’t undefeated coming out of September – even with the attrition – it will be a disappointing month. South Carolina goes to Kentucky. The Dogs and Gamecocks square off the next weekend in Columbia. Alabama should continue its domination of Ole Miss. October 6 In what could be the biggest game in determining who plays in Atlanta out of the East, Georgia goes to South Carolina. The Gamecocks have won two straight in the series. They have never beaten Georgia three straight times. It is a huge day in the league with six intra-conference games. LSU will be at Florida and Arkansas goes to Auburn. These two games will also have major ramifications. If the Bayou Bengals bludgeon Florida in Ben Hill Griffin, It will be hot in Gainesville. October 13 For the second straight week, there are six intra-conference contests. October is the heart of football season and this is a second straight standout weekend in the SEC. South Carolina’s tough stretch continues, as the Gamecocks venture to Baton Rouge. Both of these teams have SEC championship dreams. There’s a big one in Starkville, as both Tennessee and Mississippi state try and make It to the upper crust of the league in 2012.

photo by Ryan Scates

The Dogs have beaten Auburn five of the last six years (of course the year Auburn won, the Tigers captured the national title). Arkansas has handled South Carolina the last years , and this will be huge for both. It should help A&M catching Bama after Baton Rouge. November 17 With the gauntlet through the thick of the schedule and with the Thanksgiving arch-rivals on deck, the slate gears down a good bit for this one weekend. It’s really the weakest day going back to at least the second Saturday in September. Arkansas should be on upset alert at Mississippi State, as LSU waits on deck. The Bayou Bengals should again clobber Ole Miss. Tennessee will need it at Vandy, and Georgia better not be sleepy against Ga. Southern. November 24 It’s LSU-Arkansas, the Iron Bowl, the Egg Bowl, Georgia-vs.-Tech, Florida-vs.-Florida State, South Carolina-vs.-Clemson, etc. It’s the biggest Saturday of the year. Coaches are fired and hired over these games. Holiday seasons are made or broken over these games. Happiness for a year is made over these games.

October 20 This weekend may be better than the previous two. There are five intra-conference games, including Alabama’s visit to Tennessee. LSU and Texas A&M have some history and they’ll square off in College Station. This could be a match-up that bubbles into something through the years. South Carolina’s brutal schedule stretch continues at Florida. With Jacksonville looming, Georgia tries to avoid an upset at Kentucky. Auburn has to go to Vanderbilt and that could be tricky. October 27 For the final Saturday in October, there are six intra-conference games, highlighted by the cocktail party. Georgia and Florida battle in Jacksonville, Tennessee goes to South Carolina and Kentucky is at Missouri. That’s East-vs.-East. The Aggies are at Auburn for what should be a barnburner, Ole Miss goes to Arkansas and Bama hosts Mississippi State. On the horizon, though there’s no way on Earth it could be as big as last year (right?)…. November 3 Everyone knows what happened last year between these two. The saga continues in Baton Rouge, with LSU hosting Alabama. The Bayou Bengals have the most upper crust talent returning in the SEC, and their national title dreams can kick into full gear with a win over the Crimson Tide. That would mark a third straight regular season victory over Bama. Of course, the one in New Orleans is amongst Bama’s greatest ever wins. The Jackie Sherrill Bowl is in Starkville, with MSU hosting the Aggies, and the Dogs try and avoid being blind-sided by Ole Miss in between Florida and Auburn. November 10 There are some great match-ups this Saturday, highlighted by Georgia’s visit to Auburn, Arkansas’s trek to South Carolina and Texas A&M’s trip to Alabama in the Bear Bryant and Dennis Franchione Bowl.

ORDER NOW at www.sf-7x.com ENTER SF-BI AND PROCEEDS go towards SCHOLARSHIPS for students at the Boys & Girls Club of Athens to attend Athens Y Camp next summer

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Jeff Dantzler’s Top 25 Kickoff is here and this season promises to be another dandy. The Southeastern Conference is as strong as ever. Southern Cal is back and eligible to play for the big prize. Texas and Oklahoma have questions. Ohio State will be back, but not this year. So the Big Ten and Big XII could have a non traditional power enter the fray. The Buckeyes are on probation. There are a couple of teams on the rise in the ACC. But the SEC champ vs. USC for the big prize is the best bet. 1. LSU – If the Tigers can overcome the Alabama hangover from New Orleans – even with the loss of the Honey Badger, LSU has the goods to return to the BCS Championship Game. Bama comes to Baton Rouge. Another trip to Atlanta for a battle with Georgia could be on tap. 2. Southern Cal – Matt Barkley’s decision to come back gives Southern Cal its highest hopes in the last few years. Plus they aren’t on probation. Receiver Robert Woods is one of the nation’s best talents. The schedule is more than manageable and the PAC-12 is there for the taking. Plus, you never know what Lane Kiffen is going to do or say. USC made a major upgrade at A.D. with Pat Haden. 3. Georgia – The offseason has not been a good one for Georgia, which has been hit hard by attrition. But the Bulldogs have the talent and schedule to make a run at the big prize. Jarvis Jones leads a very talented defense. 4. Alabama – Trent Richardson and a star studded defensive corps have moved onto the NFL, but Nick Saban has been stacking up elite recruiting classes. Bama won’t be as good as last year or 2009, but still bank on 10 wins. 5. Florida State – If the Seminoles can just win the games they are supposed to win, they’ll find themselves in the ACC Championship Game. EJ Manuel is a duel-threat at quarterback, and the Seminoles defense should be the conference’s best. Jimbo Fisher could build up some collateral with a big year. 6. Arkansas – This is the hardest team to gauge in the country because of what happened with the Bobby Petrino scandal. If Knile Davis is healthy and the team can band together, Arkansas should be really good. If they lose one they aren’t supposed to early, it could come unhinged. 7. South Carolina – If Marcus Lattimore and JaDaveon Clowney are big time players, two of the best in the country. If Lattimore is healthy, the Gamecocks will be very tough to beat. South Carolina is 6-0 vs. Georgia, Florida and Tennessee the last two years. Did you ever think that would happen? Steve Spurrier. 8. Oregon – What a run the Ducks have had, going back to their berth in the BCS Championship Game. Oregon has become a routine double digit game winner. But the NCAA has been sniffing around Eugene, and that’s never good. 9. Oklahoma – Bob Stoops has Oklahoma in the mix most every year. He’s the third great Oklahoma coach ever, along with Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer. Injuries hit the Sooners hard a year ago. 10. West Virginia – The blowout of Clemson in the Orange Bowl gives West Virginia some major momentum heading into the Big XII. The Mountaineers, Dana Holgerson, Geno Smith and a high powered offense will fit in perfect in their new home. 11. Michigan – In their last two games, Michigan beat Ohio State and won the Sugar Bowl. The Wolverines open this season with defending BCS Champion Alabama. If Dennard Robinson has a big game and Michigan wins, he’ll be a Heisman front-runner. 12. Clemson – Winning the ACC Championship Game and earning their first Orange Bowl berth since they captured the national title in Miami on 1/1/82 over Nebraska, was a huge step for the program. Then came the embarrassment in the Orange Bowl. Sammy Watkins is an elite talent. 13. Wisconsin - Barry Alvarez turned Wisconsin into a constant Big Ten contender, and now with Bret Bilema, the Badgers are a good bet to win at least nine games and be in the hunt for the conference title every year. .

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14. Texas – If the Longhorns don’t get back to that double digit win level this year, the fans will grow restless in Austin. Texas was improved a year ago and the ‘Horns always recruit good talent. Offensive identity is their long internal nemesis. 15. Virginia Tech – The Hokies had things going good, but lost to Clemson for the second time last season in the ACC Championship Game. Virginia Tech then came up short in an exciting Sugar Bowl against Michigan. Frank Beamer has worked wonders in Blacksburg and they are always a good bet to make the ACC Championship Game. 16. Nebraska – This is a golden opportunity for Nebraska to make it to the Big Ten Championship Game. Ohio State raised the stakes again bringing in Urban Meyer, and Michigan is coming off a big season. But the league is up for grabs. And with Meyer in Columbus, if he still has the fire, it won’t be that way for long. 17. Tech – The Yellow Jackets return a lot of talent. Paul Johnson has done good work on the flats, and Tech has been to a bowl game every year since 1997. Their big question mark will be on defense, but that offense keeps them off the field. 18. TCU – The drug scandal was an enormous blow for the Horned Frogs. Gary Patterson has done amazing things in Fort Worth, but now it’s on to the Big XII and their Southwest Conference roots with an ugly scandal hanging over their heads. 19. Auburn – Auburn’s defense should be better, but it will be a tough climb for the Tigers to finish in the top half of the SEC West. But the last two times Alabama won the national title, Auburn went undefeated the next year. So don’t take the Tigers lightly. 20. Tennessee – The Volunteers open the campaign in the Georgia Dome against N.C. State. That’s a must win. If Tennessee can take care of business against Florida and then win the ones they should late in the year, eight wins is within reach. The middle of their schedule is brutal. 21. Kansas State – Keep an eye on the Wildcats, who could make some noise in Big XII and nationally. Bill Snyder is just working wonders there again. Before he first came there, K-State had the worst record in the history of college football. 22. Florida – Florida has talent. Florida has question marks. Such is life in the SEC. Florida also has road dates at Texas A&M and Tennessee to open conference play and that will be very tough. Jordan Reed is an excellent player and the Gators defense should be very good. 23. Ohio State – Probation will keep the Buckeyes from going bowling this year, but it’s just a matter of time before they’re back atop the Big Ten. If Meyer still has the fire. The players he inherited should be a natural fit for his spread attack. . 24. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys lost a lot of talent, but this is not a one-hit wonder of a program. T. Boone Pickens dropped an enormous amount of money into his school and it is paying off. Mike Gundy has done an excellent job and isn’t going anywhere. 25. Utah – Kyle Whittingham has done fine work at the helm in Salt Lake City. Utah should’ve been in the PAC-12 Championship Game last year, but suffered a devastating loss to Colorado. They catch Southern Cal at a good time.

Bulldawg Illustrated


©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser® Beer, St. Louis, MO


Issue 6 - Buffalo, 2012  

Kickoff has arrived, BI enters its 10th football season, game coverage, Suits & Sneakers photos, Picture Day photos, Loran Smith, Rob Sherre...

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