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July/August Commit Dates and Quick Hitters

July/August Commitment Dates: S Jaylan Morgan (7/8) - Will be surprised if it isn't UGA. WR Phillip Wright (7/13) - Visited UGA, but we are full unless your name is CJ Wiley. WR Travis Smith Jr (7/13) - Believe Tennessee has been the most consistent here and built the strongest relationship. S Rashad Johnson (7/14) - Will be surprised if it isn't UGA. S DJ Pickett (7/17) - Dawgs in top 4 (probably 4th). Watch Oregon. IOL Cortez Smith (7/20) - Will be surprised if it

Jason Brassell

Jason Brassell in UGA 2025 Recruiting

June Recruiting Review

Well, that was a fun month of June! We had at least 50 recruits make their way to Athens for official visits, and even more for camps and 7on7 competitions. There were eight top prospects who decided to Commit to the G in June:    5* LB Zayden Walker - Was a Dawg for a while.Beat South Carolina and many others for him.   4* LB Christian Garrett - Prince Ave Christian prospect staying home. Clemson and others wanted him bad.   4* S Todd Robinson - UGA did a great job

Jason Brassell

Jason Brassell in UGA 2025 Recruiting

Rank the Running Back Rooms - New Series Leading Up to the Season

I really like doing this series and I'm glad it led to a good discussion. I love that DC/TPL is a place where we don't even have to ask for folks to keep things civil when disagreeing, it's just that way naturally. Some of you disagreed with Arch Manning pushing Texas to the #1 spot over UGA due to me having him as the top backup over Jaden Rashada and Gunner Stockton. Some agreed, but that's the fun in this. We don't all have to agree on everything, except the FACT that The University of G

Jason Brassell

Jason Brassell in SEC Football - Rank the Rooms

New Series Leading Up to the Season - Rank the Rooms

This is something I've been wanting to do, but it's not as much fun if you guys don't participate and give us your rankings/lists also. I want to go every couple of days and rank the position groups in the SEC. Who do you think has the best QB room? RB? Will Vandy not be 16th in some category? Let's start with the quarterback rooms in the SEC and I'll put a quick snippet as to why I'm ranking them that way. You can do the same if you choose: RANKING THE QUARTERBACK ROOMS IN THE SE

Jason Brassell

Jason Brassell in SEC Football - Rank the Rooms

24 For 2024 - #21 Will Muschamp

“Who would you rank as the coaches most important to UGA’s success?”  A DawgsCentral user posting under the name PiousMonken posed that question to me in the spring of 2023, and I quickly realized that a good answer would require quite a bit of consideration.  When thinking about the question, I kept coming back to an old football cliche, "It's not the X's and the O's, but the Jimmys and the Joes that make the difference." I found myself considering the players who suit up on Saturdays

On Fathers, Family & Football

BY GRAHAM COFFEY This piece was first written in 2022. It has been updated and republished here for Father’s Day… Those of you who have followed my writing at past stops may know a little bit more about my background than some of you who have not. With that in mind, I wanted to use Father’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on both why I am passionate about college football, and why I believe in what we do here at DawgsCentral. On the eve of the 2019 season, I tried to make sense o

Jason Brassell

Jason Brassell in UGA Football

24 For 2024 - #22 Benjamin Yurosek

BY GRAHAM COFFEY “Who would you rank as the coaches most important to UGA’s success?”  A DawgsCentral user posting under the name PiousMonken posed that question to me in the spring of 2023, and I quickly realized that a good answer would require quite a bit of consideration.  When thinking about the question, I kept coming back to an old football cliche, "It's not the X's and the O's, but the Jimmys and the Joes that make the difference." I found myself considering the players wh

Georgia Basketball Extends Win Streak Against Georgia Tech

Georgia returned to the hardwood on Tuesday night for a game against Georgia Tech. Mike White and the Bulldogs entered this one on a 3-game win streak.  The Yellow Jackets beat #7 Duke last time out, so there was some hype growing around them. The Georgia offense made the first basket of the game and never gave up the lead the whole first half. At the break, the Bulldogs were up 36-20. This was the lowest amount of points Georgia Tech has scored in their season so far. At one point, the UGA

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Alabama Preview

The Georgia Bulldogs (-5.5) vs The Alabama Crimson Tide 3:30 P.M. (EST) on CBS Broadcasters: Brad Nessler (Play by Play) and Gary Danielson (Color)   UGA UA Head Coach Kirby Smart Nick Saban Record at School 93-15 205-28 2023 Record

Alec Smith

Alec Smith in 2023-2024 Previews

Hoop Dawgs Rally From 17 Down to Beat Florida State

The Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Tallahassee to take on the 4-1 Florida State Seminoles in the ACC vs. SEC Challenge. After winning last Friday against Winthrop, the Bulldogs were looking to gain some momentum.  Florida State jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead over the Dawgs, but they battled and entered the half down 25-21. Georgia struggled shooting the ball in the first half, as they only made 7 field goals and only 2 three-pointers. Their first-half field goal percentage was 29.2% (7/24),

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Previews Alabama in Monday Press Conference

Coach Smart met with the media today to talk about the game against Alabama in the SEC Championship this Saturday. His quotes are italicized.  Opening Remarks: We got to get started yesterday on Alabama and putting the last game out of the way and get a little bit of a head start on these guys today.  On Jalen Milroe: He is a tremendous football player. I didn't really know until I got further into the games and watching him last night how good he really is at what he does. I think any

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Read Kirby Smart's Press Conference Notes Following A 31-23 Win Over Georgia Tech

Coach Smart met with the media following a 31-23 win over Georgia Tech last night. His quotes are in italics.  Opening Remarks: Great atmosphere for college football. It was a lot of fun having that kind of atmosphere. I think our kids really enjoyed it. Our fans showed up and did a great job... Made it feel like it was 50/50 out there with our fans. A lot of credit to Georgia Tech. They did a really good job, played hard, and played physically. I thought Buster and his staff did a great jo

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Recapping Georgia's Week on the Hardwood

The Hoop Dawgs have taken the court twice since last Saturday's game against Miami.  Georgia played against Providence in the loser's game of the Bahamas Championship. The Bulldogs held a 2-point halftime lead in that game but fell behind and couldn't regain it as they lost 71-64. They shot 38.1% (24/63) from the field and 31.6% (6/19) from the three-point line. The Dawgs shot well from the line, knocking down 10 of the 12 shots they took. 4 out of 5 starters for Providence were in double f

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Gives Promising Injury Updates on Key Bulldogs During Monday Press Conference

Opening Remarks: We're on to Georgia Tech and excited for the prep. I love rivalry week across the country. What makes college football really special to me is all the rivalries you get to watch this week. Very unique week...timing wise. A lot of distractions with Thanksgiving going on. Those are good distractions, but they're different. How you manage that and how you deal with that is important. A lot of respect for Brent Key and his staff. I've known Brent a long time; he played at Tech when

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Read Kirby Smart's Press Conference Notes Following A 38-10 Win Over Tennessee

Coach Smart met with the media following a 38-10 win over Tennessee. His quotes are italicized.  Opening Remarks: I'm really proud of our resiliency...You know the kids did a great job. They knew it would be a tough environment. They responded to a not so great start, and we continued to improve and get better. I can't say enough good things for our offensive staff and our offensive game planning. Our kids buy in each week to the plan, and they get better each week. All we're trying to do i

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Hoop Dawgs Lose 79-68 to Miami

Mike White and the Georgia Bulldogs flew down to the Bahamas to compete in the Bahamas Championship Tournament. The tournament includes Miami, Providence, and Kansas State.  The Bulldogs started the game against Miami great. They held an 8-point lead over the Hurricanes with 11 minutes left to go in the half due to Blue Cain scoring 7 straight points. Miami then came firing back to close the Georgia lead and then grew a 10-point lead of their own with just over 2 minutes to play. That lead

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Georgia Offseason Portal Departure Candidates

This list is complete speculation based on my own projected depth chart for next season. It's not meant to be taken as prediction, just a list of players who wouldn't cause a shock if they looked elsewhere.   QB ✅Brock Vandagriff - Assuming Beck returns. Stockton could look elsewhere too, but given that he's a year younger, I would guess Gunner is more likely to stick it out and compete with Raiola and Puglisi for the 2025 starting job.  RB Cash Jones - With the production he

Craig Lawson

Craig Lawson in Opinion Piece

Tennessee Preview

The Georgia Bulldogs (-10.5) at The Tennessee Volunteers 3:30 P.M. (EST) on CBS Broadcasters: Brad Nessler (Play by Play) and Gary Danielson (Color)   UGA UT Head Coach Kirby Smart Josh Heupel Record at School 91-15 18-8 2023 Record

Alec Smith

Alec Smith in 2023-2024 Previews

COMMIT: Dawgs Flip 4-Star Nasir Johnson Away From Florida

The University of Georgia has flipped their second commit away from the Florida Gators, as this time they snag 4-star DL Nasir Johnson.  Johnson is a 6'5" and 300-pound defensive lineman out of Dublin, Georgia. He's rated as the 208th overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting cycle. As a junior, he played both ways for Dublin. On offense, he lined up at right tackle, and on defense, he lined up on the interior DL. He also does some field events in track, placing 4th in shotput and 5th in disc

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Commitment

Kirby Smart Speaks on Mike Bobo During Tuesday Press Confernceo

It was a rather short press conference from Kirby today, but he did highlight the play-calling of Mike Bobo. It doesn't seem like the Bulldogs had a good Bloody Tuesday practice.  On Simulating Pace in Practice: I don't think you can simulate their pace. They're really good at what they do. They're fast at what they do. We try to, but I don't really delve into how we practice publicly. We keep that in-house, but it is tough to simulate.  On Amarius Mims: He's looked good. Played good.

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Read Kirby Smart's Monday Press Conference Notes

Kirby Smart met with the media this afternoon to talk about the Tennessee game and give some injury updates. As always, his quotes are italicized.  Opening Remarks: We're on to Tennessee. You know it's a really difficult prep week. It's probably the hardest one of the year in terms of trying to replicate what they do. They do a tremendous job stressing you in all phases. They've always been good with Josh in terms of offense, but I think you know what they've been able to do defensively thi

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Game Recap: Georgia Beats NC Central 64-54

Georgia hit the floor this afternoon to play their second game in three days as they took on NC Central.  The Bulldogs didn't look like the same Georgia team that played this past Friday against Wake Forest. At the break, UGA only led 27-23. The Dawgs shot 36.4% (8/22) from the floor and was only 16.7% (1/6) from three. They let the first-half turnover bug from the season opener creep back in as they had 7 turnovers. Georgia was exceptional at the charity stripe, as they went 91% from the l

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Speaks on Brock Bowers in Post Game Press Confernce

Kirby Smart met with the media tonight following a 52-17 win over Ole Miss.  Opening Remarks: I think we had 31 guys walk out there tonight that are all different ages and have been 4 or 5 years. There were a lot of walk-ons that don't get a lot of credit that got to go out there tonight. Just a lot of guys that give their bodies, time, and effort. I think we have one of the best scout teams in the country. Of those 31 guys, I'm sure there are 16 or 17 that practice every day for 4 or 5 yea

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

  • Dawgs Central Blogs

    1. Jason Brassell
      Latest Entry

      By Jason Brassell,

      July/August Commitment Dates:

      S Jaylan Morgan (7/8) - Will be surprised if it isn't UGA.

      WR Phillip Wright (7/13) - Visited UGA, but we are full unless your name is CJ Wiley.

      WR Travis Smith Jr (7/13) - Believe Tennessee has been the most consistent here and built the strongest relationship.

      S Rashad Johnson (7/14) - Will be surprised if it isn't UGA.

      S DJ Pickett (7/17) - Dawgs in top 4 (probably 4th). Watch Oregon.

      IOL Cortez Smith (7/20) - Will be surprised if it isn't UGA.

      OLB Byrce Davis (7/20) - Has been All-Dawg for a while. Have heard from more than one place (including Graham reporting here) that we won't have room. I kind of want to bet against those odds here 🙂

      ILB Christian Gass (7/20) - This one is the most interesting. I'm going UGA if we have room. Will try to find out more as we get closer. This will include seeing if anything happens with Jadon Perlotte's commitment before this date.

      S Lagonza Heyward (7/28) - Not UGA. Not a take.

      S Anquon Fegans (7/29) - I don't believe we've been consistent enough. His brother transferred to Auburn. Going with the Tigers here.

      OL Juan Gaston (8/2) - Still love where UGA stands here. Tennessee will push hard. Also don;t discount Oregon the way they've been recruiting. But I'm definitely sticking with my Georgia prediction and with confidence.

      CB/DB Jontae Gilbert (8/10) - We were off and on with him in the beginning because he wanted CB and we wanted S. He worked out in June in Athens and we started recruiting him as a corner. More than one person has told me to watch UGA here.

      OL Josh Petty - (8/12) - Not a take at UGA, too small. I actually like him better as a defensive end. FSU looks like the team to beat, with his sister already in school there.

    2. I really like doing this series and I'm glad it led to a good discussion. I love that DC/TPL is a place where we don't even have to ask for folks to keep things civil when disagreeing, it's just that way naturally.

      Some of you disagreed with Arch Manning pushing Texas to the #1 spot over UGA due to me having him as the top backup over Jaden Rashada and Gunner Stockton. Some agreed, but that's the fun in this. We don't all have to agree on everything, except the FACT that The University of Georgia is the greatest school in the universe!

      Let's move on to the running backs and see where they stand in the SEC as fall practice nears:

      1. GEORGIA BULLDOGS

      This is again a battle at the top for me between Georgia and Texas. With the Dawgs pulling in Trevor Etienne, I just don’t see a RB room better than this one. Especially with the way Roderick Robinson has been looking in workouts. With Branson Robinson coming off of a big injury, the Dawgs look towards three scholarship freshmen to round out the group.That could be the critique here, but there aren’t any freshmen running backs like Nate Frazier.

      2. TEXAS LONGHORNS

      Texas has seen a lot of success lately from the running back position, especially with the Falcons drafting Bijan Robinson so high. This room may not be quite as talented as the past couple of years, but it’s strong enough to help them in the SEC. CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue were pretty highly ranked coming out of high school and will now be counted on more. They’ll also look to freshmen Jerrick Gibson and Christian Clark to round out the group..

      3. AUBURN TIGERS

      This is one I may have higher than others and pretty much everyone knows by now how much I hate Auburn, but I’m very high on Jarquez Hunter. He’s their workhorse back and I have them over Alabama mostly because of him and his experience. Damari Alston is no slouch behind him and I was also high on Jeremiah Cobb. I also looked at production and I see Auburn running the ball A LOT with Payton Thorne still in as QB1.

      4. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

      Two things are in play here. You can’t deny the talent in the room. Jam Miller leads the room with former five stars Justice Haynes and Richard Young in the mix. You also have to consider Jalen Milroe as a factor. But you also have to consider the fact that this is a new offense that is known to air it out a lot. Will they do the same in Tuscaloosa? How long will it take for the players to hit their stride in the new offense? How much will they run the ball? As talented as the room is, they’re also unproven. The Crimson Tide don’t have a running back with more than 200 yards rushing. This factor added to the questions above puts them a little down the line for me.

      5. FLORIDA GATORS

      I think some underestimate the talent of Montrell Johsnon. He’s been a pretty productive running back for the Gators, running for over 800 yards the past two seasons. I also have them this high because of the offense they run needing production from the running back room. They can try to spin it all they want, but losing Etienne to UGA hurt BAD. Treyaun Webb is one of their top backups and Georgia fans should be familiar with the former Bulldog commit.

      6. OLE MISS REBELS

      Quinshod Judkins transfer to Ohio State should hurt way worse than what I think it actually will. The good thing for the Rebels is that they look to Ulysses Bentley and LSU transfer Logan Diggs to take over. Bentley split time with Judkins last season and ran for over 500 yards. Diggs ran for just over 650 yards for the Tigers. They also have Henry Parrish back.

      7. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS

      Dylan Sampson has rushed for over 1000 yards for the Vols in his two years as a backup to Jaylen Wright and Jabari Smith. Cameron Seldon is also a talented back who should get a lot of carries this season. Many people don;t realize how much Tennessee actually runs the ball in their fast paced offense.I have them over Texas A&M because of this factor and the experience of Sampson.

      8. SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

      It’s hard to put a team this low when they have a running back coming in who rushed for almost 1500 yards two years ago, but Rocket Sanders had an injured knee before tearing his labrum last season. If he comes back and looks like the old Rocket Sanders then I’d probably move South Carolina at least to #5 and maybe over Alabama also. Behind Sanders are Oscar Adaway and Djay Braswell, who are decent backup options.

      9. OKLAHOMA SOONERS

      Gavin Sawchuk is the returning starter for the Sooners, rushing for over 700 yards and 9 touchdowns last season as an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. There are two questions you have to ask here. 1. Can he put up that same production week in and week out against SEC defenses? 2. Can he do the same thing with a new starter at quarterback? Former five star Jackson Arnold is talented, but they’re playing GROWN MAN FOOTBALL now.

      10. TEXAS A&M AGGIES

      This one was a hard one because the Aggies’ RB room is composed of some very talented players. They just don’t have the experience of being the lead back that everyone has to count on. Coupled with the coaching changes, I have more questions about this group than answers. With all of the teams above you can point to someone being THE GUY, even if they’re going to rotate some. You just can’t here yet.

      11. MISSOURI TIGERS

      Cody Schrader and his 1600 yards rushing kind of shocked everyone last season, but he is in the NFL now. Can the Tigers pull a rabbit out of a hat again and get anywhere near that kind of production from transfers Marcus Carroll (Georgia State) and Nate Noel (Appalachian State)? If so, they’ll be a tough out again.

      12. LSU TIGERS

      Before researching for this write up, I did not realize the LSU running back room was this inexperienced. Josh Williams ran for over 500 yards in 2022, but regressed to 284 yards last season. He did average over five yards a carry both years though. Kaleb Williams is probably his top backup in his second year, while John Emery is also an option. It’s just a coin toss every week whether the former five star will be in the doghouse or not.

      13. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

      Make no mistake about it…………even though his season ended early last year due to injury, losing Rahem Sanders to South Carolina is a massive loss for a team that needed some good news.That came in the form of Ja’Quinden Jackson transferring in from Utah. He ran for 797 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Utes last season. They also have Rashod Dubinion returning. More good news came in the hiring of Bobby Petrino as offensive coordinator (I can’t believe I just typed that). The bad news is that although their schedule is not terrible, Arkansas is still Arkansas. Can Sam Pittman survive the season with a new OC, new QB, and new RB? Things will have to come together FAST.

      14. KENTUCKY WILDCATS

      I’d have the Wildcats lower if Vanderbilt and Mississippi State weren’t in the SEC. Ray Davis had 199 carries last year for 1129 yards and 14 touchdowns. They’re replacing him with a running back who’s never had over four carries in a college football game and four year backup for Arizona State and Ohio State whose best game was 20 rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown for the Buckeyes in their game against Maryland last season. I have A LOT of questions if these are going to be the two main guys former Georgia quarterback Brock Vandagriff is going to be handing the ball to.

      15. VANDERBILT COMMODORES

      Celler dweller Vanderbilt has Sedrick Alexander returning from his 371 yard performance last season and he is the only reason I have them ranked above Mississippi State. That and this might be the only chance I have to not have the Commodores ranked dead last.I do like Chase Gillespie and think he could step up and have a bigger role this season.

      16. MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS

      The cowbell people have a new coach who is known for his offensive prowess in Jeff Lebby. The problem is he has one of the least talented rosters in the SEC. I do think Lebby can and will call an offensive according to what he has on his roster, so he’s not just going to air it out no matter what. The Bulldogs have Jeffery Pittman returning, after rushing for 268 yards last season. The big question here for me is Keyvone Lee. He rushed for 438 and 530 yards in his first two seasons at Penn State, then took a back seat in his third year with the Nittany Lions after only appearing in five games due to an injury. After rushing only 25 times for 94 yards in 2022, he transferred to Mississippi State. His stats got worse, as he only registered 12 carries for 75 yards. If he can get back to the old Keyvone Lee, I’d move State above at least Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

    3. 24 for 2024

      “Who would you rank as the coaches most important to UGA’s success?” 

      A DawgsCentral user posting under the name PiousMonken posed that question to me in the spring of 2023, and I quickly realized that a good answer would require quite a bit of consideration. 

      When thinking about the question, I kept coming back to an old football cliche, "It's not the X's and the O's, but the Jimmys and the Joes that make the difference." I found myself considering the players who suit up on Saturdays. Good gameplans and great play calls are key to the success of any college football program, but they are usually only as good as the personnel executing them. With that in mind, I decided to broaden the scope of the rankings beyond members of the coaching staff. 

      It sparked a series of longform articles called 23 For 2023. The premise was simple- Profile the 23 people who were most important to Georgia’s success on the gridiron in 2023. To create such a list, one must make value judgments on what on and off-field assets are most important to a modern college football program. 

      It focused on players and coaches within the UGA program. Collectively, the series served as a giant preview for the season ahead. It became a favorite of subscribers, and it forced me to ask questions that I hadn’t before. 

      This year, I am bringing the list back once again. Naturally, it will be called 24 for 2024. 

      With his former mentor now manning a microphone on ESPN, Kirby Smart is college football’s most accomplished coach. In 2024, Smart will have to navigate significant staff turnover and seismic changes within the sport itself. Georgia came up short of a third straight national championship in 2023, but winning it all this season would give the Bulldogs three titles in four years. That achievement would cement the program as a modern dynasty. 

      Whether or not Georgia can reach that lofty pedestal, and how they go about trying to do it, will be largely influenced by the roles these 24 individuals play. 

      Today we continue the rankings with #21. The first few entries in this series will not be paywalled, but as we get further down the list it will become a subscriber’s only feature. Let’s get after it…

      #21 Will Muschamp

      A countless number of articles have been written on Georgia’s defensive brain trust as the Bulldogs have risen to the top of the sport. Many of them have focused on Kirby Smart’s scheme. Other pieces have discussed Smart’s refusal to concede that a defense has to give up handfuls of points in college football’s modern era. 

      Many of those articles have centered around UGA co-DC Glenn Schumann, who has become one of the coaching industry’s brightest young stars. The praise for Schumann is certainly warranted, but it’s also worthwhile to remember that Will Muschamp deserves loads of credit for helping guide and design the defenses that helped UGA win back-to-back national titles and navigate three consecutive regular seasons without a loss…

      The national attention given to the UGA defense over the last two years has been rightfully earned.

      The 2021 unit might be the best college defense we’ve seen since modern Spread, RPO and Zone-Read concepts found their way into almost every program’s offensive playbook. UGA suffocated some of the best offenses in college football back in 2021, and capped off a national championship season by holding Alabama to 18 points in Indianapolis.

      Muschamp joined UGA as a defensive analyst in the offseason prior to the 2021 season. When Scott Cochran stepped away from the program, Muschamp became UGA’s Special Teams Coordinator. As a former head coach, Muschamp was uniquely qualified to run Special Teams. That role works with every position group on the roster, and it is imperative that they understand how the skill sets of different players will translate to Special Teams.

      After that season, Muschamp took over the Co-DC position that was left open by Dan Lanning’s departure. He also became UGA’s safeties coach when DB coach Jahmile Addae left for Miami.

      The 2022 Georgia defense came into the season with question marks across the board after 8 starters departed for the NFL. It wasn’t just the talent of those players that was gone. What was maybe more concerning was the leadership vacuum that could be created by losing so many veteran defenders. Guys like Nakobe Dean and Lewis Cine had known UGA’s scheme so well that they functioned like coaches on the field.

      Many wondered how the Bulldogs would replace all that experience and talent. The answer? Just fine. Georgia’s 2022 unit was the best scoring defense in the FBS during the regular season, allowing just 12.4 points per game. 

      image.jpeg

      The 2023 Georgia defense is looked at as a unit that took a step back in the eyes of many. In reality, the Bulldogs had better numbers against the pass than they did in 2021 or 2022. The 179.1 pass yards that UGA allowed per a game was 20 less than they allowed in 2021, and 48.5 YDS less than they gave up in 2022. Muschamp’s safeties were a huge part of that success. Malaki Starks and Javon Bullard were the nation’s best pair of safeties, and Bullard was picked 58th overall in the NFL Draft. UGA also considers its STAR position as part of the safety group. Tykee Smith’s ability as a slot defender was one of the strengths of Georgia’s defense. He was picked 89th overall after being the MVP of the Senior Bowl.

      The flip side of the coin was UGA’s run defense. The Bulldogs gave up 112.2 YPG, which was the most since UGA allowed 137.3 YPG on the ground in 2018. While that was a regression, UGA’s biggest problem was its red zone defense. Georgia gave up a TD or FG on 91.18% of opponent’s trips inside the 20. That was a big step back from the two years before.

      Even with those issues, UGA still fielded one of the nation’s best defenses. UGA allowed just 16.3 points per game, which was 7th best in the FBS. They did it despite injuries to key players and the lack of a dominant defensive lineman. In the end, the coordinator duo of Muschamp and Schumann went 28-1 over the 2022 and 2023 seasons. It’s hard to poke many holes in that record.

      Back-to-back seasons like that is the type of thing that turns young coordinators into head coaches. That is why there was a certain irony to the fact that Will Muschamp and Glenn Schumann were Georgia’s Co-DC’s during that run. Schumann is still on the front end of a career that seems to be heading towards a head coaching job at a major program. Muschamp has already climbed that mountain, but his trip to the top and back gave him an eye for the big picture that has brought tremendous value to his alma mater…

      Thin Margins & Inaccurate Narratives

      20 years ago, Muschamp was a 32 year-old national championship winning coordinator at LSU. His boss was a man named Nick Saban, a guy who many considered the best defensive coach in college football at the time.

      Muschamp followed Saban to the NFL and spent a year as the assistant head coach of the Dolphins before coming back to college football as the Auburn DC in 2006. There he coordinated two straight defenses that ranked in the top ten nationally in scoring defense.

      In January of 2008, Muschamp became the highest paid assistant in the Big 12 when he was hired at Texas. Just 10 months later, the Longhorns announced that Texas would be Mack Brown’s successor as head coach whenever he retired. Prior to that announcement, Muschamp had been connected to job openings at Tennessee, Auburn and Clemson. He had planned to interview with the Tigers during an upcoming bye week, but Texas didn’t want to see him leave town. Muschamp was one of the coaching industry’s fastest risers, and Texas doubled his salary and named him the head coach in waiting to keep him in Austin.

      If you look back on the articles that were published about Muschamp in the 2000’s you will read effusive praise for the man who had built dominant units at LSU, Auburn and Texas over the prior years. You will see him labeled as a “defensive guru” quite often.

      Muschamp became a head coach for the first time at Florida (2011-2014) and then for a second time at South Carolina (2016-2020). Neither tenure ended with the type of sustained success that many thought they would. He did lead a Gators team that went 11-2 in 2012. That is the best record that a UF team has had since Tim Tebow was there. He also went 9-4 in 2017 at South Carolina. Historically speaking, it is really damn hard to go 9-4 in Columbia.

      The media found new young coaches to laud during the decade between Muschamp being hired at Florida and the end of his tenure at South Carolina. During that time, Muschamp became a punching bag for some. There is a box that defensive coaches sometimes get put in. While offensive coaches get portrayed as savvy tacticians, defensive coaches are often made out to be somehow less sophisticated. Perhaps his fiery persona on the sidelines contributed to it, but somewhere along the way many began to paint Muschamp as a clumsy man who lacked intelligence.

      Talk to anyone who has worked with or for Will Muschamp and they will tell you that portrayal of Muschamp is way off-base. When he was fired at South Carolina there were people in the football offices who cried as if they had lost a family member. Secretaries and equipment staff spoke about the kind and thoughtful man who they would miss seeing at work everyday. In reality, Muschamp the person was the farthest thing from the labels that some people put on him.

      The coaching profession isn’t as simple as many make it out to be. Margins are thin. A play or two costs a team a game. That loss demoralizes the team and causes a season to spiral away. A penalty at one crucial juncture or a missed block at another can sometimes be the thing that a whole season turns on.

      That isn’t to say that there aren’t things Muschamp could have done differently or better. It is an acknowledgement of the fact that a career is filled with a great deal of minutiae, and the difference between 4-8 and 8-4 at a place like South Carolina isn’t nearly as big as it seems. A coach’s tenure almost always ends poorly. Suddenly, that tenure must be eulogized in 280 characters on Twitter and 600 words on a dozen different websites. Somewhere in that process things get distilled to a type of black-and-white thinking where coaches become either smart/successful or dumb/unsuccessful.

      Despite all that has been said or written about him, Will Muschamp still has a brilliant football mind. It is the same one that he had when he was the 37 year-old defensive coordinator of the Texas Longhorns. It is the same mind that had him labeled a “defensive guru” by media members who sometimes serves as kingmakers.

      “Alike Thinkers”

      Flashback to where Georgia was when Smart hired Muschamp after the 2020 season. The program was seen as one that couldn’t quite get over the hump. The media painted Kirby Smart as a guy who could recruit talent but not win with it. Many felt his commitment to defense was holding his offenses back.

      To make matters worse, UGA had just suffered a bad loss to Dan Mullen’s best Florida team in Jacksonville. UGA recruited blue-chip players all over its defense, b had been carved up by Mullen’s offense. There was a large segment of the media who believed Smart wasn’t the best coach in his own division.

      Smart had taken UGA to within a play of the national title in 2017. He had also been minutes from beating Alabama in the 2018 SEC Championship, but his defense faltered down the stretch when Jalen Hurts was inserted for an injured Tua Tagovailoa. Smart called a fake punt that ended in disaster, and moments later Alabama took the lead. Smart’s 2019 team possessed the nation’s best defense and an anemic offense. That campaign was sunk by a loss at home to Muschamp’s South Carolina team when the Bulldogs were 21.5-point favorites.

      On the heels of that, Smart hired Muschamp as a defensive analyst in January of 2021. Remember what I said earlier? The margins are thin in this sport. Will Muschamp arrived in Athens armed with the experience of coaching against Smart’s football teams and the rest of the SEC for nearly a decade.

      The two first met as teammates at Georgia. Muschamp, an upperclassmen and a starter, encouraged the freshman from Valdosta to keep working and believe that he could see the field at UGA. Smart then coached the secondary at Valdosta State when Muschamp was the defensive coordinator in 2000. The two had the same job titles again at LSU in 2004. That past experience has given Smart and Muschamp a tight bond. They shared information for years while both were at different coaching stops, and Muschamp described the two as “alike thinkers where football is concerned,” back in 2016 during Smart’s first SEC Media Days as the UGA head coach.

      Sparking UGA’s Defensive Evolution

      When Muschamp came aboard he immediately had Smart’s trust. Analysts are often charged with self-scouting the team they work for. Muschamp told Smart that Georgia needed to simplify its scheme. Will looked across the roster and saw blue-chip talent everywhere. He recognized that Smart’s machine had recruited superior talent across the board, but felt like those athletes weren’t always being put into positions where they could use their physical gifts without hesitation. That moment represented a philosophical shift in how Kirby Smart’s program played defense.

      Prior to that, Georgia’s defense was heavy on pre-snap checks, and matchups could be exploited depending on where a receiver, tight-end or running back might line up. Those checks confused UGA’s defenders at times, and it could leave players scrambling to get into position as the offense snapped the ball. The Bulldogs were also caught between wanting to bring extra pass rushers at times, but struggling to deal with the loss of a back end defender. Exploiting those pre-snap issues and running routes into the spaces UGA blitzers rushed from helped Florida put up 38 first-half points during their 2020 win in Jacksonville.

      Georgia implemented the concept of “creepers” into its defense. Those creepers are usually second level defenders who would wait until the snap to rush towards the line of scrimmage instead of coming up to the line before the play. By bringing creepers from their regular pre-snap positions, it let UGA bring extra rushers without giving away the blitzer pre-snap. It also allowed players to react to run vs pass plays in real time. The pre-snap blitz looks where UGA brought five, six or even seven players up to the line of scrimmage didn’t totally disappear, but the philosophy allowed UGA to keep two safeties over the top at the same time. This created a system where an opponent’s QB could be staring at two safety shell at the same time UGA was showing an all-out blitz to the offensive line. That’s a lot to process, and the post-snap rotations allowed UGA to run virtually anything.  

      Modern offense is all about putting the ball into space. Georgia evolved its defense by taking away the offense’s ability to dictate where space was pre-snap. Then they let superior athletes in the back end play the man across from them. Those scheme changes were coupled with a greater emphasis on getting opponents into obvious passing situations on third downs. Georgia simplified and shrunk its call sheet on early downs, stripping things down and letting players react with less hesitation.

      Since that moment, UGA is 43-2 and has won two national titles. It might not have happened without Muschamp coming into the fold. Smart and the entire defensive staff worked together to perfect those solutions, but many believe Muschamp’s voice was the first to start talking about the problem.

      The impact of those changes were immediate. In the 2021 Florida game, UGA shellacked the Gators and ended Dan Mullen’s tenure in Gainesville. It was a full circle moment that showed just how much had changed in one season.

      The legacy of the 2021 Florida game might have been Smart’s comments after the game, where he chose to be mum about any schematic changes. "There’s no coach out there that you can out-coach recruiting. No coaching is going to out-coach players. Anybody will tell you our defense is good because we have good players."

      Georgia always had good players, but the brain trust of Smart, Schumann and Muschamp found new ways to maximize their talent.  

      Fiery as Ever

      Many thought 2023 could be Schumann’s last as a UGA assistant. Instead it was Muschamp who chose to make a change. Multiple sources have said that Muschamp approached Smart after the regular season and told him he was considering retiring from coaching. Kirby encouraged him to take time to think about it, and offered the idea of an analyst role where Will could continue being part of the program while stepping away from the day-to-day grind.

      While figuring out his future, Muschamp helped Smart complete a flip of 5-star safety KJ Bolden. At 52 years old, Muschamp is still relatively young, but coaches age in dog years. He has developed the type of big picture wisdom that only comes with decades of experience in college football’s toughest conference. That wisdom is also the product of a lot of long hours and plenty of scar tissue. His years as a head coach made him plenty of money, and he could retire comfortable at anytime. For now, he has chosen to stay with UGA as a defensive analyst.

      Georgia hiring Travaris Robinson to replace Muschamp as Co-DC/Safeties Coach speaks to Smart’s respect for Will. Robinson’s first coaching gig came as a graduate assistant under Muschamp at Auburn from 2006-2007. Robinson then coached DB’s at Florida for Muschamp’s entire tenure in Gainesville before serving as his defensive coordinator at South Carolina from 2016-2020. Nobody has a better understanding of Muschamp’s defensive philosophies and techniques than Robinson.

      An NCAA rule change that was passed this week put an end to restrictions on the amount of time that analysts can spend coaching student-athletes. Muschamp, and other analysts like him, can now provide, “technical and tactical instruction to student-athletes during practice and competition," said the NCAA. That means that Muschamp will be able to do plenty of hands-on work with the Georgia defense. Before the rule change, the lines on what analysts could and could not do were a bit blurry. They weren’t supposed to be involved in giving detailed technical instruction during drills, but they could only point out big picture things and comment on effort during practices. In the past, analysts were given a lot of freedom to interact with players in the facility and watch tape, but any yellow tape is no longer a concern.

      Sources close to the program described Muschamp as being “fiery as ever” this spring. During one of Georgia’s spring sessions, the loud voice that earned him the nickname “Boom” filled UGA’s indoor practice facility. He started in on Bolden after the talented early enrollee failed to properly play his half-field responsibilities at the safety position. When the prized recruit didn’t make it over to the boundary in time to defend a pass in a team drill, Muschamp lit into him for the effort he showed on the play. It was vintage Muschamp, and being around that type of burning intensity was one of the things that convinced Bolden that Georgia was the right place for him to play his college football.  

      There is something poetic about the fact that Smart hired his former boss to assist him in taking their alma mater to the pinnacle of the sport. The defensive changes Muschamp inspired helped spark Georgia’s historic three-year run. 

      As the Bulldogs prepare for 2024, it is likely that Smart, Schumann, Muschamp and the rest of UGA’s defensive staff are hard at work on solving the Bulldogs’ issues with red zone defense. Most great defenses are great at controlling the run, and you can bet that UGA will have a renewed emphasis on shutting down opponents on the ground. As the staff analyzes the best way to use 2024’s personnel, another wave of defensive evolution could occur. In his analyst role, Muschamp is likely to have more time to spend on these types of projects. That could pay major dividends for the Dawgs when it comes time to take the field. 

      For UGA to win a third title in four years in 2024, its roster full of talented defenders must play at a high level. Still one of the sport’s sharpest defensive minds, Will Muschamp will be a big part of helping the Bulldogs get there. 

    4. UGA Football

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      BY GRAHAM COFFEY

      This piece was first written in 2022. It has been updated and republished here for Father’s Day…

      Those of you who have followed my writing at past stops may know a little bit more about my background than some of you who have not. With that in mind, I wanted to use Father’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on both why I am passionate about college football, and why I believe in what we do here at DawgsCentral.

      On the eve of the 2019 season, I tried to make sense of why UGA fans get excited for football season year after year. After all, the prior seasons had brought the following results…

      - Terrence Edwards dropped pass versus Florida in 2002 to give UGA its only loss of the season and cost it a title shot

      - A 2003 team full of talent lost 16-13 to a bad Florida team and 17-10 to eventual national champions LSU on a last minute pass, erasing the jubilation of a miracle 91-yard TD pass on a screen to Tyson Browning

      - The 2004 Dawgs got revenge on the defending champs by putting a 45-16 woodshed job on Nick Saban’s #4 LSU Tigers in Athens (still maybe the loudest day I remember in Sanford Stadium). The Dawgs were up 24-0 before 20 minutes of game time had elapsed. This coronation lead to a 19-14 collapse the next week against a Tennessee team quarterbacked by true freshman Erick Ainge... Tennessee 19 - Georgia 14

      - UGA’s 2005 team started off 7-0 behind Heisman Trophy candidate DJ Shockley. Against a bad Arkansas team, Shockley injures his knee and is forced to sit out for the Florida game… UF 14 - UGA 10 (Bonus points here for losing to Auburn 31-30 the next week on a 63-yard pass from Brandon Cox to Devon Aromoshadu on 4th-and-10)

      - Georgia was the hottest team in the country the last month of the 2007 season. They didn’t play for a national championship for four reasons: 1) A 16-12 loss to South Carolina at home where Tony Wilson dropped a go-ahead TD pass on the goal line late. 2) UGA lost to Tennessee team 35-14 in a game where they simply never got off of the bus. 3) Kentucky blew multiple chances to seal a win versus Tennessee that would have put Georgia in the SEC Championship over UT. The Wildcats had FG’s blocked and blew a late lead over the Vols, leading to a triple-overtime loss. 4) Kirk Herbstreit openly lobbied against Georgia playing for a national championship because he believed a team that didn’t win their division shouldn’t be allowed to play for a title. (This was particularly rough for UGA fans because Herbstreit openly lobbied for Michigan to go to the title after losing to Ohio St in 2006. He also was a proponent for a non-division champ to play in the title game when LSU and Alabama faced each other twice in 2011.)

      - The pre-season #1 Georgia Bulldogs started off 2008 looking like they deserved their ranking. Then they decided to breakout their black jerseys for a Top 5 primetime matchup versus Alabama, but their world was torn asunder in one half. The Tide went up 31-0 late in the second quarter. Georgia’s national title dreams were over.

      - The 2012 SEC Championship loss at the buzzer on Murray’s tipped pass that was caught by Chris Conley. I saw grown men cry. It felt like Georgia would never be back in that position again. 

      - “The Prayer at Jordan-Hare”

      - “The Treon Harris Game” ends in Florida winning 38-20 while rushing for 418 yards on 7 yards per carry. Florida attempted 6 passes in a blowout, and the loss kept a talented UGA team from having a chance at playing in the first CFP.

      - 2016 UGA wasn’t winning any big prizes, but against undefeated Tennessee the Dawgs went up on a Jacob Eason bomb to Riley Ridley with 5 seconds left. An ill advised celebration penalty was followed by a poorly executed squib kick and Tennessee was left at midfield with one play left. Josh Dobbs hits Dejuan Jennings, and Georgia fans everywhere got nauseous

      - 2nd & 26

      - UGA is handling an Alabama offense that was one of the most explosive in SEC history during the 2018 SEC Championship. Georgia was getting so much pressure on Heisman candidate Tua Tagovailoa that he gets knocked out of the game and Jalen Hurts rolls in for a chance at redemption. Hurts gets his Disney movie ending, and Georgia gets another blown 4th quarter lead to the Tide. 

      Those are the major disappointments, but mixed between them were many other what-ifs. As the 2019 campaign approached, it was fair to ask if Georgia was cursed or doomed. You only get so many chances to win it all in college football. Georgia had come close so many times that it felt fair to wonder if they would get over that hump. If not, then it seemed worthwhile to examine why so many fans showed up with the same unbridled enthusiasm year after year.

      Here is part of what I wrote at that time…

      “At some point this fall I’ll get on a plane and fly east for four and a half hours. I’ll leave the town where I live with the woman that I love and our dog that we love. I call that place home. I won’t fly far enough east to get to the town I grew up in where parents I love live down the street from the sister and nephew that I love. I call that place home too. I’ll land in a big city and drive about a hour, traffic permitting. I’ll see family, and I’ll see friends that have become family through so many shared experiences over the years. These are the people who double the joy of a win and halve the pain of a loss. I will tailgate in their company and we’ll meet new friends. Some of them may become family too one day. We will eat pimento cheese sandwiches, fried chicken, deviled eggs and many more Southern things. I will not feel alone.

      I will walk into Sanford Stadium and head towards those same seats. People I haven’t seen for a year will nod in familiarity and smile. With some I’ll exchange a hug before the game. With the rest I’ll exchange hugs after touchdowns and sacks. They won’t ask where I’ve been because we don’t do that here. They’ll see the right color on my shirt and that will be all they need to know. 92,746 people will gather together in the year 2019 and agree completely on something, a substantial miracle. A single trumpeter will stand in the southwest corner of the upper deck, and belt out the first 14 notes of The Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation. I will swallow hard and tears will start to form in the corners of my eyes. A video will come on narrated by Larry Munson, and when I hear his voice I’ll think of the parents I love and how their own life choices gave me the gift of Georgia Football. I’ll cry a little harder. I will be in Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. I call that place home. There will be twenty-two men on 120 yards of perfect grass laid out below me. Eleven in that beautiful shade of bulldog red, and eleven more in a shade that no decent God-fearing person would ever wear, at least not on this day. These men will have a brown oblong sphere, a rubber bladder covered in cowhide and stitches. How and where they move it will control the sounds we make. In-between the snaps of the ball that start the movements of those twenty-two men, and the whistles of the officials that end each play, the normal limiting patterns of our minds will not exist. We will transcend.“

      Where time passes differently

      I went to my first college football game on a rainy night in September of 1996. Jim Donnan was in his first season as the head coach at Georgias, and the Dawgs were staring down their first 0-3 start since 1979. Texas Tech came calling in a torrential downpour. The Red Raiders were lead by a Heisman candidate in RB Byron Hanspard, who churned out 214 yards on the ground that night. Georgia looked lost on offense for almost the entire game. Quarterback Mike Bobo had a fumble and an interception on UGA’s first two trips to the red-zone, and was booed on and off for much of the night. The Bulldogs started the 4th quarter down 6-0.

      It was a boring game until it wasn’t.

      Early in the final period, a Bobo sneak gave UGA a 7-6 lead. Hanspard ripped off a 47-yard TD run less than a minute later, but UGA snuffed him out short of the goal line on the two-point conversion.

      Down 12-7 with 3 minutes remaining, Georgia got the ball back 97 yards from the Red Raiders end zone. Bobo hit Hines Ward for a 28-yard gain to get UGA out of the shadow of its own goalpost, and all of a sudden the Dawgs had moved the ball to midfield. A half-full stadium started to gasp and groan, getting progressively louder all the while. People around us who had been casually chatting all game stood up and focused on the field, but the drive started to stall. A few quick incompletions later, and it was 4th-and-10. Georgia was all but done. One more play, and they’d be gone. Then it happened…

      Juan Daniels broke open and Bobo hit him for a 30-yard gain. Suddenly people were hugging and jumping and it was louder in than any half-empty stadium has the right to be. Just a moment later, Bobo targeted Daniels in the back of the end-zone. Despite having a defensive back hanging all over him, Daniels went up and grabbed the ball for a TD. Improbably, the Dawgs were up 13-7.

      The next play is the one I remember. Donnan called a Fake Option End-Around on the two-point conversion try. Hines Ward took the pitch while racing from his WR position, and headed to the far pylon. Ward had one defender to beat, and took off into the air at about the 3 yard-line. He did a flip into the end-zone. Everyone hugged so quickly that I found it confusing, but my Dad grabbed me and lifted me into the air. If I close my eyes, I can still see Ward being “flipped upside down” on that rainy September night. 

      Everyone would hug again when Texas Tech’s tying FG attempt sailed a little bit wide at the buzzer. I was just seven years old on that night, but I fell in love with college football then and there.

      The Georgia teams of my youth weren’t very good, but I loved how the game brought all of my extended family together. My Dad and I had a ton of great times traveling to football games together as I grew older. I was fascinated at that age by how time seems to pass differently in the space between snap and whistle, and I still am today. 

      The great unifier

      My early-twenties didn’t go according to plan. A lot of bad things happened in my life, and I didn’t respond well to them. I withdrew from friends and family, and I struggled to find ways to relate to other people. I was in emotional pain and I didn’t know how to tell anyone that or what to do to fix it.

      I felt like I lived in one reality and everyone else lived in a different one. That wasn’t true of course, but grief and depression can play tricks on one’s mind. It can feel like our challenges are terminally unique, and that only tends to separate us further. I developed unhealthy habits while trying to change the way I felt, but the things I did to try and forget my problems only made them worse. I moved a lot, bouncing around from place to place. What I found was that the whole world is a house of mirrors- No matter where you go, there you are.

      For a few months of the year, I would participate in a group activity called college football. I would have contact with friends I hadn’t talked to in awhile. I found a sense of connection in the rituals of football season and the shared joy/misery of Saturday afternoons. To be part of them, I was forced to ground myself in some small way. It helped me stay tethered.

      As I got older I learned how to ask for and accept help. I started to heal from the events that caused my life to take an unplanned detour. During that time, I sought to rebuild a relationship with my parents. I should mention here that my folks are great people. They never did anything but love their children. I just didn’t know how to relate to them at a certain point, and I didn’t know where to start.

      It was suggested to me that I try calling them every Sunday to say hello.  Those early conversations were hard, and they were sometimes filled with awkward silence. When that silence would hit, my Dad and I almost always turned to college football. There lied a neutral ground where neither of us were short on opinions or words to say. We’d share the latest news from the coaching carousel, or talk about the latest commitments on the recruiting trail. Before long, we were making plans to attend games together. Not long after that, my Dad became a best friend.

      Time moved on and I fell in love with my now wife. When I got married in August of 2021, my Dad stood beside me as my best man. Our Sunday evening phone calls have gone from an awkward 10-15 minutes of surface level chatter to hours long conversations about everything happening in our lives. I still live thousands of miles away from my parents, but we are closer now than ever before.

      College football is magical to me for this reason. It has the power to tear down barriers and bring people together. In one of the most divisive times in human history, our sport is a great unifier. Fathers and sons are likely to disagree at times. On a fall Saturday, they’re going to agree that the referee is blind. They’ll nod knowingly as one says, “We need to hold them to 3 here,” while glancing at the other.

      What brings us back to this sport year after year are all the ways it keeps old friends in our lives and introduces new ones. We gather around tailgates every fall for informal family reunions. Those who have passed feel a bit closer when the band plays the fight song in the dying light of a September evening. It gives us a reason to gather with generations of our own family.

      I wear the analyst hat much more than the fan hat these days. The internet, NIL and the transfer portal have drastically changed college football since Hines Ward “flipped upside down” on that rainy night in September of 1996. Still, the most important thing remains true…

      22 men are on a field with a brown leather ball. What they do with that ball creates emotions that are strong and simple enough to bring us together in spite of ourselves. Those emotions can be enough to remind us there is a place where we belong. They can be enough to build a relationship on. They can be enough to remind us to spend time with one another.

      There is something magical about that.

    5. Georgia returned to the hardwood on Tuesday night for a game against Georgia Tech. Mike White and the Bulldogs entered this one on a 3-game win streak. 

      The Yellow Jackets beat #7 Duke last time out, so there was some hype growing around them. The Georgia offense made the first basket of the game and never gave up the lead the whole first half. At the break, the Bulldogs were up 36-20. This was the lowest amount of points Georgia Tech has scored in their season so far. At one point, the UGA defense held them scoreless for over 5 minutes. Georgia Tech couldn't buy a shot in the first half as their field goal percentage was 26.5% (9/34) and three-point percentage was 16.7% (2/12). Tech also had 6 turnovers. Georgia shot 40% (14/35) from the field and 23.5% (4/17) from three. Noah Thomasson led the Bulldogs in scoring with 9 points, including a huge three-pointer to close out the half. 

      In the second half, Georgia Tech was able to cut it to a 12-point deficit at one point but could never get any closer. Georgia won this game 76-62. The Bulldogs shot 40% (26/65) from the field and 30.3% (10/33) from three. Of the 10 made threes, Justin Hill and Blue Cain combined for 7 of those. Georgia shot decently from the charity stripe, as they made 14 of 21. It wasn't a great shooting performance from the Yellow Jackets tonight. They finished the game with a field goal percentage of 32% (24/75), a three-point percentage of 29.6% (8/27), and made 6 of 13 free throws. 

      Georgia had 4 players score in double figures against Tech. Blue Cain knocked down 4 three-pointers for 12 points. Cain was committed to Georgia Tech before flipping to Georgia. Justin Hill continues to be a weapon for the Bulldogs, as he scored 14 points off the bench. Jabri Abdur-Rahim turned in 12 points and 8 rebounds. Noah Thomasson continues to be the best straight scorer for Mike White. He had 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting and also added 5 rebounds and 3 steals. 

      Georgia's record is now 6-3 following the win tonight. The Bulldogs are currently riding a 4-game win streak and will look to extend that against High Point in Stegman. This game is set to tip off on December 16th at 5:30 PM EST on the SEC Network. 

      Photo Courtesy of the SEC Media Portal. 

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