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The Boise St. Broncos entered the Georgia Dome with something to prove. This is the way they enter every building. The Georgia Bulldogs had almost the entire crowd at their backs, had the talent advantage and boasted perhaps the SEC's best quarterback. Boise State's uniforms looked much better. Maybe that was the difference.
In front of 73,614, the Broncos won a 35-21 victory over a traditional Southeastern Conference power that will convince one more slice of the country that Chris Petersen's crew is for real. Georgia came within 17 yards of Boise State, but 131 of UGA's 373 came on two plays.
After the game, Mark Richt talked about the new offensive wrinkles the Dawgs attempted. No-huddle, lots of shotgun ... the Georgia offense that's been known as pro style looked, in two words, more collegiate. There are going to be challenges in trying new things, and deploying stuff like this against a very good defense that plays against west coast teams regularly was a big gamble. Could be promising for the rest of the season, though.
Someday, teams will stop scheduling faux-neutral site games against the Boise St. Broncos. If this isn't the best-coached operation in America, it's close. One of the most-talented teams in the SEC was completely overwhelmed by a Mountain West school, and it's only minimally surprising.
Kellen Moore was almost perfect on the night, missing only six passes in 34 attempts. The Georgia Bulldogs accomplished little on either side of the ball other than limiting the run and earning a couple big plays. The final score, 35-21, looks much closer than it really was.
The Broncos will move on to a conference schedule that will prove more challenging than their former WAC slate, but seriously -- if this team loses to a MWC team, even TCU, you should be shocked. The Dawgs don't get a break next week, taking on a South Carolina Gamecocks team that beat them last year.
Boise State is now 1-4 against SEC teams, 1-0 in Atlanta and on course for another BCS-busting run. Could not be more impressed.
The Georgia Bulldogs closed within two touchdowns, 35-21, in the fourth quarter thanks to a 51-yard catch by freshman Malcolm Mitchell, and even forced the Boise St. Broncos offense to a standstill. But Georgia's last real chance at a comeback ended when a pressured Aaron Murray overthrew Tavarres King on fourth down with three minutes left.
Mitchell has gotten a lot of attention in the fourth quarter. He added a powerful 20-yard run on an end-around before letting a sideline bullet slip through his hands. That's the good news!
Georgia fans started trickling out a full quarter ago, with more red seats than red shirts left in the building at the beginning of that last drive. The exodus is now on, and Boise State looks set to collect its first-ever win against a SEC team, avenge that 2005 beatdown in Athens, and knock off another power conference team. Impressed, again.
After a morsel of hope that led Georgia Bulldogs fans to produce a little noise for once -- and one fan right below us to holler "Y'ALL PAY TWO HUNNERD F-----' BUCKS FOR TICKETS AND DON'T MAKE NO NOISE" -- the Boise St. Broncos struck right back. This one is almost assuredly out of reach after a two-yard touchdown run by D.J. Harper made it 35-14 with 11 minutes left.
Harper has been the more explosive back for Boise State tonight. He and Doug Martin have about 40 yards each, but Harper's done it on around half the carries.
Boise State's 345 yards of offense have come in water-torture fashion. This team almost never screws up. Kellen Moore has thrown only five incompletions in 30 attempts -- other than a Moore interception, nothing about Boise State's offense after the first handful of drives has given Georgia any room to breathe.
Just when all seemed really, really lost -- as in, the Georgia Bulldogs were about to punt down three touchdowns against one of the best quarterbacks in the nation -- an offsides penalty gave the Dawgs just enough courage for Aaron Murray to go for it all. The sophomore rainbowed a beaut to former high school teammate Orson Charles, and we have a game again, 28-14 Broncos.
Two touchdowns is still a hell of a deficit to cover in 15 minutes, considering how superior Boise State has looked all night, but ... well, I don't know, another Kellen Moore interception could happen? Doubt it. Georgia's best shot at another score would be to hope the Broncos keep playing it conservative, giving the Dawgs the chance to bottle up Doug Martin.
Really think that as long as Boise State keeps passing, this game is over. Moore just completed a long first down conversion, putting the blue and urnj near mid field at the end of the third quarter.
After the Boise St. Broncos struck again to spell do-or-die time for the Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia's passing game finally arrived. Quarterback Aaron Murray completed three significant gains in a row, putting the Dawgs within scoring range for the first time since garsh knows when. A dropped pass and a coverage sack spelled the end of the drive, setting up the rare Blair Walsh miss.
All that work for nothing, and OH GOD KELLEN MOORE HAS THE BALL AGAIN. Encouraging to see the Dawgs string together gains, at least.
In retaliation, the Broncos offered a conservative three-and-out. Georgia responded in kind, and then a setback by Georgia's pride-and-joy special teams gave Boise State prime real estate. Chris Potter returned a punt 47 yards into Georgia territory, then a thrice-flagged face mask penalty on Branden Smith backed the Dawgs up to the 10.
Moore concluded proceedings with a touchdown pass to Tyler Shoemaker in the back of the end zone, and Idaho is about to bathe itself in peanut oil. Eighteen minutes remain, and the score is 28-7. Some Georgia fans are leaving.
The one battle you don't want to lose: the contest to see who gets more pumped by the PA's "Zombie Nation" after halftime. The Boise St. Broncos held a group revival on their sideline, while Georgia Bulldogs players milled about. Bad signs abounded.
AND IT SHOWED! Kellen Moore operated from the no-huddle on the half's opening drive, looking so unstoppable that Georgia fans started booing. One nifty play: a double play action, including fake end-around, pass from Moore to a wide open Gabe Linehan, setting up Doug Martin's first impactful rush of the night: a seven-yard touchdown run.
Georgia's now in deep trouble ... well, officially. They pretty much already were. The UGA offense has accomplished nothing, and Moore is now free to bite off short pieces of yardage for the rest of the night. Georgia fans cheer when Martin gets stopped at the line, which has happened a lot, but that only encourages Moore to keep passing, so they should probably hush.
The Boise St. Broncos lead the Georgia Bulldogs 14-7 in Atlanta, but it could be an even bigger deficit for the Dawgs. Other than one run by Brandon Boykin, Georgia's only mustered 71 yards of offense, with Isaiah Crowell and Aaron Murray each providing half of that.
Good signs for Georgia? At least Boise State isn't able to run the ball. Doug Martin has only 34 yards on 13 carries. Also, punter Drew Butler is averaging half of the field. Other than that, it's been a whole bunch of hopefully minor injuries to Brandon Boykin, Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson, along with Kenarious Gates having to be removed from the field due to something more serious.
UGA started the game with fury, feeding off the partisan crowd, but the Broncos never really got all that frazzled. Last year's Boise State neutral-siter saw the Broncos' speed give way to Virginia Tech's power during much of the second half, but other than a couple runs by Crowell the Dawgs haven't shown much muscle on offense.
The Boise St. Broncos apparently have a fast quarterback. Grant Hedrick entered the game and took a keeper into the red zone. Doug Martin followed with a wildcat keeper. When you have perhaps the best quarterback in the country, why not put him at wide receiver?
The seven-play scoring drive began when Aaron Murray complemented Kellen Moore's interception with a share of his own, finding Boise State's Jerrell Gavins along the sideline. Moore now has 137 yards passing to Murray's 34. Excepting Brandon Boykin's touchdown run, which isn't going to be replicated, Boise State is outgaining the Dawgs 182 to 65.
In better news, Boykin has returned to the field.
The Georgia Bulldogs offense, defense and special teams all took a potential hit when cornerback Brandon Boykin remained on the turf for a moment. Boykin, in addition to scoring UGA's only touchdown on an 80-yard run, has also returned kicks as is custom and delivered a stern hit on a Boise State receiver.
The injury didn't look to be too severe, as Boykin was able to walk to the sideline, and could only be a cramp.
Boykin appeared on just about every preseason award watch list he could possibly appear on. His loss would be crushing against a quarterback like Kellen Moore, but I'd expect him to return shortly.
The loudest BOISE STATE! chants of the night so far came when Boise St. Broncos defensive end Shea McClellin bottled up Georgia Bulldogs running back Richard Samuel on a fourth-down conversion attempt within field goal range. The drive had seen Isaiah Crowell's first big run, a physical eight-yarder.
(UGA cornerback Branden Smith forced Boise State's offense back off the field moments later, rocking ... after a Broncos false start. Georgia's next drive was so boring. They punted.)
But the Red and Black faithful's loudest cheer since Georgia's touchdown came when Branden Smith, who wasn't sure to play tonight due to injury, intercepted Kellen Moore, spoiling a promising Broncos drive. That paragraph involved a very forced transition that skipped many minutes of football.
Georgia's special teams, the pride of Athens, committed a miscue when freshman Malcolm Mitchell fielding a bouncing punt and nearly turned the ball over in the red zone.
At the end of the first quarter, the Georgia Bulldogs and Boise St. Broncos are tied up, 7-7. Kellen Moore led the Broncos on a legit, sustained scoring drive after doing not much for most of the first half, while UGA's points came on a 80-yard run by cornerback/everything Brandon Boykin.
The Dawgs hold a slight edge in yardage, 107 to 90.
Georgia has the ball to begin the second, and they've already driven to midfield. Isaiah Crowell opened the drive and seems to have recovered from an embarrassing first carry just fine, taking his next couple up the middle for a tough first down. The next two were stuffed, the latter on a fake playing off the earlier touchdown by Boykin.
Wide receiver Marlon Brown made a wholehearted catch-and-run for success a long third down, thus chaining together Georgia's first series of conversions. Boise State's shoes remain incredibly orange.
The Boise St. Broncos began producing on offense with about five minutes left in the first. Running back Doug Martin ran with aggression, picking up yards after contact on consecutive runs before Kellen Moore found Tyler Shoemaker to enter the red zone, then Moore zapped Matt Miller 17 yards into the end zone to knot it up at 7-all.
Boise State left guard Joe Kellogg was helped off the field after apparently suffering a leg injury.
Defensive and offensive concerns aside! Georgia's strongest unit, its special teams, which boasts watch-listers for every relevant award no matter how irrelevant you may think they be, is showing out. Every Drew Butler punt has been deep and led to a solid shot on Boise State's return man. Butler is averaging 52 yards, while Boise State keeps doing the Division I-AA mobile rugby punt thing.
Cornerback Brandon Boykin might be the best player on the Georgia Bulldogs roster, but did you know he could break off an 80-yard run for a touchdown? Just happened. Check the box score! So there's that.
On the other side of the ball, this Georgia defense doesn't look like last year's, so far at least. Every Boise St. Broncos attempt has been snuffed with such vigor from the front seven. Then again, Georgia hasn't been able to get much going in the trenches either.
Five minutes in, the Broncos were set to attempt either a fourth-down conversion or a quick kick when Georgia called a time out. Then Boise State called a time out. Then they punted. You're so glad you read this.
Boise State fans, be they outnumbered, are doing work. Both of Georgia's first drives stalled near the F of blue in the corner before Boykin broke the game open. Their section looks like an F.
One team started the Chick-fil-A game rattled by the Georgia Dome. It was the team with 80 percent of the crowd in its favor. On their opening drive, the Georgia Bulldogs suffered two false start penalties and a delay of game before punting. The Boise St. Broncos have really, really orange shoes.
Georgia's defense, on the other hand ... Doug Martin was suffocated on consecutive runs up the middle, then Brandon Georgia -- excuse me, Brandon Boykin (Georgia's uniforms all say GEORGIA on the back) -- broke up Kellen Moore's first pass. The Broncos were whistled for having five men in the huddle, and we've all got the jitters tonight.
Freshman running back Isaiah Crowell made his UGA debut on the next series, relieving starter Richard Samuel. Crowell fell over on his first carry. He is powerless without his puppy. Punt. Scoreless.
The Georgia Bulldogs kick off against the Boise St. Broncos in just over an hour (as of this sentence's typing, but by the time I'm done with this whole thing it might be, like, exactly an hour). We're posted up in the Georgia Dome and will be delivering updates with great frequency.
If you're not with us, you can catch the game at 8 pm ET on ESPN.
Walking all over all of dadblanged Atlanta today, I've seen a few Boise State fans, but at game time this place is going to be almost as red and black as it is without any fans in it. It has red and black seats, I'm saying.
Boise State's uniforms are definitely superior, and those orange shoes could be seen with the lights off. Georgia's warmup pants were black, which looks much better than the all-reds did. LSU vs. Oregon might be the biggest game of the night, but this one should draw plenty of interest when everybody in that game is found ineligible thanks to Will Lyles, right?
OK, one hour til kickoff. /eats a sandwich
Boise State will be without three players for its game against Georgia.
Gary Stokan, overseer of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, College Football Hall of Fame and just about everything else Atlanta sports, spoke with SB Nation Atlanta as Georgia and Boise State prepare to play in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff.
Some people have interior monologues; we got an interior dialogue going here. Meet the two personalities who will be guiding you through Georgia's 2011 season.
Presumed starting Georgia Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo hasn't been practicing with first-teamers for quite some time now, and hasn't been made available to media after practices. This or something like it has led some to wonder whether the junior free safety has been suspended.
Monday, Mark Richt declined to answer, and did so in charming fashion:
"Is that right?" Richt said of the report. "No, I'm not gonna address that. At the appropriate time if anybody has anything like that I'll let you know, though."
"Well bless your heart," Richt may have later added.
Rambo, along with Brandon Boykin and Alec Ogletree, was expected to provide a developing UGA defense with a strength at at least one level despite suffering an injury in spring practice. Ogletree has since moved to linebacker. If he is suspended, Rambo would be approximately the threevety-fifth Georgia player to undergo some sort of injury, suspension, transfer or other such condition this offseason.
Third-string Boise St. Broncos running back Malcolm Johnson suffered a season-ending ACL tear Monday, coach Chris Petersen announced. While Johnson wasn't likely to get very many carries against the Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday, the Broncos will feel his loss on special teams.
This also means both teams have suffered setbacks at the running back position. Very few teams have seen one of their units take as much damage as Georgia's backfield has, from Washaun Ealey to Caleb King to Carlton Thomas to ... oh wow, now Richard Samuel is missing practice. The star showcase will pit Doug Martin against Isaiah Crowell, but let's just hope we can make it to the Dome without any more backs falling to the side for either team.
Johnson was a three-star recruit out of Oregon, but has redshirted a season and spent time on the academically ineligible list.
A tale of two very large men and the twists of fate that can define them.
Your first thought upon looking at the Pro Combat uniforms Nike has foisted upon the Georgia Bulldogs: unprintable. Your second thought: red pants and not silver pants even though we love our silver pants? Hang on. Thought number three: silver hats and not red hats even though we like our red hats, though nowhere near as much as our silver pants?
This last thought is the only thought we can address here, and the solution will only confuse you further.
Georgiadogs.com has posted a video by Nike that partially explains some of the design decisions, mainly the silver stuff. At first, this makes sense:
Silver brings out a certain nostalgic tone and is associated with greatness and perfection in Georgia. Their last championship season was 1980, when they brought back their traditional silver. Celebrate the past to move into the future.
But, first of all, that's not really how the future works. To move into the future, just sit tight. It will find you. But OK.
In 1980, Vince Dooley switched Georgia's pants from white back to silver. He did not switch Georgia's helmets from white back to Judge Dredd -- that movie is set in the future, not in pre-1980. Somehow while hurtling into the present future, pants silver ended up as head silver.
Mr. Phil Knight, if the future is all about wearing your pants on your head in public, even in an event sanctioned by the world's greatest sandwich, you can count the Peach State right out. Let some other suckers wear their space pants as hats.
And now it's official: Nike wasn't just fooling with you by putting up images of the Georgia Bulldogs upcoming Nike Pro Combat uniforms. They're the really real deal, with the image below showing up on UGA's official Facebook page and confirming your fears, hopes and dreams about the get-up.
As you can see here, that helmet is ... wow, what a helmet:
We're going to get through this just fine, everybody. As cooler heads have pointed out, if Georgia wins, these uniforms will be beloved forever. There's really nothing magical about silver pants that can't be expected of silver hats.
Remember: Frank Sinkwich wore a silver helmet at Georgia, and Herschel Walker wore red pants at one point. They also both walked around at all times with enormous Nike logos on every area of their bodies. That's not true. If there had been a Zaxby's back in the day, however ...
You got a peek at the Georgia Bulldogs Nike Pro Combat uniforms earlier. Now here's the whole thing. After seeing the helmet in full, you might actually like it a little bit better, but overall approval ratings aren't going to rise very high. Based on early returns at Dawg Sports, Nike hates you.
Here's the look:
If you think that's a departure from reality and the order of the world, just wait until you see what Nike whips together for the Boise St. Broncos. They have to come up with something crazier than this! What a challenge!
It's one game, and recruits love this stuff. <-- these are the things football fans say to make themselves feel better about new stuff
I like the helmet, and the jersey is fine even if it doesn't scream Georgia, which would be terrifying and an amazing use of technology, though probably illegal under SEC rules. If Mississippi State can only clang their cowbells at designated intervals, Georgia's going to have a hard time wearing shirts that go around screaming all the time.
One clue as to why the Georgia Bulldogs appear to be wearing all-red Nike Pro Combat uniforms for their Chick-fil-A game against the Boise St. Broncos: you're going to be wearing all red too. It's almost like this is a home game for UGA or something! (Pro Combat unis to be unveiled on Georgia's Facebook page in just a few hours, by the way.)
At least that's what the athletic association hath decreed. Via Kyle King:
Color-outs never work, but don't let me be a downer about this. Maybe if it's never officially termed a red-out, it won't go all sideways. It would be really awesome if everybody showed up and the Georgia Dome turf was red. What now, Boise State?
You'd leave and go home if you saw red turf. You love Georgia sports and all, but you'd just leave and go home. "That's it," you'd say, "let's go to Taco Mac and watch Les Miles. At least he didn't paint our turf red."
The Bulldogs lost a key secondary reserve and special teams player on Wednesday when it was revealed that Jakar Hamilton would miss the entire 2011 season with multiple stress fractures near his right ankle.
Georgia Bulldogs LB Jarvis Jones "has been cleared by the NCAA and SEC and will be eligible to play" according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chip Towers. The Athens Banner-Herald's Marc Weiszer reports UGA has yet to confirm the report, but agrees with Towers that an official announcement later Tuesday is likely.
Jones' eligibility has been under investigation by the school since a report in the Leder-Enquirer revealed Jones and UGA basketball player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had received benefits while playing for a Columbus AAU basketball team in 2009, before either was a Georgia student-athlete. Jones was a USC Trojans commit during the time period in question.
Within a day after the report broke, UGA had contacted the SEC and NCAA while looking into the matter, turning over their findings on August 5.
Jones is expected to compete for plenty of playing time and likely a starting spot.
Dawgs247.com is reporting Georgia Bulldogs DE/LB Brandon Burrows is likely to miss the upcoming season after having shoulder surgery. Though he's active on Twitter, he hasn't said anything that would confirm or deny the report.
The redshirt freshman was expected to provide inside linebacker depth, which could prove critical with the statuses of Jarvis Jones and Kent Turene up in the air, along with the conversion of Richard Samuel to running back. Not all of those players play the same position as Burrows, of course, but each little bit of missing linebacker depth can't help but affect the entire unit one way or another. It could also pose problems for special teams.
Burrows played on the scout team in 2010. He suffered a pretty serious knee injury while playing as a senior at Walton High School in Marietta.
Mark Richt has joked about posting death threats on Georgia Bulldogs players who leak photos of the team's 2011 Nike Pro Combat uniforms, and multiple players clearly got the message loud and clear. AD Greg McGarity says the one-time redesign will be made public on August 20, while also downplaying concerns that UGA's G logo will be altered or moved.
His Boise State counterpart, Gene Blaymaier, said, "Our selection last year to wear the state-of-the-art uniforms against Virginia Tech created a lot of excitement for that game and we know this will do the same for our game against Georgia." Not sure when Boise State's will be revealed.
I don't know where athletic directors get the idea that these uniforms create excitement, since most fans groan with dread at the news that their team has been put in Nike's sights. I think it's great myself, but these things just make the average football fan nervous.
The Georgia Bulldogs will wear Nike Pro Combat uniforms against the Boise St. Broncos in their opening-weekend matchup, the school announced Wednesday -- the Broncos will be likewise attired. Seven 2011 games will feature Nike's wardrobe contributions, with the Chick-fil-A game and LSU-Oregon game being the first two.
From the release:
The uniforms will hit the field on opening day of the 2011-12 college football season and throughout the year during some of fiercest rivalries in college football. Dates include Oregon vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium (9/3), Boise State vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome (9/3), Michigan State vs. Michigan (10/15), LSU vs. Auburn (10/22), Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (10/29), Stanford v. Notre Dame (11/27) and the annual service academy bragging rights matchup between two of the nation's most prestigious football programs - Army vs. Navy (12/10).
Boise State-UGA! One of the fiercest rivalries in college football!
Wearing Pro Combat duds in last year's marquee opener didn't work out so poorly for Boise State, though of course it didn't produce good results for Virginia Tech. This is because they played each other. Florida also wore Nike remixes against Georgia in the Cocktail Party.
No word yet on what these look like. Prepare for the gaudiest.
Junior running back Carlton Thomas will miss the Georgia Bulldogs' season opener against the Boise State Broncos this Sept. 3 due to suspension, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Citing three anonymous sources, Thomas "violated team rules back in the spring," which thus means he must sit for 10 percent of the Bulldogs' games in the coming season. As Georgia is slated to play 12 games, it's likely Thomas will only miss one.
Thomas stands as the Bulldogs' most proven rusher, as he gained 272 yards and scored two touchdowns last season. Leading rushers Washaun Ealey (transfer to Jacksonville State) and Caleb King (academic ineligibility) did not return to Georgia's program. With Thomas suspended, the Bulldogs will rely on Richard Samuel, a converted linebacker; Isaiah Crowell, a true freshman; and Ken Malcome, a redshirt freshman, to carry the ball against Boise State's defense.
For more on Georgia football, please visit Dawg Sports.
Finding themselves down Washaun Ealey and Caleb King so far this offseason, the Georgia Bulldogs announced formerly converted LB Richard Samuel will return to the offensive side of the ball. Samuel played both positions in high school and was signed by the Dawgs to play running back, but switched to play outside linebacker before eventually landing at inside linebacker. This guy!
With top 2010 rushers Ealey and King gone, the RB depth chart featured Isaiah Crowell, Ken Malcome, Carlton Thomas and some even bigger question marks. Tipping the scales at more than 230 pounds, Samuel should supply some power to a running game that, other than Crowell and Malcome, includes a bunch of little guys.
In 2009, Samuel produced 395 yards on 88 carries, averaging 4.5 yards per strut. He also contributed a few touches in 2008. He's not much of a threat to catch the ball, but his strength could help compensate for the loss of King's pass blocking.
For more Georgia football, head to Dawg Sports.
We know what the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff will look like from the top down if both sides manage to sell all there tickets, and -- well what do you know, both sides have sold all their tickets. According to Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman, the Boise St. Broncos have sold all 7,500 of their tickets. This puts Atlanta's game just a week behind the LSU-Oregon game -- not bad considering it will field only one top-10 team and none of last year's BCS title game participants, right?
The 9,000 or so tickets left over after the healthy Georgia Bulldogs slide and Peach Bowl Inc.'s portion will likely go to corporate sponsors and so forth, in addition to Chick-fil-A Bowl renewal buyers.
Nothing left to do now but hope fewer than 10 more Georgia players find themselves extricated from the roster due to cruel and random gods such as the cruel and random god of scooters.
As had been long rumored and recently reported, Georgia Bulldogs RB Caleb King will not play for the team this season due to his academic performance, the school confirmed Friday afternoon. In a statement, coach Mark Richt said:
It's unfortunate Caleb will not be with us this season. We wish him the best in whatever he decides to do; however, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step up.
Think back to that "missing man" formation Richt set up for Isaiah Crowell, back when the back was just a recruit and not the Dream Team's crown jewel. Seems pretty prophetic now, right? This isn't as huge of a loss as some are going to make it out to be. King, like Washaun Ealey, never really lived up to his potential, and his frequent off-field escapades caused more than his share of headaches.
The primary concerns for the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs remain the same as they did yesterday. The main difference is that Crowell will be backed by less-experienced players. That's not ideal, but it's not a tragedy.
Props to the Leather Helmet Blog for being the first to publish a story on the matter almost two months ago.
It's been an oddly quiet spell without bad news for UGA fans, but here's a story that could hurt the school's two most prominent programs. According to the Ledger-Enquirer's Andy Bitter, incoming USC Trojans transfer LB Jarvis Jones and Greenville High five-star shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope received unauthorized benefits from two men in charge of the AAU Georgia Blazers basketball team.
(Precedent for an AAU scandal affecting a collegiate athlete's playing status? As Bitter points out, there's Baylor Bears big Perry Jones III, who was declared ineligible after his mother received three loans from his AAU coach -- that she paid back and of which Jones himself had no knowledge. He ended up missing the team's Big 12 Tournament appearance and will have to sit for its first five games of next season.)
Columbus native Jones, who transferred to UGA after suffering a neck injury at Southern Cal and redshirted for the 2010 season, is said to have received airfare to and from Los Angeles on two separate occasions thanks to the Blazers' credit card. Losing him for even a game or two would sting, as he's projected to start against Boise State.
If Caldwell-Pope, rated one of the three best shooting guards in the nation, is docked playing time, it would reportedly be due to the Blazers paying for his mother's cell phone bill.
Columbus Parks and Recreation director Tony Adams and lieutenant Herman Porter are the two accused of all this aiding and abetting, as the Blazers are run by the city.
Stay tuned for more on this story. For more Georgia sports, visit Dawg Sports.
When a down-on-his-luck former superstar takes on a talented up-and-comer, what's the most likely outcome? Maybe Hollywood can tell us.
The Boise St. Broncos are favored by almost a touchdown in the Georgia Bulldogs' backyard, according to early spreads posted by Kegs 'N Eggs. Of course, that's before Boise misses out on those three practices due to its
rampant culture of violent cheating love of Big Macs, but then again a Washaun Ealey paratrooper invasion could always end up damaging UGA practice facilities for an entire week at some point.
Since lines were just posted, it will be interesting to check back in on this one in a few days. Nobody really ever knows what to make of Boise, especially in a road game, but taking on a 6-7 power conference team muddles this one even further. Especially since their last meeting was a 35-point Georgia win.
I'd expect that line to inch downward over time. At this point last year, Boise was a 2.5-point favorite over Virginia Tech, but the Hokies ended up being favored by as many as 3 points before kickoff, meaning UGA could enter its kickoff game a field goal underdog.
The Boise St. Broncos continue slouching towards the Georgia Dome to be re-born as a SEC team, having gotten mixed up in an amusing and unusual spot of trouble for some really petty stuff. Keep working at it, men! The football program's self-imposed punishment: a docking of scholarships for 2011 and 2012, which doesn't really affect the Georgia Bulldogs unless the Dawgs intend to join the Mountain West, along with the loss of three offseason practices this year and the next.
The latter does involve UGA, you see, as Georgia and Boise State are set to play their season openers against each other. So thank you, crashers of the hospitable bro's couches, for your service to Athens.
Chris Peterson might be the best coach in the country, so surely he can figure out a way to cushion (cushion like a couch!) the impact of that lost prep work. Of course, the NCAA itself will decide on a punishment of its own in June, which will almost certainly be bizarre and uncalled-for.
Ok, Boise St. Broncos fans, you win. If you're capable of throwing 1,700 words at your team's depth chart in mid-April, we'll ... well, actually, One Bronco Nation Under God throws 1,700 words at just about everything here, with many of them on what the team's starting lineup will look like in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff against the Georgia Bulldogs.
SPOILER ALERT: The only position they appear to disagree on is punter, so it's safe to say we have a good look at what the Dawgs can expect to see in Sept. They also have some cat named Kellen Moore starting at quarterback.
According to OBNUG, here's what UGA might find itself dealing with in the Georgia Dome:
The 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Boise St. Broncos has a time and channel now: Sept. 3 at 8 pm ET on ESPN. Each of the previous three games has been featured on ABC and drawn College GameDay, but Washington State flags will probably head for Arlington, where LSU will meet Oregon at the same time for some reason.
A nationally televised game against a top-10 opponent will give UGA a chance to immediately clarify whether this year will mean a return to Mark Richt’s form or 2010 all over again. Though the Dawgs will have home field advantage, so did Virginia Tech last year.
Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO, on the matchup:
With Boise State coming in as the winningest team in the nation over the last 10 years and Georgia delivering one of the strongest recruiting classes in the country, this really is a compelling match-up.
You can accuse athletic director Greg McGarity of bringing a Florida scheduling philosophy with him from Gainesville, but don't think for one second that Mark Richt is one to back down from a challenge. Supposedly Richt was one of the driving forces behind the schedule shuffling that put Georgia in this season's Chick-fil-A Kickoff versus the Boise State Broncos, who've won 61 games and two BCS bowls in five years under Chris Petersen. Against a top-quality opponent, on perhaps the biggest stage of college football's opening weekend, we'll find out in a hurry whether the Dawgs have bounced back from the doldrums of the past two-plus seasons.
BETTER KNOW THE BRONCOS
Coach: Chris Petersen, 61-5 in five years at BSU
Last season: 12-1, 7-1 WAC; beat Utah 26-3 in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl; ranked 9th in the final AP poll
Returning starters for 2011: 14 (seven offense, seven defense, zero special teams)
Key returners: QB Kellen Moore, RB Doug Martin, LB Byron Hout
Key losses: WR Austin Pettis, WR Titus Young, DE Ryan Winterswyk, K/P Kyle Brotzman
Best-case scenario: Georgia survives a shootout with the Broncos and earns a big opening victory that puts them in the top 25 for the first time since week 1 of last season. Boise State is a great team, but they're not the Boise State of last season, who returned all but one starter from a squad that went undefeated and won the Fiesta Bowl. This BSU team actually bears a lot of similarities to Georgia -- talented QB with a depleted receiving corps, an O-line experiencing some changes on the right side, depth issues on defense. So with the SEC's best quarterback in Aaron Murray and a running game that could get a shot in the arm from blue-chip recruit Isaiah Crowell, going up against a Boise team playing in hostile territory far from home, it's hardly outside the realm of possibility for the Dawgs to pull the upset.
Worst-case scenario: Boise turns the Georgia Dome into the Terrordome and carpet-bombs the Dawgs by 20, leaving Georgia to start the season 0-1 without a lot of answers on defense and even less momentum. Let's be real here -- this isn't the same Boise team that got shellacked by Georgia in the 2005 opener, not to mention the fact that this year's Georgia team, coming off a miserable 6-7 campaign, is a far cry from that '05 squad. Though the heralded 2011 recruiting class brought in a number of players who can make near-instant contributions on defense, nose tackle Johnathan Jenkins being among the most important, Todd Grantham is still dealing with depth issues in the front seven, and the secondary still seems to be hung over from its steep decline over Willie Martinez's last few years in Athens. To beat a team as good as Boise, they'll need to toughen up physically and fill a leadership void that has nagged at this team for several seasons now.
Washaun Ealey was suspended by Mark Richt as of Tuesday or so, the program confirmed. That’s not any sort of surprise, as reports had been coming out since Tuesday morning about Ealey’s suspension, but there’s the official word.
No telling what exactly Ealey did to earn the suspension, but his reported failure to run his scheduled “punishment runs” is still the prevailing theory.
Richt on Ealey:
We have certain expectations and standards that apply to all our student-athletes. We expect them to do things the right way, the Georgia way. If Washaun does things the Georgia way, he’ll be back in good standing.
Ealey has said he wants to remain a member of the Georgia Bulldogs, but “is unsure of his future.” That Georgia Southern transfer rumor is still out there after Ealey was seen hanging out at Snooky’s Restaurant in Statesboro with Eagles recruits. If Georgia is still Plan A, Ealey’s got some work to do. And punishment runs to run.
The Georgia Bulldogs have released 2011 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game ticket information in advance (WELL IN ADVANCE) of their contest with the Boise St. Broncos in the Georgia Dome. At one point the school was expecting to have 40,000 or so tickets available for UGA fans, compared to <7,500 for Broncos backers, though it's not clear how many are actually up for grabs at this point.
Hartman Fund donors are eligible to buy tickets, though some will also be released through other channels. Given Athens' proximity to Atlanta, this ticket will surely be a hotter item than it was last year despite the massive showing the LSU Tigers (and the comparable, if quieter, North Carolina Tar Heels set) brought to town.
Mark Richt has also teased the game as the first chance for Dawg fans to get a look at Isaiah Crowell, saying the signee could carry the ball on the game's first play if he puts in work this spring and summer.
The 2011 Chick Fil A Kickoff Game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Boise St. Broncos will air Saturday, Sept. 3 on ABC or ESPN. UGA will receive $1.7 million for participating, and Boise St. $1.4 million. Not only will the Dawgs have a 90-minute drive to Atlanta instead of a 2,000-mile flight, the Georgia Dome will also be almost all red and black.
Macon.com’s Fletcher Page notes Boise will be given 7,500 tickets to sell to its fans — and they won’t be penalized if they can’t sell them all. Boise likely negotiated its allotment to include that stipulation, meaning they’re not entirely confident they can fill ten percent of the Georgia Dome even though they just sent about 12,000 to DC to play the Virginia Tech Hokies. VT and Boise were both top-ten teams this year, and UGA is unlikely to be ranked in the top twenty next year, so Boise may be foreseeing a lack of interest rather than a lack of support. If that distinction makes sense.
The Dome seats over 71,000. UGA is expected to have at least 40,000, and possibly more than 50,000, of those to sell. Add in metro Atlantans who’ll pick up tickets just to see the college football opener and get a look at the Broncos, most (but not all!) of whom would probably root for an SEC school over an upstart, and this is an even roadier road game for Boise than this year’s trip to play the Virginia Tech Hokies. But at least it’s indoors so Brent Musburger can’t freak out about the humidity.
Rumors about the 2011 Chick Fil A Kickoff Game scheduling the Boise St. Broncos and Georgia Bulldogs have been bubbling all morning, and Scout.com’s Dean Legge is reporting Mark Richt has told UGA players to get ready for the Broncos. Georgia was supposed to make a scheduling announcement later today anyway, and the AJC’s Tim Tucker says that's when they’ll announce the matchup with Boise St.
We’re talking a game against a team that very well could be the defending national champions, a rematch of Georgia’s 2005 domination led by D.J. Shockley, and the second straight year Boise has opened with a cross-country game in a tough opponent’s backyard. If Boise isn’t able to make it to the big kids’ table again this year, it would also be billed as yet another statement game for the Broncos.
This is not what anybody had in mind when Greg McGarity said he’d bring the Florida Gators scheduling model to Athens. But sooner or later Boise's going to lose one of these statement games. Plus they’ll actually lose players this season, including quite possibly junior QB Kellen Moore, instead of returning 23 of 24 starters or whatever as usual — there’s really no better time to schedule Boise. It’s just physics, y’all.
Richt has said he’ll talk about the announcement Monday, delivering the early favorite for quote of the weekend: “Hypothetically, no comment.”
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