Georgia Bulldogs: D.J. Swearinger

SEC decides not to suspend Quinton Dial

December, 14, 2012
After further review, the SEC has decided not to punish Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial for his hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in this year's SEC championship game.

This means that the SEC has decided not to suspend Dial for Alabama's meeting with Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, but any action Alabama wants to take is fine with the league.

Here's the official statement from the SEC:
[+] EnlargeQuinton Dial
Beth Hall/USA TODAY SportsThe SEC declined to suspend Quinton Dial for his late hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.
"The Southeastern Conference has completed its review of video from the 2012 SEC Football Championship Game. Several plays involving both teams were reviewed. After review, all subsequent action will be handled internally by the two institutions and the conference office is satisfied with their actions.”

Really, the main play in question was Dial's nasty hit on what appeared to be a very defenseless Murray during an interception return by Alabama safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix in the first half. The hit appeared to be helmet-to-helmet, but no flag was thrown. Murray stumbled to his feet after the play, but later said that he only had the wind knocked out of him.

Earlier this month, SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw told that Dial should have been penalized for his hit on Murray and that the officials "missed the call."

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Hot and Not in the SEC

November, 12, 2012
The hot/not meter was all over the place this past weekend in the SEC:


Texas A&M: This SEC stuff is a piece of cake. Just ask Texas A&M, which went into Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday and took down Alabama 29-24. The Aggies have now positioned themselves for an at-large BCS bowl berth and are two home wins away (against Sam Houston State and Missouri) from winning 10 games. Teams simply aren’t supposed to come into the SEC and have this kind of success this early. Texas A&M’s only two losses were by a combined eight points to a pair of top-10 teams: Florida and LSU. But the Aggies believed all along that they were equipped to come into this league and be a factor right away. Kevin Sumlin’s up-tempo offense has given SEC defenses fits all season. Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is the most exciting player in the country, and let’s not forget about the defense, either. Mark Snyder’s guys have held teams to an average of 19.2 points in their past four games since that 59-57 shootout win against Louisiana Tech.


[+] EnlargeMark Richt
John Reed/US PresswireCoach Mark Richt has his Bulldogs defense playing as a cohesive unit during the second half of the season.
Georgia’s defense: Now that all of the suspensions are history and everyone is back in their normal roles, Georgia is starting to play like a championship defense. In their past three games, the Bulldogs have allowed a total of 19 points. Nobody ever questioned the talent on this Georgia defense, but there wasn’t a lot of chemistry the first half of the season with all the different combinations on the field. Looks like the Bulldogs are hitting their stride at just the right time.


Whining about Georgia’s schedule: Enough already. The Bulldogs played the schedule in front of them and are the East champs. Case closed. Did it help the Bulldogs that they avoided Alabama and LSU? Absolutely. Did Florida get a shot at Georgia head-to-head? Absolutely ... and the Gators lost.


Vanderbilt’s pride: The Commodores’ come-from-behind 27-26 victory over Ole Miss on the road says volumes about the pride in the Vanderbilt program, the mental edge that second-year coach James Franklin has brought to that program and the leadership on the team. Vanderbilt rallied from a 23-6 deficit early in the third quarter and did it with its leading rusher, Zac Stacy, on the bench after suffering an injury in the first half.


Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon: For the second week in a row, the talented freshman running back lost a fumble with Alabama driving in the second half, and this time, the Crimson Tide couldn’t recover. Yeldon coughed up the ball at the Texas A&M 30 in the fourth quarter, and the Aggies answered with a quick touchdown to take a 29-17 lead.


LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger: This is the version of Mettenberger everybody expected to see all season. He’s come to life in the past two games, and so has the Tigers’ passing game. Mettenberger followed up his impressive performance against Alabama by hitting 19 of 30 passes for 273 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in LSU's 37-17 win over Mississippi State.


Mississippi State’s momentum: The Bulldogs are suddenly reeling after winning their first seven. They simply haven’t played well during what has been the toughest part of their schedule and have lost three in a row to nationally ranked foes by a combined score of 113-37. If this is going to be a season to remember, they have to stop the bleeding this week at home against Arkansas.


South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger: When you start listing the best safeties in the SEC, don’t forget about Swearinger. In the Gamecocks’ 38-20 win over Arkansas, he had 13 tackles and returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown. Swearinger leads the team with 39 solo tackles.


Florida’s offense: It’s been painful to watch these past few weeks. The Gators aren’t doing much of anything well on offense right now, and a big part of their problem is how limited they are in the passing game. Their best offense this past week was the game-saving blocked punt against Louisiana-Lafayette.


Job security: Arkansas and Kentucky are already looking for new coaches, and it appears Auburn and Tennessee will soon join that market. Even for the SEC, four coaches being fired or pushed out in one season is pretty extreme. But when you look at the money being paid to coaches these days and the revenue being lost when a school doesn’t win, administrators aren’t going to be hesitant about pulling the trigger. Auburn has lost nine straight SEC games dating back to last season and is a shell of the program that won the national championship two years ago. Tennessee has lost 13 of its past 14 SEC games and has given up almost as many points in its six SEC losses this season (262) as Alabama, Florida and LSU have given up in 21 combined SEC contests (287).
ATHENS, Ga. -- After rewatching Georgia’s 35-7 loss to South Carolina online, I can’t say there was much there that wasn’t evident while watching it live.

The key to the game was that Georgia’s offensive line couldn’t handle South Carolina up front, which shut down the running game and eventually led to Aaron Murray unraveling at quarterback and finishing the night 11-for-31 for 109 yards and one interception.

South Carolina was excellent on its first two possessions and then took the air out of the ball, but it didn’t matter much what the Gamecocks did offensively after the first 10 minutes. Georgia had no good answer for the Gamecocks’ defensive front and Jadeveon Clowney in particular, as the star defensive end ran roughshod over Bulldogs left tackle Kenarious Gates all night.

Game breakdown: UGA at South Carolina 

October, 5, 2012
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.

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Ranking the SEC's safeties

July, 17, 2012
Now that we've ranked the SEC's secondaries, it's time to take a look at the league's top cornerbacks.

Past rankings:

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Top performer: Interceptions

May, 17, 2012
Our look at the SEC's most productive returning players in 2012 continues with a look at players that grabbed the most interceptions.

Past producers:

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Peach State: Top Tier Recruiting Ground?
California, Florida and Texas are largely considered the "Big Three" in college football recruiting. But national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to explain why Georgia deserves to be in the top tier and has numbers to prove it.