Georgia Bulldogs: Lorenzo Ward

SEC's lunchtime links

March, 7, 2014
Here we are at the end of another week, but thankfully a small taste of football is temporarily returning.

Let's take a look around the SEC as some schools have already opened spring practice and some are preparing for their first workout.

SEC's lunch links

December, 31, 2013
The SEC bowl season kicked off Monday with a win by Ole Miss in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. The league will now play five bowl games over the next two days so get caught up with the latest news and notes in the last lunch links of 2013.

Five things: UGA-South Carolina

September, 7, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- Although it hasn't been the case in the last two seasons, there is a strong possibility that the winner of Saturday's Georgia-South Carolina will go on to win the SEC East title -- particularly if Saturday's winner is the Gamecocks, who enjoy a more manageable conference schedule this season.

Let's take a look at five factors to watch in Saturday's game:

1. Clowney on the comeback: South Carolina's star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney took a heaping helping of criticism over his conditioning after failing to dominate against North Carolina last week. Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward predicted earlier in the week that we'll see “the real Clowney on Saturday” against Georgia, a team he has made some big plays against in his first two games against the Bulldogs.

What kind of impact does Clowney make on the typical game? Even in Clowney's somewhat disappointing performance last Thursday, North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner enjoyed much more success when Clowney was on the sideline. According to ESPN Stats and Information, he completed 52 percent of his passes when Clowney was in the game versus 75 percent when Clowney was out. He also had to throw much quicker when Clowney was in, with 12 of his 14 completions with Clowney in the game traveling 6 yards beyond the line of scrimmage or less -- and seven of them finding their target at or behind the line.

2. Murray under pressure: Georgia's offense thrives on big plays and long passes, but if the Bulldogs' offensive line can't shield its quarterback from the Gamecocks' talented pass rushers, performances like Murray's career-worst 109-yard effort against South Carolina last season become more of a possibility.

Murray's Total QBR is 46 against South Carolina -- including an 8.4 last year -- against which Georgia is 0-3 in his career. Georgia is 12-1 against all other SEC East opponents in Murray's three-plus seasons as the starter.
It will be interesting to see how Murray fares when South Carolina brings blitzes on Saturday. ESPN Stats and Information reports that Murray has zero touchdowns and two interceptions in 18 attempts when South Carolina has sent five or more pass-rushers on a play. Otherwise, he has four touchdowns and no interceptions in 63 pass attempts while facing four or fewer rushers.

3. Help from Harvey-Clemons: One of Georgia's best defensive players, Josh Harvey-Clemons, returns from a one-game suspension this week. That should provide an enormous lift for a defense that surrendered 467 yards to Tajh Boyd and Clemson a week ago.

Harvey-Clemons' ability at nickelback will allow him to rush Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw off the edge and spy against Shaw's underrated running ability. Shaw was dominant early against Georgia last season, completing 5 of 6 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for two first downs on the Gamecocks' first two drives alone.

4. Young linebackers versus Gurley: Although he missed portion of the game with a quad injury, Georgia's Todd Gurley still rushed for 154 yards (12.8 ypc) and two touchdowns against Clemson. He said the injury will not be an issue against South Carolina, setting up a key matchup to watch pitting Gurley, Keith Marshall and bruising fullback Quayvon Hicks against green South Carolina linebackers like sophomores Kaiwan Lewis and Marcquis Roberts and freshman Skai Moore.

Moore performed well against North Carolina, posting seven tackles and one TFL, but it's a lot to ask of a freshman to consistently bring down Georgia's All-SEC tailback, who is an enormous step up from any runner the Gamecocks faced in Week 1.

5. History in play: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier beat Georgia like a drum in his time as Florida's head coach, and he has recently resumed that mastery of the Bulldogs with the Gamecocks. South Carolina had never beaten Georgia three times in a row until last season's 35-7 win in Columbia -- with that 28-point margin of victory standing as South Carolina's biggest win ever against Georgia.

If South Carolina wins on Saturday, not only will it extend its historic success in a series that started in 1894, it will give Spurrier 16 wins against Georgia -- more than any opposing coach in history. Spurrier is 15-5 against Georgia overall and 4-4 at South Carolina.

Incidentally, only Florida State (9-5-1 against Spurrier teams), Auburn (8-10) and Tennessee (8-14) have beaten Spurrier more than Georgia in his Hall of Fame career. Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama and Clemson all have five wins against the Head Ball Coach.

SEC lunchtime links

August, 28, 2013
We're just a day away until the first game of the college football season and a few days until the season begins en masse. Here's a look at some of the stories from around the SEC to keep you informed:

Allen-Williams talks Georgia offer, timing 

February, 12, 2013
Last Wednesday, Georgia picked up two additional signees to its Class of 2013 in DeVondre Seymour and Davin Bellamy. The coaching staff had hoped for at least three more top talents to join them but they found themselves in second place all three times.

Instead of licking their wounds on what was a disappointing day, the coaches were on the phones, working toward the 2014 class.

Allen-Williams picks up sacks, offers 

January, 6, 2013
ATLANTA -- Two of the Peach State’s top outside linebackers recently met in the backfield of the Rising Seniors Bowl game and threw down the West team’s quarterback, Brooks Barden (Cartersville, Ga./Cartersville). Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) came of the right end and Dante Sawyer (Flowery Branch, Ga./North Gwinnett) crashed the left side and both caught Barden before he could slip away. While it was clear Barden never had a chance, credit for the sack was a highly-contested debate.

“Oh, that was my sack.” Allen-Williams said. “Look, Dante and I had a little bet going on to see who would get the most sacks, so we ended up tying on them. So you know [when] there are two good ends on this field, you’re bound to have a good pass rush every now and then.”

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Shaq Wiggins still taking calls 

December, 18, 2012
ESPN 150 cornerback and Georgia commit Shaq Wiggins had a big weekend. On Saturday, he started the day by hanging up on Steve Spurrier and later his Sandy Creek (Ga.) High School team won the Georgia Class AAAA state championship. He had his 18th birthday Sunday and Monday, after getting fitted for a championship ring (size 10.5), he spoke with the entire Ole Miss staff on Skype.

Shaq Wiggins
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comShaq Wiggins is still committed to Georgia, but schools such as Ole Miss and South Carolina are making him think about that commitment.
So much for the dead period in recruiting.

“I was skyping with the whole staff,” Wiggins said. “It was crazy. They were chanting my name, telling jokes, talking and laughing. I have a good relationship with a lot of the coaches on the staff. I was talking to Coach [Hugh] Freeze. They were messaging with me while I was in school, trying to get me on Face Time but my Face Time was not working so I had to get them on Skype. That was one thing we were talking about -- no other school has done that.”

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Gamecocks winning where it counts

October, 7, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Connor Shaw could see it in the Georgia players’ eyes on South Carolina’s first touchdown drive.

A few minutes later, it was even more obvious to Marcus Lattimore after the Gamecocks drove it right down the Bulldogs’ throats for their second touchdown in as many possessions.

“They were shell-shocked. We hit them in the mouth, and they weren’t ready for it,” Lattimore said.

Nope, not even close.

But in Georgia’s defense, it’s debatable whether anybody in college football would have been ready for what the Gamecocks unleashed Saturday night on the No. 5 Bulldogs in a 35-7 bludgeoning at Williams-Brice Stadium that sent a clear message about the shifting balance of power in the SEC.

(Read full post)

Third-and-long a problem for Georgia 

October, 7, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The most damaging byproduct of Georgia’s inability to move the ball on the ground Saturday against South Carolina was the regular third-and-long situations that made life rough on Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray.

Considering how often Murray and the Bulldogs faced third-and-8 or longer, it’s no surprise that South Carolina’s talented defensive line was able to harass Georgia’s junior signal-caller throughout the game, leading to a 35-7 Gamecocks win.

“You’ve got to make those plays when you’ve got a chance and try to get them on their heels and we could not do that,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “You can’t ask anybody to just constantly on third down-and-long or second-and-long to protect. There’s just too much pressure. We couldn’t get the running game going tonight and it hurt us.”

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Inside the DawgHouse 12/30 

December, 31, 2011
DawgNation is here to take you Inside the DawgHouse -- a confidential look inside Georgia football recruiting for DawgNation subscribers only.

As it will be every week, everything reported Inside the DawgHouse stays on The Pound forum. We are providing this information for our subscribers and hope that you help keep this information protected by keeping it here.

A few things discussed in this week's update:

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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.