UGA Football: Game Notes – It’s That Time Again! Dawgs vs Gators
The Georgia Bulldogs vs. The Florida Gators
GAME & BROADCAST INFO
- Game 8: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators
- Kickoff: Saturday, October 28 – 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Everbank Field (82,917) – Jacksonville, Fla.
- 2017 Records: Georgia 7-0 (4-0 SEC), Florida 3-3 (3-2 SEC)
- 2016 Records: Georgia 8-5 (4-4 SEC), Florida 9-4 (6-2 SEC)
- Rankings: Georgia #3, Florida NR
- TV: CBS – Brad Nessler (PxP), Gary Danielson (analyst), Allie LaForce (sideline)
- Video Stream: CBSSports.com
- Radio: WSB AM 750 – Bulldog Network | Affiliates | Scott Howard (PxP), Eric Zeier (Color), Chuck Dowdle (sideline)
- Audio Stream: georgiadogs.com | Mobile
- Satellite: Sirius 138, XM 190
- Web Stats: Live Stats
- Twitter: #UGAvsFL
- ReBroadcast: SEC Network: TBA
*ranks No. 2 nationally
Georgia is one of eight undefeated teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week. The Bulldogs are looking to go 8-0 for the eighth time in school history. The other splendid starts came in 1927 (9-0), 1942 (9-0), 1946 (11-0), 1971 (9-0), 1980 (12-0), 1982 (11-0) and 2002 (8-0).
Georgia is 11-2-1 when it enters the Florida game undefeated or untied. The last time an undefeated Georgia squad faced the Gators and won was 1982 when the Bulldogs shut out Florida 44-0 to remain perfect at 9-0. The last Bulldog loss to Florida to spoil a perfect season came in 2005 while the tie came in 1930.
The 1982 squad went undefeated at 11-0 in the regular season and missed out on another national title when it fell 27-23 to Penn State in the Sugar Bowl. In 2005, Georgia was 7-0 while the Gators were 5-2, and No. 16 Florida upset No. 4 Georgia 14-10. The Bulldogs went on to win the SEC, play in the Sugar Bowl and finish the season 10-3. Also in 2002, Georgia was 8-0 and ranked fifth in the country going to Jacksonville, but the Gators defeated the Bulldogs 20-13. It would be the only loss as the Bulldogs went on to post a 13-1 mark, claiming the SEC title and the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
Georgia leads the all-time series with Florida 50-43-2, including 43-41-1 in Jacksonville. Florida has the series at 49-43-2 since UF does not count the Bulldog 52-0 victory in 1904 that was played in Macon. The Gators have won the last three meetings following three straight Bulldog wins from 2011-13.
This is only the sixth time in the series when both teams had a bye before the game at EverBank Field. The first came in 2011 and Georgia is 2-3 against the Gators following a bye week. This marks the 25th time in the series that the Gators had an open date before the matchup. Florida is 18-6 against the Bulldogs after an open date. Georgia is 5-6 following a bye week when it has had two weeks to prepare for the Gators. In their last action, Georgia blasted Missouri 53-28 and Florida fell to Texas A&M 19-17.
On Friday, the latest star-studded class is set for induction into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame Presented by Ruth’s Chris as part of the Georgia-Florida Weekend. Georgia linebacker Randall Godfrey, running back Knowshon Moreno and the Bulldogs’ J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity along with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and defensive back Lito Sheppard will be inducted during the 22nd annual luncheon at EverBank Field. McGarity was named Georgia’s Director of Athletics in August 2010 after serving 18 years in the athletic department at the University of Florida.
Created in 1995, the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame honors and recognizes the memorable players, coaches, and administrators involved in the long-standing rivalry. Over the 22-year history of the Hall of Fame there have been 95 people inducted including Bulldog legends Vince Dooley, Herschel Walker, David Pollack and Buck Belue, as well as legendary Gators Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Shane Matthews, Jack Youngblood and Jevon Kearse.
Following Georgia’s 53-28 rout of Missouri on Oct. 14, Bulldog freshman quarterback Jake Frommwas named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this year. The Warner Robins, Ga., native completed a career-high 18-of-26 passes for a career-high 326 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a score. Georgia amassed 696 total yards, which ranked second in school history (712, Florida Atlantic, 2012).
Full Name: Kirby Paul Smart
Birthdate: December 23, 1975
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
Family: Wife: Mary Beth; Children: twins Weston and Julia (Feb. 8, 2008), and Andrew (May 25, 2012)
High School: Bainbridge (Ga.)
College: BBA Georgia ’98; MS Florida State ’03
When Georgia looked for a new head football coach after the 2015 season, the arrows pointed to Kirby Smart, longtime University of Alabama defensive coordinator and former UGA player and assistant. After one season, he has not disappointed.
In his first year leading the Bulldogs, Georgia extended its school record to 20 consecutive bowl appearances and posted five fourth-quarter comebacks including wins over No. 8 Auburn and No. 22 North Carolina. He led UGA to an 8-5 final record, which included a victory over TCU in the Liberty Bowl.
He has also made an immediate impact in recruiting circles posting the nation’s third-ranked class in 2017 following his first class in 2016 generally considered among the top ten. In addition to his coaching duties, Smart oversees the Kirby Smart Family Foundation, which is focused on being champions in the community by supporting and giving back to needy children and families.
Smart officially came home to Georgia on Dec. 6, 2015. But he still had unfinished business at Alabama, which was chasing a national title. He juggled two jobs for a month until January 11, 2016, when the Tide won its fourth national championship in a seven-year span. Twelve hours later, he was at work in Athens, where he is one of nine head coaches at schools from Power 5 conferences that are coaching at their alma mater.
Did You Know?
Kirby Smart is one of nine head coaches at schools from Power 5 conferences that are coaching at their alma maters.
The complete list:
Paul Chryst (Wisconsin) Barry Odom (Missouri)
Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) Mark Richt (Miami)
Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State) David Shaw (Stanford)
Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) Kirby Smart (GEORGIA)
Cliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech)
Top Ind. Single-Game Performances Under Smart
Rushing Yards: 222, Chubb vs. #22 UNC (9/3/16)
Rushing TDs: 2, Multiple players
Longest Rush: 55-TD, Chubb vs. #22 UNC (9/3/16); 55-TD, McKenzie vs. LA (11/19/16)
Passing Yards: 346, Eason vs. VU (10/15/16)
Passing TDs: 3, Fromm vs. Samford (9/16/17), Eason @ Missouri (9/17/16)
Receiving TDs: 2, Godwin vs. Samford (9/16/17), McKenzie @ Missouri (9/17/16)
Longest TD Pass: 66-TD, Eason to McKenzie vs. Nicholls (9/10/16)
Longest Pass: 77, Eason to McKenzie vs. TCU (12/30/16)
Tackles: 13, R. Smith vs. Georgia Tech (11/26/16)
Sacks: 3, T. Thompson vs. TCU (12/30/16)
TFL: 3, Thompson vs. Nicholls (9/10/16)
- Led UGA to its first win over a ranked team in a season opener away from Sanford Stadium in school history, posting a 33-24 win over #22 UNC during the 2016 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic
- In head coaching debut, Bulldogs overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half and scored the final 19 points of the game in a win over the #22 Tar Heels in the Georgia Dome in 2016
- Became first UGA football coach since Joel Hunt in 1938 to start his career 3-0 after winning his first 2016 SEC game on the road with a 28-27 victory over Missouri
- Five fourth-quarter comebacks, including wins over #8 AU & #22 UNC
Defense/Special Teams Scores
2016: Safety vs. #22 UNC; Lorenzo Carter 24-yd fumble recovery for TD vs. Nicholls; Terry Godwin 43-yd KOR for TD @ SC; Maurice Smith 34-yd INT return for TD vs. #8 Auburn; Isaiah McKenzie 82-yd PR for TD vs. UL Lafayette
|6 Victories When Tied Or Trailing Late|
|Year||Opponent||Start of 4th Qtr.||Final|
|2016||%#22 UNC||Trailed 24-23||33-24|
|2016||@ Missouri||Trailed 27-21||28-27|
|2016||@ Kentucky||Trailed 21-16||27-24|
|2016||#8 Auburn||Tied 7-7||13-7|
|2017||#24 Notre Dame||17-16, trailed 19-17 with 10:21 left||20-19|
%Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic, Ga. Dome; ^Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn.
Georgia has opened up SEC play 4-0 and is averaging 43 points/game with wins over #17 Mississippi State (31-3), at Tennessee (41-0), at Vanderbilt (45-14) and versus Missouri (53-28) en route to a 7-0 overall mark. The Bulldogs are tied for the national lead in Red Zone Offense, going a perfect 29-for-29, including 20 touchdowns.
Freshman QB Jake Fromm is 6-0 as a starter and is ranked second in the SEC in Passing Efficiency at 170.4. Georgia leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in Third Down Conversions at 51 percent. Six of Fromm’s 12 touchdown passes have covered at least 30 yards. Fromm took over for sophomore Jacob Eason after he went down with a knee injury in the first quarter of the season opener versus Appalachian State.
Fromm is a two-time recipient of SEC Freshman of the Week honors. He earned the accolade in victories over #17 MSU and versus Missouri. In the era of RPOs, Fromm has three rushing touchdowns to go with his passing stats.
Fromm is only the seventh true freshman Bulldog quarterback to start a game, including just the second to do it on the road in his first career start. True freshman Georgia quarterbacks to start include Johnny Rauch (1945), Joe Dupree (1990), Eric Zeier (1991), Quincy Carter (1998), Matt Stafford (2006), Jacob Eason (2016) and now Fromm. Fromm joined Zeier as the only true freshmen to have their first career start on the road. Zeier led #22 Georgia to a 37-17 win over #23 Ole Miss in Oxford. In that game, Zeier was 18-for-30 for 216 yards.
Fromm’s first career start came at #24 Notre Dame. Trailing 19-17 with 6:47 left in the contest, Fromm directed a nine play, 63-yard drive to set up the go-ahead field goal. He was 3-for-4 for 45 yards during the drive.
|Jake Fromm (UGA Career)|
|@ #24 ND (W)||29||16||1||1||141||2||100.5|
|#17 MSU (W)||12||9||2||0||201||0||270.7|
|@ UT (W)||15||7||1||1||84||2||102.4|
|@ VU (W)||11||7||2||0||102||1||201.5|
|Jacob Eason (2016 UGA)|
|vs. *#22 UNC||12||8||1||0||131||1||185.9|
|@ MIZZOU (W)||55||29||3||1||308||4||114.1|
|@ #23 OM (L)||36||16||0||1||137||3||70.9|
|#11 UT (L)||28||17||2||1||211||3||140.4|
|@ SC (W)||17||5||1||1||29||1||51.4|
|VU (L) 40||27||1||0||3||46||1||148.4|
|vs. #14 UF (L)||33||15||1||0||143||2||91.9|
|@ UK (W)||31||17||1||0||245||0||131.9|
|#8 AU (W)||31||20||0||0||208||2||120.9|
|vs. App State (W)||3||1||0||0||4||1||44.5|
|@ Tennessee (W)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0.0|
|@ VU (W)||3||3||0||0||24||1||167.2|
*came in as a reserve
The centerpieces of the Bulldog backfield are seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel (for a complete look at Chubb’s career, see pg. 4). Chubb is one of only eight players in SEC history with at least 4,000 career rushing yards. Chubb ranks fourth nationally in career rushing yards among active players with 4,112 while Michel is 15th (third in the SEC) with 2,903. UGA is the only school with two players in the top 15.
Here’s the top five active rushing leaders in NCAA FBS:
|1.||Royce Freeman (Oregon)||Sr.||47 games||5,103 yards||54 TDs|
|2.||Justin Jackson (Northwestern)||Sr.||45 games||4,732 yards||36 TDs|
|3.||Jarvion Franklin (W. Michigan)||Sr.||48 games||4,281 yards||48 TDs|
|4.||Nick Chubb (Georgia)||Sr.||39 games||4,112 yards||37 TDs|
|5.||Larry Rose III (New Mexico St.)||Sr.||37 games||4,110 yards||30 TDs|
|15.||Sony Michel (Georgia)||Sr.||39 games||2,903||23 TDs|
Georgia ranks second in the SEC and 10th nationally in Rushing Offense at 282.9 yds/game.
Michel needs 97 yards to become only the sixth Bulldog in school history to rush for more than 3,000 yards. The Bulldogs are the only school in the FBS to have two active rushers each with more than 2,000 yards.
Chubb and Michel are the first Bulldog teammates to each have 1,000-yard rushing seasons in their career. Michel became the 10th Georgia player in history to rush for more than 1,000 yards while starting six games in 2015.
|Career Rushing For Sony Michel|
|Career Rushing For Nick Chubb|
|Career Receiving For Nick Chubb|
One of the story lines for the Bulldogs this season was the development of the offensive line. Georgia’s unit has been selected as a member of the 2017 Joe Moore Award Mid-Season Honor Roll. Most recently, the Bulldogs piled up 370 rushing yards against Missouri and finished with the second-most total yards (696) in UGA history. The unit paved the way for a season-high 423 rushing yards on 54 carries (7.8 avg.) against Vanderbilt, the sixth most in UGA history and the most since 1987 when Georgia had 454 yards versus VU.
The Bulldogs have started the same combination at LT, C and RT all year with Isaiah Wynn, who was named a Midseason All-American by The All-American, junior Lamont Gaillard and freshman Andrew Thomas, respectively. Thomas became the first true freshman to start on the offensive line for the Bulldogs since John Theus in 2012.
Junior LG Kendall Baker started his fifth straight game versus Mizzou while sophomore Solomon Kindley has started the last two at RG. He played but did not start in the win at Tennessee after hurting his ankle in the practice week before the game. Senior Dyshon Sims started in place of Kindley versus the Vols.
A total of 15 Bulldogs have caught a pass this season. Senior Javon Wims leads the team lead with 18 receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Terry Godwin has a team best five TDs and 369 yards on 16 catches. He made an acrobatic one-handed grab for a five-yard TD at No. 24 Notre Dame, which was No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s “Top-10 List.”
Sophomore Mecole Hardman converted to WR from DB after last season. He is coming off his best game as a Bulldog, accounting for two catches for 71 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown. Hardman also scored his first rushing touchdown, a 35-yard scamper, and added 66 return yards on three kickoffs.
In Scoring Defense, the Bulldogs are second in the SEC and rank fourth nationally (12.6 points/game) while the Gators are seventh in the SEC at 23.3 points/game. In SEC games, Georgia has outscored its four opponents 170-45 or by an average margin of 43-11. The Bulldog defense had a stretch during the 2017 season of holding opponents without a touchdown for 31 straight drives. The streak started in the final quarter of the Samford game and continued until the first half of the Vanderbilt game. This was the longest streak of its kind since 2006.
In Red Zone Defense, Georgia is tied for second in the SEC at 77 percent (10-for-13) while the Gators are fourth in the league at 79 percent (15-for-19). The Bulldogs blanked the Volunteers 41-0 in Knoxville, which snapped the nation’s fourth-longest active scoring streak and sixth-longest streak in college football history. The Vols had scored in 289 games in a row dating back to 1994.
Junior ILB Roquan Smith, who was named to the Associated Press, Sporting News’ and ESPN Midseason All-America teams, is on pace to lead the team in tackles for the second straight season. This year, Smith has the most tackles of any Bulldog with 53. He led the team in tackles with 95 in 2016. This marked the first time a sophomore led UGA in tackles since 2008 (Rennie Curran, 115). Junior ILB Juwan Taylor got his first start at Vanderbilt and had three tackles, including a TFL, while freshman ILB Monty Rice had the start against Mizzou and was second on the team with five stops and a TFL. Georgia veteran linebackers graduate Reggie Carter and junior Natrez Patrick have missed the last two games. They have combined for 25 career starts.
Senior OLBs Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy wreaked havoc at #24 Notre Dame, as the defense forced their first two turnovers of the year. Carter now has 12.5 career sacks. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week after posting seven tackles, including a sack for loss of 12 yards, forcing two fumbles and recovering a pair of fumbles against the Irish. Carter is tied for the NCAA lead with three fumble recoveries.
Georgia ranks fourth nationally (second in the SEC) in Scoring Defense at 12.6 points/game and also second in the SEC and fourth nationally in Rushing Defense at 82.1 yards/game. In the most recent win over Missouri, the Bulldogs held the Tigers to just 59 yards on the ground. Georgia also held Tennessee and John Kelly to only 64 rushing yards.
The elder statesman is senior nose John Atkins, who has 18 stops for the frontline. Junior Trenton Thompson, who sustained an MCL sprain during the win at Tennessee, has missed the last two wins over Vanderbilt and Missouri. In Georgia’s 20-19 road win at #24 Notre Dame, the Irish totaled only 55 yards on the ground, the least recorded by the Irish since 2011. Then, UGA held the Vols to 142 yards in total offense, the lowest ever in the Kirby Smart era and the first shutout since 2014 (34-0, Missouri).
Newcomer J.R. Reed ranks second on the team with 36 tackles. He tallied a career best 10 tackles and three pass breakups in the dominating 31-3 win over #17 MSU. Reed followed that up by notching his first career interception (followed by a 34-yard return) and fumble recovery to go with three tackles in the road shutout of Tennessee. Reed added a blocked field goal against Samford to his early season contributions to the Bulldogs. He also had a sack and a forced fumble in the same play against App State and a TFL versus #24 Notre Dame.
Senior safety Dominick Sanders set the Bulldog record for career interception return yardage after picking off his 14th career pass and returning it 18 yards versus Missouri. Sanders’ 14 career picks puts him in a tie as the NCAA active career leader and for third on the UGA all-time list. Sanders snagged his first interception of the year against #17 MSU and had a 15-yard return. His next start will put him in the top-10 for most starts in Bulldog history for non-kickers. Sanders stands at 45 right now and has started the last 25 contests.
After not having an interception in the first three games, the Bulldogs now have five picks on the year. Last season, Georgia tied for third in the SEC with 15 INTs.
INTERCEPTIONS (RET. YDS) – CAREER
T1. 16 (315) – Jake Scott, 1967-68
16 (293) – Baccari Rambo, 2009-12
T3. 14 (*329) – Dominick Sanders 2014-
14 (121) – Jeff Hipp, 1979-80
14 (54) – Terry Hoage, 1981-82
*UGA record, fifth in SEC history
Graduate transfer Cameron Nizialek (NYE-zuh-lek) arrived in Athens during the preseason and earned the starting punting job. This year, he has posted a 43.7 average on 26 punts, including placing 13 inside the 20. Opponents have had just five punt returns for 9 yards. Georgia is fifth nationally in Net Punting at 43.6 yds./game. The Bulldogs are on pace to set the school’s Net Punting record (42.6, Collin Barber, 2013).
Nizialek spent his first three seasons at Columbia University where he finished with a degree in Economics. In his career with the Lions, Nizialek averaged 41.3 yards on 149 punts in three seasons. He averaged 44.8 on his punts in 2016.
Redshirt sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship tallied 17 points in Georgia’s latest win coming over Missouri on Oct. 14. He booted four field goals and five PATs, which ranks second on the school’s all-time list. Blankenship earned the starting job before the 2017 opener and received the news before the Notre Dame game in week two that he had been awarded a scholarship. He hit the game-winning 30-yard field goal at the 3:34 mark in the fourth quarter on the road in the 20-19 victory over the #24 Irish. During this season, Blankenship has had a streak of 18 consecutive touchbacks. In fact, 37 of Blankenship’s 49 kickoffs this year have been touchbacks. Last year, he totaled 21 touchbacks for the year out of 55.
Six former Georgia players have been named team captains for their respective squads this year:
C David Andrews, New England Patriots; LB Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers; RB Todd Gurley, L.A. Rams; LB Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs; S Reshad Jones, Miami Dolphins; LB Alec Ogletree, L.A. Rams
The snapping responsibility for the Bulldogs has been shared by senior Trent Frix and junior Nick Moore. Frix is snapping on field goals and extra points. He is the younger brother of former snapper Ty Frix (2009-12) and the son of former snapper Mitch Frix (1981-82).
Senior DB Aaron Davis has been named to the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Davis is one of 11 players from the NCAA FBS selected based on their commitment to community service.
Davis, a Finance graduate and native of Locust Grove, Ga., is one of four players from the SEC on the FBS 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Georgia leads the nation in Allstate AFCA Good Works Team honorees with 18 since the award’s inception in 1992, including four straight and six in the last seven years. Current Bulldog TE Jeb Blazevich was awarded the honor in 2016. This year, Davis has started all seven games and is fifth on the team with 21 tackles.
Freshman inside linebacker Nate McBride was named a finalist for the 2017 National Football Foundation (NFF) Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards, which annually honor five recipients for their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens at the high school level.
Senior TE Jeb Blazevich has been included as a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy. Blazevich, a native of Charlotte, N.C., is one of 71 semifinalists from the FBS. He is now a candidate to be named one of 12-14 finalists for the Campbell Trophy on Nov. 1 and to be included in this year’s NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. Georgia’s last semifinalist for the honor was ILB Jake Ganus in 2015.
Georgia has seven players on this year’s roster who have already earned their degrees. The players who received a bachelor degree from UGA include: N John Atkins (Sociology), OT Aulden Bynum(Agricultural & Applied Economics), ILB Reggie Carter (Economics), DB Aaron Davis (Finance) and QB Brice Ramsey (Communication Studies).
Another pair of players joined the Bulldogs as graduate transfers during the offseason: Cameron Nizialek (Columbia University – Economics), David Marvin (Wofford – Biology/Chemistry). Marvin is working on a Master’s of Public Health at Georgia. Nizialek is working on a graduate degree in Sport Management and Policy. All of the SEC players who have achieved a degree will be sporting the SEC Graduate patch on their uniforms this year.
All four of the Bulldogs’ home games have been night contests and they are 4-0 in that span. Georgia has beaten App State (31-10), Samford (42-14), #17 Mississippi State (31-3) and Missouri (53-28) en route to its 7-0 start. The only other time that the Bulldogs have played this many night games in Sanford Stadium was in 1943. That year, Georgia played all five of its home contests under the lights and went 5-0 with victories over Presbyterian twice, Tennessee Tech, Wake Forest and Howard.
Georgia played its first night game at Miami (W, 26-0) in 1937. It played host to its first contest under the lights versus Kentucky (T, 7-all) in 1940.
David Andrews, C, Patriots
Geno Atkins, DT, Bengals
Clint Boling, OG, Bengals
Tyler Catalina, G, Redskins
Chris Conley, WR, Chiefs
Thomas Davis, LB, Panthers
Leonard Floyd, LB, Bears
Cordy Glenn, OT, Bills
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Justin Houston, LB, Chiefs
John Jenkins, DL, Seahawks
Jordan Jenkins, LB, Jets
Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers
Abry Jones, DT, Jaguars
Ben Jones, OL, Titans
Reshad Jones, S, Dolphins
Tavarres King, WR, Giants
Isaiah McKenzie, WR, Broncos
Corey Moore, S, Texans
Alec Ogletree, LB, Rams
Maurice Smith, S, Dolphins
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
Blair Walsh, K, Seahawks
Cornelius Washington, DL, Bears
Benjamin Watson, TE, Ravens
Shawn Williams, S, Bengals
Ramik Wilson, LB, Chiefs
Brandon Boykin, CB, Bears
Quincy Mauger, TE, Falcons
Keith Marshall, RB, Redskins
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Patriots
Sterling Bailey, DE, Vikings
Garrison Smith, DE, Seahawks