Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Can you feel it?
Former Dawgs face the Falcons in Super Bowl LI
Yeah, it’s really happening. The Atlanta Falcons won the NFC Championship and are going to the Super Bowl. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones went balistic on the Green Bay secondary and Aaron Rodgers simply had no response. It was a glorious day for Falcons fans and one helluva a way to send out the Georgia Dome. (Although I know many UGA fans who are saying “good riddance” to that building.)
But the celebration must be short-lived because there’s still the matter of playing the Empire, uh, I mean the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. And on that Patriots roster trying to stop the Falcons from rising up and bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to 5th District are a pair of former Georgia Bulldogs.
A couple familiar names pushing that pile. pic.twitter.com/cW0jzvFYTl
— Seth Emerson (@SethEmersonAJC) January 23, 2017
Center David Andrews and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell are the only former UGA players slated to play in the Super Bowl, and they both play for the Pats. Ugh.
Andrews was signed as a free agent in 2015 and immediately proved why the Patriots are so good at what they do. As an undrafted free agent, Andrews started the first 10 games of his rookie season because of an injury to the regular starter, then won the job outright this season and started all 16 games as New England went 14-2. Mitchell was drafted in the fourth round last season and has been one of the better rookie receivers in the NFL this season, catching 32 passes for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns in the regular season.
Both of these guys are shining examples of Dawgs in the NFL. Andrews was given nothing when he entered the league and has created what will likely be a very lengthy career. Mitchell had a really strong rookie campaign and will get more looks from Tom Brady next season, I’m sure. Having former players contribute and compete for Super Bowls immediately after leaving the program is what a team wants from its alumni. It helps build the profile of the program and aids in recruiting when trying to convince prospects you can get them to the NFL.
Having said that, I wish nothing but bad things (other than injuries) for Andrews and Mitchell in the Super Bowl. I hope Andrews gets blown up on blitz after blitz by Deion Jones on the LB’s way to destroy Brady. I hope anytime Brady does get off a pass to Mitchell, the ball falls harmlessly through his hands and onto the turf. I hope they forget everything they’ve ever learned about the game of football temporarily on Feb. 5, then best of luck to you in the future.
Godspeed to you next season, fellas. Between now and then, I wish you nothing but failure. Rise up.
Jacob Eason has a change of heart
Jacob Eason did not exactly endear himself to UGA fans who also count themselves among the Falcons faithful. Eason was present at the Dome on one of the biggest days in Atlanta sports history … in a Packers jersey.
Jeremy got pic of Eason in his GB gear at falcon game pic.twitter.com/gZcSrmR3Qn
— angela pitts (@angela_pitts) January 22, 2017
The UGA QB also rooted against the Falcons last week, when he wore a Seahawks jersey to the NFC divisional game against Seattle. That is understandable, though. Eason is a Washington native and was just supporting his hometown team. But he just couldn’t get on board and had to poke the bear.
Georgia fans likely let Eason have it on Twitter. Once it became evident the the Falcons were gonna roll over the Packers by a big margin, Eason had some fun with it and started singing a different tune.
Y'all win.. Matty Ice for MVP #RiseUp pic.twitter.com/iiT0SJNxZD
— Jacob Eason (@skinnyqb10) January 22, 2017
After going 0-2 against the Birds the last two weeks, I think I speak for all Falcons fans when I say, cheer for the Pats, Jacob.
Blame the refs and blame the Dawgs
Georgia basketball’s loss to Texas A&M on Saturday was really bad, both for the Bulldogs and the officials. Check here for the full rundown, but the short version is Georgia blew a 13-point second-half lead but had a chance to win in the finals seconds, only to be undercut by a malfunctioning clock. The clock inexplicably stopped with just under 6 seconds left, leaving J.J. Frazier unsure of how much time was left as time ran out. The SEC released a statement on the mishap that goes into more detail.
Thoughts on this @UGABasketball drama @SECNetwork pic.twitter.com/J0axSCeixx
— Dane Bradshaw (@DaneBradshaw) January 21, 2017
There isn’t much more to add to this strange scenario. It’s just a big bummer because we didn’t get to see the game finish cleanly, considering every result is so important to an NCAA tournament bubble team such as UGA. Georgia shot itself in the foot to get in that position in the final seconds — the Bulldogs committed four consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes — but they deserved a chance to deliver a winner on that final possession. It’s just a bad situation all around.
Folks on Twitter and elsewhere who are saying the referees in this game and the Florida game when Yante Maten got called for touch foul after touch foul until he fouled out could be the difference between whether UGA gets into the tournament — that just needs to stop. The referees aren’t the difference. Georgia’s inability to overcome the referees is the difference.
The Dawgs have been in a lot of close games this season and always seem to melt when it matters most. I don’t think that’s some character flaw or anything that they can’t get done in big games. They’re just bad against the press, and the opponent will almost always press in close games, especially when it knows how bad the Bulldogs are at it. Georgia should never have been in a position to let the referees have a say in the outcome.
I’m not going to tell you not to be bitter about it, because that’s an unbelievably crappy way to lose. And these SEC referees are certainly really bad this season. But if Georgia doesn’t make the tournament, it’ll be the two minutes toward the end of the game Georgia screwed up, not the final 6 seconds the refs screwed up, that did it.
Former Dawg Hudson Swafford gets first PGA Tour win
There’s a new winner among Dawgs on tour. Former UGA golfer Hudson Swafford won the first PGA Tour tournament of his career on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 67 in the final round to finish the CareerBuilder Challenge at 20-under. Swafford had three birdies on the final four holes to finish with a one-stroke victory.
In a tie for the lead on 17, here is what Hudson Swafford did on the hole they call "Alcatraz". #ShotOfTheDay pic.twitter.com/bBCWjXaUf6
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 23, 2017
Swafford golfed at Georgia from 2008-11 and turned pro in 2012. He’s been plugging along in the professional ranks ever since but hadn’t busted onto the PGA scene. Until now. Now, he’s the ninth Bulldog to win on tour since 201o. And you’ll get to see Swafford on an even bigger stage in the not-so-distant future. With a PGA Tour win comes an invitation to the Masters, a first for Swafford.
What means more for Dawgs fans: Winning the SEC East or beating Florida? (Bill King DawgNation)
JUCO DT Larrell Murchison on his official visit: ‘I’m in love with Georgia right now’ (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
Kirby Smart hoping to add to already impressive 2017 recruiting class (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
Five observations from Georgia’s shocking loss to Texas A&M (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
Georgia takes over top spot in Scout recruiting rankings (Dean Legge, Athens Banner-Herald)
Georgia ain’t played ‘Bama, PAWWWLLL. (Senator Blutarsky, Get The Picture)
That’s a kangaroo.
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