Dawgs have seen better days

Rob Saye

Times are tough in Athens for the Georgia Bulldogs, who have dropped two straight games and are unranked in the polls for the first time in two years (Oct. 15, 2011). The Dawgs were dealt their second loss in 14 meetings against the Vanderbilt Commodores last Saturday in Nashville.

Head coach Mark Richt’s squad has been victim of misfortune time and time again. Injuries are a common occurrence in 2013 and the Dawgs’ “next man up” theme is falling short of team expectations. However, Richt is optimistic that both wide receiver Michael Bennett and tailback Todd Gurley will be ready for the Georgia/Florida game on Nov. 2 in Jacksonville following a bye week. Bennett tore is meniscus against Tennessee and Gurley suffered a high- ankle sprain against LSU.

“We feel pretty good that Michael Bennett can make it back and we’re thinking there’s a pretty good shot that Gurley will be ready to play,” Richt said. “I’m hoping they can get at least one full week of practice with this open date. To really be ready to play, you needa week of practice.”

Strong Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who has made his presence felt this season, suffered a foot injury in the Vanderbilt game. Wide receiver Chris Conley also endured an ankle injury. Fortunately, according to Richt, neither player will need surgery.


Having an extra week of rest and preparation is an advantage in many different facets and the team coming off of a bye week in the Georgia/Florida series tends to fall under the ‘win’ column in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Florida, however, is also off this weekend. Under Richt, Georgia is 13-4 after a bye week—which bodes well for a crippled Bulldogs squad that has not been able to catch a break.

UGA’s special teams have been far from special this season, from giving up blocked punts, to mishandled snaps, to high snaps, to muffed punts, etc. Georgia is actually one of two SEC teams that doesn’t have a special teams coordinator—Missouri being the other team. Richt has suggested that tight ends coach John Lilly is technically the special teams coach since he oversees those meetings and practices.

Fun fact when you desperately need one: Richt is one of five SEC coaches to register four consecutive 10-win seasons (2002-2005) along with Alabama’s Bear Bryant, Georgia’s own Vince Dooley, Tennessee’s Philip Fulmer and Florida’s Steve Spurrier.

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