Junkyard Blawg 

Lifelong Bulldog Bill King offers a fan's perspective on UGA sports

Sanford Stadium crowd earned ‘12th man’ status against Clemson

  • 11:04 pm Sunday, August 31st, 2014 by Bill King
Mark Richt said Saturday's Dawg Walk was one of the best ever. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Happy Labor Day! Hope you’re all enjoying a great holiday. If you haven’t checked out my initial Georgia-Clemson post-game Blawg (“Welcome to the Todd Gurley Appreciation Society”), you can do so here. Now, here are some additional observations from Georgia’s season-opener …

Mark Richt asked the Georgia fans, particularly the students, to come early and be loud, and that certainly was the case Saturday night, especially on key third-down plays. A couple of times, including after Todd Gurley’s kickoff return touchdown, the decibel level came close to the all-time high achieved last year against LSU. Clemson had to burn two [More]

Welcome to the Todd Gurley Appreciation Society!

  • 1:02 am Sunday, August 31st, 2014 by Bill King
Todd Gurley showed again Saturday why he's considered the nation's best running back. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I’ll have more on Georgia’s 45-21 triumph over old rival Clemson on a steamy night in Sanford Stadium, but first I wanted to offer a few quick thoughts:

Todd Gurley is one of those special players we need to savor while we have the tremendous pleasure of watching him. He certainly placed himself prominently in the early-season Heisman Trophy conversations with Saturday night’s stats: 198 yards on 15 carries and four touchdowns, plus a 100-yard-plus kickoff return that was a thing of beauty.

I’d said before the game that I wasn’t crazy about the game plan to play all Georgia’s tailbacks, meaning [More]

Georgia-Clemson: It doesn’t get any better!

  • 11:28 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Bill King
The play of John Theus and Georgia's offensive line will be a key to a win over Clemson. (Jason Getz / AJC)

“Are you ready for the new season?”

“Dawgs gonna do it against Clemson?’

Those are the typical greetings I’ve been getting around the office the past week or so, and the answsers are:

“Definitely” and “I think so.”

I hedge on the second because, like all Georgia fans, I’m wondering just how much better a largely inexperienced Bulldogs secondary will be with Jeremy Pruitt, late of national champion FSU, at the helm in place of the departed Todd Grantham.

My answer to a friend on that question yesterday: Well, at least they should all be on the same page of the playbook, which in itself [More]

Preseason concerns about Dawgs shift as injuries mount

  • 11:35 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Bill King

As Mark Richt’s Bulldogs approach the midway point in preseason practices, I decided to take stock of what parts of Georgia’s team have this fan feeling pretty good and what areas have me somewhat concerned.

The concerns actually have shifted a bit from before practice started. Yeah, I’m still taking a wait-and-see attitude on Jeremy Pruitt’s rebuilding project in the secondary as well as the reshuffling of the offensive line. And those still could prove to be the major points on which the Dogs’ early part of the season turns.

But as injuries have mounted and lingered, I’ve become more concerned about [More]

August in Athens: ‘Red and Black Christmas’!

  • 11:05 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Bill King
The UGA Bookstore has a Georgia-Clemson game T-shirt. (Olivia King / special)

Ah, Athens in August.

With school not yet in session and no classes to schedule around, Mark Richt and his staff have been moving right along with preseason camp, including starting two-a-days. And that’s meant …. Isaiah McKenzie turning heads with his open-field moves … Richt providing a little Dawg porn when he has the team run quick three-on-three Oklahoma drills with the media (and their camera phones) watching while Todd Gurley goes airborne (in practice!) … the daily media injury watch to see who limped off the field, who’s in what color jersey, who didn’t dress out and whether Hutson [More]

Junkyard Mail: How much should 2014 Dawgs rely on the run?

  • 12:49 pm Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 by Bill King
Hutson Mason opens fall practice under the watchful eye of Mike Bobo. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s officially football season, now that Mark Richt’s Bulldogs have started preseason camp, so let’s see what’s on the minds of fans in some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

Jimmy Howard writes: Bill, I know all about the benefits of a balanced offense, and Mike Bobo has shown in recent seasons that he understands well how a strong running game sets up a strong passing game. But with Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Brendan Douglas and elite newcomers Nick Chubb and Sony Michel at tailback, plus a changeover at quarterback, do you think maybe Georgia will (or should) rely on the [More]

Bulldog Nation confidence check: All over the place

  • 11:17 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Bill King
UGA offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. (John Kelley / UGA)

The level of confidence on the part of fans as Mark Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs report for preseason camp today varies greatly.

There are those who think a healthy offense loaded at tailback and receiver will be unstoppable despite a change in quarterbacks, and that the defense can’t help but be better than last year, meaning another trip to the Dome in December.

At the other extreme are the worriers who lament the unsettled offensive line, all the personnel losses from an already suspect secondary, the departure of Aaron Murray and the Dogs’ spotty history in special teams. A lot of those folks [More]

Junkyard Mail: Getting Dogs’ secondary on track, Clemson game, honoring Dooley and more!

  • 11:59 am Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by Bill King
Can Jeremy Pruitt turn the Dogs' dysfunctional secondary around in one season? (University of Georgia)

Bulldogs reserve linebacker Davin Bellamy, a redshirt freshman, was arrested early Saturday morning on charges of DUI and speeding, which means Jordan Jenkins may not get quite as much relief as expected at outside linebacker during the Clemson and South Carolina games.

So, yet another off-season arrest for Mark Richt’s team, and I’m not sure what’s left to say about that other than I’ve given up trying to figure out why so many college players these days keep doing dumb things that they know are going to cost them playing time.

Anyway, let’s dive into some Junkyard Mail. …

Andrew in Charleston, [More]

It’s a Dawg’s world, whether you’re in London or Hoover

  • 10:58 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Bill King
Mark Richt was unusually confident meeting the media in Hoover. (Associated Press)

A week ago today, my wife and daughter and I were standing in line outside 221B Baker Street on a cool, rainy London morning, waiting for the Sherlock Holmes Museum to open, when the couple standing in front of us turned around.

Apparently noticing the G on my baseball cap and my daughter’s red sweatshirt, the woman asked, “Where are y’all from?”

“Atlanta,” I replied, and she smiled. “We’re from Augusta. Go Dogs!”

Turned out they were also parents of a UGA grad and were over early for the British Open.

I don’t know what the odds are of us queuing up right [More]

Junkyard Mail: Bulldogs fans’ 2014 football expectations mostly optimistic

  • 12:09 pm Saturday, June 14th, 2014 by Bill King
John Theus, Todd Gurley and Hutson Mason are all key components in the Georgia offense's 2014 prospects. (John Kelley / UGA)

This week saw 11 members of Mark Richt’s 2014 Georgia football team named to the Athlon Sports Preseason All-SEC Team: Tailback Todd Gurley, inside linebacker Ramik Wilson and placekicker Marshall Morgan were named to the first team, while flanker Malcolm Mitchell, center David Andrews and outside linebackers Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins were second-team picks. Tackle John Theus and cornerback Damian Swann were picked for the third team, and defensive end Ray Drew and inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera were named to the fourth team. Gurley, Wilson and Floyd also were named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-America Team this week.

Meanwhile, [More]