Junkyard Blawg 

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

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]

Let’s be real: College football recruiting is a crapshoot

  • 10:56 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Bill King
Highly-rated quarterback prospect Jacob Eason has committed to Georgia. (Michael Carvell / AJC)

The world where Mark Richt and other top-level college football coaches must operate is a crazy one.

That was illustrated starkly over the past few days in Athens. On the one hand, UGA got verbal commitments from two of the nation’s mostly highly sought high school prospects for the 2016 class, including Jacob Eason, one of the top-rated quarterbacks.

Shortly after that, Bulldogs defensive lineman Jon Taylor was arrested for allegedly choking and beating his girlfriend.

A perfect example of what a crapshoot college football recruiting is: Today’s heralded recruit, adorned with as many as five stars by recruiting services, promoted [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]

UGA vs. Notre Dame? Check. Now, bring on Texas!

  • 3:07 pm Saturday, June 28th, 2014 by Bill King
Gerogia Texas Helmets

With the long-rumored Georgia-Notre Dame home-and-home football scheduling deal finally a reality this week, a lot of UGA supporters are already planning on trying to be among the 8,000 Bulldog fans who’ll get tickets to the Sept. 9, 2017, game in South Bend.

With the two schools only having played once before (and that resulting in a national championship for the Bulldogs), a regular season pairing of Georgia and Notre Dame is a dream matchup.

And while it’s true such big-time scheduling deals offer enough complications (mainly loss of one home game) that you’re not likely to see them on an every-season [More]

UGA ticket demand up in SEC’s ‘most beautiful’ stadium

  • 11:05 am Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Bill King

An off year in 2013 with a disappointing 8-5 record doesn’t seem to have dampened demand for UGA football season tickets.

Maybe it’s because the economy is in better shape, but the athletic association reported Tuesday that the Hartman Fund/Bulldog Club cumulative priority point cutoff score for 2014 is actually up from last year, when any contributor giving the $250 minimum donation per seat got tickets. This year, that’s not the case. Hartman Fund contributors requesting additional/new pairs of renewable season tickets with a cumulative score less than 1,001 won’t get them. (A limited number of nonrenewable single season tickets [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]

Too many tailbacks never a problem in the SEC

  • 11:26 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Bill King

“What’s Georgia gonna do with all those tailbacks?”

That’s what a guy getting on the elevator the other day wanted to know, and I must say I was kind of relieved to have someone talking to me about Bulldog running backs rather than Tray Matthews and the troubled secondary.

If all Mark Richt and Mike Bobo had returning was the “Don’t call us Gurshall” duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, they’d be in excellent shape, barring a return of last year’s injury bug. But the tailback corps in Athens also includes sophomore Brendan Douglas, who did solid if not exactly game-breaker [More]

Matthews dismissal shows Mark Richt’s challenge: Balancing need for talent, desire for discipline (UPDATED)

  • 10:59 am Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 by Bill King

There are no clear-cut answers to Georgia’s continuing attrition problem, as Tray Matthews’ dismissal marks the latest departure from Mark Richt’s team.

In the short term, the Dogs still have a loaded, talented offense and the defense looks to be strong up front, but I expect every opponent on the 2014 schedule to test the depleted secondary by throwing long and often.

Mostly due to his inability to come back from a nagging hamstring issue, Matthews never became the dominant defender he’d shown flashes of in his first spring in Athens and, in fact, lost his starting safety job late in the [More]

UGA’s game day experience: Loud music and cupcakes, but no beer

  • 11:11 am Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by Bill King

Athletic Director Greg McGarity talked some more about efforts to upgrade the game day experience at Sanford Stadium this week while attending the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla.

UGA already had announced that cellphone use inside the stadium should be much enhanced this fall. And, since the conference is loosening up rules on when recorded music and artificial sound can be played during games — letting schools crank up the P.A. between plays until the center is over the football — Georgia is enthusiastically scrambling aboard that bandwagon after experiencing what that sort of game environment is like last year [More]

UGA fan talk: Raising football ticket prices, Gurley skateboarding, jersey changes and more!

  • 11:31 am Saturday, May 24th, 2014 by Bill King

Let’s get straight to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

Sammy Bowden writes: I couldn’t believe Greg McGarity was talking this week about an increase in ticket price before the 2015 season, considering the Dawgs will play a home schedule that will feature the likes of Southern, ULM and Georgia Southern! OK, so Alabama will be playing in Athens that season, but I still question whether raising ticket prices is a good idea when everyone in college football, even in the SEC, seems to be worried about stemming a decline in attendance and enhancing the game day experience to lure [More]