Georgia Bulldogs

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Falling Apart?

By: Robert Craft news services

Many talent evaluators around the NFL believe Jalen Carter is the best player available in the NFL draft.

Whether he goes first or fifth or somewhere significantly south in the draft depends in large part on whether: 1) He has a significant turnaround from his current physical and mental state , or 2) a team locks onto his raw talent only.

The best version of Jalen Carter was not on display at Georgia’s Pro Day. NFL personnel officials, coaches and media members in attendance saw an overweight Carter huffing and puffing through drills that were set up for defensive linemen. He did not participate in any other skills tests, nor the 40-yard dash.

Carter weighed 323 pounds, that’s 13 pounds heavier than he was listed at during Georgia’s season. It’s also nine pounds heavier than the 314 he weighed at the scouting combine two weeks ago. It was clearly not nine pounds of muscle. He looked flabby. He looked like a risk for any team that decides to hand him a $20 million-plus signing bonus.

After arriving in Indianapolis to undergo physical exams and meet with teams (Carter had already opted out of workouts), the arrest warrant was issued in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. Carter left Indianapolis, turned himself in and was booked and released within hours. Then he returned to the combine and resumed interviews with teams.

No, Carter shouldn’t get brownie points for having to leave the combine in the first place. Yet, he returned when others might have stayed away. Which is an additional point for teams to consider in assessing one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.

Carter is the most dominant defensive lineman in this draft, who had a viral moment in the SEC Championship Game when he lifted LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with one arm while throwing up the No. 1 sign with his other hand.

Putting aside Carter’s two misdemeanors, the main questions about Carter that have been out there among pro scouts since during the season related to his consistency and work ethic.

Carter’s Pro Day was not a good look. There already were lingering questions about where Carter might be psychologically after the accident, and how he had handled himself in the suddenly negative spotlight.

All 32 NFL teams attended the Georgia pro day, including Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith, Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus and General Manager Ryan Poles and Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and GM Omar Khan.

Carter helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships and played at a dominant level despite dealing with knee and ankle injuries.

He has a month before the draft to get into shape and ease concerns. He has a month to realize he is in the midst of a job interview.

Bad Rep

By: Robert Craft news services

Star defensive tackle Jalen Carter became the third member of Georgia’s 2022 national championship team to be charged with reckless driving.

A fourth bulldog was charged with a DUI and the fifth was reported to have gone 34 miles over the speed limit at the time of arrest.

In total, nine Georgia players have been arrested in the last 13.5 months.

These arrests don’t have to be blamed on Georgia. There’s nothing that’s come to light that suggests it is. With that being said, these incidents still reflect poorly on the program’s image, as a charge reflects poorly on all five player’s criminal records.

All of these are misdemeanors, but Georgia’s program is at their highest media coverage nationally in the history of college football. The microscope is more zoomed in than ever, and narratives will be longer if these habits continue.

The car crash that took the lives of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy is a terrible tragedy. The other parts of the story have always seemed irrelevant: I don’t care about staffers socializing with athletes. I don’t care very much about a university car being used. I don’t care that they were at a strip club.

I do care what directly led to the crash. Now, Kirby Smart should talk with his program and take a leadership role in athlete risk aversion.

Smart needs to get a handle on street racing and reckless driving. Police report the cause of the car crash to street racing and reckless driving.

A coach can’t take away anybody’s ability to drive, but they can take away a starting roster position. An athletic director may set an example by suspending or dismissing players for criminal offenses while eligible.

Smart has indubitably built an athletic powerhouse in seven seasons in Athens, going for his third consecutive National Championship next season. However, after their latest title win, the team has been marred with bad morale and criminal news headlines.

The one thing that could bring down Smart and the Bulldogs’ dynasty is legal actions and a criminal reputation. Anybody remember the facelifting SMU and Miami have been doing after their debacles?

University of Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks stated that neither Willock, nor the driver of the car was on “athletic department business” at the time of the accident.

Brooks added that his department “[conducted] a thorough review, in coordination with appropriate legal counsel, to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.”

This sounds like Brooks is trying to minimize sue damage. In a wrongful death case involving a motor vehicle accident, it is sometimes possible to hold an employer responsible if their employee’s negligence was responsible for the fatal accident. This is a vicarious liability under Georgia law.

Georgia follows a “comparative fault” standard in all personal injury cases, which includes wrongful death claims. Basically, this means that when the negligence of multiple parties led to an accident, a judge or jury must apportion the blame accordingly. The judge will then reduce the victim’s damages to account for their determined percentage of fault.

Willock’s family has not filed any legal action arising from his death. High-profile accidents like this one often raise a number of questions regarding the law in this area. Dave Willock, who is the father of the late Devin Willock, said that he was not planning a lawsuit at this time.

“Georgia is working with us,” Willock told the AJC. “We have no reason to do that (sue Georgia), because they are compensating us 100 percent.”

I have a feeling that in the near future lawsuits will be filed, but until then, Smart and Georgia’s athletic department have to clean up their public image.

In scenarios like these, a little bit of prevention is worth a whole lot of cure- Georgia got lucky, but it won’t matter if these incidents keep happening.

The Bobo Sequel

By: Robert Craft news services

Todd Monken is no longer in Athens, headed back to the NFL ranks to join the Baltimore Ravens after leading Georgia’s offense for three seasons.

Mike Bobo is stepping into the role as offensive coordinator after having served as an analyst for the Bulldogs this past season and a quite well-traveled past before that, much of which took place in Athens.

What’s old is new again, with Bobo’s promotion to offensive coordinator being announced. There were two other options for Smart to go in replacing Monken, and each had its upside but also a downside.

Look outside the program. Smart may have operated quietly behind the scenes, the same way he did with Monken after the 2019 season for James Coley’s job. There may not have been a home-run hire available: Look at the trouble Nick Saban had finding a new offensive coordinator before landing Tommy Rees, who had an uneven and inconsistent past with his years at Notre Dame. Now, Notre Dame is having trouble finding a replacement for Tommy Rees.

Sources report that Monken played a big role in Bobo being named offensive coordinator.

Monken and Smart had more than one conversation about Bobo and his contributions in 2022, and Bobo was a big part of the game planning each week.

This isn’t to say Georgia has upgraded or downgraded, just because Bobo’s past two stints in the SEC didn’t go well. It’s best to label it a lateral move for the program, because fans still harbor reservations about Bobo’s early years at Georgia.

It took time before he grew into his position and became cutting-edge. For some reason, there’s a perception he was a run-first coordinator, but Georgia passed 57 percent of the time in 2011 and 2012, following 50-50 in 2013, then run-heavy in 2014 when it had the triumvirate of Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

Were there play-calling mistakes during the Bobo era? Sure (feel free to bring up not giving the ball to Gurley at the goal line in 2014 against South Carolina, even though Georgia scored on a goal-line pass earlier in the game).

Does being a good fit make Bobo the right hire? There are no guarantees; in the position that Georgia is in now — more talent, more financial support, everything in place that led to two straight national titles — the safe hire seems like the right one.

Airing It Out

By: Steve Norris news services

You don’t have to be a Georgia fan to understand the effect that Todd Monken has had on Georgia’s offense the last three years.

Monken recently was named Offensive Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, ending his time in Athens, GA.

Monken created a balanced and creative offense that kept defenses guessing and got the ball to multiple playmakers throughout games. It’s was a thing of beauty to watch and as a Georgia fan, I hate to see Monken go to Baltimore, because watching Georgia’s offense in the past hasn’t always been a treat.

Georgia has historically been known as a running team and for good reason. UGA is known as “Tailback U’, mostly due to the incredibly talented running backs that have come through in the last few decades. Everyone knows about Herschel Walker, Garrison Hearst, Todd Gurley, and Nick Chubb, just to name a few.

However, when it comes to passing the ball, Georgia fans have had to hold their collective breath a lot over the years. When Georgia’s quarterback has had to air it out a lot in games, it usually hasn’t ended well.

I decided to check out the website and found this category: Most Passing Attempts by a UGA Quarterback in a Game.

Here’s the Top Ten results:

Tied at 10th are Aaron Murray and Quincy Carter with 49.

Murray’s was against Auburn in 2013 and Carter against Florida in 1998. Both were losses. Georgia was pounded by the Gators 38-7 and every Georgia fan remembers how that 2013 Auburn game ended. A 43-38 loss where Murray deserved better.

Tied at 7th are Eric Zeier twice and Jake Fromm with 51 attempts.

Zeier’s were against South Carolina (a 24-21 win) and Kentucky (a 34-30 win) in 1994. Fromms’ was an ugly 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina in 2019 that the Fromm-haters in the Georgia fan base have never been able to get over. While Fromm didn’t play well that day, that loss was a team effort.

At 6th is Zeier again (see a pattern here?) with 53 passing attempts against Auburn at home in 1993. Another ugly home loss (42-28) where Georgia’s defense failed to show up and give our quarterback any help.

At 5th is Zeier again with 54 in an awful Homecoming loss to Vanderbilt in 1994. I was there covering the game that day for 13WMAZ (Macon). It’s probably the worst, most “mailed in” game I’ve ever seen from a Georgia squad.

Tied for 3rd with 55 passing attempts in a game are Quincy Carter and Jacob Eason.

Carter’s performance was in 1999 at Georgia Tech. Another inexplicable loss that could have been easily avoided had Head Coach Jim Donnan just kicked a field goal at Tech’s one-yard-line in overtime.

Instead, he ran Jasper Sanks, who fumbled and Tech recovered. Had there been replay at the time, it would have shown that Sanks was down. Unfortunately for Dawg fans, Tech would hold Georgia scoreless on their next possession and then kick a field goal to win 51-48.

It’s still the last time Georgia Tech has beaten Georgia at Grant Field. Jacob Eason’s 55-attempt performance was in 2016 at Missouri. Eason’s final pass was a 4th Down touchdown completion to Isaiah McKenzie to give the Dawgs a last-minute victory 28-27.

In 2nd place is Cory Phillips with 62 passing attempts against Georgia Tech at home in 2000.

This was a 27-15 loss that sealed Jim Donnan’s fate as head coach. He was fired the next week.

Phillips was 36 of 62 passing, while throwing for 413 yards, yet Georgia only managed 15 points for the game. What’s more frustrating is that all 11 starters for Georgia on defense that year went on to play in the NFL in some capacity.

Which brings us to the game with the most passing attempts ever. The 1993 Cocktail Party. Better known to old school Georgia fans as “The Timeout Game”.

Eric Zeier put the ball in the air a whopping 65 times that game in a 33-26 loss. The field was a mess as it had rained for what seemed like forever.

With five seconds left in the game, Zeier hit Jerry Jerman for what looked like a touchdown and the opportunity to go for two and win the game.

Instead, the referees claimed that Florida defensive back Anthony Lott had called a timeout before the ball had snapped (replay showed he didn’t but it didn’t matter).

The Dawgs would fail to score afterward and suffered yet another heartbreaking loss to Steve Spurrier and the hated Gators.

Georgia went 3-8 in those 11 games, with the three wins coming by four points or less.

Yet, despite two straight national championships, I still hear some Georgia fans complaining that we need a quarterback with an NFL-type arm who can throw the ball around the yard on a regular basis.

Relax, my fellow Dawg fans. Monken and Stetson Bennett have proven that a strong running game along with a quarterback who understands and can run the system is all Georgia needs to be successful.


Checking All The Boxes

By: Kipp Branch news services

Kirby Smart, arguably, is the most popular man in the state of Georgia currently.

The Georgia Bulldogs just won the 2022 National Championship to back up the one they won in 2021.

In seven full seasons in Athens, Smart has led his Dawgs to an 81-15 overall record with two SEC titles to go along with the national titles.

Many UGA fans are saying the 2023 team could be better than the current National Champions. I’m thinking how do you get better than 15-0 and a 65-7 rout in the title game?

It is called recruiting. Kirby Smart and Nick Saban are the best recruiters in college football. Year after year of top three recruiting classes allows a program to stockpile talent.

To Smart’s credit he recruits athletes that respond to hard coaching. Players get coached up hard at UGA. The results are stockpiling also.

Fifteen players were drafted by the NFL in 2022, which included 5 first rounders on the defensive side of the ball. Early projections for 2023 predict that UGA could have as many as 10 players drafted.

If Jalen Carter is the first player selected by the Chicago Bears, then UGA could have players in back-to-back drafts selected as the number one overall pick. Travon Walker was first overall by Jacksonville in 2022.

Kirby Smart develops his football players and gets them ready for the next level or ready for life.

It starts with practice. Nobody works harder than the Georgia Bulldogs under Kirby Smart. His teams are prepared physically and mentally for any opponent they face. The foundation of that is demanding work.

When you have four- and five-star talent that is willing to work and be pushed constantly you see the results start mounting. Look at the practice leading up to the TCU game.

Gunner Stockton took off the non-contact jersey at QB and replicated Max Duggan for TCU and took live hits from the best defense in the country to get them ready for TCU.

Kirby said this about his QB room after the title game:

“We got one that took a black (non-contact) jersey off and took hits all week so he could be Max (Duggan). “Gunner Stockton said, ‘Coach, take my shirt off. I’ll take the hits.’ ”

That is called total 100% buy-in folks. The is what Kirby demands and his roster year in and year old responds to it.

Kirby is already creating a narrative for the 2023 season: “The disease that creeps into your program is called entitlement. I’ve seen it firsthand,” Smart said. “If you can stomp it out with leadership, then you can stay hungry. And we have a saying around our place: We eat off the floor. And if you’re willing to eat off the floor, you can be special.”

Talking about leading by example just 48 hours after returning from the west coast title Kirby and staff were dropping in via helicopter on high schools all over the state of Georgia, and then heading out all over the country recruiting national recruits.

Kirby has turned UGA into a national brand now, and UGA has become a pipeline to the NFL. These are glorious times UGA fans. Enjoy this run while it lasts.

UGA has 13-14 starters returning for the 2023 season with a recruiting class that was ranked #2 nationally coming in.

Georgia signed seven of the top 20 recruits in the state of Florida. Florida signed none.

Kirby Smart is checking all the boxes in Athens, Georgia.

The Barn Sign

By: Steve Norris news services

Ross Smith had seen enough…and decided to let the world know about it.

It was Saturday, October 28th, 2000. Smith’s beloved Georgia Bulldogs had just suffered another frustrating loss to Steve Spurrier and the Florida Gators. It was the Dawgs’ 10th loss to the Gators in 11 games dating back to 1990, and Dawg fans were getting tired of it.

“We were angry that (Head Coach) Jim Donnan had decided to play Quincy Carter at quarterback over Cory Phillips.” Ross Smith, cousins and friends wanted people to know about it.

The week before, Carter was out due to injury, so Cory Phillips stepped in and led the Dawgs to a road victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, throwing for 400 yards and four touchdown passes.

“We thought for sure that Phillips had earned the chance to play against Florida,” said Smith. “Instead, Donnan went with Carter, who went out and threw three interceptions and looked horrible in yet another loss (to Florida).”

And that’s how The Barn Sign was born.

That night, Smith bought some red, white, and black paint and brought the dilapidated former corner store to life with its first message to Dawg fans everywhere: “TO HELL WITH CARTER…PHILLIPS FOR PRESIDENT”

“It was an election year, so going with “President” made sense to me,” said Smith.

The “barn” doesn’t actually belong to Smith. It is owned by his first cousins, James and Jonathan Hitchcock, who live on and operate the farm across the street.

It was originally a corner store from the mid-50’s to the late 70’s, according to Smith.

“There was a family that ran it and lived in a small room on the side of the building,” said Smith. “I’m not sure how they did it all those years. The room they lived in wasn’t as big as my truck and there’s never been any running water.”

After the first message in 2000, Smith began changing the sign a few times a year.

“I would change it at the end of the season, on National Signing Day (which was in February then), two weeks before the season to get Dawg fans pumped up, and then after the Florida game.

If we lost the Florida game, I would put up a message ribbing Gator fans, and if we’d won, I’d just put up the score. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to put the score up very much the first ten years or so,” Smith said laughingly.

Around 2010, the building began to rot in some places due to water leaks when it rained. Smith came home from a trip one day and noticed the building was leaning badly. “I just figured that was it. I was done painting The Barn Sign,” said Smith.

What he didn’t realize was how popular the sign had truly become. “People were sending me messages on Facebook asking me when I was going to fix the sign and paint it again,” said Smith. “I was fresh out of college and didn’t have a lot of money. I told the fans that if they wanted the sign back up, I needed them to donate money to help me pay for it.

I figured I needed around $1500 to make repairs, so I set up a PayPal account and raised $1700 in ten days. In fact, I had to turn the account off because money was coming in so fast.” Smith said.

Once the sign was repaired, its popularity began to grow exponentially. Smith has been interviewed by ESPN along with other large newspapers.

The Barn Sign Facebook page is approaching 55,000 “likes” while Smith’s daily page posts attract a lot of traffic.

Even while I was interviewing Smith in front of the sign, located on Highway 15 between Tennille and Wrightsville, around 15-20 people parked on the highway next to the sign to get a glimpse and take pictures in front of the iconic building. Of course, the current sign has a lot to do with that. Today it reads:


For Smith and all Georgia fans, it’s truly the best message ever and a “sign” that like Georgia football, The Barn Sign has a lot of great years ahead of it.


By: Joe Delaney news services

SOMETIMES it just all comes together…… For the 2022 Georgia Bulldogs that was the case.

They started the 2022 season ranked third in most polls.  While the Dawgs consistently played winning football throughout the year, they set the stage for a great season beginning on September 3 with a 49-3 pasting of the Oregon Ducks at the Benz in Atlanta.

There’s an old saying “Ducks on the Pond”. Well, the Georgia offense and defense just sat on the bank and picked em off one by one. The country then knew that the Dawgs weren’t back……. they had never left.

With all the talent that had gone off to the NFL, the Dawgs had simply reloaded and Dan Lanning and the Ducks got in the way and got blasted.

From there, it was like Amtrack blowing through Nahunta…… Saturdays throughout the fall the Dawgs would show up. The warning lights would go off, the gates would go down and that Red and Black bullet train would blow through at 60 mph running over anything in its path.

Then, whoosh they were gone. The gates went back up the warning lights went off and all that was left for South Carolina, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Tech and the others was a big L……. Only once in the season did the train even slow down.  That was in Missouri and all it taught those Dawgs was to keep going and going FAST.

By the end of the regular season the entire country knew who was number ONE and the Dawgs did too.

It showed again in the SEC championship game when Georgia rolled LSU to the tune of 50-30. BUT……. that great Georgia defense gave up 500 yards passing in the game.

Forget that most of those yards were gotten after the game had been decided. Could the train get derailed in the playoffs?

Well, the one team that could match up talent wise with the Bulldogs got to take their shot on December 31st in the Peach Bowl at the Benz.

Ohio State had talent and a great future NFL quarterback in C. J. Stroud. Combine that with great overall team speed and a chip on their shoulder from getting their butts handed to them by hated rival Michigan and the Buckeyes came in and played flawlessly.

They almost derailed the Athens Express. After Stetson Bennett led the Dawgs back out of a 14-point hole in the fourth quarter, the Dawgs held a slim one-point lead 42-41 scoring with under a minute to play.

From there, the Buckeyes and Mr. Stroud went to work. With a combination of passing and Stroud’s scrambling, the Nuts drove down the field and lined up for a game winning field goal with seconds left. Looked like the train was about to run outta track.

BUT SOMETIMES things just go your way and a duck hooked 50-yard field goal attempt later the Dawgs were headed to Cali and another shot at the Natty.

Everyone knows what happened next. The Dawgs ran all over TCU like they were a Frog on the train track. It was ugly, fast and ruthless. The largest blowout in the CFP ever, 65-7 and it wasn’t that close. The starters were eating chicken wings on the sideline in the fourth quarter.

So back to Athens with another Natty in hand. Time for curtain calls and happy endings…….

BUT SOMETIMES……. This life doesn’t go the way we feel it should. At 2:45 am on Sunday January 15th, mere hours after thousands of Dawgs rejoiced in the streets of Athens with the team, coaches, and staff, 2 players and 2 support staff were involved in a terrible accident in Athens.

It claimed the life of Chandler LeCroy a recruiting staffer and OL Devin Willock. It left Victoria Bowles in serious condition and our own Warren McClendon with less than serious injuries.

The joy throughout the Bulldog Nation quickly turned to sorrow with everyone associated with the program stunned by the turn of events. It was just horrible.

Dawgs everywhere will relish and savor this run with Kirby and the Dawgs but there will always be an asterisk placed on the championship parade of 2023.

Two wonderful young people taken too soon. A stark reminder of what is really important to us all.

SOMETIMES……. It just doesn’t seem fair.  Rest in Peace Devin and Chandler.

Frog Stomp

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Going into the national championship game I thought UGA winning was a slam dunk.

I thought they were forty points better than TCU. I was surprised to see people like Stephen A Smith and Robert Griffin III picking the Horned Frogs to win. They pointed out how they only had one five-star recruit and one four-star on the roster.

It turns out I underestimated the Bulldogs. No. 1 Georgia (15 – 0) demolished No. 3 Texas Christian University (13 – 2) 65 – 7. It was a beat down from the opening kickoff.

Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett IV was taken out of the game with 13:25 left in the fourth quarter. Kirby Smart called a timeout so he could walk off the field for the last time.

Bennett accounted for six touchdowns, four passing and two rushing. He completed 18/25 passes for 304 yards and rushed for 39 yards.

“As simple as it is, just one last huddle with the guys,” said Bennett, who finished with a 29-3 career record as Georgia’s starter. “That was special, coming off and seeing Coach Smart. That was really cool, and I appreciate that.”

“First time he’s ever walked off that I was hugging him,” Smart said with a smile.

The defense played great, recording 5 sacks. They also recorded three turnovers. They recovered a fumble and had two interceptions. TCU quarterback Max Duggan was also a Heisman finalist like Stetson Bennett, but he struggled.

The Horned Frogs did score their lone touchdown in the first quarter to make the score 10 – 7. They very briefly made it look like they could compete with the Bulldogs. Both of Duggan’s interceptions came in the first half and led to UGA scores.

He threw his second pick with 36 seconds left in the half. Two plays later Bennett threw another touchdown pass to make the halftime lead 38 – 7. It was the largest halftime lead in a national championship game since the 2002 BCS title game when Miami lead Nebraska 34 – 0.

Georgia won their first national title in 41 years last season. Now they’ve repeated as national champs, making them the first team in the College Football Playoff era to accomplish that.

TCU was 5 – 7 last season, which lead to them hiring head coach Sonny Dykes from SMU.

“We’ll learn from it,” Dykes said, “and next time we’re on a stage like this, we’ll handle it better.”

Last season’s championship team had five first-round NFL draft picks.

“If the team last year played this year’s team, last year’s team probably had more talent on it,” Smart said, “but this year’s team was different. They just had this eye of the tiger; they weren’t going to lose.”

Georgia dominated on the ground, rushing 44 times for 254 and five TD’s. Kenny McIntosh was the leading rusher with 8 carries for 50 yards. Branson Robinson had 7 carries for 42 yards and two scores.

Sophomore tight end Brock Bowers won the John Mackey Award this year for the nation’s best tight end. He played great in this game, recording 7 catches for 152 yards and a score.

Ladd McConkey also had a big night with 5 receptions, 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Dykes compared Bowers to a tight end he coached while he was the offensive coordinator at Arizona. That guy was named Rob Gronkowski.



College Football Playoff Predictions

By: Kipp Branch news services

It is playoff time once again! The College Football Playoff begins on New Year’s Eve.

Here are my previews and predictions.

The first semifinal on New Year’s Eve has No. 2 Michigan facing off with No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Wolverines are making their second consecutive appearance after having an unbeaten regular season that included a 45-23 drubbing of rival Ohio State.

The Horned Frogs are making their first trip, despite losing to Kansas State in overtime of the Big 12 title game.

TCU is the only team in the history of the CFP to lose a game and not drop in the rankings.

Michigan will look to physically dominate the line of scrimmage, and TCU will try to throw the football led by Heisman runner-up Max Duggan to put up points.

Michigan will have the more talented roster. TCU comes into the contest more battle tested with a series of come from behind wins during the regular season.

Most of the experts believe that Michigan should beat TCU rather easily. Could Michigan be looking past TCU to a UGA or OSU rematch? Time will tell.

TCU must stop Donovan Edwards. Michigan’s sophomore running back had to step in due to the injured Blake Corum. He has totaled more than 400 yards rushing in the past two games, and he has become the Wolverines biggest offensive threat.

If the game is close, TCU could pull the upset. Illinois provided the blueprint that teams must follow to beat Michigan. Michigan struggled in the 19-17 win other them. Match the physicality and force FGs in the redzone.

Prediction: Michigan 28-17.

The second showdown has No. 1 Georgia facing No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. The defending champion Bulldogs will have the advantage of playing in the friendly confines of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

UGA is already 2-0 this season in the Benz with blowouts over Oregon and LSU in the SEC title game.

The UGA defense will have to contend with Buckeye’s quarterback C.J. Stroud and some talented wide receivers.

Ohio State was a dominant team all season and have been defined going into this playoff game by one bad second half of football against Michigan.

On the negative side for the Buckeyes, they are banged up. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba will not play, and RB TreVeyon Henderson is having foot surgery and will miss the game. RB Miyan Williams has been banged up as well.

Offensively, C.J. Stroud should still be a threat against a Georgia defense that allowed more than 500 yards passing against LSU. That had to drive Kirby Smart insane.

OSU’s skill people are on par with the offensive skill players that Tennessee had in 2022.

Defensively, OSU got bullied against Michigan and if that repeats in the Peach Bowl then they will not win the contest.

On the Georgia side, the defense must put together a Tennessee like performance in this contest.

Jalen Carter will be the best player on the field for UGA, and he must wreak havoc on the OSU offensive line. Kelee Ringo must play well against Marvin Harrison Jr. Finally, the UGA defense must tackle well.

Offensively, UGA must be balanced and not be stubborn and just run the ball. Stetson Bennett should have a fantastic game.

The UGA OL is better than the OSU DL and that must play out in this contest. Brock Bowers is a match-up nightmare for Ohio State, and the WR group will be as healthy as they have been since the season opener.

This is the best semi-final match-up to date in the College Football Playoff. This should be a fantastic football game.

Prediction: UGA 38-35.

The Real Heisman

By: Robert Craft news services

One of the biggest success stories of the last two years in college football is UGA’s Brock Bowers.

The Georgia star won the Mackey Award this year as the nation’s best tight end and is emerging as one of the top players in the sport.

His transition to the college level wasn’t the easiest though. After all, he didn’t have a senior season to end high school. That made things tough.

It seems like he’s handled the leap from high school to college just fine. In two years with Georgia, Bowers has 1,608 yards, 19 touchdowns and a national championship ring.

He’s a big reason why they’re heading back to the College Football Playoff with a shot at another national title.

At first, Bowers said he felt a little behind the curve when he arrived in Athens. But the staff got to work to get him up to speed, and it’s paying dividends.

Bowers’ production after two seasons has already matched that of former first-round tight ends like Florida’s Kyle Pitts, but per NFL rules, he’ll have to play a third year before moving on to the big leagues.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end shared his goals for the 2023 season and how he wants to grow before taking off the Bulldog red.

“I guess catching balls is probably one of my stronger suits and I just want to keep working on getting stronger and bigger, put on some weight,” Bowers stated.

Bowers may have already added weight since the preseason roster update this fall but his NFL target is likely around 245 to 250 pounds. Even without the extra bulk, the former No. 1 tight end recruit is still the No. 1 tight end prospect on most big boards for the 2024 NFL draft.

Brock Bowers has already become the greatest tight end in Georgia history. Now he’s closing in on becoming the school’s greatest receiver.

With a possible 2 games remaining this season and an entire Junior season left, it is not out of the realm of possibility that we could see Brock Bowers become the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns, as well as receiving yards for the University of Georgia. An accomplishment that would all but cement his legacy as not only Georgia’s greatest tight end, but the greatest receiver in school history as well.

Bowers is arguably the most dangerous pass catcher in football as the best tight end in the NCAA. He would’ve been the highest-drafted player at his position if he entered this year. Looking at everything it’s crazy to think all he’s accomplished in only 2 years of college ball.

On another note, Caleb Williams was just recognized as the best player in college football as the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner. In my opinion the best player in college football is Brock Bowers.


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