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College Football

    An Oklahoma prosecutor decided against charging Sooners running back Rodney Anderson with sexual assault on Thursday, clearing a major cloud hanging over the team ahead of its College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia.'Definitely, charges are not warranted under these circumstances,' Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said during a news conference.The accusation stemmed from a petition for a protective order in which a woman said Anderson assaulted her in her apartment last month and that she feared for her safety. Anderson had gone to her home after the two met during a night of drinking.Mashburn's assistant prosecutor, Susan Caswell, said one of the woman's close friends told an investigator the accuser called the friend from a bathroom saying she was excited that Anderson was at her house.'She said that she had vomited, but intended to brush her teeth and go back and kiss him some more,' Caswell said, describing what the friend told the investigator. 'She sounded tipsy, but not drunk.'Caswell said two other witnesses relayed similar accounts — that they understood that Anderson and the woman had a good time. They added that the woman had hoped to have a romantic relationship with Anderson.Derek Chance, Anderson's attorney, had called the accusation 'patently false,' saying the woman made it after Anderson declined her social invitations.'The investigation reveals what we have maintained, Mr. Anderson is innocent of these allegations,' Chance said in a statement. 'Anderson is ready to focus on his obligations as a student-athlete.'Anderson has been one of Oklahoma's breakout stars after season-ending injuries the past two years. He leads the Sooners with 960 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and has 283 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Anderson took over this year for departed running back Joe Mixon, who was suspended for a year after he punched a woman in a restaurant in July 2014. Mixon is now with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.The prosecutor's decision answered a key question hanging over Oklahoma ahead of its showdown with Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.The Bulldogs have had some off-field distractions, too.Starting inside linebacker Natrez Patrick and receiver Jayson Stanley were arrested earlier this month on charges of marijuana possession. A misdemeanor against Patrick has been dismissed and Stanley has reportedly negotiated an agreement to plead guilty to possession of marijuana of less than an ounce and speeding in exchange for dropping a DUI drug charge.Freshman defensive back Latavious Brini, who has not played for the Bulldogs this season, faces a felony forgery charge over allegations of passing a counterfeit $100 bill last summer.___AP writer Adam Kealoha Causey in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.___More AP college football coverage: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 .
  • Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Stanford running back Bryce Love and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield are this year’s Heisman Trophy finalists, according to the Heisman Trust, which made the announcement on ESPN Monday night. >> Read more trending news The Heisman is one of the most prestigious awards in sports and the top award in college football. Jackson is looking for a repeat after winning the trophy last year, hoping to become the second player to win the award two years in a row after Archie Griffin did it in 1974 and 1975. And he’s got a good chance at it, throwing for 3,489 yards and making 25 touchdowns this season, according to Sports Illustrated. Mayfield is a favorite to win, though, leading the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 title. Mayfield broke his own 2016 record this season, setting a Football Bowl Subdivision record for passing efficiency, SI reported. He threw for 4,340 yards with 41 touchdowns, the second highest number of the season. Love scored 17 touchdowns and was second in the country for rushing with 1,973 yards. He did it mostly with a seriously injured ankle, too. >> Related: 2 Georgia players arrested after SEC championship game The Heisman has been awarded to the best college football player dating back to 1935, although the first award was called the DAC Trophy after New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. The name of the award was changed to the Heisman Memorial Trophy in 1936 after the death of legendary football coach and DAC athletic director John W. Heisman. The winner of the 2017 Heisman Trophy will be announced at a ceremony Saturday in New York.
  • Sam gives his thoughts on UGA’s beat down of Georgia Tech. 
  • ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week following the 38-7 victory at Georgia Tech, according to a league announcement.   This is the Bulldogs’ eighth SEC weekly honor of the season. Senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was named the Defensive Player of the Week after the win at #24 Notre Dame; Fromm also garnered Freshman of the Week honors in the victories over #17 Mississippi State and Missouri; Chubb was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week after wins at Tennessee and versus Kentucky; senior left tackle Isaiah Wynn was named the Offensive Lineman of the Week after the Vanderbilt victory; and J.R. Reed earned Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Florida win.   Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., matched a career-high 75 percent completion rate on 12-for-16 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns during the Bulldogs’ latest win in Atlanta. He also added two rushes for 20 yards in the contest. Fromm stands third in the SEC in Pass Efficiency with a 167.7 mark after highlighting Saturday’s performance with a career-long 78-yard touchdown strike to junior Ahkil Crumpton.   Fromm has directed an offense that finished the regular season ranked third in SEC games in Scoring Offense at 36.9 points/game. He helped make the Bulldogs the 10th team in school history to tally at least 11 wins in a season and first since 2012.   The sixth-ranked Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1 SEC) travel to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game versus fourth-ranked Auburn (10-2, 7-1 SEC) on Saturday in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. CBS will televise the matchup at 3:30 p.m.
  • After punching his coach on the sideline, a Tennessee State University football player has been dismissed from the team and expelled from school, according to a report by the Tennessean. >> Read more trending news Senior defensive end Latrelle Lee hit the Tigers strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head Saturday and then knocked him to the ground on the sideline. The Tennessean reported Tennessee State athletics director Teresa Phillips said Lee was kicked off the team by head football coach Rod Reed. The 22-year-old from Dothan, Alabama, was expelled from the college on Monday, according to the Tennessean.
  • Humility is only a week away… It’s been Kirby Smart’s mantra all season long when talking about the success that Georgia Football has had in 2017. Week in and week out, Georgia has taken care of their opponents with relative ease. The game at Notre Dame was tough, and South Carolina provided a tougher test than most thought they would, but other than that, it’s been smooth sailing for the Dawgs. Well, smooth sailing hit the eye of the storm in Auburn, Alabama on Saturday. The Tigers dominated the Dawgs in every way possible and proved that they have come a long way since blowing a big lead against LSU. Here’s what I saw from an awful performance from Georgia: 1. Well, it was a good start: I wanted to start off on a good note, because the only thing Georgia did well in this game was putting points on the board on their first drive. If you had told me this game would go the way it did after watching the Dawgs’ first turn on offense, I would have said you were crazy. Jake Fromm was 3 for 3 on the drive for 56 yards, including a big third down pass to Javon Wims. The two of them have developed a very good understanding of each other, and Fromm has become comfortable throwing jump balls to Wims because of his ability to come down with a bunch of them. Unfortunately, Georgia never came close to replicating the success of the first drive at any point during the rest of the game.  2. Complete and utter domination: After that first drive, Auburn took control of this game and at no point looked like they would give it back. The Tigers more than doubled up Georgia in terms of total yards and outgained Georgia on the ground 237 to 46 (net rushing yards). Kerryon Johnson alone ran for 167 yards while the trio of Chubb, Michel, and Swift only combined for 66 yards for the Dawgs. In the passing game, Georgia couldn’t keep Jake Fromm upright as he was sacked four times and pressured a bunch more. At times, football is a very simple game. If you keep your quarterback protected, hit/pressure the other team’s quarterback, and control the game on the ground, you’re going to win a lot more than you lose. That was the formula for Auburn in this game, and they executed about as well as I’ve seen any team in the country this season.  3. There’s a first time for everything: Two things that have been a hallmark of Georgia Football this season are discipline and fundamental execution. Unfortunately, both of those were essentially non-existent against Auburn. Georgia kept shooting themselves in the foot with dumb penalty after dumb penalty. One that comes to mind was a late hit out of bounds by Malkom Parrish, but the glaring one was D’Andre Walker’s leaping penalty while trying to block a punt. Georgia’s defense had done a good job to force the punt and get off the field. After the penalty, Jarrett Stidham would hit Darius Slayton on a 42-yard pass for a touchdown. These players are told over and over again what they can and can’t do in those punt block situations, so Walker’s penalty was extra maddening. Another thing we had not seen this season was Georgia missing tackles. Kerryon Johnson did a great job of making defenders miss and might prove to be the best back the Dawgs have faced/will face all season.  4. Second-guessing: One of the more talked about things from this game was the way the Dawgs handled the end of the first half. Instead of taking a few shots into the end zone, Georgia was content with settling for a field goal when attempting to put some points on the board before the half. At the time, Auburn led 16-7 and was going to get the ball to start the 2nd half. Georgia had good field position due to a good Mecole Hardman that put the ball at Auburn’s 26-yard line with about 22 seconds left in the half. Georgia then ran the ball with Sony Michel and spiked the ball to give Rodrigo Blankenship time for the kick, a kick that he would ultimately miss. I actually said to a few people near me in the press box that there was no chance that kick was going to go in. It just didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do in that situation. If you take a few shots at the end zone and then kick, it would have felt much better. It just felt like Georgia was resigned to taking the three, and that was disheartening.  5. Taming the savages: For me, this was the most shocking part of this game. Georgia’s defense has been DOMINANT all season long, but they were the exact opposite of that against Auburn. Auburn moved the ball seemingly at will against the Dawgs, whether it was through the air or on the ground. I’ve already mentioned how Kerryon Johnson could not be stopped, but neither could Jarrett Stidham. I was talking with Coach Donnan about this game, and he made a great point: It’s hard to have a consistent pass rush against a team that constantly runs RPOs (run-pass options), especially if you have a quarterback that is good a pre-snap reads. Stidham called a great game in that regard, and constantly had Georgia’s defense guessing.  6. Roadblock in Lee County: The two strongest elements of Georgia’s team this season have been the defense and the run game. I just talked about how Auburn’s offense dominated Georgia’s defense, and you can flip the words “offense” and “defense” there and the same held true. Two of the best backs in the country (Sony Michel and Nick Chubb) had no room to run against the Tigers. The offensive line was flat out horrible in this game. As soon as Georgia’s backs would hit the line of scrimmage, they were met with a host of blue jerseys. There just weren’t any holes for Chubb and Michel to operate in. D’Andre Swift has also been a big part of Georgia’s offense this season, particularly in catching passes out of the backfield. He had zero catches against Auburn and only ran for 18 yards on four carries (which resulted in a yards per carry average that was two yards better than either Chubb or Michel). When you’re a team that leads with the run and can’t run, it’s not going to be a good day for you.  7. Keep Chopping: Was this a bad result for Georgia? Absolutely. A lot of the national media had been questioning Georgia in the lead up to this game, and those doubters were given a lot of ammunition as a result of it. That being said, Georgia still has everything in front of them. If they win the last two games of the regular season against Kentucky and Tech and go on to win the SEC Championship, they WILL be in the College Football playoff. This is where Coach Smart’s “keep chopping wood” slogan comes in handy. Georgia just has to keep working hard and preparing well for each opponent. Even if Georgia doesn’t win the SEC Championship this season, they are still well set up to be in a good bowl game and are ahead of where I thought they would be at this point in Kirby Smart’s tenure as head coach. The future is bright for this program with the recruiting classes the Dawgs are building, but let’s not give up on this season just yet as a lot of different scenarios could still play out. During his press conference this week, Coach Smart spoke very little about the Auburn game, as he, his staff, and his team have moved on to Kentucky. I suggest all of you in DawgNation do the same. There’s still A LOT left to play for and that starts against the boys from the Bluegrass on Saturday.  
  • The Georgia Bulldogs, currently the No. 1 team in the nation according to the latest College Football Playoff Polls, will only play in Sanford Stadium one more time this season. And today we learned the kickoff time for what will be Senior Night.  Georgia and Kentucky will kick off on November 18th at  3:30pm and be televised on CBS. Prior to the game, all seniors on the team wil be honored on the field as part of Senior Night festivities. This year will have some star-studded acknowledgements, headlined by seniors Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy, and Dominick Sanders, among many others. 
  • Sam gives his thoughts on Georgia’s destruction of Florida in Jacksonville
  • The No. 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs still have a couple of home games left on their 2017 schedule, and today they learned the kickoff time for one of them. When Eastern Division rival South Carolina travels between the hedges on November 4th to play the Bulldogs, the two teams will kick off at 3:30pm and air on CBS.  The game will not be the featured Game of the Week that usually airs on CBS every week, being as the network opted for a double header. Instead, LSU at Alabama will air on the network at 8pm with all its main announcers and sideline reporters.  The game  marks the earliest kickoff for a Georgia home game this season. 
  • Sam gives his thoughts on another big Georgia win, this time against Mizzou