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Latest from Logan Booker

    Athens, GA - The familiar sounds of coach’s whistles and stampeding linemen can be heard around the Butts-Mehre athletic complex in Five Points this afternoon. That’s because football, the lifeblood of the University of Georgia and Athens is back for 2017 Spring Practice.  Year two of head coach Kirby Smart will officially begin today with the first of a series of practices leading up to the April 22nd G-Day game to be held in Sanford Stadium, with no shortage of storylines to watch.  The progression of sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason will likely take the forefront of attention - again - as the heralded signal caller from Washington state will look to show maturity coming on the heels of a successful but otherwise not spectacular freshman season in the Southeastern Conference. And new this year comes legit competition from another five-star quarterback recruit from Houston County, Georgia, Jake Fromm. How the two will complement and push one another through the rigors of practice this spring and into fall will clearly define the success of the 2017 version of the Georgia Bulldogs.  Not to be outdone, plenty of attention will be given to the beloved pair of senior running backs who surprised many by announcing they would indeed spend their senior seasons between the hedges. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both could have declared for the NFL Draft, but instead decided they would rather wash the sour taste of an 8-5 season and a home loss to Georgia Teach in 2016 out their mouths the best way they know how, with the possibility of exacting revenge. Their return not only will cause headaches for opposing defensive coordinators throughout the SEC, but will provide invaluable leadership for a young corps of running backs in line behind them preparing to be the future of a program often tabbed “Running Back U.” Smart’s defense will also be under a microscope as the boys practice under the shadows of bloomed dogwood trees these next few weeks. What was considered the weakness of the program this time last year - an ultra thin and young defensive line - proved to be one of the strongest units in 2016. How they progress and grow together will be examined closely.  And the biggest mystery of them all, the offensive line, will likely not shake out until the leaves start changing this fall, rather than under the fragrance of pollen this spring. What was clearly the most-handicapping aspect of an underwhelming offense last season is now missing a few starters, but also has a lion’s share of top recruits scheduled to arrive on campus this summer. So any observations of struggles in protecting the quarterbacks or opening up holes for the running backs may require an asterisks until we make the same observations five months from now.  It’s a happy time of year for many in this part of the world. It’s often referred to as “stress-free football,” with all the nostalgia of SEC football on the practice field, without the worry of losing to a hated rival on Saturday. And when tens of thousands file into Sanford Stadium for G-Day, there’s a guaranteed Bulldog victory to be seen. And no matter how you view it, or how you want to examine and analyze it, there’s one thing everybody will agree on: football is back. And the Classic City is simply more fun with it. 
  • According to several reports, the Los Angeles Rams are signing former University of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. Most notably being reported by Ian Rappaport, a national insider for the NFL Network.  Murray graduated from UGA in 2013 after starting for four seasons, setting nearly every school quarterback record along the way. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played a backup role until late last season when he was cut, and then signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice team before becoming a free agent this offseason.  Sure to make every UGA fan smile, Murray will be reunited with former UGA running back Todd Gurley in L.A. Gurley was drafted in the first round by the Rams in the 2015 NFL Draft, and then promptly won league Rookie of the Year. The duo was a huge fan favorite between the hedges, and also beat Florida together in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013. 
  • Athens, Ga - You can now make Homecoming plans for the fall of 2017. The University of Georgia has announced that the weekend of October 14th will be the epicenter of a week filled with activities. The football team will host the University of Missouri that Saturday, when all alumni are invited and encouraged to return to campus to take part in a celebrations and special gettogethers campus wide.  The Bulldogs and Tigers have played five times since Missouri joined the SEC in 2012. Georgia has won four of those meetings. The last time the two played in Athens, the Bulldogs won a 9-6 game, which did not feature a touchdown by either team. 
  • Athens, Ga - The University of Georgia football team and its head coach Kirby Smart got an early Christmas present on Thursday, with the announcements that several key juniors would be returning to play their senior seasons 'between the hedges' in 2017. Most noteably, running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, both of which were highly thought to be candidates to dart to the NFL, will return and create a world of depth at the position. Chubb returned in 2016 from a devastating knee injury suffered in 2015, and progressively got better as the season went on. Michel once again made his case in 2016 as being  the best athlete on the Bulldogs' team.  Also returning will be linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy. It was rumored recently that Bellamy was a lean to the NFL, but will instead stay in Athens, and along with Carter, continue to help a strong defense get stronger under defensive-minded Kirby Smart.  “It’s really special when you get around a special group that care about a place that I really care about, and regardless of their decision – which all four of them have decided to stay, and want to come back – it means a lot to me when guys do that,' Smart said. “I think each one would tell you they handled it the right way. They got a lot of information, they used all the resources that our university provides, and they made the decision. I particularly tried to stay out of the decision-making, and just get these guys information, and I think they did a nice job about that.” Chubb spoke to media after the announcements, where he declared the sour taste left after the loss to Georgia Tech played a factor in why he and his junior teammates elected to have one more round with Georgia's many rivals.  “The last game didn’t go the way any of us wanted it,” Chubb said. 'So I couldn’t have that be my last memory of Georgia.”
  • Athens, Ga - Reports are swirling from numerous outlets today that University of Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is a candidate for the head coach opening down the road at Georgia State University.  GSU fired Trent Miles after the Panthers started the 2016 season a dismal 2-8.  Tucker is finishing his first season with the Bulldogs in Athens, coming over with head coach Kirby Smart from Alabama after UGA fired Mark Richt this time last year. Prior to his role as defensive backs coach at Alabama, he held several stints in the NFL, most notably the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Cleveland Browns.  GSU would have to be willing to drastically increase its head coaching salary if it were to lure Tucker from Athens. Prior to his firing last month, Miles was making $463,500 as Panthers head coach. Tucker is currently making $850,000 as defensive coordinator at UGA.  The job at GSU could be more appealing with an overhaul coming to the football program, among other athletics. The school will begin construction on Turner Field, the now former home of the Atlanta Braves for the last 20 years, converting the 46,000 seat baseball stadium into a 22,000 seat football stadium. The team currently plays in the Georgia Dome, usually in front of only a few thousand. Many believe the new stadium will be much more appealing to recruits and fans alike. 
  • The Atlanta Braves announced this morning that they will be removing the 'interim' label from manager Brian Snitker, making him the full time manager of the program.  Snitker took over as Braves interim manager back on May 17th after the club fired former manager Fredi Gonzalez, and then lead the team to a 59-65 record for the remainder of the year - a drastic improvent from the beginning of the season. The Braves finished one of the hottest teams in baseball, winning 10 of their final 12 games.  Several candidates were reportedly interviewd for the job over the past couple weeks since the conclusion of the 2016 MLB season, which suposedly included former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington - who was instead named Braves third base coach today - and Sandiego Padres manager Bud Black.  Also being rtained on the Braves coaching staff will be bench coach Terry Pendleton, first base coach Eddie Perez, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and assistant hitting coach Jose Castro, and bullpen coach Marty Reed.  The Brave also announced the hiring of Chuck Hernandez as their new pitching coach, after announcing last week that former pitching coach Roger McDowell's option would not be picked up in 2016. 
  • Athens, Ga - While most of the collegiate sports focus is zeroed in on college football, the college basketball season is right around the corner. And with a new season comes a plethora of new rule changes.  The NCAA released a 23-min video explaining all of these rules with demonstrations, which will help you better understand the men with whistles making the calls.  You can watch the video by CLICKING HERE. 
  • The term 'add insult to injury' has never been more true, at least for the University of Georgia and its football fans on Saturday. Star running back Nick Chubb carried the ball 12 times for a total of 57 yards before leaving the game with an ankle injury, and did not return. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart addressed the issue during his postgame press conference. “Don’t know the severity yet. He couldn’t come back in the game,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “If he could have come back, I know he wanted to. So we’ll see how that goes the next couple days.' Georgia has relied heavy on its passing game the past two games, as it has struggled with the run since the first game. Whether thats banged up running backs, weak offensive line play or a playcalling issue is up for interpretation.  During the 45-14 loss, UGA freshman Brian Herrien ran the ball 11 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns, while Elijah Holyfield - another true freshman - was given four carries for 27 yards. Both players could be relied on even heavier if Chubb's injury results in any loss of playing time. 
  • From UGA Sports Communications: OXFORD, Miss.-----The 12th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1 in Southeastern Conference) were handed their first loss of the season against the No. 21 Ole Miss Rebels 45-14 on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in front of 65,43 attendees, second biggest in Ole Miss history.  The Rebels (2-2, 1-1 in SEC) came out firing by putting up 31 points in the first half and the deficit proved to be too large for the Bulldogs to mount another second-half comeback. Ole Miss accumulated 510 total yards (330 through the air and 180 on the ground), while UGA managed 396 total yards with 230 rushing and 166 passing.  “They came out and dominated from the start of the game,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “It was disappointing to get the penalties that we got. We shot ourselves in the foot. A couple drives where we had things going, we struggled when we had 2nd-and-15 or 3rd-and-15. We couldn’t convert those. The pick-six then defensively we just gave up too many big plays. When they throw the ball down the field vertically, you have to make plays on the ball and make those things misses and they hit those.”  Bulldogs’ freshman quarterback Jacob Eason went 16-for-36 for 137 yards with an interception and a fumble. Freshman tailback Brian Herrien led Georgia with career-highs 78 yards on 11 touches and two touchdowns. Junior tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel added 57 and 66 yards, respectively, on the ground. Michel notched a team-high 34 receiving yards on two catches.  Senior quarterback Chad Kelly led Ole Miss with 282 yards passing on two touchdowns, and he had a team-high 53 yards rushing with one touchdown. Senior tight end Evan Engram grabbed team-high six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.  “We struggled with that third-and-long,” said Smart. “The penalties backed us up because we ran the ball decent early in the game. We had 93 yards rushing in the first half and that was with a sack. Any time you are playing behind the sticks with a freshman quarterback on the road, it is challenging. But we got to execute and do better on offense.”  The Rebels took their opening possession 69 yards on seven plays but the Georgia defense halted the Rebels on the UGA seven-yard line to force a Gary Wunderlich 24-yard field goal that gave Ole Miss the early 3-0 advantage. On the following Bulldog possession, defensive back Derrick Jones of the Rebels intercepted Eason and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Ole Miss tailback D’Vaughn Pennamon punched it into the end zone from one yard out to finish a 10-play, 84-yard drive for a 17-0 lead. Then Ole Miss’ Kelly connected with receiver Demarkus Lodge and Engram for second quarter touchdowns.  At the half, the Rebels had 323 total yards (53 rushing and 270 passing), while the Bulldogs managed a total of 186 yards (93 rushing and passing, each). Eason went 7-for-21 for 64 yards and an interception. Kelly of the Rebels amassed 233 yards and two touchdowns.  The Rebels added two touchdowns in the third quarter on a 5-yard Jason Pellerin reception from backup Ole Miss quarterback Eugene Brazley and a 41-yard run by Kelly.  The Bulldogs got on the board in the subsequent possession as they orchestrated a 75-yard, 7-play drive capped with a touchdown. Herrien had 43 yards on the drive with 10-yard scurry to make it a 45-7 game.   At the 7:38 mark in the fourth quarter, Georgia and Herrien reached the end zone again as the tailback finished the Bulldogs’ longest drive of the game (79 yards in 12 plays) with a one-yard touchdown run. Eason amassed 45 yards on 5-for-6 passing, while he added 8 yards on the ground.  Junior safety Dominick Sanders notched team-high seven tackles and added a sack. Georgia cornerback Aaron Davis picked off Pelerin’s pass in the third quarter and returned it for eight yards.  “These men have had setbacks before, we all have setbacks,” said Smart. “But it’s how we respond to it. It is the first setback this year. But we haven’t played a complete game yet and that was kinda how this one was. We need to continue to improve and sell these kids on working to get better and that is what we are going to do.”
  • Athens, Ga --- The University of Georgia and its football fans can now start planning those tailgates and road trips for the fall of 2017, as the Southeastern Conference released next season's football schedule for all teams on Tuesday night.  With the announcement one significant change in the usual weekly matchups Bulldog fans are accustomed to. The annual meeting against the South Carolina Gamecocks - usually an early season game - will take place in November for the first time since the 1980 season.  Also for the first time since the 1980 season, Georgia will face Notre Dame, which it beat in the 1981 Sugar Bowl to claim its latest National Championship. That game we have known about for several years now, and will take place in South Ben, Indiana on September 9th.  The rest of the 2017 football schedule is as follows: Sept. 2    APPALACHIAN STATESept. 9  at Notre DameSept. 16  SAMFORDSept. 23  MISSISSIPPI STATESept. 30     at TennesseeOct. 7     at VanderbiltOct. 14   MISSOURIOct. 28   Florida (Jacksonville)Nov. 4    SOUTH CAROLINANov. 11  at AuburnNov. 18  KENTUCKYNov. 25  at Georgia Tech 
  • Logan Booker

    Logan Booker is a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in magazine journalism in addition to a certificate in Grady Sports Media. He was raised in Lawrenceville, Ga, and in addition to his current home in Athens, he spends lots of time with his dog and his boat in Lincoln County, Georgia.  

    Logan has covered UGA sports since 2012, previously with Bulldawg Illustrated. 

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Latest Bulldog News

  • There will be a new policy in place for football fans who go to games at Sanford Stadium later this year. The University of Georgia says it will be following Southeastern Conference guidelines and requiring fans to bring items into the Stadium and other athletic venues in clear plastic bags. UGA says the policy will be in place for the April 22 G-Day spring football game.  From the University of Georgia…   In the interest of public safety and to expedite entry into its venues, the UGA Athletic Association will begin to implement the Southeastern Conference Clear Bag Policy in 2017. This policy will be in effect at the annual G-Day intrasquad football game on April 22. It will go into effect permanently for the 2017-18 competition season and will include all UGA venues that host ticketed events: Sanford Stadium (football), Stegeman Coliseum (men’s & women’s basketball, gymnastics) and Foley Field (baseball). Following are the basics concerning the Clear Bag Policy: > These bags will be permitted inside UGA athletic events: Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12”x6”x12”. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags. Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. Bags that contain necessary medical items, which must be inspected and approved at a designated gate. > Each ticket holder is allowed one large clear bag such as a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that does not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”, plus a small clutch purse > Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, fanny packs that are not clear and/or exceed the size restriction, luggage, computer bags/cases, camera bags/cases, binocular bags/cases, or any bag larger than the permissible size. > Several SEC schools began implementing this policy in the 2016 school year. All SEC schools will have this policy in place by the 2017-18 school year. > Fans can still carry items such as binoculars, smart phones, tablets and cameras (with lenses shorter than four inches), so long as they are not in a bag or carrying case. > Seat cushions -- without arms or pockets -- will still be permitted into the venues. Fans may also bring in blankets during cold weather events, provided they carry them in over an arm or shoulder to allow for easy screening upon entry. > More information on this new policy can be found at the following website: http://georgiadogs.com/clear-bag-policy/
  • From UGA Sports Communications KENNESAW, GA.--- Georgia defeated Kennesaw State 9-6 Tuesday in a game called after six innings due to rain and lightning at Stillwell Stadium.  The Bulldogs (9-13) scored in each of the first four frames, building a 9-4 edge. Both teams planned to use several pitchers as part of a staff night. Seven Bulldogs pitchers saw action while the Owls (8-12) employed five on the mound. Georgia senior Andrew Gist pitched a perfect inning for the win to even his record to 1-1 and junior Blake Cairnes notched his first save of the year. KSU starter Chris Erwin got the loss, allowing four runs on three hits in two innings.   Georgia junior first baseman Keegan McGovern paced the 10-hit attack, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Six Bulldogs drove in a run including a pair by freshman Aaron Schunk while freshman Austin Biggar connected for his second home run.    Georgia returns to action Friday for its SEC home opener against 16th-ranked Auburn. First pitch is slated for 7:02 pm EDT and be available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.   Dawg Tracks *Junior 1B Keegan McGovern enjoyed a 4-for-4 night with two doubles and an RBI. *Freshmen CF Tucker Maxwell extended his on base streak to 17 games with a walk to start the contest.  *Sophomore DH Michael Curry extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the third inning.  *Freshman SS Cam Shepherd now has a seven-game hitting streak after a single in the first.    Coach's Corner: Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin “I thought we swung the bats well tonight, and we were able to put pressure on them right from the start. Keegan McGovern had a good night at the plate going 4-for-4. Everybody in our lineup got on base and contributed and seven different guys scored. On the mound, it was good to see the way Andrew Gist and Blake Cairnes pitched a clean inning after Kennesaw State started chipping away at our lead.”
  • As his Georgia Bulldogs continue the spring practice sessions that began Tuesday, coach Kirby Smart prepares to host a coaching clinic. Coaches from the NFL, college, and high school levels will keynote the annual UGA Coaches Clinic hosted by Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and his staff scheduled for March 30, 31 and April 1.   The UGA Coaches Clinic is a comprehensive, three-day clinic that will feature presentations from outstanding coaches representing all levels of the industry. This annual clinic is an ideal setting for middle school and high school coaches to socialize, “talk ball,” and share ideas with college and NFL coaches.   Featured NFL coaches on the program include Tampa Bay Bucaneers head coach Dirk Koetter, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, and Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. North Dakota State head coach Chris Klieman, who led his team to the 2014 and 2015 national FCS championships, is also on the schedule along with former College Football Hall of Fame kicker Kevin Butler.   Georgia 2016 state championship coaches scheduled include Jonathan Gess, Eagles Landing Christian Academy; Danny Britt, Benedictine Military School; Jermaine Smith, Cedar Grove High School; Joey King, Cartersville High School; John Reid, Rome High School; Alan Rodemaker, Valdosta High School; and Jeff Herron, Grayson High School (now at T.L. Hanna High in Anderson, SC). In addition, Adrian Snow, West Forsyth High School, Cemmons, NC, and Gabe Infante, St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, PA, are on the clinic program.   Attendees will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions, participate with the UGA coaching staff during chalk talks and enjoy great food and fellowship at the clinic socials. Participants will enhance their knowledge of all aspects of the game through break-out sessions with guest speakers covering philosophy and scheme and by participating in the chalk talks led by each member of the UGA staff.   The 2017 clinic also offers the unique opportunity to join the UGA staff on the field for two spring practice sessions. Attendees can get an up-close look at on-field demonstrations, position-specific drills and overall practice scripting and format.   The entire UGA coaching staff — as well as the Directors of Strength & Conditioning, Recruiting Operations, Sports Medicine and Player Development — will be available to answer questions.
  • Athens, GA - The familiar sounds of coach’s whistles and stampeding linemen can be heard around the Butts-Mehre athletic complex in Five Points this afternoon. That’s because football, the lifeblood of the University of Georgia and Athens is back for 2017 Spring Practice.  Year two of head coach Kirby Smart will officially begin today with the first of a series of practices leading up to the April 22nd G-Day game to be held in Sanford Stadium, with no shortage of storylines to watch.  The progression of sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason will likely take the forefront of attention - again - as the heralded signal caller from Washington state will look to show maturity coming on the heels of a successful but otherwise not spectacular freshman season in the Southeastern Conference. And new this year comes legit competition from another five-star quarterback recruit from Houston County, Georgia, Jake Fromm. How the two will complement and push one another through the rigors of practice this spring and into fall will clearly define the success of the 2017 version of the Georgia Bulldogs.  Not to be outdone, plenty of attention will be given to the beloved pair of senior running backs who surprised many by announcing they would indeed spend their senior seasons between the hedges. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both could have declared for the NFL Draft, but instead decided they would rather wash the sour taste of an 8-5 season and a home loss to Georgia Teach in 2016 out their mouths the best way they know how, with the possibility of exacting revenge. Their return not only will cause headaches for opposing defensive coordinators throughout the SEC, but will provide invaluable leadership for a young corps of running backs in line behind them preparing to be the future of a program often tabbed “Running Back U.” Smart’s defense will also be under a microscope as the boys practice under the shadows of bloomed dogwood trees these next few weeks. What was considered the weakness of the program this time last year - an ultra thin and young defensive line - proved to be one of the strongest units in 2016. How they progress and grow together will be examined closely.  And the biggest mystery of them all, the offensive line, will likely not shake out until the leaves start changing this fall, rather than under the fragrance of pollen this spring. What was clearly the most-handicapping aspect of an underwhelming offense last season is now missing a few starters, but also has a lion’s share of top recruits scheduled to arrive on campus this summer. So any observations of struggles in protecting the quarterbacks or opening up holes for the running backs may require an asterisks until we make the same observations five months from now.  It’s a happy time of year for many in this part of the world. It’s often referred to as “stress-free football,” with all the nostalgia of SEC football on the practice field, without the worry of losing to a hated rival on Saturday. And when tens of thousands file into Sanford Stadium for G-Day, there’s a guaranteed Bulldog victory to be seen. And no matter how you view it, or how you want to examine and analyze it, there’s one thing everybody will agree on: football is back. And the Classic City is simply more fun with it. 
  • From UGA Sports Communications BATON ROUGE--- Sixth-ranked LSU defeated Georgia 7-6 Sunday at Alex Box Stadium in front of a crowd of 10,608.   Georgia (8-13, 0-3 SEC) led 2-1 following a two-run home run by freshman Will Proctor in the fifth. However, the Tigers (16-5, 3-0 SEC) responded in their half of the frame, scoring three runs on one hit plus two bases-loaded walks for a 4-2 advantage. Bulldog freshman Aaron Schunk delivered a two-out, RBI-single in the sixth to make it a one-run contest. In the sixth, LSU scored a run without the benefit of a hit as the first three batters were hit by a pitch and then Greg Deichmann picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly and a 5-3 lead.   Georgia had a chance to rally in the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Junior Keegan McGovern notched an RBI when he was hit by a pitch, however Michael Curry lined into a double play, which kept the Tigers in front 5-4. LSU added a pair of unearned runs in the seventh. Georgia rallied in the ninth to make it a one-run contest as Tucker Maxwell and Cam Shepherd picked up an RBI apiece but the tying run was stranded at third.   LSU freshman Eric Walker (3-0) picked up the win, pitching six while Chase Adkins dropped to 3-1. Caleb Gilbert allowed two runs in the ninth but got his second save.   Up next, Georgia travels to Kennesaw State Tuesday with first pitch slated for 5 pm EDT and be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.   Dawg Tracks *Freshmen CF Tucker Maxwell extended his on base streak to 16 games with an RBI-double in the ninth.  *Freshman 2B Will Proctor gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead in the fifth with a two-run blast, his third of the year.  *Sophomore DH Michael Curry extended his hitting streak to seven games with a base hit in the fourth inning. *Freshman SS Cam Shepherd went 7-for-15 in the series. Over the last 10 games, he is batting .422 (19-for-45).   Coach's Corner Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin “We had some really good at bats late in the game. We battled and competed and came up short. The story today and yesterday was just giving too much away against a good team. We’re not taking advantage of our opportunities and playing clean baseball, and our opponents are, and that’s the difference. We’re starting to see some guys step up, but bottom line, we need to do it as a team.”