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Smart is finalist for Dodd award

Smart is finalist for Dodd award

Smart is finalist for Dodd award

Smart is finalist for Dodd award

Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl have announced the finalists for the 2018 Dodd Trophy. Finalists include seven of the nation’s top coaches in college football who embody the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the field.


This year’s finalists represent four conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC), along with Notre Dame, and have combined for a 2018 record of 75-9 during the regular season. Overall, the seven coaches have a combined 88 years of head coaching experience, seven national championships and 781 career wins among them.


Two former winners of The Dodd Trophy were included in the 2018 list with Nick Saban (2014) and Dabo Swinney (2011) being named finalists. Additionally, three of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Pat Fitzgerald, Kirby Smart and Dabo Swinney. 


Winners of the award from the previous two years and first-year coaches at an institution are not eligible to be finalists.


The 2018 Dodd Trophy Finalists:







CFP Ranking


APR Score


Dino Babers




No. 20




Pat Fitzgerald




No. 22




Brian Kelly


Notre Dame


No. 3




Lincoln Riley 




No. 4




Nick Saban




No. 1




Kirby Smart




No. 5




Dabo Swinney 




No. 2






“All of these finalists truly exemplify the type of leadership that Bobby Dodd valued and are noteworthy candidates to join the esteemed group of former Dodd Trophy recipients,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “We’re honored to have such a renowned list of finalists who truly embody Coach Dodd’s spirit, both on and off the field.”


“This college football season was highlighted by outstanding coaching performances that greatly impacted the course of the season,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “These seven coaches have distinguished themselves as finalists for this prestigious award, not only for having successful football seasons, but also for their efforts within their communities and commitment to empower their student athletes to succeed in the classroom as well.”


Finalists were selected by a panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member.


The winner of the 2018 Dodd Trophy will be selected from the list of finalists by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, and will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.

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Georgia Sports News

  • The Atlanta Falcons have traded Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots for a 2020 second-round pick. After seven weeks, the Falcons are tied for the third-worst record (1-6) in the NFL, with a .143 winning percentage. They now have four picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, which include one first-round pick, two second-round picks and one third-round pick.  Despite the hole the Falcons now have on their offense without their starting slot receiver, the Falcons will likely use these early draft picks to rebuild their struggling defense. The Falcons are one game away from becoming the first team in NFL history to fail to record a sack in five-straight games. The Falcons only have five sacks this season, which is the fewest in the NFL. The last time they got a sack was against the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to their lack of being able to pressure the quarterback, the Falcons defense also struggles to produce turnovers. They only have two interceptions, which both came against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons have placed defensive end/outside linebacker, Vic Beasley on the trade block and have been rumored to be in discussion with teams on outside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. Falcons defensive ranks - 2019 31.9 points allowed per game (31st) -116.40 expected points contributed by all defense (32nd) 387.7 total yards allowed per game (27th) 274.0 passing yards allowed per game (28th) 113.7 rushing yards allowed per game (20th) 4 total takeaways (31st) 2 interceptions (t-30th) 2 fumbles recovered (t-25th) 5 sacks (32nd)
  • ATHENS Georgia football fans worried that Kirby Smart has no interest in an explosive passing game can rest easy. Yes, Smart believes a powerful run game is an important component to any offense, but he wants Jake Fromm to continue to throw the ball effectively, too. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs planned to evolve their passing game against Kentucky before a storm front with wind and rain changed the blueprint for success in a 21-0 win. ' We worked really hard,' Smart said, asked about improving the pass game on the heels of the 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina on Oct. 12. 'The concerns coming into the week were: Can we get separation, can we create some space, can we get healthy, can we run the ball explosively.' The explosive runs took care of themselves in the second half with D'Andre Swift breaking loose on three runs of 20 yards or more and the team totaling six of 12 yards or more. One of the key players Georgia got back healthy was redshirt freshman receiver Kearis Jackson, who has provided a spark for the offense. 'That kid plays with passion and energy, (and) he doesn't care if he gets the credit,' Smart said. 'He's a winner. He fights his butt off. He took a tough injury (broken hand at Vanderbilt) and came back, and he's more excited about his block than catching the ball and doing anything with it. 'That, to me, is what winning programs have. It's what winners do. It's the kind of guys that I want on my team. I want guys lined up all over that are like that.' Smart credited his team for hard work in the days leading up to the win over Kentucky, citing leadership as a key. 'I think when you start with a core leadership, guys like D'Andre (Swift) and Jake (Fromm) and J.R. (Reed), Andrew (Thomas), those guys, they believe in each other,' Smart said. 'That's all you need. Players that believe in each other. 'Where we are right now is not where we need to be. We're not a finished product. We've got to get better. It's what we're gonna do this week.' DawgNation Georgia football Bulldogs' defense says it has offense's backs RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win Georgia football winners and losers from Kentucky game Georgia football stock report, lock-down defense gets shutout D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post Georgia football coach Kirby Smart shares concerns, two involving pass game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Arik Gilbert has made his mind up. The nation's No. 1 TE prospect on the 247Sports Composite ratings tweeted out he will make his college commitment on Wednesday evening at his All-American Bowl jersey presentation ceremony from the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. I will be commiting live at the All American Jersey presentation on October 23rd. Shoutout to @BUnterwagner and @TheiSmooth for the collaboration on my official top 5 edit. pic.twitter.com/oY31035m8S Arik Gilbert (@arik_gilbert) October 22, 2019 That escalated quickly. Gilbert was just in Athens over the weekend for his official visit to Georgia. It leads to two conclusions: UGA sealed the deal over the weekend with its long-term pitch and just how much the program has appreciated the recruiting relationship over the years. Gilbert saw Georgia one last time before he was ready to move on and choose from a contender pool which includes a very strong contender in Alabama along with Clemson, Texas A&M and LSU. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior rates as the top prospect in the state of Georgia for 2020 and the nation's No. 10 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite ratings, too. The post BREAKING: Nation's No. 1 TE Arik Gilbert sets decision date right after his UGA official appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia offensive lineman Ben Cleveland said it was back yard football Saturday night at Sanford Stadium. And it was just what the Bulldogs needed. 'It's the kind of game we all grew up playing in the back yard, crappy days you go outside and you play football with your friends outside in the yard, and that's what (Saturday) was,' Cleveland said. 'We went out there, we said before the game we wanted to have fun, play physical, just get after it. That's exactly what we did.' It added up to a 21-0 win for the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) against Kentucky (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on cold, rainy night in Athens. Georgia outgained the Wildcats 270 yards to 177. Both teams stuck primarily with their run games throughout the action. UGA quarterback Jake Fromm was 9-of-12 passing for 35 yards. The ball so slick that the Bulldogs attempted just one pass in the second half. At one point, Georgia had 25 consecutive run plays. 'He just didn't have the feel of the ball in his hand, with it being wet, he didn't have he confidence to throw it, and he'd rather take it and run it himself and get what he can rather than make a bad decision and throw it in the hands of the defense,' Cleveland said. 'So he's really playing smart at quarterback. Even when it does look like he's a little shaky back there, but he knows what he's doing.' Fromm said Georgia knew the weather conditions would limit the pass game, they just didn't know how much. 'You know going into it, it's going to be a ground and pound game, and you have to accept that and guys have to take that as a chip on their shoulder and it's let's go out and execute,' Fromm said. 'Eventually the body blows just keep adding up. Tthe physicality of the game took over.' Indeed, the game was tied 0-0 at halftime before Georgia broke through on D'Andre Swift's 39-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs gained 140 of their 235 yards rushing in the second half. Brian Herrien added an 8-yard TD run in the third quarter, and Swift scored again from 3 yards out in the fourth quarter. Cleveland said the backs did what they were supposed to do, following the offensive line blocks and hitting the holes hard. 'Most of our rushing yards came from the last half of football, so we let them piggyback off us,' Cleveland said. 'That's what they come here to do, is sit here and find holes and make yards. We do what we're supposed to do and they do the rest.' Swift leads the SEC and ranks 12th in the nation with 752 yards rushing. Swift's 6.84 yards per carry ranks also leads the SEC and is 12th in the country. Georgia ranks second in the SEC and 14th in the nation in rushing with 236.9 yards rushing per game. DawgNation Georgia football coverage Bulldogs Freshman Report: UGA 21, Kentucky 0 Georgia defense buys in to offense, we've got each other's backs' RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win Georgia football winners and losers from Kentucky game Georgia football stock report, lock-down defense gets shutout D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post Georgia offensive lineman Big Ben Cleveland chimes in on back yard' football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to Good Day, UGA , your one-stop shop for Georgia footballnews and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more. Georgia football D'Andre Swift D'Andre Swift does not care what you might think of Georgia's offense. 'We're going to do what we need to do to win games,' Swift told reporters after win. 'And if people don't like what we're doing, they shouldn't come to the games.' To Swift's point, the Georgia offense did enough to win the game, largely because of the junior running back. He put up a season-best 179 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. The effort earned him SEC Player of the Week honors and placed him at the top of the SEC rushing leaders list. Swift didn't care that the game was played in a constant downpour. Or that he was ripping off huge runs. He wanted Georgia and quarterback Jake Fromm to throw the ball. 'I was like, Jake we've got a good opportunity, let's throw the ball,' Swift said. 'But then Jake said it was hard to throw the ball because it was wet.' Last week, Swift made his thoughts on the issues with the Georgia offense perfectly clear. Georgia needed to get the ball to its playmakers down the field. And despite what some on Twitter might think, Swift still very much believes Fromm is the guy to do it. In the past few weeks, as concerns about Georgia have risen, Swift has become outspoken. He's become more confident in his own abilities and with the Georgia team floundering, Swift took it upon himself to try to provide a spark to the team during halftime of a 0-0 game. Whatever Swift appeared to do the trick, as the Bulldogs final four offensive possessions ended touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, kneel down. Swift also broke the deadlock himself, by slicing through the Kentucky defense for a 39-yard touchdown. TOUCHDOWN!!!! D'Andre Swift @DAndreSwift !!!! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/JS1PTlbZwp Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) October 20, 2019 While Kirby Smart said it was hard to take anything away from a game played in that much rain, one thing became crystal clear: If Georgia is going to accomplish its championship goals this season, Swift is going to be the biggest reason why. Any time you have an opposing coach openly campaigning for you to go to the NFL like Kentucky's Mark Stoops did, you're a special a player. In three career games against Kentucky, Swift has 401 yards and 4 touchdowns. If they cared about football as much as they about basketball in Kentucky, Swift would be right up there with Christian Laettner as far as Kentucky killers. Two years ago, the University of Georgia RB depth chart included Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, and D'Andre Swift. Wait until NFL fans see Swift next year. Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 22, 2019 But Georgia will play tougher teams than Kentucky in the coming weeks. Georgia's schedule during October pales in comparison to the gambitit's set to face in November. The Bulldogs open the month against the No. 7 ranked Florida Gators, host the 5-2 Missouri Tigers, visit No. 9 Auburn, host Texas A&M and close with a visit to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech. Georgia's offense is going to need to be much improved from what it was in the month of October if it's to make it through that November stretch without a loss. But Georgia entered last November facing a similar stretch of games and desperation. Georgia turned to Swift to help carry the Bulldogs to the SEC championship game. Related: Georgia RB D'Andre Swift stands up for team, puts critics in their place He ran for 104 yards and a touchdown against a Florida team that ended the season ranked in the top-10. He followed that up with a 156-yard performance against Kentucky, which won 10 games. Then against Auburn, he went off for a career-high 186 yards. Swift played his best football in November last year, and it coincided with Georgia playing its best football of the year. He's going to need to do that again in November and possibly in December and January. If Georgia is going to reemerge as one of the best teams in the country, it's going to need to take up the mindset of Swift. 'He brings energy without making plays. He's heart and soul. A leader. He's inspirational,' Smart said.' The runs kind of get the fans involved. Swift gets the team involved by all the things he does and says. He cares.' A few teammates have already taken up Swift's new mantra, as offensive lineman, Ben Cleveland repeated Swift's phrase of 'Whoever counting us out, can't count,' after Georgia's win over Kentucky. But those suspect of Georgia's title chances will continue to mount as long as the passing offense continues to look like what it has the past two weeks. For as great as Swift is, most still believe you'll need to create explosive plays in the passing game if you're going to beat Clemson, Alabama, LSU or Ohio State. And right now, Georgia ranks 72nd in the country of completions of more than 15 yards down the field. One member of the Georgia team still has confidence in what the Georgia offense is doing. 'I don't doubt what they are doing, eventually it will work, they just kept leaning and pushing on those guys,' Linebacker Monty Rice said. 'I don't think anything is misfiring it looks fine to me, it looks like the same offense that we've always run here. We went to the national championship using the same offense, so I think it's fine.' That national championship run was led by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, who both combined for over 2,500 yards that season. Against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff, the two ran for a combined 326 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Bulldogs are going to need efforts like Swift's Kentucky display if they are to reach the highs of the 2017 season. If Georgia is going to be 'fine' as Rice indicates, it will be because of Swift literally carrying the Bulldogs offense there. Georgia football running back D'Andre Swift speaks after Kentucky game More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football winners and losers following victory over Kentucky Georgia football freshmen report: UGA 21, Kentucky 0 Former UGA players offer prayers and support for Mark Richt after heart attack Former Georgia football coach Mark Richt tweets good news after suffering heart attack Georgia football podcast: 5 pieces of good news as UGA heads into bye week Georgia basketball lands commitment from 2020 guard K.D. Johnson Georgia defense bought in to offense: We've got each other's backs' 3 takeaways from Georgia's 21-0 win, some reminders for booing fans Dawgs on Twitter I am assuming word travels fast. So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week. Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) October 21, 2019 Hoping for a quick recovery for coach @MarkRicht ! Maybe take a few days off before heading back to work coach. The Joneses are praying for you. Feel better Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) October 21, 2019 #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/hLi1cIzotf Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) October 21, 2019 Sony Michel powers in for his third TD! Michel now has 18 Rush TD in 23 career games (Including playoffs). #NEvsNYJ (via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/DggzjzNVhj NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 22, 2019 Good Dawg of the Day This is Willo. She likes to awoo while she eats. Tonight's meal was worthy of a gentler, but perhaps more meaningful, second awoo. 13/10 pic.twitter.com/I6vWGvwEsd WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) October 22, 2019 The post Georgia's offense, and championship aspirations, will go as far as D'Andre Swift can go appeared first on DawgNation.