ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
73°
Partly Cloudy
H 92° L 66°
  • clear-night
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 66°
  • cloudy-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 66°
  • cloudy-day
    83°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 65°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Morning show on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Home team on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The crossover on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

More Trending Stories

    A Colorado man accused of walking too close to the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park last week faces more charges after he led police on a chase in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Billings Gazette reported. >> Read more trending news  Gabriel Villalva, 27, of Greeley, Colorado, was arrested in Wyoming’s capital city Wednesday after police said he was driving recklessly, the newspaper reported. Police said they used spike strips to stop Villalva after a 15-minute chase in Cheyenne.  'We don't have a clear motive or anything to it,' Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Kevin Malatesta told KECI. 'I can say one of the things he was arrested on is DUI. We suspect that controlled substances and alcohol may have been a contributing factor in this.' On Tuesday, four citations were filed against Villalva for allegedly walking on the cone of Old Faithful on Sept. 14 and refusing to step away from the geyser when told to do so. Tourists videotaped a man who resembled Villalva sitting next to the iconic landmark, the Gazette reported.
  • John Bullock, the father of actress Sandra Bullock, died Tuesday, Us Magazine reported. He was 93. >> Read more trending news  John Bullock was preceded in death by his wife and Sandra Bullock’s mother, opera singer Helga Meyer, who died in 2000, the magazine reported. Sandra Bullock’s younger sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, confirmed her father’s death on Wednesday and wrote about his military career, ETOnline reported. 'John Wilson Bullock February 11, 1925 - September 18, 2018,' she wrote. 'Beloved baby brother, American #WWII #bronzestar #veteran, husband, father of 4 strong women, #grandpa, adorable scamp, handsome devil, and trickster to the end.' Sandra Bullock has not commented yet about her father's death, ETOnline reported.
  • The man accused of killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver during a crash in February was sentenced to 16 years in prison, WXIN reported.  >> Read more trending news  Manuel Orrego-Savala -- a 37-year-old Guatemalan man who was living illegally in Indiana, according to police -- was charged with four felony counts in connection with the crash that killed Edwin Jackson, 26, and Jeffrey Monroe, 54, the Indianapolis Star reported. Police said Orrego-Savala crashed his F-150 into a car parked on the shoulder of I-70, WXIN reported. He was driving with a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit. >> Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson killed by drunk driver In July, Orrego-Savala pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher.  On Friday, Monroe’s widow lashed out at Orrego-Savala during his sentencing, saying justice had not been served, the Star reported. 'You're a drunk, a liar, a murderer and a coward,' Deborah Monroe said. 'You didn't even have the decency to pull his dead body from the road before you ran.' Mary Ellen Jackson, the mother of Edwin Jackson, spoke while family members sat nearby, the Star reported. >> Suspect charged in crash that killed Edwin Jackson 'Edwin was a lighthouse,' she said. 'His character was unwavering.'  Police said Orrego-Savala, who also goes by the name Alex Cabrera Gonsales, was in the United States illegally, despite being deported in 2007 and again in 2009. 
  • Planning for a permanent memorial and museum honoring the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack has been in the works for more than a year. >> Read more trending news  WFTV obtained renderings Friday of what the memorial could look like and learned that it could span three city blocks. The Orlando Tourist Development Council on Friday approved a motion to spend $10 million in tourism tax dollars to fund the project. 'Land acquisition is imperative to expand our footprint for staff, visitors and also tour buses and the museum site,' said Barbara Poma, who owns the shuttered nightclub. Poma said during the meeting that she hopes to acquire nine nearby parcels for the project, including a window-tinting business, an Orlando Fire Department station and a real estate management company. It's unknown if the onePULSE Foundation has contacted the landowners. The properties must be acquired by June for construction to begin by January 2021.  The organization said about 300 people visit the interim memorial daily to grieve and to reflect. 'You saw it on the news and everything, but whenever you actually see it at the site, it just takes your breath away. It really does,' visitor Tracy Seibold said. She said she expects neighboring businesses would be OK with relocating. 'I think they would be understanding of that,' Seibold said. 'These people need to be remembered.
  • Hurricanes can leave behind tons of damage, including flooding. But did you know that treading through the wrong kind of water can cause illnesses or even death? Floodwaters and standing water are often contaminated, posing several risks, such as infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries. Here are six sicknesses you should beware of in the aftermath: Diarrheal diseases Drinking or eating anything that has come in contact with floodwaters can lead to cryptosporidiosis, E. coli or giardiasis. While cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are brought on by parasites, E. coli is caused by bacteria. Symptoms from each include diarrhea, gas, nausea and vomiting. Cryptosporidiosis, however, can even be fatal for those with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS or cancer.  Wound infections Open wounds and rashes that are exposed to floodwater can cause tetanus or Vibrio vulnificus. Tetanus is a bacterial infection, and it can enter the body through breaks in the skin like a cut. >> 10 tips to stay safe when returning home after a natural disaster Vibrio vulnificus, another bacteria, can be contracted the same way. Many people become infected by consuming undercooked shellfish or exposing an injury to brackish or salt water. Other illnesses  People affected by flooded areas can also get trench foot. It occurs when your feet are wet for long periods of time. It can cause pain, swelling and numbness. >> Read more trending news  You should also be aware of chemical hazards from materials that may have spilled into the water. And be cautious of electrical hazards, since there are puddles that may be electrified due to fallen power lines. Curious about other diseases you can catch? Take a look at the full list at CDC’s official website. 
  • For the second year in a row, the life expectancy of Americans got shorter. >> Read more trending news  According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the overall life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.6 years, down .1 from the previous year. Men can expect to live 76.1 years, down from 76.3. Women held steady at 81.1 years. During the 20th century, advances in medications and other treatments were responsible for dramatic increases in how long people lived. But deaths from drug overdoses, chronic liver disease, suicide, Alzheimer’s and blood infections (septicemia) have all gone up, resulting in a shortened average life span. >> Related: Just one drink a day can shorten life expectancy, study suggests Heart disease and cancer still kill most Americans, but they weren’t the reason people are dying younger. In fact, deaths from heart disease have been declining. Between 2006 and 2016, however, death rates from drug overdoses increased 72 percent and suicides increased 23 percent.  So who lives longest? According to the report, Hispanics had the highest life expectancy at 81.8 years. Non-Hispanic whites were next, with 78.5 years, followed by non-Hispanic blacks, with 74.8 years. Where you live can also affect how long you can expect to live.  >> Related: U.S. sees drop in life expectancy, largely due to opioid crisis among young adults Areas in the bottom 25 percent of the report had four things in common: Most of the people were less educated, low income and predominantly black, and they were in the South. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which worked with the CDC on the report, created a calculator to determine the life expectancy of an area.  The average life span for Georgians, according to the calculator, was 77.40 years. If you live in Gwinnett County, though, you get an extra 3.18 years. Cobb County residents are looking at 80.08 years on Earth, but those in DeKalb County get only 79.14. >> Related: Have we reached the limit of human life expectancy? The area with the lowest life expectancy in the U.S. was Stilwell, Oklahoma, where people averaged 56.3 years. Where do people live longest? Chatham, North Carolina. Residents of this higher-income area could expect to be around until they reach 97.5 years old. 
  • The East Coast is no stranger to hurricanes and the destruction that follows. The Saffir-Simpson scale was developed to help determine damage and flooding before it strikes.   What is a hurricane?  A hurricane is a rotating low-pressure weather system that converts the energy of warm air into winds and waves. Hurricanes have “warm core” centers, meaning the center of the storm is warmer than the surrounding air. Warm ocean temperatures and wind patterns that spiral air inward are necessary for a hurricane to form.>>How to use the internet during the storm when your internet is down The “eye” of the storm is produced as the warm air rises in the storm’s center and a center of low pressure is created. When the pressure in that area drops, more air is pulled in, creating a sort of heat-pump effect that causes the storm to repeat the process and grow in intensity. The storm will continue to do so until it’s supply of warm water is interrupted. Thunderstorms spiral out from the eye and the water is pushed ahead of the storm, building what is called a 'storm surge.' The storm surge forms to the east of the eye. >>What is a storm surge and why is it dangerous? When a system has sustained winds of 39 mph, it is classified as a tropical depression. When the winds reach 39 mph or higher, the depression becomes a tropical storm and is given a name.  At 74 mph, the system is a hurricane.  What is the Saffir-Simpson scale and what does it have to do with hurricanes?  The tropical system is assigned a category depending on its wind speed. Here are the categories, the wind speeds and what those winds will likely do once the system makes landfall: >>What is the Saffir-Simpson scale; how does it work; is there a Category 6?  Category 1 -- 74 to 95 mph: Very dangerous winds will produce some damage. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to the roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.  Category 2 -- 96 to 110 mph: Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly-rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.  Category 3 -- 111-129 mph: Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes. Category 3 storms and above are considered major hurricanes.  Category 4 -- 130-156 mph: Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.  Category 5 -- 157 mph or higher: Catastrophic damage will occur. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and walls collapsing. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.   Here is a video that shows the increasing level of damage in each category.  
  • A hurricane leaves a path of destruction and many are left trying to figure out how to begin the chore of cleaning up and repairing their property.  >> Read more trending news  Insurance companies will send claims teams to the affected areas after the event so that customers can get the process of filing a claim started and get the money to repair their property in a timely manner.  Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file an insurance claim following a hurricane or flood:  1. It is important to file the claim with your insurer as soon as possible. Thousands of people will be filing claims, and you want to get yours as high as you can on the list.  2. The Insurance Information Institute, an organization that provides information on insurance issues, suggests you make temporary repairs to your home if they are needed to protect it from further damage. Save the receipts for supplies so you can turn them in for reimbursement.  3. Once you are able to speak to an insurer, you will need to ask these questions: Is the damage you described covered under the terms of your policy? How long do you have to file a claim? How long will it take to process the claim? Do you need estimates for repairs? 4. This step is very important: Once you make the claim, be sure to write down the claim number. Again, insurers will be dealing with thousands of people -- make it easy for them to communicate with you about your claim by having the claim number written down where you can find it. 5. When you speak to your insurer, record the day and time of the conversation and with whom you spoke. Take notes about what is said and if any monetary amounts are mentioned. 6. You need to be ready to provide an accurate description of damages to your insurer. If you can safely do it, walk around your home and make notes on what was damaged.  7. After you contact them, your insurance company with send you a “proof of loss” form to complete or will send an adjuster – a person trained to assess the damage to property – to your home to get the information on your losses. To speed this process along, start gathering information about your property and the items that were lost or destroyed. A proof of loss form will ask you to describe the items damaged or destroyed, provide the approximate date of purchase and estimate the cost to repair it or replace it. If you happen to be able to produce receipts for items, that would be a help as well. 8. Another step you can take to document what was damaged is to photograph or videotape the damage. Be sure to point out structural damage in the photos or video. 9. Do not throw out damaged items. You want an adjuster to see them first. 10. If you are unable to live in your home and must stay elsewhere, keep all receipts for any living expenses – hotel rooms, food, and other costs of evacuation. Most homeowner policies that cover windstorm damage will cover those costs. 11. Be wary of anyone who comes to your door offering to do repairs or claiming to be insurance adjusters.  12. If you have no insurance, you can register for federal disaster relief at DisasterAssistance.gov. You do that by downloading the FEMA mobile app or by calling 1-800-621-3362.  Disaster assistance can help with temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses, including crisis counseling and legal assistance. Click here for more information on FEMA aid. Water vs. wind: What is covered? Hurricanes cause wind and water damage. Homeowners insurance covers these hazards in a different way.  >>Does insurance cover hail damage to your car, house? Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage – including flooding that is caused by storm surge. You would have needed to have flood insurance to pay for damages caused by water beforehand. Structures or belongings that were damaged by flooding are covered only by flood insurance. Wind damage is not covered in some coastal states. You would have had to purchase a separate windstorm policy in advance, which is a common thing in those coastal states. Both North Carolina and South Carolina are states where insurance companies can charge special deductibles for wind damage. Damage to your car is generally covered by your automobile insurance. Finally, be patient. It may take a while for someone to get to you and assess your damages.    
  • While much attention is placed on storm preparedness, the period just after a natural disaster can be particularly dangerous. Weary residents who are eager to return to their homes are at increased risk for a variety of life-threatening situations, including carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, mold exposure and food poisoning. The following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help keep you and your family safe. >> Read more trending news  Be aware of fallen electrical wires and avoid coming in contact with them.  Don't use any electrical appliance that has become wet, and don't operate an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.  If you smell gas, leave the premises immediately and call 911. Place generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves and other fuel-burning devices outside and away from open doors, windows and air vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Wear waterproof boots and gloves to prevent floodwater from touching your skin. If skin comes in contact with floodwater, clean promptly. For hands, a gel with alcohol in it can be used if clean water is not available. It's imperative to act quickly to prevent mold. Fix leaks and remove water-logged items that cannot be saved from the home. When removing mold, never mix bleach and ammonia because the fumes from the mixture can be lethal. Until the water supply is declared safe by local officials, use bottled water, disinfect water or boil it before consuming. If a boil water advisory is in effect in your area, do not drink tap water or use it to brush your teeth unless water has come to a rolling boil for at least one minute or is treated with unscented household chlorine bleach. To treat water, add one-quarter teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon of cloudy water or one-eighth teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Do not eat food that smells bad, looks bad or has come in contact with floodwater.  Seek prompt medical attention for any injuries suffered during the return home. Wounds that have been exposed to floodwater require immediate medical attention to prevent tetanus and other infections.
  • A second arrest was made Friday in the death of 2-year-old Jayce Martin police in Orlando, Florida, said. >> Read more trending news  Johnathan Pursglove, 25, was arrested on charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child, police said. He was released on bond Friday. Jayce’s mother, Victoria Toth, 24, was arrested earlier this month on the same charges. Police said Jayce’s death could be considered a “torture case.” An arrest report said that Jayce was malnourished and bruised when police found his body in a home on Bethune Drive in July. They also found fist-sized holes in the bedroom wall, the report said. The arrest report shows that Toth found Jayce unresponsive when she came home from work. Her boyfriend, Pursglove, was at the home with the child. Jayce’s death was ruled a homicide, and his cause of death was peritonitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the abdomen. The certificate also listed 'blunt force trauma to the abdomen.'Officials said Pursglove admitted he regularly punched holes in walls out of anger, but he did not admit to hitting the child. But, police said Pursglove was also the child’s caregiver and he failed to get the child medical attention. Pursglove has a criminal history, including an arrest for use of a firearm during a 2012  drug deal and accusations of domestic violence.   >> Related: Man gets 160-year sentence for impregnating 10-year-old after repeated molestation An ex-girlfiend said she tried to get a stalking injunction against him earlier this year and referred to past violence when she wrote, 'He has hit and punched me in my stomach. I also fell down stairs and woke up in the hospital.' Pursglove was released from jail after he posted bail, police said. 

Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - The Baby Braves are all grown up. It's almost time to celebrate. With another gutty performance that pushed Atlanta to the brink of its first NL East title since 2013, the Braves bounced back from Ronald Acuna Jr.'s defensive blunder with a five-run seventh inning that carried them past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Friday night. Ozzie Albies sparked the comeback with a two-run homer and Johan Camargo finished it off with a two-out, two-run single, giving the youthful Braves a chance to celebrate as soon as Saturday afternoon with one more victory over the second-place Phillies. 'Man, this might be doable,'' manager Brian Snitker deadpanned. Acuna misjudged Wilson Ramos' liner to left in the top half of the seventh, turning what should have been an out into a two-run double. Pinch-hitter Jose Bautista tacked on a run-scoring single, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead. It didn't last long. Tyler Flowers led off the bottom half with a single off Pat Neshek (3-2), and Albies followed with a drive into the right-field seats for his 23rd homer. Dansby Swanson walked and Lucas Duda followed with a pinch-hit single before Neshek finally got an out - on a grounder that bounced off the third-base bag and was backhanded by Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw home to get Swanson trying to score. That was only a brief respite for the Phillies. Luis Avilan surrendered a run-scoring double by Ender Inciarte into the right-field corner. With two outs and the bases loaded, Camargo came through on a 3-2 pitch by lining a single to left to put the Braves ahead for the first time all night . 'There's an 'it' factor with teams,' Snitker said. 'You don't know how they get it. But when they've got it, it's really something special.' Acuna and Inciate celebrated at home plate, while Camargo pumped his fist emphatically at first, knowing he had pushed the Braves another step closer to the postseason. The Phillies dropped 7 1/2 games behind the Braves, while the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the division race. After their last NL East title, the Braves went through a massive rebuild that led to three straight 90-loss seasons. With some of baseball's brightest young stars, including 21-year-old Albies and 20-year-old Acuna, they're pushing for the playoffs far sooner than most people expected. Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman are the only holdovers from Atlanta's last playoff team. 'We were talking about it the other day,' Teheran said. 'It's been a while since the last time we did this. We're excited. We have a new team. I'm excited to see the guys do it for the first time. It's going to be different for me. I was a rookie the last time we did it.' After giving up a leadoff homer to Cesar Hernandez, Teheran turned in one of his best outings of an inconsistent season. He didn't allow another hit until pinch-hitter J.P. Crawford started the sixth with a triple off the right-field wall. Teheran escaped that jam by striking out Roman Quinn, getting Hernandez on a grounder to second and retiring Rhys Hoskins on a fly ball to right. But the Braves defense let Teheran down in the seventh. With one out, Justin Bour walked and Carlos Santana singled before Ramos sent a liner to left field for what should have been the second out. Acuna completely misjudged the ball, however, realizing too late that it was over his head. After a futile leap, the rookie had to go all the way to the wall to retrieve it, as both runners raced home to break a 1-all tie. Jonny Venters (4-0) claimed the win by getting the final two outs in the seventh. A.J. Minter earned his 15th save despite giving up a run in the ninth , striking out Quinn to end the game with a runner aboard. ROUGH OUTING After a very effective season, Neshek had one of his worst outings. The side-arming right-hander was charged with four runs while recording just one out, bouncing his ERA from 1.16 to 2.66. Neshek claimed home-plate umpire Gerry Davis missed several pitches that should have been called strikes. 'When you leave it in thee ump's hands, that can happen,' Neshek said. 'It just didn't go my way.' TRAINER'S ROOM The Braves will likely want former closer Arodys Vizcaino to pitch in back-to-back games before deciding whether he deserves a spot on a postseason roster. Vizcaino has allowed three hits and two runs in three innings since returning from the disabled list a week ago, but he had his most impressive performance with a scoreless inning against the Phillies in the series opener Thursday. The hard-throwing right-hander had 15 saves before he went on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He missed 55 games. UP NEXT The Braves are skipping LH Sean Newcomb's spot in the rotation, moving up RH Mike Foltynewicz (11-10, 2.90 ERA) to make Saturday's start against Phillies RH Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.77 ERA). Newcomb has a 7.44 ERA over his last seven starts, endangering his spot in the possible playoff rotation after he spent much of the season as one of Atlanta's most effective pitchers. Newcomb will be available out of the bullpen for the remainder of the weekend but could still make another start in the final week of the regular season, according to Snitker. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman will miss his second straight game with a knee injury, and the Falcons also will be without starting defensive end Takk McKinley when they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Coach Dan Quinn declared both players out Friday, extending a rash of injuries that have plagued the Falcons (1-1) already this season. Freeman went down with a bruised knee in a Week 1 loss to Philadelphia, while McKinley sustained a groin injury that kept him off the field in the closing stages of last weekend's 31-24 victory over Carolina. Tevin Coleman took over as the primary running back against the Panthers, rushing for 107 yards, and rookie Ito Smith also was effective. The loss of McKinley means Brooks Reed will likely move into a starting role vs. the Saints. The Falcons also will be missing backup end Derrick Shelby, ruled out with a groin injury, and reserve linebacker Corey Nelson (calf). Atlanta already has lost safety Keanu Neal and offensive guard Andy Levitre to season-ending injuries. Linebacker Deion Jones (foot) will have to miss at least eight games after going on injured reserve. ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Georgia football fans can get their statistical fix each week with By the Numbers — a stats-based look at how UGA coach Kirby Smart is doing in his attempt to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC and continue the program’s pursuit of a national championship. This week’s edition of By the Numbers looks at Georgia’s missing pass rush through three games and how that could improve before season’s end. Georgia’s defense hasn’t had much success getting to the quarterback this season. A fact that hasn’t been a problem yet for the Bulldogs, but could be an issue before season’s end if it doesn’t improve. UGA — as has been widely discussed — is last in the country through three games with just one sack. However, coach Kirby Smart apparently isn’t too concerned. “I’m looking more at total yards per completion and how many points they put on the scoreboard. That’s what matters to me,” Smart said when asked about not getting quarterback pressure on Middle Tennessee State last Saturday. “I know everybody wants sacks. Everybody wants pass rush, but if you put a stop watch on it and you take the whole [MTSU] offensive line off the field and don’t block anybody, I don’t know that we could’ve got there.” Smart probably has a point in that regard. The Blue Raiders did get rid of the ball quickly vs. UGA, and the stats Smart says he’s monitoring closely — yards per completion for opposing offenses and points allowed — are areas in which UGA’s excelled. The Bulldogs are tied for second in scoring defense (allowing 8 points per game) and tied for sixth in passing yards per attempt allowed (4.8). Yet that analysis ignores an obvious point. Simply put, national championship contenders sack quarterbacks. UGA made the Playoff in 2017 with 34 sacks, but dating back to 2014, 11 of the 15 other teams who’ve made the Playoff had more sacks than that. The average number of sacks for a Playoff team over that span: 39. Quarterback pressure is also among most predictive metrics for determining a team’s success in another crucial area: turnover margin. Stats guru Bill Connelly uses “sack rate” in his formula for his S&P+ rankings because as Connelly explains, “sack rates are one of the only reliable, non-random factors that contribute to a team’s turnover margin.” Smart could be forgiven if he ignores that logic. Despite not getting many sacks, collecting turnovers hasn’t been a problem for UGA yet. The Bulldogs have recovered two fumbles and intercepted three passes through three games — good enough for a +1 turnover margin (tied for 18th-best in the country). However, history says that might not be a pace UGA can continue for the rest of the season. Six of the last nine SEC teams to finish in the top three in the conference in turnover margin were also in the top three in sacks. The blunt truth is UGA’s pass rush needs to improve, and the good news is that’s entirely possible to happen. Improving the pass rush is something Smart’s been doing since he arrived in 2016, and he’s done it without having to blitz often — which can put the secondary in a disadvantageous position. “That’s one of the big things we’ve tried to improve,” Smart said of his pass rush last August. “You can improve your pass rush by bringing more guys, or you can rush four better. Obviously, I like to rush four better than bringing more guys. So we’ve tried to find ways to do it. It’s not always been exactly what we wanted — what we want to create — but it’s certainly improving.” Smart’s words proved prophetic. UGA’s 34 sacks last season were five more than the Bulldogs recorded in 2016, and 13 more than UGA had in 2015 — Mark Richt’s final year as UGA coach. One of the factors that could raise UGA’s sack total by season’s end is the emergence of freshmen such as outside linebacker Brenton Cox — a former 5-star recruit from the Bulldogs No. 1 rated 2018 signing class. Cox has played in every game thus far for Georgia without making much of a dent in the stat sheet. That could change soon. “Brenton has grown and progressed,” Smart said this week. “He probably hasn’t shown up in games as much as he has in practice. He hasn’t had many opportunities to get out there and flash and do what I think he can do… He’s getting better with each and every game. He’s a competitor.” As Cox’s competitive fire allows him to become more of a part of the defensive game plan the Bulldogs’ stats could benefit, and it isn’t inconceivable UGA could end up coming close to the sack total it amassed last season. Saturday will be the Bulldogs fourth game. Through that same span in 2017 UGA had just seven sacks. If Georgia creates any sacks vs. Missouri it won’t be too far off the pace it set a year ago. But as Smart has said, it can’t chase sacks at all costs because pressuring Tigers quarterback Drew Lock can be tricky. CFB Film Room tweeted this week that Lock has an adjusted completion percentage (which accounts for drops and throw aways) of 64.3 percent when facing pressure. That means if the Bulldogs come after him, they better get to him. Otherwise, he can make them pay. Ultimately, Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker know UGA needs more pressure on quarterbacks, and regardless of how either might downplay the stat, they’d love to get sacks. However, neither wants to dial up blitzes to accomplish that. It’s probably the correct philosophy — especially against Lock. What many UGA fans are hoping for is a glimpse of improvement — either from Cox, or a veteran presence like D’Andre Walker, the only Bulldogs player with more than one quarterback pressure so far. If that improvement comes against Missouri, UGA could be well on its way to re-establishing the credentials that made it Playoff-worthy in 2017. The post By the Numbers: Still plenty of time for UGA pass rush to improve appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ST. LOUIS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart loves to talk about his big, physical offensive line and how it wears out defenders. Opponents, like Missouri coach Barry Odom, dread the challenge the Bulldogs’ offensive front presents. “I think they’ve got as talented of a run-oriented system when they decide to go run the ball   as we’ve seen,” Odom said. “If you are out of your gap or out of your assignment a little bit, it will get exposed quickly.” The No. 2-ranked Georgia football program will taken on Odom’s Tigers in a noon (Eastern) kick on Saturday in Columbia in a battle of unbeaten SEC teams. As much attention as quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Drew Lock draw, the line of scrimmage could ultimately decide the outcome as both teams look to stay in favorable down-and-distance situations. The key to that is often first down production, and Odom knows the Bulldogs love to dictate the flow with their power run game. “Once we encounter one of their big dudes up front, we have to do a great job using our hands playing through and off the blocks,” Odom said this week, “because there’s times — the way they play and get to the next level of defenders, which would be our linebackers and sometimes drop down safety — that they can overwhelm you a bit with the way they play in the run game.” Georgia is averaging 272 yards per game on the ground, 13th-best in the nation, and fourth in the SEC. The Bulldogs offensive line leads the way, from left to right: • LT Cade Mays (6-foot-6, 318 pounds) • LG Solomon Kindley (6-4, 335) • OC Lamont Gaillard (6-2, 308) • RG Ben Cleveland (6-6, 335) • RT Isaiah Wilson (6-7, 340) “Our offensive line is   physical, they’re big, they lean on you,” Smart said. “It just wears on you.” The Bulldogs are splitting the carries at the tailback position four ways between leading rusher Elijah Holyfield (200 yards, 9.1 yards per carry), D’Andre Swift (119 yards, 5.0 yards per carry), James Cook (105 yards, 4.8 yards per carry) and Brian Herrien (91 yards, 7.0 yards per carry). Holyfield broke a 66-yard run against Middle Tennessee, and his hard-charging, physical style of play has impressed Smart and Odom. “He practices tough, physical; every day for him is physical,” Smart said. “He’s not a guy you have to motivate. He loves the game. He practices hard …. He likes contact, and he’s a bowling ball. He’s hard to bring down. He’s really tough.” Odom has seen plenty of film of No. 13, too. “He’s a strong runner, he’s got really good quickness on making his first initial jump cut, and then getting back vertical,” Odom said. “.Strong, strong power runner, really good in block protection when they throw the ball when he’s in there, he’s an impressive guy.” Odom said the Tigers, who rank 74th in the nation in total defense (379.7 yards per game) have a challenge on their hands. “We need to tackle well, we need to make sure that we play assignment sound,” Odom said. “When they do throw the ball we have to be good in our coverage zones, either n zone or man to man, we have to have really great eye discipline.” Elijah Holyfield is a physical runner. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images The post Georgia football run game ‘can overwhelm you,’ per Missouri coach Barry Odom appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episode No. 787 (Sept. 21, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia coach Kirby Smart and the upcoming game vs. Missouri. Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart’s search for ‘one defining moment’ could come vs. Missouri Beginning of the show: Georgia coach Kirby Smart has spoken before about his belief that UGA needs to overcome some adversity at some point this season if the Bulldogs are to be as good as they were in 2017 and have the same quality of leadership displayed along the way to the College Football Playoff. I’ll talk on the show today about whether the Missouri game will provide that opportunity for UGA. 10-minute mark: I’ll share the Kroger Checklist and discuss the emergence of safety Richard LeCounte. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… 4-star defensive lineman Derick “Rambo” Hunter’s recently released top five Reaction to 4-star defensive lineman — and Florida State commit — Quashon Fuller’s recent tweet about UGA Whether turmoil at Auburn hurts the Tigers’ chances of swaying 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood’s UGA commitment And the latest on 5-star offensive lineman Clay Webb 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers decision to transfer from Auburn, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher’s attempt to become the first former Nick Saban assistant to beat his old boss, and a look at the hype building for the Florida-Tennessee game. 35-minute mark: I discuss why freshman outside linebacker Brenton Cox could emerge as a major contributor for UGA by the end of the season. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown and discuss the likelihood of seeing another stadium emptied early by a dominant UGA performance on the road. The post Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart’s search for ‘one defining moment’ could come vs. Missouri appeared first on DawgNation.