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Former UGA QB John Lastinger shares memories of Georgia’s last win over Texas
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Former UGA QB John Lastinger shares memories of Georgia’s last win over Texas

Former UGA QB John Lastinger shares memories of Georgia’s last win over Texas

Former UGA QB John Lastinger shares memories of Georgia’s last win over Texas

Georgia football-John Lastinger-Texas football

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

#DGD: Catching up with former Bulldog John Lastinger

In this week’s installment of the #DGD or “Damn Good Dawg” series, we catch up with former Georgia quarterback John Lastinger, who was the Georgia quarterback the last time the Bulldogs faced Texas in the 1984 Cotton Bowl. 

Lastinger also quarterbacked Georgia to the 1983 Sugar Bowl against Penn State. During the 1981 and ’82 seasons, Lastinger guided the Bulldogs to a combined record of 21-2-1. The Valdosta native also knows what it’s like to share a talented quarterback room, as he and former Georgia quarterback Buck Belue were teammates. 

DawgNation: Georgia is going to play Texas for the first time since 1984, a game in which you led Georgia to a win and scored the game’s only touchdown. What do you remember about the 1984 Cotton Bowl?

JL: It was a great run for us back then and we had gotten fairly comfortable going to the Sugar Bowl, having gone there in 1981 and ’82. That 1983 team, we lost to Auburn and not having a conference championship game, it was our first conference loss in four years, and it allowed them to go to the Sugar Bowl that year. But about a week after the game, coach (Vince) Dooley called the seniors in and said, ‘Here’s where things stand. We can either go to the Fiesta Bowl and play Iowa, or we can got to the Cotton Bowl and play an undefeated Texas team,’ and thus have a say in who might be the national champion. It didn’t take us long to decide to go to Dallas and play Texas. Of course we made that decision without having seen any film of Texas, but that’s how it started. We knew it would be a challenge and we knew we’d be an underdog, but in the end we caught a break, and were able to pull out a victory.

DN: You mention the 1983 national championship, which was pretty controversial given that a number of teams could’ve made a claim for it, including Georgia who went 10-1-1 that season. Back then, was there any thought to maybe Georgia having any sort of claim to a national title, much like some thought Georgia had a chance of getting into the College Football Playoff this year? 

JL: I don’t think we felt like we would’ve jumped all the way from No. 1. Auburn won the Sugar Bowl that night, and if I’m not mistaken they had to kick a field goal in the final minute to beat Michigan. Auburn needed some style points, they needed to win big and they couldn’t do it. The team that was accumulating a lot of style points was Miami, with Bernie Kosar at quarterback and Howard Schnellenberger as their coach. They could really move up and down the field. And the Nebraska team that year was phenomenal, with Turner Gill at quarterback and Mike Rozier. They had plowed through everybody, not unlike Alabama this year. That team got a bad draw and had to play in the Orange Bowl and playing Miami, which was basically a home game in Miami. But I don’t think we had a legitimate shot at it. But we were certainly glad to have a direct effect on who won by beating Texas. I don’t remember us really saying, ‘golly, we should be No. 1.’ I’m sure the Auburn people felt differently, but I think if they had won more convincingly, they would’ve moved to No. 1.

DN: In your time at Georgia, you shared the quarterback room with another highly touted quarterback in Buck Belue. He had his own success, and then you were able to come in and follow him up with some success of your own. You know what it’s like to share the roster with another good quarterback, and you see that now with Jake Fromm and Justin Fields at Georgia. What have you thought of how the two have co-existed this year, with Fromm growing a lot over the season, and Fields just trying to find consistent playing time?

JL: Well you look at both of them individually. Fromm just continues to impress me. He looks so comfortable throwing the football, and when I say that I mean he just always seems to know where he wants to go with the football. If his first read is covered, he does a nice job of progressing down to hitting the (running) back out of the backfield. I think that he seems to show great rhythm and comfort in the pocket, and that’s his strength. He’s a game manager guy, but he’s more than just not-make-a-mistake type thing. He gets things done. Justin Fields, golly, he’s a phenomenal physical talent. I don’t think anyone can dispute that. But to me, watching him sometimes this year, when he’s in the pocket where Jake may say, ‘I don’t like my first read, I’m going here, I’m going somewhere else.” With Justin, if he didn’t like his first read, he typically just kind of tucked it and tried to run. He’s going to have to continue to work on his poise in the pocket. He’s a true freshman and I don’t want to be too critical of that, but I think that’s an area he’s going to have to continue to work at. Kirby (Smart), coach (Jim) Chaney and those guys are going to continue to work with Justin. My hope is that Justin is at the University of Georgia because that’s where he wants to be. That he understands that he’s going to have to continue to work, and hopefully he will stay there. We’re in an era where that’s not always the case.

DN: This is the renewal of a series with Texas, two teams that haven’t seen each other since 1984. These are two proud programs, and they did recently schedule a home-and-home to play each other. Don’t these games against big, out-of-regions teams, seem to really help the Georgia brand?

JL: Absolutely. It’s a great matchup between two traditional programs. I think Tom Herman and that group is pushing to get to the top just like Georgia. I think Georgia is a little ahead of Texas right now in doing that, but it should still be a really good ball game between these two teams. I’m glad it’s happening this year, because when I saw that we were playing them in the home-and-home in 2028, I started counting on my hands, hoping that I can make it that long. I’m starting to get old!

DN: The broadcast team for the Georgia-Texas game was announced and Todd Blackledge is going to be doing the color commentary. You famously faced off against Blackledge in the 1983 Sugar Bowl against Penn State. Obviously that game didn’t go well for Georgia, but it’s still an important game for the program. What kind of memories do you have with Blackledge?

JL: I’m going to be there and it would be awesome to see him. I’ve run into him a couple of times when he was back in Athens with CBS. I think I was up in New York when coach Dooley was getting into inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and I ran into him. If you ever go back and watch that game, Penn State was in its all white uniforms, and Todd took the field and came out with these black high-top shoes. I remember looking across the field and thinking ‘those might be the ugliest things I have ever seen.’ So I asked him if he still had those ugly, black high-tops and he just fell out laughing. Of course I couldn’t say much else because they won the ball game. But he’s phenomenal at the job he’s done, and he’s really a great person.

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  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Joe Panik was fairly calm in the midst of his eight-pitch battle with Atlanta closer Luke Jackson. A pair of stolen bases earlier in the ninth inning, including one by pinch-runner Mac Williamson that put the winning run in scoring position, helped take the pressure off the Giants leadoff hitter. Panik hit a game-ending two-run single off Jackson with two outs in the ninth to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 win over the Braves on Tuesday night. 'Great comeback,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. 'We looked pretty flat. We just couldn't get it going. To come back and win it in the ninth like that, that's huge.' Brandon Crawford began the comeback with a one-out single. After Steven Duggar struck out, Kevin Pillar singled in Crawford. Pillar stole second then moved to third on Pablo Sandoval's pinch-hit infield single. Williamson stole second before Panik slapped a 3-2 pitch from Jackson into right field to cap the three-run rally. 'Any time you can advance 90 feet it's big in that situation,' Panik said. 'Especially for me, having Mac at second base versus first base, I don't have to hit a double to win the game. Just stay within myself, stay through the middle of the field and you can win the game that way with a single. Every 90 feet matters.' It's the fourth blown save this season for Jackson (2-1) and spoiled an otherwise strong day by the Braves pitching staff. Atlanta had won four straight against San Francisco and allowed one run in all four. The Braves were in position to make it five before the Giants rallied with three runs and four hits in the ninth. The stolen bases by Pillar and Williamson provided the late lift San Francisco needed. 'Kevin, he's a base stealer but once Mac got it, now you realize it just takes a hit and you win the game,' Bochy said. 'You saw the energy pick up in the dugout. We did a nice job.' Panik and Buster Posey had two hits apiece for San Francisco. Trevor Gott (2-0) retired three batters to win. Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, Ronald Acu a Jr. and Dansby Swanson had two hits apiece for Atlanta. 'A foot here and a foot there and we would have won,' Atlanta catcher Brian McCann said. 'But it's baseball and you've got to turn the page.' Braves starter Julio Teheran struck out six and gave up three hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. Teheran has a 0.79 ERA over his last four starts covering 22 2/3 innings. He lost three straight decisions to close out April and had a pair of no-decisions in his first two starts in May. Acu a backed Teheran with a terrific leaping grab at the fence in center field to rob Brandon Belt of extra bases in the third. PUT ME IN (ANYWHERE) COACH Vogt made his second career start in left field. The 34-year-old Vogt has logged 370 games behind the plate. Wednesday marked his fifth appearance in left field and first since 2014 when he was with the Oakland Athletics. ROSTER MOVE The Giants placed pitcher Travis Bergen on the 10-day injured list because of a left shoulder strain. Bergen is 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA in 18 games this season. Infielder Donovan Solano was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game, one day after being sent down to make room for pitcher Andrew Suarez. UP NEXT Braves lefty Max Fried (6-2, 2.86 ERA) makes his fifth road start Wednesday. Fried pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings against Milwaukee on May 17. RHP Jeff Samardzija (2-2, 3.69) makes his first start against Atlanta since 2017. Samardzija threw a season-low 68 pitches in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent start against Arizona on May 17. __ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — DawgNation has reported a lot about Carson Beck over the last week. Beck has his eye on several top targets for the rest of the 2020 class. He made a throw in the Florida Class 8A state championship that folks will not soon forget. The 6 foot-4 (and a half-inch) rising senior even convinced his QB trainer why the Bulldogs were a perfect fit for his game at the college level. His trainer, Denny Thompson, knows the 4-star QB as well as anyone. He has helped chisel an Elite 11 QB out of a guy with just four games of varsity experience prior to last season. Beck then took the reins at Mandarin High School and went on to be a rare junior to win the “Mr. Football” honor for the state of Florida. Thompson has strong opinions and knows just how to deliver them. That’s why he hosts a popular sports talk radio show in Jacksonville. He says the things most might expect Beck’s trainer to say. He even shared he would put aside his allegiance to the Gators (as a fan) when it comes to Beck. That’s his guy. After all. In Beck, he has a pupil that he feels has as strong of a “functional arm” as he has seen recently in a prospect. There was this one other guy. His name will come up in that video interview up above. If you watch Carson Beck work, it does sometimes look like he is firing off a pair of six-shooters both before and after snaps. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Where Carson Beck can get better  He also knows the work Beck still has to do. The young passer needs to work on the technical aspects of the position. Most big-time guys his age still need to do that, too. Thompson shared his most important teaching point for Beck. “That’s probably the part of his game where it is like ‘Carson for you to take that real next step I need you to throw the same exact ball every single time and know exactly where it is going’ and we’re working on that. A lot of that is weight distribution and has nothing to do with the arm. [It] has everything to do with weight distribution and how you use your right hip and things of that nature.” He’s encouraged by the fact Beck is always asking him “why” things need to be done a certain way. It leads to a deeper understanding of what he is trying to learn how to do the same way every single time. That’s what he wants to see in a young man with tools like his. Beck would devour the game film of the next opponent on Sunday mornings with Thompson. Those sessions would last up to four hours. Thompson wouldn’t be able to deal with his wife most weekends if those sessions extended any longer. “Those guys were then beaten by the time he hit the practice field on Monday,” Thompson said. “That is his mindset with the work it takes to be great.” What Carson Beck can be at Georgia Beck is not a polished product yet. Even though all the tools are there. Thompson does make that clear. He is still big on what he can bring to the table, though. That was evident when he gave a very strong answer to this query: “ What can Georgia be with Carson Beck?” “I think with the momentum that they’ve got recruiting I think Carson is the guy who wins you a national championship,” Thompson said. “I really do.” Big bold words. But then Thompson continued to provide the right baseline to the conversation. He did so this time by adding real accountability to his own methods. He might regret saying this later. But he still said it. “Carson is the kind of kid that if he is not a first-round [NFL] guy I failed him,” Thompson said. “We failed him as coaches. Everything is there: Head. Size. Arm. Everything you want is there. Leadership. I mean he’s recruiting his butt off for Georgia right now. Everything is there.” “So if something other than injury happens. Then it is probably on me as a trainer or them as coaches or whatever it is. He is definitely the kind of talent though that you can win a national championship with.” Want to see the full context of that statement? With a bonus thought about who Thompson feels is the best college comparison to Beck? Check out the video interview above. Carson Beck is set to enroll at UGA in January of 2020. He currently rates as the nation’s No. 3 pro-style passer for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Carson Beck Beck on deck: Getting to know the UGA commit Carson Beck commits to UGA Carson Beck escalates his recruiting efforts for the Bulldogs Beck names off his top 5 targets for the 2020 class in Athens The throw Carson Beck made that the state of Florida is still buzzing about  The first Beck win for UGA? Getting a Gator to gush about the present and future in Athens The post The two strongest statements yet about what Carson Beck can be at Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Pitching and defense has been carrying Georgia all season. Now the bats have heated up, and that bodes very well for the Bulldogs, who enter postseason play as one of the nation’s top-ranked teams and a favorite to make it to Omaha. After this past weekend’s sweep of Alabama to close out the regular season, the Bulldogs (42-14, 21-9 SEC) moved up to No. 3 in the latest RPI calculations. That makes them a virtual lock to receive a national seed, regardless of what happens in this week’s SEC Tournament. National seeds go to the top eight teams in baseball and guarantee that recipients host games through the Super Regionals. Vanderbilt is No. 2, Mississippi State 4 and Arkansas 6 in the RPI released by the NCAA on Monday. So, theoretically, the Bulldogs could be “two and ‘cue” in the double-elimination SEC Tournament this week and still be in line to receive that distinct advantage. But they’re not leaving anything to chance. “You want to win every game that you play,” said coach Scott Stricklin of his Georgia squad, which opens play against Texas A&M at 10:30 a.m. (ET) Wednesday (SEC Network). “At this stage, I think we can still earn some national respect, not that it’s really that big of a deal for us. Internally, we know we’re a good team. We feel like we’re a 100 percent lock to be a Top 8 seed. There’s no way you win 21 games in this league and have an RPI of 3 and not be a Top 8. But certainly we would like to make a run.” The way the Bulldogs are suddenly swinging the bats, that would seem entirely possible. Thanks to the way Georgia ball hit the ball against Alabama — batting .402 and scoring 30 runs in three games — the Bulldogs are now hitting .275 as a team with 63 home runs, 336 RBI and a .434 slugging percentage. That puts them on pace to surpass last year’s power numbers, in which they hit 64 homers and had 352 RBI while slugging .425. That’s an unexpected outcome after losing last year’s three leading sluggers in Michael Curry (13 HRs), Keegan McGovern (18) and Adam Sasser (10). “We’ve just seen more consistency out of the lineup,” Stricklin said. “It’s really been the last three or four weeks, after Mississippi State, we’ve really swung the bats a lot better. We’re just getting more quality at-bats out of guys and wearing down the opposing pitching staffs and getting into the bullpen.” One big difference-maker has been designated hitter John Cable. The Roswell native came to Georgia as a late addition last June via a graduate transfer from the University of New Orleans. Batting fifth in the lineup, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder is third on the team with a .316 average, slugging a second-best .544 and leads the Bulldogs with 45 RBI. This past Saturday, Cable hit his seventh home run and had his fourth 4-RBI game of the season as Georgia’s 3-4-5 hitters — including Aaron Schunk and LJ Talley went 23-of-41 for the weekend. “It’s huge,” Cable said of Georgia’s hot bats. “Our pitching has been carrying us so to have that going is big for us. The past two weeks we’ve had really good at-bats and put up a lot of runs. The bats are rolling right now and we’ve got to keep them going.” To be clear, pitching and defense remain the foundation on which this Georgia team is built. The Bulldogs enter with their rotation intact as Tim Elliot (6-3, 2.93 ERA), the regular mid-week starter, will get the ball against the Aggies. He’ll be backed up by the best defense in Georgia history. In league play, the starting infield of Patrick Sullivan, L.J. Talley, Cam Shepherd and Aaron Schunk, have made four errors all season. Shepherd, the shortstop, has made none. That’s right — zero. Shepherd was error-free in 30 SEC games in a total of 109 chances. For the year, he’s fielding .990 with just two errors in 206 total chances. Up the middle, between catcher Mason Meadows, Shepherd and Talley and center field Tucker Maxwell, the Bulldogs have made a collective 7 errors all season. Put that defense behind the pitching rotation Georgia is throwing at opponents this season, and you’ve got winning formula. Led by first-team All-SEC designee Emerson Hancock (8-2, 1.31 ERA), the Bulldogs lead the SEC in opposing batting average (.196) — the closest to them is Missouri at .220 — and they are second in team ERA (3.17), saves (18) and wins (42). Add the hot bats and the Bulldogs’ confidence heading to Hoover is understandable. “It gives your pitchers a lot more confidence when they know they have that cushion and also the best defense in Georgia history behind them,” Stricklin said. “Our infield defense has been unbelievable.” Said Cable: “We want to keep the momentum because this tournament leads into the regional. We’re on a hot streak, playing well, and I think we’re going to go in there and play well. It’d be nice to win it and put it on the wall (at Foley Field).” The post VIDEO: No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs take hot bats to Hoover, face Texas A&M in SEC Tourney 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 DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart’s quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 950 (May 21, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about how 4-star defensive tackle Jalen Carter’s commitment addresses UGA fans’ concerns about the program’s defensive line recruiting. Georgia football podcast: UGA appears to address a fan concern in emphatic fashion Beginning of the show: Georgia hasn’t recruited well enough on its defensive line according to many UGA fans. I’ll discuss on today’s show how 4-star defensive tackle Jalen Carter’s commitment potentially calms those concerns. 10-minute mark: I share audio from UGA coach Kirby Smart’s appearance at a fan gathering in Macon, Ga and invite DawgNation Daily listeners and viewers to register for a chance to win a VIP stay at Callaway Resort and Gardens for DawgNation Days of Summer. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Jeff’s thoughts on Carter Reaction to 4-star offensive lineman Justin Rogers’ Kentucky commitment The latest on 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson 4-star defensive end Jacolbe Cowan’s intriguing description of his conversations with 5-star recruits, Kendall Milton and Kelee Ringo And a look at UGA’s so-called “scavenger hunt” 35-minute mark: I take a look at CBS’ ranking of SEC teams’ schedule strength. 40-minute mark: I share the latest edition of our Summer Q&A. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. NOTE: If you’d like to share your answers to the Summer Q&A you can enter your responses in the comment section below or reach out to BA on Twitter @DawgNationDaily. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA appears to address a fan concern in emphatic fashion appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs signed the No. 2 overall recruiting class for the 2019 recruiting cycle. It landed a total of five 5-star prospects, including the No. 1 prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings in Nolan Smith. That’s before even mentioning a player like incoming wide receiver Dominick Blaylock. But none of the 20 freshman members of the class were selected to ESPN’s instant impact team. Put together by Tom Luginbill, the list highlights some of the top incoming freshmen who have a chance to make meaningful contributions right away. Some of the players named include LSU running back John Emery Jr. and Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. But there was not a player from Georgia’s class named. Interestingly, there was also not an Alabama player named in the class as well. The Crimson Tide signed the No. 1 overall class in the country for the 2019 cycle. Texas, which had the No. 3 class also did not have a player named. Saying all that though, there’s a very good chance that a number of freshmen play a meaningful role for the Bulldogs. Smith — along with inside linebacker Nakobe Dean —really stood out this spring for the Bulldogs. Related:  The national media is making a big mistake by sleeping on Nolan Smith And given the needs Georgia has at wide receiver, it should not come as a surprise to see either Blaylock or 5-star wide receiver George Pickens play a big role early. Georgia coach Kirby Smart has also mentioned Blaylock working heavily on special teams. “We think Dom can play all three spots, slot and both outside,”  Smart said. “He’s very bright and intelligent. He picks up things well. We think he’s going to help in the return game, too. But it’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘He’s a slot receiver.’ We think he can play all of them.” Related:  Kirby Smart says all Georgia Bulldogs, incoming and otherwise, have made the grades to play Georgia has also seen a number of players who weren’t thought to be early impact players make significant contributions in their first year. This time a year ago, no one was saying much of anything about defensive lineman Jordan Davis. Now he’s a key member of the Georgia defense. And most thought that Jake Fromm would end up being the backup to Jacob Eason in his freshman season. Fromm went on to win the SEC and lead Georgia to an appearance in the national title game. Georgia and its talented pack of freshmen begin the 2019 season on Aug. 31 when the Bulldogs visit Vanderbilt. Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Meet 6-foot-6 Josh Braun: Brains, rhinos, swing dancing, tennis and a mauler’s mindset Fire and ice: Incoming Miami transfer compares Kirby Smart to Mark Richt VIDEO: Kirby Smart, Tom Crean update fans on Georgia Bulldogs during ‘Coaches Caravan’ Why commitment of 4-star DT Jalen Carter is a big win for Georgia football Kirby Smart expects QB Jake Fromm to have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 Update on injury status of UGA running back Zamir White Nation’s No. 10 DT Jalen Carter has made his college decision     The post ESPN snubs Georgia freshmen on instant impact list appeared first on DawgNation.