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Kirby Smart weighs in on unsettled, competitive Georgia offensive line

Kirby Smart weighs in on unsettled, competitive Georgia offensive line

Kirby Smart weighs in on unsettled, competitive Georgia offensive line

Kirby Smart weighs in on unsettled, competitive Georgia offensive line

ATHENS — Georgia football is expected to have the best offensive line in college football this season, even if the starting five isn’t quite set yet.

The Bulldogs return six players with starting experience from a unit that has finished among the three finalists for the Joe Moore Award, which goes to the best offensive line in the   nation.

RELATED: ‘Big Ben’ Cleveland ready to get party started up front

Coach Kirby Smart put the brakes on anyone reading too much into the starting lineups for the annual G-Day Game on Saturday, however, making it clear there’s ongoing competition.

“Here we go,” Smart sighed after questions came up about the offensive line after the G-Day Game. “Guys, we could’ve put any lineup out there and those guys can’t switch teams within games.

“That was the number one offensive line for that scrimmage, (but) what they do in the offseason, what they work out like, how they do in school, how they compete in the fall, there’s still two springs left before the first game — we have two more versions of what we just did before we play a game.”

RELATED: All business, Andrew Thomas leads way for O-Line

Further, Smart said, “there’s some guys that aren’t here right now on the offensive line, so to say who is going to be out there, you guys will predict all of that, but it’s going to come by what happens on the field for us.”

It’s not a stretch to suggest the players who started for the Red Team — designated as the first-team offense for the purposes of the scrimmage — are the favorites to open fall drills as the starters.

They were:

LT Andrew Thomas

LG Solomon Kindley

C Trey Hill

RG Ben Cleveland

RT Isaiah Wilson

Smart said the competition will help the offensive line stay sharp and prevent any sort of complacency.

“We’ve had a great rotation, guys have competed really hard at right guard, Cade Mays has done a great job competing over there,” Smart said. “Right tackle is really up for grabs both guys are competing, there’s a lot of positions in there that guys continue to get better.”

RELATED: Personable Jamaree Salyer quickly a fan favorite

The second-team line, the starters for the Black Team in the G-Day Game were:

LT Owen Condon

LG Justin Shaffer

C Warren Ericson

RG Cade Mays

RT Jamaree Salyer

“Can it be a strength for out team, yeah, but so can a lot of our positions,” Smart said. “I don’t think you get things off forecasting or projecting, you get them off doing it, and we have to have them go out and play well to be a successful offense.”

Smart pointed out during the ESPN broadcast what a good problem Georgia truly has on its hands with its deep and talented offensive line.

“Most people struggle to get two O-lines out there,” Smart told Maria Taylor. “We’re having a hard time getting a lot of kids playing time. It’s a good group.”

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The post Kirby Smart weighs in on unsettled, competitive Georgia offensive line appeared first on DawgNation.

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Georgia Sports News

  • The No. 14-ranked Georgia softball team hopes to heat up along with the weather in Minneapolis in NCAA regional action on Monday. The Bulldogs (41-18) are scheduled to resume play at 10 a.m. Monday batting in the top of the fifth inning with runners on first and second and one out leading Drake   4-2 in an elimination game. The game was suspended on Saturday night and rain on Sunday pushed back the resumption of play to Monday. If Georgia holds on to beat Drake (43-15), it advances to play host Minnesota at noon. The NCAA tournament No. 7-seed Golden Gophers beat the Bulldogs last Friday by a 2-1 count in eight innings, rallying from 1-0 down in the bottom of the seventh inning. RELATED: Minnesota cools off Georgia in extra innings The Bulldogs would have to beat the Golden Gophers twice on Monday to advance to Super Regional play, where they’d travel to play LSU. All 13 SEC softball teams made the NCAA tournament (Vanderbilt does not have a team). Six of those league teams have advanced to NCAA Super Regional play. Georgia is in the only regional where all four teams had 40 regular-season wins, and the Bulldogs have also been battling the elements. UGA opened the tournament last Thursday beating Drake 6-4 on Ciara Bryan’s walk-off home run. WATCH: Ciara Bryan lifts Georgia with a blast over the fence! Temperatures dropped int0 the 40s when UGA played Minnesota last Friday, adding to the Golden Gophers home field advantage. Temperatures on Monday are expected to rise from the 30s into the 60s.       The post Georgia softball aims to heat up in Minnesota, survive for Super Regionals appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Kentucky is taking aim at Georgia football this season with hopes of ending a streak of futility, according to a recent Lexington Herald Leader story. The Bulldogs have dominated the SEC East Division the past two seasons. None of the East teams have managed to stay within single digits on the scoreboard by the conclusion of games against UGA in 2017 or 2018. RELATED: Georgia’s march to SEC Championship Game goes through Kentucky The Wildcats, as noted by Lexington Herald Leader reporter Mark Story, have a nine-game losing streak to Georgia, which he refers to as UK’s ‘bogeyman’ Kentucky has recently broken notable losing streaks to Steve Spurrier-coached teams (17 games, 2010), Tennessee (26 games, 2011) and last season in Dan Mullen’s first season coaching Florida, the Gators (31 games). Last year’s Kentucky team was confident it would end the streak against Georgia. UK was practically celebrating before playing UGA, taking out an ad in Times Square while rejecting the underdog role. RELATED: Confident Kentucky ready for UGA challenge at Kroger Field “The days of us being an underdog team are over,” UK tailback Benny Snell had said in the days leading up to the game. Georgia, of course, won the game and the Wildcats’ reality has set in this offseason. Story writes: “Of all the good works Stoops has done at UK, the Kentucky head man is 0-6 against the Bulldogs. Other than a 27-24 loss to Georgia in Lexington in 2016 during Kirby Smart’s first season after replacing Mark Richt  as Bulldogs coach, none of the games have been close. Under Stoops, UK’s other five losing margins against Georgia have been 42, 32, 24, 29 and 17 points.” Of course, this is why reports that Smart had offered Eddie Gran the offensive coordinator position once Jim Chaney left for Tennessee this offseason were suspect. After all, Kentucky’s offense ranked 103rd in the nation in total offense — well behind Georgia (18th). DawgNation learned that while a position on the staff was discussed, it was not to become the offensive coordinator, and no job was offered. RELATED: UGA did not offer Gran coordinator or position coach duties Meanwhile, it only made sense Gran would leverage his interview with Smart for a pay raise at Kentucky. If his athletic director and fan base believed Smart would hire him to be Georgia’s OC, all the better for him. But Smart had worked hard to keep James Coley in the fold as assistant offensive coordinator the season before, paying him $850,000. RELATED: James Coley puts his spin on Georgia football offense Coley was quickly elevated to offensive coordinator the same week Chaney left for the Vols, getting a $100,000 salary bump to $950,000. Georgia plays host to Kentucky in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 19 this season. The Bulldogs bring a four-game win streak against South Carolina into this season, and a three-game win streak against Missouri.       The post Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Tom Barlow scored his first MLS goal to help the short-handed New York Red Bulls beat Atlanta United 1-0 on Sunday night and snap Atlanta's MLS-record streak of five consecutive shutouts. Atlanta United (6-4-2), which had 66.9% possession and outshot the Red Bulls 12-6, conceded its first goal since a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on April 20. New York (5-5-2) played a man down after Tim Parker was shown a red card for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity by Josef Martinez in the 35th minute and was without Bradley-Wright Phillips and Aaron Long. Wright-Phillips, the Red Bulls' goals leader in each of the last five seasons, missed his fifth consecutive game with groin injury and Long, the reigning MLS Defender of the Year, missed his second straight with a hamstring injury. Daniel Royer, on the right side, played a long arcing ball to the far post where Barlow, who made his second career appearance when he came on in the 55th minute, side-netted a rolling header to make it 1-0 in the 65th minute. Luis Robles had two saves in his second clean sheet of the season for the Red Bulls. His 65 career shutouts are eighth most in MLS history. New York has won four of its last five games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Georgia’s women tennis team fell barely short in its bid to win a national championship. The Bulldogs advanced all the way the NCAA finals, but they were swept 4-0 by Stanford, the defending national champions. UGA finishes the year with a 28-2 record, with the other loss being to South Carolina during the regular season. Ironically, the Bulldogs defeated Stanford 4-3 this past February. Georgia and Stanford has now met four times to play for the NCAA championship, with each team winning twice. With no seniors on the roster, UGA will be heavily favored to return to the finals. The post UGA women’s tennis falls just short in bid to win national championship appeared first on DawgNation.