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    Cowboys right guard Zack Martin left in the second half with a knee injury against the Eagles on Sunday. The four-time Pro Bowler has been battling a knee issue all season. Philadelphia running back Corey Clement injured his right knee when he was stopped for a 4-yard loss late in the first quarter and didn't return to the overtime loss. Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat left in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Buffalo was down to third-string running back Marcus Murphy after LeSean McCoy was sidelined by a hamstring injury in the first quarter and Chris Ivory hurt his ankle in the third quarter of the loss to the Jets. Starting linebacker Matt Milano was carted off the field after getting his leg tangled while stopping Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold at the goal line. Detroit was hit hard by injuries in its win over Arizona. In the span of three plays, the Lions lost defensive ends Ezekiel Ansah (knee) and Da'Shawn Hand (shoulder). Later in the half, right tackle Rick Wagner left with a concussion. The team also lost fullback Nick Bellore (ankle), wide receiver Bruce Ellington (hamstring), cornerback Marcus Cooper (back) and safety Charles Washington (hamstring). Broncos cornerback Isaac Yiadom suffered a shoulder injury in the loss at San Francisco. Wideout Courtland Sutton nursed a thigh injury. 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon returned after landing hard on his left ankle late in the game when he went down defending a pass on the sideline. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had X-rays of his right ankle after the win over the Patriots. He acknowledged it didn't feel good after the game. 'I rolled it pretty good,' he said. 'Got X-rays and buttoned it up tight.' Redskins tight end Jordan Reed injured his right foot in the first quarter and did not return in the loss to the Giants. Rookie linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton left with a shoulder injury. Texans receiver and kick returner Deandre Carter left in the first quarter against Indianapolis and was later ruled out with a concussion. Colts right guard Mark Glowinski was carted to the locker room in the second quarter with an ankle injury. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Longtime closer Lee Smith and smooth-swinging Harold Baines were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. 'Very shocked,' Baines said on a conference call. Former outfielder and manager Lou Piniella fell one vote short. Results of the 16-member Today's Game Era Committee were announced at the winter meetings. It took 12 votes for election — Smith was unanimous, Baines got 12 and Piniella had 11. Smith and Baines both debuted in Chicago during the 1980 season. Smith began with the Cubs and went on to post a then-record 478 saves while Baines started out with the White Sox and had 2,866 hits. George Steinbrenner, Orel Hershiser, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Davey Johnson and Charlie Manuel all received fewer than five votes. Baines was a .289 hitter with 384 home runs in a 22-year career. He never drew more than 6.1 percent in five elections by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, far from the 75 percent required. 'I wasn't expecting this day to come,' the six-time All-Star said. The Hall board-appointed panel included longtime White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and Baines said he was grateful for his support. Hall members Greg Maddux, Roberto Alomar, Joe Morgan, Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Tony La Russa, John Schuerholz, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre also were on the panel. Smith's fastball helped him become a seven-time All-Star in an 18-year-old career. He owned the major league record for saves when he retired during the 1997 season while with Montreal, and Trevor Hoffman and then Mariano Rivera reset the mark. Smith, who never reached 51 percent in 15 BBWAA elections, became the seventh pitcher who mostly was a reliever to make the Hall. Baines was a designated hitter for much of his career, and DHs have struggled to gain backing from Hall voters. Both closers and DHs could see the numbers increase again very shortly. Rivera is eligible for the first time and big-hitting DH Edgar Martinez will be back on the ballot when results of the next BBWAA election are announced Jan. 22. Induction ceremonies are scheduled for July 21 at Cooperstown, New York. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Amari Cooper's impact on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been dramatic. The new No. 1 receiver for the Cowboys shook up the NFC East race, too. Prescott threw his third touchdown pass to Cooper on the first possession of overtime, and the Cowboys took a big step toward the division title with a 29-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. On third down, Rasul Douglas tipped the pass into the air by getting inside the slant route, and Cooper grabbed it and had a clear path to the end zone from the Philadelphia 7 for the 15-yard score. The Cowboys used almost all of the 10-minute overtime, scoring with 1:55 remaining. 'I knew I had the slant route there, but I knew he would sit on it,' Cooper said. 'I tried to sell the fade. It didn't really work, but I just stayed with the ball and there you have it.' By winning the third overtime game in the past four seasons at A&T Stadium between these division rivals, the Cowboys (8-5) won their fifth straight game and took a two-game lead over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (6-7) and Washington with three games left. Carson Wentz threw for three touchdowns, including a pair of tying scores in the fourth quarter. But he never got a chance in overtime because Prescott engineered a 13-play, 75-yard drive. Prescott overcame two interceptions and a lost fumble to set career highs in completions (42), attempts (54) and yards passing (455). 'Helpless feeling,' Wentz said. 'I've got a lot of lot of confidence in the defense. They were making plays today. We just didn't do enough early offensively and that cost us.' The Cowboys dominated almost from the start, but let the Eagles stay close to set up a wild fourth quarter. Dallas, which can clinch the NFC East title with a win at Indianapolis next Sunday, finished with 576 yards, the most since gaining 578 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973. Cooper finished with a career-high 217 yards receiving on 10 catches in his second game in the past three with at least 180 yards and two scores. All three of Cooper's touchdowns — the others from 75 and 28 yards — were in the fourth quarter and overtime. Acquired from Oakland for a 2019 first-round draft pick seven games into the season, Cooper leads the NFL with 642 yards receiving since Week 9, his first game with the Cowboys. He had nine catches for 190 yards after halftime. The Cowboys went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 19 in overtime and got it with a 1-yard plunge from Ezekiel Elliott, who had 192 yards from scrimmage on 40 touches — 28 carries for 113 yards and 12 catches for 79. Cooper converted a pair of third downs on the winning drive. The first one was big, too — a 12-yarder on third-and-9 from the Philadelphia 40. 'I was almost I guess I would say astonished that we were able to get that trade,' said Prescott, whose has seen a significant jump in completion percentage, yards per game and passer rating in six games with Cooper. 'So I guess if you say that, when we're getting a trade, well, what's wrong? And then to get him and see everything turning out and playing out the way it is, we're very, very fortunate.' Brett Maher set a Dallas franchise record with a 62-yard field goal on the final play of the first half and had three field goals. The game went from a defensive struggle with missed Dallas opportunities that kept the Eagles close to a wild fourth-quarter shootout. Wentz thought he had answered the 75-yard touchdown to Cooper with 3:01 remaining with a matching 75-yarder to tight end Dallas Goedert. But Goedert was called for pass interference, apparently for pushing off against Jeff Heath before bouncing off a helmet-to-helmet hit from Xavier Woods that wasn't called and running to the end zone from midfield. Philadelphia scored anyway, with Wentz leading a more methodical march to his third touchdown pass, a 6-yarder to Darren Sproles for a 23-23 tie with 1:39 to go in regulation. Douglas had the first interception of Prescott in the first half, but couldn't get a second hand on the ball for the depleted Philadelphia secondary against Cooper with the game on the line. 'I played it perfectly,' he said. 'I couldn't get the other hand in there to get the pick. I tried to bat it down.' DEJA VU Two years ago, the Cowboys won by the same score with a touchdown on the first possession of overtime. Prescott was on his way to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and Elliott went on to win the league rushing title as a rookie. The 12-play, 75-yard drive took 7:12 and was capped by Prescott's 5-yard TD to now-retired tight end Jason Witten. LOPSIDED STATS, CLOSE GAME The Cowboys outgained the Eagles 576-256 and had twice as many first downs (32-16). Dallas ran 93 plays to 48 for Philadelphia and had the ball for 45:33 compared to 22:32 for the Eagles. 'Give them credit for fighting and scratching and clawing and doing the things necessary to stay in the ballgame,' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. INJURIES Cowboys RG Zack Martin left in the second half with a knee injury. The four-time Pro Bowler has been battling a knee issue all season. ... Philadelphia RB Corey Clement injured his right knee when he was stopped for a 4-yard loss late in the first quarter and didn't return. ... Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat left in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. UP NEXT Eagles: At LA Rams next Sunday. Cowboys: At Indianapolis next Sunday. ___ More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Coach Jon Gruden ran off the field high-fiving Oakland fans on the way to the locker room. In a season with very little to celebrate, the Raiders had plenty to feel good about Sunday. Derek Carr threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Derek Carrier with 21 seconds left before Chris Boswell slipped on a potential game-tying 40-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the Raiders' 24-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carr threw two touchdown passes to overcome fourth-quarter deficits and the Raiders (3-10) then survived after allowing a 48-yard hook-and-lateral pass play that set up the final field goal try. 'The character of this team is impressive,' Gruden said. 'No matter what anybody says or saw today, the character in there is special.' Carr threw for 322 yards, including a 3-yard TD to Lee Smith that put Oakland up 17-14 with 5:20 to play. His second TD to Carrier capped his 16th career fourth-quarter game-winning drive. 'What we've kind of been preaching as a team is just resiliency because we've definitely faced adversity this year, and finishing strong, and that's what we did today,' Carrier said. 'We've been in position to win games and the ball just hasn't rolled our way for one reason or another.' Roethlisberger returned from a rib injury to lead a go-ahead touchdown drive that Carr answered. Big Ben then connected on a short pass to James Washington. Washington then flipped the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who raced down the sideline for 43 more yards to set up Boswell's chance. But his lost his footing on the approach, sending the Steelers (7-5-1) to their third straight loss, all decided in the final minutes. 'Sometimes it makes it worse when it's right there,' Roethlisberger said. 'If you get blown out it doesn't seem to hurt as bad as when you have a chance.' Roethlisberger missed the first four drives of the second half before returning to drive the Steelers to the go-ahead score on a 1-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster before once again ending up on the losing end in a trip to Oakland. He is 0-4 at the Coliseum and the Raiders remain the only AFC opponent he has never beaten on the road. Pittsburgh went scoreless on four drives with backup Joshua Dobbs. '(Roethlisberger) probably could've come in a series or so sooner, but we were in a rhythm and flow of the game,' coach Mike Tomlin said. 'He was ready to go when he got back out there. Roethlisberger finished 25 for 29 for 282 yards and two TDs, but the Steelers failed to open up ground on Baltimore in the AFC North. Pittsburgh has a half-game lead over the Ravens. He also threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Smith-Schuster with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. Smith-Schuster deflected the high pass to himself and deftly managed to get both feet down with a toe tap in the back of the end zone. The play was ruled incomplete on the field, but was overturned on replay to the delight of the thousands of yellow-towel waving Steelers fans who filled the Coliseum. But it was the Raiders fans who cheered at the end after Boswell's missed kick that came after the Steelers got in position thanks to the short pass to James Washington, who lateraled to Smith-Schuster, who raced 43 yards to the 22. Boswell has now missed six field goals and five extra points, with his 11 missed kicks ranking worst in the NFL. 'It's terrible, what else do you want me to say,' Boswell said. GROUNDED Pittsburgh got little from its running game with James Conner sidelined by an ankle injury. They gained 40 yards on 19 carries with Stevan Ridley scoring on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. FUMBLE OR NOT The Raiders found themselves on the wrong end of replay reviews during an odd sequence late in the third quarter. With Oakland at the Pittsburgh 22, Carr lost the ball just before trying to throw it for a fumble that was recovered by Pittsburgh upheld on replay. Just a few plays later, Dobbs was hit by Arden Key as he tried to throw and the ball came loose. Oakland recovered that, but officials ruled it an incomplete pass and the call stood after a challenge by the Raiders. It turned out not to matter much when Tahir Whitehead intercepted Dobbs on the next play. PRESSURE POINT The Raiders got a rare sack in the second quarter when Clinton McDonald brought down Roethlisberger on a third down. That was the league-low 11th sack of the season for Oakland. The play proved pivotal when Boswell missed a 39-yard field goal on the following play for his first miss inside of 40 yards this season. FAST START The Raiders again got off to a fast start on offense with a 1-yard TD run by Doug Martin on the opening drive. That gave Oakland 41 points on the first drive this season, fourth best in the league. HOLDING ON The Raiders committed three facemask penalties in a span of 13 plays in the second quarter. Before the infractions from Tahir Whitehead, Johnathan Hankins and Erik Harris, Oakland hadn't been penalized for a facemask all season. UP NEXT Steelers: Host Patriots on Sunday. Raiders: Visit Bengals on Sunday. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic will remain at the Los Angeles Galaxy after the Major League Soccer club agreed with his requests, according to AC Milan sporting director Leonardo. Milan had been trying to bring back the 37-year-old on a loan from the Galaxy. The former Sweden international scored more than 50 goals for Milan in two seasons at the club and helped the Rossoneri win the 2011 Serie A title. 'He gave his word to Galaxy that he would stay if they satisfied his conditions, and they did so,' Leonardo said after Milan was held at home to a 0-0 draw by Torino in the Serie A on Sunday. 'It would have been a really lovely story because it would have given a significant weight to the team. We can't deny that both parties thought of it, but it will not be possible.' Los Angeles' season ended in October and the 2019 MLS season does not start until March. Milan was hopeful of securing a loan similar to the deal is reached with the Galaxy in 2009 for David Beckham. Ibrahimovic has scored 22 goals in 27 appearances since joining from Manchester United in March. Milan is fourth in Serie A but scored just three goals in its past four league matches. Only three of the other sides in the top 10 in Serie A have scored fewer than Milan's 24 in 15 games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Baseball players may get a little more sleep when traveling after Sunday night games next year. ESPN plans to announce it will move up the starting time of the nationally televised game by one hour, with the first pitch planned for shortly after 7 p.m. EDT. The network intends to make the announcement on Monday at the winter meetings, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because the announcement had not yet been made. Philadelphia hosts Atlanta in the first Sunday night game next season on March 31, the second game of a television doubleheader that begins with Texas playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Among other Sunday night games next year will be a World Series rematch between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston at Fenway Park on July 14, three games between the Red Sox and New York Yankees (June 2 and Aug. 4 in the Bronx, July 28 in Boston) and the Little League Classic with Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cubs playing Aug. 18 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. ESPN started the 'Sunday Night Baseball' telecast in 1990, and it developed in a showcase time slot. It nearly always is the only game scheduled for that time. But players who had to travel after games complained they reached the next city at dawn, disrupting their sleep schedules ahead of the next series against an opponent that usually has more rest. Major League Baseball has been more cognizant of player health issues in recent years. As part of the collective bargaining agreement that started in 2017, baseball scheduled earlier start times for many weekday games on getaway days beginning last season. MLB also is nearing an announcement on broadcast coverage for its first games in Britain, between the champion Red Sox and the Yankees on June 29 and 30. Fox is likely to televise the Saturday game and ESPN the Sunday game, the person said. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATHENS — SEC legend Tim Tebow has been right about Georgia football most of the season, and that’s why his concerns about the Bulldogs having an Alabama hangover in the Sugar Bowl are alarming. After all, Tebow predicted Georgia QB Jake Fromm would bounce back after the LSU loss, and T ebow said freshman Justin Fields could ultimately be an answer for the Bulldogs in short-yardage situations. And now Tebow says Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be challenged to get his No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) motivated to play No. 15-ranked Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. Tebow said allowing the SEC Championship Game to ‘slip through their fingers’ in the 35-28 loss could damage morale. “Now for the time leading up to the game, where’s your motivation? Where is your edge? Where is that fire?” Tebow said in a 247Sports story. “That is something that the leaders of Georgia really have to lock in and say, ‘Hey you know what? We’re playing for pride. We’re playing a big program in Texas.’ “But a lot of these guys are going to say, ‘Listen, we don’t care about Texas. We care about Bama. We let that one get away. Now we’re going to play the 15th-ranked team in the country?’ “ Tebow said. “It’s like the motivation isn’t there, so I’m a little bit nervous about this game. And Kirby Smart has to do a really good job of disciplining his players, locking in, focusing.” Smart has been in a similar situation before and seen championship caliber teams at Alabama fall flat in the postseason, most notably, in the Tide’s 2009 Sugar Bowl loss to Utah. Smart, however, said he doesn’t feel this Georgia team is apt to allow the disappointment of losing to Alabama to break its will to play up to the program’s standard. “This is a much younger team than any of those Bama teams,” Smart said. “A lot of those kids, this will be their first or second time in a big-time bowl environment, which we’re still getting accustomed to that. “ Indeed, 68 percent of Georgia’s roster is freshmen and sophomore. “So these guys aren’t quite as experienced at that kind of bowl environment as maybe those Alabama teams that didn’t play as well as we probably should have,” Smart said. Tebow also added his list to the many who believed Georgia should have been granted a spot in the four-team College Football Playoffs. “ I thought Georgia was one of the top few best teams in the country,” Tebow said, ”should have been in the College Football Playoff.” Smart said lessons will be learned and the Bulldogs will be ready to step into the future. “There’s also the opportunity to move forward with really a young team,” Smart said. “and a chance to go on a national stage where our fans, I know, follow us to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.” DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace, when or if he leaves Georgia football     The post Tim Tebow: Georgia football challenged to find motivation for Texas appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Alvin Gentry knew he needed Anthony Davis. The New Orleans Pelicans coach didn't get his star at 100 percent. It was still enough. Davis left with a right hip injury after a first-quarter collision with Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin and missed the rest of the first half. When he came back early in the third quarter, he was moving slowly and only scored three points, matching the three he had before the injury. However, he also had five blocks and nine rebounds against Griffin and Andre Drummond to help the Pelicans win 116-108. 'Just having Anthony on the floor means everything,' Gentry said. 'He might have been closer to 50 percent than 100 percent, but he was still giving us great defense and grabbing big rebounds.' With Davis missing or ineffective on the offensive end, Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle took over. Holiday scored 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting and Randle added 28 points, six rebounds and five assists. 'We just executed our game plan,' Randle said. 'Everything was coming extremely easily for Jrue and when he gets rolling, he doesn't miss.' Griffin scored 35 points for Detroit, Andre Drummond had 23 points and 19 rebounds, and Langston Galloway added a season-best 24. 'Even when Anthony is out, that's a very solid team with a lot of weapons,' Griffin said. 'We knew how we wanted to handle Jrue, but we didn't execute.' The Pistons have lost four straight. 'Jrue Holiday was a really tough challenge for Bruce (Brown) to handle by himself, and even when we sent Reggie (Jackson) over to help, he still had his way with us,' Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. 'We are getting great looks on the other end, but we've got to knock them down.' Drummond had 10 offensive rebounds for the 22nd time in his career — Tyson Chandler is second among active players with 15 — but Gentry thought his defense did just enough against Detroit's center. 'You can block him out on every shot, and he's just going to go over you and get rebounds,' Gentry said. 'I thought we got the big rebounds we needed down the stretch.' Holiday had 18 points in the first half, and New Orleans led by 11 before the Pistons cut it to 56-50. Davis returned at the first stoppage in the third quarter and helped the Pelicans take a 78-62 lead midway through the period. He was clearly limited on the offensive end but was able to get stops on defense. Griffin and Galloway combined for 26 points in the period and had the Pistons within four points until Tim Frazier's buzzer-beating 3-pointer made it 91-84 going to the fourth. 'We were getting a lot of stops late in the quarter, and that lets me get into transition and get my shots,' Galloway said. 'We just needed to keep that going.' Detroit quickly narrowed the gap to 93-91, but the Pelicans responded with a 7-1 run to take an eight-point lead. 'I think we lead the NBA in wide-open shots, but we have to start knocking them down,' Griffin said. Drummond missed two free throws with 4:03 left, then fouled Randle at the other end. He hit both shots to make it 107-98, and the Pelicans held on to win. TIP INS Pelicans: New Orleans has won 16 of its last 20 against Detroit, including 12 of the last 13. ... Gentry, who coached the Pistons from 1997-2000, is 16-5 against them as a head coach. Pistons: Galloway has hit at least four 3-pointers six times in the last 15 games. .. Reggie Jackson missed his first five shots and didn't score until 4:26 remained in the game. DAVIS IN BOSTON? Davis went for more medical tests after the game, and Gentry wasn't sure if he would play Monday in Boston. 'A lot of times, it is the next day that these really hurt,' he said. 'We're not even 30 games into the season, and we're going to be very cautious with this. If he's ready, he'll play, but only if he's ready.' UP NEXT Pelicans: At Boston on Monday night. Pistons: At Philadelphia on Monday night. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said he was shocked by security camera footage showing Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel, and that it was a collective decision by the organization to cut their star running back within hours. In his first comments since the incident nine days ago, the team's owner also said that the Chiefs were aware of two other offseason incidents involving Hunt, but not the extent of them. 'We'd had some issues with Kareem not being truthful with what happened that night (in Cleveland) and we really felt in everybody's interest we head in another direction,' Clark Hunt explained after Kansas City clinched a playoff berth with a 27-24 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The other two incidents occurred in January at a downtown Kansas City nightclub and in June at an Ohio resort. No criminal charges were filed in any of the cases, and Clark Hunt said all of them were referred to the NFL for investigation. The league did not hand down any punishment until TMZ Sports posted the security footage from the Cleveland hotel, at which point Hunt was put on the NFL's exempt list. The Chiefs then announced within minutes they were releasing the NFL's reigning rushing champion. 'I don't think we were necessarily trying to make a statement,' Clark Hunt said. 'We just felt like the best thing for the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward was to part ways with Kareem.' Clark Hunt said he was comfortable in the background work done on Kareem Hunt by the Chiefs' scouting staff under then-general manager John Dorsey, even though he'd had disciplinary issues at Toledo. 'When anybody comes to the Chiefs organization, part of what we expect of them is they're going to be good citizens,' Clark Hunt said. 'We want them to give back, but really the first step for a young player is learning how to conduct themselves not only on the field but off the field.' The Chiefs have taken chances on other players with character concerns and for the most part they have worked out. Tight end Travis Kelce had off-the-field issues at Cincinnati but has blossomed into one of the NFL's top tight ends, while wide receiver Tyreek Hill — who was kicked out of school at Oklahoma State for an assault on his then-girlfriend — has become a model citizen and one of the Chiefs' biggest stars. Even combustible cornerback Marcus Peters, who was kicked out of Washington before becoming a first-round pick of the Chiefs, steered clear of any legal trouble before he was traded to the Rams. The NFL has come under intense scrutiny for its handling of the Kareem Hunt case, especially after pouring resources into establishing a department to handle such investigations. Cleveland police also have launched an internal probe into their 'overall response' to the incident. 'I'm not sure I'm at a point where I can say there was a breakdown (in the NFL's investigation) and specifically what that breakdown was,' Clark Hunt said. 'The league has spent a lot of time and resources trying to build a department that can handle these types of situations. Obviously it's imperfect. I'm not sure you can ever reach perfection. There are limitations on the types of material the league security people can get, and I'm not sure we can change that.' Hunt was among the NFL's leading rushers again this season when he was released, and the decision was a significant blow to a team with Super Bowl aspirations. It was compounded on Sunday when Spencer Ware, elevated to the starting role, left briefly with a shoulder injury and later with a hamstring problem. Still, Clark Hunt made it clear that releasing Hunt was the right decision for the organization, and that he hoped Kareem Hunt would seek counseling and perhaps find his way back to the NFL. 'There was a report today that he's going to do that,' Clark Hunt said. 'I hope someday he can return to the National Football League. I'm not sure when that will be. But our message to him was, even though we are parting ways, we're supportive of you. If you need help, we are here to help you.' __ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Tennessee lost the reigning SEC player of the year down the stretch against the nation's top-ranked team. The Vols still had the Admiral to lead them. Admiral Schofield hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half, helping No. 7 Tennessee knock off top-ranked Gonzaga 76-73 in the Colangelo Classic on Sunday. 'Our team really executed in the second half,' Schofield said. 'A lot of good looks for a lot of guys and anyone could have knocked down those shots, we have so many talented people on this team.' Tennessee (7-1) jumped on Gonzaga early and fought back from a nine-point, second-half deficit. Reigning SEC player of the year Grant Williams fouled out with 2:30 left, but the Vols went up two when Schofield banked in a 3-pointer with 80 seconds left. After Rui Hachimura tied it with two free throws, Schofield hit a long 3 and Tennessee held on for its first win over a No. 1 team — fifth overall — since beating Kansas in 2010. 'We knew it would have a March kind of feel to it,' said Tennessee coach Rick Barnes, who moved into a tie with Gary Williams for 25th in Division I with 668 victories. 'When you play against a No. 1 team, you're going to play 40 minutes and we probably did that better today that we had any other game this season.' Gonzaga (9-1) had two shots at a tying 3-pointer, but Zach Norvell Jr. and Hachimura missed. Hachimura and Brandon Clarke had 21 points each for the Bulldogs. 'It was heck of a basketball game,' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. 'We just ended up on the short end. They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't.' The Zags passed every previous test despite playing without injured forward Kevin Tillie. Gonzaga blew out Texas A&M in Spokane, then knocked off Illinois, Arizona and then-top-ranked Duke to win the Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs beat Washington in their last game on Hachimura's last-second jumper. Tennessee, a popular preseason Final Four pick, took No. 2 Kansas to overtime before losing and beat Louisville by 11 in its closest win of the season. Hachimura had no trouble against one of the nation's best defensive frontcourts, effectively using his mid-range jumper to score 14 points by halftime. Williams had 12 and the Vols led 34-33 after Jordan Bowden hit a last-second jumper. Gonzaga built a quick seven-point lead in the second half, let Tennessee claw back, then went up 58-50 on a pair of Norvell 3-pointers as he traded baskets and trash talk with Schofield. Schofield brought the Vols back, tying it at 68 with a 3-pointer from the wing with just over three minutes left. He kept pouring in big shots, leading the Vols to a win over the nation's top-ranked team and, most likely, a climb in the AP Top 25. 'That's easily the most physical team we've played so far,' Few said. 'We did fairly well.' BIG PICTURE Tennessee looked every bit a Final Four contender, knocking off the nation's No. 1 team with its best player on the bench the final 2:30. Gonzaga had passed all its previous tests, but not having Tillie hurt the Zags against the talented Vols. CLARKE'S BIG BLOCK Clarke had one of the best blocked shots of the early college basketball season early in the second half, swatting Yves Pons' two-handed dunk attempt like a volleyball spike . The block drew a roar from the crowd and oohs and aahs even on the replay. 'Blocking shots and dunking are definitely the most fun things for me on the basketball court,' said Clarke, who grew up in Phoenix. 'It's always fun to jump at another player who's super bouncy.' BARNES BEATS A NO. 1 Barnes got something he never had during his 31-year coaching career: A win over a No. 1 team. Barnes had never beaten a top-ranked team during stops at George Mason, Providence, Clemson, Texas and Tennessee. Barnes was unaware of the stat. His players were. 'We wanted to get him that win over a No. 1 team,' Schofield said. UP NEXT Tennessee plays at Memphis on Saturday. Gonzaga plays at No. 14 North Carolina on Saturday. ____ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Georgia Sports News

  • GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank watched coach Dan Quinn offer explanations about another defeat. The boss then gave Quinn a hug before he walked out the door of a Lambeau Field media room. Blank still appears to have Quinn's back as the losses keep piling up for Atlanta. In less than two years, the Falcons have gone from a trip to the Super Bowl to a losing record that was clinched with a 34-20 defeat on Sunday to the Green Bay Packers. It was Atlanta's fifth straight defeat. Matt Ryan threw for 262 yards and three scores, including two to star receiver Julio Jones. But after an encouraging game-opening touchdown drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jones, the Falcons (4-9) played mistake-filled football to fall behind quickly by double digits. By the time Ryan and Jones connected for another score, from 12 yards with 13:34 left in the game, Atlanta was still down by 20. In between, they hurt themselves too many times, including eight defensive penalties. Thirteen flags overall cost the Falcons 101 yards. 'It's definitely frustrating, maddening, disbelief, all of those things when we don't execute on those,' coach Dan Quinn said. It wasn't just the penalties that hurt, either. Bashaud Breeland returned an interception 22 yards for a score in the second quarter after jumping a sideline pass intended for Austin Hooper. Later, an ill-timed shotgun snap in the red zone epitomized the misfortunes of an injury-filled year. The hike from center Alex Mack hit Mohamed Sanu in the leg just as the receiver crossed in motion behind the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter. The Falcons retreated from the ball for a moment, appearing to be unaware of what happened - just enough time for Breeland to sneak in for the recovery. 'That was tough, but that's on me. The whole operation starts and ends with me, so I've got to do a better job of that and making sure that we don't have things like that coming up,' Ryan said. 'I think if we score on that drive it's a much different game where you have a better opportunity of making a comeback.' Instead, with three games left on the schedule, the Falcons are stuck with their first losing season since going 6-10 in 2014, Mike Smith's last season as coach. Quinn replaced him the following season, when Atlanta finished at .500 before taking a giant leap forward in the 2016 season to reach the Super Bowl. Atlanta beat Green Bay in the NFC title game that year in a contest between teams that looked like they would be contenders for season to come. But both haven't lived up to expectations in 2018. The Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy last week, while Blank reaffirmed support for his coach. Green Bay snapped a three-game skid, winning for the first time under interim head coach Joe Philbin. The frustration continues for Atlanta. One bright spot for the Falcons is that Jones reached 1,400 yards receiving for the fifth straight season, an NFL first. He finished with eight catches on 11 targets for 106 yards. Otherwise, it was understandable why the visiting locker room cleared out so quickly following an error-filled afternoon. The preparation and effort were there, Quinn said. The execution needed to improve. 'For us to be the team that we need to play like,' he said, 'that can't be our identity.' ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • ATHENS — SEC legend Tim Tebow has been right about Georgia football most of the season, and that’s why his concerns about the Bulldogs having an Alabama hangover in the Sugar Bowl are alarming. After all, Tebow predicted Georgia QB Jake Fromm would bounce back after the LSU loss, and T ebow said freshman Justin Fields could ultimately be an answer for the Bulldogs in short-yardage situations. And now Tebow says Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be challenged to get his No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) motivated to play No. 15-ranked Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. Tebow said allowing the SEC Championship Game to ‘slip through their fingers’ in the 35-28 loss could damage morale. “Now for the time leading up to the game, where’s your motivation? Where is your edge? Where is that fire?” Tebow said in a 247Sports story. “That is something that the leaders of Georgia really have to lock in and say, ‘Hey you know what? We’re playing for pride. We’re playing a big program in Texas.’ “But a lot of these guys are going to say, ‘Listen, we don’t care about Texas. We care about Bama. We let that one get away. Now we’re going to play the 15th-ranked team in the country?’ “ Tebow said. “It’s like the motivation isn’t there, so I’m a little bit nervous about this game. And Kirby Smart has to do a really good job of disciplining his players, locking in, focusing.” Smart has been in a similar situation before and seen championship caliber teams at Alabama fall flat in the postseason, most notably, in the Tide’s 2009 Sugar Bowl loss to Utah. Smart, however, said he doesn’t feel this Georgia team is apt to allow the disappointment of losing to Alabama to break its will to play up to the program’s standard. “This is a much younger team than any of those Bama teams,” Smart said. “A lot of those kids, this will be their first or second time in a big-time bowl environment, which we’re still getting accustomed to that. “ Indeed, 68 percent of Georgia’s roster is freshmen and sophomore. “So these guys aren’t quite as experienced at that kind of bowl environment as maybe those Alabama teams that didn’t play as well as we probably should have,” Smart said. Tebow also added his list to the many who believed Georgia should have been granted a spot in the four-team College Football Playoffs. “ I thought Georgia was one of the top few best teams in the country,” Tebow said, ”should have been in the College Football Playoff.” Smart said lessons will be learned and the Bulldogs will be ready to step into the future. “There’s also the opportunity to move forward with really a young team,” Smart said. “and a chance to go on a national stage where our fans, I know, follow us to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.” DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace, when or if he leaves Georgia football     The post Tim Tebow: Georgia football challenged to find motivation for Texas appeared first on DawgNation.
  • GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - A tough week for the Green Bay Packers ended with a sorely needed win that relied on a familiar formula. They beat a warm-weather team on a chilly afternoon at Lambeau Field by building a big lead and winning the turnover margin. Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and set an NFL record for interception-free football, and the Packers beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-20 on Sunday to win their first game under interim head coach Joe Philbin. Aaron Jones ran for a 29-yard score in the third quarter. The defense forced two turnovers - their first takeaways in three games - and limited quarterback Matt Ryan after a game-opening touchdown drive to hand Atlanta its fifth straight loss and guarantee the Falcons a losing record for the first time since 2014. The Packers (5-7-1) regained some swagger with Philbin taking over for the fired Mike McCarthy. They've still got work to do to avoid a losing record, but at least Green Bay snapped a three-game losing streak. 'It was an emotional week, we all know that. I feel very happy for the organization, players and staff that work so hard to make this a unique place,' Philbin said. 'I told the team I was very proud to be their head coach today.' In return, the team gave the game ball to Philbin. 'He's a great man. I love Joe. I love everything that he's about, and it was a lot of fun,' said receiver Randall Cobb, who caught a 24-yard touchdown pass with 12:44 left in the third quarter to make it 27-7. That pass also turned out to be momentous for other reasons for Rodgers, giving him 359 consecutive attempts without an interception to break the league record previously held by New England's Tom Brady (358 in 2010-11). Rodgers finished 21 of 32 for 196 yards and two scores. Linebacker Deion Jones had a couple chances to snap Rodgers' interception streak, but couldn't hang on either time. 'You need a little bit of good fortune when you have a streak like that,' Rodgers said. The Falcons (4-9) had trouble keeping up after their first series. When they did, they hurt themselves with eight defensive penalties. 'It's definitely frustrating, maddening, disbelief, all of those things when we don't execute on those,' coach Dan Quinn said. FRUSTRATED FALCONS Atlanta found some semblance of a running game that it hoped to get to open up play action. Yet the Falcons still endured a long drought after Ryan found Julio Jones for a 16-yard touchdown pass on an easy opening series. By the time Ryan and Jones connected for another score, from 12 yards with 13:34 left in the game, Atlanta was still down by 20. Their frustrating and injury-filled season was epitomized by a botched snap in the red zone later in the fourth. Atlanta drove to the 8 when the shotgun snap from center Alex Mack hit Mohamed Sanu's leg while the receiver was in motion. Bashaud Breeland recovered. 'That was tough, but that's on me,' Ryan said. 'The whole operation starts and ends with me, so I've got to do a better job of that and making sure that we don't have things like that coming up.' He finished 28 of 42 for 262 yards and three scores, connecting with Justin Hardy for a 19-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left. Ryan also tossed a 22-yard interception returned for a score by Breeland in the second quarter. ON THE RUN Ryan was outplayed by Rodgers, who also hurt Atlanta on the ground with trademark scrambles. A scrum broke out in the second quarter after cornerback Brian Poole hit Rodgers as the quarterback slid near the end of a 21-yard run to the Atlanta 27. Pushing and shoving ensued, with Deion Jones and Packers center Corey Linsley each whistled for offsetting personal fouls. After a sack, the Packers still got a 48-yard field goal as time expired to take a 13-point halftime lead. Guard Lucas Patrick, one of three backups filling in up front because of injuries, also got physical after Rodgers went down. 'To take a cheap shot, as we felt, I didn't like that, so I wanted to go down there and let the guy know and kind of lock him up and let him know that's not going to fly,' Patrick said. UNDER PRESSURE Rodgers was sacked four times, but all four hits came in the first half. Overall, it turned into a good day for the line, even with left guard Lane Taylor (foot), right guard Byron Bell (knee) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee/illness) out with injuries. UP NEXT Falcons: Host the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 16. Packers: Visit the Chicago Bears on Dec. 16. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Georgia Tech’s new football coach, Geoff Collins, appeared charismatic and confident in his introductory press conference. Collins also said a couple of things that caught the attention of some UGA fans. The first happened after Collins pulled out a piece of paper from his sports jacket with red ink on it during the Friday press conference. While smiling, Collins said, “This is the last time I will ever write anything in red, just so we’re on the same page … There will be no more red that will ever be written again in this organization.” The second moment, which garnered far more attention, was towards the end of meeting with reporters. What did Collins say? One national college website described it as “Georgia Tech (coach) takes academic shot at Georgia,” while another media outlet’s headline was “New Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins takes a swipe at Georgia’s academics.” In fairness to the new Georgia Tech coach, he never mentioned UGA or any specific school in his comments that generated those headlines. Here’s what happened: Collins was asked to discuss the challenges of recruiting at Georgia Tech verses other places he has coached at – “given the academic situation at (Tech).” Towards the end of his long-winded answer, Collins said, “A lot of programs that we are going to recruit against don’t have the advantage of having the ability of having a meaningful degree … to come to place where education matters.” So was Collins taking a subtle jab at UGA? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. It must be pointed out that Georgia Tech and UGA, despite being in-state rivals, have rarely gone head to head on any recruits in recent years. However, that could eventually change since Collins is promising offensive (and defensive) schemes that will prepare future Georgia Tech players for the NFL. Collins replaced Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who announced his retirement after losing to UGA 45-21. The Bulldogs have dominated the series, winning 15 of the last 18 meetings. There’s no doubt that one of Collins’ top missions will be turning around Georgia Tech’s fortunes against UGA on both the football field and recruiting trail. Collins was Temple’s head coach the past two seasons, and previously served as defensive coordinator at Florida and Mississippi State, among other numerous stops as an assistant coach. How do you think Georgia Tech’s coaching change will affect the rivalry with UGA that is described as “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate?” Please post below. The post Georgia Tech’s new football coach vows not to use red ink again appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Bulldog Nation was not a happy place this past week. The reaction from Georgia fans to Alabama’s comeback win over the Dawgs in the SEC Championship basically has broken down into four broad categories. Loudest, perhaps, were Georgia fans who blamed the officiating, along with those who blamed the UGA coaching staff, and Kirby Smart in particular. Then, there were those forlorn fans who see jinxes and other unseen forces at work; some have given up all hope of another national championship for the Dawgs. The fan base may be down now, but come next season they should be UGA strong. (University of Georgia) Finally, there were the more pragmatic fans, who saw a Georgia program that lost a lot of key talent from last year and was supposed to be in a “bridge” year, but somehow managed to take what was essentially a playoff play-in game down to the wire against what many had touted as Nick Saban’s best ever team. Yeah, the proverbial “wait till next year!” Perhaps the worst thing about the Dawgs’ second loss to Bama in just this calendar year was that Georgia should have been a defending national champion winning another conference title. As my buddy Scott put it, these “may be the most infuriating stats I’ve seen in my 50-plus years as a UGA fan.” He was talking about the fact that the Bulldogs have led or been tied with Alabama 118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the national championship game and SEC title game. That points to a team that has trouble finishing the drill, as someone used to say. The coaches’ fault? That’s what some fans believe. Let’s explore those and other reactions … Junkyard Mail: Dawgs fans speak out Should everyone else in the SEC just give up on ever getting an even playing field with the officiating, and figure that the home office in Birmingham has made it clear which program it wants to be the perennial conference champ? Or is it just college football officiating in general? After all, it was Big 10 refs who stole the game from us back in January! — Sarah Peters Even at their best, SEC officiating crews tend to be maddeningly inconsistent and, at their worst, seem barely conversant with the rule book. However, this game was about average in officiating. I think most of the flags thrown — three against Bama for 10 yards and six against Georgia for 50 yards, plus one against Bama that was declined and a pair of offsetting penalties that produced a no-play — were fair. The primary officiating problem, as many Dawgs fans have pointed out (often with video clips and screengrabs to back them up) was the flags they chose not to throw against the Tide in key situations, including blatant holding on a Bama touchdown pass (among many other uncalled instances of holding on both sides), an uncalled Bama hand to Jake Fromm’s facemask, and, most egregious of all, the no-call on pass interference on Georgia’s final drive in which a Bama defender had the receiver in a bear hug before the ball arrived. Still, while the officiating certainly wasn’t great, it wasn’t as bad as with that awful Big 10 crew back in January’s natty. Frankly, though, I think mistakes by the UGA coaches were a bigger factor. Which brings us to … I am frustrated and mad. … [The fake punt against Bama] was a high-risk call and it was botched from the start. … They were not fooled. Anyway, I hope that all of this, plus losing Mel Tucker, will not hurt recruiting and we can move on from this setback. Plus, maybe Kirby will improve as a game manager. —  GSU 1972 I’d say the strong showing Georgia gave in college football’s most-watched regular-season game in seven years — and the fact that many of ESPN’s experts were flatly stating Georgia was among the four best teams in the country, even after the loss, should keep recruits all over the country interested in coming to Athens. Now, the Dawgs just need to shake off the Bama loss and take care of business in the Sugar Bowl. I have a feeling Smart will have them ready to show they really are one of the nation’s four best teams. This one was all about coaching and bad decisions.  The fake punt, going away from the run, which was effective in the first three quarters. … Why get away from [the run] late in the biggest game of the year? I’ll never understand. …  Coaching staff lost that game. Not Fields. Not Hot Rod. Not any single player on the field. — Patrick Fisher Last year, [Smart] didn’t plan for Tua [ Tagovailoa ]. This year he didn’t plan for [Jalen] Hurts. I’m thinking the coaching staff dropped the ball … again. — John C. Allen Fair criticisms. Yes, Bama’s run defense was fearsome, but Georgia had plenty of success against it earlier in the game. Instead of trying to get cute, I would have preferred to see a steady diet of D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield, along with a few more throws to Isaac Nauta, in the fourth quarter. And, you would have thought, considering what happened in January, that the Dawgs defense might have been better prepared for a change of QBs. Still, perhaps it was just Hurt’s night. There also were some fans who are growing impatient. The next couple of letters sum up what quite a few were saying … The clock is ticking for Smart. This is now two huge opportunities we’ve blown. We can debate which was worse, this one or last year all day long, but regardless, Smart needs to learn from this. The way I see it, barring disastrous injuries, he’s got two years to bring home a natty. If these inexplicable, and now inexcusable losses continue, we’ll have little choice but to jettison him for the same reasons we finally got rid of Richt. We are not content with getting close. — Zach Hare Kirby Smart definitely is a great recruiter, and he seems to do a decent job game-planning, but he’s hopeless on the sideline. I’m now wondering if he’s really capable of getting this program over the hump that stymied Mark Richt. — Barrett Jones I had a conversation about Smart’s readiness with a friend on Facebook. I told him that I think Smart is indeed head coach material, but he’s relatively young, and has room for improvement. My friend asked: “You think he’s in the league with Saban, Urban [Meyer] and Dabo [Swinney]? My reply: I think he likely will be as good as, or better, than them eventually. He already can outrecruit them, and he seems to know how to motivate his teams (unlike Mark Richt). So far, he’s also done a good job of hiring assistants. But, he needs to master the in-game decisions and get better at clock management. And, then there’s this from an Alabama fan: Be patient, [Smart] is only in his 40s, he will eventually get better and make fewer mistakes on game day. In the meantime, he will see to it that you have enough talent that you will rarely need game day coaching to win. — Bret Rudeseal The subject of how freshman backup quarterback Justin Fields was used in the Bama game also concerned several fans I heard from, including this one: The way Jake Fromm was playing against Alabama, many fans thought it unwise to take him out of the game, even for one play. (Scott Cunningham/Gett Images) The way Jake Fromm was playing, why would you take him out? But I wonder if the coaching staff is worried about [Fields] transferring and was just throwing him a bone. What’s your thought on that? — Kenneth Meeks That idea occurred to me, too, but I’m skeptical that the Georgia coaching staff would put a championship at risk to keep one player happy. I think it’s more likely Smart was trying to play head games with the Bama defense and thought maybe he could catch them napping. Since he spent so many years there, though, he should have known better. Speaking of things he should know better about … Someone please take that Les Miles playbook away from Kirby before we play Texas. — Tony Tyson Yeah, no more fake kicks. Please. And then there are fans who are having a hard time remaining hopeful … I’m 59 years old and have either listened on the radio or watched every game as far back as I can remember. That was the most heartbreaking game of all time. I felt like we had Alabama beat. I never felt that way in the national championship game. When Kirby called the fake punt, I think that’s the maddest I’ve ever been watching a Georgia Bulldog football game. I know we are going to be really good next year, but I want a national championship before I leave this Earth. — Randy Sharpe I love my Dawgs, always have (45 years) and always will, but I’m not sure how much more I can take. These loses, including ‘12, are defining and will stand the test of time. We have missed our chances and it’s not going to get easier. Next year I expect to see the same two teams in the SECCG. If we don’t seize on that opportunity, I see our chances at future championships diminish and we’ll be right back where we’ve been. — John Randolph Have faith, guys. I think they’re very close. And then there are those fans who take a more pessimistic view … The matching of Georgia and Texas in the Sugar Bowl is the next best thing to a playoff berth. (Sugar Bowl) Only 364 more days till we lose again to Alabama. And the Sugar Bowl tastes salty, not sweet. — Gary Gill Actually, I think the Sugar Bowl against Texas is about as awesome a spot as Georgia could have expected, considering two losses made it nigh on impossible for them to crack the final four. As for future Georgia-Alabama matchups, the odds are that the Tide can’t continue to squeeze out a win every time these two programs meet for a championship. Take heart from the fact that the Dawgs obviously were Bama’s equal last week . Like I said earlier, that’s not going to hurt recruiting at all. And, remember, that close game against Bama happened in a year when many of us figured winning the SEC East was about all we could hope for, considering all the NFL talent that departed Athens after last season. The fact that Georgia gave Saban another good scare with the youngest starting lineup in the conference should fill Bulldog Nation with hope, not despair. I like the way Blawg reader Gary Cody put it: “ On the positive side we went toe to toe with what I feel is probably the best team in college football. When you consider how young Georgia is, you can’t help but get excited about the future.” Yeah, like maybe next year? The post Some Dawgs fans don’t mind saying it: ‘Wait till next year!’ appeared first on DawgNation.