Have Recent Campus Protests Stunted Free Speech on College Campuses?

 

Traditionally, college campuses have served as long standing forums for free speech, but recent events have left campuses feeling the strain of speech code limitations. Political protests have sparked large assemblies on school grounds, some turning violent.

Incidents at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Florida, Middlebury College and others have become examples of a polarized political environment. Some argue the state of free speech on campuses has become prone to either silence or violence, rather than a platform for debate as it once was.

Sonja West of the University of Georgia School of Law, who serves as the Otis Brumby Distinguished Professor of First Amendment Law, said though these violent protesting tactics have sparked around the nation, she has seen signs that the public opinion did not tolerate these approaches. She said, “There has been backlash. While you have a right to speak, you don’t have the right to use violence and you don’t have the right to stop someone else from speaking….There’s starting to be some more public pressure who do engage in inciting violence or silence speakers through out yelling them or interrupting their speech. Those kind of tactics are certainly not getting a lot of sympathy these days.”

 

Jonathan Peters, another UGA professor specializing in communication law and policy, has studied in these new campus protests arising around the nation. “Campuses are trying to sort out their role in supporting and limiting protest activities on their campuses. Certainly that would be most obvious in the context of protests that turn violent or are likely to turn violent,” he said. “Universities have found themselves in tough spots by playing host to individuals and groups that engage in contemptible and odious speech.”

 

Peters explained that some universities have creatively tried to prevent such speakers and organizations from coming to campus, even going as far as disinviting some from giving talks. “I think that is the wrong approach to take. I think that however odious and contemptible a person’s speech may be, the university is at its best when it plays host to a variety of views, viewpoints, opinions, offensive and not,” he said.

 

Matthew Varley, a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of Georgia, is conducting a university-wide survey he calls “What is the state of campus speech at UGA?” His research was sparked by an incident on his own campus during his undergraduate years at Brown University. A controversial visit from then-New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly in 2013 ended with protests outside and during the speech, forcing the event to be cancelled. “That really struck me. I certainly understood the anger and frustration with him, but to be at a university and just shut it down? To me that seemed like a missed opportunity,” explained Varley. 

 

With an escalating number of these critical incidents, Varley became intrigued by free speech environments on other campuses. He said many cultural critics claim the atmospheres growing on college campuses make it so that people are not able to fully express themselves out of intimidation and being unwittingly labeled into a group. His own survey aims to gage the inner experience of students on UGA’s campus and how willing they may be to speak up or engage in difficult issues.

 

“I do think that college is an important developmental stage where young people have the opportunity to form a lot of their opinions and change their mind about a lot of things,” explained Varley. “If we’re in a culture or in a climate where people aren’t able to get into that discussion, then I don’t think people’s minds are going to be changed. I don’t think people’s ideas are going to be challenged. I think that some people will unfortunately miss some of the opportunities that they have here as college students to engage with one another in difficult dialogues.”

 

Though UGA has held protests in light of recent political movements, they have remained peaceful. Peters reminded readers, “If you believe someone is engaging in offensive or contemptible speech, then respond. Counter-speak, plan a protest. And in that protest, allow that person to say his or her piece, and then engage in your own speech. The goal here is not to drown out that other speech as a matter of volume. It is to refute the merit of the ideas that person is expressing. If the ideas are that bad, it shouldn’t take very long to do that.”

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How Free is Your Speech at UGA?

In a time with plenty of opinions seeking to be heard, the First Amendment has never been so tested. Among colleges across the county, acts of Freedom of Speech have become a center point for activism. To aid in their voices, students should be informed of their rights and limitations on campus. As college students at the University of Georgia and beyond work to have their voices heard, it is time to take a closer look at what the university policies entail. UGA posts their Freedom of Expression Policy on the Office of the Dean of Student’s website, last updated in February 2015. The policy is split into two sections dividing University and Non- University Affiliated Speakers. Let’s first look at what the policy has to offer those within the university.

The University Affiliated Speakers policy cover reservation policies versus spontaneous expression. A reservation must be made two business days prior to the event and give information to the school to approve the appointment. It even goes into what organizations might be given priority in events of time conflict. In the policy under spontaneous expression, students are still highly urged to contact the Associate Dean of Students, but are given set limitations to free expression for spontaneous expressive activity. This must occur in what is called the “Free Speech Zone”, specifically the Tate Student Center Plaza and the Tate Student Center North West Lawn (adjacent to the flagpole and the front of the Miller Learning Center) at UGA. However, any display that involves more than 10 people must notify the Associate Dean of Students or the University Shift Police Commander. The policy goes on to list more limitations in the Time, Place, and Manner Clause, as well as policy set forth to protect University property.

The Non- Affiliated University Speakers clause is quite short in comparison. It is listed that these speakers must set forth a reservation under the same qualifications and obey the same rules of conduct. It seems to be very simple, but some outside organizations have an easier way in than others.

Nicole Adamson is the media director of the popular community social media platform, My Athens. The organization aims to celebrate and enrich the city of Athens, Georgia through events and photography around the community. A student at the University of Georgia herself, Adamson thought an appropriate avenue to connect students with My Athens would be through a photo-booth display in Tate Plaza. However, after she took the required steps to set up her reservation, she was denied with no reasonable explanation.

“It’s just difficult to understand how the university decides what is to be approved and what is not. We thought our display would be pretty harmless, but they decided that it didn’t fit under what they wanted out there,” said Adamson.

While there is policy set forth, it seems the University still holds power to conceive what is acceptable in some regard. Should Adamson and My Athens choose to file a denied request for re-approval, UGA’s policy states that it would be reviewed by the people who denied it in the first place, the Dean of Students.

When asked for further explanation of UGA’s protocol and policies regarding free speech on campus, Student of Affairs Communication Director Stan Jackson denied an interview stating, “As the policy is comprehensive, I don’t have additional notes to offer.”

I turned to Dr. Jonathan Peters, a faculty to the UGA School of Law, specializing in communication law and policy. When asked about groups who want to combat these denials, Dr. Peters relayed that it is unlikely that any type of appeal would be effective. He advised that though costly, the best way to seek due process would be through a file of complaint in court.

“There are non-profit organizations that specialize in those types of cases and handle them pro bono,” said Dr. Peters, ” I would say that if a student believes that he or she or that student’s group has been unlawfully denied and maybe you’ve exhausted your appeals, or if you think an appeal would be futile because they’re just going to tell me no anyway, I would seek out help from one of those organizations. If the organization has the resources and time, then my hope would be that they would jump in and help.”

Free Speech is hard enough to define already, yet under “comprehensive” university policy,  there is still much to be uncovered. 

Back to the Dawg House

As the clock struck down to zero at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on December 30, Bulldog fans rejoiced in their 31- 23 bowl game victory over the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. Seniors jumped for joy and shed their tears over their last game in the red and black, while coaches like Kirby Smart reflected on their first year with this organization. As the cheers died down and fans took in their 8-5 season, the horrible realization came rushing in: the regular season was over and the offseason had begun.

Bulldogs in Athens and around the country began to fill with sorrow; however, true fans were able to remember what awaited them to ease the monotony of the dreaded offseason. Though anxious for things to heat back up in the fall, there is still plenty to pay attention to until the next kickoff.

The excitement started even before the Dawgs set foot in Memphis for their final game of the 2016 season. A monumental announcement came that would shape the upcoming offseason and beyond.  On December 15, a short five-second video was released on the UGA Athletics’ Twitter account with news on the ”Big Four.” Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter were returning for another season in the red and black. Everyone had expected most, if not all, of these star players to declare for the NFL draft and the millions of dollars that come with starting their pro careers.

Fans everywhere like senior Aidan Rogers were ecstatic over this bombshell. Aidan explained,

“To have four all stars return for another year with this program is huge. It’s not common to have so many NFL prospects choose to stay the fourth year. It truly shows their faith in this upcoming season.”

With the return of the Big Four, UGA’s program took a twist that made the offseason much more interesting to watch. The excitement of recruiting season, the awaited return of spring training, the hopeful Dawgs heading to the Draft and the anticipated upcoming schedule all awaited the Bulldog Nation. The impact of these four players shaped each of these aspects in the offseason.

Recruitment

As the team settled back into the Dawg House for the spring, Coach Smart and his staff hit the road for the grueling task of college recruitment. The Big Four’s announcement had a huge positive impact showing the loyalty and excitement surrounding the program to all the potential recruits. UGA got a huge head start on a great recruiting class with six stud players finishing high school early and coming to Athens as early enrollees in January. Richard LeCounte III, Jake Fromm, Deangelo Gibbs, Jeremiah Holloman, D’Marcus Hayes and Monty Rice all stepped foot on campus as freshmen in the Spring semester.

The 2017 recruiting class was Smart’s first chance to lead the full recruitment process as a head coach and the expectations were high. As National Signing Day approached, Athens was buzzing about the many top prospects looking to the program. The coaching staff’s long hours and high school recruits’ verbal commits had all led up to February 1. Hour by hour, athletes from all over the country signed their letters of intent to schools and Kirby certainly did not disappoint.

As the day came to an end, UGA garnered 20 signed letters of intent placing as the third best recruiting class of the year in all of college football. The new class of 2017 included 14 four- star and five three- stars ranked athletes. Coach Smart had made a big push to retain the best in-state talent and his staff managed to snag 12 of the top 20 recruits from Georgia, a tremendous feat for UGA. The pride of the program, however, came from the five-star Offensive Tackle from Brooklyn, NY.  Isaiah Wilson stands at six-foot-seven and weighs in at 350 pounds. This 18-year-old fielded over 80 scholarship offers before declaring Athens his new home, to the joy of Dawg fans near and far, like freshman Steven Popovich.

“Though we’re retaining so much talent through the seniors both on offense and defense, we have a lot of rebuilding to do,” explained Steven, “Having such a strong recruiting class is reassuring because Coach Smart recognizes where we have gaps in the team. Georgia always has strong recruitment, but this year is unlike any other, and it’s thanks to him.”

If there was one area of recruiting that did not measure up to UGA’s normal high standards, it was the running backs.  One thing UGA has always been known for is its notable recruitment of the best running backs to operate in its pro-style offense. After Sony Michel and Nick Chubb announced their intention to return for the 2017 season, recruitment for the position was somewhat stunted as players like four-star running back Toneil Carter chose to decommit from UGA. However, D’Andre Swift from Philadelphia, PA, a four-star recruit himself, was unfazed as he eagerly committed to the challenge of continuing UGA’s strong tradition of top flight running backs.

Spring Training

As the flowers began to bloom and the weather became…well, even hotter, it was time to turn attention back to the field. The Bulldogs were able to make use of their brand new Indoor Athletic Facility. The structure spans over 102,000 square feet and includes a 100-yard football practice field, 65-meter track runway and jumping pits and a netting system that provided indoor practice areas for other many of the sports teams during inclement weather. The facility was constructed in hopes of attracting new recruits to this state-of-the-art training area and creating ample opportunity for teams to hone their skills.

As practices began, the team shifted back into gear, but with a few fresh faces. Smart had a year with the team under his belt, making it so that he wasn’t entirely starting from scratch with a new staff and new team during this Spring training season. Even with all the new faces, the Big Four were able to bring not only valuable experience to the field, but, probably more importantly, invaluable leadership to the younger players still developing into star players in their own rights. The most notable new addition was Jake Fromm, a highly touted, freshman quarterback from Warner Robins, GA. Coach Smart praised Fromm for his initiative and the pressure he put on returning quarterback Jacob Eason on the Bulldogs Live radio Show on March 13, and stated, “He’s got a little leadership to him that he’s not afraid to jump out there and tell guys where to line up, what to do, and get after it with a little fire. I think that dynamic, Jacob sees that, and Jacob’s sitting there watching this young kid that comes in with a little more fire and brimstone that even he had. Plus, he’s coming in with Jacob there, and makes it a little bit different than (last season with) Greyson Lambert, who was the incumbent starter. I think Jake’s in a good place and I think he’s ready to go compete.” The belief was that competition at all positions, including quarterback, makes good players into great players and Fromm’s influence served to push both quarterbacks to be better.

G-Day crowds gathered around Sanford on April 22nd to check out this new quarterback and the team behind him. Though attendance did not hit 93,000 like last year’s highly anticipated first look at Coach Smart, the school reported an estimate around 66,000 fans in stadium, the second-best attended spring game for the Dawgs. The fans came to see what the new kids had to offer and to show their appreciation to the returning players, most especially the Big Four.

Albany, Georgia native Edward Newcomb travelled up to Athens for the annual game. “I think people are excited to see what’s going to happen this year. Kirby has been here long enough to get things rolling, and I’m excited to see what our old talent has been working on and what the new guys can bring to the table,” commented Edward.

Jordan Brown from Leesburg, Georgia had similar thoughts and said, 

“Because Chubb and Michel are coming back, there’s less of a showdown to see what running backs are getting played, which is usually what Georgia fans are looking for. This year is really focused on rebuilding lines and figuring out if Jacob Eason is still the best man for the quarterback job.”

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The quarterback showdown commenced right away as returner Jacob Eason led the Black team and newcomer Jake Fromm headed the Red. Eason racked up 311 yards and went 16/36 in the game, but was sacked five times. Fromm put up 277 yards in his 14/23 with one sack himself.  Both threw for two touchdowns, though the Red took home the win 25-22.

Photographer Brianne Leischow had a great view of the competition down on the sidelines. “Eason and Fromm were definitely the two guys to be watching at G-Day. I don’t necessarily think that Jacob won’t start, but it’s obvious that Fromm is talented, so Eason should really watch out,” she recalled.

Overall, the game was perceived as a success by Coach Smart in his post
game interview
, though he was quick to both praise and talk about improvements that the team needed to make before the start of the regular season.

“There were certainly a lot of good things and bad things that were exposed during the game,” said senior Felix Linzan, “I think Coach Smart has a lot to experiment with during the summer, especially as the rest of his recruits fill in come Fall.”

Going Pro

For a few Dawgs not in attendance for G-Day, there are new challenges ahead. After the announcement of the return of Chubb, Michel, Bellamy and Carter, eight former Bulldogs have entered the 2017 NFL Draft that will occur April 27- 29. The seniors of the eight include Greyson Lambert, Tyler Catalina, Tim Kimbrough, Brandon Kublanow, Quincy Mauger, Greg Pyke and Maurice Smith. But it is the lone junior of the bunch that is making waves for Georgia in this NFL prospect class.

Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie finished last season with the Dawgs with 44 receptions for 633 yards and seven touchdowns. The junior announced his plans to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft following Georgia’s win in the Liberty Bowl on December 30. Since then, McKenzie was the only Dawg invited to participate in the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on March 4. McKenzie showed his impressive speed, finishing with a 4.42- second 40-yard dash and put up the second-best 3-cone time in this year’s wide receiver’s class with 6.64 seconds.

On March 15, UGA had its Pro Day where all the NFL teams were invited to come see all the Georgia prospects work out and show off their skills. The Big Four were expected to join him in the process, but all decided to spend one last year in Athens, to the surprise of many fans, like junior MaryConnor Thompson.

“I’m sure there were a lot of factors that went into their decisions to stay another year. A big one for Chubb and Michel has to be that there are some major running backs entering the draft this year that will get picked up fairly quickly. Guys like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey are in line ahead of our running backs, so waiting another year could certainly benefit Chubb and Michel by becoming higher draft picks,” observed MaryConnor, “For guys like Bellamy and Carter, they really just need more time to beef up their stats for the draft next year.”

This year’s UGA draft class will focus on delivering value for NFL teams later in the draft or even for players who might sign without being drafted. McKenzie is almost sure to be drafted due to his big play ability and versatility as both a kick returner and wide receiver. Other players likely to get some real attention from teams include offensive linemen Brandon Kublanow, Tyler Catalina, and Greg Pyke and defensive back Maurice Smith.

Looking ahead to the Fall

After the Spring Practice and the excitement of watching some of their teammates move on to the NFL, the team will turn its attention to the upcoming season kicking off this Fall. After a tough first season, Coach Smart will be looking to return Georgia to the high standards Dawg fans expect, starting with a return to its usual minimum ten- win season. Outlets including ESPN, USA Today, SB Nation and others have the Dawgs ranked high in spite of their 8-5 season. All platforms have the team in the top 20, with College Football News ranking the Dawgs at No. 7 for the oncoming season. Undoubtedly, Chubb, Michel, Carter and Bellamy all coming back has increased the prospects and the excitement for the 2017-18 season.

They will try to redeem last year’s conference losses, especially to Florida and Tennessee. They will also work hard to regain in state bragging rights when they face off against Georgia Tech in late November. Despite all the familiar opponents, there is one team that will present a new challenge.  The last and only time that UGA and Notre Dame met was in 1981 at the Sugar Bowl where the Dawgs triumphed 17-10 to cap off their undefeated season. The Dawgs were eventually named consensus national champions that year. Now Georgia will travel to South Bend, IN on September 9 to face the Fighting Irish. Though a fierce competitor, the strong leadership that remained on the team through Chubb, Michel, Bellamy and Carter have Bulldog fans remaining positive.

“The bar is set really high for next year. We want to see a lot out of these guys, but we also have to remember that the team is still rebuilding. Having great leaders on both sides of the field is going to make that transition a lot smoother,” said Aidan Rogers.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 12.45.20 AM

As the days count down to September 2 for another Saturday in Athens, Bulldog fans eagerly await their time to get back into Sanford Stadium. They cannot wait to see their favorite players including the Big Four back in red and black. However, in the meantime, fans have proven that there is certainly plenty to keep an eye on during the offseason. While memories in Sanford are what fans hold dear, it’s the hard work off the field year round that makes the Bulldogs worth watching. With the return of the Big Four among many others and the addition of a few new pups, Coach Smart certainly has the entire Bulldog Nation ready for what is to come in the 2017 season.

—–

Carolynn Wall, a native of Dunwoody, Georgia, is a senior at the University of Georgia with an avid love for the Bulldog Nation. As a football beat reporter for the university’s yearbook publication Pandora, she felt a tug at the arrival of the college football offseason on her own heart. “Campus can get pretty blue without Saturdays in Sanford, however there’s still a lot of excitement surrounding the team to keep the fans on their toes,” she explained “The impacts of just four returning players are more than meets the average Dawg’s eye.” Carolynn is a Journalism major at UGA with plans to attend law school post graduation. 

For the Love of Atlanta

Michael Vick. A quarterback, a hero, an icon. A criminal, a shame, a memory. And now? Who is Michael Vick to the city of Atlanta today?

Vick’s letter to The Players’ Tribune entitled “Atlanta” took me quite some time to process. For six years, he transformed the position of quarterback for the Falcons and even more so, truly transformed a city. The Falcons were hot and the energy was tangible everywhere in Atlanta. Jersey’s reading Vick’s number seven were being mass produced because we just could not get enough of him. Victory after victory kept us bowing to his talent, until he betrayed us all.

 

The news of Vick’s arrest and the months soon after carried weight on Atlanta’s shoulders. Shame is the best word to describe it. Shame on Michael and shame on us for believing in him. I was 12 years old when Michael Vick entered prison. Football was a pillar our family was built on, as both my brothers played and my dad coached little league. I remember talking to my dad about the situation, confused as to how someone I looked up to so much could do something so bad. I remember how my dad shook his head in disappointment. It felt like someone had died, and maybe in a way something had died when Vick left the Falcons. But with a fresh new draft of Matt Ryan, we had an organization to rally behind, leaving Michael as a bad memory.

 

For a couple years, that bad memory went away. We had a rookie quarterback and a lot of rebuilding to focus on. However, when Michael returned to the NFL in 2009 and was picked up by the Eagles, it was uncomfortable to say the least. And when he returned to the Dome that December and beat the Falcons 34-7, it was just sickening. Over the years, I’ve blocked Michael Vick from my memory, just a bad dream that I never wanted to relive.

 

While reading Michael’s letter, I started with anger. Even after all these years, I felt the frustration build once again. The past feelings of betrayal and distrust came flooding back. I looked up to this man as a hero, and he had the audacity to make me feel sympathy for him? We roared for him in the Dome, chanted his name and had his back. He took away this city’s shot at glory, even after everything Atlanta did for him.

 

But as I continued reading, I started to realize that it wasn’t pity that he seeked. It was forgiveness. The nostalgia came flooding back. I remembered those monumental games and the records he broke. I remembered the thrill of Sundays and watching a city actually rise up. It was magical. And as we now geared up for a Super Bowl run, I realized that I wasn’t mad anymore. We had a great team and a great quarterback in Matt Ryan. A fantastic coach, owner and organization. I realized that all of my “what could have beens” with Michael turned into reality with Matt. Just like that Super Bowl run became a method of healing for Vick, it became a method of healing for Atlanta. We got our shot, just like we always wanted. For the first time, I wasn’t upset with Vick; I was happy for him.

 

Vick wrote about his final return to the Dome, and how much the invitation meant to him. His reception was everything he had dreamed of as his “last play” in the Dome. As I read, I couldn’t help but smile because his reaction to those 70,000 fans represented an entire city. A city that was once filled with hate, became full of forgiveness. As Vick wrote about how hard he rooted for the Falcons, it was easy to see how seriously this man took his role as an icon to this city. He recognized his failure and did what he could to rebuild himself. It was okay now, Vick had a new role within the organization. As a fan, he has become one of us. He has become a good memory.

 

Shortly after the Super Bowl, Michael Vick announced his retirement from the National Football League. I heard the news and called my dad. We talked for about an hour about it all. Those six years that we had Vick up to the team we had today. Those six years were good times, and as Vick has served the consequences for his mistakes, it was time for a city to let go and remember those years for what they were; a great time for the Falcons and a great time to be a fan. Holding on to the bad memories of Vick will never help him or our organization. It’s time to accept this apology letter and rise above the bad memories to the good ones. Vick was a Falcon and will be remembered for his contributions to this organization. So from the city of Atlanta to Michael Vick, remember to rise up.

 

The One Point Sting

Tech takes down Georgia with stunning touchdown in final 30 second

After a weeklong Thanksgiving break, the Bulldogs returned back to Athens for their final game of the regular season. Georgia Tech made the trek up 316 for some clean, old- fashioned hate in search of revenge of their loss at home in 2015. The Jackets and Bulldogs were both 7-4 leading up to the game as they hoped to end the regular season on top against their longtime rivals. Students and fans gathered in Athens as the game kicked off at noon on Nov. 26 in Sanford Stadium.

The Bulldogs started strong with touchdowns from running back Sony Michel for 10- yards and a 6- yard pass from quarterback Jacob Eason to Isaiah McKenzie in the first half. The momentum kicked in for UGA in the third quarter with a short run for a touchdown from running back Nick Chubb and two field goals from kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, putting them up 27-14 going into the fourth quarter.

However, the Jackets striked back with a 94- yard scoring drive. The Jackets rallied for another touchdown as running back Qua Searcy leaped into the endzone in the final 30 seconds of the game. Freshman Sebastian Rodriguez commented, “It was a stab to the heart, especially in a game with such a long rivalry. Definitely not the best way to finish the season in Sanford.” Georgia Tech emerged victorious 28-27.

 

 

Pandora Yearbook 2016- 2017

 

Missed Opportunity in Oxford

Georgia Bulldogs receive first season loss to Ole Miss Rebels

The No. 12 Dawgs were high off a thrilling win against Missouri in week three of the regular season as they stayed on the road to Oxford, Mississippi. The No. 23 Ole Miss Rebels were 1-2 after losses to Florida State in week one, and losing their 21-point lead to Alabama in week three. Headed into Vaught–Hemingway Stadium, the Rebels were confident in exercising their home field advantage over the Dawgs.

The Dawgs stumbled their way through the first quarter, giving up a field goal and two touchdowns, including a 52 yard interception return by Ole Miss’ Derrick Jones. Ole Miss continued to make quick plays as quarterback Chad Kelly threw for two more touchdowns before the half, increasing Ole Miss’ lead to 31-0. Freshman Devan Vitha said, “It was a hard game to watch. By halftime, it was pretty clear that we weren’t going to get this one.”

The Dawgs came into the second half with high energy, but scored just two touchdowns in the remainder of the game. Freshman running back Brian Herrien scored the two touchdowns and finished with 11 carries and 78 rushing yards. Quarterback Jacob Eason went 16-36 for 137 yards and one interception. In addition, star running back Nick Chubb suffered from a left ankle sprain at the end of the first half. He did not return to the sideline after halftime, and the Dawgs ended up losing 14-45. With their first loss of the season, they traveled back to Athens to face Tennessee in week five.

 

 

Pandora Yearbook 2016- 2017

Dawgs Leave Wildcats Licking Their Wounds

Bulldogs win in Kentucky thanks to star kicker

The Georgia Bulldogs pushed on to week 10 of their regular season after losing their last four of five games. The Bulldogs travelled to Lexington, Kentucky, where they met the University of Kentucky Wildcats for the 70th time in history. The Wildcats were 5-4 heading into the game with a big win against Missouri the week before.

The match up proved to be a fierce battle as Kentucky and Georgia fought for the lead. Quarterback Jacob Eason went 17/ 31 for 245 yards, including a 38- yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie to start out the game. Junior running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 127 yards, including a touchdown that pulled the Dawgs back in the running in the fourth quarter. However, the Bulldogs’ true star of that cool Kentucky night was redshirt freshman Rodrigo Blankenship. The kicker completed 4/4 field goals. His 25-yard field goal as time expired pushed Georgia over the edge to a 27-24 victory against the Wildcats. “It was like everything stopped as Rodrigo lined up for that kick. The room was silent and nobody could look away from that TV. When it was ruled good, it was the greatest moment we’d had in weeks,” explained freshman Stevie Popovich. The Dawgs left Lexington on top 27-24 and continued their six year winning streak against the Wildcats.

 

 

Pandora Yearbook 2016-2017

Dawgs Get Swamped in Jacksonville

Longtime rivals Georgia and Florida meet again

No. 14 Florida Gators met the Georgia Bulldogs for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on October 29. The Dawgs suffered from a miserable loss to Vanderbilt the week before during the homecoming game. Nevertheless, the team suited up and traveled the 300 and some miles down to Jacksonville to meet Coach Smart’s former colleague, Jim McElwain and his team of Gators.

The first half of the game looked competitive, as the rising star kicker for the Bulldogs Rodrigo Blankenship put up points early in the game. A 14 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Eason to Riley Ridley put the Dawgs up to 10 as the half came to a close. The Gators led 14-10 as the teams took to the locker rooms. “We were down, but feeling really positive at that point,” said senior Anjelique Simmons. “There was a lot of game left to play and our guys were hanging in there.”

However, as the second half played out, the Gators’ defensive efforts proved too much for this Georgia offense. A touchdown and field goal for the Gators and a scoreless half for the Dawgs finished the game. The Gators emerged victorious, 24 -10, and secured their third win in a row of this fierce rivalry game.

 

 

 

Pandora Yearbook 2016-2017