Daily Dawg Thread: November 29, 2023

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Daily Dawg Thread: November 29, 2023

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Video/Transcript: Kendall Milton, Tykee Smith and Javon Bullard interviews – November 28, 2023

On what a win on Saturday would make significant about winning the SEC Championship… 

“I feel like it would be super big just for the fact that – Coach Smart pointed it out that we’ve never been able to beat Alabama in Atlanta. That doesn’t just go for the players. That goes for the coaches as well, so I feel like we have a huge opportunity here, and just judging off of today’s practice I feel like we’ve taken that opportunity to heart. This was probably one of the most physical, chippiest practices that we’ve had all year, but it just shows how hungry we are and how much we want it.” 





On how much confidence he has heading into the SEC Championship game… 

“I have the utmost confidence at this point, but I feel like it’s a whole lot of different factors that go into it. The first thing, I feel like the O-line and kind of the whole team, I feel like that plays a big role because at the end of the day you want to be trusted. You want to be able to know that your brothers believe in you. So before every game, before practice, before today’s team run, our line, they’ll be like, ‘Hey, K-Mil, run that ball like you know how to do.’ They’ll just keep fueling me and keep letting me know stuff. And also at the same time, between Coach [Dell] McGee, Coach [Kirby] Smart, and Coach [Mike] Bobo, when your coach is constantly putting you in a position to have the ball and make plays, it lets you know that they have the trust in you. I’ll let Coach Bobo and Coach Smart know after the games, ‘Thank you for believing in me. Just thank you for letting me have the opportunity,’ because at the end of the day I feel like, speaking for the whole team, everybody just wants the opportunity to be able to be on the field. So I feel like those were probably the two biggest things that led to me being able to have the confidence and be able to trust my game.” 

On the opportunity to check off the box of winning an SEC Championship against Alabama… 





“To be honest, I feel like it just motivates us that much more, and, like I said, it’s not even just a player thing. It’s also the coaching staff. Even before we got there, it was a thing that wasn’t accomplished, and I feel like the players – every single time we’ve been able to put a new milestone in front of us, I feel like we’ve taken it on very seriously. We’ve taken it very personal, and to see the hunger and just see how dedicated everybody on the team is to this task – not even just the seniors or just the starters or just the people that are playing. But it’s all the way top to bottom, even from the walk-ons, the freshmen that haven’t seen the field this year. It’s a whole buy-in from the whole program, so everybody knows the task at hand. Everybody knows this isn’t something easy that’s going to happen. I feel like winning the SEC Championship is just as hard, if not harder, than winning the National Championship, so I feel like we know the task at hand and it’s just up to us to complete it.” 

On his relationship with Fran Brown and how he helped him develop… 

“I first met coach Fran my ninth-grade year when he was at Temple, so he recruited me that year before he left to go to Baylor. Once I got here and Fran got a job here we kind of reconnected and we’ve been close ever since then. I think he really helped me with the mental part of football for me because I was coming off an ACL injury that spring when he got here, so he just helped me get through that process. He made sure that I was out there giving it my all every day.” 

On what makes Malaki Starks special and his Thorpe Award Finalist… 

“He just has a lot of versatility; I think the coaches do a really good job of getting him in different situations that he can be successful in. I’m really happy for him, and hopefully he can go out there this weekend and be able bring it home.”

On how the team gameplans for a guy of Jalen Milroe’s stature… 

“We’re just going to try and do what we do best, a lot of plaster. When we get a chance to tackle him we just have to make sure go in strong because he’s not a small guy by any means. We just have to come in with the right mindset.” 

On the keys to playing against Jalen Milroe as a defensive back… 

“When you have a guy who is that creative with his legs, who is that talented with his arm, and can extend plays it’s hard playing a guy like him. Especially as a defensive back the only thing you can do is cover your guy, hope that the rush gets there, and hope that our gameplan works to perfection. The guy is going to make plays, that’s inevitable, he’s a tremendous athlete who’s going to extend plays, but we just have to do our best to slow that down throughout the game.” 

On what Syracuse is getting in a guy like Fran Brown… 

“They’re getting a tremendous coach, but more importantly tremendous person. He’s a great coach but I think what makes him special is the relationships he has with his players outside of football. We connect on a personal level; he’s been there with me giving spiritual advice. When I’m missing home or my family he’s always there. He’s a close friend outside of football who I can count on, if my car breaks down, I know I can call Coach Fran. The person he is to the core is what you’re getting, that’s what Syracuse is getting. We’re just so proud of him.” 

On trying to check that box of beating Alabama in Atlanta… 

“We want to beat them. We want to win the SEC. We’re facing Bama, so we want to beat Bama, that’s the gist of it. I haven’t beat them, we haven’t beat them, it’s going to make for a great matchup. I can’t wait to play but like I said we want to beat them.” 

Ladd McConkey and Malaki Starks named finalists for Awards

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

Ladd McConkey

Georgia junior receiver Ladd McConkey has been named one of three finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy which honors college football’s most impactful community service leaders, according to an announcement from the Wuerffel Foundation Tuesday.

McConkey joins Notre Dame linebacker JD Bertrand and Michigan running back Blake Corum as finalists.  The announcement of the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy winner is scheduled to be made on Dec. 8 during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.  The formal presentation of the trophy will take place Feb. 17, 2024, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

McConkey, a native of Chatsworth, Ga., is Georgia’s fifth finalist since 2011: Nakobe Dean (2021), Chris Conley (2014), Aaron Murray (2012) and Drew Butler (2011).

While winning back-to-back-National Championships and scoring two touchdowns in the 2022 College Football Playoff title game is the pinnacle of a student-athlete’s career accomplishments, what McConkey does off the field is just as impressive. The 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member has volunteered with a myriad of different charities throughout his Bulldog career.  McConkey also graduated with a 3.8 GPA in Finance in just three years from Georgia.

Malaki Starks

Georgia sophomore safety Malaki Starks has been named one of three finalists for the 2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award given annually to the nation’s best defensive back in college football, according to an announcement from the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association Tuesday.

Starks, a native of Jefferson, Ga., joins Iowa’s Cooper DeJean and Air Force’s Trey Taylor as this year’s finalists.  Starks is already a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is given to the nation’s top defender.

The announcement of the 2023 Thorpe Award winner is scheduled to be made on Dec. 8 during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.  The formal presentation of the award will take place Feb. 6, 2024, at the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Banquet in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Former Bulldog All-American and current New York Giants defensive back Deandre Baker won the 2018 Thorpe Award and another All-American defensive back, J. R. Reed was a finalist a year later in 2019.  The only other finalist in Georgia history was Pro Football Hall of Famer Champ Bailey in 1998.

Dawgs in the NFL – Week 12

Quay Walker

Jalen Carter, Roquan Smith and Matthew Stafford led the way for former Georgia Bulldogs in the National Football League during week 12 of the regular season. Carter notched four tackles and blocked a field goal that proved to be the difference in the Eagles’ 37-34 win while Baltimore’s Smith added eight tackles to his season total and sits in second in the statistic with 126. On the offensive side of the ball, Stafford threw four touchdown passes, his 15th career game with at least four passing touchdowns, helping the Rams pick up their fifth win of the season.

Packers 29, Lions 22

Quay Walker, ILB – Started at linebacker for Green Bay, posting six total tackles in the win.

Devonte Wyatt, DT – Played 46 percent of snaps on defense for the Packers, recording one tackle.

49ers 31, Seahawks 13

Charlie Woerner, TE – Played 27 percent of snaps for San Francisco, catching one pass for nine yards on one target in the win.

Robert Beal Jr., DE – Was activated off injured reserve following the 49ers game on Thursday night.

Kenny McIntosh, RB – Served in a reserve running back role for Seattle, playing zero total snaps in the loss.

Dolphins 34, Jets 13

Channing Tindall, ILB – Served in a reserve linebacker role for the Dolphins, playing zero snaps.

Falcons 24, Saints 15

John Fitzpatrick, TE – Was listed as inactive for Atlanta on Sunday due to a coach’s decision.

Lorenzo Carter, OLB – Played 28 percent of snaps for the Falcons’ defense, posting one tackle in the win.

Steelers 16, Bengals 10

Trey Hill, OC – Was listed as inactive for Cincinnati due to a coach’s decision.

George Pickens, WR – Played 75 percent of snaps for the Steelers, reeling in three passes for 58 yards in the win.

Darnell Washington, TE – Played 52 percent of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps, catching one pass for ten yards on one target.

Broderick Jones, OT – Made his fourth consecutive start at tackle for the Steelers, as their offense racked up 421 total yards in the win.

Jaguars 24, Texans 21

Tyson Campbell, CB – Was listed as not active during Jacksonville’s win.

Travon Walker, OLB – Started the game for the Jaguars, totaling two tackles and a quarterback hurry while also receiving credit for half of a sack for four and a half yards. 

Colts 27, Buccaneers 20

Isaiah McKenzie, WR – Entered as a backup wide receiver for Indianapolis, where he had one rushing attempt for three yards while also handling punt and kickoff return duties, returning one punt for 13 yards and calling for a fair catch on one kickoff. 

Jake Camarda, P – Punted four times for the Buccaneers, totaling 208 yards for a 52-yard average. He had one punt land inside the 20-yard line with a long of 63.

Giants 10, Patriots 7 

Azeez Ojulari, OLB – Saw action in a reserve role for New York where he totaled one tackle in 38 defensive snaps. 

Andrew Thomas, OT – Started at left tackle for the Giants, playing 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps as they gained 220 yards of total offense. 

Lawrence Cager, TE – Played as a backup tight end for New York in 13 offensive snaps, recording no statistics.

David Andrews, OC – Was the starting center for the Patriots in the team’s week 12 loss, playing in all 68 offensive snaps as New England outgained the Giants in total yards with 283. 

Titans 17, Panthers 10

Monty Rice, ILB – Played 23 snaps on defense and nine snaps on special teams for Tennessee, while racking up four tackles in the win.

Rams 37, Cardinals 14

Matthew Stafford, QB – Completed 25 of his 33 pass attempts for the Rams, throwing for 229 yards and four touchdown passes in the win. This marks Stafford’s 15th career game with at least four passing touchdowns, the 11th-most in league history. His team has won 13 times in those instances. Stafford finished with a 121.1 quarterback rating in the game, marking his fifth-straight game at Arizona in which he reached at 100 rating.

Derion Kendrick, CB – Started at defensive back for Los Angeles, where he totaled four tackles in the game while playing in all 71 defensive snaps.

Warren McClendon Jr., OT – Was listed as not active for the Rams in the week 12 win.

Jonathan Ledbetter, DE – Started at defensive end for the Cardinals, racking up four tackles and a quarterback hurry in 61 percent of the team’s defensive plays.

Chiefs 31, Raiders 17

Malik Herring, DE – Was listed as not active for Kansas City in the week 12 win.

John Jenkins, NT – Started at defensive tackle for the Chiefs where he totaled four tackles in 35 defensive plays. 

Zamir White, RB – Saw action as a reserve running back for Las Vegas, attempting one rush for no yards where he played in two offensive snaps and 17 special teams plays. 

Christopher Smith II, S – Played as a backup safety and entered the game for 19 special teams snaps for the Raiders, recording no statistics. 

Eagles 37, Bills 34

James Cook, RB – Started at running back for the Bills, carrying the ball 16 times for 43 yards to go along with six catches for 57 yards in the loss. With exactly 100 total yards, Cook now has three straight games with 100 scrimmage yards or more and six total on the season. This also makes it the sixth time in the past seven games that Cook has recorded at least 70 scrimmage yards. He surpassed 1,000 scrimmage yards with his performance and currently ranks sixth in the league in rushing yards with 731.

Leonard Floyd, DE – Played 70 percent of snaps on defense for Buffalo, recording one total tackle and one pass defended.

D’Andre Swift, RB – Started at running back for Philadelphia, carrying the ball 14 times for 80 yards along with one catch for four yards in the win. Swift currently ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing yards with 770. He is just 29 yards shy from reaching 1,000 total yards for the second time in his career.

Jordan Davis, DT – Started at defensive tackle for the Eagles, racking up five tackles in the win.

Jalen Carter, DT – Played 80 percent of snaps on defense for the Eagles, recording four tackles and a blocked field goal in the win.

Nolan Smith, OLB – Played 11 total snaps for Philadelphia on defense, recording no statistics.

Kelee Ringo, CB – Did not appear on defense for Philadelphia but did see action in 26 special teams snaps, recording no statistics.

Ravens 20, Chargers 10

Ben Cleveland, OG – Saw action in nine total snaps for the Browns – four on offense and five on special teams – and posted no stats.

Roquan Smith, ILB – Led Baltimore with eight tackles and recorded a pass deflection and a forced fumble. Smith stands in second in the league in tackles with 126, just one behind T.J. Edwards. 

Jamaree Salyer, OT/OG – Started at right guard for Los Angeles and saw action in all 66 offensive plays, helping the team gain 279 total yards. 

Bears 12, Vikings 10

Lewis Cine, S – Entered the game as a reserve safety for the Vikings, recording no statistics in eight snaps on special teams.

Practice Squads

Falcons: Justin Shaffer, OL

Buccaneers: Richard Lecounte III, S

Commanders: Jake Fromm, QB

Chargers: Mark Webb, DB

49ers: Chris Conley, WR

Reserve Lists (IR, PUP, NFI)

Ravens: Nick Moore, LS

Rams: Stetson Bennett, QB

Titans: Kearis Jackson, WR/PR

Browns: Nick Chubb, RB

Packers: Eric Stokes, CB

Dolphins: Isaiah Wynn, OT/OG

Panthers: Justin Houston, OLB

Eagles: Nakobe Dean, ILB

Chiefs: Mecole Hardman Jr., WR

MBB: UGA travels to FSU for 9:15 tip

Game 7Georgia (3-3) vs. Florida State (4-1)

Date: Wednesday, November 29

Time: 9:15 p.m. ET

Venue: Donald L. Tucker Center (11,500)

Location: Tallahassee, Fla.

Series History: FSU leads, 19-10

Last Meeting: UGA, 70-67, on 12/1/81

TV: ACC Network (Pam Ward, play-by-play; Mark Wise, color analyst)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network – SiriusXM 384 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, color analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

The Starting Five

• Georgia travels to Tallahassee to face Florida State on Wednesday for the first time in two days short of 42 years – since a 70-67 Bulldog victory at the Donald Tucker Civic Center on Dec. 1, 1981.

• Georgia is the nation’s only Power conference team to: 1) open its season with back-to-back games versus Power conference programs (Oregon and Wake Forest); and 2) face four Power conference foes in its first five outings (UO, WFU, Miami and Providence).

• Georgia is scheduled to play 13 of 31 (41.9 percent) of its regular-season games against teams featured in the most recent edition of ESPN.com’s bracketology. In addition, Oregon is the “first team out,” and the Bulldogs defeated Eastern Kentucky, a projected NCAA team, in a preseason exhibition. 

• A pair of Bulldogs are returning to their home state for Wednesday’s game. Dylan James, who was ranked as the nation’s No. 94 prospect in the Class of 2023 by ESPN.com, helped lead Winter Haven High to a runner-up showing in the 7A state tourney last spring. Jaden Newell played at Choctowhatchee High, including the Indians’ runner-up finish in the 2021 Florida 5A state tourney. 

• Georgia’s freshman and transfer recruiting classes both were ranked as high as No. 11. The Bulldogs were only one of three teams to have both of those groups ranked top-20 nationally by On3.com.

Mike White’s pregame comments

On where the team needs to improve…

“We’ve got to rebound it better. We got to share it better in both of those categories. I thought we were better in our last one against Winthrop. We’ll continue to learn more about ourselves. Probably the next thing that sticks out is if we’re, again we’re a team that’s got a lot of parity, and we’ve got quality depth. And I liked our bench production come over game or bench I’ll play really well.”

On the rotation being consistent…

“I guess getting closer, tried to play a shorter rotation and I just don’t think that’s the makeup of this team. Guys continue to produce practice, gain opportunities, and  take advantage when given. Then guys, like Frank Anselem-Ibe and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, are coming off a game where they play really well. So here we are playing a bunch of guys again.”

On what stands out about Florida State’s team…

“Size. My goodness, they’re enormous. They’ve got certain lineups where everyone on the court is 6’7” or bigger. Their switchability, of course. They don’t allow you to run offense. They’re very unique defensively, the only team that we’ll play this year that plays like they play, and they’ve had a lot of success over the years. What Coach Ham [Leonard Hamilton] has done at Florida State, especially in the last decade, has been incredible. Defensively, they make you play a different style than you’re used to playing, and we’re going to have to make some plays off the bounce. We’re going to have to value the basketball because they’re really good at creating turnovers into points.”

On what it’s like playing in their first true road game of the year…

“It’s a tough place to play. It’s comparable to an SEC road game, so another good opportunity for us to learn, to grow, and hopefully play well enough to have a chance at the end.”

On what he makes of the SEC/ACC Challenge in non-conference play…

“It’s exciting. It’s ACC, we all grew up around the game of basketball – those of us that have have a lot of respect for the ACC, of course, and every opponent, every member of that league. We’re obviously familiar with a bunch of those programs, Florida State being one, and it’s exciting for SEC basketball to be affiliated with another league that’s got that prestige.”

On Florida State’s approach to defense…

“Very extended. Switch everything, on the ball, off the ball. Have bigs that can really move, have guards that have a ton of size. They make you adjust. They blow up a lot of offense. It’s hard to execute against them. It’s what they’ve done, and they’ve had a lot of success with it. You’ll see some of that in our league, not to that extent, of course. They’re very unique in their approach, so we’ve got a couple days here to prepare for it and see how we can execute against it.”

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.