Bulldogs to Watch

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Bulldogs to Watch

Greg Pyke
Greg Pyke

Murray Poole has some Bulldogs for you to watch and keep an eye on for Georgia’s first Southeastern Conference road game of the season versus Mizzou.
MEL TUCKER (Defensive Coordinator)
Named as Georgia’s new defensive coordinator and secondary coach on Jan. 12 of this year, Mel Tucker got the Bulldogs off to a good start in the season opening win against North Carolina, his unit limiting the explosive Tar Heel offense to 159 yards rushing, 156 passing and just 24 points … nearly 17 points below North Carolina’s scoring average last season. Before joining the UGA staff, Tucker was assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at the University of Alabama and a former NFL defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. He also coached with Nick Saban at Michigan State and LSU while also coaching at Ohio State and Miami of Ohio. Certainly, Bulldog fans got a taste of Tucker’s defensive coaching in the 33-24 win in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and are excited about the potential of the Georgia defense as the Bulldogs move into SEC play this week at Missouri.
Certainly a huge key (both figuratively and literally) in the Bulldogs’ offensive front this season, the 6-6, 313-pound Pyke has been a two-year starter at both guard and right tackle, where he’s lining up this season. In Georgia’s 33-24 opening win over North Carolina, Pyke, a senior from Baltimore, Md., was instrumental in helping Nick Chubb run for 222 yards in Chubb’s first game back since his 2015 knee injury at Tennessee. Last season, Pyke played in 12 games with 10 starts and was named second-team All-America by Sports Illustrated, to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-America Third Team and Preseason All-SEC First Team. After his sophomore season in 2014, Pyke was voted to the AP All-SEC Second Team.
This junior linebacker from Chamblee appeared in 10 games for the Bulldogs last season, starting two while playing behind standout veteran players Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd. Bellamy sustained an injury during bowl practice and did not play in the TaxSlayer Bowl but still finished the 2015 slate with 33 total tackles and 5.5 TFLs with 3.0 sacks and nine QB hurries. In the loss to Florida, Bellamy had a team-best seven tackles with a sack and two TFLs, a forced fumble and fumble recovery and against Tennessee rendered a career- high eight tackles with a forced fumble and a TFL as well as a pass breakup. Clearly, the 6-5, 241-pound Bellamy is expected to team with fellow outside ‘backer Lorenzo Carter and put heat on opposing quarterbacks this season.

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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.