College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta

The College Football Hall of Fame opened last month and GeorgiaDawgHouse.com had the privilege of a visit in downtown Atlanta.  From the cool electronic ID badges to the sports trivia stations that took you down gridiron memory lane, the tour was a fan’s dream.  Call plays with Steve Spurrier, ask Doug Flutie about his miracle play, see Lou Holtz game play book, outfit your colleg football team with what they need for a national championship.  Take a look back at tailgating when it began.  Drop your jaw at the miniscule  pads and helmets of the last century and compare the size of the players today. At every kiosk, the screen recognizes you through your badge and features your team automatically. You are even welcomed by name!

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          field game-day-screen           The trophies, the coaches, the players, the FANS, the HISTORY of college football–it’s all there and what an exceptionally splendid day to spend for a college football fan. The College Football Hall of Fame is located on Marietta Street, next to Olympic Park, in downtown Atlanta, Ga.   stadium-banner

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ATHENS - The head coach and offensive coordinator are both former quarterbacks. The last quarterback set SEC passing records, and the past few years have seen the offense open up and air it out.

And yet through three games, the Georgia football team has been spectacular running the ball, with the passing game an afterthought.

So head coach Mark Richt was asked Sunday if, given the talent at running back, this is just who Georgia is going to be this year?

“Yeah it’s possible,” Richt said. “There’s no doubt there’s talented bunch of backs, and we’re run-blocking pretty darn good. It’s not a bad way to play a ball game.” It’s only a small sample, but Georgia ranks 12th nationally in rushing offense, at 304 yards per game, and second nationally in yards per rush attempt, at 7.73. Only Wisconsin is better.

On the other hand, Georgia ranks 107th nationally in passing yards per game (167.3), and 102nd in yards per pass completion (10.46).

But Georgia is one of nine teams – 7 percent of FBS – which has not had a pass intercepted this year.

That formula – a dominant run game and a mistake-free pass game – has been good enough to average 48.6 points through three games, two of which were against top 25 foes.

“When you’re running for the types of big yardage that we were getting, it’s hard to sit there and say, Hey we’ve gotta start throwing it all over the yard,” Richt said.

Even quarterback Hutson Mason, who had in mind bigger numbers for his one season as starter, acknowledged that in Todd Gurley and freshmen Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, the team has special talent.

“I think the last dual combo I remember that was this good was Cadillac (Williams) and Ronnie (Brown),” Mason said, harkening back to Auburn’s unbeaten 2004 team.

Gurley, Michel and Chubb is each averaging more than 9.5 yards per carry. Gurley’s average of 9.8 leads the nation, per the NCAA stats, while Michel (10.3 yards per carry) and Chubb (9.5) don’t have the minimum yet to register in that category. The trio has accounted for eight touchdowns, while Gurley also has the 100-yard kickoff return touchdown.

There are still hopes for the passing game, especially once Malcolm Mitchell (recovery from knee surgery) and Justin Scott-Wesley (suspended) return, which could be soon.

The hope is the run game could also eventually help the passing game, as opponents gear their plan more around stopping the run.

“It helps the play-action pass, we like doing that, we always have,” Richt said.

The plan was actually to throw it more against Troy on Saturday, but the Trojans surprised the Bulldogs by not packing the box as much. They played two safeties back most of the time, causing Mason and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to audible into run plays.

“This last game, we might could’ve said, Hey let’s throw it 50 times and see what kind of success we can have,” Richt said. “But we just felt it was more important to basically take what they give us.”

That doesn’t figure to be how most defenses play Georgia. Mason also figures to see his passing numbers increase, as he gets more receivers and more conducive defenses to pass against.

Still, as tight end Jay Rome put it last week: “When you have a running back like Todd Gurley, get him the ball.”

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/09/21/3314473_run-it-the-changed-identity-of.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

 

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No. 5 Auburn holds off No. 20 K-State, 20-14

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Gus Malzahn squeezed into his postgame news conference, gripping both sides of the podium and exhaling deeply.

Fifth-ranked Auburn had just eked out a 20-14 victory over No. 20 Kansas State, and Malzahn was asked whether it was the kind of nip-and-tuck nonconference game that he likes to play.

”After they’re over and you win, yeah,” the Tigers’ coach said. ”You do.”

Auburn’s vaunted ground game held in check all night, the Tigers finally pulled away when they went to the air. Nick Marshall threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and Auburn forced a trio of turnovers while capitalizing on three missed field goals by the Wildcats.

Still, the game wasn’t over until Marshall found D’haquille Williams running wide open on third-and-9 at the Auburn 37. The completion with 2:06 remaining went for 39 yards, a first down that effectively ended the game, and gave the Tigers (3-0) their first nonconference road win over a ranked team since knocking off Florida State in 1984.

”Our guys found a way,” Malzahn said. ”I told them after the game, I think this could be a game that really helps us in the future, because we faced some major adversity tonight.”

Not nearly as much as Kansas State.

Jake Waters threw for 245 yards, but he also tossed two picks – one in the Auburn end zone. No. 5 Auburn logs early-season statement winThe Wildcats (2-1) also fumbled the ball away, andJack Cantele missed those crucial field goals.

Still, the Wildcats tried to rally in the closing minutes, scoring on a run by Charles Jones out of the wildcat formation with 3:49 left. But after holding the Tigers to third down, Marshall took advantage of one more miscue – a bad call on defense – for a first down to seal it.

”There was a ton of mistakes that we made that impacted the outcome,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. ”Auburn is a tremendous football team and we just made too many mistakes.”

The result was Kansas State’s lowest point total in more than three years.

Read the rest of this entry

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Georgia’s Richt not ruling out RB Chubb vs. Troy

 — Perhaps Georgia’s depth at tailback didn’t take an immediate hit after all when freshman Nick Chubb had surgery on Monday to repair his fractured left thumb.

Coach Mark Richt said Tuesday he hasn’t crossed Chubb off his list of running backs for No. 13 Georgia’s game against Troy on Saturday.

“I don’t know how much he will practice this week, but if he wakes up Saturday morning and feels good he’ll remember how to run a sweep or a stretch or a zone play, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him play,” Richt said.

Chubb is the Bulldogs’ second-leading rusher behind Todd Gurley. Though Gurley is the established star of the unit, Chubb and another freshman, Sony Michel, have helped provide enviable depth at tailback for Georgia (1-1).

Chubb has 104 yards rushing, including a 47-yarder in the season-opening win over Clemson.

There will be even more depth when Keith Marshall fully recovers from the right knee surgery which ended his 2013 season. Richt said he expects “some nice runs” this week from Marshall, who has only 10 yards rushing through two games.

Marshall ran for 759 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman in 2012. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee against Tennessee on Oct. 5, 2013.

Richt said Marshall has had bad luck finding running room so far this season.

“It seems like every time he’s gotten the ball there hasn’t been a lot of space,” Richt said. “He hasn’t had room to go anywhere. Sometimes it’s the luck of the draw when you get the ball handed to you, but sooner or later there’s going to be some space for him when he gets it and I think he’ll do well.”

Gurley already has 329 yards rushing and four touchdowns, including 131 yards with a touchdown in last week’s 38-35 loss at South Carolina.

Troy (0-3) will be making its first visit to Sanford Stadium since 2007, when Knowshon Moreno, now with the NFL Miami Dolphins, was Georgia’s star running back. Troy coach Larry Blakeney said Gurley is so good he should be compared with the Bulldogs’ greatest back of all, Herschel Walker.

“I think Knowshon has proved his worth in the NFL, but this guy Worley reminds me more of a guy nobody will forget at Georgia, and that’s Herschel,” Blakeney said Monday. “I think he’s in that class.”

Georgia tight end Jay Rome said Chubb and Michel showed early in preseason practice they could make an immediate impact.

“It was a great feeling,” Rome said. “We saw real early in camp that both Sony and Nick were great running backs, almost the spitting image of Todd and Keith when they were younger.”

Fullback Quayvon Hicks, who had 30 yards rushing with a touchdown against South Carolina, said the depth at tailback is Georgia’s big edge.
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“It’s great because if one goes down there’s no slack between the others,” Hicks said. “They’re all different backs but they’re all capable of making plays. I trust every one of them, regardless of the experience. … They give us an edge as an offense. They make it hard for defenses to scheme for us.”

The big question this week has been why Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo didn’t rely on Gurley and the running game with the game on the line against South Carolina. Georgia had a first down at the South Carolina 4 with 5:24 remaining. Instead of giving Gurley the ball, Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason looked to pass and drew a 10-yard intentional grounding penalty.

Ultimately, Marshall Morgan was wide right on a 28-yard field goal.

“It’s like any other play call,” Hicks said. “If we would have scored a touchdown it would have been the greatest play in history. We didn’t, so now it’s the worst play you could ever call.”

 

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