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If Tennessee is for real, UGA has a problem
Jauan Jennings of Tennessee runs into the end zone with a 67-yard touchdown reception against Florida in the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016 in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2:09 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, 2016

On a sunny Saturday by the Tennessee River, it was possible to wonder if Georgia’s second-worst nightmare had come true. If the Tennessee Volunteers have really and truly gotten it going, that’s not good news for the Bulldogs. (The only thing worse would be if Florida again gets it going.)Eight ...
From flop to Rocky Top: Tennessee’s wild win
Josh Malone #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers runs into the end zone with a 42-yard touchdown reception against the Florida Gators in the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Updated: 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Once in a while, the best thing that can happen is for the absolute worst thing to happen. Tennessee was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on the opening kickoff. It yielded a 51-yard reception on the second snap. It was handed the ball on the Florida 2 and couldn’t score. Its ...
Tech’s offense throws a clunker against Clemson
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Dedrick Mills (26) is brought down by Clemson Tigers defenders in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Updated: 10:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

Not much to see here, and really not much to say. Clemson is better than Georgia Tech. We knew that already. What we didn’t know is that Tech’s defense, long the poorer side of Paul Johnson’s operation, is better than his beloved offense. Clemson’s offense, which came close to carrying ...
A September to remember for, yes, the Braves
The Braves’ Ender Inciarte celebrates with Matt Kemp after scoring a run in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on Sept. 17, 2016. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Updated: 5:07 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

It being football season, maybe you’ve stopped tracking the Braves. Maybe you got so fed up that you tuned out way back when it was basketball season. Maybe you should consider giving them another look. What they were is not what are and, better yet, what they’re becoming.Beggaring-belief stats: The ...
Opportunity knocks. Will Georgia Tech answer?
Paul Johnson and the Jackets will host unbeaten Clemson Thursday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Updated: 3:49 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, 2016

“A tremendous opportunity,” Paul Johnson called it, and he told no lies. Beating the nation’s No. 5 team in prime time would serve as an HOV lane for Georgia Tech’s return to national prominence. One thing, though: Man for man, the nation’s No. 5 team is way better than Tech. ...
Eason throws and UGA passes its road test
Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie eludes Missouri defensive back Aarion Penton on a first-down reception that set up UGA’s first=quarter touchdown at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Updated: 12:33 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016

The road is different. Every coach says so. The road can humble the most talented of teams and players. It came close to humbling Georgia and Jacob Eason here Saturday, but the Bulldogs and their freshman quarterback danced away loud and proud, scoring on fourth-and-10 with 1:29 remaining to win ...
The Falcons’ Quinn needs to demand better
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn confers with cornerback Robert Alford after a penalty by Alford gives the Buccaneers a first down during the third quarter on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

1:58 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016

These were Dan Quinn’s opening comments after Sunday’s game, presented without editing.Quinn: “After coming back in the locker room, the guys played hard. We knew it was going to be a physical division game. That’s exactly what it was. It was a disappointing loss. Also, one of the topics we ...
Is Georgia’s issue a lack of … talent?
Nick Chubb stiff-arms Nicholls State defensive back Ahmani Martin during the fourth quarter at Sanford Stadium on Saturday Sept. 10, 2016. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

2:05 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

Maybe we had it wrong. Maybe Mark Richt’s problem wasn’t his failure to coach up the great talent he’d assembled. Maybe the talent wasn’t so great.Let’s assume that, over two games, Kirby Smart hasn’t coached anybody down. (If he has, Georgia is in trouble.) Let’s also assume that an SEC ...
The Falcons open the season by laying an egg
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan walks off the field after throwing an incomplete pass to turn it over to the Buccaneers on downs during the final minutes of a game against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

6:24 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016

They’d had an offseason to sign and draft better players; to evaluate and presumably correct their inability to score touchdowns; to rush the passer harder; to be better stem to stern. They thought they’d figured things out. Turns out they’d only figured out yet another way to lose to Tampa ...
Thomas sits for a half. Tech wins anyway
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson instructs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Isiah Willis in the first half of a game against Mercer at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Updated: 7:55 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016

If you liked last year’s Georgia Tech football team, you’ll probably like this one. Trouble is, nobody liked last year’s team. That one finished 3-9 after winning its first two games by the aggregate score of 134-16.This one won’t go 3-9. The schedule’s much easier. But if two games are ...
The more I see, the more I doubt the Falcons
Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan confers with quarterback Matt Ryan during their game against Philadelphia on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016

It wasn’t so long ago that I believed the Falcons’ manifest destiny was to win a Super Bowl. It was only last fall that I considered them a playoff lock after their 5-0 start. I mention this as a way of saying: I didn’t always consider this an organization incapable ...
The Falcons’ past could enhance the Bucs’ future
Head coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons talk as they leave the field after the Falcons defeated the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

1:51 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016

The threesome of Mike Smith, Dirk Koetter and Matt Ryan came within 10 yards of lifting the Falcons to the Super Bowl in January 2013. Two of those now work for Tampa Bay, which will serve as the Falcons’ opponent Sunday in the Dome. The Buccaneers have won 23 games ...
The Braves’ rise from oblivion has begun
Freddie Freeman, right, shares a laugh with Matt Kemp, left, during the sixth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Braves won 2-0. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

12:20 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5, 2016

The Braves awoke on Labor Day mathematically alive in the National League East. That mightn’t sound like much – and they were officially eliminated with Monday’s 6-4 loss to the division-leader Nationals – but still: When a team starts 9-29 and is 18-46 as of June 14, you’re pondering a ...
For UGA and Smart, it was the best of openers
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart gets some air during the second half while coming back to beat North Carolina 33-24 in his first game as a head coach to win the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

11:11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016

Kirby Smart couldn’t have asked for more from Game 1 of Year 1. Had Georgia played nobody and won by 50, he’d have been asking: “What happens when we play somebody?” Had Georgia played somebody and everything gone right, he’d have wondered: “What happens when something goes wrong?” This way, ...
UGA holds its nerve and wins No. 1 for Smart
Kirby Smart takes the field with his team before an NCAA college football game against North Carolina in Atlanta, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. Smart was making his debut as Georgia’s coach. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Updated: 10:03 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there was moment in the third quarter when you’d have sworn the Georgia you were watching – the one that had yielded 17 consecutive points to trail North Carolina by 10 – was the Georgia of the final days of ...
Was that Lambert’s last start at UGA?
Georgia running back Nick Chubb (27) breaks away from North Carolina linebacker Cayson Collins (23) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Atlanta, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Updated: 10:01 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016

1. That might have been Greyson Lambert’s last start. He completed five of eight passes for 54 yards. He suffered three sacks in the first quarter. He didn’t throw the ball to the other team, which surely figured into Kirby Smart’s decision to start him, but neither did the freshman ...
With Lambert, UGA is banking on no surprises
Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert during the 2016 G-Day game at Sanford Stadium. (Taylor Carpenter/tcarpenter@ajc.com)

2:56 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016

It’s not that coaches hate the idea of freshmen playing. Lots of freshmen do. (The biggest mistake of Mark Richt’s time at Georgia – well, other than Faton Bauta – was redshirting Knowshon Moreno.) But there’s a difference between playing a freshman and starting one at quarterback. It’s why I ...
A big game in Week 1: That’s why Smart’s here
A big game in Week 1: That’s why Smart’s here

12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Going by winning percentage, Mark Richt was the best coach Georgia ever had. (Unless we count Robert Winston, who was 5-1 in his one season, which was 1894.) That Richt no longer coaches Georgia has less to do with the wins – he was 19-6 over his final two seasons ...
UGA’s Kirby Smart says little, reveals less
Kirby Smart, right, with Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity before Smart was was introduced as the Bulldogs’ coach on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

2:01 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Here’s what we learned from Kirby Smart’s first game week briefing as head coach: That Kirby Smart won’t be as nervous going into Saturday’s date with North Carolina as in any game as Nick Saban’s No. 2. “The pressure I put on myself as (Alabama’s) defensive coordinator – if they ...
Predicting Georgia’s season, game by game
Coach Kirby Smart views a Georgia scrimmage. (Photo by Randy Schaefer)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Sept. 3, North Carolina (Georgia Dome), 5:30 p.m.: If I’m Kirby Smart, I love this as an opener — playing a ranked opponent that has lost its starting quarterback and yielded 645 yards in a bowl loss, and you’re doing it on a neutral-in-name-only field. We recall Georgia laying an ...
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