Georgia Bulldog Memories: David Pollack

Three Days Remaining
ESPN College GameDay emanates from Clemson, South Carolina this weekend to spotlight the match-up between the Dawgs and the Tigers.  As a result, it is fitting to pay tribute to the decorated career of University of Georgia alum and current ESPN college football analyst, David Pollack.

David Pollack was a Three-Time All-American at UGA
Pollack was a defensive end at Georgia from 2001-2004. He was selected as a first-team  All-SEC player, and recognized as a first-team All-American each year from 2002-2004. David Pollack was the recipient of many other awards during his time between the hedges.  A leader on and off of the football field, Pollack graduated The University of Georgia, and left Athens for the National Football League.
david_pollack_awardSadly, David Pollack’s professional football career was cut short due to injury.  After being selected 17th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2005 NFL Draft, Pollack suffered what was diagnosed as a broken sixth cervical vertebrae on September 17, 2006.  Fortunately he did not suffer paralysis as a result of the incident.

Personal Favorite David Pollack Moment
My personal favorite David Pollack moment came at the expense of the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2002.  At the time, the Dawgs were on a two-game losing streak against South Carolina.   Entering the fourth quarter of the game, Georgia found themselves up 3-0 on the fighting Lou Holtzes.

UGA had South Carolina pinned deep in their own territory with 14:05 left in the football game.  As Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins dropped back to pass, David Pollack broke free of the Gamecocks’ offensive line.  Wikipedia describes what happened next as “David Pollack battered down and intercepted a pass from South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins in the end zone.” The play is characterized by the site as “memorable.”

Pollack’s Play Against the Gamecocks Changed the Course of UGA Football History
Georgia won the 2002 meeting against South Carolina by a final score of 13-7. Without David Pollack’s heroic effort, the Bulldogs may not have won that game.  Though the contest occurred in early September, Pollack’s interception helped secure UGA’s first SEC title in two decades.  David Pollack is a Damn Good Dawg.



Todd Grantham Holds Georgia’s Key to Success in 2013

Coach Grantham Dealing With High Expectations
When Todd Grantham was named associate head coach of Georgia last summer, Bulldog Nation rejoiced.  The new title meant that, at the very least, coach Grantham would be the defensive coordinator in Athens for another few years.  Now, the Dawgs find themselves rebuilding on defense during a time when expectations could not get any higher between the hedges.
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Upon his arrival in Athens to help put the bite back into the Bulldog’s defense in 2010, Todd Grantham  brought with him an impressive resume.  Fresh off an NFL stint, most UGA fans were eager to see how Grantham’s aggressive style would translate to the college game.  After three years in Athens, it is fair to say that Bulldog Nation is largely pleased with the result.

Is The Bloom Off Of The Grantham?
Following a banner year in 2011, the Georgia defense could not meet the lofty expectations that accompanied 2012.  According to Georgia Dogs, UGA’s 2012 defense had seven defensive starters that would eventually be drafted during the 2013 NFL Draft.  With all of that talent, the Georgia Bulldog defense was not good enough to hold an eleven point lead that would have allowed them to play for a national title at the end of last year.

In 2013, Defense Balance Wins Championships
To be blunt, the days of shut down defense are a thing of the past.  College football has become more about getting key stops as opposed to shutting down the opposition. This is a trait that Georgia had some trouble with last year. UGA gave up 24 points to a Kentucky Wildcat squad that only won two games all season.

Dawg Defense Neutered In Big Games
Georgia has lost a total of six games in the past two years (including bowl games). In those six loses, the opponent has put at least 30 points on the Bulldogs.  Three of Georgia’s first four games are against highly ranked opponents with experienced quarterbacks. If Georgia cannot find their defensive footing very quickly, the championship dreams of Dawg fans everywhere will be turned into a nightmare.

Todd Grantham – K.Y.P.
K.Y.P. is a popular term in the sports world, specifically on the gridiron.  K.Y.P. stands for know your personnel, and that is a must for Todd Grantham if Georgia is to contend for a national title during the upcoming season.  Junior linebacker Amarlo Herrera has shown flashes of brilliance in his Bulldog career, but coach Grantham needs to ensure that Herrera is positioned to succeed in a more prominent role this year.  The same can be said for defensive end Ray Drew.

A Few Drives Will Make The Difference
Bulldog Nation was so close to a championship last year that UGA fans were forced to watch as it was pried from our paws.  Georgia head coach Mark Richt’s mantra has always been to finish the drill.  If that philosophy is followed, it is hard not to think about Pasadena, and confetti falling from the sky.

Georgia Bulldog Memories: Knowshon Moreno

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Georgia’s Rushing Attack is Critical to Their Success
The running back position has always been critical to the success of the University of Georgia. I was not even a gleam in my father’s eye when Herschel Walker made his debut at Georgia, but I do remember hearing about NFL alumni such as Garrison Hurst and Terrell Davis playing their college ball in between the hedges in Athens.

Knowshon Moreno Helped Make Georgia a Contender Again
As a fan, my favorite Bulldog tailback thus far has been Knowshon Moreno. I know he gets some flack from a portion of Georgia fans for leaving after two seasons as a starter, (he took a redshirt during his true freshman year in 2006) but the paw print he left on Georgia in 2007 and 2008 is undeniable. Playing for a UGA team that featured a future first overall draft pick in Matthew Stafford, Knowshon often had a bigger impact on Georgia’s overall success because of his ability to make defenses miss en route to the end zone. Knowshon Moreno was certainly a Damn Good Dawg.



Knowshon Moreno was a First Round NFL Draft Pick in 2009
It was a foregone conclusion that Matthew Stafford would leave UGA following the 2008 season because he was guaranteed to be the number one pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Even so, I was hopeful that Knowshon Moreno would stay in Athens one more year as the undisputed leader of the Dawgs. It was not to be, as Knowshon was the 12th overall draft pick by the Denver Broncos that same year. Georgia has been looking for a game changing tailback since his departure, and they may have finally found the answer this year with Todd Gurley.

Knowshon Moreno Can Still Hurdle Over Defenders
Knowshon Moreno is remembered by Bulldog Nation for the highlight reel of carries he put together in his time at Georgia. One run in particular against Central Michigan, during which Moreno hurdled a defender, is a fond memory for Georgia fans. Since it was against the Chippewas, who are a middle of the pack college football program most Bronco fans did not even consider Knowshon as being capable of jumping over NFL defenders.



Just two weeks ago, Knowshon Moreno hurdled All-Pro, future hall of fame safety Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens. Reed was asked about the play following the game and he told Yahoo Sports that he had been suffering from flu symptoms. Admittedly, if I were a pro football player in Reed’s situation, I would feel sick as well.



Knowshon Moreno could be the next Dawg to play in the Super Bowl
The former Georgia Bulldog seems to be finding his groove again in the National Football League.  He has made the most of the opportunity he has had in Denver this year, and the Broncos are poised to make a Super Bowl run with Peyton Manning at the controls in the Mile High state. Happy Holidays!

Evaluating Nick Saban’s Success at Alabama – Discipline Leads to Dominance

Saban Arrives At Alabama
Since his arrival at the University of Alabama, Nick Saban has been obsessed with maximizing his potential. According to IMG Athletics, coach Saban has a remote control to his office so that he does not have to spend three seconds shutting the door. Saban has mastered everything in his work routine so that he gets the most out of every second of time in his day.

Coach Saban has turned his meticulous planning into a masterpiece while leading Alabama to a national championship victory in 2009, and again in 2011. The Tide have a chance to repeat as BCS National Champions this season, which would be an unprecedented accomplishment in college football. Let us examine how Nick Saban has been able to achieve unparalleled success at the University of Alabama.

Nick Saban is a Disciplinarian
Coach Saban has authored many memorable quotes since becoming the head coach in Tuscaloosa. A favorite Nick Saban jewel:

There are two pains in life, the pain of discipline, and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you’ll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment.

One of the main reasons that the University of Alabama is at the very top of college football is because their head coach is committed to discipline on and off of the gridiron. As such, Alabama fields a roster of players who realize that they can be replaced very quickly if they fail to fulfill their commitment to the Crimson Tide football program on or off of the playing field.

Coach Saban’s Vision Keeps the Top Football Recruits Coming to Alabama
With the exception of Nick Saban’s first year as Alabama head coach in 2007, the Crimson Tide has had a top five rated recruiting class every year that the coach has been in Tuscaloosa. Football players that decide to enroll at Alabama know that they will be given an opportunity to succeed. The Crimson Tide had eight players drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. When IMG Athletics did a profile on the current Alabama head coach, they realized he had a plan for everything. IMG Academics reports, “He has a detailed program for his players to follow, and he’s highly regimented. Above all, Saban keeps his players focused on execution…rather than results.”


Alabama’s Defense is Dominant

The Alabama team that won the national championship last season overwhelmed the opposition. According to Coaching Search, the 2011 Tide led the country in the following categories: scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense, and third-down conversions. Furthermore, Alabama held opponents to just 183 yards per game on average, while giving up just 8.15 points per contest.

Alabama Does Not Make Big Mistakes on Either Side of the Football
It is understandable that the Crimson Tide defense gets a lot of hype. However, the evolution of Alabama’s offense under Nick Saban cannot be overlooked. Coaching Search reveals an eye-popping comparison between the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide defense, and the defensive unit of the Oregon Ducks, noting that Alabama’s defensive unit played 357 fewer snaps than Oregon. This total amounts to around five games.  Alabama’s offense is becoming so efficient that the Tide are rolling over every team in their path.

Nick Saban is Never Satisfied with his Alabama Football Team
Coach Saban has won a total of three national titles, and he continues to be driven toward achieving extraordinary success. Such a thing comes from his focus on the journey as opposed to the end result.

Upon signing an extension with the University of Alabama back in March, Coach Saban offered his thoughts on the future of Alabama football, “From my standpoint, the acceptance of this extension represents our commitment – my commitment, our family’s commitment – to the University of Alabama for the rest of our career, the process of repeating as national champion requires more attention. It can’t be about trying to prove something, because you’ve kind of already done that. It needs to be about, do you want to be the best you can be? Are you driven to be the best player you can be? Are you driven to have the intensity, the sense of urgency, the intelligence? Are you going to work to do the things you need to do to be your absolute best?

For readers out there who are not Alabama fans, we recommend hoping that coach Nick Saban is planning an early retirement. His current deal with the University of Alabama expires in 2020.