Isaiah McKenzie

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Georgia officially moves Mecole Hardman to wide receiver

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Mecole Hardman spent most of his first season at defensive back after arriving at Georgia as a 5-star athlete out of Bowman, Ga.

That experiment is now over.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart confirmed to reporters at SEC Media Days on Tuesday that Hardman is now a full-time wide receiver.

“I think that’s safe to say,” Smart said, via the Athens Banner-Herald. “You guys have finally cracked the egg. Mecole worked over there about 95 percent of the spring. He did a lot of work there. He did double as a DB on some occasions when we were very down on DBs in the spring.”

Hardman appeared in 11 games as a true freshman, recording six tackles with one kickoff return for 17 yards.

He’ll join a crowded pass-catching landscape at Georgia. The Bulldogs return 11 of their top 12 receivers from last season, led by senior Isaiah McKenzie‘s 44 grabs for 633 yards and seven touchdowns. Georgia did lose its key kickoff returner last season as Reggie Davis took his 21.13 kickoff return average with him upon graduation.

“We think Mecole’s biggest attributes will help us in the offensive slot/return game,” Smart said. “He can do a lot of different things. We’ve got to try find a way to get him the ball, but he’s also got to find a way to protect the ball. That’s going to be a growing curve for him carrying the rock very much that Isaiah (McKenzie) and Reggie (Davis) went through upon my arrival.”

Nick Chubb chugs No. 18 Georgia past No. 22 North Carolina

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In his first game back from injury, the new-and-improved Nick Chubb looked just like the old Nick Chubb. The sophomore rushed 32 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yarder with 3:24 left in the game to put No. 18 Georgia’s 33-24 Chick-fil-A win over No. 22 North Carolina away.

Chubb also opened the scoring with a two-yard plunge, and Georgia used another rushing score, this time a 19-yard burst from Brian Herrien, to take a 14-10 lead into the break.

But that halftime lead did not last long. Fourteen seconds, in fact. T.J. Logan raced the second half kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and Logan later pushed the Tar Heels’ lead to 24-14 with a 21-yard dash with 6:34 to play in the third quarter.

True freshman Jacob Eason immediately answered. The five-star phenom piloted the Bulldogs on an 11-yard, 75-yard jaunt, which he capitalized with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie with 1:19 to play in the third quarter. Georgia (1-0) then received some help from North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora, who drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a 13-yard completion was negated by an ineligible receiver downfield penalty. Instead of enjoying a 1st-and-10 at their own 25, North Carolina faced a 2nd-and-18 from their own four-yard line where, oddly, they called a screen pass in their own end zone. It was swallowed up for a safety.

After the teams traded punts, the Eason-to-McKenzie connection again came up big for Georgia, this time a 51-yard rainbow on 3rd-and-5, setting up a William Ham go-ahead 29-yard field goal, the first of his career, with 5:27 to play.

North Carolina (0-1) went three-and-out on its next possession, cruelly losing a first down spot to a 3rd down incompletion overturn by the replay booth. Then it was Chubb time.

With 3:34 to play, Chubb raced from his own 45 to pay dirt, securing him a bit of catharsis and Kirby Smart his first win as Georgia’s coach.

Smart answered an off-season of quarterback uncertainty by alternating between Eason and Greyson Lambert. Lambert earned the start and completed 5-of-8 throws for 54 yards. Eason connected on 8-of-12 throws for 131 yards and a touchdown.

For North Carolina, Trubisky hit 24-of-40 throws, but for just 156 yards. The Heels were also out-rushed 289-159. The loss will continue questions of whether Fedora’s program, while established enough to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat, has progressed enough to compete with the upper-echelon programs in the sport. After starting 11-1 last season, the Heels have now lost three straight to Clemson, Baylor and Georgia.

Georgia’s win pushes the SEC to 7-1 all-time against the SEC in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, and 15-4 in neutral site kickoff games since 2008.

Georgia scores 17 straight for second consecutive win vs. Auburn in Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry

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At the beginning of the season it was thought Saturday’s game between Auburn and Georgia could serve as a preview of the SEC Championship Game. That, obviously was not the case and we saw the latest exmaple of why in the afternoon’s early slate of games. Georgia (7-3, 5-3 SEC) scored 17 striaght second-half points to hand Auburn (5-5, 2-5 SEC) a 20-13 loss and drop the Tigers to .500.

Georgia’s Isaiah McKenzie returned a punt 53 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Moments earlier, on Georgia’s previous possession, the Bulldogs offense got caught going the wrong way with penalty after penalty setting up a 3rd and 41. It was the second touchdown of the half for McKenzie after rushing for a four-yard score in the third quarter to tie the game at 10-10. Georgia later added a field goal to pad the lead.

Auburn lost two fumbles in the second half, including one by Ricardo Louis on 3rd and 2 at the Georgia five-yard line. With the Tigers down 10 points, the Tigers had their most promising drive of the half until Louis pushed up the middle and lost the football as he reached for a touchdown. He may have already had the first down if he held on to the football.  There was a certain bit of irony in Louis being the one to lose the fumble, of course. It was Louis who caught the deflected pass from a pair of Georgia defenders two seasons ago that handed the Bulldogs a loss.

Neither offense did much to deserve a win. Auburn had three turnovers, but the Tigers outgained Georgia 275-243. Neither team eclipsed the century mark througfh the air. Greyson Lambert of Georgia completed 12 of 17 passes for 97 yards, and Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson completed 14 of 22 passes for 61 yards. Neither threw a touchdown pass.

This was Georgia’s final SEC game of the season, with Georgia Southern at home on the schedule next week and the regular season finale against rival Georgia Tech in Atlanta the following week. The Bulldogs won five games in SEC play in all but just three seasons since Mark Richt has been the head coach of the program.

Auburn was a popular preseason pick to make a run for the SEC, playoff and perhaps the national championship. The reality of this season is now that Auburn must beat Idaho next week to become bowl eligible, because a win against Alabama is probably not very likely in this year’s Iron Bowl the way Alabama has been playing.

UGA’s Isaiah McKenzie won’t face charges for ‘terroristic threats’

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At least as far as the courts are concerned, there’s nothing to see here.  Move on.

Yesterday it was reported that Georgia’s Isaiah McKenzie was accused of making “terroristic threats or acts” to a female during an incident at a local Chili’s restaurant Monday night.  Specifically, it was alleged the wide receiver threatened to kill the woman.

Wednesday, however, an Athens-Clarke County police spokesperson confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the alleged “victim declined to prosecute so the case is closed as far as we are concerned.”

While no charges will be filed, McKenzie could still be facing some sort of discipline from the team.

In his first year as a starter, McKenzie is third on Georgia’s team in receiving with 89 yards and fourth with five receptions. He also leads the team in punt returns, averaging 14.5 yards on his eight attempts. He brought one punt back 77 yards for a touchdown.

Report: Georgia WR Isaiah McKenzie allegedly threatened to kill a woman

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File this one under stories Georgia head coach Mark Richt would least like to have to worry about the week his Bulldogs host Alabama. Five Georgia football players have been named in an incident report filed by the Athens-Clarke County Police from Monday night. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie is accuised of making “terroristic threats or acts” to a female. Safety Dominick Sanders and Jarvis Wilson, linebacker D’Andre Walker and wide receiver Terry Godwin are also all named as witnesses to the incident in question. No charges have been filed at this time, and the investigation is still ongoing.

The reported incident, according to Georgia student newspaper The Red & Black‘s original report, took place Monday night in a Chilli’s restaurant. Per the police report, McKenzie allegedly made a death threat to the unidentified woman. The incident allegedly happened around 10:40 p.m. on Monday.

McKenzie is third on Georgia’s team in receiving with 89 yards on five receptions in four games this season. Godwin is fourth with 76 yards on seven receptions. Sanders is fourth on Georgia’s defense in tackles and Walker has half a sack this season. At this time no suspensions have been announced and Richt has not commente don the situation publicly. There is no indication at this time if any player besides McKenzie is connected to making any threats other than simply being a witness to the alleged incident.