UGA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Loran Smith out as sidelines reporter; Dogs zero in on Ragin' Cajuns

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- Loran Smith was removed from his longtime role as the sideline reporter on Georgia radio broadcasts Thursday.

Smith will continue as one of the hosts on the pre-game show for the Georgia radio network, which covers 52 stations.

Chuck Dowdle, the former longtime sports anchor for WSB-TV, was named on Thursday as the new sideline reporter for the network.

Smith and former play-by-play legend Larry Munson were the familiar voices on the broadcasts since the 1960s.

Play-by-play announcer Scott Howard and analyst Eric Zeier were named the permanent broadcast team after Munson's retirement early in the 2008 season.



ATHENS -- Georgia football used its fourth straight practice of the week to complete a 90-minute kicking scrimmage Thursday at the Woodruff Practice Fields.

With the completion of Thursday's practice, the Bulldogs now have six more practices before their 2010 opener Sept. 4, against Louisiana-Lafayette at Sanford Stadium, including a session today and Saturday morning.

Defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Todd Grantham will be back on the college sideline for the first time since 1998 when his team faces the Rajin Cajuns. Grantham joined the Bulldogs after spending the last 11 years on the NFL sidelines.

"It's been a long time since I have been on the college sidelines, but once the game starts, it's still the familiar game that I know out there," said Grantham, adding that he has never been to a game at Sanford Stadium but watched some on TV.

Grantham also gave his analysis on Wednesday's scrimmage.

"I thought we had good communication out there and our group knew what to do," Grantham said. "We still have to do it in a real game so we'll see how they react. I'm just ready to get to a game and I'm sure the guys are too."

Grantham added that senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs "should be practicing (today)" after an ankle injury and that senior inside linebacker Akeem Dent is "on track" to be able to play next week after his toe injury.

From the other side of the ball, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said he was "pleased with the overall effort."

"The team's intensity from the beginning of the scrimmage pleased me," said Bobo. "I knew from the first snap that any scrimmage that you're excited to see has the potential to disappoint. But the guys treated this like a football game. I was really pleased with how they reacted to this scrimmage compared to some others."

Bobo complimented the play of senior split end Kris Durham, who is returning to the lineup after redshirting the 2009 season with an injury.

"He showed a total unselfish effort and made some extremely tough catches," Bobo said. "He made some (touchdown) blocks and just played awesome. It will be a big bonus to have someone like him coming back who has SEC experience and was productive at that level."

Georgia is ranked No. 21 in the preseason edition of the USA Today Coaches poll and No. 23 in the Associated Press poll. Kickoff for the opener against the Ragin' Cajuns is set for 12:21 p.m., and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network nationwide.