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GEORGIA-VANDY NOTEBOOK: Uga VIII is introduced; replays dominate post-game conversations

Photo by John Bazemore

Photo by John Bazemore

ATHENS -- The new live Georgia Bulldog mascot was officially installed Saturday before UGA's 43-0 win at home against Vanderbilt.

Uga VIII -- registered name Big Bad Bruce -- is a 13-month-old white male English Bulldog and now the newest in the storied line of Georgia mascots owned by the Sonny Seiler family of Savannah.

He was introduced to the Homecoming crowd at Sanford Stadium in a ceremony that included the "passing of the collar" from Russ, the interim Uga, who took over when Uga VII died suddenly last year.

The current Uga is the grandson of Uga VI.

On Saturday, Uga VIII took his rightful place in the red-and-black doghouse at Sanford as University of Georgia President Michael Adams applauded on the field and Russ took his last bow.

As Russ left the field, a crowd of photographers followed Uga VIII, wearing his red sweater, to his doghouse on the sideline.

Uga VII was named in honor of Dr. Bruce Hollett of the university's School of Veterinary Medicine. Hollett has helped care for the line of white English bulldog mascots owned by members of the Seiler family.

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UPON FURTHER REVIEW:

Those were three words the Georgia Bulldogs and their fans did not like hearing in the early stages of Saturday's 43-0 victory over Vanderbilt at Sanford Stadium.

Two apparent touchdowns by the Georgia defense were either nullified or lessened thanks to video replay during the first quarter.

The first negated a 40-yard fumble return by GAC grad Christian Robinson when it was ruled that Vanderbilt tight end Mason Johnston never had full control of an apparent completion from quarterback Larry Smith, and instead wound up as a Commodore punt on the next play.

"I was excited because I hadn't touched the ball since I was in high school and I played wide receiver," the 6-foot-2, 226-pound redshirt sophomore said. "It was kind of disappointing (to have it overturned), but it was exciting for me."

The second came when Akeem Dent apparently fell on an errant shotgun snap near the back of the end zone.

Once again, video review showed otherwise, with Dent not recovering the ball until it had cleared the end line.

Still, neither Robinson nor the Bulldogs let the video reversals affect them the rest of the way.

"It happens," Robinson said. "Everything's not all going to go your way."

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WELCOME HOME REDUX:

Saturday was Homecoming in Athens, but for the second straight week, it was also a homecoming for several members of the visiting team from Tennessee.

In this case, 16 Vanderbilt Commodores returned to their home state, including five from Gwinnett County.

Among them was freshman receiver and South Gwinnett grad Jonathan Krause, who, like all the Commodores had to deal with the sudden resignation of coach Bobby Johnson over the summer.

However, he has adjusted to new coach Robbie Caldwell and has earned plenty of playing time at Vandy right off the bat.

"The coaching change, I thought it was going to affect all the freshmen, but it didn't," said Krause, who had one reception for 11 yards Saturday and added a punt return for 4 yards. "I was battling with other wide receivers, and I was doing a good job in (preseason) camp, so I came out on top."

Three other Gwinnett grads saw action Saturday, with running back Kennard Reeves of Duluth running for 12 yards on three carries and linebackers Tristan Strong (Grayson) and Blake Southerland (GAC) each seeing action late in the game.

Defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone of Collins Hill dressed out, but was unable to play due to an injury.

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BLAIR'S BOOTS:

With the point after Georgia's fifth touchdown on the day late in the third quarter, kicker Blair Walsh reached a milestone.

It was the 150th such successful conversion by Walsh.

That figure builds on the school record he set in the Bulldogs' season-opening win agaonst Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 4, when he moved past previous record holder Kevin Butler's mark of 130.

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UMPIRE UPDATE:

Being stationed in the middle of the defense, the umpire is known to be one of the most dangerous positions among the on-field officials.

Saturday's umpire Johnny Hibbert found that out the hard way when he got caught up in a pile during a 6-yard run by A.J. Green on a reverse with 7:45 left in the third quarter.

Hibbert had to be helped off the field with a left ankle injury and did not return.