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Ex-Bulldog Dye headed to Georgia’s Ring of Honor

Former UGA star and legendary college football coach Pat Dye

Former UGA star and legendary college football coach Pat Dye

ATHENS — Former Georgia football star Pat Dye, along with gymnast Lori Strong and tennis player Marissa Catlin, were chosen Tuesday for induction into Georgia’s Circle of Honor.

Dye, Strong and Catlin will be recognized at the Georgia-North Texas football game on Sept. 21. They will be inducted into the Circle of Honor on April 11, 2014.

Dye, a native of Blythe, Ga., lettered for the Bulldogs from 1958-60. After an All-America and All-State career at Augusta’s Richmond Academy, Dye became a dominant guard for the Bulldogs. He earned All-America recognition in 1959 and 1960. As a junior, Dye helped the Bulldogs win the SEC championship and pick up an Orange Bowl shutout victory over Missouri.

The Atlanta Touchdown Club selected Dye as the SEC’s Most Valuable Lineman following his senior season. Dye played two seasons in the Canadian Football League before becoming a college coach. He served six seasons as the head coach at East Carolina, one at Wyoming and 12 at Auburn. He compiled an overall record of 153-62-5, with one Southern Conference title and four SEC crowns. The playing surface at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium was named Pat Dye Field in his honor in 2005.

GEORGIA RESTING: The ninth-ranked Georgia football team, which will be idle this Saturday, was able to take Monday off from practice.

The Bulldogs held segment meetings and lifted weights on Monday, two days after they dispatched South Carolina, 41-30, in the SEC opener for both teams. They returned to practice late Tuesday.

Georgia (1-1, 1-0) will be idle on Saturday and will welcome North Texas on Sept. 21. The kickoff time of 12:21 p.m. was announced on Monday and the game will be televised by SEC TV (formerly SEC Network).

“After the win, I think we’d all be happy getting back on the field, but we will make the most out of this open date,” former Albany Herald Player of the Year and current UGA receiver Justin Scott-Wesley of Camilla said. “We are taking the steps we need to become a better football team. Each day, we’re trying to get better by stressing the fundamentals. When it’s time to come out and play again, we’ll be ready to go.”

History will be on the Bulldogs’ side against North Texas. Georgia is 14-4 under Coach Mark Richt following an open date.

In other news Monday, quarterback Aaron Murray was chosen as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week after going 17-of-23 for 309 yards and four touchdowns against the Gamecocks and CollegeFootballPerformance.com’s National Performer of the Week, Murray moved to No. 2 on Georgia’s all-time list for total offense with 10,907 in his career, trailing only David Greene’s SEC mark of 11,270.

“It’s not me out there. We play as a team and we win as a team,” Murray said. “We know that. It was a great team win. It was a great feeling for the whole team.”

GATORS LICKING WOUNDS, PREPARE FOR TENNESSEE: After a disappointing loss at rival Miami, Florida has plenty to work on before its SEC opener Sept. 21 against Tennessee.

So the bye week comes at a good time for the Gators. Florida (1-1) needs to get healthy and refocused after committing five turnovers in a 21-16 loss to the Hurricanes.

For Florida coach Will Muschamp, the blame for the Miami loss didn’t just fall on the offense. Muschamp was disappointed that Florida’s defense allowed two early touchdowns, which allowed the Hurricanes to jump to a 14-6 lead. The Gators were forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.

“Disappointed with the way we started the game (defensively) from the standpoint you give somebody some belief,” Muschamp said on his coach’s show. “We did that early in the game. We just can’t allow that to happen.

“We started slow in the game for whatever reason. We’re researching that as a staff as far as defensively not playing better. We came back and played extremely well as the second half rolled in.”

Turnovers are another big problem. Last season, Florida finished with a turnover margin of plus-15, a big reason why the Gators finished 11-2. Through two games this season, Florida’s turnover margin is at minus-4 (six committed, two forced).

“We need to go back in the off week and work on ball security and playing better in those situations,” Muschamp said.

Starting Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel has accounted for four of Florida’s six turnovers with two interceptions and two lost fumbles.

“It starts with me being careless with the ball,” Driskel said. “(The turnovers) were costly. We’re going to have to recover from this and not hang our heads.”

Tennessee could provide just the tonic the Gators need to get back on track. Florida has won eight straight in the series between SEC East rivals. Tennessee’s last win over Florida came in 2004, when the Vols beat the Gators 30-28 on a last-second 50-yard field goal from James Wilhoit.