Maryland Terps

No. 7 Georgia takes lead in SEC East division race

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No. 7 Georgia takes lead in SEC East division race

ATLANTA (AP) When it comes to Georgia's consecutive wins against Florida, Mark Richt is more focused on the implications for this year's race in the Southeastern Conference than any historical significance.

In fact, the coach seemed surprised Sunday when asked what it meant that his Bulldogs had beaten the Gators in two straight years for the first time since 1988-89.

``I just don't look at it that way,'' Richt said after a long pause. ``I just look at it as we play them once a year. One shot a year to get them. I always think about when we get to that game it has the type of meaning that it did have. You hope you're still in the race when you get to that game because it is deep enough into the season that you want it to be meaningful in the Eastern Division race for your team.''

Saturday's 17-9 win over the Gators certainly was an important victory for Georgia, which can win the division and earn its second straight trip to the conference championship game if it beats Mississippi and Auburn the next two weeks. The Bulldogs host Ole Miss on Saturday.

Richt said his players also are focused on a return to the SEC championship game in Atlanta. He said linebacker Jarvis Jones' thoughts turned to Ole Miss soon after he had 13 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries against Florida.

``Jarvis Jones said this victory really doesn't mean anything unless we keep winning,'' Richt said. ``Of course he's talking about the race to the Eastern Division. We know we've got to win. We know we've got to continue to play like we did this last game to really give us our best chance.''

Georgia (7-1, 5-1) moved up five spots Sunday to No. 7 in The Associated Press Top 25.

The Bulldogs trailed South Carolina and Florida in the Eastern Division after their 35-7 loss to the Gamecocks on Oct. 6. South Carolina's losses to LSU and Florida gave Georgia renewed hope.

Led by Jones, Georgia's defense forced six turnovers as the Bulldogs overcame three interceptions by Aaron Murray and 14 penalties for 132 yards. The defense responded to a challenge from senior safety Shawn Williams, who said the unit was playing soft.

``When I watched the film, it's a lot of guys playing physical, a lot of guys playing hard, playing really hard,'' Richt said. ``You could see the whole group hustling, gang-tackling. There were some great individual plays and they were kind of feeding off each other. It was exciting to watch as it happened and it was actually fun to watch the film.''

Georgia held the Gators without a touchdown for the first time since 1988 - Vince Dooley's final season as coach.

The Bulldogs dominated the rivalry under Dooley, but Saturday's win was only Georgia's fifth in the last 23 meetings. That's why Georgia fans celebrated the back-to-back victories, even if Richt maintained his tunnel vision.

``It's always going to be meaningful because it's a great rivalry game and it does mean a lot to our players and coaches and fan base, but I really don't think much about streaks and all that,'' he said.

Richt savored the win with his players on the field long after the game.

``It was awesome,'' Murray said. ``Everyone was going crazy. I felt like we were out there for 20 or 30 minutes. There isn't a better feeling.''

The focus then shifted to Ole Miss (5-3, 2-2), which has won two straight.

``We haven't won the East yet,'' Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo. ``We still have two more games left.''

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Mike Locksley reportedly makes big addition to Terps staff with former Tennessee head coach

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Mike Locksley reportedly makes big addition to Terps staff with former Tennessee head coach

When Mike Locksley was hired to become the University of Maryland's newest head football coach earlier this month, it was expected that his biggest impact would come on the recruiting trail. Locksley has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best recruiters of talent in the DMV, and his hometown connections were a major draw for the university and its boosters.

His recruiting acumen doesn’t just apply to players, it seems. He’s begun putting together a coaching staff at Maryland, and many of the rumored candidates would represent major “gets” for a school of Maryland’s stature and reputation.

Former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has accepted a position as tight ends coach and associate head coach for the Terps, Jeff Ermann of InsideMdSports reported on Tuesday.

Jones was a head coach for a decade prior to spending 2018 as an offensive analyst for Alabama, an off-field position. In the years prior, he spent time at Central Michigan, Cincinnati, and most recently Tennessee. He holds a career record of 84-54, and is 4-2 all-time in bowl games. He had a winning record at each school.

The title of associate head coach is a nice addition for Jones, but a former SEC head coach who experienced some success would seem to be somewhat overqualified for a position coach. Jones, similarly to Locksley, was attempting to rehabilitate his reputation under Nick Saban at Alabama, and is likely aiming to return to head coaching one day.

It’s still a nice coup for Maryland, as Jones comes to College Park with a reputation as a good offensive mind and a stellar recruiter. Jones signed multiple top-10 recruiting classes at Tennessee, and while coaching in the SEC has certain advantages, his recruiting acumen fits in well with Locksley.

It remains unclear how much of an overhaul Maryland’s coaching staff will undergo under Locksley, though it stands to reason there will be some turnover. 24/7 Sports is also reporting that Locksley will be bringing on John Papuchis to coach special teams and linebackers, and Cory Robinson, a former director of player personnel at Maryland under Randy Edsall. Robinson’s role is not yet specified, though based on his experience it is assumed he’ll be working with defensive backs.

Elijah Brooks, longtime head coach at local powerhouse DeMatha, has also been rumored to be joining the Maryland staff, though it has not been reported at this time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Who's currently in and currently out in the AFC heading into Week 15

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NFL Playoff Picture: Who's currently in and currently out in the AFC heading into Week 15

It was a wild Week 14 for the AFC to say the least.

There was the Miami Miracle and the Indianapolis Colts bringing the Houston Texans' nine-game winning streak to a halt.

January football is so close we can almost taste it. Here's where things stand in the AFC as we head into Week 15.

AFC Playoff Standings:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2, 4-0)

The Baltimore Ravens weren't going to make this easy for the Chiefs, but Patrick Mahomes' ridiculous playmaking couldn't be stopped.

The Chiefs clinched a playoff berth in the 27-24 overtime win and can clinch the AFC West with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers Thursday night. 

Remaining Games: Chargers (10-3), @Seahawks (8-5), Raiders (3-10).

2. New England Patriots (9-4, 3-1)

A crazy 69 yard walk off touchdown from Dolphins' Kenyan Drake put the Patriots two games back of the Chiefs for the one seed and without home field advantage if they face them in the postseason.

Now as they head to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, a bye week in January could be on the line.

Remaining Games: @Steelers (7-5-1), Buffalo (4-9), Jets (4-9)

3. Houston Texans (9-4, 3-2)

The Texans' nine-game win streak came to an end Sunday when Andrew Luck and the Colts earned a 24-21 win in Houston. 

Still two full games up of the Colts and Tennessee Titans in the AFC South, a bye week seems far-fetched as the Patriots hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over them. 

Remaining Games: @Jets (4-9), @Eagles (6-7), Jacksonville (4-9)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1, 3-1-1)

Sunday was a debacle for the Steelers. Big Ben suffered a rib injury but came back in the fourth to lead his team down the field before kicker Chris Boswell's foot slipped out from underneath of him in what would have been the game-winning field goal. 

The 24-21 loss leaves the Steelers just half a game up of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North as they host the Patriots Sunday and still have to visit the Saints. The division, and the playoffs, aren't a lock for the Steelers.

Remaining Games: Patriots (9-4), @Saints (11-2), Bengals (5-8)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3, 2-2)

After narrowly beating the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 Sunday, the Chargers have a short week as they head to Kansas City to face their division rivals on Thursday night.

A win over the Chiefs keeps the AFC West title up for grabs.

Remaining Games: @Chiefs (11-2), Ravens (7-6), @Denver (6-7)

6. Baltimore Ravens (7-6, 2-3)

Ravens-Chiefs was one of the most entertaining games of the 2018 season and proved that Lamar Jackson and the No. 1 overall defense can hang with the best. 

The good news is that they're still half a game back of the Steelers in the AFC North. The bad news is that they're in a four-way race with the Colts, Titans and Dolphins for the final playoff spot.

Three wins to close out the season is crucial. 

Remaining Games: Buccaneers (5-8), @Chargers (10-3), Browns (5-7-1)

In The Hunt:

7. Indianapolis Colts (7-6, 3-2)

Ending the Texans' nine-game win streak on the road is certainly impressive as it kept the Colts' playoff hopes alive.

Their remaining games won't make the road to the playoffs easy, but they do hold the tiebreaker over the Dolphins.

Remaining Games: Cowboys (8-5), Giants (5-8), @Tennessee (7-6)

8. Miami Dolphins (7-6, 4-1)

The Dolphins just continue to surprise us. Their 34-33 win over the Patriots was the highlight of everyone except Patriots fans' Sunday. 

The final playoff spot will be hard to reach as they sit behind the Colts but ahead of the Titans in head-to-head record.

Remaining Games: @Vikings (6-6-1), Jacksonville (4-9), @Bills (4-9)

9. Tennessee Titans (7-6, 3-2)

The Titans earned an AFC win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, but their playoff hopes aren't within close reach.

They are no longer in the sixth playoff spot tiebreaker as they are behind both the Colts and the Dolphins. 

Remaining Games: @Giants (5-8), Redskins (6-7), Colts (7-6)

10. Denver Broncos (6-7, 2-2)

The Broncos lost to the San Francisco 49ers 20-14 Sunday, which some would say is not great for a team trying to wiggle their way into the playoffs.

Remaining Games: Browns (5-7-1), @Raiders (3-10), Chargers (10-3)

11. Cleveland Browns (5-7-1, 2-1-1)

Browns fans have a lot to be excited about as Baker Mayfield is a force and they earned another home win on Sunday against the spiraling Carolina Panthers.

With two division games still to be played, the Browns have a slight chance at the playoffs. Nonetheless, the 2018 season is hopefully the start of a new era for this organization.

Remaining Games: @Broncos (6-7), Bengals (5-8), @Ravens (7-6)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7, 1-3)

Hue Jackson's bad luck continues with the Bengals as the playoffs are nowhere in sight.

Remaining Games: Raiders (3-10), @Browns (5-7-1), @Steelers (7-5-1)

Eliminated: Oakland Raiders (3-10), New York Jets (3-10), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) and the Buffalo Bills (4-9)

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