Mark Bradley blog 

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Live from Georgia Tech: Will the Jackets deck Duke?

  • 11:38 am Saturday, October 11th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
It was cloudy early at BDS/HGF, but it's clearing. (M. Bradley)

The only good team Georgia Tech beat last season was Duke, and that game carried an asterisk: Blue Devils quarterback Anthony Boone didn’t play. The Jackets won 38-14 in Durham behind Durham’s own Vad Lee, who won’t play quarterback for Tech today, seeing as how he transferred to James Madison over the winter.

Tech is 5-0; Duke is 4-1. This is a big game regarding the ACC Coastal, a division that has been flipped on its head. Georgia Tech and Virginia — which were picked to finish fifth and last, respectively, in the seven-team division by the ACC media — are [More]

The notion of a gone Gurley is sad beyond measure

  • 5:01 pm Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Herschel ran over a Vol; Gurley jumped over one. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

If Todd Gurley has indeed played his last game for Georgia — quoting a source, the AJC is reporting that he might not be allowed to return this season — the sensation would be the same sadness as in February 1983, when the greatest collegiate player ever jumped to the USFL with a year of eligibility remaining.

With this difference: Herschel Walker had already lifted the Bulldogs to a national championship and three SEC titles. Todd Gurley, the greatest Bulldog since the matchless Herschel, hadn’t done any of the above. Gurley had come close to the SEC part in 2012, [More]

Sans Gurley, is all UGA hope lost? Not just yet

  • 6:39 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Todd Gurley was a difference-maker against Georgia Tech last year. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

Let’s look on the bright side. If Georgia wanted to prove it’s not a one-man team, here’s the chance.

OK, enough cheer. When a one-man team is without its one man, it’s not a good thing. When a one-man team is without its one man going into the biggest game on its remaining schedule, it’s not a good thing. If Georgia loses Saturday at Missouri — and Georgia is, or at least was, favored — it won’t be a good thing.

But if Georgia can ride Nick Chubb and Hutson Mason (or Brice Ramsey, maybe) to a one-point victory in Columbia West, [More]

What do Giants and Cards have that the Braves lack?

  • 9:07 am Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
These guys do this all the time, don't they? (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP photo)

Not to belabor a point, but over the past five seasons the Atlanta Braves have won 449 regular-season games. The San Francisco Giants have won 436; the St. Louis Cardinals have won 451. (From Opening Day 2010 through Sept. 18 of this year, the Braves and Cards had won the same number of games.)

Over that span, the Braves have won no playoff series — we count the wild card play-in as a series — and are 2-7 in postseason games. The Giants have won eight consecutive series and are 26-10 in postseason; the Cardinals have won eight of 10 series [More]

The Braves as a nostalgia act? Not necessarily

  • 10:53 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
John, John and Bobby announce their Reunion Tour. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

It might seem as if the Atlanta Braves are, as has been suggested, interested more in getting the band back together and playing the old hits than in moving forward. I think it’s more accurate to say the Braves are determined to go back to The Braves’ Way of doing things, which we now know to mean the way the Braves did things before Frank Wren took over and ticked everybody off. We call the roll:

John Schuerholz: Off the golf course, back in the game.

Bobby Cox: No longer a man of leisure, again a man with a plan.

Fredi Gonzalez: Still [More]

If Matty Ice isn’t on fire, the Falcons are doomed

  • 6:47 pm Sunday, October 5th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Antone Smith makes another play. (Bill Kostroun/AP photo)

East Rutherford, N.J.

These short takes off the Falcons-Giants game are presented as a companion to the game column, which can be found here. The Falcons lost 30-20, in case you haven’t heard.

1. The Atlanta Falcons cannot win if Matt Ryan is only pretty good. For a while, this seemed another those vintage Matty Ice games in a season that has already yielded two (the overtime victory over New Orleans and the blowout of Tampa Bay). He completed 17 of his first 21 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. He would complete 12 of his final 24 for 150 [More]

Live from Jersey: A Giant step for the Falcons?

  • 12:13 pm Sunday, October 5th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
When you're walking around it carrying two bags, it does feel like a giant stadium. (M. Bradley)

East Rutherford, N.J. – The glamorous life of the sports correspondent. Left Sanford Stadium last night at 9:10 p.m. Pulled in the garage at the ol’ homestead at 11 p.m. Left the same garage at 6:35 a.m. Landed in Newark at 10:48. Walked into the press box at 11:48 after a brisk stroll around the periphery of MetLife Stadium. (My cab driver wasn’t allowed to get close to the designated media gate.)

But enough about me. This is a fairly significant game for the evolving Falcons, which sounds nicer that saying “the depleted Falcons.” They’re down three offensive linemen, as you [More]

UGA’s best downfield passer? Also Todd Gurley

  • 7:09 pm Saturday, October 4th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
He runs! He throws! He points after scoring points! (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)


These short takes are presented as companion to the Georgia-Vanderbilt game column, which can be found here. Georgia won 44-17, FYI.

1. Todd Gurley’s first pass as a collegian resulted in Georgia’s longest completion of the season, which tells us something. The Bulldogs deployed Gurley at quarterback in the first half — call it the Wild Gurl formation — and let him run off direct snaps. Late in the second quarter, Gurley ran from the WG on first down and then, on second-and-7, stopped short and threw long for tight end Jeb Blazevich. The 50-yard completion — OK, so the [More]

Live from Georgia: Vandy’s back to being Vandy

  • 3:09 pm Saturday, October 4th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Sanford Stadium on a lovely October day. (M. Bradley)

Athens – Not much to say about this one. Georgia should win by however much it wants. James Franklin no longer coaches the visiting side — and Todd Grantham no longer coaches the Bulldogs’ defense, by way of coincidence — and Vandy is back to being Vandy.

How do we know that Vandy, which actually beat the Bulldogs last year, is again seen as no threat? Because the Commodores have again been reduced to being a homecoming guest.

The Commodores lost their first two games under Derek Mason — to Temple and Ole Miss — by the aggregate score of 78-10. They [More]

The Braves keep Fredi G., but it’s not a mandate

  • 12:04 pm Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
"Better drive straight next season, Fredi." (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

The Atlanta Braves just announced that Fredi Gonzalez will return as manager in 2015, which should shock no one, and that co-hitting coach Scott Fletcher will not, which shouldn’t, either. The only mild surprise regarding the Braves’ staff is that third base coach Doug Dascenzo, imported after Brian Snitker was demoted to managing in the minors, is out after one year. (Guess Dascenzo was the real reason the team couldn’t get anybody past third base.)

Fletcher — like chief hitting coach Greg Walker, who resigned Tuesday — had to go. You can’t bring back the men who were charged [More]

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