Georgia Stays Perfect After 24-10 Win Over South Carolina

The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are now one step closer to cinching the SEC East title for the first time since 2012. After winning against Eastern Division opponent South Carolina, the Bulldogs are heading just down the road to Atlanta to face the winner of the SEC West.

The Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 SEC) returned to Athens to face the Gamecocks (6-3, 4-3 SEC) after winning 42-7 against conference rival Florida in Jacksonville, FL, last week. They went into this week’s game knowing they had to win and had to hope for Kentucky to lose for the Bulldogs to have a secured spot to play for the SEC Championship title in Atlanta in December.

Game Recap

The game started with an onside kick from the Bulldogs, which was recovered by South Carolina at the 50-yard line. The possession didn’t do much for South Carolina as Georgia’s defense held them back and forced a missed field goal for the Gamecocks.

The first score of the game came from the Bulldogs, but not until late in the first quarter, on a run from senior TB Sony Michel. The Gamecocks soon tied the game at 7-7 on a 12-yd pass from sophomore QB Jake Bentley to sophomore WR Bryan Edwards. The following possession saw another touchdown from the Bulldogs from senior WR Javon Wims from freshman QB Jake Fromm. The Bulldogs led 14-7 at halftime.

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Sony Michel (11) rushes against South Carolina’s defense. Photo credit to The Telegraph (Macon, Ga).

The second half saw another passing touchdown from Fromm to sophomore WR Mecole Hardman, bringing Georgia’s lead to 21-7. The Gamecocks scored for the second and last time of the game on a 25-yd field goal from K Parker White. The Bulldogs scored once more in the middle of the fourth quarter on a 20-yd field goal from K Rodrigo Blankenship, cementing the Bulldogs win at 24-10.

Statistics

Even as Georgia won, there passing game was second to that of the Gamecocks, where South Carolina QB Bentley put up 227 yards compared to Fromm’s 196. However, Georgia’s run game proved dominate as their 242 total rushing yards far outweighed South Carolina’s 43 yards.

Georgia’s top rushers Michel and fellow senior TB Nick Chubb gave Georgia the advantage. While putting up no touchdowns in the game, Chubb ran for 102 yards on 20 carries, while Michel ran for 81 yards on 16 carries.

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Nick Chubb (27) rushes to contribute to Georgia’s 24-10 win over South Carolina. Photo credit to 12up.com.

QB Fromm completed 16 of 22 pass attempts and 196 total yards. Fromm also threw for 2 touchdowns and had no interceptions.

The Bulldogs were led in receiving yards by Wims, Hardman and junior WR Terry Godwin, all of which contributed 140 of 196 total receiving yards.

Georgia’s defense was also nothing but impressive during the game, as they held the Gamecocks to 43 rushing yards. Sophomore DB J.R. Reed and senior DB Malkom Parrish both had interceptions off Bentley. Junior LB Roquan Smith also led the Bulldog’s defense in tackles, leading the team with 9, seven of which were solo tackles.

A full box score can be found here.

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Georgia’s Roquan Smith (3) tackles South Carolina RB AJ Turner (25). Photo credit to Dawg Sports.

Looking Ahead

The Bulldogs will be on the road again next week to face another conference rival, No. 14 Auburn, at the Tigers’ home stadium. The match up will be a test of strength from both teams, as season averages are similar and the fact that both teams share a long-shared rivalry. The Tigers are the only remaining team that could cause trouble for No. 2 Alabama’s shot at the SEC Championship, a game that will happen at the end of the regular season in Auburn.

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Everything is Bigger in Texas!

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Top: Off-the-Shoulder Blue Gingham (similar herehere)| Jeans: White Jeans| Shoes: Tan Sandals| Bag: Monogrammed Crossbody (similar)| Earrings : Pearl Earrings | Necklace: Long Tassel (similar here & here)| Bracelet: Sterling Cable Cuff | Watch: Brown Leather Watch | Sunglasses: Black Aviators (similar)

Hello, hello, hello!! After a crazy couple of weeks, I have finally sat down long enough to write something! School has started back again, and with that meant two things: sorority recruitment and football season!

Recruitment about killed me and left me with the flu for a week, but it gave me much more incentive to get better, because that meant I would be heading to Dallas, Texas, for UF’s season opener against Michigan. And the best part? The game is at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, aka my favorite professional football team.

It is hard to say whether I am more excited for the actual game or just to see the stadium. My dad’s family, as big of Gator fans as they are, just might have been more excited to see pictures of the stadium itself. The stadium did not disappoint at all and we actually got a tour of the stadium Sunday which made  up for the super depressing loss on Saturday.

AT&T Stadium is truly a football fan’s paradise. Even though our tour guide told us, it is obvious that this stadium was designed with the fan in mind. Throughout of tour we got to see owner Jerry Jones’ personal suite, the Cotton Bowl offices, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders’ locker room (my favorite part!) and the Cowboys’ locker room. Fun fact: the actual team is the only team that uses the Cowboys locker room, as the stadium also has 4 other locker rooms for other teams that use the facilities. To top it all off, we were allowed to go onto the field and let me tell you, that was an experience! When they say everything is bigger in Texas, they aren’t kidding.

After our tour, we ventured into Dallas itself for brunch and what we hoped was a tour of the Sixth Floor Museum, dedicated to JFK’s assassination and the events surrounding it. The tour was booked full, but we used the time to walk around that well-known grassy knoll. Personally, I am a believer that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK from the book depository, but there are other theories I will entertain (look up the mysterious phone call from Oxnard, California). Being in that exact spot was something both surreal and haunting. It’s hard to imagine being in the place of such tragedy in American history. Even though the roads in the area are in use and busy, there was still a quiet and somber atmosphere. A short walk from Dealey Plaza was the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, which features what the architect calls an “open tomb” to symbolize Kennedy’s spirit. The whole experience was as educational as it was memorable.

But with all the touristy things we did, you absolutely have to choose something that keep you comfortable, looking presentable and cute enough for any potential photo ops. And maybe you need to plan to match the Cowboys’ colors! This outfit was by far my favorite throughout the whole trip. The tassels (obviously a little homage to this blog!) are always so much fun and you get so many compliments! Even though it was a little hot under the Texas sun, I still felt completely cool with this loose top and comfortable with white jeans. My absolute hair go-to, especially in the Texas heat, is always a polished pony tail, which I can honestly say I have perfected from over 15 years of cheering!

Until next time!

XO, McKenna

Gators Fall to Aggies Ahead of Bye-Week

Even as they were sporting different uniforms, the Florida Gators still lost to unranked SEC opponent Texas A&M. Both teams were coming off tough losses, the Gators lost their homecoming game to conference rival LSU and the Aggies fell to top-ranked Alabama. Coming into Gainesville for the night match-up, the Gators and the Aggies were looking to prove themselves.

Texas A&M won the toss and elected to receive the ball, but punted on their first drive. Florida’s first shot at the ball resulted a comeback field goal from kicker Eddie Pinerio and A&M responded with a field goal of their own to end the first quarter. A relatively uneventful second quarter complete with interceptions for both teams later ended with a pass from Florida quarterback Felipe Franks to running back Lamical Perine that sent the Gators into the locker room leading 10-3.

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Florida running back Lamical Perine breaks free from Texas A&M defenders. Photo credit to Orlando Sentinel.

Florida received the ball to start the second half, a possession that mirrored the opening kickoff and had punter Johnny Townsend kicking the ball away. The Aggies first drive of the second half resulted in a touchdown from A&M quarterback Kellen Mond. Florida soon answered the Aggies touchdown with one of their own, first spurred on with a 79-yard run by Franks, setting up wide receiver Dre Massey’s first career touchdown.

The Aggies finished out the game with three field goals from kicker Daniel LaCamera on their next three possessions, bringing their lead to 19-17 with a minute left in the game. Franks tried to come back for his team with hopes of at least setting up Pinerio in field goal range, but his first pass was intercepted by A&M linebacker Tyrel Dodson. The Gators fell 17-19 to the Aggies and both teams are taking the result into a bye week before games against Georgia and Mississippi State, respectively.

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Florida kicker Eddy Pinerio (15) celebrates with linemen Jordan Sherit (17) and Taven Bryan (93) after a field goal. Photo credit to Tampa Bay Times.

The Gators have time for improvements and get players healthy with a bye-week next week before meeting No. 4 and major conference rival Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida. Perhaps the biggest loss of this game was redshirt senior Jordan Sherit, who was carted off the field and could need season-ending hip surgery. But the Gators still have some things to be proud of. Punter Johnny Townsend set a new career high with a 67-yard punt in the second quarter. The game also saw the return of wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, who suffered a high ankle sprain against Vanderbilt and did not play against LSU.

Bulldogs Travel to Nashville for Vanderbilt Match-up

Coming off of a 41-0 shut out in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Bulldogs travel to Nashville, Tennessee for this week’s Georgia-Vanderbilt match-up. The game will be Vanderbilt’s homecoming game and the Commodores are coming off of a 38-24 loss to Georgia rival Florida.

The Georgia Bulldogs, who are currently undefeated in both regular and conference play, is looking for revenge against the Commodores after a fourth quarter touchdown by the Commodores in their previous match-up in Athens during the 2016 season.

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Georgia running back Nick Chubb rushed for 109 yards against Tennessee. (Courtesy of Saturday Down South)

Georgia’s offense put up 378 total yards against Tennessee while Vanderbilt only gained 199 yards against the Gators. Senior running back Nick Chubb contributed with 109 rushing yards of the team’s 294 yards. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was 7 for 15 and gave the Bulldogs 2 rushing touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason, who was out with a knee injury sustained during the season opener, returned in the fourth quarter, but did not contribute to the team’s 41-0 victory.

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Georgia QB Jake Fromm rushes for a touchdown in Bulldog’s 41-0 win. (Courtesy of Saturday Down South)

Vanderbilt suffered against Florida’s defense, only recording 199 yards and three touchdown passes from junior quarterback Kyle Shurmur. The Bulldogs should watch out for senior running back Ralph Webb, even while only putting up 29 of the teams 46 rushing yards, as he could be looking to make moves on the Commodores home field. Senior linebacker Oren Burks led the Commodores defense with 6 of the team’s 15 tackles, including 1.5 for loss.

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Vanderbilt defensive lineman Johnathan Wynn tackles Florida quarterback Luke del Rio. (Courtesy of Synacore Showcase

Georgia’s defense will have to work hard this week as they could be down two players: inside linebacker Reggie Carter and defensive tackle Trent Thompson. There is no news whether either player is out for the season or not. Thompson tied with two other defensive players last year to lead the defense in sacks.

The Bulldogs and the Commodores will play Saturday, October 7 at 12 p.m. on ESPN.

Life in the Water

Growing up in a small town, you’re taught to dream. Small towns give you motivation to get out, but also make homecomings that much sweeter. Merritt Island, Florida is nestled on Florida’s Space Coast and is home to Kennedy Space Center, which is why many are familiar with the name. Located between the Indian and Banana Rivers and a short ten-minute drive to Cocoa Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, one could say we live in the water.

But for Danielle Keymont, living in the water has a different meaning.

Currently a sophomore at the University of Florida, Keymont has been swimming since she was 8 years old and has turned a childhood activity into a lifestyle, as she is also a member of UF’s decorated swim team.

Her love for swimming first came when her parents enrolled her in swim classes as a child. Those simple classes would help blossom a passion inside her that would take her far and earn her top honors throughout her career. She developed a drive that matches championship swimmers and that drive earned the attention of top college swim programs. While she was a student at Merritt Island High School, she broke school and county records and had her eye on the FHSAA championships every season. As a junior, she placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke and was just short of the state record.

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Upon arriving at Florida, Keymont said she felt right at home among her fellow athletes. Some she already knew, having met at meets and competing against them.

“This team has such a strong bond,” said Keymont, “we support everyone and what they do and encourage each other to do their best. But at the end of the day, we’re a family, a dysfunctional one at times, but a family.”

It was this bond that made her freshman year much easier, as well as the transition into her sophomore year. At the beginning of the 2016 season, health issues sidelined Keymont for the entirety of the year. According to records from SwimSwam, her time at the 2015 Florida Senior Championships during her senior year in high school would have put her in contention for an SEC title. When she returned for training late summer this year, it felt like nothing had changed.

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The events surrounding her freshman season has renewed her drive and has made her more determined than ever to compete this year, hopefully place at the SEC Championships and maybe take a shot at a national title. But regardless of what happens, she’s looking forward to this season.

“There is something about this year’s team that feels special, that we’re going to do great things this season,” said Keymont.

When you grow up in a small town, being able to live your dream is something special. Very few seem to be able to do so, and if you can, you’re something of a success story. But she doesn’t think of it that way. Instead, it is a reminder of where she came from and a reminder of what has pushed her to become the athlete, and the person, she is today.

To view Danielle Keymont’s UF swim bio, click here.

Photos courtesy of McKenna Cole and Danielle Keymont.

Thank God for Hometowns

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Top: Fringe Tank | Shorts: Navy Chinos (similar) | Shoes: Navy and White Sandals | Bag: Navy Tote | Earrings : Pearl Earrings | Bracelets: Gold Link & Sterling Cable Cuff | Watch: Brown Leather Watch | Sunglasses: Black Aviators (similar)

If someone asked me to list my top 5 favorite things, it may go something like this: coffee, football, fashion, family, and my hometown. Ever since I’ve started college, being home just means more to me. The second I cross a bridge to get onto the little island I call home, an overwhelming sense of calm passes over me. I could have spent the last hour so tired and frustrated with people driving and it all suddenly melts away.

Another thing I have noticed since starting college is that I now see the places I used to consider as just another place in a whole new light. I’ve also noticed I’ve missed the variety of family owned restaurants you can find all over! I’m very much a foodie.

One of my dearest friends and I spent the day walking around historic Cocoa Village, just across the river from where I grew up. The area dates back to the 1860s and the majority of the buildings are listed as historic. The church I grew up in is located here too and has caused Cocoa Village to become a fixture of my childhood.

Our first stop of course had to be the donut shop. While the shop is one of the newest businesses in the village (that’s what we “locals” call it), it has quickly become a favorite for anyone within probably a 20 mile radius. What makes the Sugar Shack so unique is that the bakers have complete creative control when making the donuts. They still have your traditional cake, iced and sprinkled donuts, but there’s a variety of selections each and every day. Some of my favorites have included maple bacon (with actual bacon!), cinnamon toast crunch and caramel pretzel. If the donuts aren’t enough incentive to go there, the coffee is also to die for. They use coffee beans from smaller companies and rotate through brands every couple of months. Some of my favorite coffee is not from big name brands, but the smaller companies I’ve tried there.

Another of my favorite places is the Porcher House, which was built in 1914 for a family big in the citrus business. If there are a few things Brevard County is known for, it’s the citrus industry, Cocoa Beach, and Kennedy Space Center. To have grown up in a small town and an area that is known for so many different things, it makes coming home special.

No trips around the village would be complete without ice cream, even if some of it ended on my shirt later! Walking around took us by the Cocoa Village Playhouse, which was built as the Aladdin Theater in the 1920s. Originally built as a silent movie house, the playhouse now puts on theatrical products every year that do not disappoint. One of the last times I was home in March, some of my family and I saw Mary Poppins and it was just phenomenal!

Even if the weather was brutal and the humidity was off the charts (welcome to Brevard!), this yellow top was perfect. Beside the fact that it is cotton and very light, the color is just the perfect summer top and the tassels are on point with this year’s trends. I found the top and the shorts at the outlets earlier this summer and I am sooo tempted to pick up some more colors! Of course, my staples are back! One of my friends has dubbed these pieces as “McKenna Pieces” because it seems like I always have them on! But I can’t help it because they are so timeless and simple that you can dress them up or down.

That’s all for today, but I cannot wait for school to start back up (words I don’t believe I have ever said!) because that means football, recruitment, and my birthday!! All of which equal new outfits and places to see!

Xo, McKenna

How To: Weekend Packing

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Duffles: Large & Small | Bag: Monogrammed Tote | Cosmetic Bags: similar here & here

It seems like summer is the perfect time for spontaneous weekend getaways and extended vacas. My travel itinerary this summer has been the craziest it has ever been and it has been super helpful so have some great staples on hand and a few tips and tricks in my back pocket.

For any trip, be it short or long, a tried-and-true bag is a must. This summer I’ve been using this cognac leather duffle and it is my new best friend. Aside from the fact that it looks great and has held up very well (even checked it a few weeks ago and there was zero damage!), it holds so much and never feels like I’m carrying a ton of bricks. I’ve received so many compliments each time I have used this bag! It also comes in two sizes, the smaller is ideal as a carry-on or for short trips, while the bigger one is perfect for longer getaways.

Find a sturdy bag that is super versatile! I have a love for big purses and this one has my go to bag this summer! You can completely customize everything to make it yours and again, is the perfect throw it in there bag. The one I have looks like a designer bag at more than half the cost and almost everywhere I go I get compliments. I’ve had it for almost a year now and there has been almost zero signs of wear besides the fact that is not as structured as when I first got it, but I actually like more now that it has been broken in.

I always keep a cosmetic bag stocked with travel sized products. This never gets unpacked and perfectly holds everything I need. I have the basics included: shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, etc. BUT, there are a few other things I keep in there are very out there, but have been lifesavers on occasion:

  1. A Tide To-Go Stick (self-explanatory)

  2. Downy Wrinkle Releaser – this stiff is awesome and a couple sprays can help smooth out wrinkles and makes your clothes smell not like a suitcase
  3. Tide Pod – There have been times when I have highly considered doing a quick load of laundry when travelling, especially if I’m coming home to go off to another place. Because no one wants to have to do a late night load of laundry when you could be sleeping, right?

In addition to these must haves, I’ve got a few packing tips as well!

  • Lay out your outfits before packing to a) make sure you have everything, and b) take pictures of your entire outfit and save it to an album on your phone! Having pictures definitely saves time getting dressed in the morning!
  • Pack each day’s jewelry in individual jewelry bags. I use bags I’ve gotten over the years from jewelry, but you can easily find them! They don’t even have to be jewelry bags, any kind of drawstring bags, like these super cute ones! You can simply grab what you need when getting dressed. If I have a lot of bulky pieces, I will put them all into a bigger jewelry bag to save space and keep my bag organized!
  • Reuse jewelry! Jewelry can take up space, so try and reuse pieces! No one will notice if you’re reusing pieces each day, promise.
  • When packing to go home, fold worn clothes inside out. I do this every time because it’s easy to distinguish what you’ve worn and what you didn’t, and it’s easy to find your worn clothes into the laundry when you unpack!
  • Pack with a plan! Before I begin packing, I always think with these questions in mind:
    1. Will you be using anything morning of? If so, pack that last! Nothing stinks more than digging through a neatly packed bag for that moisturizer you can’t live without.
    2. Bulky stuff on the bottom. I always pack my two cosmetic bags on the bottom because they are flat in addition to bulky and I don’t have to struggle to zip my bag shut. I also do this with shoes to keep my clothes from getting dirty. 
    3. Putting on makeup in the morning? I try not to do a full face of makeup, but if you have to, pull out the minimal number of products and a small cosmetic bag and throw that into your purse after using it or on top in your bag if you have space!
    4. Find and use pockets! Kind of a double meaning, but stick with me. Use any pockets in your bag for smaller things. I use the zippered pocket in my duffle for underwear and socks. BUT, you can also use small crevices between items to fit odd stuff, like a hairbrush or bathing suits.
    5. Do you need it?! I always ask myself this because I am a chronic over-packer. Think about where you are going and whether you need it. Do you need both a straightener and curling iron? Can you reuse any shoes? Regardless of where I am going, whether driving or flying, I always wear bulkier shoes, like sneakers or docksiders.

Wow, that’s a lot of information, but packing is hard! It is a lot of trial and error and I’m still learning! Hopefully, you’ll take some of these tips and tricks for your next getaway! Bon voyage!

Xo, McKenna