Dec. 29, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Georgia football team conducted its final practice of the 2010 season on Wednesday by holding a one-hour walk through at the Memphis University School in preparation for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl versus #24 UCF on Friday, Dec. 31.
The Bulldogs' practice session started 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled to avoid incoming inclement weather.
"They said it's going to rain during the game," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said prior to practice. "It might, but who knows about weather forecasts and all. It's coming any minute here today too. I don't mind getting a little work in the rain. We got a little work in the rain in Athens during this bowl time, which is good. I thought we actually handled the rain pretty good throwing and catching. That's probably the thing you worry about the most, but I think the guys actually did pretty good. A little rain won't hurt us."
On Tuesday night, the Bulldogs had the opportunity to attend a Professional Rodeo at the Argricenter Show Place Arena. Then on Wednesday morning, members of the team visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital while defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and selected defensive players attended a media press conference. Prior to the final workout of the season, the entire Georgia squad took part in a team luncheon.
Grantham stated that he felt the Bulldogs have had a good week of practice in Memphis and throughout all 15 bowl practices, and that the team would conclude the final preparations for UCF by going through situational aspects like red zone, short-yardage and goal line.
"UCF has an explosive offense that starts with their quarterback," Grantham noted. "He's a freshman. He really came on in their game against N.C. State, and they almost came back. He's very accurate, and he's accurate on the move. He can make the first guy miss and he can run, so he's really a duel threat guy and has helped their offense, but they also have other very good skills guys too."
Junior outside linebacker Justin Houston added that the Bulldogs have been competitive in each contest in 2010 while echoing Grantham's sentiments on UCF quarterback Jeff Godfrey.
"Every game we have played this year I think we were in position to win, but we beat ourselves in several of them," Houston said. "Hopefully, we can finish this one off. UCF's quarterback stands out the most to me on their team. His skill level reminds me of other option guys we've played against, but we haven't faced anyone that small and that quick at quarterback."
Senior defensive end DeMarcus Dobbs noted the importance of the bowl game for the Bulldogs.
"We have come a long way this season," Dobbs said. "This game is big to us because everyone is looking forward to going out with a win, but we face a great team in UCF. This is just as big a game for us as it is for UCF because we have to beat a ranked opponent and try to finish with a winning record."
Georgia (6-6) will square off against 24th-ranked UCF (10-3) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN and carried on national radio on SIRIUS channel 120 and XM channel 140. The Bulldogs will be making their 14th consecutive bowl appearance, and UGA ranks as one of the top five bowl teams of all-time in wins and appearances. Georgia is 26-16-3 all-time in bowl games including 7-2 under Richt.