November 11, 2009

Owens: 'Bowl would mean a lot'

Ok, so Georgia's bowl future is not looking quite as exciting as it was this time a year ago.

Still, according to defensive tackle Jeff Owens, getting to a bowl - any bowl - is weighing heavily on the Bulldogs' collective minds as Georgia (5-4, 3-3) enters Saturday's game at Auburn needing one victory to qualify for the coveted extra game.

"It would mean a lot," Owens said. "This isn't a spring, it's a marathon. We started our rough, but we still have three games to go and we want to finish strong. We think we can still finish 8-4."

If that happens, do not rule out the Bulldogs perhaps sneaking into a game like the Outback Bowl, assuming both Florida and Alabama are playing in BCS games.

To do that, the Bulldogs would have to beat Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech, a tall order to be sure.

If not, a 7-5 or 6-6 record would likely land the Bulldogs in the Music City, Liberty or Independence Bowls.

Rivals.com predicts Georgia will play Missouri in the Independence Bowl against Missouri, while ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach projects the Bulldogs will play North Carolina in the Music City.

Windy day for practice

One day after practicing in steady rain, Georgia braved high winds Wednesday at the Woodruff Practice Facility.

Richt's hoping for a calmer day Thursday.

"I think the wind was blowing like 14 to 20 miles per hour today, and that's not ideal conditions to throw," said Richt. "We hope tomorrow will be a pretty day like it's supposed to be on Saturday. We got our work in; we've got a solid plan."

Richt added sophomore flanker A.J. Green and sophomore defensive end Justin Houston have returned to practice and will be available against the Tigers. They missed this past Saturday's game with injuries.

"A.J. looked like A.J. Green out there today, which is a good thing," said Richt. "I think Justin might've been in a green jersey today but he's moving around and we expect both will play."

Long scheduled to visit doctor

Richt said that injured freshman Austin Long is to be examined by a doctor this December to try to gauge the progress the young offensive lineman had made since his back surgery last March.

"There's a possibility that it's healed, but that's what I believe are going to try and determine."

Richt had originally hoped that the young offensive lineman would be able to get some work in during bowl preparations but that will not be the case.

"He's not doing much," Richt said. "He's doing stuff in the tub, and he can do the elliptical bike; I think that's the extent."

This and that

Richt said that backup safety Quintin Banks has a dislocated finger but is expected to play Saturday. … Offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant (ACL) is healing right on schedule. "He's very excited about the repair," Richt said. "This one is so much different than the first one because there was less damage. He feels it's a great repair and is really excited about his future." Richt said that Sturdivant will not be ready able to participate in spring drills but hopes to have him ready for preseason. … Running back Caleb King (broken jaw) said he hopes to be allowed to start eating solid food in another week. King broke his jaw against LSU. Despite his strict liquid diet, King said his weight never got below 208 pounds. He said he currently weighs 212. … Richt said Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has a great system that the Tigers have been able to adapt and post some of the top offensive numbers in the SEC. "It's not some kind of gimmick, it's an outstanding system that he has been able to run with players that he inherited," said Richt. "It worked in high school, it worked at Tulsa, and now it's working at Auburn." The Tigers rank 10th in the nation in rushing offense (230 yards per game) and are tied for 11th in scoring offense (35 points per game). Auburn is on pace to set a school record for total offense. The Tigers have had 24 scoring drives this season that have taken less than two minutes, and 21 of those ended with touchdowns.

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