November 29, 2007

Practice notebook: Waiting Game

Don't get the Georgia Bulldogs wrong.
Mark Richt's 4th-ranked squad is very interested in learning where it will spend its New Year's holiday, although that still won't be officially decided even after Saturday's key conference championship and regular season games are complete.

It's a proverbial feast for the football junkie. Just don't expect all the Bulldogs to belly up to the table all at once.

"I'm going bowling," senior running back Kregg Lumpkin said.

"That's not a bad idea. I don't think I'm going to sit there and watch all those games. Matter of fact, I've got a couple of family events that I'll be going to so I know I wont' be watching all those games," Richt said. "Naturally, I'll be curious to what's going on, and when I have time, I'm sure I'll catch a little bit of some of those games."

Georgia's postseason destination is still very much up in the air.

Depending on what happens, the Bulldogs (10-2) could wind up anywhere from Miami in the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., or the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., if Missouri drops the Big 12 championship game to Oklahoma.

"It (Saturday's games) would be really fun to watch if we knew what was going to happen. If so-and-so did this, if so-and-so did that, if we knew what the answer would be it would make it more exciting," Richt said. "But the reality is we could watch all the football we want Saturday but we're not going to know the answer until some people make decisions as to where we're going to go.
"There's so much that is involved in this thing I can't imagine us knowing anything for certain until the middle of the day Sunday, or maybe until they announce it Sunday night."

Pairings for the BCS championship game and the four BCS bowls will be announced on Fox TV Sunday at 7 p.m.

Richt said he will give his assistants and other staff members a choice to come by the office at Butts-Mehre to watch the show, but emphasized he has no preference regarding what BCS bowl his Bulldogs might attend.

Last Sunday, Richt mentioned that the Rose Bowl was the only bowl he has not participated in and some took the coach to mean that he preferred an opportunity to play in California over any of the other opportunities that might be available.
Richt assured the media Thursday that's not the case.

"I want to make sure everybody understands this: I will be excited about ANY opportunity that's given to us. It's just exciting to think about all the possibilities and I believe our players feel the same way," Richt said. "Sometimes people lead you with a certain question and when you read it in the paper it sounds like you prefer one over the other with some of these guys. I do believe that all the bowl experiences are going to be awesome. I did say I'd never been to the Rose, but it probably became a bigger deal than it should have been. I guarantee I'd have a good time in the Orange, Fiesta, or wherever."

Bailey undergoes minor surgery

Receiver Sean Bailey underwent minor surgery Thursday to repair a damaged meniscus that he suffered three weeks ago.
Richt said he expects the senior to be back and ready to play in time for Georgia's bowl.

"He just went in and doctors cleaned some stuff up on his knee," Richt said. "He's going to be fine."

Richt also said there are no problems with running back Knowshon Moreno who was banged up against Georgia Tech, and that senior running back Thomas Brown missed Thursday's light workout to have oral surgery.

Fowler to take over long-snapping duties

Junior Bo Fowler will take over for Jeff Henson as the primary snapper after Henson was suspended for Georgia's bowl game following his DUI arrest on Sunday.

"The big question is who's going to be the No. 2 snapper," Richt said. "Right now, we don't have a backup in case something were to happen to Bo. I've got to ask Coach (David) Johnson who the next snapper would be. I was told (Matthew) Stafford could snap, but I don't think that's an option."

White keeping up with Missouri

Freshman Aron White said he received a lot of good-natured ribbing from friends in his hometown of Columbia, Mo. when he spurned the hometown Missouri Tigers to sign with Georgia.

Now that the Tigers are one win away from a spot in the BCS championship, he's hearing it even more.

"I'm catching a lot of grief from friends back home, but I still think I made the right choice," White said. "But I'm happy for them. I know a lot of those guys."
Missouri plays Oklahoma for the Big 12 championship Saturday night in San Antonio, Tex.

Most Georgia players and fans are rooting for the Sooners, because an Oklahoma win would likely boost Ohio State into the BCS title game opening the door for the Bulldogs to perhaps earn a bid to the Rose Bowl.

"I don't know what's going to happen. Missouri's offense is explosive, they're one of the most exciting teams in the nation" White said. "But Oklahoma's already got them once and have some players on defense, so I don't know. In my mind it's a tossup."

Lumpkin ready to goLumpkin deemed himself 100 percent

after missing the past four games with a knee injury.

"I'm ready to play," Lumpkin said. "I'm excited to finally be back on the field."
Actually, Lumpkin would likely have played this weekend if Georgia had advanced to the SEC Championship game. He'll definitely play in Georgia's bowl.

As far as what bowl that might be, Lumpkin has not preference.

"It doesn't matter, just as long as I get to have that last hurrah, and get to play one more football game with that G on my helmet," Lumpkin said. "That's all I want to do right now."

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