LIVE from Liberty Bowl: A.J. and Russ are in, Uga is out

dogs 002

Russ is in the house! (Literally.) He's got his bowl game face on.

MEMPHIS — Welcome to the end of Georgia’s season. I know. The Liberty Bowl is not what you were expecting, and neither is the modest goal of trying to finish with a winning record. But Memphis is a nice place, particularly if you’re into barbecue, and I can recommend the ribs at the “Germantown Commissary” (albeit not a BBQ-sounding place).

I would’ve saved the bones for Uga VIII but, alas, he has a tummy ache and didn’t make the trip from his palace in Savannah. At least, that’s the word that the Seiler family is putting out. I’m more inclined to think Uga just didn’t want to make his bowl debut at a game so beneath his standards, particularly since he came in as such a highly touted recruit.

Or maybe Uga’’s just academically ineligible like Caleb King. Like everybody else, he lost interest after the Florida game. Like King, he missed five “academic-related appointments” (obedience school).

So, we have this significant change the depth chart: Russ, The Temporary Mascot, is back!

Don’t, worry. Russ has more bowl experience than Aaron Murray: He won the Independence Bowl last year. Come to think of it, maybe Georgia Tech should’ve borrowed Russ last week for its game in Shreveport. Does Russ get holiday pay for this? The poor mutt was probably happy in retirement, playing shuffleboard at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.

But this could be good news for the Dogs. Russ is only 4-4. But he’s 1-0 in bowls and won his last game over Tennessee. Also, Georgia is 3-1 when both Russ and A.J. Green are in the lineup. (Kudos to newshound Tim Tucker for supplying me with that statistic.)

Meanwhile, back here on earth . . .

A loss would give Georgia (6-6) its first losing season since 1996, when the Dogs went 5-6 in Jim Donnan’s first year. Ironically, the last time the Dogs lost in the Independence Bowl was to North Carolina State, which had Donnan at quarterback, in 1967.

Here’s the good news: Donnan is not in Memphis.

But do I think Georgia will lose this game? No. Central Florida will be able to put some points up but in the end I don’t think George O’Leary’s defense will have an answer for Murray-to-Green.

Take one last look at Green because this likely will be his final collegiate game. He most likely will be a top-five NFL pick and I don’t believe the threat of an NFL lockout has any significance. Remember, any college junior who comes out can always take a nice little $1 million loan from an agent to hold him over, just in case the league doesn’t play next season. The potential of a lockout affects mostly mid-to-low-round picks, not first-rounders.

As for the significance of this game, it’s obviously a much bigger deal if the Dogs lose (panic!) than if they win (expected). But going 6-2 after a 1-4 start would be a slight boost going into the offseason.

Not sure what kind of crowd this game will draw but I’m guessing not great. The last report was that the Dogs had sold only 5,000 tickets for this game and gave about 1,000 tickets away for staff and families. That would still leave about 4,000 from its 10,000-ticket allotment.

If you missed them, here are links to a couple of stories from the week worth looking at:

Tucker’s story on Murray, who’s about to break every significant, single-season Georgia passing record as a freshman.

– Tucker’s piece on the homecoming and disappointing season by Marlon Brown, a highly touted receiver out of Memphis.

That’s it for now. I’ll be here to report on the game and all of Russ’s movements.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

2,311 comments Add your comment

Headley Lamar

December 31st, 2010
1:36 pm

Headley Lamar

December 31st, 2010
1:37 pm

Georgia will play in its 46th bowl game, sixth most in college football history.

The Bulldogs have won 26 times in the post season. Only Alabama, Southern Cal and Penn St. have won more bowl games than Georgia.

Steve

December 31st, 2010
1:50 pm

Hey Tech fans, pretty funny how the local paper in your city did not sent anyone to cover your little bowl game yet we get a live blog for the UGA game. Tells you how relevant your football team is. Go Dawgs!

Enrico Palazzo

December 31st, 2010
1:50 pm

Jeff,
Do we know who is singing the National Anthem today?

Steve

December 31st, 2010
1:50 pm

*send, not sent.

how2fish

December 31st, 2010
1:51 pm

Hope we can pull the trigger on Murray to A.J a few times and hope we get the underclassmen some playing time and not get anyone hurt on either team. God Dogs !

Dawg A

December 31st, 2010
1:52 pm

Yes!!!! A blog that is not political!!! Thank you Jeff! Maybe we will get back to sports!

Caleb King's father

December 31st, 2010
1:53 pm

He didn’t know! He didn’t know!

Wha? This is about academics? Oh…that excuse had been working for everyone else.

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
1:53 pm

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
1:03 pm
Jeff
I know you at the stadium and will give the injury update when you get set-up, but How is the SPREAD? did they feed you good? Is this UGA game a Locks or Bagel?
Is RUSS looking good? Did they paint his butt for this game? They need to let RUSS win or lose in his own skin color. Will RUSS be 5-4 or 4-5 for his career record?

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RxDawg

December 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

I’m ready to leave this season behind. Let’s hope it’s with a winning record. Go Dawgs!

Steve

December 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

Poor “5150POAD.” Still miserable over the recent Tech loss to UGA? Why do you come on UGA blogs if you are not a fan? Other then the fact that you are a loser with no friends.

Paul the Octopus

December 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

Russ is on the sidelines? Hmmm…this might change my prediction.

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
1:57 pm

Second? I’ve never been close to first

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
1:57 pm

Nah….didn’t think so…

Michael Scott

December 31st, 2010
1:58 pm

That’s what she said.

hbcuclassics

December 31st, 2010
1:58 pm

HBCU Classics All-Americans

Offense:
QB Matthew Johnson, Bethune**
QB Stanley Jennings, Albany St**
RB Walter Sanders, St. Augustine
RB DeAngelo Branche, Norfolk St
RB Frank Warren, Grambling – broke Walter Payton’s rushing records
WR Raymond Webber, UAPB
WR Ronnie Childs, Albany St
WR Lennel Elmore, SC State
OL David Mims, VA Union
OL Johnny Culbreath, SC State
OL Mike Mavromichalis, Albany St
OL Natiel Curry, Bethune
OL Josh Harrison, SC State

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

Hey POAD….nice to see you on here. I’ve been AWOL for a few weeks. Hope you had a good holiday

Kramer

December 31st, 2010
2:01 pm

Can’t decide whether or not I’m excited about this game or not. Oh what the hell, I’ll pour a bourbon and root the Dawgs on. A complete beatdown would be nice. Happy New Years Dog fans!

Jerry Maguire

December 31st, 2010
2:03 pm

Let’s see what kind of trouble I can stir up this bowl season. Mwhahaha.

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
2:03 pm

Steve I am not Miserable over the TECH loss. I watched the UT v UNC game. I am watching the Clemson v UCF game. Do you only watch the Dawgs? I have been preparing tomorrows meal too.
JEFF SCHULTZ can I be on your BLOG today. I know it is not a UGA blog it is a AJC Jeff Schultz blog, but the Dawgs seem to think only they are allowed to be here.
I hate preparing the Collard Greens but damn they are so good for New Years day. Cream Corn with Kracklin Cornbread is almost ready too. Hell yes the Ham just went in the smoker. Mouth is watering already. I hate waiting for tomorrow to eat.

Dawg A

December 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Jeff…. How different is the talent level between Ga and CF?

dawgfan

December 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Are you effing kidding me? The AJC sent Schultz to cover this crap LIVE?

OWNED.

Karen Carpenter

December 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Don’t eat too much!!

Michael Jordan's annoying kid from UCF

December 31st, 2010
2:07 pm

UCF is the best!! Bring it on all ya’ll haters!! Ya’ll gettin’ served!!

Right, dad?
Dad?
Dad?

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
2:09 pm

Good Luck Dawg555
Karen you can have some collards if you want but NO MEAT FOR YOU.

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
2:09 pm

Where are the blackeyed peas?

Bogen H.

December 31st, 2010
2:09 pm

I’ve never understood how anyone – even an alumnus – could support and take pride in UGA’s football team. When you look at their history for the past forty years, how can anyone ignore Jan Kemp and the “remedial studies” scam, the Jim Harrick fiasco, the DUIs in the athletic office, the DUIs and other arrests of players, the #1 party school tag (i.e., the most drunk students), the suspensions and outright dismissals, the Fulmer Cup, and on and on?

As disgraceful and humiliating as it is, I don’t see many alums and fans demanding an end to this sordid activity. It sets UGA apart as the kind of school most people abhor, and it’s become an embarrassment to the whole state of Georgia.

Will it never end? Apparently not while Saint Mark Richt is at UGA. Richt is perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States. But even with all the cheating and lawlessness that he ignores, he still can’t win the SEC.

UCF 34, UGAy 17. The good guys win.

And UGA will be at home sh*tting all over himself.

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5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
2:12 pm

Clemson’s Parker is out for the 2nd half with broken ribs. He has sucked today anyway. USF is pushing Clemson around on the D-line. Parker should have taken the MLB money and ran.
What do you DAWGS think about BREY @ UT? How about Dooley’s Passion on the sidelines? UT is real young and every since BREY has played they have gotten better.

UGA 1

December 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

I was impressed with Brey….despite the OT interception. Felt bad for the kid

how2fish

December 31st, 2010
2:17 pm

Bogen H. I really hope you get everything you deserve in the upcoming year… 5150 P.O.A.D. your menu sounds great I’d add a few blackeye peas and a pecan pie and yummy yummy I got love in my tummy! Hope your meal and year are great!

Country Boy

December 31st, 2010
2:18 pm

I like Russ. I miss Larry.

Michael Jordan's annoying kid from UCF

December 31st, 2010
2:21 pm

Charlie Weis…new UF offensive coordinator.
?

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
2:23 pm

I think Derek has a lot of Barbara in him. Never saw Vince show that much emotion, except maybe a time or 2. I think UT has some good days ahead with their coach and young talent. The UT faithful that I know seem way more optimistic than we do for next year

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
2:25 pm

H2Fish
Blackeyed peas will get cooked tomorrow. We have Cheese cake, Chocolate Cake and Pecan Pie my sisters made for Christmas still left over. We are covered on the sweets. AHAHAA

robertussen

December 31st, 2010
2:26 pm

dont kill this one too. love my dawgs but we’re becoming the new mike vick

Vance Duuley

December 31st, 2010
2:26 pm

Is RUSS looking good? Did they paint his butt for this game?

Yes, how is the stupid mutt’s ass today?

Will they be painting Richt’s butt too?

And when are they going to announce the players suspended for curfew violations and drunkeness last night?

1eyedJack

December 31st, 2010
2:26 pm

The sun shines on Russ’ azz today! Go Dawgs!!

Elvis

December 31st, 2010
2:27 pm

You should have some fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches with that.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2010
2:27 pm

POAD — Yes, my blog is open to all. Be prepared to take some abuse from Georgia fans but I know you’ll tough it out.

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
2:28 pm

The ONLY thing missing for tomorrow is the MNC game at night. I hate having all these bowl games in the middle of the week and 5 months after New Years Day.

blazerdawg

December 31st, 2010
2:29 pm

Eat well RAT and have a good 2011.

Go DAWGS!!

how2fish

December 31st, 2010
2:29 pm

5150 P.O.A.D. sounds like my house I had X-mas dinner for 10 and we still have a TON of food. Talk to you next year have a safe and happy new year all of you !

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2010
2:30 pm

Dawg A — Here’s a general rule to follow: Every Division 1 team has talent. But what tends to happen in matchups like this is the talent runs through the depth chart at bigger programs like Georgia but it drops off after the starters at smaller programs like Central Florida. That’s why sometimes you see smaller programs hang for a while but wear down later in the game.

Michael Jordan's annoying kid from UCF

December 31st, 2010
2:31 pm

Jeff,
Do you have any contacts that confirm any of the Charlie Weis to Florida rumors?

Dawg A

December 31st, 2010
2:33 pm

That makes sense!! Thanks Jeff! Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 31st, 2010
2:35 pm

Well Clemson just trew a pick and USF just drove down to start the 4th. USF 31 Clemson 13. USF is showing that FLORIDA High School players SPEED.

dawgfan

December 31st, 2010
2:36 pm

Bogen H,

6 bowl losses in a row.

9 outta 10 to UGA.

6-7 ACC laughingstock.

I’m glad it all hurts so much sore loser.

Happy New Year

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Dawg555

December 31st, 2010
2:40 pm

I miss the days of waking up with the champagne hangover, laying on the couch all day and watching all the top bowl games from sunup to sundown. Now we can all look forward to the GoDaddy.com and Fight Hunger Bowls after NY day. Yippee