SHREVEPORT, La. — Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran did not play in the first quarter of Monday’s Independence Bowl as punishment for missing a disciplinary running session.
Curran entered the game in the second quarter and by halftime was tied for the team lead in tackles with five. He finished with eight tackles, second most on the team.
Coach Mark Richt said after the game that Curran’s benching was “not a huge deal at all, other than he had an early-morning run and our policy is that he would not get to play the first quarter of the game.”
Curran said he was required to run because “I had a dentist appointment I went to when I should have been at practice and Coach Richt felt I didn’t communicate too well. … But it was nothing too bad.”
Curran had started Georgia’s first 12 games and earlier this month was named the team’s MVP. He leads the SEC in tackles.
Not playing the first quarter of the bowl “was really tough,” Curran said, “but at the same time it got me pumped up.”
Georgia won’t lose money on unsold tickets to the Independence Bowl, executive associate athletics director Frank Crumley said.
Between tickets sold (7,000-plus) and tickets used as comps for players’ families, UGA staff and band, Georgia wound up needing about 9,000 of its 12,000-ticket allotment, Crumley said.
He said the SEC will compensate a school for up to 3,000 unsold bowl tickets, meaning Georgia won’t be on the hook for unused tickets.
Except for Georgia’s 3,000 unused seats, 49,000-seat Independence Stadium appeared full on Monday. Overwhelmingly, the crowd was decked in A&M maroon.
After all expenses associated with the bowl — travel, coaches’ bonuses, etc. — Georgia will come close to breaking even on the trip, Crumley said.