It’s official: UGA vs. Central Florida in Liberty Bowl

It’s official. Georgia will play in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

What became apparent eight days ago became official late this afternoon, when the Liberty Bowl formally announced that Georgia will play in the New Year’s Eve game in Memphis. The opponent will be Central Florida, coached by former Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary.

The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by ESPN.

Georgia’s invitation to the Liberty had been expected since the Bulldogs clinched bowl eligibility by beating Georgia Tech on Nov. 27. In an interview about an hour after that game, Liberty Bowl executive director Steve Ehrhart made it pretty clear his bowl intended to invite the Bulldogs (6-6).

The only thing that could have derailed the Dogs’ invitation might have been if the SEC had not put two teams in BCS bowls.

Central Florida clinched its berth in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday by beating SMU 17-7 in the Conference USA championship game. The Knights are 10-3 and ranked No. 24 in this week’s coaches poll.

The Liberty Bowl will feature two dynamic young quarterbacks: Central Florida freshman Jeff Godfrey and Georgia redshirt freshman Aaron Murray. They rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the nation in passing efficiency among freshmen this season — Godfrey at 165.28 and Murray at 162.72. Murray has passed for 2,851 yards and 24 touchdowns, Godfrey for 2,042 and 13 touchdowns. Godfrey also has 546 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Georgia is in a bowl game for the 14th consecutive season.

This will be the Bulldogs’ third trip to the Liberty Bowl and their first in 23 years. The Dogs lost to N.C. State 14-7 in the 1967 game and defeated Arkansas 20-17 in the 1987 game on John Kasay’s 39-yard final-play-of-the-game field goal.

While head coach at Georgia Tech from 1995-2001, O’Leary faced Georgia seven times, posting a 3-4 record vs. the Bulldogs. His Tech teams won three in a row against Georgia from 1998-2000. In the only meeting of an O’Leary-coached Tech team vs. a Mark Richt-coached Georgia team, the Bulldogs won 31-17 in 2001.

Check back to AJC.com for a full report on the local and national bowl picture later tonight.

401 comments Add your comment

UGA Alumnus

December 5th, 2010
5:39 pm

Love Mark Richt-Hate Coach Richt

December 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

It’s official – we stink. Last year was the Independence Bowl and this year the Liberty Bowl. No excuse whatsoever.

UGA Alumnus

December 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

UCF

December 5th, 2010
5:42 pm

O’Leary owns the leghumpers – Go Knights!

hipdawg

December 5th, 2010
5:43 pm

I hope it is a fresh start on things,like playing a little defense!!

Dawgs Run This State!

December 5th, 2010
5:43 pm

Auburn… 2010 SEC Champs*

UGA Alumnus

December 5th, 2010
5:43 pm

It’s time that the Dawg Nation learn to accept it’s University and it’s student athletes under all circumstances. The student athletes give a lot. Nobody, no team, can be the best in the universe at all times! Support you team. We don’t stink. We have talent. Yes we’ve lost some games. Big deal. It was still fun to watch the Dawgs this season.

And that’s what it’s about… fun.

Go Dawgs!

USMC DAWG

December 5th, 2010
5:45 pm

Wow, can’t wait to see what gifts are put in the players’ gift baskets. Spark plugs, and windshield wipers? Long gone are the days of top 10 finishes, New Years’ bowls. The SS Richt is sinking fast.

Herald

December 5th, 2010
5:46 pm

Go Knights!!!!!!! We can beat a bunch of redneck thugs with no problem.

Beeeeg Boy

December 5th, 2010
5:46 pm

Well said UGA Alumnus!!!!!

College Football Expert

December 5th, 2010
5:47 pm

this team deserves the terrible bowl it back doored into

wildbill

December 5th, 2010
5:49 pm

Patrick Henry would say, “Give me liberty or give me death”. I wonder what he would say about the dawgs today. GO DAWGS!

collegeballfan

December 5th, 2010
5:52 pm

A bowl is a bowl is a bowl. Once the game starts it does not matter where you are playing.

That is a couple weeks practice and hopefully the younger players will get in position of challenge the starters for playing time.

George Washington

December 5th, 2010
5:52 pm

great….. We need to pay more for our “student-athletes.”

Tommy

December 5th, 2010
5:55 pm

I won’t consdier thiws a bowel game,rather another game the team gets to play with pay. I wouldn’t brag about going upagainst UCF. Leary may beat Ga. Maybe Bobo will be out of town for the holidays.

Brad

December 5th, 2010
5:55 pm

UGA made it to a bowl game? WAREAGLE!!

Office Space

December 5th, 2010
5:55 pm

Take care of Central Florida knowing your next game is Boise State, 1st game of the ‘11 season.
Go Dawgs!!

benadawg

December 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

Damn, Music city would have been better for me as far as travel, but its another bowl game if you win you should have, if you lose you get laughed at….Go Dawgs!!!!!

Jaydawg

December 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

Getting rid of Willie Martinez & cutting down on turnovers has enabled our great coaching staff to get us back to the top! Memphis here we come!-Just kidding,its either laugh or cry.

Dumbo

December 5th, 2010
5:59 pm

College Football Expert….I bet you your school Tech, goes to Shreveport….what gonna say then buttbreath

ChambleeBraves

December 5th, 2010
6:00 pm

Don’t sleep on UCF.They have a true FR at QB who is really turning some heads down there.

Glenu

December 5th, 2010
6:00 pm

It’s not what Bowl your in it’s whether you win it or not-

Dumbo

December 5th, 2010
6:00 pm

Damn lot Techies on this site…must be ashamed to even admit it, right Techies

Bruce

December 5th, 2010
6:01 pm

Mark Richt in the past has been a fine coach and is great
recruiter.But Under the old atheitic Directer he has gotten
to comfortable/lazy.He’s having to many off the field problems
with the kids. He’s lacking in discipline with himself and his players

Hector

December 5th, 2010
6:02 pm

After the “Ding-Dong” Bowl, we’ll be 6-7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keith

December 5th, 2010
6:03 pm

If Richt had an ounce of class he would have turned down the bowl offer and told his players they didn’t play well enought to go to a bowl. Of course the Bulldog nation trots out tired excuses like the seniors deserve it or it gives the team an extra couple of weeks of practice. Hogwash. There are too many bowls. Limit it to the top 26 teams and everyone has to play someone ranked within 3 spots of each other.

BobDog

December 5th, 2010
6:03 pm

Memphis will be a great place to go for New Year’s Eve.

Godogs

December 5th, 2010
6:03 pm

@ UGA Almnus… We do support our team. We pay for season tickets, and most of us have done so for quite a while. I think it’s time you faced the truth. This year, we do stink. I’m not saying we are going to hell in handbasket, but we were bad. I do agree that we have talent, but to have that much talent and be 6-6 is very indicative of “Stink.” this being said, I will be at the bowl game bleeding red and black, and I can’t wait to see our improvements next year. Go dawgs!!

Dumbo

December 5th, 2010
6:03 pm

Techies go home and stroke your slide rulers or something…but not matter what you Techies say, UGA whomped the stinger off of old Buzz this year….now 9 out of 10 times

Keith

December 5th, 2010
6:04 pm

…and Tech doesn’t deserve a bowl either!

War SEC champ Eagle

December 5th, 2010
6:08 pm

You could get out coached (again).
Don’t underestimate O’Leary. He’d like nothing better than to win this game.
You’ve got a no win situation. You should win this as if you were playing a Pop Warner league team. But if O’Leary pulls this off, oh man, the horror.

Supervisor

December 5th, 2010
6:08 pm

Too Bad only those who attended UGA can’ t be the only one’s who post. The obnoxious comments from fans we don’t want or need would go away…;

Boca Baby

December 5th, 2010
6:10 pm

Brad: Auburn is going to have hell to pay next year without Cam Newton and four of five of your offensive line gone. Enjoy your success via cheating while it lasts. There is a host of teams chomping at the bit to get you on the field next year. Payback is going to be hell, Padna!

Supervisor

December 5th, 2010
6:10 pm

I can understand disappointment, fine. But state it in a way respectful to the University………

layinlow

December 5th, 2010
6:11 pm

So would millions and millions of dollars in funding you ignorant sob. There are fans who didn’t attend UGA who have given a lot of money and probably where cheering for UGA before you were born.

Horsefeathers

December 5th, 2010
6:12 pm

Be thankful UGA is going to a bowl. The liberty bowl is a good bowl and I am glad the dawgs are playing there. Memphis has worked hard to make that a good bowl. UCF has over 56,000 students compared to neary 35,000 for UGA, so don’t think that UGA is playing a ’small school’. Just get over it and enjoy the bowls.

Horsetoothedjackass

December 5th, 2010
6:12 pm

The Liberty Bowl is better no bowl at all. There’s no satisfying some of you in Bulldog Nation, is there? You have to take the good with the bad.

TDone

December 5th, 2010
6:13 pm

Dumbo, why is this so important to you?

layinlow

December 5th, 2010
6:14 pm

And I’ll bet your parents are UGA fans and did they attend the University? I’m sure they paid for you’re tution to the school. Hopefully you could see the hypocrisy in that junior.

Eric

December 5th, 2010
6:19 pm

Georgia certainly doesn’t deserve to go to a bowl game with a .500 season. Nobody does playing crap football. I like the days when a bowl game meant something, not just another 100k in someone’s wallets. I hope Georgia gets whooped by UCF and then next year by Boise, so I can get a laugh. Bring on March Madness and the NHL, and some good pro football. Enjoy Memphis you faithful “dawgs” you, and make sure you eat some good BBQ!

UGA '79

December 5th, 2010
6:19 pm

Only those who attended and graduated from UGA should be allowed to have an opinion that counts on anything to do with UGA — including the football team. IOW, the pickup truck alums should jus’ take they deddy’s shotguns and blow they branes owt.

DawginOH

December 5th, 2010
6:20 pm

Well, Memphis is a much better destination than Shreveport and a great place to spend New Year’s Eve- great BBQ, music scene, fun bars, etc. Looking forward to it! Go Dawgs!!

Your Breath Smells Like Fried Fish Tacos

December 5th, 2010
6:24 pm

O’Leary is a cheat similar to the plainsman.

The Blair Miss Project

December 5th, 2010
6:32 pm

<————- WIDE LEFT <—————

Any minute, we should get the official "Tech to Shreveport" announcement :)

RxDawg

December 5th, 2010
6:34 pm

” I’m not saying we are going to hell in handbasket, but we were bad.”

Ya know, with a 6-6 record it’s pretty easy to say that and feel that way. But think about… how many of those 6 loses were but whoopins? None. We even went toe to toe with the best semipro team in the nation in Auburn. Really, the only true low spot of the season was losing to Colorado. That was pathetic… but I digress. Yeh 6-6 pretty much stinks but I still say were not that far from BCS bowl caliber play and SEC champions.

Truly, I think we recruited a bunch of bad players that didn’t have what it takes on and off the field. We’ve been a bad team for about 3 years now, which is also about the same time a player’s career takes place. The Dawgs will be back again soon. Go Dawgs!

GTFan

December 5th, 2010
6:36 pm

I would rather take the Liberty then us going to Shreveport. The way I look at things is both UGA and Tech are going to have to step up their programs next year. Hell, both teams should be lucky they got a bowl game.

pepp dawg

December 5th, 2010
6:38 pm

I was hoping, for once, to NOT read any postings about Auburn. I’m sick of Auburn! But I’m also sick of the obssessed dawgs who just can’t let it go. It’s not normal. Go Dawgs!!!

Dead Mike

December 5th, 2010
6:39 pm

Bring back Donnan!

P-Cola Dog

December 5th, 2010
6:42 pm

How ironic, , hilarious and fitting it is to see the Jackets headed to Shreveport…. after all the trash talk last year! Funny how things work out. I am predicting 0-6 in bowl games when all said and done for GT.

Track 'em!

December 5th, 2010
6:44 pm

War Eagle!
How ’bout them Tigers!
SEC Champs!

Oh yeah, congrats to UGA on the big bowl invite. Good luck.

Now, back to WAR EAGLE!!!