Bulldogs resume practice, ready to feast on Outback Bowl opportunity

Georgia tight end Aron White displays good hands, passing a Bloomin' Onion while holding ribs as quarterback Aaron Murray looks on Thursday at Outback. (UGA photo by Steve Colquitt)

Georgia tight end Aron White displays good hands, passing a Bloomin' Onion while holding ribs as quarterback Aaron Murray looks on Thursday at Outback. (UGA photo by Steve Colquitt)

ATHENS — Just back from an Outback Bowl luncheon over in Athens. The local franchise on Atlanta Highway hosted the entire football team and support staff to a late lunch of Bloomin’ Onions, salad, ribs, shrimp, steak, chicken and lobster tail. It really is quite a sight to observe the likes of John Jenkins and Cordy Glenn sit down for an all-you-can-eat, meat-fest. Rumors that the event put the restaurant out of business proved unfounded.

Meanwhile, with final exams now behind them, the Bulldogs returned to practice on Thursday for their first of a dozen or so workouts before their Jan. 2 Outback Bowl date with Michigan State. It has been nearly two weeks since Georgia’s humbling 42-10 loss to No. 1 LSU in the SEC Championship Game, so it took a while for the Dogs to get back in the swing of things.

“Being out of the element for a week and a half, I kind of felt sluggish and out of it a little bit,” senior cornerback Brandon Boykin said. “I know I made a few mistakes today. But, like Coach Richt said, that’s typical when you’ve been off a little while. So we’re just trying to get back in the groove of things. We’ll definitely be a lot smoother and a lot cleaner as the week goes on.”

Coach Mark Richt actually hit the road for some in-home recruiting visits and was not in attendance for Thursday’s festivities. Otherwise, it appeared most everybody else was present, though a certain beleaguered tailback could not be spotted among the dozens of players (don’t read too much into that because it may not mean anything).

It was an informal affair so there weren’t any in-depth media opportunities. But I did catch up with a couple of players for some quick, casual interviews.

In general, the Bulldogs claimed to be fully engaged and motivated for this year’s bowl game, their 15th in a row.

“There’s a lot of incentive,” Boykin said. “We want to top the season off. We lost our bowl game last year, so that’s something to definitely be motivated about. We’re coming off a loss in our last game, so we definitely want to win again and finish our season 11-3 rather than 10-4. And we want to play well to carry over to next season. So there’s all that.”

Said junior wide receiver Tavarres King: “We’d be one of seven or eight teams to have an 11-win season here. That’s motivation enough for me, to be up there among the great teams that have come through Georgia. And [losing a bowl game] is something I personally don’t want to experience again. Looking back, that was rough. We don’t want to have to do that this year.”

The uninspired Bulldogs lost to Central Florida 10-6 in the Liberty Bowl last year. It was only the third bowl loss under Richt and first one in five years.

Georgia is expected to have its hands full with the Spartans (10-3), who like the Bulldogs lost in their conference championship game. Michigan State lost to Wisconsin 42-39 in the first Big Ten title game. Its other losses were to Notre Dame (31-13) and Nebraska (24-3).

“We’re starting to watch a lot of film now,” Boykin said. “I know they’ve got a great quarterback, an excellent offense and they have one of the best defenses in the nation as well. So they’re very similar to us in the way they finished the season and their record and everything as well. They’ve got our attention.”

Said King: “They’re a game away from playing in the BCS, so they’re a tough bunch. They play extremely hard, they’re very fundamentally sound and they’re not going to beat themselves. We we’ve got to be ready to take care of business.”

There’s a media day function on Friday and practice every day through Tuesday, so much check back for more updates.

NOTES: Freshman outside linebacker Sterling Bailey will undergo foot surgery on Friday, according to his father, Kevin Bailey. Bailey tore metatarsal ligaments in practice this past Saturday. The recovery will force Bailey to miss spring practice but, barring setbacks, he’ll be back in time for camp next summer. Bailey (6-5, 275) was redshirted this season due to shoulder surgery last spring. . . . Punter Drew Butler was on crutches and had his left foot in a walking boot for what he said was a minor ankle injury. “It’s no big deal,” he said. . . . Defensive end Derrick Lott was also on crutches for an unknown leg injury.

139 comments Add your comment

zulucanibal

December 15th, 2011
5:33 pm

Bright Idea

December 15th, 2011
5:34 pm

“may not mean a thing.” Were you referring to the mysterious IC? If UGA just goes through the motions preparing for Mich. St. this game will get ugly. After Bama destroyed them last year they will be ready.

bucket

December 15th, 2011
5:34 pm

I hate to hear that about Sterling. I was hoping for a breakout season next year from him. Praying for a quick recovery for an awesome young man!

shipyard dawg

December 15th, 2011
5:38 pm

shipyard dawg

December 15th, 2011
5:39 pm

UGA89

December 15th, 2011
5:42 pm

Sure hope Crowell is not in the DAWG House again…
Or worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

reality DAWG

December 15th, 2011
5:44 pm

IC missing again?????? Ouch how many opportunities does he need? With Marshall coming in he had better get his act together …. and SOON

The DAWGS had better take this game serious. Much can be gained but much can be lost. Start 0-2 and finish 0-2 kind of takes away from the 10-0 middle. Get it together big guys.

Go DAWGS!

bruce mac

December 15th, 2011
5:44 pm

Dalton Dawg

December 15th, 2011
5:45 pm

You have to like this years team. They all have their priorities in line and are more focused than last year. I also like the fact that coach Richt was out on the recruiting trail which is big. The other coach’s are fine recruiters but coach Richt is one of the best and he knows with us a little behind he has taken the bull by the horns and recrutiing hard himself. I have never heard a recruit not say they don’t like him which speaks volumes. No one gets them all but before it’s said and done we will have one fine class which we always do but we have to keep coaching them up and add depth. Go Dawgs!!!!!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 15th, 2011
5:48 pm

Not read much into it? Unsure of what he may have had going on outside of football, but boy he is a guy who could use some good positive team building moments like this and those that will go along with all the festivities of Bowl Week. He really needs to show to his team and himself that he can be one of the guys and grow into a positive influence on incoming RB’s down the road. At first blush though him not being present really does sound worrysome.

Bob

December 15th, 2011
5:54 pm

Rut Row…looks like Sterling Bailey may be our latest version of Albert Hollis. Hope he gets to contribute.

Augusta dawg

December 15th, 2011
6:07 pm

May need Gurkey more than we know. Hope that is where Richt was

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
6:27 pm

Next season UGA will win the National Championship

Harold

December 15th, 2011
6:31 pm

Hunker down Hairy Dawgs!!!

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
6:31 pm

And the next
And the next
And the next

cdawg

December 15th, 2011
6:32 pm

Enter your comments here

LakeDawg

December 15th, 2011
6:38 pm

CMR is recruiting the RB’s that will make IC irrelevent. I wouldn’t worry about him.

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
6:43 pm

yes I love all this recruiting talk

UGA has led everyone in recruiting east of the Mississippi for a decade now

pass the kool-aid Will Turner

Un-Tank

December 15th, 2011
6:45 pm

As long as IC is on the team no other RB is going to make him irrelevant.

kral

December 15th, 2011
6:50 pm

Except FlA..and they beaten every sec. team east of the Miss. more than they have lost to them except FLA.and they Have not always out recruited AUB or TENN

Glenn

December 15th, 2011
6:50 pm

Hope everyone made the grades to play in the bowl. Although there is only one that I have heard may have problems. I guess we will find out soon enough.

Toccoa Dawg

December 15th, 2011
6:54 pm

I hope the team has a good surgeon. Lord knows he is getting enough work. Get Well Soon Sterling

Mister Pants

December 15th, 2011
6:57 pm

So my question is if Georgia loses to Michigan State, that puts UGA at a 4 loss season. Should Richt get that contract extension they’re talking about?

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
6:59 pm

Mr. Turner; seems like we have our first crew member.

A Mr. kral.

Offer him a glass of our finest UGA kool-aid and see if he will come aboard

UGA Junior

December 15th, 2011
6:59 pm

Crowell is academically ineligible.

kral

December 15th, 2011
7:01 pm

Only if you make me admiral and I get to mix up the kool-aide

teewest

December 15th, 2011
7:09 pm

Well, one thing is for sure Coach Richt will have a major challenge with Crowell. But if I had to choose one Man who could help him it would be Coach Richt. This guy never once proclaimed himself to be “The One” the Bulldawg nation did that all by themselves. Can’t help but wonder how many that are ready to run him outta Dodge, have kids JUST like him. Attitude and all!! OR they themselves are same type selfish-me-me-me type guy!! from what I’ve seen the kid could be the second best running back ever to wear the Red and Black. So why to the haste to tar and feather the Child?? If he gets kicked off the team so be it, he is not the first nor will he be the LAST. Actually this type situation will be far more common in College Football than any of us like.

jdawg

December 15th, 2011
7:11 pm

I got it from a reliable source a week ago Tuesday that Crowell was finished at UGA. They knew that he had no shot a making grades. They are going to let him transfer with no messy business, or if he decides to stay, there will be big changes in his approach to life. He has been a major pain in the a$$ all year long. The final week of practice before the championship was the icing on the cake. I know for a fact that Richt was in Marshall’s living room on Sunday night after the game, if that gives you any idea of how important getting him was. It’s a shame about Crowell, but I was warned about his attitude problems early in the fall when he was looking good and everyone was loving how he looked. I dismissed the warnings then, but I know better now.

kral

December 15th, 2011
7:15 pm

be careful who you recruit for your ship…it ain’t rocket science …i sorry your era wouldn’t get that

Bad Dawg

December 15th, 2011
7:15 pm

Richt should not get an extension unless he finds a way to beat Michigan State soundly and navigates through next year’s easy schedule back to the SEC championship game and actually compete with the big boys in this conference. Until then I think his status is tbd but you know how dawg fans are, give us 9-10 wins with victories over auburn,tech, and florida and we’re on cloud nine.

jdawg

December 15th, 2011
7:19 pm

Good job Bad Dawg. What an original and well thought out post.

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
7:20 pm

Mr. Turner

Seems like we will have to keep an eye on Mr. kral so that he does not pass out too much of our finest kool-aid and we have a mutiney on our hands and they steal the Pearl and head back to the shipping port of Athens GA.

They make some of the finest kool-aid in the world there in Athens by the way.

kral

December 15th, 2011
7:24 pm

It twood be more to the south and..I know twood…trying to get in the spirit..leave that alone Mr. Turner and you get first pick of the wenches

Bad Dawg

December 15th, 2011
7:25 pm

jdawg, Do you have a problem with my post? (I could have left out the dry humor but hey I was at least being honest)

Taco Meat

December 15th, 2011
7:26 pm

Blah, blah, blah… all the speculation about Crowell is a bunch of crap. The kid is eligible and will be fine. Get over yourselves. Do you people really think these kids don’t have a life outside of UGA and football? What if there was an urgent matter that he needed to go back to Columbus for? Sheesh, you guys read into everything. It’s not that serious. These kids have lives… I suggest all you speculators find one!

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
7:27 pm

Mr. Turner

Im hearing rumors among the shipmates that one of the fine RB’s will be abandoning ship due to grade issues

Could you please ask Captain Altamaha Barbosa or Mr. kral to give us their typical kool-aid spin on what this will mean for next year.

I know that if anyone on this blog I mean ship can give us a fine kool-aid response it will be them.

by the way

Have you heard from that famous kool-aid man of the high seas Captain Columbus.

jdawg

December 15th, 2011
7:33 pm

No, I thought it was accurate. Richt isn’t going anywhere, and especially after I look at what can happen in the SEC when you change coaches, I’m not sure he should. We are in good shape in the East, and that West dominance won’t last forever either. It amuses me that the West blowhards seem to forget that for 15 years, whoever won the UT/UF game was in the drivers seat for the title. We threw a few good years in there as well. Just be careful when you decide that a Philip Fulmer isn’t good enough. You can end up with Derrick Dooley, and whoever comes after him. Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t. Bark on Bad Dawg. Woof, Woof!

3-10 Against Ranked Teams

December 15th, 2011
7:36 pm

Yeah….we beat the 10 teams we’re supposed to beat, and yet couldn’t beat the 3 teams who we’re supposed to compete with….

Sure let’s give Richt a $10 million/yr lifetime contract. It looks like I will never see a Crystal Football in my lifetime at UGA

kral

December 15th, 2011
7:36 pm

Do not have a clue…spin…hope we win with what we have..whomever it is matey…staying in character..do not predict…do not know the future as some…knaysayers…

jdawg

December 15th, 2011
7:37 pm

Keep smelling the Tacos, meat. You will be able to see your hero serving them to you in about 3 years. He’s a great talent, but believe me, has major attitude issues. I hope he can overcome them, and live up to his potential. It didn’t happen this year, and may not happen at UGA ever.

Mobile Dawg

December 15th, 2011
7:38 pm

Where there’s smoke, there is always fire.

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
7:41 pm

Mr. Turner

What is this Crystal Ball everyone speaks of

Do you have a map to get us there or know who can lead us to this Crystal Ball?

Old Dog

December 15th, 2011
7:42 pm

“especially after I look at what can happen in the SEC when you change coaches”

Yeah, just look at what happened at Alabama when the changed to Nick Saban – terrible!

Or LSU when they hired Miles.

tide roll

December 15th, 2011
7:45 pm

MAN, you guys could have had Avery Young, Chester Brown, Davin Tomlinson, John Atkins and Brandon Greene for your OL .. What an offensive line. These guys would have landed MIKE DAVIS for you. Instead Richt/Bobo go Austin Long, Dallas Lee, David Andrews, Greg Pyke, and either Zach Debell or Watts Dantzler! DAVIS ain’t running behind that. No wonder you’ve gone 31 years without a National Title. Hell, y’all have failed so many years it’s not that big a deal anymore to win one! Auburns got 1, Fla. 2, Bama 2, and LSU 2! What’s the big deal. Really inexcusable in a State that produces soo much talent. But Richt and Bobo decide to go find it NOT IN GEORGIA but in private schools throughout the South! It’s gonna be another 30 yrs. Dawg Fans. Sheesh. Mike Davis would have been awsome but you fools just offered him last week! UNBELIEVABLE! No wonder it’s over 30 YEARS!

Jack Sparrow Captain of the SS Kool-aid

December 15th, 2011
7:48 pm

Mr. Turner

Looks like a Mr. tide roll seems to know what he is talking about

red&black

December 15th, 2011
7:49 pm

@jdawg: I heard the same story about Crowell back in the summer. I too was hesitant to believe. But now………well they told me so. This the very reason that we need to sign not only Marshall, but Gurley as well as Davis. I think we’ll have to wait till next year on Henry, as I think he is a junior, but we will need him too.

hipdawg

December 15th, 2011
7:49 pm

Trolls beware!!Things are looking pretty good for UGA and ya’ll can’t stand it!Really . we did as good as we could w/ no running game, 2 frosh recievers and no ol depth.I hope like hell Alabama stays on the schedule so we can stomp them good!!!Watching alabama and Lsu is like watching 2 drunk redneck chicks fight over the last can of PBR.(wait PBR is above them!)

kral

December 15th, 2011
7:55 pm

Gosh that beauty contest system standard..it is hard to live up to those who have won it and those that haven’t..such a perfect bullsnit system…that really no one knows for sure if they would be a champion if there was a playoff…even 30 years ago when you won it on a vote…oh….you actually get a shot now based on a vote and computers..excuse me

441North

December 15th, 2011
7:57 pm

I’m guessin’ IC is gone, we just haven’t been told yet.

Bad Dawg

December 15th, 2011
7:57 pm

hipdawg, What in the world makes UGA can “stomp” Alabama? Are you serious? Give me a reasonable explanation as why any non-delusional dawg fan would think this is a rational statement.