Dawgs Hold Final Practice of Year

JACKSONVILLE — Georgia returned to Jacksonville University on Monday to continue preparation for its showdown with Nebraska in Wednesday's Gator Bowl.

The Bulldogs canceled their full pads practice yesterday due to heavy rain in the area, and conducted a 70-minute walk through in a ballroom at the Omni Hotel in downtown Jacksonville.

Conditions on Monday were brisk with temperatures dropping to the high 50s, down from the mid-70s its been the past few days. Georgia treated the session as a Thursday practice and went back to a full outdoor practice – the final time it will do so before Wednesday's game (12 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham refuted the notion that he was punishing players by increasing the full pads preparation earlier this week. It was simply to get the players back in a groove of tackling.

"When we got down here, I thought it was important that we tackle guys to the ground and we did that for two days for about roughly 10 to 15 plays," he said. "I think that when you have that amount of layoff, it's important that you get your timing down. To know if you can tackle a guy, you do it at full speed."

New faces in defensive backfield

Grantham said that cornerbacks Devin Bowman and Brendan Langley, who share a combined four starts this season, could see increased time in Wednesday's game.

"We can mix and match those guys and try to keep them fresh and healthy and see how it plays out," Grantham said. "Nothing says that either one of them couldn't play, but both those guys have kind of shown some progress over the last two or three weeks, and I've been pleased with their progress."

Langley started the first four games this year as a freshman but has played a limited role since. Bowman, the redshirt sophomore, has primarily played on special teams during his Georgia tenure.

Cornhuskers' stable of QBs

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini confirmed on Friday that the foot injury quarterback Taylor Martinez suffered in October will indeed keep him out of Wednesday's game, thus ending his college career.

The Cornhuskers have pressed on with a pair of capable back-ups in Ron Kellogg and Tommy Armstrong. The duo have split duties in the eight games since Martinez's absence, posting nearly identical stats. Kellogg has completed 80 of 132 passes for 919 yards for six touchdowns, good for a 102.1 passer rating. Armstrong has gone 62-of-117 for 803 yards and seven touchdowns with a 100.4 rating. The latter earned seven starts this year and is averaging just under one interception per game.

Coach Mark Richt said that its tough to gauge the talent level based on statistics with the variety of quarterbacks Nebraska has used.

"Numbers are deceiving when you're splitting time with three different quarterbacks," he said. "It's not easy to sit there and have one guy having these great numbers. The talent base is there. The confidence level is there from what I'm reading and what I'm seeing on film. I don't know if it'll be a dramatic defense in offensive style with who can be in the game, but we'll know who's in the game."

Rematch with Nebraska

Grantham and Richt were asked if playing Nebraska last year gave the Bulldogs a stronger advantage going into the Gator Bowl than if they played a different Big 10 team.

"They do very similar things that they did in that bowl game against us," Grantham said. "I think any time that you're familiar with somebody it helps you in your preparation. But you've got so much time to prepare that you'd have time to prepare against someone that was new and they also have time to add things [because] it's not like a regular game week. They can add several nuances to what they're going to do because of the amount of time you've got to prepare."

Added Richt: "People do say that people who want it the most or enjoy football the most or want to be there the most, it does help. I think our guys like to play football. I think they enjoy each other. I think they want to have success for our seniors. I think they want to get a little positive momentum going into 2014. I think we're in a good spot. I know, just seeing the Nebraska stuff, that they're in a good spot too."


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