Tech Week: Tuesday News and Notes

ATHENS - News and notes from Georgia's practices.

TRYING THE TURF: Johnson County, which plays Lincoln County in the state semifinals this weekend in the Georgia Dome, worked out Tuesday afternoon on the Bulldogs' practice fields. Two of Georgia's four practice fields are FieldTurf, the same surface used in the Georgia Dome, and it's not uncommon for high school teams to come to Athens prior to games in the Dome.

"I think the word has gotten out that they're always welcome," Richt said. "We're excited to have them here."

Peach County, Greene County and Washington-Wilkes will practice in Athens today.

HOPEFUL OUTLOOK: Junior linebacker Tony Taylor is not giving up hope of playing in the SEC Championship.

"It hasn't been ruled out," he said.

Taylor had arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday to repair damaged meniscus cartilage in his left knee. He missed the Kentucky game and will sit out again this week. If he is not able to return for the title game, he will be back for the bowl game.

That's better than the original diagnosis he received. When Taylor went under the knife, doctors told him he was be undergoing season-ending surgery, he said. However, a closer inspection revealed that his cartilage wasn't torn. Taylor missed all of 2004 due to a torn ACL in his right knee.

OLD FRIEND: Greg Blue wore a familiar name on his back during Tuesday's weekly news conference. Blue showed up for the interview session wearing a No. 51 Odell Thurman jersey from the Cincinnati Bengals. Blue got the jersey when Thurman, one his closest friends on the team last year, came to Athens for the Auburn game two weeks ago.

"He brought a couple down, but I got the orange one and the black one," Blue said.

Thurman, a Monticello native who was picked in the second round of the NFL Draft last year, leads the Bengals in tackles with 61 and is a leading candidate for the NFL's defensive rookie of the year award.

"It inspires me because I played next to him last year," said Blue, a senior. "It makes me think I can go do the same things next year."

THIS AND THAT: Houston County product Trahern Holden, a seldom-used sophomore tight end, will miss at least this week's game after spraining his ankle playing pickup basketball Friday. ... Freshman wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi didn't play in the second half against Kentucky due to illness but is fine now, Richt said. ... Georgia's senior would tie the Class of 1983 for most wins in school history with a victory against Tech. The Bulldogs are 42-8 in the last four years.

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