Tech Week: Thursday News and Notes

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's news and notes from Georgia's fall practices.

SPECIAL TRIP: As a 10-year-old, Georgia kicker Brandon Coutu spent a week in the hospital due to stomach surgery. Since then, he's had a special affinity for sick kids.

That's one of the reasons he organized a trip to Children's Healthcare Hospital in Atlanta for he and several teammates the week of the Auburn game. While the rest of the Bulldogs were practicing, Coutu, who is out with a hamstring injury, loaded up fellow injured players Thomas Brown, Antavious Coats, T.J. Gartrell, Na Derris Ward and Demiko Goodman in his vehicle for the trip.

"The guys were great about it, everybody wanted to go," Coutu said. "We got just as much out of it as the kids did. If you can brighten up their day and the families day just a little bit, that means a lot."

The group was gone from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and spent time in the cancer ward, Coutu said.

GETTING BORED: Mikey Henderson still leads the SEC in punt return average and is on pace to set Georgia's single season record in that category, but he hasn't had much of an impact lately.

The junior, who is averaging 16.9 yards per return, has just one return for 5 yards in the last three games as opponents have begun to kick away from him. Saturday doesn't figure to be any busier for Henderson against Georgia Tech's punt team, which leads the nation with a 41-yard net average.

"A lot of people don't even average 41 yards punting, much less net punt," Richt said.

Yellow Jacket junior Durant Brooks is a Ray Guy Award candidate, and his coverage team is just as good. Tech opponents have averaged 4.9 yards per punt return this year.

"(Brooks) hangs it up there, and their guys get down there," said Henderson, who is fourth nationally in return average and has two touchdowns.

LAST HURRAH: Forysth native Tra Battle hasn't thought much yet about his final game in Sanford Stadium. The time is coming, though.

"What I imagine is Coach (Willie) Martinez saying to me before the game, ‘Hey, settle down, save some for the field,'" said Battle, who came to Georgia as a walk-on and is finishing his second season as a starter. "It's going to make me real emotional, but I'm not going to drop a tear or anything, too many people out there to cry."

ANOTHER FIRST?: In its last game, Georgia beat a top five team (Auburn) on its home field for the first time in the program's history. The Bulldogs can mark another milestone off their list Saturday.

An unranked Georgia team has never beaten a ranked Georgia Tech team in eight tries. This year is the first since 1990 the Bulldogs come into the game unranked against a ranked Yellow Jackets team.


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