Sugar Bowl Week: Friday Practice Report

NEW ORLEANS - It was another busy day for the Georgia Bulldog football team here Friday, featuring a two-hour workout at the Louisiana Superdome, a visit to a local children's hospital, a Sugar Bowl press conference and then a team dinner.

The fourth-ranked Bulldogs (10-2) had their third practice of the week as they continued preparations for Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic against 10th-ranked Hawaii (12-0) on New Year's night. Prior to the workout, Bulldog head coach Mark Richt said there would be several things to watch for in the upcoming game with the Warriors.

"A lot of people are talking about how our defense will match up against their offense and vice versa, but there's lot that can change the momentum of a game," said Richt. "Of course, there's turnovers but also you have to look at special teams like kickoff coverage and returns, punt coverage and returns. How far a team has to go to score will be important. It's not always about who is more physical. You can wear a defense down, and it's demoralizing if they are moving the ball on you and scoring points every time they get it. It will be critical for us to substitute well and keep everybody fresh."

Following practice Friday, Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo along with running backs Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno, quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Sean Bailey and center Fernando Velasco took part in a Sugar Bowl press conference.

"We've got a tremendous opportunity in playing the University of Hawaii," said Bobo. "They're the only undefeated team in the country. We had some struggles when we were 4-2, but we've won six in a row and excited to be 10-2. Hawaii is 12-0 for a reason, I know their offense gets a lot of credit but they have had some comebacks and their defense has been a big part of that. They've made some stops when they've needed it."

The media asked Stafford what it's been like being the "other guy" with Hawaii quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan getting a lot of attention.

"It's fine," said Stafford. "He's a senior, and he's earned it. He's a great player, and he's set some records. He's done a lot of great things for that school and the community."

Bailey, a senior, reflected on his collegiate career.

"It's coming to an end, and it's had its ups and downs over the past few years," said Bailey. "I am excited to end it in a BCS game versus a good team in Hawaii. We have a chance to finish in the top five in the country and that feels really good."

A collection of Georgia's offensive, defensive and special teams players visited Children's Hospital in New Orleans Friday after practice.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to go out to the Children's Hospital, and it brings our teammates together and keeps us focused and our minds sane on what's right and what's the right thing to do in giving back to the community of New Orleans," said senior safety Kelin Johnson. "You never know what you will be able to do for someone else's child. That's what it's all about. These kids, they see your face and it brightens their day."

Also on Friday, Georgia's legendary radio announcer Larry Munson indicated he was not going to travel to New Orleans to call the Sugar Bowl. Munson is in his 42nd year as the voice of the Bulldogs. Color commentator Scott Howard will handle the play-by-play duties for the bowl game while former Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier will provide the color. Munson was limited this year to the home games and did call the Georgia Tech game in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Howard and Zeier took care of the road games.

On Thursday, Georgia enjoyed a team dinner at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse while seafood and more steaks were on the menu for Friday's team dinner at Mulate's.

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