Sugar Bowl Week: Saturday Practice Report

NEW ORLEANS - The Georgia Bulldog football team enjoyed another day in the Crescent City, featuring a two-hour workout at the Louisiana Superdome, a Sugar Bowl press conference, a Cajun-themed team dinner and an NBA game.

The fourth-ranked Bulldogs (10-2) conducted their fourth practice of the week as game day approaches for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic. Georgia faces 10th-ranked Hawaii (12-0) on New Year's night. Prior to the workout, Bulldog head coach Mark Richt said he is looking forward to the game.

"It's going to be a great contrast of style and culture," said Richt. "I'm not sure either one of us knows what to expect and won't until we clash. We want to win. It's not truly a great bowl trip unless you win the game."

Richt added that he hopes the "Bulldog Nation" going to the game will participate in another "Blackout" like earlier this season in Athens in the win over Auburn. Sanford Stadium turned dark that day as the fans wore a sea of black clothing instead of the traditional red. Georgia is the home team for the bowl game and the seniors voted to wear black jerseys again for the game.

Following practice Saturday, Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez along with senior safety Kelin Johnson, senior defensive end Marcus Howard, junior defensive tackle Jeff Owens and sophomore cornerback Asher Allen took part in a Sugar Bowl press conference.

"College football is a game about momentum," said Martinez. "You got to grab it when you have a chance and keep it when you got it. That's the challenge again here. Hawaii scores a lot of points and they get rid of the ball quick. We'll have to be able to get pressure, maybe not a lot of sacks, but we have to be able to get some knockdowns. We do a good job with our substitutions at all positions. We've been able to get a lot of guys some experience this year and we'll continue to do that.

"We knew we were going to be young at the beginning of the season. It was the first time in seven years that I've been here that we didn't have a lot of seniors," Martinez added. "We usually had seven to nine veteran guys, but this year we didn't have any senior linebackers, just a couple up front and in the secondary and some of them had been reserves who had to step up and be starters."

The Bulldogs at the press conference said they were enjoying New Orleans, the food and their bowl experience. Owens said " I want to take a ghost tour before I leave."

When talk turned to facing Hawaii, Howard said he is looking forward to facing the pass-oriented Warriors.

"Hawaii is 90 percent pass and 10 percent run, and that's the type of game a defensive lineman dreams about," said Howard. "We're going to try get a good pass rush and help out the other guys behind us."

Friday's team dinner will be at Mulate's, which features Cajun food, music and dancing. Then, the Bulldogs will attend an NBA game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the New Orleans Arena.

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