"I talked to the team last night and told them this is a greatest city in the world for this type of entertainment," said Georgia coach Mark Richt. "There's no shame in acting like a kid at the parks so enjoy it. For the rest of the week, I'm looking forward to taking a couple of naps and going to a couple of the parks with my family."
Richt said the Bulldogs are staying focused during bowl practices. Along with winning the game over 19th-ranked Michigan State, Georgia hopes to help a couple of receivers reach a milestone of a 1,000-yard season. Senior Mohamed Massaquoi (910 yards) and freshman A.J. Green (951 yards) rank as the top two in the Southeastern Conference in receiving yards. Georgia has had only one 1,000-yard receiver in school history, Terrence Edwards in 2002 (1,004 yards).
"For both to get 1,000 yards, it would be fun for them, for Matthew (Stafford) and our offensive staff," said Richt. "Most importantly, it shows the balance of our offense with having a running back as good as Knowshon (Moreno) who has over 1,300 rushing yards too. They are a tough group to defend."
Meanwhile, the Spartans (9-3) have a talented running back of their own in Javon Ringer. He has 1,688 yards and 21 touchdowns to highlight the MSU attack.
"We've got to be able to stop the run, Javon Ringer is one of the best running backs in the country," said junior cornerback Asher Allen. "We've been pretty good against the run except for our last game with that triple-option attack. We've got to run to the ball and play with intensity and make plays."
Sophomore linebacker Rennie Curran, who ranks second in the SEC with a team-high 109 tackles said the Bulldogs are working on fundamentals and pushing each other in practice to get better each day as the week goes along.
"We've got something to prove," said Curran. "We didn't play well last time out, and this is our last game of the season, and we look at it as our first in the new year. We want to end on a good note and start off the new year right too."
Georgia had a special guest at practice Saturday in former lettermen and star tailback Charles "Rabbit" Smith (1943-46). He spoke briefly with Moreno and several coaches. Smith once scored four touchdowns in a 48-6 rout of Bear Bryant's Kentucky squad in Lexington in 1945. One of Smith's four touchdowns that day covered 86 yards, which ranks as the fourth longest in school history. Smith started the 1943 season opener at tailback and was the last Bulldog freshman tailback to do that until Danny Ware in 2004.
Georgia will spend Sunday morning with disadvantaged youth from the Central Florida area at Disney's Winter/Summertime Miniature Golf. They will hold an afternoon practice and then go to Best Buy for their signature bowl gift of a $400 shopping spree.