Dawgs Practice in Hot Weather

ORLANDO - It was another busy, fun-filled day for the 16th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs here Sunday as they prepare for the 2009 Capital One Bowl.

Student-athletes and coaches from Georgia and Michigan State began the day at Disney's Winter/Summertime Miniature Golf where they played mini-golf and had lunch with disadvantaged youth from the Central Florida area.

"I loved it, and our players looked like they were having as much fun as the kids," said Georgia coach Mark Richt. "I liked how both teams were interacting with each other. I think that is healthy."

Sunday marked the third of five practices for the Bulldogs at Olympia High School. With temperature reaching the low 80s, the team practiced for two hours in jerseys, shorts, helmets, and shells.

"It's hot today, probably the hottest day yet," said Richt. "I know Michigan State is practicing the same time we are so we'll see which team can adapt to it more quickly."

Richt mentioned that after the bowl game, redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Chris Davis will have off-season hip surgery. Davis has been a starter since 2007, a streak of 25 consecutive games. He is scheduled to have surgery on Jan. 15 and the recovery time is usually four-to-six months, putting him out for spring practice.

The Bulldogs face the Spartans (9-3) on Jan. 1 with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. on ABC. MSU's offense is centered around star running back Javon Ringer who accounts for 97 percent of the Spartans rushing attack. He has 1,688 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.

"There's fine line between practice which is all business and then after practice having fun," said senior defensive tackle and captain Corvey Irvin. "When we're at practice, we're trying to get ready to win a ball game. This can be a boost for the 2009 season."

After practice, the team headed to Best Buy for their signature bowl gift, a $400 shopping spree.

Monday's schedule includes a Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast at the First Baptist Church of Orlando, a morning practice and an afternoon at the Universal Orlando theme park.

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