Dawgs Practice on Christmas

SHREVEPORT, LA. - Christmas was a busy day for the Georgia Bulldogs as they visited patients at a local hospital, held their first practice at Independence Stadium, and then capped off the evening with a dinner and holiday program at the team hotel.

Georgia began the day with a team outing to the LSU Health Science Center. They spent close to 90 minutes at the local hospital talking with patients and sung a few Christmas carols to help spread the holiday spirit.

"We visited with some patients at the hospital and some of the guys started singing; this is a sign of the times, they were pulling out their cell phones and getting the lyrics for like jingle bells, I didn't know it had a second verse, they were having a good time," said Georgia coach Mark Richt.

He added that it certainly felt like Christmas as he spent time Friday with his family here and with his team. It's a Richt family tradition that the night before Christmas, everyone gets to open one gift, and it's pajamas.

Bulldog junior linebacker Rennie Curran said he enjoyed the hospital visit and spending Christmas with his teammates.

"I feel blessed to be here and with each other and grateful for the opportunity to play another game this season," said Curran. "We sang a couple Christmas carols at the hospital and tried to put a smile on their faces."

Before practice, Curran was asked about the conference bragging rights for the winner of this year's bowl game.

"This is a chance to represent the SEC, it's our reputation because you've got two well-respected teams from different conferences, and it says a lot about our team and conference in how we play this game," Curran added.

Richt echoed Curran's words about the matchup.

"Everybody cares about how the conferences do in the bowl games and certainly we want to represent well for Georgia and the SEC," Richt said.

Bulldog senior quarterback Joe Cox said Friday didn't feel like Christmas to him until he turned on the television in the morning.

"One of my favorite movies was on, A Christmas Story, it's on like 24 hours a day on Christmas so I watched some of it," said Cox. "I enjoy spending time around the team, and that's what we did today so it was fun."

The Bulldogs (7-5) conducted the first of their two practices here before Monday's Advocare V100 Independence Bowl contest with Texas A&M (6-6). Georgia went through a two-hour practice Friday in full pads, and they have another one scheduled for Saturday before wrapping up preparations with a final walk-through session on Sunday.

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