November 17, 2009

Dawgs shooting for second in the East

Don't get head coach Mark Richt wrong.

There's nothing satisfying about finishing No. 2 in the SEC East behind Florida.

But considering that would be the case should Georgia beat Kentucky Saturday at Sanford Stadium, Richt said it's a goal worth striving for.

"I think the guys would take great pride in this point finishing second in the Eastern Division. It's certainly something we can obtain and something we can control," he said. "I think that is meaningful. I definitely will mention it to them. I think I might have already mentioned it to them Sunday; I'm not certain if I did or not. That's certainly one thing I would bring up to their attention for motivation."

Quarterback Joe Cox said it is a goal worth striving for.

"Absolutely. That's the best we can do now, and we definitely want to finish up that way," Cox said. "It's not what we wanted, but I would still be proud of finishing up this year strong and being right behind Florida in the East. That's definitely what we are shooting for at this point."

Tight end Orson Charles said there's no reason the team can't use the rest of the season to its advantage like the 2006 squad did when it won its final three games to propel itself to 2007 when the Bulldogs finished ranked No. 2 in the final AP poll.

"I definitely think these final games can have a huge affect," Charles said. "It would be like all the good karma had come back over us. We just need to learn from our mistakes and don't forget them."

Captain, my captain

Coming up with four captains to represent the team at the coin flip for Saturday's game against Kentucky turned out to be a lot tougher than Richt ever imagined it would be.

Typically, captains are chosen to represent the offense, the defense and special teams.

"We honor all our seniors as captains, so every senior will have a 'C' on his jersey, but there are only four who can come out," Richt said. "Usually, it's one or two offense, and if there are two offense, it's one defense and one special teamer."

But that scenario left Richt in a quandary.

Richt would have preferred to include senior defensive tackles Kade Weston, Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins make the walk to midfield. However, that won't be the case.

"We pretty much had to flip a coin. It ended up being Jeffrey and Kade as the guys who would walk out," Richt said. "I almost thought about not doing a special teams guy or just saying can't we have five guys out there, because all three of those guys deserve to be out there."

Quarterback Joe Cox will represent the offense while Richt chose Prince Miller over Justin Fields to represent the offense.

Dawgs in a big bowl "wad"

Richt was asked Tuesday what he thought about Georgia's current bowl scenario.

At 6-4 with two games remaining against Kentucky and Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs are still alive for any number of bowls, from the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, the Music Bowl in Nashville, the Chik-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, or with wins over the Wildcats and Yellow Jackets, perhaps the Outback Bowl in Tampa.

"It seems like there is a big wad. You have two guys over here, one kind of over here and then there is a big wad," Richt said. "We're in the middle of that wad, and I'd like to separate from that group if we could and convince the bowl people that we've done that. It's going to be interesting."

It's certainly shaping up to be a scrum.

Assuming Florida and Alabama both play in a BCS bowl, that's going to leave LSU (8-2), Ole Miss (7-3), Auburn (7-4), Arkansas (6-4), Kentucky (6-4), South Carolina (6-5) and the Bulldogs battling it out to see who goes where. If Tennessee beats Vanderbilt this weekend, the Vols would become the league's 10th bowl-eligible team.

Twenty-three seniors to walk

A total of 23 seniors will be honored before Saturday's game against Kentucky.

That list includes Atkins, Roderick Battle, Jonathan Batson, Stephen Braue, Cox, Ricardo Crawford, Darius Dewberry, Bryan Evans, Fields, Devin Hollander, Andrew Jensen, Andrew Johnson, Prince Miller, Mike Moore, Casey Nickels, Christian Norton, Owens, Kevin Perez, Vernon Spellman, Vince Vance, Marcus Washington, Weston and Brandon Wheeling.

"I want to say to our fans, please get there on time to honor those guys," Richt said. "There is nothing like hearing the roar of the crowd one more time when their name gets called. It makes for a great ceremony when the fans are ready to go. That will be right within just a few minutes before pregame warmup, so if y'all could get there that would be awesome."

Dawgs up for Senior Bowl spots

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner said Tuesday that he spoke to Senior Bowl director Steve Hale about adding a combination of Weston, Owens or Atkins to the roster for the game scheduled for Jan. 30 in Mobile, Ala.

"I talked to Steve today. He's going to watch this game right here," Garner said. "They're all three on the radar."

However, it appears that at best, only two of the three will be selected to play.

"Think they all deserve it, that's what I told him," Garner said. "He wanted me to pick two, but they're your children. You can't pick two and throw the other one away. I can't do that."

Garner said he expects to hear next week as to which players are picked for the game.

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