December 26, 2009

Richt offers kind words for former rival

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo would prefer to wait until after Monday's Independence Bowl against Texas A&M before giving his troops a final grade.

But if you twist his arm, despite some of the issues with inconsistency, Bobo said he'll turn the page on 2009 relatively pleased.

"The thing is we never really knew how close we were to being pretty good offensively, due to the fact the turnovers killed us and killed a lot of our drives," Bobo said. "If we had cut down on those, we would have a chance to move the ball on anybody we played."

Turnovers were indeed an issue.

Quarterback Joe Cox was intercepted 14 times and backup Logan Gray twice, while the Bulldogs lost 11 fumbles.

Cox did throw for 2,426 yards and 22 touchdowns, which ties David Greene for the third-most in Bulldog history, but the Charlotte native struggled with consistency, much to the charging of fans.

But with the Bulldogs now less than two days away from their date with the Aggies, Bobo sees the quarterback has doing everything in his power to end the season on a positive note.

"I see that he has a good focus. I know it hasn't been the year that he's wanted or anybody's wanted, but it's an opportunity to win another game and he's done the same as he's done every week. He's come in here prepared and doing a good job of leading in practice, keeping the guys going," Bobo said. "He's been one of the main reasons we have been having good practices."

But for Georgia (7-5) to take out the Aggies (6-6) in Monday's contest, Bobo said the Bulldogs' success could well depend on running backs Washaun Ealey and Caleb King continuing their recent run of rushing success.

Ealey comes into the game with a team-best 639 yards and three touchdowns, followed by King with 534 yards and five scores.

Bobo is comforted by the fact that A.J. Green will be back for his junior year.

Green leads Georgia in receiving with 47 catches for 751 yards and six touchdowns, despite missing the final two games of the season with a separated shoulder.

"A.J. just has to stay healthy. He still needs to get a little bigger and stronger, run routes more consistently, but there's no denying his play-making ability when the ball is in the air," Bobo said. "We just want him to finish the year. We just want him to stay healthy, but a good off-season in the weight room will help that."

Dawgs hold final practice

Georgia put in its final practice of the season with a two-hour workout Saturday in preparation for the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl against Texas A&M.

The Bulldogs (7-5) will hold a brief walkthrough on Sunday before Monday's game.

Saturday's workout focused on special teams.

"Most of it is in, but there is a little kicking that we want to cover," head coach Mark Richt said prior to practice. "Yesterday's practice was good, not great. Hopefully we will pick up the pace. I'm sure they'll pick it up."

Richt was also asked about facing Texas A&M's All-America linebacker Von Miller, who leads the country in sacks.

"He's a problem," Richt said. "He's a guy who has definitely proven to be a sack machine. If we can keep third down yardage a little more manageable I think it will help us."

Earlier, the Bulldogs attended the Minuteman Coaches' Luncheon at the Shreveport Convention Center. On the schedule for Sunday is an FCA Breakfast at the Bossier Civic Center.

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