After months of speculation and with the help of ESPN
television, the Georgia Bulldogs finally have an opponent for their 2007 home
opener in Sanford Stadium, the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Georgia head football coach Mark Richt
spoke with the media before the team's practice in Sanford Stadium Thursday
about playing the Cowboys.
"That will be a great challenge for us and they
have an up and coming program as of late. Coach (Mike) Gundy is doing a good
job and they just had a big win against Nebraska recently which was right around
the time we were deciding what to do," said Richt before practice Thursday.
"It will be something to work towards in the summer,
I think we work hard anyway, but a game like that would give anyone who needed
a little extra incentive to work hard, that would be it," said Richt.
The Bulldogs played the Cowboys twice 60 years ago defeating
them 33-13 in Sanford Stadium in 1946 and winning on the road in 1947 20-7 in
Georgia will return the favor in 2009 playing in Stillwater
for the first time since 1947 and Athletic Director Damon Evans is excited about
Georgia playing BCS conference opponents both at home and on the road.
"Oklahoma State has a great football tradition and
I'm very excited about being able to work out the series," said
Evans in the Georgia press release. "It also allows us to continue expanding
our schedule of games against intersectional teams which already includes Arizona
State, Louisville, Oregon, and Colorado. Arthur Johnson (Associate Athletic
Director) has done a great job of putting this game together and I think it
will be very well received by our fans."
Cheese ready, Turner out
Junior guard Chester Adams will start
and is expected to play the entire game against Auburn Saturday.
"Cheese did good and we took him out of the green
jersey yesterday and I have been talking to him all along and he seems to be
fine and he is excited to play," said Richt.
Adams will be the emergency offensive tackle and if he
needs rest, sophomore Seth Watts will play guard.
Senior offensive tackle Michael Turner
will not play this week and he has his ankle in a boot and is still on crutches,
so his availability for the Georgia Tech game is still doubtful.
"He is still on crutches today, but in my he will
be back (for Georgia Tech), but we will know a little bit better next week.
My guess is that he will be back, " said Richt.
With injuries to Adams, Turner, Zeb McKinzey,
and suspensions to Ian Smith and Daniel Inman
the Georgia, offensive line has not decimated by injuries this season.
"Everybody has these problems on the offensive line
and I know Kentucky lost eight going into the season, but they had 22, so it
was one of those years they could afford it. If we lost eight I don't
know what would happen, but it would not have been good," said Richt.
Georgia has been shorthanded on the offensive line since
the second week of fall camp when McKinzey injured his shoulder.
Dawgs rally for seniors
Matthew Stafford will make his first career
start in the storied Georgia-Auburn rivalry Saturday.
"Auburn is a heck of a team with one loss and they
could easily be undefeated heading into this game. They have great speed on
defense and they run the ball well and throw it when they need to on offense,"
said Stafford about playing Auburn.
Stafford and the other Georgia underclassmen hope to give
their senior teammates two more wins in the next three weeks against two of
Georgia's biggest rivals Auburn and Georgia Tech.
"We are not giving up and there is something left
to play for this year and we have two big time ranked teams that are playing
well this year that we get a chance to go in and play them and give them a dogfight,"
said Stafford. "We are playing for the guys that this is their last chance
and last year it is something you have to do if you are a player and a friend
you want to play well for them and have the whole team rally around them."
Stafford is 3-2 this season starting for Georgia, but
he is winless away from Sanford Stadium as a starter this year.
Practicing in green non-contact jerseys were
Mikey Henderson (ribs) and
Sean Bailey (knee).
Junior receiver A.J. Bryant is still not practicing
full speed because of back and groin injuries.
Other Notes and Quotes
"It was like the Florida game this year, we were down 21-0 and you are
thinking we do not have a chance and you make a couple of plays and the momentum
changes and then you believe you have a chance to win and that is how that game
was and that is how the Florida game was this year," said quarterbacks
coach Mike Bobo comparing the 1996 Georgia-Auburn four overtime
thriller to the 2006 Florida game. "We did not get it done (against Florida),
but we believed and we started playing like we should have the whole game. Sometimes
a lot of it is momentum and kids believing."
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