The Georgia Bulldog football team had its first practice at Jacksonville University this morning in preparation for the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Jan. 1, 2014. Georgia defeated Nebraska 45-31 the last time these two teams met during the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on Jan 1.
Friday’s practice marked the first for the Bulldogs since December 21. The team will have three more practices before the Gator Bowl.
“Now that we are down here, our goal is to compete well in practice and in the game and win the game,” said Bulldog head coach Mark Richt. “I hope our guys have fun and I’m sure they will in this setting. It’ll be important to focus amidst all the distractions.”
Junior quarterback Hutson Mason is expected to make the second start of his career in the Gator Bowl. His only other start came at Georgia Tech following Aaron Murray’s season-ending ACL injury versus Kentucky. Mason led the Bulldogs from a 20-0 deficit to a 41-34 double-overtime win against the Yellow Jackets and finished 22-for-36 for 299 yards and two touchdowns.
“The biggest thing for Hutson is now being the guy,” said Richt. “It’s one thing to be the guy in camp or in practice, but it’s another thing to be the guy in a big game. We were down 20-nothing to one of our rivals and I could tell he was feeling it, just like all of us. But he led us to a touchdown before the half and that was crucial to set the stage for the rest of the game.”