Georgia forced inside by weather, stomach bug

semerson@macon.comDecember 29, 2013 

Mark Richt talks about having to practice indoors.


JACKSONVILLE - Thanks mostly to the weather, but also to a stomach bug, the Georgia football team dialed things back a bit on Sunday, choosing to practice in the ballroom of its team hotel.

That's not very unusual, as the Bulldogs and other teams often hold walk-throughs at their team hotels a day or two before regular-season games. This one came three days before the Gator Bowl, but head coach Mark Richt wasn't very concerned.

"That's happened before, it's not that big of a deal," Richt said. "And with the grind of the season ... Sometimes their bodies need a little rest. Sometimes it's a good mental rest for them too."

Georgia did check to see if there was another option, but the Jacksonville Jaguars don't have an indoor practice facility. They could have waited until the rain possibly cleared out in the afternoon, as Nebraska did. But apparently the team didn't have quite enough bodies available to make that worth it.

Richt said a stomach bug has been making its way through the team, making holding a practice anyway "problematic." Center David Andrews and tailback Todd Gurley were among the players afflicted on Sunday. Quarterback Hutson Mason had it a few days ago and practiced through it.

"Ron (Courson, the head athletic trainer) just think it's hopefully a 24-hour type bug," Richt said. "We would have expected those guys to practice through it unless it was real bad."

The Georgia defense and scout team held a full-fledged walk-through in the ballroom. The offense, depleted by the bug, met during that time. And the special teams units also did walk-throughs, but could not go through kickoff and punts. Then the offense had a bit of a walk-through, or what it could do.

"This morning we only had, I think, four running backs, running backs and fullbacks. Everyone was sick," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.

(A Georgia beat writer was also complaining of a stomach bug this week. But this time it wasn't me.)

Georgia won't be doing any more tackling before the actual bowl. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also said he wasn't worried about it, pointing to some physical practices over the past week, as well as back in Athens before the Christmas break.

Grantham likes Terry's hitting

Speaking of physical play, Grantham remains happy with what he's seen from freshman Tramel Terry, who has moved to safety from receiver as of the start of December.

"He ain't afraid. He'll come attack you and hit you," Grantham said.

Then Grantham grinned.

"Good thing there were no officials there for targeting rules," he said.

Ray Drew planning on returning, unless ...

Junior defensive end Ray Drew appears to be the last underclassmen who hasn't ruled out leaving early for the NFL draft. But still expects to return.

Drew submitted his name to the NFL draft advisory committee, which he called "just a curiosity deal." He has not heard back yet.

"I just got things rolling the way I wanted to here," Drew said. "But I can't sit here and be hypocritical and say that if it comes back first or second round I'm not gonna consider it. But as the way it's sitting right now, I'm looking toward my senior season."

Devin Bowman making a move

Sophomore Devin Bowman has spent most of his three seasons (including a redshirt) buried on the depth chart at cornerback. But with sophomore corner Sheldon Dawson and sophomore safety Josh Harvey-Clemons suspended, Bowman is pushing for playing time, perhaps even at the star position.

Grantham said freshman cornerback Brendan Langley is also a candidate for more playing time. Langley was a starter to begin the season but hasn't played much lately, but Bowman has been benched for much longer.

"He's doing a good job, yeah," Grantham said. "Him and Langley both, we're gonna continue to let them compete. Nothing says either one or both of them couldn't play. Both of them, to me, have shown some progress over the last, really, two weeks. I'm pleased with their progress."

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