Gurley, Conley return to practice for Georgia

semerson@macon.comDecember 30, 2013 

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The stomach bug that hit the Georgia football team has passed, at least for the most part. The most famous player affected, tailback Todd Gurley, was back at practice on Monday.

"It's resolved," said head coach Mark Richt, adding that a couple walk-ons had been hit.

Players such as Gurley and some of the offensive linemen missed Sunday's walk-through after what Richt attributed to a 24-hour stomach bug.

Meanwhile, the sprained ankle bug that hit leading receiver Chris Conley remains, but the junior felt well enough to practice on Monday.

"Conley's gonna give it a shot," Richt said. "He's a very tough kid. Ron's going to at least let him try. He's made a lot of progress. We'll see after practice."

Conley sprained his ankle in Friday's practice, and it was the same ankle that forced him to miss two games this season. But Richt indicated on Saturday that it wasn't as serious this time, and expected Conley to play in the Gator Bowl even if he was only 80-85 percent.

McGarity still expects "strong" Georgia presence

Indiciations from each school, as well anecdotally, are that ticket sales are lagging for Wednesday's game. That's not a huge surprise, given the lack of clamor for a rematch between Georgia and Nebraska.

Georgia's at least seem to be going a bit quicker. The latest report from Nebraska's camp was that it had sold about 3,200 out of its ticket allotment. Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said that as of a few days before Christmas his school had sold about twice that much. McGarity didn't have an updated number on Monday, but didn't expect it to be that much higher. Overall, McGarity estimated Georgia should have about 15,000 fans for the game, which he called "a pretty strong number," and comparable to the three most recent bowls.

As for the lagging bowl allotment sales, McGarity pointed to a USA Today story this weekend on how the secondary ticket market (Stub-Hub, etc.) is killing schools because they're much cheaper. Schools, including Georgia, are forced to sell the tickets from their bowl allotment at face value.

"A lot of times the bowls have better seat locations than the institutions," McGarity said. "People know it's not a tough ticket, they can go online and order."

Langley's resurgence?

Freshman Brendan Langley started the first four games for Georgia at cornerback this year, then found himself in the doghouse. He hardly played the rest of the regular season.

But with the two suspensions in the secondary, Langley has an opportunity to get back in the mix.

"It was tough," Richt said. "It's maybe too much too soon, then it all gets taken away. It was tough on him. I think with a great offseason, and an entire spring and summer and fall to work, I think he'll really be able to compete extremely well next year. I think he's really talented. We really like his talent base. But (being benched) was tough on him mentally."

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