Finishing on the right foot -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Finishing on the right foot

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December 31, 2007

New Orleans -- The Georgia football team hopes to start a new year by beating undefeated Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl on New Years Night.

On the eve of the big game, both teams had their final walk through Monday at the Superdome, and both head coaches talked with the media one final time.

The Bulldogs and their fans are ready to Black Out the Big Easy and the Warriors Tuesday night.

While Georgia fans are ready to celebrate the new year on Bourbon Street, the UGA football team is back at its hotel with an 11 o'clock local time curfew.

This is the first ever meeting between Georgia and Hawaii and that, Georgia coach Mark Richt says, makes this bowl game perhaps the most intriguing of them all.

With both coaches posing with the Sugar Bowl trophy one will hoist in triumph Tuesday night, Georgia coach Mark Richt says his fifth ranked Bulldogs are sailing into uncharted waters against Hawaii.

"You can look at film and watch TV copy and get a feel or flavor of team." says Richt. "Until you play them, you really don't know what you are going up against."

The one thing Georgia knows is Hawaii's passing attack presents a big challenge for the Bulldog defense.

Cornerback Asher Allen says, "We are just going to make sure we are doing well tackling and try to put pressure on them."

When it comes to motivation, the edge seemingly belongs to Hawaii, which is trying to become the second Western Athletic Conference team to finish an unbeaten season with a win in a BCS bowl game.

After getting passed over for the BCS title game this year, Georgia thinks they could start the road to next year's title game with a Sugar Bowl win just like LSU did last season.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford says, "It is big for us on that note and it is big because we want to send our seniors out on a good note."

Georgia also doesn't want to be this year's Oklahoma, and the Bulldogs remember their Sugar Bowl upset loss to West Virginia two years ago.

Defensive tackle Jeff Owens says, "If it wasn't for football, we wouldn't be here in New Orleans at this time. We are here on a business trip and we are here to take care of business."

Georgia means business, with the Bulldogs wearing their black jerseys that they first wore in their win over Auburn.

Coach Mark Richt says the team will not wear black pants but shoe laces are optional.

Richt says, "So I said you guys can get any color you want and I won't worry about because it's Georgia issue. It is stupid stuff like that they love. I am sure somebody will get two colors or something."

Thomas Brown will start at running back tomorrow.

Coach Richt says SEC freshman of the year Knowshon Moreno suffered a sprained ankle against Georgia Tech, and was hobbled at the start of bowl practices, but Moreno is expected to be ready to go against Hawaii.