Notebook: Bowl’s the goal for Bulldogs

Georgia has landed in a different bowl destination each of the past four years. If the Bulldogs become bowl- eligible this year, that trend will likely continue this postseason.

Georgia’s Demarcus Dobbs, right, and two teammates tackle Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson at last year’s Independence Bowl. The Bulldogs need one more win to reach a bowl this year.
David Tulis

Memphis or Birmingham anyone?

"I don’t care what bowl we go to as long as we go to one," senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said Monday.

SI.com’s Stewart Mandel and CBSSports.com both have Georgia playing Central Florida and former Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 in Memphis.

Phil Steele pegs Georgia playing South Florida in the BBVA Compass Bowl (formerly Papajohns.com) Jan. 8 in Birmingham. ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson also puts Georgia in that game against Louisville, which would mean the Bulldogs would complete their 2010 season against the team they’ll face in the 2011 opener.

A matchup with North Carolina in the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl in Nashville is the prediction for ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach.

Georgia (5-5) needs to beat Auburn on Saturday or Georgia Tech two weeks later to become bowl-eligible.

"It’s my last year and I don’t want to be a senior not being able to go to a bowl," Dobbs said. "It’s not a good feeling."

Dobbs said that’s what he heard from a player at Ole Miss who missed out on a bowl trip.

The Bulldogs have played the past four years in the Independence (Shreveport, La.), Capital One (Orlando), Sugar (New Orleans) and Chick-fil-A (Atlanta.) bowls.

Murray’s recent sluggish starts no big worry

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s slow starts in the past two games aren’t a big concern for coach Mark Richt.

Murray started 0-for-5 passing against Florida and last week completed 3 of his first 7 passes against Idaho State.

"I couldn’t sit here and put my finger on anything and it’s not been awful by any means, just not quite as sharp as you’d like to start out," Richt said. "I’m not concerned. I’m sure he’ll do fine. He’s done very well and I’m sure he’ll continue to do well."

Murray ranks in the top five among freshman quarterbacks in Southeastern Conference history in passing yards and total offense.

Murray’s 2,307 passing yards are fifth all-time among freshmen behind Kentucky’s Jared Lorenzen (3,687), Georgia’s David Greene (2,789) and Quincy Carter (2,484) and Florida’s Chris Leak (2,435). Murray’s 2,484 yards of total offense rank fourth.

Georgia’s Houston named Bednarik semifinalist

The winner of last year’s Bednarik Award – Ndamukong Suh – attempted an extra point for the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The award doesn’t go to a kicker, however, but to the nation’s top defensive player.

Georgia’s Justin Houston is one of 16 semifinalists announced Monday.

The outside linebacker leads the SEC with nine sacks and is second in the league with 161/2 tackles for loss.

Among the other semifinalists is Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

Three finalists will be named on Nov. 22 and winners announced on Dec. 9.

Suh, a rookie NFL defensive tackle, missed Sunday’s PAT try as an emergency kicker after Jason Hanson suffered an injury.

This and that

Receiver Kris Durham (bruised lung) remains on track to play Saturday barring a setback, Richt said on his weekly radio show. … Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated along with TCU’s Andy Dalton and Oregon’s LaMichael James. The last Auburn football player to grace the SI cover? Bo Jackson along with Iowa’s Chuck Long and Plymouth State’s Joe Dudek on Dec. 2, 1985, according to Auburn. … Georgia defensive end Kiante Tripp will wear No. 31 on Saturday. A different Georgia player is switching the number each week to recognize safety Quintin Banks, whose career was cut short by knee injuries. … Saturday’s captains: Dobbs, linebacker Akeem Dent, center Ben Jones and fullback Shaun Chapas.

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