December 30, 2007

Georgia Notebook: Dogs still behaving

NEW ORLEANS - As tempting as New Orleans has been, Georgia center Fernando Velasco believes most of his teammates have managed to behave themselves during their week-long stay in the Big Easy.

"It's always a big concern here in New Orleans with Bourbon Street and everything, but I don't think anybody's gotten too caught up in anything," Velasco said. "Coaches have wanted guys to go out, see the city and have a little fun, but the closer it gets to game-time that kind of stuff needs to be cut out."

Sunday evening was to be the final opportunity prior to Tuesday night's kickoff that players were allowed to explore New Orleans. A midnight curfew is in place.

"We want to make sure nobody slips up at the last second because we've put too much hard work and planning into this game," Velasco said. "We're going to need everybody to beat Hawaii, scout team players, everybody. We're going to need everybody at his best."

Just in case, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he and the rest of the coaches have been reminding the players every day of their responsibilities.

"Coach (Mark) Richt has made it very clear what he expects, and knock on wood, everybody has done a good job," Bobo said. "We want them to have a good time, but we're here for a reason and that's to play a game in two days. We'll be getting a lot of rest tonight, I'm sure."

Moreno says he's fine

Running back Knowshon Moreno has been practicing for the past week with a wrap over his left ankle.

Sunday, Moreno was quick to point out that nothing's actually wrong.

"No way, I'm 100 percent," he said. "It's just precautionary."

Moreno has not missed any practice with the Bulldogs while in New Orleans and has been participating in all the drills.

Bobo wishes the best for Barnes

Bobo had nothing but praise for quarterback Blake Barnes, who after Tuesday's game will transfer to Delta State.

"Blake has not been a distraction at all," Bobo said. "He's a quality individual, he's continued to come to practice every day and worked as hard as he can. When you're the No. 3 quarterback, it's not always easy to get a lot of respect, but Blake's always paid attention and when he's called upon has always known what to do."

Barnes has declined to speak publically about his impending transfer, but will reportedly do so after the Sugar Bowl is complete.

Layoff not a concern

Neither Bobo nor Coach Mark Richt is concerned about the month-long layoff the Bulldogs will have experienced since their regular-season finale against Georgia Tech.

"The key is execution when it comes to offensive continuity," Bobo said. "Time off definitely concerns you. But Coach Richt has done a good job of planning our practices. We were able to get a number of practices in at our campus.
"You want to practice against speed, and you want to practice good-on-good and we've done that a lot. I just don't think rusts sets in because we are competing on a daily basis. Any time we step on the field we are ready to compete and have some fun."

Richt agreed.

"I think we're really ready to go," Richt said. "We've had some good, competitive practices. I think we're ready to play."

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