Bulldogs set to face Louisville in the Belk Bowl
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Bulldogs set to face Louisville in the Belk Bowl

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ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia coach Mark Richt and the six Bulldog captains participated in Belk Bowl Media Day Monday at BB&T Ballpark.

It marked the final media function for the 13th-ranked Bulldogs before Tuesday’s Belk Bowl. Richt along with seniors David Andrews, Amarlo Herrera, Hutson Mason, Damian Swann, Mike Thornton and Kosta Vavlas fielded questions ranging from their opponent Louisville to the various bowl activities of the past week.

Richt and the student-athletes said they have enjoyed their bowl experience and praised the Belk Bowl officials and the city of Charlotte for their hospitality. Now, their attention is focused on Tuesday’s game with the 20th-ranked Cardinals.

“Ten (wins) is better than nine,” Richt said as the Bulldogs enter the game with a 9-3 record. “This is our last game, it’s a bowl game, and we want to win period. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for your eighth, 10th or 12th win, it’s important to end a season with a great performance and a victory.”

Vavlas and Thornton said they will always remember the Richard Petty Driving Experience this past Saturday when each Bulldog had the opportunity to ride three laps with a driver with speeds reaching in excess of 160 miles per hour.

“We’ve had fun this week, I really liked the NASCAR ride, that was definitely cool and glad I did it,” Vavlas said. “Our team dinner last night at the steakhouse was a highlight too. We’ve been off for a while, and we’re ready to get out there and play a game.”

“The NASCAR ride was the real deal; I felt like I was in a video game, had the five-point harness on and stuck in the car and going around those curves, it was fun,” Thornton said. “I was in the first car and after I did it, I looked online and told my dad we have to do it again in Atlanta. I am going to do it again real soon.”

Swann was asked about facing a couple different Cardinal quarterbacks and a host of running backs, and he said the Bulldogs have been practicing hard for all the different personnel they could see from Louisville.

“It’s going to be a big challenge facing Louisville,” Swann said. “They’ve had a good season and done well with whoever is at quarterback or running the ball. We’ve been preparing to be ready whoever is back there, to fly around and gang tackle.”

The Cardinal offense averages 32.6 points a game while Georgia comes in ranked eighth nationally in scoring at 41.7 points a game. On defense, Georgia has allowed 21.2 points a game while the Cardinals have surrendered 20.5 points a game. Georgia will be making its 50th appearance in a bowl game Tuesday including the 18th consecutive season it will end a season in a bowl.

The Bulldogs and Cardinals are both aiming for their 10th win of the season. The Belk Bowl will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN and be played at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers.


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