Athens, GA - The Georgia Bulldogs (5-6) conducted a two-and-a-half-hour practice in full pads on Tuesday as they continue to prepare for this Saturday's showdown with instate rival Georgia Tech (6-5) in Sanford Stadium.
"I'm not really sure if today's practice was as good as yesterday," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said following Tuesday's practice, which featured a steady rain over the final 45 minutes and was the Bulldogs second-consecutive day working out in full pads.
After Tuesday's practice, redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray addressed his status for this weekend's game with the media.
"I'm feeling good, real good," Murray said. "I'm good enough to play and ready to go. I haven't had any pain in two days, and I feel great throwing the ball. I still have four more days too. Like I said, I haven't had any paid at all so I think I'm ready to go and ready to play Saturday."
Earlier in the afternoon, Richt also talked about Saturday's game at length during the Bulldogs' weekly press conference.
“It’s great to have a game like this at the end of the season, and in particular, at the end of this season, to have a season where we’ve not reached some of the goals, or hardly any of the goals that we set out before us," Richt said. "As far as won-lost record, to play game 12 and still have a game that’s this meaningful is exciting for me as a coach because we are always looking for ways to motivate, and I don’t think we’ll have to do a whole lot of motivating this week."
Richt also commented on this year's senior class and what makes them special to him.
"I’m proud of how they’ve led through the adversity," Richt noted. "I’m very confident that when we come out of the gate, we’ll be ready to play, the seniors will and the rest of the team will be ready to play. That’s part of the reason why I’m proud of the effort. Most every one of them is graduating, if not already graduated. Even the ones who had a few bumps along the way, which they all have, have come out of it the right kind of men, so I’m really proud of them.”
Richt went on to further discuss what this Saturday's game truly means to the Georgia seniors as they get prepared to play their final game in Sanford Stadium.
“It’s the last time they are going to play between the hedges," Richt added. "It’s the last time they get a chance to wear the red and black in front of their home crowd, so they want to have a good final memory. Guys do tend to remember the last time they are in that stadium. A lot of times as it’s happening they don’t think much about it, but I try to help them understand that it will be something you’ll reflect on and you want to reflect on it in a real positive way and a way that you’ll be proud of it. Just that in itself is enough.”
Also on Tuesday morning, it was announced that punter Drew Butler was named an ESPN Academic All-American. Butler becomes just the seventh Bulldog in school history to be named both an All-American and an Academic All-American during their Georgia career. He is the first one to accomplish this feat since offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb in 2002. Butler carries a 3.58 grade point average (GPA) in Telecommunication Arts. This season, he is averaging 45.0 yards on 43 punts as the Bulldogs rank third nationally in Net Punting. Last year, Butler was a consensus All-American and the Ray Guy Award winner as the nation’s top punter. He is one of the finalists for the 2010 Ray Guy Award too. Butler owns a career punting average of 46.4 which is on pace to be a school record.
Kickoff at Sanford Stadium for the Georgia-Georgia Tech game is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET