ATHENS -- The Georgia Bulldogs enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon that began with a 40-minute practice in full pads and ended with a 36-minute session of "grass basketball."
"We had another normal day of practice planned, it was going to be like a Tuesday practice in full pads," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "It was a beautiful day, and I figured we needed to get the scout work in and then have some fun by bringing everybody together for grass basketball. We got the work in and then divided into some teams and played three 12-minute games."
"Grass basketball" is similar to the sport of Ultimate Frisbee, except participants use a football. An eight-team playoff format was utilized Sunday, and the defensive lineman/outside linebackers emerged as champions. In the final, they defeated the quarterbacks/specialists. The other teams consisted of offensive linemen, defensive backs, wide receivers/tight ends, running backs, inside linebackers, and managers/trainers.
Richt named junior outside linebacker Justin Houston, who also served as the coach for his squad, the most valuable player.
"We had fun, it was good bonding time, and any time you can get everybody together and have some fun, it's good," said Houston. "We had three key players in Abry Jones, Demarcus Dobbs and Candler Cook, they pulled us through."
Sunday marked the sixth of eight days of bowl practice in Athens for the Bulldogs. They will have a total of 11 practice sessions, including a pair of two-a-day workouts. The remainder of the on-campus practice schedule features a two-a-day workout on Monday and then a final session on Tuesday before breaking for the holidays. The team will reconvene in Memphis, Tenn., for final preparations on Dec. 26.
Georgia (6-6) will battle 24th-ranked Central Florida (10-3) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN and carried on national radio on SIRIUS channel 120 and XM channel 140.
The Bulldogs will be making their 14th consecutive bowl appearance. UGA ranks as one of the top five bowl teams of all-time in wins and appearances. Georgia is 26-16-3 all-time in bowl games, including 7-2 under Richt.