Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Dogs Try to Keep Focus; Georgia's Richt Reminds Players of a 2005 Sugar Bowl Trip Turning Sour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Dogs Try to Keep Focus; Georgia's Richt Reminds Players of a 2005 Sugar Bowl Trip Turning Sour

Article excerpt

Byline: MARC WEISZER

NEW ORLEANS -- Two years ago, iPod Nanos and Xbox 360s were must-haves on holiday shopping lists. Chris Davis, then a senior at Jefferson High School, got tickets to the Sugar Bowl matching Georgia against West Virginia.

"It wasn't too much of a Christmas present after that day," said Davis, now a Georgia redshirt freshman starting offensive guard.

Davis went to the Georgia Dome, where the game was relocated because of Hurricane Katrina, and talked plenty of smack.

"The whole time I was talking junk to West Virginia fans," Davis said. "I thought we were going to roll over them. I had a buddy that my dad knew that was a West Virginia fan and I remember me and him we're going back and forth with it. When they jumped up 21-0, I got quiet really quick."

It was a quiet trip home for the Bulldogs after the 38-35 loss, a game Georgia trailed by four touchdowns in the second quarter.

"Coach [Mark] Richt brings that up all the time," senior defensive end Marcus Howard said. "They really destroyed us. We know we can't take no team lightly."

Georgia can use the Sugar Bowl from 2005 as a lesson for the Sugar Bowl this time around against Hawaii at the Superdome Tuesday night.

"Hopefully we can learn from our Sugar Bowl game a couple of years ago," Richt said. "Not many people gave West Virginia a chance and they came in and made a lot of their reputation on us at expense of Georgia and the Southeastern Conference champions."

Now Hawaii can author a signature win for its program just like West Virginia.

"West Virginia ever since '05, their program has soared tremendously," cornerback Bryan Evans said. "Here we go again. Hawaii is looking to get up there to the top and have their program succeed and keep increasing."

"It wasn't fun going through a loss like that," senior offensive tackle Chester Adams said. "I saw the game copy on TV the other day. It was kind of rough to see. You don't want it to happen no more."

Georgia again is the favorite from the powerful SEC. Hawaii the underdog making its first ever appearance in a BCS bowl.

"We're not the Southeastern Conference champions, but we are a highly-ranked Southeastern Conference team," Richt said. …

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