PHOTOS : Taxslayer Bowl Practice Begins

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PHOTOS : Taxslayer Bowl Practice Begins

Trent Thompson getting ready for his next rep

Trent Thompson getting ready for his next rep
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated

 

With final exams complete, the Georgia Bulldogs turned their focus to football and conducted a two-hour workout Wednesday evening as Taxslayer Bowl practice kicked off.

 

It marked the first of seven scheduled practices in Athens in preparation for the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl against Penn State slated for Jan. 2 in Jacksonville.

 

Georgia’s interim head coach Bryan McClendon and selected Bulldogs met with the media during a Wednesday luncheon and discussed the upcoming contest against the Nittany Lions (7-5). The Bulldogs (9-3) will be looking to win ten games in a season for the 22nd time in school history. Additionally, the senior class enters the game with a 39-13 record. Georgia will be making its 51st appearance in a bowl game when it battles Penn State. The Bulldogs will be playing in a bowl for a school-record 19th consecutive season.

 

“I see this game as an opportunity, and the last game of this season,” McClendon said when asked about the bowl game. “It’s an opportunity to give these seniors those 40 wins and get a 10-win season.”

 

Senior defensive tackle Sterling Bailey is thankful of the opportunity to play one more time for the Bulldogs and excited to see McClendon in the role of interim head coach.

 

“You are being put in an elite class when you get those 40 wins, and it means a lot to me and the seniors to have that shot,” Bailey said. “It’s going to be interesting to see his (McClendon’s) coaching style because we’ve seen him as a position coach. I know he’s going to be good; he’s going to be fun. He brings a lot of energy as a position coach, and I can’t wait to see the energy he brings as a head coach.”

 

The TaxSlayer Bowl will kick off at 12 p.m. (EST) on ESPN on Saturday, Jan. 2. The broadcast team will feature Allan Bestwick (play-by-play), Dan Hawkins (analyst) and Tiffany Greene (sidelines).

 

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.