The Georgia Bulldogs skipped any calorie counting Thursday after beginning preparations for Michigan State in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2.
Following a 90-minute workout in full pads, Bulldogs coaches and players were treated to a customary meal at Outback Steakhouse that accompanies the postseason invitation. An Outback Bowl representative was awaiting the team at the Athens location, as were 170 steaks, 120 pounds of ribs, 600 grilled shrimp, 100 pounds of chicken, 120 steamed lobster tails, 170 baked potatoes and 60 Bloomin' Onions.
There were 170 salads available, and there were 60 gallons of sweet tea to chase down the grub.
"We walked in and saw all that food, and it was like, 'Oh yeah,'" senior offensive tackle Justin Anderson said. "That was awfully nice of the folks from Outback to do for us. We really appreciated it. I'm glad we practiced before we went over there.
"I ate so many ribs, there was no way I could have practiced later in the day."
Thursday's workout was the first since Georgia allowed 42 consecutive points in a 42-10 loss to LSU in the Southeastern Conference championship game Dec. 3. The Bulldogs will practice the next five days in Athens before taking a five-day break for the Holidays.
The team will reconvene in Tampa on Dec. 26.
"I thought we started a little sluggish since it was our first time back in a while, but the pace picked up when we got into our competitive drills," coach Mark Richt said. "We were blessed with a great morning temperature-wise, and we got in some good work."
Kickoff for the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium is 1 p.m., and the game will be televised by ABC.
Odds and ends
Georgia is 3-0 all-time at the Outback Bowl and holds a 2-0 series edge over Michigan State. ... Senior punter Drew Butler showed up with a walking boot on his left foot but told reporters he was fine. ... Freshman outside linebacker Sterling Bailey recently tore ligaments in his foot and will have to undergo surgery that is expected to knock him out of spring practice. ... The Bulldogs have sold out their allotment of 12,000 tickets for the bowl, while the Spartans are still shy of 7,000. This is Georgia's first bowl trip to Florida since the Capital One Bowl after the 2008 season; Michigan State played in the Capital One in '08 and again last season, when it lost 49-7 to Alabama.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...