Russ promoted to Georgia Bulldogs’ new mascot
ATHENS (AP) — University of Georgia officials said Russ the bulldog has been promoted as the school’s new mascot.
Director of Athletics Greg McGarity announced Thursday on the school’s website that Russ will assume the title of Uga IX, the 8-year-old bulldog who is the half-brother of Uga VII.
Russ served two terms as interim mascot for the Bulldogs, filling in for the final two games following the November 2009 death of Uga VII, and the first six games in 2010. Russ made an appearance at the 2010 Liberty Bowl to replace an ill Uga VIII.
Russ became the interim mascot after Uga VIII died in February 2011.
Official ceremonies will be held before the Sept. 15 game between Georgia-Florida Atlantic at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
Georgia is 14-9 with Russ as mascot.
Branden Oliver, coming off his school-record 1,395 yards rushing in 2011, had 30 carries for 111 yards and a 2-yard touchdown run for the Bulls.
Georgia opened the season with a tailback committee but Gurley may have claimed the lead role. Gurley (6-1, 218) showed both power and speed and was the highlight to Georgia’s otherwise unimpressive opener.
Gurley is Georgia’s first freshman to run for 100 yards in his first game since Danny Ware ran for 135 yards against Georgia Southern in 2004.
Murray completed 15 of 26 passes 258 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. After his sluggish opening half, Murray threw scoring passes of 38 yards to Rantavious Wooten in the third quarter and 12 yards to Michael Bennett in the fourth.
Murray, a junior opening his third season as the starter, struggled early in the game with accuracy, often overthrowing receivers. He was on target for a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King, giving Georgia a 24-6 lead in the second quarter.
Three starters — safety Bacarri Rambo, linebacker Alec Ogletree and cornerback Sanders Commings — were held out with suspensions. Richt had announced before the game that Commings and outside linebacker Chase Vasser would serve two-game suspensions after offseason arrests. The other suspensions were for violations of team rules.
Georgia also was without cornerback Malcolm Mitchell, who was on crutches after spraining his left ankle in Thursday’s practice, and wide receiver Marlon Brown, who has a strained left hamstring.
Freshman left tackle John Theus left with an apparent left knee injury in the fourth quarter.