Russ pro­moted to Ge­or­gia Bull­dogs’ new mas­cot

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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.

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