Dec. 24, 2000
By JAYMES SONG
Associated Press Writer
HONOLULU - Virginia's George Welsh and Georgia's Jim Donnan will coach
their teams for the last time in the Oahu Bowl on Sunday.
Welsh, 67, is retiring after a 19-year career at Virginia because of health
"This isn't a game where they should win one for the Gipper," Welsh said.
"They should be just thinking about their assignments and trying to beat the
guy across from them."
Donnan, who was fired after the Bulldogs finished the season poorly against
its biggest rivals, is voicing the same sentiment to his players.
"I'm not one of those coaches who will stand up and give a speech about
winning the game for me," said Donnan, who is 39-19 in five seasons at
Georgia. "We're a team together. We want to win it for the Georgia Bulldogs.
That's how it should be."
Players haven't paid much attention their coaches' wishes and are promising
an emotional and physical battle on the field in hopes of a win.
No. 24 Georgia (7-4) is trying to win its fourth consecutive bowl, something
the program has never accomplished.
The Bulldogs started the season winning six of their first seven games. They
stumbled when quarterback Quincy Carter tore a ligament in his throwing hand
and missed the last month of the season. The team lost three of its last four
Cory Phillips will start the bowl game in place of Carter. Phillips appeared
in nine games this year, throwing for 1,093 yards, eight touchdowns and six
Virginia is led by running back Antwoine Womack, who has rushed for 1,028
yards and nine touchdowns this season.
The Oahu Bowl will be the Georgia's third bowl matchup with Virginia (6-5)
in six seasons. The Cavaliers won 34-27 in the 1995 Peach Bowl, but the
Bulldogs prevailed 35-33 in the same bowl in 1998.
While the Bulldogs ride a three-bowl winning streak, the Cavaliers have lost
three straight bowl games since the victory in 1995.
When Welsh took over the team in 1982, the Cavaliers had only two winning
seasons in 30 years. He has transformed the program to a perennial bowl
contender with 10 appearances in the last 12 years.
Welsh downplayed his final football practice on Saturday.
"It's just another practice," he said. "The only thing I'm going to do is
save the last practice schedule... I may put that in a frame.
"I figured out I made over 2,000 (of them) in my coaching career."