NEW ORLEANS — Georgia senior tight end Charlie Woerner is doing his best to soak it all in, aware that this Sugar Bowl will be his last time out as a Georgia Bulldog.
“I think this team is a lot more excited to play in this game,” Woerner said on Friday after arriving at Louis Armstrong International Airport, asked about the contrast from last year’s Sugar Bowl appearance.
“This team just bought into going to play the game and playing for each other, and we all want to win, and we all want to have fun.”
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 7-ranked Baylor (11-2) at 8:45 p.m. next Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Last year’s Georgia football team arrived in New Orleans heartbroken, left out of the College Football Playoffs on account of politics, according to ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit.
There was no controversy about the Bulldogs’ No. 5-ranking this season.
Georgia, in fact, arrives intent on proving its worth coming off a 37-10 loss to LSU in the SEC Championship Game.
The fact several key Bulldogs’ players are expected to be missing — starting offensive linemen Andrew Thomas, Ben Cleveland and Isaiah Wilson, along with tailback Brian Herrien and defensive lineman Tyler Clark — has led to an infusion of youth.
“The team, we’re still excited to come here and do some things, especially the freshmen,” Woerner said. “Even the guys who came here last year, there’s a little nostalgia.
“But at the end of the day we are excited.”