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Georgia’s Bobo Out Of Peach Bowl

December 28, 1995

ATLANTA (AP) _ Jim Donnan, Georgia’s new football coach, won’t have to worry about star quarterback Mike Bobo reinjuring his tender knee when the Bulldogs meet 18th-ranked Virginia in the Peach Bowl Saturday night.

``He will not play under any circumstances,″ Wayne McDuffie, Georgia’s offensive coordinator, said Thursday.

Bobo had passed for 818 yards and five touchdowns before going down in the Bulldogs’ fourth game, against Mississippi. He appeared to be headed for the kind of season that would quell fears the team couldn’t function well offensively following the loss of Eric Zeier, the leading passer in Southeastern Conference history.

Bobo has returned to the practice field for the bowl game preparations, but McDuffie said he was only 65 percent recovered. Bobo is expected to be more than 90 percent recovered by the time spring practice begins next year.

Georgia will start Hines Ward at quarterback in the Peach Bowl.

It’s been a rocky season for the Bulldogs (6-5) who, due to injuries, have had to use six starting tailbacks and three starting quarterbacks.

Added to the on-field problems was the clamoring of some fans to ditch seven-year coach Ray Goff.

Goff was fired before the Bulldogs won their final game against Georgia Tech to qualify for a bowl bid. Goff will be on the sidelines for his alma mater for the final time in the game at the Georgia Dome.

Georgia thought it had a coach a week before Christmas when Glen Mason of Kansas accepted the job. But he changed his mind Christmas Day before Kansas beat UCLA in the Aloha Bowl, informing Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley that he had decided to stay with the Jayhawks.

Dooley immediately contacted Donnan, who in six years has built Marshall into a Division I-AA national power. Donnan was hired Christmas night and will take over the Bulldogs program next week.

McDuffie called this his most challenging year in coaching.

``Without a doubt,″ he said. ``My offensive staff has done a great job of keeping our guys focused. You have to focus on what needs to be done and not worry about all those other things.″

McDuffie’s hopes of fielding a high-powered offense waned when Bobo was injured two games after the team lost tailback Robert Edwards to a broken foot at Tennessee.

Asked if he will be glad when it’s over, McDuffie said, ``Could we possibly have played yesterday?″

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