Advocare Independence Bowl

Georgia (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (6-6)

Dec. 28, 5 p.m., (ESPN2)

Georgia’s 13th consecutive bowl trip probably seems a little hollow. This is not what anybody in Athens wanted or expected, as evidenced by Mark Richt’s firing of three of his defensive assistants last week.

The only defensive assistant remaining is tackles coach Rodney Garner. Richt said about 99 percent of his time will be spent on the defensive end of the field this month in practice, as none of the fired assistants chose to hang around for the bowl game. For the second straight year, the Bulldogs struggled to stop anybody. They’ve given up 37 or more points nine times in the past two seasons, which is the reason Willie Martinez, John Jancek and Jon Fabris weren’t retained.

Despite the disappointment this season, Georgia at least goes into its bowl matchup with Texas A&M with a little momentum. The Bulldogs knocked off then No. 7 Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale thanks to their best all-around performance of the season.

Georgia beat itself more times than not this season. The Bulldogs were last in the SEC with 99 penalties, which was also a problem in 2008, and they’re 119th out of 120 teams nationally in turnover margin.

Freshman running back Washaun Ealey was a bright spot during the latter part of the season, and star receiver A.J. Green should also be back for the bowl game after missing the last two games with an injured shoulder.