ATHENS, Ga. -- After playing its first six games with an interim mascot, Georgia will introduce Uga VIII before Saturday's homecoming game against Vanderbilt.
Georgia has had "Russ" as the interim mascot since Uga VII's death last year.
Uga VIII's registered name is "Big Bad Bruce" in honor of Dr. Bruce Hollett of the university's school of veterinary medicine. Hollett has helped in the care and treatment of the line of white English bulldog mascots owned by members of Savannah-based Sonny Seiler's family.
University of Georgia president Michael Adams and new athletic director Greg McGarity will participate in the pregame ceremony as the collar is passed from Russ to Uga VIII.
"Uga is one of the most storied mascots in the history of college athletics," McGarity said. "He is the rallying point for the Bulldog Nation. As our mascot he represents everything we want our student-athletes and fans to be ... proud, loyal, tenacious and relentless.
"We look forward to his long and successful reign and appreciate all the Seiler family has contributed to our mascot program for more than half a century," he said.
Uga VIII is 13 months old. He weighs 55 pounds and is the grandson of Uga VI.
"We had several puppies that were direct descendants from the Uga line to choose from," Seiler said. "We came to the conclusion that this dog had all the physical attributes that we look for in a Georgia mascot.
"We made the choice based on experience and I'm confident the Bulldog Nation will be pleased when he is introduced Saturday," Seiler said.