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August 18, 2006

No matter who gets named "Starting QB" tomorrow

Please remember that it took Eric Zeier 6 games (and 7 weeks) to start at UGA in 1991. He was the #1 QB in the country coming out of high school, and he enrolled early to participate in spring practice that year. He was also trained/tutored by Wayne McDuffie, one of the greatest offensive minds in SEC history. And, he was only trying to beat out Greg Talley.

I'm sure Talley is a good Dawg and a good person, but as a QB. Wow. I think I'd take him over Brian Smith if I were drafting UGA QBs, but names lower on the draft list would be pretty short.

In 1991, we opened with a Div I-AA team. Just like this year. We had a tough SEC game with LSU in Week 2. Talley started again. After an off week, we played Bama on the road. We have an SEC road game early this year at SC. We had a cupcake opponent in Cal-State Fullerton in Game 4. This year we get UAB in game three.

When #7 Clemson came to Athens in Week 5, we still had Talley starting the game. Zeier didn't come into the game until after the Mike Jones strip that saved a touchdown. Zeier marched us down the field, and we won the game.

Zeier started the Ole Miss game on the road in Week 6, and then we lost at Vandy in Week 7. That's right, we beat the #7 team in America and then lost to Vandy. point. Richt isn't Goff. Obviously. But, McDuffie was an elite offensive mind like Richt, and he didn't rush the best QB that we've ever had onto the field in '91.

Who knows. Maybe JT3 wins the job for the season. But, no matter who starts Week 1, it doesn't mean much for the long term outlook of this season. It's just Week 1.



Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

I made this point elsewhere, probably on MGoBlog, a couple days ago, but it's worth remembering that David Greene had never taken one single snap in an actual game before he took the field against Arkansas State as a redshirt freshman in the 2001 season opener, and that turned out pretty well. I won't sit here and say that Tereshinski is at Greene's level, but at the same time -- though my memory may be faulty -- I don't recall Greene being that highly touted as a recruit, certainly nothing like the hype surrounding Zeier or Quincy Carter, or even Shockley, really. In addition, Richt is now a five-year veteran rather than a brand-spanking-new head coach, which I think has gotta be worth something in terms of JT3's and Stafford's development.

If we could take eight out of eleven in 2001, who's to say we can't take nine -- or ten -- out of 12 this time around?

Anonymous said...

pwd... what do you think of the "i'm Georgia" towel campain... will you used your shaker... or used the towel????

Anonymous said...

just got back from sanford, we were standing on the bridge and asaked the security lady below if we could come in and she said if we were students, so we went in and checked it out.

I picked up three things from watching.

1. Stafford isn't the guy YET. He threw four picks, all very VERY ugly throws.

2. Durham might have the best hands on the team. He looked the ball in, made solid catches, then made smooth sailing.

3. The OT's are a step too slow. Granted, Marcus Howard can move. But still, i was concerned.

Brandon Miller, Moses, Johnson and Battle didn't play.

Ware and #1, who i assume is knowshon, ran the ball very well.

Joe T is the guy

Anonymous said...

momass and lumpkin switched jerseys today.

Anonymous said...

I can remember when Greene beat out Cory Phillips in 2001 and thinking, "who the hell is Greene?" I thought Phillips played really well at the end of 2000 and would have been the starter. That decision turned out well.

What we have to remember is that Richt was a college QB at an elite school for QB's (Miami), coached 2 Heisman winners, and coached the winningest QB in Div. I history. While I second guess his play calling from time to time (Sorry MR), I am not going to 2nd guess him on how to run the program or who he should start at QB.

SmoothJimmyApollo said...

I too can remember the 2001 QB Challenge. My roomate was a lowly way-down-the depth chart LB at the time. He came home the Friday before the official announcement was made and dropped the David Greene news on us. I had been sure Cory Phillips was going to be the starter, based on the previous year's action. I too was struck with a bout of "David Greene who?" It was cool to find out a day or two before most people new though.

Anonymous said...

In '91 my friend was being recruited by UGA and I was fortunate enough to tag along with him for the UGA/Clemson game.

Great experience!! We had one of the Georgia Girls show us around. What a treat for 16 year old boys to have a hottie show you around the Classic City.

Anyway, I was in the locker room celebrating with the team. Hard to believe that I was cheering along with Eric Zeier, Garrison Hearst, Andre Hastings, Larry Ware, Arthur Marshall and the rest. It is a memory that I will never forget. :)

I remember going to the bathroom a few minutes after Goff gave the congratulatory speech to the team and seeing Talley at his locker all by himself. You could see it in his eyes...

He knew he would never start again or play much for the Dawgs. In hindsight, he was probably surprised he held Zeier off as long as he did.

The difference with the QB situation back then and the present QB situation is that unlike Talley who had plenty of starting QB experience, Joe T has started one game in which we lost. Joe is a great guy and will do whatever it takes to help the team win but we all know Joe T lacks the QB talent of these other guys. I'm not saying we can't win with him at the helm, but I can surely say he is not as gifted a QB.

If our running game goes sour and we have to rely on Joe T's arm, I think we are in for some trouble.

Now, I can't make an assessment on Barnes because I have never seen him play. However, I can give my limited impression on Cox and Stafford.

I attended the spring game and was impressed with Cox short range game and ability to move the chains. However, that does not take away from the fact that he can't throw and out route, threw 4 picks, and kept his team from eating steak.

Finally, I saw Matt Stafford play ball. This kid is cool, calm, and has a cannon for a right arm. He was not affected at all by the crowd giving him a standing ovation before he even made it into the huddle. The only thing that hurt him that day were his tight ends. If they catch the ball, there's no telling how many yards he racks up.

While this battle has created great competition among the QBs, I feel Coach Richt has known for quite some time how this will unfold. By keeping the media out of the loop, he's taken some pressure off of each of them, especially Matt Stafford.

Maybe he's had some bad practices, but from reading Vince Dooley's books, so did Herschel during his Freshman practices. A lot of the players on that team saw potential in Herschel but didn't see what all the fuss was about until that glorious night when he ran over Bill Bates. Herschel was a gamer and I believe Stafford is too.

I understand what PWD is talking about, and it makes a lot of sense. However, unlike the Zeier/Talley situation, we are dealing with a close race between 4 inexperienced guys, each of whom are going to occasionally make mistakes. However, instead of playing 2 or 3 players, let's play the most talented guy who will help the Dawgs get back to Atlanta.

Cream always rises to the top

Go Dawgs!


Anonymous said...

Greene had some good games as a Redshirt Frosh, but he lost one or two as well. I had that BC game in the Music City Bowl on tape and watched it a couple of times. Greene was absolutely AWFUL in that game....and that was after an entire season was under his belt as a redshirt Frosh(in a crappy bowl against a mediocre opponent).
And we did lose 4 games that year -didn't seem too bad because it was Richt's first year.

The point is not to forget that Greene took his lumps his first year and we can expect the same from whoever the qb is this year. The program obviously has increased expectations now, but it's hard to be a big winner with a new qb. Shockley was a new starter, but hardly inexperienced in game situations.

I'm hoping for a great season, but fully prepared for 3 or 4 losses and an Outback or Peach Bowl bid.

Anonymous said...

Richt's first year as a coach had just as much to do with 4 losses as Greene being a first year starter. That AU game still hurts.

Richt has it down now and has been as good a coach as there is in the country.

I realize we are thin on the O-line and that we'll probably be a little more stacked in the upcoming years....

However, I think people's pessimism over this season is crazy. I believe we have just as much of a chance to win all of our SEC East games or any games, as to lose any of them.

SC has woes on the O-Line. Despite FLA having 432 5 Star wide receivers, they have woes on the O-line. Tenn is coming off a 6 loss season and I believe we should be able to beat vandy and kentucky.

Other than AU I don't see any team on the schedule that has as much talent as UGA.

Thomas Brown is going to spark the running game taking a lot of pressure off of the young QB. I am optimistic the O-Line will allow him to do so.

Try not to write these guys off. It feels like the 90's when I read these posts.

UGA doesn't rebuild, it reloads.

Anonymous said...

I'm 52, been a dawg fan since I was 3, was a walk on at UGA in 1972 as a white boy who turned down a full ride to a black college football factory who had to follow his dream to be a dawg. Didn't work out, but I got a great education & loved those RR tracks, coeds, etc.

Nobody bleeds red & black more than me, no body since he was 12 has figured more ways we could go undefeated than me in the preseason. Only happened once-1980, but I still pull for the boys.

Anyhow, I like our Head coach & his staff; we play 60 minutes again even if we lose; we play rockem defense; our placekicking & punting games are again highly emphasized; we are going to reestablish our power running game again, while balancing our attack.

Our secret to success will always ride on 4 things---top notch offensive linemen; top notch defensive linemen; playing a smart quarterback with a killer instinct and a devil may care attitude who uses the running game to establish the "smash mouth football mentality" and then throws it; and HAVING THE PROPER BULLDAWG ATTITUDE=you MIGHT knock my teeth out, but I'm gonna spit the blood and teeth in your face as I jump on your head, & proceed to whip your butt or die trying!!!!

Gentlemen, like our teams of the the 1940's & 1980-1983, Mark Richt (who by the way knows what it is like to be a hot shot quarterback that is last on the totem pole on a national championship contender full of hot shot quarterbacks=has been there himself)has got us back to THAT ATTITUDE TO GO WITH HIS RECRUITING=THE MOST EFFECTIVE IN STATE RECRUITING EVER by UGA.

I am a happy dawg!!! Scratch my belly & lets play ball !!!!

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Anonymous@10:06, you took the words right out of my mouth. Greene, while talented, was a little unseasoned in his first season, but the losses in the Auburn game and, to a lesser extent, the bowl game against BC were due in large part to poor clock management on the part of the coaching staff -- mistakes they probably won't be making this year.

Granted, there are still a lot of things that have to go right and a lot of planets that have to align for this to be a truly special season, but if last season taught us anything, it's that we're capable of stuff like that. As long as we notch double-digit wins this year, I'm an automatic happy camper -- and I think it's hardly beyond our abilities.

Anonymous said...

the 2001 competition was between former walk-on Phillips, a true freshman Shockley (who like the other QBs you mentioned Doug, along with Stafford, were among the elite--top 5-- QB recruits nationally coming out of hs), and a redshirt freshman Greene (wasn't a big time recruit, but was highly though of, I guess you could compare to say Blake Barnes in that both were solid recruits but nobody's 5 star, and came in with a two QB class--Greene and Sean Jones, Barnes and AJ Bryant). Greene took over the job, for good reason as he went on to win more than any QB has in college. Which leads me to basically trust Richt on this. He and staff have done a great job other than a few game management lessons Richt had to endure in season 1.

I'd put the odds on being named starter at...

And based on my past prognosticating history, that means either Stafford or Cox get the nod.

Anonymous said...

I like your assessment, Mr. Egger, except that I thought Barnes was pretty much everyone's 5 star qb. He has been hurt a lot, so he hasn't had the opportunity to break in even if it would have been available. Don't sell Blake short.

82 said...


Don't sell Blake short.

You guys are crazy.

And PWD, am I reading this right....are you comparing Greg Talley (a man who had started games as the #1, not by default) to JTIII (a man who is only on the team because of his family and is only in the mix because of his senority and willingness to do anything for the team)?

And Stafford (a kid while very talented he has still yet to take a snap, wasnt the #1 in the country like Zeier, and more importantly [and please read this carefully] HASNT BEEN GOOD ENOUGH TO TAKE THE JOB AWAY FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER BEEN A #1 (see above desciption) like Greene did from Phillips) to Zeier, the best qb this program (110 year old program) has ever seen? Were you trying to compare that situation to this one?

I too was shocked they picked Greene ahead of CP and I was there, I saw them play everyday and still couldnt believe it. But I couldnt believe it because of CP's actual minutes played compared to Greene who as a true freshman wasnt good enough to run the scout team. That call worked out in the end and thats all you can say about that. CMR will let the battle work its way out and if no one can step up and take the job from JTIII then shame on our ability scout QB talent. Cause I agree with anon 10:11 PM, if we have to start throwing the ball to do anything on offense with #13 we are going to be in some deep sh!t.

Unknown said...

82 - you're way off base.

JT3 was a 4 star recruit from, and he was a Top 10 preseason QB from TheSporting News.

Stafford wasn't the consensus #1 QB in the country. He was a consensus top 3 with Tebow and Mustain. Three different major pubs put all 3 at the #1 spot.

The ONLY reason that Talley was the #1 QB is because no one else was worth a damn either.

In 1990, we went 4-7. Talley started the win vs. Southern Miss. Preston Jones came in and saved Talley vs. Bama. Joe Dupree came in and saved Talley versus Vanderbilt, and I have no idea who the other win was. Although I think it was East Carolina.

The comparison between the 1991 QB race and the 2006 race is incredibly similar.

Greg Talley couldn't beat VANDERBILT without help in 1990. JT3 could at least beat those guys.


82 said...

You are right about Talley not beating Vandy without help and JTIII being able to do atleast that, however, one thing you forgot is that Zeier got beat by Vandy too, twice, its just 2 different Ga teams from 91-06, you cant compare them, much less this qb race.

In 91 there was a #1 who started the previous year and then the new more talented guy who eventually took the #1 spot over. It wasnt so much of a race as the deepth chart just working its way out in game play.

In 2006 you have had 4 guys all taking snaps with the #1's trying to win the #1 spot. You have a guy who has never been a #1 (unlike Talley) and another guy who (and you can compare them all you want) isnt on the same page as Zeier, not even close, at least not right now. Hell, he cant even match up to Cox right now, he has a long way to go just to see the field and to size him up with the best QB in the schools history is just wrong.

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