Originally created 09/15/96

Dogs' woes just keep getting worse

COLUMBIA - Maybe Ray Goff wasn't done such a terrible injustice after all. Maybe he's actually the lucky one.

While Jim Donnan must pace the Georgia sideline and watch the Bulldogs commit more sight gags than were contained in the entire script of Ernest Goes to Camp, the Goofer - that lucky dog - sits at home on his ranch in Watkinsville, Ga.

While Donnan frets and winces at his team's continued follies and incredible 0-2 start, Goff kicks back and counts his money and - who knows? - maybe gorges himself on the Cartoon Network.

At least Bugs, Wile E. and the boys are supposed to be funny. Georgia's offense is just inadvertently comical.

Witness the first half of Saturday night's 23-14 loss at Williams-Brice Stadium. In spotting rambunctious South Carolina a 16-7 halftime lead, the Bulldogs seemed intent on finding new and exciting ways to botch plays.

In order, Georgia's first five possessions went this way: fumble, fumble, missed field goal, punt, interception.

Donnan, arms folded, watched from the sidelines with a dyspeptic frown on his tanned face. No, it didn't look like he was having much fun.

Meanwhile, it was party time for the USC defensive line.

There were unsubstantiated reports floating around that Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Dana Stubblefield and Charles Haley had been seen snooping around the USC locker room before Saturday's game. And, according to those same reports, Gamecocks equipment managers were frantically searching for XXXXL jerseys with which to outfit their oversized guests.

That's just about the only reasonable explanation for what took place in the trenches.

Time after time, USC defensive linemen blew past the Georgia hogs and tossed quarterback Mike Bobo to the turf. Counting three sacks and numerous knockdowns, conservative estimates had Bobo's white No. 14 jersey meeting the turf at least a dozen times.

To his credit, he kept getting back up. No doubt wondering: Who are these guys?

According to the roster, Maynard Caldwell, Michael Maddox, John Abraham and Barnwell's Henry Taylor were doing most of that damage. But we remain partial to the White-Smith-Stubblefield-Haley conspiracy theory.

"They came after us," a stunned Bobo said. "They whupped us."

USC coach Brad Scott has a term for particularly stout defensive teams. "Salty" he likes to call them.

Saturday night, Scott's Gamecocks were uncommonly salty. And Taylor - if, indeed, that was him and not Reggie White out there wearing No. 90 - looked like Mr. Salty.

He's the one who kept burrowing past the Georgia line to twist Bobo, Robert Edwards and friends into cruel and unusual shapes.

Just imagine how bent out of shape Bulldog Nation must be right about now. In 106 years of football, this is just the 11th time Georgia has dropped its first two games.

Texas Tech is next. Then Mississippi State on the road, then Tennessee. Can you say oh-and-five?

Back in Watkinsville, surrounded by his cows and dogs and family, Ray Goff had to be enjoying the heck out of this one.

Who's unlucky now?


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