Originally created 04/09/06

Georgia quarterbacks struggle



ATHENS, Ga. - Matthew Stafford certainly knows how to make a first impression.

Moments after he was greeted by applause simply by trotting onto the Sanford Stadium field at Saturday's G-Day, the freshman hooked up on a long pass to wide receiver Mikey Henderson for a 64-yard touchdown on his first throw.

That was the offensive highlight on a day for the defense, which picked off six passes - two for touchdowns - and saw its No. 1 unit not give up a touchdown in a 14-10 Red win over the Black.

Georgia coach Mark Richt hobnobbed with recruits and spent the second quarter in the TV booth during the CSS broadcast, but when he watches the replay he'll find more negatives than positives in the quarterback play.

"I don't think today was a good showing for the QBs as far as what we've been doing in the spring," said senior Joe Tereshinski, who threw two interceptions and completed just 2 of 7 passes for 45 yards playing exclusively with the first-team offense. "We've done a lot better, and we didn't really show it today."

Nobody won Georgia's opening for its starting quarterback job Saturday, but redshirt freshman Joe Cox didn't help his case by being picked off four times, including two returned for long touchdowns.

Cox had another would-be interception wiped out. Richt said he wouldn't write off Cox even though he called the game the "truest test," of the spring.

"I'm not too worried," Richt said.

Cox said he was pressing too hard. Tereshinski mentioned he wasn't as comfortable with the G-Day format that had the Georgia offensive coaches and players split up.

"They're not going to base anything off one performance," Cox said. "I know I didn't have a good day and I just look forward to summer to get better and fall camp to prove myself again."

Cox's 162 passing yards were overshadowed by 185 yards in interception returns against him including an 80-yard touchdown by Ramarcus Brown and a 100-yard return by freshman Asher Allen.

"Everybody got a pick today," Richt said.

Georgia quarterbacks also were picked off by Paul Oliver, Tony Taylor and Jarvis Jackson and North Augusta's CJ Byrd.

"As much as these guys are trying to impress us with the plays they can make, they also have to impress us with the ability of making good decisions out there," Richt said.

Stafford had the best day of the quarterbacks, completing 5 of 12 passes for 102 yards and was the only quarterback not to throw an interception.

Richt said he will review film of the G-Day game and spring practices and settle on the quarterback pecking order, but he expects the depth chart at quarterback will remain the same heading into August: Tereshinski, Barnes, Cox and Stafford.

The question is what will it look like come Sept. 2 against Western Kentucky?

"I have no clue," senior defensive tackle Ray Gant said, "but I hope they hurry up and figure it out."