ESPN.com reports that Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Joe Cox confirmed his shoulder problems. However, Cox is focused on playing through his injury.
Sophomore quarterback Logan Gray reportedly worked a lot of reps with the first team in this week’s practices. Expect coach Mark Richt to deploy a two-quarterback system vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks tonight.
Cox was shaky and threw the ball without any zip (two words: hang time) in the opening loss at Oklahoma State, but he said the injury has not affected his arm strength. His biggest problem in the opener was the flu, which caused him to lose nine pounds.
Cox said he is completely over his illness now.
Today may be Cox’s final audition if he has another disappointing performance. Gray can run as well as pass, and he has a stronger arm than Joe Cox.
I thought the Bulldogs defense played all right vs. the powerful Oklahoma State Cowboys offense, providing enough opportunities for the offense to outscore the opponent.
Georgia-South Carolina have always played close, defensive battles in recent seasons. Today, I expect a 20-17 or even a 13-10 type of game.
With both offenses so inept in Week One, I joke about this game being 3-2. However, it’s not illogical to think that either team may struggle to score more than one touchdown against the other.
Today is a critical game for both teams, especially Georgia. To start off 0-2 probably means an 8-4 or 7-5 season for the Bulldogs.
A win today may mean a 10-2 or 9-3 season for the Bulldogs from Athens, GA.
Special teams, field position, the field goal kickers, and turnovers will tilt today’s game.
When these two squads square off, there really is no home-field advantage, as both teams show up with great defenses and struggling offenses typically.
The issue at Columbia is that the Gamecocks under coach Steve Spurrier start a season strongly, but weaken suddenly during the last month of the season, like they are out of shape or not mentally focused.
Steve Spurrier is 64 years old, and despite a general opinion that he has not coached greatly with South Carolina, he has won more games in four years than any previous Gamecocks coach in history.
While Spurrier himself is far from being satisfied with his record with the Gamecocks, he has pride and wants South Carolina to improve and compete for the SEC East title.
I used to think Spurrier signed with South Carolina mainly to play golf at exclusive golf courses, such as Hilton Head and Augusta National (about an hour drive from Columbia).
While that may be partly true, and who could blame him, he has made significant coaching changes this off-season. The simple fact is no coach can find top-caliber recruits in the South Carolina area like he used to in Florida.
I like Mark Richt a lot; he’s a very good head coach and a great man. He was won two SEC titles, but perhaps his recruiting and coaching peaked around 2005.
Has Richt changed Georgia to become another Florida State University? Other words, are his recruits more athletic and finesse than being fundamentally sound and physical?
My point is that a FSU/ACC style of offense is not a good fit in the SEC, especially against teams such as Florida, LSU, and Alabama.
Does Georgia’s defense go after the ball for interceptions? Do the try to strip the ball and create turnovers?
Remember when David Pollack stripped the ball out of a quarterback's hands and made critical plays to help his team win? We don't see the defense going after that ball like the used to.
Remember the years when Georgia lost, but gave their best effort, losing 27-24 and not 38-13?
If the Georgia Bulldogs lose to the South Carolina Gamecocks tonight and proceed to have a mediocre season, will this be the beginning of the end for Richt?
Probably not, unless it's followed by a couple more mediocre seasons.
After not playing well a week ago, I expect Georgia to win today, 16-13.
Quote of the Day:
If it doesn't matter who wins, then how come they keep score?