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October 2, 2006
Tereshinski ready to lead the Dawgs
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Senior quarterback Joe Tereshinski is on track to make his third start of the season following practice Monday afternoon. Tereshinski took 80 percent of the first string snaps and freshman Matthew Stafford took the other 20 percent with the first unit.
Head coach Mark Richt is leaning towards starting Tereshinski Saturday if he can stay healthy and Tereshinski appreciates the confidence his coach gave has in him.
"That gives me a lot of confidence and makes me want to work that much harder, but having said that it puts a lot of pressure on you knowing you have to come in here and lead a team that is 5-0," said Tereshinski. "I could not ask anymore from my team and I just have to come out and stay out of the training room."
Tereshinski's ankle held up during practice and he is gaining more confidence in his ability to handle the quarterback duties.
"My ankle felt pretty good I got it taped and braced today," said Tereshinski of his injured ankle. "I felt good in my drops and with delivering the ball, so far so good."
The struggling offense will need more production this week when #13 Tennessee comes to Athens.
"I just have to study my film and know my checks and then get the ball to my playmakers," said Tereshinski. "We have a lot of potential and everyone is going to push harder this week because we have not reached our full potential. Tennessee is a great team and they have a lot of energy so we are going to have to step it up."
Tereshinski will look to bring some senior leadership along with center Nick Jones for the first big home game of the season for Georgia.
"Joe T. and Nick Jones those two guys are pretty awesome leaders and they are good to hang around," said Stafford. Tereshinski will look to right the Georgia ship Saturday evening when the Volunteers roll into Sanford Stadium.
Top Dawg Lumpkin leads rushing attack
Junior Kregg Lumpkin made his first start as the lone tailback against Ole Miss last week and racked up 101 yards on just 13 carries. Lumpkin credits his performance on field from the adversities he faced when he hurt his knee in the spring of 2004.
"I feel 100 percent right now and battling back from ACL injury is a tough task and I have been trying to stay focused and ask the Lord to help me as much as he can," said Lumpkin.
Stafford and the other quarterbacks are excited about Lumpkin's performance Saturday and the potential all three running backs have.
"If he was not feeling it out there it will be scary when he does because Lumpkin does a great job and all the other running backs will still work hard to get their carries and try to do the most they can with them," said Stafford. "I think all three of our backs have really good vision and the opportunities are there and they are going to keep on doing what they are doing. They have been one of the most successful rushing trios that there has been in the SEC in the last couple of years"
"All three of us are still competing and trying the get the best out of each and we will share the load," said Lumpkin. Ware will backup Lumpkin this week and Brown will be the third option off the bench.
Redshirt sophomore receiver Kenneth Harris thinks the only way the receivers will break out is when the get to catch the ball in the game.
"I think right the problem is a lack of confidence because we have great receivers and we all can catch the ball so that is not the problem," said Harris. "We just have to get more confidence in ourselves and that comes from catching the ball consistently out there in the game and just having fun."
Harris does not think the changing quarterback situation is creating the drops.
"As a receiver you have to catch the ball regardless of who is throwing it from Joe T, Joe Cox, Matt Stafford, or even Blake Barnes," said Harris. "Whoever is back there you have to catch the ball and will we not use that as a excuse and we have to go out there and makes plays."
Harris and the other receivers have three more practices to prepare for Tennessee and Georgia will need a reliable passing attack to win following their six drops against Ole Miss.
Verdun prepared to start in the middle again
If Jackson needs more rest, junior Brandon Miller will start at the sam linebacker and Verdun will go in the middle. The Georgia coaching staff are working Verdun at all three linebacker spots in case injuries crop up because they are in the middle of so many games in a row.
The coaches are expected to announce tomorrow who will start for the Tennessee game at the linebacker position.
"Tomorrow coach (John) Jancek will rearrange the depth chart, but I will still be splitting team at all three positions," said Verdun.
With scoring down six points a game from the opening five games last season, Georgia will need to find some points Saturday. Georgia will need one of the quarterbacks and the other veterans to step up and lead the offense this week.
"We are not executing our offense right now to the best of our abilities and we just need to come out focused," said Lumpkin of the offensive struggles. "All three quarterbacks bring a different element to the offense and we need someone to bring a spark to the offense. Joe T. brings a lot of experience and leadership to certain situations that Matt or Joe (Cox) have not been in, so he and Nick Jones and the other seniors on the offense have to lead us through it."
"Tennessee has hung with everyone they play and beat four of them and their quarterback and offense are tearing it up, so it will be tough for us," said Stafford. "For me I need to work on my comfort and sticking in there and I feel like I am getting better every week with knowing what to do and getting in sync with these receivers. I think it is frustrating for any offense, but it is not holding us back and I am having fun winning ball games."
The whole offense is waiting for the team to gel and find it's identity and start putting up more points on the scoreboard.
"We are plugging away working hard in practice and I think everyone thinks that the struggles are a weird thing because we are trying hard to make things work," said Stafford of lack of offensive cohesion.
Senior offensive tackle Michael Turner practiced Monday in a green jersey and is expected to play Saturday.
Junior wide receiver Mikey Henderson is bothered with a finger injury on his right hand, but he is not expected to miss any time.
Other Notes and Quotes…
Junior defensive end Charles Johnson was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. Johnson a Hawkinsville native led the Georgia with four tackles, two sacks, one pass breakup, and two third-down stops. Johnson leads the SEC with nine tackles for loss this year and he is leading the Bulldogs with 3.5 sacks this season.
CBS exercised the six-day selection rule for the Georgia-Vanderbilt game October 14. CBS will either broadcast Ole Miss at Alabama, Vanderbilt at Georgia, or Kentucky at LSU depending on the outcome of this weekend's games. A decision will be announced Sunday afternoon.
"It is a great honor to get an award, but you still have to stay focused and drive on each week," said Lumpkin of his UGASports Top Dawg honor.