Joe Cox is your quarterback. Deal with it.

 

The second weekend of the season was as crazy—of not crazier—than the first.  So what did we learn?

 

1. Joe Cox is your quarterback. Deal with it. Based on the rumor mill last week, some of which got published as fact, Joe Cox was not going to start last Saturday night’s game with South Carolina.  The story was never true but apparently a lot of people wanted it to be. There were people who were absolutely giddy about it. Except for one bad throw, which Eric Norwood picked off and ran for a touchdown, Cox played very well in the 41-37 victory over the Gamecocks. Understand this and I’ll lump myself in here. Last week I said that Georgia would have to get better play from the quarterback position, from either Cox or somebody else, to get where they needed to go. Others had made up their mind after one game that it was time to move on and try another player at the position. Trust me when I tell you that for this season, it is in Georgia’s best interest that Cox is the guy. Because at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what the media says or what the fans say.  The PLAYERS on this team have made up their minds. Joe Cox is their quarterback.

 

2. If I’m an Auburn fan, I’m (cautiously) optimistic: Here are the totals after the first two games under new Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn: 1,145 total yards (572.5 average) and 86 points (43 average). A year ago it would have taken Auburn about four games to get to that total. Now I understand that the first two opponents have been Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State. But last season Auburn could not have run up those numbers against tall grass. There is a good plan at work and you have to admire what they’ve done with Kodi Burns, the former starting quarterback. They are moving him all over the field and Burns already has four touchdowns.  Now Auburn has a chance to start 4-0 with West Virginia at home this week and Ball State next week. Then they go to Tennessee, who looks suddenly vulnerable.

 

3. Jonathan Crompton now looks a little shaky: What a difference a week makes. In the first game against Western Kentucky the Tennessee coaches protected their quarterback, giving him safe throws and building his confidence. As a result he completed 21 of 28 passes for five touchdowns, one more than he had thrown all season. But then Tennessee played a real defense in UCLA that knew Crompton’s weaknesses because they had faced him the year before. Crompton had a stretch where he went fumble, interception, interception. Now Crompton’s confidence has to be low heading into Saturday’s game at No. 1 Florida. I wish the young man good luck because Florida’s defense is a lot better than UCLA’s. They are going to bring the heat.

 

4. Josh Nesbitt is going to have to complete some passes: I went back and watched my recording of the Georgia Tech-Clemson game over the weekend. What Clemson did, particularly after the early stages of the game, is what the better defenses in the ACC are going to do. This is an oversimplification but in general:  If they have athletic defensive ends, the opponent will rush them forward and basically take away Nesbitt’s pitch option. So if Nesbitt doesn’t give the ball to the dive man (Jonathan Dwyer), he either has to run or throw. Nesbitt came up with the big completion with the game on the line Thursday night. More and more defenses are going to force Nesbitt to throw. He doesn’t need to make a high percentage, just enough to keep the defenses honest.

 

5. I’m changing my mind about freshman quarterbacks: Over my career I’ve only seen a few true freshman quarterbacks I would trust in a big game. (Peyton Manning and Eric Zeier are on that very short list). But after watching USC’s Matt Barkley and Michigan’s Tate Forcier lead their respective teams to victory on Saturday, I may need to rethink that. The 86-yard drive that Barkley led to beat Ohio State (18-15) was Elway-esque. And it came in front of a very hostile crowd of over 100,000. Forcier was at home and had a touchdown pass dropped on the winning drive. Most young players would have been devastated by that. Then Forcier came back and threw for the score and a stunning win over favored Notre Dame, 38-34.  Those were two very well-coached quarterbacks.

Just an aside on Michigan: Do you think the chirping about Rich Rodriguez is going to stop now?

 

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288 comments Add your comment

UGASlobberknocker

September 14th, 2009
8:17 am

I dont care who starts as long as the Dawgs win. My main problem with Cox is that cant throw the deep ball, thus taking away that threat and not allowing our many fine receivers to be fully utilized. Not to mention opposing defenses can disregard the possibility of a long pass and sit on the middle routes.

JWalker

September 14th, 2009
8:19 am

Observations from the weekend…

–Bama is still solid. I like our chances to win the West.
–UGA is above average. That’s about it. 8-4 season and Peach Bowl.
–Sorry GTers, but Spiller is better than Dwyer. He showed it on Thursday. On the field and on the stat sheet.
–Couldn’t have been happier to see ND lose.
–Keep dreaming Aubs.

Chained Dawg

September 14th, 2009
8:19 am

Yep Tony ……key words on freshman QBs is “Well Coached” something UGA is having problems in a lot of areas. So I guess UGA fans will have to” Deal With It “.

VolsnGoBlue

September 14th, 2009
8:21 am

Michigans alumni base secretly hates RichRod because hes a down home country boy from WVA… not a “Michigan man.” The chirping will start again if he loses a squeaker here or there but after they are back in the top 10 next season they’ll come around. The ND win guarunteed he wont be fired and short of a MELTDOWN they’ll play in a bowl game. GO BLUE!

Seriously?

September 14th, 2009
8:28 am

What about Weiss’ clock management? I mean really? Throwing bombs with the lead and 2 min left? Are you kidding me you fat turd?

ATLWREGL

September 14th, 2009
8:29 am

Auburn does look impressive and I do not want to get my hopes up, but man do we look totally different or what? We have the swagger back. Look out SEC, Running Back U has two horses this year.

No problems with Cox at QB...

September 14th, 2009
8:32 am

…but with Willie M at the controls on D we are in for a looonnnggg season! Can you spell 1 – 5 after the AR, ASU, LSU and UT games?

Bull Gator

September 14th, 2009
8:33 am

See you in the Swamp!!! Go Gators!

jason

September 14th, 2009
8:34 am

Tony, the problem with the Cox at QB is not Cox. It is the inabilty of OC Bobo to call a consistent game. I mean 2 games in a row where Samuel disapears for half the games. 2 games in a row where UGA abandons the run and throws. Cox is a good manager of the game, and will only be as good as Samuel is. Samule cannot keep disapearing in the middle of games. Alot of complaints about the D being on the field so much. If Samuel would have been given consistent carries throughout the game, it would have gave the D a breather.

Peyton Pass

September 14th, 2009
8:34 am

Tony,

UT was obviously looking ahead. All ye naysayers wait and see. Tennessee beats Florida in the swamp, write it down.

GO YOU BIG ORANGE!

Dooley's Cardiologist

September 14th, 2009
8:34 am

QB situation is the least of UGA’s concerns right now. Ok. St. made Georgia look worse this week than last week. Houston???? Seriously?? Then they turn around and just squeak by a team that barely beat one of the worst teams in the ACC. Trust me; the QB spot is the least of their concerns.

#2 BAMA FAN

September 14th, 2009
8:35 am

I was at the Alabama game on saturday and heard the score of the Georgia game and wondered if Matt Stafford had come back to college. Folks Trent Richardson is the real deal for a freshman running back at Alabama and #22 Mark Ingram better watch out or Trent is going to get his starting
job. The USC qb looked good but Joe McKnight won the game for the trojans saturday night!!
ROLL TIDE!!

Carey Head

September 14th, 2009
8:37 am

Tony,

I’m interested on your take on LSU after nearly losing to Vandy. They’ve got talent, but can Les Miles coach a team of his own players to the promised land?

I think RichRod will turn Michigan around, but this is not the year. Notre Dame was grossly overrated, which means that Michigan hasn’t played a quality team yet. Look for them to push to become bowl-eligible in the last few games.

bar bryant

September 14th, 2009
8:38 am

message from tony to the dawgs in an abbreviated form:

dawgs, you’re gonna have to play with cox.

GeoffDawg

September 14th, 2009
8:38 am

I think the UGA program has a split personality disorder this year. It doesn’t seem possible to be that good and that bad, especially on special teams, all in the course of the same game. Regarding QB, I’ll be happy with whomever can get the win but it does concern me that AJ Green’s talents are wasted somewhat because of Cox’s nerve damage in his shoulder.

tim

September 14th, 2009
8:39 am

Tenn beats UF in the swamp…..are you on drugs

Trade School Junkie

September 14th, 2009
8:41 am

Well, well, well.

Now that the mutts have all those “great” players back from injuries in 2008, looks like mutts have found themselves a defense…

…a BIG 12 DEFENSE !!!!

LOL

Got 12?

September 14th, 2009
8:43 am

It’s entirely possible Auburn could be 7-0 heading into the LSU game because their schedule sets up nicely. (Read: They don’t play a decent team until the LSU game.) They have definitely made

In my opinion, this season has started very strangely. Every team I’ve seen has either looked shaky, not played anyone or both.

dap01

September 14th, 2009
8:47 am

Nothing is balanced at UGA. The offensive game plan is not consistant at best (allowing the running game to disappear, Samuel was running hard and yet he is not used) and the defensive philosophy is terrible.

The coaching at UGA is terrible right now. The players are better than the results (ie: bad coaching).

Weak Sisters of the SEC

September 14th, 2009
8:48 am

Our newest member in UGA performed as expected Saturday and tried to give the game away to another Weak Sister member. We are so proud!

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 14th, 2009
8:51 am

I guess Mr. College, (sic) Football who lives in Atlanta had more pressing issues than go downtown on a Thursday night to watch a key ACC match up. I guess he most have been too busy getting the scoop on Logan Grey starting at QB.

Maybe Mr. SEC, err-Mr. College Football would have noticed a lot of dropped passes during the first two games, if he bothered to watch.

PMC

September 14th, 2009
8:52 am

Yeah but Richard Samuel is the tailback… and the Georgia offense would be a hell of a lot better off once Mike Bobo realizes that thier chances at victory are vastly better when the ball is in his hands rather than in the throwing arm of Joe Cox.

Kind of cool camoflage Joe has going on with the red jersey’s though… face blends right in.

[...] UPDATE: You’ve got to love Tony Barnhart, master of understatement, for this comment – “Jonathon Crompton now looks a little shaky.” Crompton was 13 of 26 [...]

Ron Mexico

September 14th, 2009
8:52 am

Are you kidding me about Barkley? They media is on crack. That drive was Joe McKnight, Joe McKnight, and let me think, Barkley doing a soft toss to, Joe McKnight. Credit where it is due and he was cool and collected under pressure, but it was not his effort that won the game. Joe McKnight picked that team up and carried it on his shoulders.

PMC

September 14th, 2009
8:53 am

Forcier was awesome…. I wonder if Aaron Murray got a chance if he could play that well. I guess we’ll never know.

CrazyVol

September 14th, 2009
8:54 am

Okay first of all, I am a Vol fan duh… but no way we beat Fla. Crompton has to be one of the worse QB’s I have even seen. But its not all on him. 2yds from the endzone and we can’t punch it in?? WTF! But of course I love that play call. Kiffin: “Hmmm what should we do well lets see running up the middle hasnt work all day, so lets try that.” Big time flashbacks of Fulmer.

I knew this was going to be a rebuild year, but man I thought we would see better play calling then that. In regards to Crompton, bench him. I rather see us give playtime to the future versus the hack.

Pago Flyer

September 14th, 2009
8:59 am

I was at The Big House…110,000 fans at $65.00 a pop. A very big pay day and a good game. And a great pre-game, half time and post-game from two very good bands.

Glen Mason

September 14th, 2009
9:01 am

You UGA fans need to Deal with it! Its gonna be a looooonnnng season you bunch one tooth Jethro’s !

yuck

September 14th, 2009
9:01 am

1. If not Joe Cox then put in David Greene or Zeier or Elway or any of the stable of QB’s we obviously have. Little know fact, the UGA defense gave up TWO touchdowns sat. nite.

2. Auburn always has a great year when they are expected to be down.

3. Crompton needs another game agaist WKU.

4. Without that BS holding penalty, GT loses Thursday nite. ACC still looks miserable. The Terps and Noles looked real strong the other night.

5. Rich Rod is still a jerk.

Alpharetta Dawg

September 14th, 2009
9:03 am

Glad the Dawgs got the W but a closer look at the performance does not paint a good picture.

First the good – Cox & the O-line played much better!
The special teams were SPECIAL!!!

Here is the problem for UGA…What are the three areas that hurt UGA the most last year(excluding injuries)? 1. Turnovers 2. Penalties 3. Very poor defensive play at all three levels. So, with a year to coach’em up and focus on these areas how much better are we…NOT AT ALL! With most of the D back including those lost to injuries early last year we still cannot rush the passer, still cannot stop the pass, and still have not figured out that someone must cover the TE. Looking at the schedule the good news is LSU and UT don’t look great either but you really have to wonder why UGA keeps struggling in the same areas year after year under these DC/OC’s.

F-105 Thunderchief

September 14th, 2009
9:05 am

Joe Cox is my quarterback and I think he deserves to be. I would like to see Richt get Gray some playing time, a la Shockley though. Not to usurp, Joe, but to provide a change of pace and experience. It worked with Green and Shockley. Really well.

dUmB dAWg

September 14th, 2009
9:06 am

i tHOugHt bARkley plAYeD bAskEtbAll, sIr CharlEs wAS gOOd tOo !

hatfieldgeoff

September 14th, 2009
9:06 am

I agree Cox is the only choice at quarterback. I think he played well last week even if he did have the interception. But I think it will be his lack of mobility that will be the biggest problem. Logan Gray should still see more playing time. And I agree with some of the other posters that Bobo has to do a better job. He abandons the run too quickly and too often. More Samuel could have led to a better result in Stillwater and Saturday night he was running well and then did not get much action for 3 or 4 series. As for the defense turnovers put them in a bad position much of the first half but they still struggled to stop SC’s passing game. They did hold them to field goals after the early TDs but I can’s say I have a lot of confidence they will hold up against the better teams we play.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

September 14th, 2009
9:07 am

The trouble is, CrazyVol, the future at QB is not on your roster yet. That’s got to come next recruiting season.

hatfieldgeoff

September 14th, 2009
9:11 am

Oh, by the way, I love Branden Smiths speed but if anyone in Athens is coaching the special teams would they tell our return men to stop returning kicks that are 5 and 6 yards deep in the endzone. That is all

Saint Simons

September 14th, 2009
9:12 am

UGA ! what a joke!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

JaxDawg

September 14th, 2009
9:13 am

Enjoyed chatting with you at the book signing Saturday. Please continue to call down to Jacksonville, FL sports talk radio, I need to here about the world outside the “swamp”.

quaildawg

September 14th, 2009
9:13 am

What’s with the (ESPN GIddiness) love fest for Barkley? What I saw was Mcknight making the plays that counted on the game winning drive. If Barkley is sooo great why didn’t he light up Overrated State like Navy did last week, throwing the ball no less??? What I saw was two slightly above average teams that,save for the ESPN lovefest, are still lacking in several areas.
Mark it down….USC loses this weekend @ Washington!!!! You want to get a glimpse of the next great NFL QB watch Lockler the QB @ Washington. With Sarkisian’s tutelage this guy is a gamer.

bigdawg01

September 14th, 2009
9:14 am

UGA spotted SC a bunch of points on turnovers. We had 3…and should not have won with those give aways. Problem is the DEFENSIVE SCHEME!!! Soft Zone did not work, and the TE was catching it and gaining 6 yds all second half. The SCHEME is the problem, and that is the DC. You cant defend the middle when the ball snaps and the DB’s and LB’s back pedal. No way in HELL should Garcia have gotten 313 yds on us. I will argue this point until CWM is either relieved or forced to change coverage.

Cox had a good game, he was not the problem. Turn overs and D scheme almost lost the game.

JaxDawg

September 14th, 2009
9:14 am

Sorry, I meant hear it down here Tony.

J Smurf

September 14th, 2009
9:17 am

Did anyone else notice that Joe Cox turns purple when he gets hot? He looks flat out weird with that orange hair on a purple face.

Up and Down

September 14th, 2009
9:17 am

Clemson was taking away the pitch man the 4th quarter, so Nesbitt kept the ball like he should.

9:50 4th GaTech 1st & 10 at GaTech39 Nesbitt rush middle for 14 yards to the Clem47.
9:30 4th GaTech 1st & 10 at Clem47 Nesbitt rush middle for 14 yards to the Clem33.
8:59 4th GaTech 1st & 10 at Clem33 Nesbitt rush middle for 2 yards to the Clem31.
8:16 4th GaTech 2nd & 8 at Clem31 Nesbitt rush left for 7 yards to the Clem24.
8:00 4th GaTech 3rd & 1 at Clem24 Nesbitt rush middle for 4 yards to the Clem20.

Phiuk Yu

September 14th, 2009
9:19 am

1) Cox played pretty well. Samuel ran tough & should’ve had more carries. He was not going down as easily as he was against Okie State. He looked like a different back
2) We’ll talk about Auburn after they play a real team.
3) Crompton is going to get shellacked this week. UT is going to lose big.
4) Nesbitt has Reggie Ball’s passing ability.
5) I agree w/Ron Mexico. All this Barkley talk is a bit over the top. Sure he was poised, but without McKnight, he probably doesn’t get it done.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 14th, 2009
9:21 am

Now to Willie Martinez and that defense. I need to remind you that you are NOT listed as a beneficiary on my life insurance policies (now go back and say that like Maury Povich does on his not the father shows). So no need to put that kind of strain on me and my ticker at the end of the game every week. Way to man up at the end of the game. Let’s do that the entire game sometime.

Joe Cox deserves to have the chance at QB. He has worked for it for four years and has done nothing to diminish that opportunity. You people need to understand that he wants to win the damn games worst than you do.

Good win dawgs. Can we just stop saying that “______” plays us close every year and beat somebody.

Go Dawgs!

Atlanta Gator

September 14th, 2009
9:22 am

(1) Cox was NOT that bad. Yes, he made some mistakes, but that’s to be expected from a quarterback in his first two starts in three years. Frankly, after the debacle in Stillwater and all of the UGA fan comments, I almost expected Cox to have a complete meltdown. He’s better than that, and he will get better with each passing game. That being said, the two back-ups need to see action in any game that the Dawgs lead by 21 or more at the end of the 3rd quarter. They are the future and need to see some action when the game is not on the line.

(2) Auburn looked much improved, but let’s see how the Tigers do against Arkansas, LSU and Ole Miss before we anoint them as SEC Western Division contenders. It was a good win, but it was against Mississippi State after all.

(3) Yes, Crompton looked a lot shaky. If he plays like that in Gainesville this weekend, well . . . it will be a very long Saturday afternoon.

(4) Georgia Tech looks pretty good when they run the ball, but their passing game was abysmal against Clemson. The Jackets are not going to win their division or the ACC without some semblance of a passing attack; a better defense will focus on the run, and slow’em down enough to out-score them.

(5) One game. It’s only been one big game. Freshman quarterbacks will make mistakes. It’s a given. Here’s a safe prediction: neither USC nor Michigan will go undefeated with a freshman quarterback as starter. Money in the bank.

Atlanta Gator

September 14th, 2009
9:24 am

Gen Neyland—-Gen. Van Fleet sends his regards. Looking forward to a great game in Gainesville this weekend. Like to wager some of your famous solvent on the outcome?

BTW, I hear that Charlie Bachman and Dale Van Sickel are still a little sore about you watering the field the night before the ‘28 game . . . .

DawginLex

September 14th, 2009
9:26 am

My Joe Cox fried crow tasted good Saturday night washed down with some of the Joe Cox kool-aid.

Atlanta Gator

September 14th, 2009
9:26 am

Gen Neyland—-General Van Fleet sends you his regards from where old soldiers go. We’re looking forward to a great game in Gainesville this weekend. Would you like to wager some of your famous solvent on the outcome?

By the way, I understand that Charlie Bachman and Dale Van Sickel are still a little sore about you watering the field the night before the ‘28 game . . . .

Carlton Powell

September 14th, 2009
9:28 am

UGA desperately needs a pair of really good cover corners and two good defensive ends. Until these positions are shored up, the defense will struggle. All the big time teams they play going foward will have receivers that resemble #88 for Carolina; big and strong. Presents definite mismatches. What is this, the third year without good defensive ends? Still, at this point UGA should be grateful for any win, even if they have to buy it. The schedule does offer some small amount of hope. It’s gonna be tough in Hog Town on Sat. nite. But, better to be going there early in the season before Petrino gets it together. Likewise for LSU and TN. Still think all these games are toss ups at best, but at least some degree of hope.

senoiadawgs

September 14th, 2009
9:29 am

Here’s a good take on the defense and coaching… How many points would UGA have given up without the dumb penalties again? Leads back to coaching.

Ok so Cox is our QB, doesn’t mean we have to like it? Seriously 1 bad pass… What game were you watching? I just love how all of the other teams utilize their freshman play makers throughout an entire game. At UGA, with the expection of Charles we use gadget plays or sit them on the sideline simply because they are freshman. Coaching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!