Is Joe Cox up to the challenge?

One of the most common refrains in preseason examinations of the 2009 Dogs has been that former backup quarterback Joe Cox doesn’t have to try and win games himself now that he’s the starter, he just has to “manage” the games successfully. 

Cox, to his credit, isn’t just looking to get by. He tells Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald that he’s set a personal goal of completing 70 percent of his passes this season. He admits “that’s a high goal,” but notes that “everything else comes with completions. I don’t worry about yards or touchdowns or anything like that. All of that stuff will come if you’re completing passes.”

It’s a formidable challenge, as Weiszer notes. The last time Cox played extensively — his senior season in high school — he completed 66.1 percent of his passes, and last season in Division 1-A, only the big guns of the Big 12 completed more than 70 percent: Colt McCoy of Texas (76.7 percent), Chase Daniel of Missouri (72.9) and Graham Harrell of Texas Tech (70.6). 

Georgia’s Matthew Stafford completed 61.3 percent last season and ranks fourth in the UGA record books in that category. The all-time Georgia leader is Mike Bobo, Cox’s offensive coordinator, who completed 65.03 percent of his passes in the 1997 season. Eric Zeier is next with 63.29 percent in 1993 and sometime quarterback Hines Ward had 61.61 percent in 1995. Fran Tarkenton is behind Stafford with 60.78 percent in 1959.

What will it take for Cox to come close to his goal? Well, success with the running game would help since it would mean Georgia could play more of a ball-control offense and that would mean fewer desperation passes on Cox’s part. A big factor also will be how his receivers play; we’re all hoping that rash of dropped passes in the G-Day game was not an indication of things to come.

Whether Cox makes his goal or not doesn’t really matter, of course. If he completes only half his passes and Georgia wins, we’ll all be happy. But it’s good to see him challenging himself. The last thing the Dogs need this season is a tentative quarterback.

127 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
10:32 am

((((( 45 42 )))))) hahahahahahahahahahhaha

Dawgs

July 22nd, 2009
10:37 am

hahaha Saint Simons literally sits on this blog all day so he can be the first to post something about Tech.

Dawgs

July 22nd, 2009
10:39 am

Cox is wise to hope for a high completion percentage, rather than TDs, Yards, or even wins. If he is completing anywhere near 70% of this passes, we are in for one hell of a year. GO DAWGS

SAINT SIMONS LIVES IN MOTHERS BASEMENT

July 22nd, 2009
10:40 am

SAINT SIMONS YOUR AN IDIOT!!!! I HATE THE TECH FANS THAT POST THE SCORE GET A LIFE LOSER!!!!! AND IM A TECH FAN…

Dawgs

July 22nd, 2009
10:40 am

Cuz

July 22nd, 2009
10:43 am

Heck he can pull a Buck Belue. Complete one pass for an NC and I will be happy. I wonder if that is the worst National Championship Game pass completion percentage ever, 1 out of 14?

Garrett

July 22nd, 2009
10:44 am

Yeah he does, I guess Techies have nothing better to do. I bet Saint Simons is one of those guys or Techies who wakes up not knowing Tech has won the previous day and then tells everyone(or writes on blogs) Tech scores even though he has no clue who they played or any players on the team.

Cincinatti Bowtie

July 22nd, 2009
10:52 am

Just win Cox; forget the passing stats, winning is the most important one.

SAINT SIMONS LIVES IN MOTHERS BASEMENT

July 22nd, 2009
10:53 am

LOOK MOST OF THESE DUMBA$$ TECH POSTS ARE FROM GEORGIA STATE STUDENTS WHO WERE TOO STUPID TO GET INTO A REAL SCHOOL LIKE UGA OR GT. THEY GET THERE SPORTS FROM THE SCHOOL DOWN THE ROAD AND COME ON HERE AND ACT LIKE IDIOTS.

Joe Cox is like Joe T OK but forgetable. The fans will be yelling for a change after there first loss.

BruffDawg

July 22nd, 2009
10:53 am

Cox will be successful. Glad to be able to bust out my no 14 jersey again. We should be able to run all over everybody save LSU and FLA. By then Joe should be in the full swing of the season. Im gonna say 65% of his passes are complete with 25 tds 8 ints.

BruffDawg

July 22nd, 2009
10:54 am

Only gonna yell if it is his fault, which I doubt it will be. GO JOE GO!!!!

BruffDawg

July 22nd, 2009
10:55 am

Freshman jersey numbers anyone? Bill? I know you have the guide.

JB

July 22nd, 2009
10:57 am

There are only a handful of Tech fans/alumni on these blogs……99 % of of their fan base would not care for or encourage m……..m gets his/her kicks by Dawg fans RESPONDING to his/her post. It’s his woody………Ingnore m and it would kill him/her…I don’t think he/she would leave, because the disability checks keep coming and what else would he/she do A real beat down this year would return him/her to Starwars reruns.

JoeV

July 22nd, 2009
10:59 am

Maybe someone should have given him a media guide before he made this outrageous goal?!?!? I do admire his…wait…wow, just wow.

Class of '98

July 22nd, 2009
11:00 am

I can’t wait to see Joe. He’s well-liked on the team, he’s a natural leader, and he knows the playbook even better than Stafford some say (heck he’s been there longer).

I’m excited. I’m not worried about the QB position at all at this point.

mcdawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:03 am

i thought Logan Gray was more impressive on G-Day

dawgfanatic24-7

July 22nd, 2009
11:03 am

If Cox doesn’t try for many 40 yd completions and sticks with short passes then he can get close to 70%. Hopefully our receivers will help him reach this goal. I hope Saint Simons continues to read this blog after we beat tech this year. Maybe he will pop off to his momma soon and get grounded from the computer.

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
11:07 am

70%?!?!?!?! Love the enthusiasm, but don’t see that happening. Suffice to say, if Cox completes 70% of his passes this year it will mean he is commanding the most bad a$$ offense in the nation. Again, DON’T see that happening.

We don’t run the kind of offenses that Big 12 and Florida runs with all the little underneaths and dink and dunk passes that jack up a completion percentage. We throw the ball down field. I don’t think any UGA quarterback could ever do better than the low to mid 60’s in our current offense. That is fine by me. I personally think completion percentage is one of the more overrated statistics in football.

braveswin

July 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

If Ga struggles this year, I don’t think Cox will be the reason. There is generally no substitute for a fifth yr sr quarterback. The full offensive playbook should be in play. I’m looking forward to it

BR

July 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

The Tech nerds have nothing better to do than talk about UGA football. Maybe they should spend some of their time getting people to attend their games so they can finally sell out their tiny stadium with THEIR “fans” instead of the opposing team’s fans! Come on… 55,000 isn’t that many seats to fill. UGA has 92,000 and a waiting list to get tickets! Go Dawgs!!!! (By the way… bring up last year’s score all you want… all I have to say is SEVEN YEARS IN A ROW!!!)

dawgstephen

July 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

For my ENTIRE take on why i believe Joe Cox will do fine…Just go to my blog. I wrote about this last week. The guy is a winner. THE REAL JOE COX is who we are gonna get, and already have.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

reebok

July 22nd, 2009
11:12 am

Tech fan here. I look at Cox and I see Tereshinski. By the time we meet on the Flats in November, I expect to see Logan Gray at QB. IMHO, as always…nice recruiting class going by the way…altho Tech’s is coming along well also. Lots of talent in-state…then it’s a matter of building them up in the weight room & coaching them up on the field.

ATLdawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

Bill, I like your work and hate to throw you under the bus, but do you ever write your own articles? It seems like everyday you just rip off the Athens Banner Herald or Hale down in Macon. How hard is it to call up some of these players and get us fresh news?

nwizzle dawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

Me thinks Cox hits Brown for many slant route completions this year.

AltamahaDawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:16 am

reebok, what about Joe Cox reminds you of JoeT? specifically?

RFP

July 22nd, 2009
11:20 am

Nwizzle, don’t say Brown and Cox in the same sentence. You will get the Tech fans excited.

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 22nd, 2009
11:21 am

“I personally think completion percentage is one of the more overrated statistics in football”

Huh? is actually right for a change. Look at Josh Nesbitt, he only completed one pass to beat you fleabags and take a knee in your backyard running up 45 points.

Voice of Reason

July 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

orson charles- #7, Branden Smith #1, but I know no more than that

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

I know my Cox is up to the challenge ;) ……m, where are you?

Huh?

July 22nd, 2009
11:26 am

ATLDawg, Bill does not write articles. He writes blogs. He is not a journalist. He is just a fan like you and I. That’s why you may often here this blog referred to as a “FAN BLOG.” Get it? Take advil for headaches.

Good grief.

Long Dawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:27 am

I don’t know how good Cox will be but he is not Joe T. Joe T should have never gotten a schlorship as a college level Quarterback. He would have been better off finding another position. He was clearly out of his element. Cox will thrive if Bobo builds the offense around what Cox can do best.

reebok

July 22nd, 2009
11:28 am

AltamahaDawg, I think it’s the fact that both have been solid career backups, following very high-profile, very successful UGA QB’s…both are coming in with very big cleats to fill…neither was really part of a QB controversy (that is, neither Cox nor Tereshinski was anywhere near good enough to displace the annoited starter at the time)…and then the superficial similarity that they are your traditional, solid, pocket-passer type QB’s (as opposed to the DJ Shockleys of the world).

But that’s just me…I’m sure you have far more insight into your program than I do.

HERBIE

July 22nd, 2009
11:29 am

Saint Simons you are an idiot. Besides tech will lose big time this year

pensacola dawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:29 am

For those who want to put Joe cox in the same category as Joe T. Your dead wrong remember the only reason he did not start was that the guy in front of him was the number 1 draft choice. Joe Cox will do great and who knows Dawgs may surprise the college football world!

RFP

July 22nd, 2009
11:33 am

Let’s not forget that Joe Cox was a highly rated, Elite 11 QB. His lack of playing time may hurt him a little bit, but he still has all the tools to be a great QB.

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
11:34 am

45-42 hahahaha Just remember when I say 45-42 I am not talking about a football score but my love life ME AND BRUCE

dawgfanatic24-7

July 22nd, 2009
11:34 am

Joe C is no Joe T. The only positive area from the Joe T year is that Stafford got early experience.I blame the coaches for not having someone better to replace Shockley.

Saint Simons

July 22nd, 2009
11:37 am

45-42 HAHAHAHA Just remember I am not talking about a football score when i say 45-42 but am talking about my Brucie and me

Jeff

July 22nd, 2009
11:42 am

I am a huge dawg fan and I would honestly like to see Logan Gray get some play time. He could be our answer for the next 2 or 3 years…This guy was a lot more impressive during the G day game…and he has some wheels on him. Something that Cox lacks..

southgadawg88

July 22nd, 2009
11:42 am

Joe Cox will make a great coach one day.I wont be surprised to see this kid as the next addition to our coaching staff.As a QB I’m skeptical to say the least…the kid is a 5th year senior and most of the stuff said about him refers to either HS or his freshman performance.That concerns me.. we should be talking about more than that.The thing that nags me the most is this…..you just cant simulate game experience….no amount of film study,command of the playbook,respect from your teammates etc.will take the place of actually “playing” in real games.It’s one thing to get a little mop up duty against the 2nd or 3rd string D…but it’s a totally different ballgame when YOU are the guy the opposing team sets out to shut down,studies your strengths and weaknesses and gameplans for you.No matter what.. it is very difficult to be a 1st year starter in the SEC,I say it will take almost the whole season before the kid would truly hit his stride(who ever he turns out to be)so why would a guy with only 1 year to play be the best option?I don’t know fellas…I just cant get around the fact that for all the young man’s positives…the staff didn’t seem to have enough confidence in his game to get him on the field.Stafford played poorly enough on more than a few occasions to justify Cox getting some run and yet they did not play him….that concerns me.

m

July 22nd, 2009
11:43 am

You couldn’t beat Tech with Stafford and No-show at HOME.

How the heck are you going to beat TECH with cox??? Not a chance.

45-42…glad it hurts so bad.

Smarty

July 22nd, 2009
11:45 am

I think Dawg fans are making some assumptions that may be leaps of faith instead of some based in fact. One is Cox being a good QB. I’ve been a J. Cox fan since he’s been here and I think he should have gotten more playing time. But he didn’t. So the assumption that he’s gonna be “fine” is sort of iffy in my book. Another assumption is that the OL is going to be stout. Some of this is because of some of the publications projections; we know how accurate they often can and cannot be. Just because the guys that were injured last year are, for the most part, ready to play this year, doesn’t mean they’re going to be a very good line. We’ll see. Lastly, same thing for the defensive line. Returning players that were injured last year are assumed to put us over the top this year. I’m not so sure, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough. (or maybe NOT soon enough)

dawgstephen

July 22nd, 2009
11:45 am

Here are my thoughts Read this….I mean SERIOUSLY PEOPLE…JOE IS GONNA BE FINE!!!!

http://dawgstephen.blogspot.com/2009/07/real-joe-cox.html

1eyedJack

July 22nd, 2009
11:50 am

Completion percentage doesn’t matter, interceptions are what matters. Stafford had a great arm, but he killed us with his intercpetions. I would much rather see a goal of limiting interceptions to no more than 1 every other game. The fact that Joe isn’t think about that, just goes to show the coaching staff has not done its job in teaching these kids what is important. That is why FL beats us every year and why Tebow is the greatest college quaterbacks ever, they have very few turn overs. We should fire CMR and hire Urban before Notre Dame get him.

southgadawg88

July 22nd, 2009
11:52 am

Oh yea…I know Gray or Murray don’t have any experience at all..True however they have more athletic ability..stronger arm,more mobile ..they are the future.As for the present I say they give us just as much a shot at winning right now as Cox.Give me a reason to think otherwise…anybody?

Smarty

July 22nd, 2009
11:54 am

I share soughgadawg88’s uncertainty over why Cox hasn’t played more in previous years, and I think it needs to be asked of his coaches. Namely, Richt and Bobo. There were plenty of times when I think it would have been a kick in the pants for Stafford to have someone relieve him for a while. Sometimes it makes the 1st stringer a better player. Maybe the coaches will consider that in the future, unless they make promises to recruits to get them to come here, then have to stick to them. Maybe Stafford got a promise, but Cox didn’t.

DamnDawg

July 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

Joe Cox will beat the Yellow Maggots and the Gaytors. We own Tech.

Dave In Tampa

July 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

I think Joe Cox is further along than Joe T. He will do well. Not 70%. I don’t care if completes 90% of his passes, if we are not winning it’s a moot point. He has the leadership quality we need. However, I’m more of a Logan Gary fan just because we would really be able to open up the offense with Logan.

For now, we just need to concentrate on the Pokes. Period!

dawgfanatic24-7

July 22nd, 2009
12:02 pm

M – stafford and moreno are on offense. Tech didn’t score 45 on them. They scored 45 on our injury plagued D. Last year was a fluke and tech’s a$$ kicking is not many days away.

Cuz

July 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

If you want a comparison to Joe Cox look at Brantley, help me with the name gators, at UF. No matter what some in our fan base think. Life without Tebow is not going to be all sweetness and light. The Brantley kid is the real deal as I feel is Joe Cox. Both good if not great QB’s but unable to knock off the star player for real playing time.