Quarterback Joe Cox hasn’t gotten a lot of kind words from fans or sportswriters in the second half of the season, but David Hale of Bulldogs Blog, who covers the Bulldogs for the Macon and Columbus papers, hopes that Georgia fans will be enthusiastic on Saturday when Cox is introduced during Senior Day festivities.
“No, he’s not the best quarterback who has ever played at Georgia,” Hale writes. “And yes, he’s made some bad (and dumb) throws this season. … But that kid loves Georgia, and he’s done a heck of a job of keeping his young teammates’ heads in the right places and has led five big comebacks already this season. A lot of what we were told about Cox was probably overstated, but his leadership was not. He’s going to be a heck of a coach one day.”
I think Hale is right on the mark. The drop-off from Matthew Stafford to Cox was quite severe and Cox didn’t prove to be the pinpoint passer that Mark Richt had advertised in the preseason. But judging him as a fifth-year senior really isn’t fair when in terms of playing time he was more like a freshman. Thus, the freshman-like mistakes.
That, as I’ve said before, is on the coaches for not getting him more playing time behind Stafford. (Likewise, whoever next season’s starter ends up being will have the same handicap.)
But Cox has been a loyal Dog, sticking around as a bench player when he could have gone elsewhere and started, and his penchant for throwing interceptions much of the season has overshadowed the fact that he’s a big reason this team has proved as resilient as it has in coming from behind.
I still can’t get out of my head that sad photo of a dejected Cox after he’d been pulled from the Florida game.
I hope he gets a standing ovation during Senior Day. He’s earned it.
ANOTHER SENIOR MOMENT
About Them Dawgs! recalls another special Senior Day back in 2002 when David Jacobs, whose playing career was cut short by a stroke, rejoined his teammates in uniform as the last of the day’s seniors to run out on the field, his arms raised and his helmet held overhead.
Recalls blogger Patrick Garbin: “As the crowd cheered, many with tears in their eyes, Jacobs sprinted into the arms of his awaiting grandparents — an everlasting memory from a memorable 2002 season.”
Moments like that are what make college football special.
“SECOND CHANCE” VEAZEY
The Web site set up to chronicle injured Georgia baseball player Chance Veazey’s rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta notes that when some of his teammates visited him this weekend, they sported new tattoos on their biceps that said: “Second Chance.”
The entire UGA athletics community has rallied around Veazey, who had to undergo back surgery after a motor vehicle accident in Athens. The football Dogs wore baseball stickers sporting his initials on their helmets during the Auburn game, and when former Diamond Dog Gordon Beckham, the American League rookie of the year, was introduced on the field, he was wearing one of the “Team Veazey” T-shirts that Chance’s family had provided for about 1,000 UGA students at the game.
A fund to help offset Veazey’s medical expenses has been set up through Athens First Bank and Trust Co. Donations may be sent to AFB&T, Attention: Phil Bettendorf, Senior Vice President, P.O. Box 1747, Athens, GA 30603. Donations also can be dropped off at any AFB&T location.