Georgia's left-handed winner

Reminded that his team will be facing a heady quarterback this week, who might not have the strongest arm but throws accurately with a distinctive left-handed motion, Tide Head Coach Mike Shula laughed off the personal comparison with Georgia's David Greene. <br><br>"His arm is a lot stronger than mine was," Shula said.

Of course left-handed quarterbacks--especially successful ones--are not that common. So the parallels are interesting. Both men are tall (Greene is listed at 6-3, 230 pounds). Like Shula, Greene is an extremely accurate passer, known as much as a field general as anything else. Already in his career Greene has engineered five fourth-quarter comebacks, a Shula specialty.

And of course neither man will ever be mistaken for a racehorse running the football.

"He just makes plays," Shula said of the Bulldog QB. "If I were coaching him, I'd feel real good anytime he takes the snap. You can call anything and be confident that he'll make the right decision and have the ball there on time and accurately."

Greene led the SEC in passing efficiency last season. During that championship year, he and Georgia finished 13-1, earning their first conference title in two decades. The Bulldogs topped off that magic season with a 26-13 Sugar Bowl victory over Florida State. Georgia finished ranked third in the nation.

Both throw with a distinctive left-handed style, but Mike Shula says Georgia's David Greene has a much stronger arm. (Getty Images)

Greene was named to the 2002 post-season All-SEC squad as a consensus choice.

"He's solid, just solid," Shula said. "When you look at Georgia and watch him as he runs their offense, he plays with a lot of confidence. The Georgia coaches have confidence in him. Their production increases because of what he does."

Tide Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines came to Alabama from Florida State, where he worked with and got to know current Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt very well.

"Greene is Coach Richt's kind of guy," Kines said. "He's smart and he throws the ball where they want to. He doesn't force many passes."

Greene is 24-6 as a Georgia starter, including 9-1 on the opponent's home field. He's engineered five fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, including last year's 27-25 win in Tuscaloosa. In that game Greene was 15-of-27 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

"He throws the ball as well as anybody we're going to face," Kines said. "Georgia attacks a defense well. If you've got a weakness in your coverage, then they're going to exploit it big-time."

Now in his junior year, Greene was good but not great as a freshman. Last season Georgia began by rotating Greene and backup D.J. Shockley, but Greene took over full time when Shockley broke a bone in his foot. Since then, he's never looked back.

"I watched him on tape from his freshman year, and he's improved tremendously," Shula said. "It's neat, even though we're playing them this week, to watch a guy that has developed like he's developed."

Again like Shula, David Greene may not be the most physically gifted quarterback out there, but all he does is win. (Getty Images)

Rated the fifth-best quarterback in the nation by The Sporting News, so far this season Greene has thrown for 992 yards on 69-of-116 passing. He has four touchdown passes and two interceptions on his ledger.

"This week we've really got to be ready for the vertical passing game," Kines explained. "10-12 times a game Georgia will throw that ball just to see if their wide receiver can make the play. And if they miss on it, three or four plays later they'll do it again."

Last season Georgia's rushing attack hurt the Tide. According to Kines, Greene is a master of luring a defense up close to stop the run and then going deep.

"They really do a great job with their play-action passes," Kines said. "They'll run that inside draw 21 times in a row, then they'll go up top. Greene does a great job with the play-action fake.

"His quarterback mechanics are flawless. When he gets the ball, a lot of times you can't tell if he's got it or not."

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