Georgia gets ready for UAB

ATHENS -- The University of Alabama-Birmingham enters Athens today as a unknown entity.

The Blazers are meeting No. 4 Georgia (6-1) for the first time in the schools' histories, and, more importantly to this year's Bulldogs, UAB comes in in flux. The Blazers lost quarterback Darrell Hackney,who accounted for 70 percent of their offense, to a thumb injury last week.

While that's undoubtedly a bigger blow for UAB (3-4) than for Georgia, it presents some problems for the Bulldogs, too.

"This offense was set up to run for Darrell," Blazers coach Watson Brown said. "With him being unable to play, we have had to adjust some things for (backup Chris Williams)."

The Bulldogs won't learn what those adjustments are until today's 1 p.m. kickoff. Todayís game is Georgia's homecoming.

"I have no idea what they'll do," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

He does knows what he would do, though, and he expects it's what he'll see from UAB.

"Usually you try to find things that will get (the backup quarterback) going," Richt said. "I think they're going to have to, like most people do, try to find plays that are a little easier to execute."

In light of that, Richt said he expects to see several screen passes and "as much of a running game as they can give him."

Williams, a redshirt freshman who was born in New Orleans and went to high school in Montgomery, Ala., is 4 of 13 passing in his career. He exited spring practice this season as a reserve cornerback.

"I probably won't be nervous until right before the game begins," Williams said. "I've been waiting for this day to come for a long time so I will be ready. This week seems like it is taking forever to get through."

It has seemed that way for Georgia fans, too. Of course, they havenít been waiting for this game. They've been waiting for this game to be over so they can unreservedly turn their attention to next week's game against No. 25 Florida.

With a win today, Georgia probably would move to No. 3 in the country and, more importantly, No. 3 in the BCS rankings. Virginia Tech, which is currently No. 3 on both of those lists, lost 28-7 to West Virginia in a Wednesday night game. The Bulldogs have insisted all week that they won't be caught looking ahead, but they said the same thing last week before falling behind Vanderbilt 2-0 at halftime.

"We can't take anybody lightly like you saw in the first half against Vanderbilt," defensive end Quentin Moses said.

Although not a member of one of the BCS power conferences, the Blazers probably are a more formidable foe than the Commodores. Last week, with Hackney playing most of the game, they nearly handed No. 15 TCU its first loss of the season.

"That just confirmed what I thought about them," Richt said. "UAB really had them on the ropes. I think we've got quite a challenge this week in UAB."


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