Inside Slant - Georgia 11 17 2004

Scout.com takes an inside slant look at the Dawgs during thier off week.

Contending for the national championship is impossible. Winning the SEC East is nearly impossible. All that's left for Georgia right now is to decide if the remaining possibilities are worthwhile.

The Bulldogs are 8-2, 6-2 in the SEC and ranked 10th nationally, but they won't be playing in the SEC championship game this season for the first time since 2001. But they still have one more game left on the regular-season schedule.

In between seeking a little personal redemption after last week's 24-6 loss to Auburn, playing traditional rival Georgia Tech and improving their bowl stock, the Bulldogs ought to have enough to stay motivated.

"If we can win from here on out, we could certainly finish in the top 10," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think that's a worthy goal. If we're fortunate enough to beat Tech, then we'd have an opportunity to have a 10-win season which I think is definitely something to play for. The good news about this game is, heck, there's plenty of reason to get excited about playing the final home game."

In the meantime, the Bulldogs have an open date this week to work on healing and preparing for the Georgia Tech game on Nov. 27.

"It's our last home game, it's senior day, it's a game against our in-state rival," Richt said. "All those things really ought to help us get excited about playing that football game."

NOTES, QUOTES

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Bulldogs struggled against Auburn's defense and didn't score until the game was already out of hand, but they remain a dangerous offense with the combination of a veteran quarterback in David Greene, some talented young backs, and experienced, proven receivers. The key remains an up-and-down offensive line, especially after the way Auburn dominated Georgia up front last week.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The defense showed some improvement against Auburn after struggling in the two games leading up to last week. The Bulldogs are only allowing 16.4 points and 304 yards per game, but they're also 10th in the SEC with only 15 takeaways in 10 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Which ones do we have the best shot at? I don't know that yet. Plus, we have to take care of business against Tech." -- Georgia athletic director Damon Evans on Georgia's bowl possibilities. The Bulldogs are being considered for at least four bowls, including the Capital One, the Outback, the Cotton, and the Peach.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME: One of coach Mark Richt's big concerns last week was the overall health and energy of his team facing a rested Auburn team coming off an open date. This week Georgia gets an open date to get back on track for a Nov. 27 home game against Georgia Tech.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB David Greene -- Despite an off game against Auburn, caused in part by almost constant pass rush pressure, Greene is still second in the SEC with 216.4 passing yards per game and third in passing efficiency, due mainly to 17 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions.

RB Thomas Brown -- With fellow true freshman Danny Ware sidelined by injuries last week, Brown finished with 92 yards on 22 carries for 4.2 yards per carry. If Ware continues to be limited against Georgia Tech, Brown will continue to carry the majority of the load. Either way, Brown will start against Tech.

FS Thomas Davis -- Davis came back from an injury and played at less than 100 percent against Auburn, so this week's open date should help Georgia's leading tackler get back on track.

ROSTER REPORT: After suffering a concussion against Auburn, WR Reggie Brown will not take part in contact drills this week so he can rest and return to practice next week and play against Georgia Tech.

TB Danny Ware did not play against Auburn because of a sprained right ankle and knee, but this week's open date should help him return for the Georgia Tech game.


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