Tereshinski's dream doesn't come true

JACKSONVILLE — Joe Tereshinski's dream didn't come true.

The third-generation Georgia Bulldog grew up with a picture on his bedroom wall of a small boy daydreaming about playing Florida. In the picture, Georgia is moving the ball on the Gators. In reality, it wasn't as pretty.

Tereshinski, whose father lettered in the 1970s and grandfather lettered in the 1940s, completed 8-of-21 passes for 100 yards and one interception in his first career start as the No. 4 Bulldogs lost 14-10 to the No. 16 Gators.

"In the second half, I think I did all right," he said. "In the first half, I played poorly."

Tereshinski, a redshirt junior, was forced into action to take the place of injured starter D.J. Shockley.

"He played about the way I thought he would," Coach Mark Richt said. "I'm very proud of the way he played."

Tereshinski's highlight was a 9-yard scoring catch he made after pitching the ball to tailback Thomas Brown, who ran left and then lofted the ball to Tereshinski near the goal line. Tereshinski fell down while delivering the pitch, got up and ran to his right, where he leapt over Florida linebacker Todd McCullough to make the grab.

"That showed what kind of guy he is," Richt said. "That's the kind of kid he is. That's the kind of effort we were expecting to get today. I'm sure people would have talked about that for a long time if we found a way to win that game."

Tereshinski lobbied for the play, Richt said.

"He told me it was there," Richt said. "We thought it would be there if they played man defense. He just felt like they were disregarding him completely once he pitched the ball. That's Joe. He wanted his number called. We called it. It wasn't pretty, but he made the play."

That was the only big play the offense could manage, though. Tereshinski didn't complete a pass in the first quarter and was 3-for-11 passing for 41 yards in the first half.

By the second half, Georgia's offense basically had given up on its passing attack. The Bulldogs got the ball to open the second half and ran the ball 10 straight plays to set up a 39-yard field goal attempt that Brandon Coutu missed wide left. Georgia ran the ball 15 more times than it threw it in the second half.

"We were running the ball well," said Tereshinski, who has yet to throw a touchdown pass in college. "We were getting it down there. We didn't have to throw the ball."

Georgia's receivers didn't help Tereshinski any in the first half as tight end Martrez Milner and senior Bryan McClendon both dropped passes that would have gone for at least a first down.

Tereshinski's confidence remained high throughout the game, he said. When Georgia took possession with 3:10 left in the game and its own 20-yard line, he said he felt confident they would get the go-ahead score.

"If wasn't a matter of if," he said. "We were going to do it."

Instead, Georgia moved just 19 yards and gave the ball away on downs with 1:31 left in the game.

"That's something that is probably going to eat at me for a little bit," he said.


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