Learning from last season: Arkansas State

Georgia topped Arkansas State, but were the Dawgs really as good as they looked? Was Mark Richt the answer? Could David Greene, a freshman, lead Georgia? How would the offensive line react to yet another coaching change?

Georgia come into 2001 with many questions. Is Mark Richt the correct decision as head coach? Can Georgia win with a freshman starting quarterback? Can Seymour and Stroud be replaced? The Arkansas State game did not answer any of those questions definitively. But what it did do is give Georgia fans a glimpse of what was to come in the 2001 season.

David Greene was spectacular in his first performance as a Georgia Bulldog. Greene went 21 of 29 passing for 285 yards and directed five scoring drives to lead Georgia to a 45-17 win over Arkansas State. Greene showed his cunning several times on the first drive of the game, drawing the Indians offsides several times. Greene's two touchdown passes went to Damien Gary and Terrence Edwards.

Musa Smith's performance was also notable against ASU. Smith, in his most impressive day of the season, gained 158 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns. Those totals are all career highs for Smith.

What we learned:

We learned that Georgia was going to throw the ball a lot in 2001. We also learned that Georgia's defense was very stout, even though the Dawgs gave up 17 points to the lowly Indians. Many thought that we knew that Musa Smith had arrived as a big time tailback, but that was not quite the case. We also thought that we knew that Georgia would have no problems scoring points against opponents. That thought would be corrected the next week against South Carolina.

What was said:

"We are very much doing, very frankly, what Florida State does a lot." – Larry Munson

"David Greene was outstanding today and overall, we had a good start to the season. If we can eliminate some of the mistakes we made today, and become a little more disciplined, we'll be that much better next week. We'll need to be an improved football team by next Saturday." – Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

Tommorow: A look at the South Carolina game.

Dean Legge can be reached here: dean@dawgpost.com

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