Dawgs' QBs still the talk

ATHENS – Coleman Watson has a favorite Georgia quarterback now.

"Yeah, I do," Georgia's junior tight end said after grabbing 13-yard touchdown pass from true freshman Matthew Stafford in Saturday's 48-12 win over Western Kentucky.

"It was his first collegiate touchdown pass and my first collegiate catch," Watson said. "That was pretty cool."

Georgia's fan base has a favorite, too. Sanford Stadium was never louder against the Hilltoppers than when Stafford jogged onto the field to start the fourth quarter

Coach Mark Richt also has a favorite, but it's not the same one. Senior Joe Tereshinski remains the best Bulldog signal-caller in Richt's judgment, and Tereshinski will start Saturday when No. 15 Georgia begins the SEC season against South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Stafford and redshirt freshman Joe Cox, who entered the Western Kentucky game as the top backup, will compete for the backup role. It's unlikely Richt will announce which player has won the job before the game, he said Sunday.

"I don't know if we need to name it," he said. "We probably won't, but we'll know who No. 2 is going in."

The Bulldogs had 139 yards of total offense under Tereshinksi's direction Saturday, and he was 7-of-17 passing for 90 yards and one touchdown in eight drives. Richt acknowledge that Tereshinski was off target at times but pointed out that his receivers dropped at least three passes.

"He didn't get a lot of help with those guys making plays for him, and they weren't tough plays," Richt said. "I don't know what his numbers would have been (without the drops), but they would have been a lot better."

Stafford directed three drives, which totaled 110 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown drive, a 45-yarder, came thanks mostly to a 41-yard rush by Danny Ware. Staffod made all the right assignment decisions in a "relatively simple" game plan, Richt said.

"I'm just going to go out there (this week) and prepare like I'm the starter whether I'm starting or I'm not playing at all," Stafford said.

Western Kentucky coach David Elson was impressed with what he saw from Stafford.

"He's obviously got a pretty live arm," Elson said, "and he's got some presence in the pocket."

The Gamecocks, who are 1-0 after beating Mississippi State 15-0 on Thursday, won't spend too much time worrying about Georgia's quarterback, Coach Steve Spurrier said.

"I don't think any of them are like the quarterback they had last year, (D.J.) Shockley," he said Sunday. "I don't think they're a threat running like he was. I'm sure our defense will be pretty similar no matter who is in there."

The Gamecocks have quarterback issues of their own. Starter Blake Mitchell suffered a lacerated shin against Mississippi State and won't return to practice until Tuesday. He is expected to be full strength by Saturday, but true freshman Chris Smelley and redshirt freshman Cade Thompson both will play if he's not, Spurrier said.

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