What's next for Dawgs' QBs?

ATHENS – Senior Joe Tereshinski suffered a high ankle sprain Saturday against South Carolina and will miss the next three games and probably more.

That means true freshman Matthew Stafford will start this week's game against UAB in Sanford Stadium, and the quarterback race is back on, Coach Mark Richt said Sunday.

"I don't think anybody has established themselves so far as the solid No. 1, quite frankly," Richt said. "We haven't had a string of performances that have made me feel that way right now. Hopefully, one guy will settle this thing."

Stafford came close Saturday night in quarterbacking all but one series of the No. 10 Bulldogs' 18-0 victory over South Carolina in Williams-Brice Stadium. Georgia improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC with the win.

Stafford threw three interceptions and no touchdown passes but drew praise from his coaches for game management.

"I thought he played within himself," quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said. "He didn't seem to get rattled. The interceptions were not good, but he made some plays, too."

Stafford, who threw for 171 yards against the Gamecocks, will be working with a slimmed down playbook against the Blazers, who improved to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in Conference USA on Saturday by beating East Carolina 17-12, but it's impossible to say how much less he will be able to handle than Tereshinski, Richt said.

"I think we're still finding out Matthew's comfort level and what he does best," Richt said. "With all (young quarterbacks), I'd still be spoon-feeding them. The more they handle, the more we'll give them. Once you hit overload, that's not a good thing, but I didn't see any signs of that happening (with Stafford)."

Stafford only missed two reads against South Carolina, Bobo said. His first and third interceptions were the result of bad decisions and his middle turnover, a ball that was picked off after being tipped on a goal line slant route, was a bad break, Bobo said.

"It was a good learning experience for me, playing (on the road) in front of a hostile crowd," Stafford said. "It was a lot of fun to get out there."

Richt said he "hopes" to get a second quarterback into the UAB game and added that player is Joe Cox "unless something changes."

"To set a certain rotation is probably not a wise thing to do, so I'm not going to pigeon hole myself or get anybody's hopes up," Richt said.

Tereshinski, who was hurt on the first drive against South Carolina, is expected to be on crutches at least the next two weeks, and recovery time from similar injuries is typically four-to-six weeks, Richt said.

"I would imagine knowing Joe, he'll be ready sooner than normal," Richt said. "I'd have to doubt very seriously he could play in the next three games anyway. It's just too far out in the future to predict beyond that."

Notable: Coach Mark Richt pushed back his normal Sunday routine to attend Erk Russell's funeral in Statesboro. "It was a celebration of his life, not some morbid time," Richt said. "It was a lot of fun and a lot of stories were told. It was a very upbeat day. Everyone wants to claim Erk. Georgia does and Georgia Southern does and Snooky's (restaurant) does, Vanderbilt, even Auburn. He meant a lot to so many people." … A Steve Spurrier offense hadn't been shutout in 193 games before Saturday. … Matthew Stafford's three interceptions in one game tied for the most ever by a Richt-coached quarterback at Georgia. David Greene threw three against LSU in 2003 SEC title game.

Quotable: ""I think (Stafford) did a tremendous job. All week in practice, he looked very focused and confident, but when he came in the game it blew me away how composed he was." – tight end Martrez Milner

Injuries: Guard Michael Turner (ankle) is questionable for Saturday's game, and guard Seth Watts (knee) is probable, Richt said Sunday. Luckily for the Bulldogs, offensive linemen Daniel Inman and Ian Smith come off two-game suspensions this week. Wide receiver Mikey Henderson (hamstring) remains questionable this week. Cornerback Thomas Flowers also will return from suspension and likely will take over punt return duties if Henderson can't play, Richt said.

Up next: vs. UAB, Sanford Stadium, UAB, pay-per-view television


Dawg Post Top Stories