Massaquoi working on drops

ATHENS – Sophomore Mohamed Massaquoi will remain Georgia's top wide receiver this week despite his continued problems catching the football.

Massaquoi, who is charging himself with two drops against Ole Miss last week even though he got just one hand on one of the passes, has at least five drops this season.

"He's had a couple bumps in the road for Mo," Coach Mark Richt said. "The one thing that separated Mo last year was he would snatch that ball, and of course he's had more than a couple drops this year."

Still, "we think he deserves another chance," Richt said.

Massaqoui, who has five catches for 70 yards, said Richt's faith helps him maintain his confidence.

"When you know your teammates are depending on you," he said, "you just thrive on that and come out here and work harder."

Even if the Bulldogs wanted to replace Massaq uoi, they wouldn't have anywhere to turn. Every receiver has dropped at least one pass and most have more than one.

"I can't remember it ever being quite this much of a struggle," Richt said. "They're still relatively young, but whether you're a freshman or a senior, if the ball hits your hands, you have to catch it."

All of Massaquoi's drops have come on passes from true freshman Matthew Stafford, but, for the second time this season, Richt dismissed the notion that Stafford's velocity makes his passes more difficult to catch than the average throw.

"It seems like them little 5-foot-6, 150-pound wide receivers (at Highland Park High School) were snatching everything he threw at them, so I'm assuming we're going to get used to it, too," he said.

Georgia has brought its tennis ball machines back out to the practice field this week to help the receivers work on catching with their hands. Richt also wants his receivers to relax, he said.

"When you drop one, then the next one is more important, so it kind of snowballs a little bit," he said. "They just need to let it go and go out there and enjoy the darn thing."

Richt will consider trimming his receiver rotation as the season goes on, he said. A.J. Bryant leads Georgia's receivers with eight catches for 116 yards, and six receivers have at least two catches.

"We try to encourage them and keep them going, so to speak, but there comes a point where it comes down to them," quarterback Joe Tereshinski said. "I think when they find their confidence, we're going to improve drastically."

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