Odum's notes from Athens 8/27/2002

Richt: Greene looking good.

Richt praises Greene: While the new quarterback rotation has been the biggest news of preseason drills, Richt has not wavered in stressing that David Greene is still the starter.

Greene has responded to the renewed competition with D.J. Shockley by delivering sharp passes and making good decisions through most of the practice schedule.

"(Greene) is just very sharp mentally and he is very accurate,'' Richt said. "He really has been that way throughout camp. He has done a very fine job.''

On Tuesday, as Richt discussed Saturday's 7:45 p.m. season opener against Clemson, the coach said that in 2001 Greene was as solid as any first-year starter he had coached.

"I know since I've been coaching, I can't remember a quarterback I coached who went through his first season (as a starter) whether he was a fourth-year junior or a sophomore ... and make it through a first year without having at least one game where everybody wanted to ship him out of town, where he didn't have to get his phone number unlisted and things like that,'' Richt said.

"It is hard to go through a season without playing a game where the perception is the quarterback blew it, especially in your first year. ... Just to go through the season and keep us in every ballgame .. was a big accomplishment in itself, I thought.''

Greene was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year after completing 59.3 percent of his passes (192 of 324) for 2,789 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Greene is expected to see the majority of the playing time against Clemson, though Richt said again Tuesday that Shockley will play in the first half.  Lovett knows Georgia offense: Former Auburn defensive coordinator John Lovett now is directing the Clemson defense. Lovett comes to Clemson with a wealth of knowledge about Georgia- and a history of success against the Bulldogs.

At Auburn, Lovett was best known for devising the scheme which held Florida to minus-36 yards rushing and 328 total yards in a 23-20 upset of the then-No. 1 Gators last season.

Lovett also directed the Auburn defenses which beat Georgia the last two years. Last year, Auburn held Georgia to 73 yards rushing in a 24-17 win. Because of Lovett's move to Clemson, Georgia's offensive players have had to study Auburn game film as well as Clemson film. The 51-year-old Lovett worked under Tommy Tuberville the last seven years, including four years at Mississippi, but Tuberville fired both of his coordinators after last season.

At Clemson, Lovett is coaching the secondary as well as coordinating the defense.

Kiper is coming: ESPN Radio will base its Saturday College Football GameDay broadcast, hosted by Mel Kiper Jr. and Dave Revsine, from outside Sanford Stadium Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The crew will set up off South Lumpkin Street, adjacent to the Tate Center parking lot where the Dawg Walk begins at about 6:15 p.m.

First things first: Last season, Georgia receivers Fred Gibson, Corrie Collier and Jarrett Berry all scored touchdowns on their first career receptions. For Collier and Berry, the scores came on their only catches. Gibson, a starter, and Berry, a junior backup, return this season.

Charles Odum is the beat writer for Dawg Post in Athens. He has over 20 years of experience covering Georgia football. He can be reached here: CEOdum@aol.com

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