Richt: Stafford on a roll

ATHENS – Last year's performance against Auburn may have been Matthew Stafford's breakout game, but Saturday's win over Oklahoma State was his best game, Coach Mark Richt said.

"The plays where things weren't there, he threw it away," Richt said. "He took a sack onetime where I knew he didn't want to, but he did it. He didn't throw any balls that could have or should have gotten picked off."

Stafford was 18-of-24 passing for 234 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Cowboys, and he made the correct play call on every audible he had.

Richt made it clear during Tuesday's weekly news conference how much he expects from his sophomore quarterback.

"He is the most talented guy overall that I've been able to coach," said Richt, who has coached two Heisman Trophy winners and at least 10 future pros at the position. "Will he be as successful as a winner, as a championship quarterback? Only time will tell. He has all thethings you want in a quarterback. I think he has everything you need to win, but now he's got to win to really define himself as a great one."

Against Auburn last year, Stafford led the Bulldogs to a 37-15 upset win by completing 14-of-20 passing for 219 yards and one touchdown, but things came easier against the Tigers that day and Stafford had fewer decision-making responsibilities, Richt said.

"The Auburn game was a good game, but it seemed like everything went right," Richt said. "I didn't think he had to make a lot of decisions in that game. Most of the time when he dropped back somebody was open and he threw it to them."

Stafford's, whose career high in yardage is 267 yards, first earned Georgia's starting job last year against South Carolina when he came in on the second series to relieve an injured Joe Tereshinski and finished 8-of-19 for 171 yards and three interceptions.

"It was definitely tough to come in at first, trying to remember everything we had done that week," he said. "I expected to play maybe a series here or there, but it was good. It kind of got my feet wet, got me going.


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