Georgia/Alabama Notes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - One old-school coach had a great appreciation for the role played by another old-school coach in Georgia's win at Alabama Saturday. Georgia athletics director Vince Dooley never won in Tuscaloosa in his 25 years as Georgia's head coach.

As much as he could appreciate the historical significance of Georgia taking its first win at Bryant-Denny Stadium, he also could appreciate the role of an old rival, former Auburn coach Pat Dye, had in the game.  Georgia players and coaches said after the win that comments from Dye early in the week were big motivating factors in the game.

Dye, speaking to a Birmingham radio station, said he thought Alabama would win because he didn't think Georgia was "man enough'' to win the battles at the line of scrimmage.  "It was a great motivation,'' said Georgia senior offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb. "Any time people question your manhood, you really have to go out there and prove you've got it.''  

There were different theories about Dye's true motive in making his statement. Because Dye is a former Georgia player and as a long-time Auburn coach had deep feelings about Alabama, some Alabama fans thought Dye was trying to do Georgia a favor. 

Said a laughing Dooley outside the Georgia locker room: "Oh, he'll be a hero now.'' Dooley said he had not spoken with Dye this week.  It may take Georgia players longer to consider the notion that Dye may have been doing them a favor.  Asked what he would like to say to Dye, Stinchcomb said: "I wouldn't say much to Coach Dye right now.''  

  • Herschel in the house: Looking game-ready, former Georgia Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker was at the game and appeared with former Alabama star Shaun Alexander on ESPN's GameDay pregame show.  Walker was a guest of University of Alabama president Dr. J. Barry Mason, sitting in the president's box, during the game.  
  • Foster makes season debut: Senior offensive tackle George Foster made his first appearance of the season on Georgia's second possession of the game. Foster alternated possessions with starter Kareem Marshall the rest of the game.  Foster missed the first four games with a broken wrist suffered in a car accident in early August. He played with a cast on the right wrist. The cast completely covered his hand.
  • Firsts: Defensive tackle David Pollack recorded his first blocked field goal of his career. His block of a 28-yard attempt by Brian Bostick in the second quarter was the first for Georgia since Jamie Henderson blocked a field-goal attempt by Vanderbilt in 2000. Redshirt freshman safety Thomas Davis recorded his first career interception when he clinched the win by picking off a Brodie Croyle pass with 26 seconds left to play.  
  • Back in uniform: Alabama has kept its quarterback plans as much of a secret as possible the last two weeks while Tyler Watts has been injured. When viewing Georgia's pregame warmups, Alabama coach Dennis Franchione may have wondered if the Bulldogs were preparing for their own surprise at quarterback. Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley was back in uniform and participated in some pregame warmups. Shockley, who had been sharing time with starting quarterback David Greene, suffered a broken bone in his left foot against South Carolina in the second game of the season and was expected to miss at least four to six games.  Shockley had a brace on the foot but appeared to move fairly well in warmups. He did not play in the game and Cory Phillips would have played behind Greene if a backup was needed. It is not known if Shockley will be able to play next week against Tennessee, but his recovery appears to be ahead of schedule.  
  • Worth noting: Georgia now is 6-0 in road games under Richt. That does not include two losses in games played at neutral sites. Georgia has five come-from-behind wins under Richt, including two this season. Georgia had to rally to beat Clemson 31-28 in its season opener.

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