Dawgs due to break loose

Dawgs due to break loose

Tennessee football fans don't dare say it. They don't even want to acknowledge it. Still, the thought persists: What if this is the weekend that Georgia's seemingly comatose offense comes roaring back to life?

Except for quarterback D.J. Shockley, tight end Leonard Pope and guard Max Jean-Gilles, the Bulldogs have the same offensive personnel that rolled to the league title in 2005. Yet, the 2006 Dawgs rank 10th among the 12 SEC teams in total offense at just 297.0 yards per game. Only Ole Miss (274.8) and Mississippi State (235.8) are worse.

Head coach Mark Richt's track record suggests he'll get Georgia headed in the right direction soon. Naturally, Tennessee's fans are hoping it doesn't happen this week. Tennessee's defensive coordinator is hoping the same thing.

"You certainly hope they don't play the game of the year against you because they can make you miserable," John Chavis said. "There's no doubt about that."

Georgia scored just 14 points last weekend vs. hapless Ole Miss and 14 the previous weekend against winless Colorado, barely winning each time. The Bulldogs appear to be out of sync and low on confidence.

"I think they thought they would've played better," Chavis said. "But they're plenty capable. Sometimes you get an offense that's off just a little bit, and it shows. When they start hitting on all cylinders, they can be very dynamic. It's obvious. You look at the backs, the receivers, the quarterback – all of it's there."

Part of Georgia's offensive woe is instability at quarterback. Senior Joe Tereshinski, freshman Matthew Stafford and redshirt freshman Joe Cox have started games this fall but none has generated many points.

"They've got a great system down there that has been very successful," Chavis noted. "All three of those guys can do what he (Richt) wants them to do. When you throw in the athletes he has running that system, it makes it even tougher."

Although Georgia can't seem to find one quality quarterback, the Dawgs have three quality tailbacks. Kregg Lumpkin, Danny Ware and Thomas Brown are proven performers with running styles so similar that Chavis thinks they look like clones.

"The only thing different is they wear different numbers," the Vol coordinator said. "They're all really fast and they all do a tremendous job. I wouldn't want to pick and say which one is the best because you've got to play against all three of them. If I did know I wouldn't say, but I don't see a lot of difference when I look at them."

Georgia has produced several great tight ends during Richt's watch – Randy McMichael, Ben Watson and Leonard Pope among others. This year 6-4, 255-pound Martrez Milner is carrying on the tradition, leading the team in receptions (8) and receiving yards (123).

Why do the Dawgs always seem to have a productive tight end?

"They use him and they throw the ball to him," Chavis said. "They've had some really good people and they've made them a big part of their offense."

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