A bone to pick with the
By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff
It's impossible for the Cougars to avoid
the doghouse Saturday, and it's not just a matter of winning or losing.
Traveling to Athens, Ga., to battle the
Georgia Bulldogs puts the Cougars smack dab in the middle of Sanford Stadium
and 85,000 howling football fanatics who love
The Cougars, who hold a 2-1-1 edge against
Georgia, picked a bad year to walk the "dawg."
Georgia has won eight or more games for
four consecutive seasons and finished in the Top 20 each of those years.
The Bulldogs won their season opener against
Arkansas State but stumbled for the second
year in a row against South Carolina.
This season begins head coach Mark Richt's
first year as the Georgia coach.
Unlike the situation Cougar head coach
Dana Dimel inherited, Richt's returning players accounted for 66 percent
of the rushing yardage in 2000 (953 of 1,451), 47
percent of the team's passing yardage
(1,115 of 2,365) and 80 percent of the team's receptions (145 of 181).
Four of the top five tacklers return on
defense, including senior safety Jermaine Phillips, one of the team's biggest
The Georgia kicking game ranks as one of
the best in the nation.
Sophomore place kicker Billy Bennett, a
walk-on in 2000, returns as the Georgia record holder and should compete
for the Lou Groza Award. Bennett hit four-of-six
field goals in the season opener against
Punter Jonathan Kilgo's net punting average
is better than his average. Kilgo averages 45 yards (10 for 450 yards)
a punt with a net average of 45.2 yards (4 returns
for minus two yards).
Last season he averaged 42.2 yards a punt
with a Southeast Conference best of 39.5 net average.
If the Bulldogs have a weakness, it's at
quarterback, where redshirt freshman David Greene toils, sharing time with
junior Cory Phillips.
The Cougar defense will have an opportunity
to tee off on the inexperienced Greene, a must for the Cougars to have
a shot at the upset.
Another loss will almost certainly find
the Cougars chained to the Dawg house, listening to the growls of disgruntled
However, those snarls won't compare to
the frenzied howls they'll hear if the Federal Aviation Administration
allows the Cougars to board a plane Friday and take off
for Athens in the wake of the terrorist
attack on America.
Georgia fans pack Sanford Stadium every
home game to root for their Dawgs. The Cougars can't afford another case
of stage fright if they hope to grab a win in the