Road win nothing new for Greene
David Greene
David Greene

Posted Sep 12, 2004


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Overrated?

Right now, it appears so.

Fortunate?

Perhaps.

Unflappable.

To ridiculous proportions.


We underrated South Carolina, a team that was some consistent play away from a massive win.

We've overrated Georgia, a team that for two weeks has looked anything like No. 3 in the country, so far.

But, well, just go ahead and add "at South Carolina, 2004" to thelegacy of David Greene and Mark Richt and where the Georgia program is.

Georgia was less than inspiring in wrestling past South Carolina 20-16 Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Early on, courtesy of some Georgia blunders, South Carolina seemed poised for a whopper of a win.

Then, not so much.

Refuse to lose? Not so much that. Still, there's something in quarterback David Greene that's sublime and inexplicable and remarkably special.

Of course, when Greene struggles, he does what he did a lot of Saturday night: eyeball receivers almost from the huddle, fail to consider secondary receivers, aim the ball too much, make his receivers work too much.

The interception he threw that Ko Simpson took in for six? A bad read followed by a poor throw.

Next trip, he was low to Reggie Brown, zipped it in to Bryan McClendon, and then was high to Fred Gibson.

He dropped another simple shotgun snap and didn't turn this one into magic as he did last week with Reggie Brown. Another pass, thanks to his eyes lasered to the receiver, was batted down.

But he suffers from PNML: Permanent Negative Memory Loss. Bad play?

Forget it.

Usually, Greene is Greg Maddux-like: you're not necessarily dazzled while you watch, but you walk away mighty impressed.

It took a long time Saturday night for Greene to look like Greene.

"You're not going to have your best stuff every game," said Greene, seeming no different from night's when he has had his groove on.

Sometimes what's more important is how one acts during a rough go of it.

Greene? Money.

Worried? Hah.

"I don't know if everybody was calm," he said. "We stuck together." Teammates stressed? Eh, not so much., courtesy of the Glue-boy Greene.

"We had a sense of urgency," admitted center Russ Tanner. "We knew if we didn't get going real soon, we wouldn't be able to come back."

Greene's struggles, though, weren't necessarily an issue. In fact, he was more concerned about his teammates' mindset than in need of a pep talk.

"To be honest, he came up to us," Tanner said. "He came up and gave himself a chest pat and said, 'That one was on me. Shake it off. Let's go.'

"He told us (to) give him time and he'll make the plays for us."

Greene never had what one would call a great quarter en route to a servicable — and winning — 19-of-38 night for 213 yards.

There were those plays, though, Greene-like plays: The soft passes underneath and to the side, a couple zingers. Some were off, yes, and USC dropped two more interceptions.

And ever so slowly, Georgia got back in gear. Well, in a better gear.

"He's been doing this a long time," said Tanner. "As good as there is in the country."

Greene was one of the last Bulldogs to leave the field, delayed by the requisite TV interview.

In one corner of the end zone is the tunnel that leads into a hallway and the visitor's lockers. A small collection of Georgia fans hollered and hooted at every Bulldog who went by. Wearing his normal calm smile, Greene wearily jogged toward them.

"Greeeenieee," they roared as he made his way.

He looked up to one rabid pup-watcher in the first row and just winked.

Another Saturday night, troubles on the road, another wink.

Had it the whole tiiiime, right?


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