That’s great news for the Bulldogs because they don’t want to change a thing after their 45-16 trouncing of the defending national champion Tigers. Jean-Gilles left that game in the second quarter due to a sprained knee.
“Max is looking pretty good today,” Coach Mark Richt said Sunday. “We’re very happy the MRI showed very little problem. I think he will be able to practice all week. We’ll see how he reacts once he gets moving. Right this second, he’s a lot better than we thought.”
If Jean-Gilles returns, Georgia is expected to enter Saturday’s 3:30 game at full strength. That’s not good news for the Volunteers, who dropped to No. 17 after being whipped 34-10 Saturday night by Auburn.
“The psychology of the game is not really in our favor,” Richt said. “It’s dangerous when you have a big victory and the other team has had a tough game. It usually lends itself to a letdown. I hope our guys won’t allow that to happen.”
The No. 3 Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 SEC) have beaten Tennessee (3-1, 1-1) four years in a row. A fifth straight victory would put them in clear control of the SEC’s Eastern Division.
“Really, even before we played LSU, we knew that the Tennessee game was bigger,” Richt said. “You could lose to LSU and beat Tennessee and be in a whole lot better shape than winning against LSU and losing to Tennessee. This game is just gigantic for us.”
The Bulldogs’ win got them some national attention. They didn’t move up in either national poll, but they gained a first-place vote in the new Associated Press ranking, giving them a total of two. Brad Edwards, a college football analyst for ESPN.com, has Georgia second in his projection of the BCS standings. The official standings won’t be released until Oct. 18.
Keith Tribble -- the CEO of the Orange Bowl, site of this year’s BCS national championship game – attended Saturday’s game and watched the final few minutes from the sideline.
“To play a team like LSU and win 45-10 is very impressive,” Tribble said before the Tigers scored a late touchdown. “(The Bulldogs) are starting to establish themselves. In the next two or three weeks, things will start to separate.”
Georgia will be on the right side of that separation if it continues to play the way it did against LSU. Even without Jean-Gilles for a half, the offensive line allowed just one sack against a Tiger defense that entered the game leading the SEC with 11. Last year, the Bulldogs gave up 47 sacks in 14 games. This year, they’ve given up four in four games.
“A year ago, we probably had 16 at this point,” Richt said. “We were averaging about four a game. The line has done a much better job.”
Quarterback David Greene took advantage of the offensive line’s protection to throw a school-record five touchdown passes, eclipsing the record for four he shared with four former Bulldogs. Sunday, Green was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s offensive player of the week.