The good: Georgia’s offense may not need David Greene next year. Although the senior quarterback will be gone, freshmen running backs Thomas Brown and Danny Ware will be back. Brown rushed for 111 yards against Wisconsin on Saturday and finished the year with 875 yards. That makes him the third-best freshman rusher in Bulldog history, behind Herschel Walker (1,616) and Rodney Hampton (890). Ware had 61 yards against the Badgers, who came into the game with the nation’s 24th-best rushing defense. He finished the season with 694 yards.
The bad: The Badgers tried hard to expose the Bulldogs’ cornerbacks and would have been successful had quarterback John Stocco been more accurate in the first half. Television commentator Bob Davie, formerly the head coach at Notre Dame, said during the broadcast of the game that Wisconsin coaches came into the game thinking Georgia’s cornerbacks were its weak spot. Stocco finally found his range in the second half, and the Badgers hit passing plays of 20. 30, 19 and 39 yards. Juniors Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter will have to shore up that spot before next year, particularly if they no longer have the safety net of Thomas Davis, who is considering leaving early for the NFL.
The injuries: The Bulldogs didn’t suffer any significant injuries during the Outback Bowl. Defensive end David Pollack was briefly knocked unconscious and later suffered a twinge in his knee but finished the game. Cornerback Tim Jennings cut his head above his right eye but returned the next play. The story for Georgia is the number of players who will be returning from injury. Running back Kregg Lumpkin and offensive guards Josh Brock and Bartley Miller, all regular starters in 2003, will return next year after missing the 2004 season.
Notable: Georgia coach Mark Richt said he will spend some time this offseason studying the Badgers’ play-action passing game. Like Wisconsin this year, the Bulldogs will have a big rushing threat next year. The Badgers used the threat of Anthony Davis on Saturday to give Stocco lots of time to make those deep throws down field.“ I was surprised with how much time they had to throw the ball at times,” Richt said.
Next: Georgia plays Boise State on Sept. 3 to open the 2005 season. The high-flying Broncos will finish this season in the nation’s top 10.