“Both of them are pocket quarterbacks so there isn’t much difference,” cornerback DeMario Minter said.
He’s talking about Tennessee’s Rick Clausen and Erik Ainge. Clausen will start for the No. 8 Volunteers despite a laundry list of injuries, one of which, tendinitis in his Achilles’ tendon, had him in a walking boot Monday. If Ainge comes in, though, it won’t affect Georgia’s defense much because Tennessee’s offense looks about the same with either player in the game, Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
“I don’t think it’s a huge difference at all in what they’re trying to accomplish,” he said.
Clausen, who also has a bruised shoulder on his throwing arm and a bruised thigh, said he played in pain against Ole Miss.
“There were plays I couldn’t push off as much as I would like,” he said.
The injuries will make Clausen even less mobile than normal.
“Rick is Rick,” Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer said. “He’s going to do what he does, mostly somewhere around the box. It would be nice for him to have more mobility and him having a sore Achilles doesn’t help, but it is what it is. You don’t sit and fret about it.”
Clausen excelled two weeks ago against LSU’s man-to-man coverage, completing 21 of 32 passes for 196 yards, but Georgia will play more zone than LSU did. The Bulldogs hope that forces Clausen to hold the ball longer and gives Georgia’s pass rush time to harass him.