“Right now, I think they’re pretty set on Joe Cox as No. 2,” he said. “We’re not really getting opportunities in practice to make up ground.”
One day after Coach Mark Richt set the pecking order with Joe Tereshinski No. 1, Cox No. 2 and Barnes and Stafford co-No. 3s, Barnes and Stafford got “limited” repetitions with the second-team offense, Barnes said.
“We’re getting thrown in here and there,” he said.
Tereshinski got all the reps with the first-team offense. Cox took most of the time with the second-team offense. Despite their limited work, Barnes and Stafford were impressive Monday, at least in their attitude, Richt said.
“Stafford and Blake could have easily got their heads down, but they didn’t,” he said. “They had outstanding days. I thought the focus was outstanding, and I really liked the way they responded to what’s happened to the depth chart.”
Richt continues to hold out hope for Stafford and Barnes that either could supplant Cox or atleast close the gap enough to get some playing time in the first game.
On the flip side, Richt also may officially eliminate one or both of them from the race next week, he said.
“I’ve by no means given up,” Stafford said. “There’s a lot of fight in me, so I’ll be hanging around doing the best I can.”
Stafford’s inexperience in the offense is ultimately what held him out of the top two, Richt said.
“When he runs the plays that he’s very confident in his knowledge of, he does outstanding,” Richt said. “When he’s a little bit unsure, he’s a little shaky, but that’s natural. That’s not anything unusual and not anything to be concerned about in any way.”
Stafford knows there is now the possibility that he could redshirt.
“I’m sure there’s a possibility of it,” he said. “If it happens, I’m going to sit out and do the best I can. If Joe T tears it up, is an absolute world-beater and we take off and go for it all, then I’ll be perfectly happy watching him.”
Stafford scoffed at the notion of transferring regardless of what happens.
“No, no, no, no,” he said.
Barnes, however, didn’t rule it out.
“I’m not thinking that I will, but you never know circumstances and what things can happen,” he said.
Both Stafford and Barnes expressed surprise that they weren’t in the top two.
“I was a little disappointed,” Stafford said. “I think everyone who isn’t starting is, but I understood it’s what they thought was the best for the team. You have to go with what they think. I’m happy for Joe. There’s no question he deserves the job.”