Newsflash – for all the talent in Matthew Stafford’s body (and there is a ton), and all the game-winning throws Joe Cox has thrown (exactly one more than any other quarterback at Georgia) Joe Tereshinski is still the man.
Georgia fans were wooed after Stafford’s performance in Columbia. That night the college football world saw just what the young quarterback can do, and what more he will be able to do in time. Joe Cox just led Georgia to its umpteenth comeback in the Mark Richt Era, and that, too, set the Bulldog Nation’s heart a flutter.
But all “man crushes” aside; this season it's still Joe T that the Bulldog Nation will fall in love with in the end.
Tereshinski is the leader the Dawgs need to make their run into October and beyond. The leadership void on offense left after Tereshinski was carted off the field in Columbia was never more obvious than on Saturday.
During a timeout with 9:20 to go in the game, Tereshinski hobbled, one foot in a cast, mid-way onto the field, pointed, screamed (looking a lot like Bill Cower) and made his way back to the sideline. On the next play Brannon Southerland barreled into the end zone on a 25-yard fullback screen. You know the rest.
Yes, it was Cox that threw the comeback touchdowns. But it feels like Tereshinski had something to do with it.
After he was announced as the starting quarterback this August, many doubted Tereshinski, or questioned the logic in Mark Richt naming him the starter. Critics focused on Tereshinski’s lack of arm strength compared to Stafford’s, or they thought Richt should just make way for the youngsters. After all, even though Tereshinski only has one year just like D.J. Shockley, he’s no D.J. Shockley, so let move on – right? Wrong.
After Tereshinski was injured (and stayed in to play the next play no less) some felt it was time to start Stafford for the remainder of the season – just throw Tereshinski out. He’s filler anyway – the quarterback that is simply bridging the gap from one SEC champion quarterback, D.J. Shockley, to another, Stafford. He’ll probably be out after Georgia’s first loss anyway… Only Georgia has not lost yet, and Tereshinski has not gotten his chance to shine this season.
But those that are so ready to move on without Joe T are focusing on the things he can’t do – throw the ball like a magician or run like a deer – and forgetting the one thing he can – lead. And if there is one thing these Dawgs need right now on offense it's senior leadership – even if it hobbles in from the sideline.