That’s one reason he’s hesitant to say what might happen with Trojans senior quarterback Omar Haugabook. For his part, Georgia coach Mark Richt is very eager to hear what Blakeney, or anybody, has to say on the subject.
Haugabook “is very much like (Florida quarterback Tim) Tebow in how much he means to their offense. He’s the guy who makes it all happen for them,” Richt said. “I wish I knew better what his status was.”
Blakeney declared his quarterback doubtful Monday but added that status could change on a daily basis.
“I’m playing,” said Haugabook, who has thrown for 2,486 yards, rushed for 405 more and is ninth in the country in total offense with 310.8 yards per game.
It may not be that simple, though. The Trojans are 5-0 in their conference and close the season with two conference games. Blakeney will consider the future schedule before making a decision on his quarterback, he said.
“It won’t be based on just if he wants to play because there is no question he wants to play,” Blakeney said. “We can’t make a stupid decision. Certainly, it’s in the front of my mind in having him well by the team we play (conference games).”
If Haugabook, the 2006 Sun Belt player of the year, doesn’t play, Troy will rotate freshmen Tanner Jones and Jamie Hampton, Blakeney said. Regardless of who plays quarterback, the Trojans (6-2) will come into Sanford Stadium a confident bunch. The No. 10 Bulldogs (6-2) host Troy at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“If we beat them, I wouldn’t see it as an upset,” said Troy linebacker Boris Lee, a graduate of Clinch County High School. “I’d see it as two great teams playing and one team falls. We’re not going in thinking about playing close.”
The Trojans only two losses this year have come against SEC teams – a 46-26 defeat at Arkansas in the season opener and a 59-31 loss at Florida the next week. Troy has won six straight games since then, including a 41-23 victory of Oklahoma State.
The SEC “got us twice already,” said Lee, who leads Troy with 51 tackles. “We’re trying not to strike out.”
The Trojans are 21st in the country with 448.3 yards per game.
“They are a scoring machine,” Richt said. “Troy is a game that you just kind of wish wasn’t on your schedule to be honest with you. They have some SEC-caliber athletes on their team.”
The timing of the game is not great for Georgia, one week after an emotional win over Florida and one week before a game against Auburn.
“I think it’s difficult for them,” Blakeney said. “I don’t think it’ll be like playing a I-AA team, which Auburn is doing this week. I think they’ll take us seriously, but it’ll be tougher for them sandwiched between Florida and Auburn.”
Auburn plays Tennessee Tech this week.
“I think it’ll be tough for them to get up,” Blakeney said, “but I expect Mark Richt to do everything he can to get them excited about playing.”