1. Archive


RECORD: 6-1, 4-1 SEC.

COACH: Jim Donnan (11-7, second season).

BALANCE: Georgia is perhaps the most balanced offensive team Florida has faced this season, mixing equal parts run and pass. Of the Bulldogs' 424 yards of total offense per game, 186 come from running, 238 from passing. Though injury-plagued throughout his career _ he played only five snaps in Georgia's first three games _ senior TB Robert Edwards is regarded as one of the top backs in the country. Senior QB Mike Bobo is the league's most efficient passer, with a 159.9 rating. Versatile WR Hines Ward is one of only two players in the SEC with statistics in all four all-purpose categories: rushing (146 yards), receiving (375 yards), punt returns (55 yards) and kickoff returns (40 yards).

TURNOVER TURNAROUND: The Bulldogs ranked last in the SEC in turnover ratio last season with the second-fewest takeaways (21) and second-most giveaways (29). Opponents turned that into 74 points. Georgia has turned the ball over only five times through seven games, having gone 14 quarters and 215 plays without a miscue. The Bulldogs' plus-1.43 turnover ratio is best in the league and tied for fourth nationally.

BY THE RULES: Georgia also is the least penalized team in the SEC, averaging 25.43 yards. The Dawgs were penalty-free for the first time since 1978 in their 42-3 win over Northeast Louisiana.

STINGY, TOO: Georgia allows an average of 12.71 points, lowest in the SEC. The Bulldogs have held six of their seven opponents to fewer than seven first-half points, the exception coming in a 38-13 loss at Tennessee.



RECORD: 3-4, 1-4 ACC.

COACH: Mike O'Cain (25-28, fifth season).

PASSING FANCY: Although he has started just 14 games, sophomore quarterback Jamie Barnette has 3,021 yards, eighth on the school's all-time passing list. He just passed Roman Gabriel and Bruce Shaw.

REMEMBER ME?: Senior receiver Alvis Whitted should have left an impression on FSU last year. He returned four kickoffs for a school-record 174 yards, including a 96-yard TD. It was the first kickoff returned against FSU since 1991.

LIMPING TO TOWN: Not only has the Wolfpack lost three straight, it is riddled by injuries in the offensive line and defensive secondary _ ominous signs given FSU's vaunted pass rush and speedy receivers. Sophomore right tackle Todd Boyle is out with a dislocated kneecap, forcing junior Ian Rafferty to move from left to right tackle and freshman Jarvis Borum into a starting role on the left. In the secondary, senior free safety Damon Wyche is out after tearing an ACL against North Carolina, sophomore strong safety Eric Riddick is a question mark after arthroscopic knee surgery last week, junior cornerback Hassan Shamsid-Deen is nursing a sore hamstring and junior strong safety Rodney Redd has a sore elbow.

UNHERALDED BUT UNRELENTING: Senior outside linebacker Morocco Brown is fifth in the ACC in tackles, averaging 12.0, and is on pace to become the first Wolfpack player to lead the team in tackles three straight years.

HE SAID IT: "I wish we were going down there with the same team we went to Syracuse with, but that's not the way it will be. We have to go down with what we have and give it our best shot." _ O'Cain, referring to a 32-31 victory over the Orangemen in the season opener.



RECORD: 1-7.

COACH: Joe Hollis (1-7, first season).

GROWING PAINS: Arkansas State, on a six-game losing streak, is finding out how difficult life can be in Division I-A. The Indians are averaging 18.5 points and giving up 39. Their only win was against Central Arkansas 36-35. Losses include Georgia (38-7) and Virginia Tech (50-0).

LEMON JUICE FOR THE OFFENSE: Hollis, a former offensive assistant at Ohio State and Georgia, is retooling the offense behind freshman QB Cleo Lemon. Lemon, who started the past four games, has shown flashes of stardom. In his first start, against Southwestern Louisiana, he threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns. Lemon has 781 yards passing but has been intercepted five times.

SMOKE SIGNALS: Arkansas State lost last week to New Mexico State 34-20. Freshman LB Segun Ajigbeda is coming off a solid outing, with 10 solo tackles and a fumble return for a touchdown. ASU has had 25 head coaches in 83 years. The third quarter has been disappointing for the Indians _ they've been outscored 79-9. Protection has been inconsistent, as ASU QBs have been sacked 30 times.



RECORD: 1-6 (I-AA independent).

COACH: David Dowd (13-57, seventh season).

LAST WEEK: Lost 48-14 to I-AA Liberty.

SLOW PROGRESS: Charleston Southern started football in 1991 at the Division III level, then was forced to move to I-AA when the NCAA ruled schools had to play at the same level in all sports. The Buccaneers' other programs are Division I.

YOUNG-UNS: The Bucs have just six seniors on their 73-player roster, three of whom are starters. The secondary _ with two freshmen starters, a sophomore and a junior _ is the team's youngest unit.

HURTING: The only good news about the Bucs' quarterback situation, Dowd said, is that they still have three on the roster. Starter Andy Tarr has a sore hip and missed the Liberty game. He practiced this week, but backup Ruben Potts has been out with bruised ribs. Third-stringer Matt Polimeni is recovering from a shoulder separation. "We're like a MASH unit right now," Dowd said. Tarr, who has completed 46 percent of his passes for 823 yards and three touchdowns, is expected to start.

HURTING II: The injury bug has hit the entire team, especially on both lines of scrimmage. The season looked promising early but the Bucs have lost three straight, all by 25 points or more.

HEARTBREAKER: In the second game, before Charleston Southern's team was decimated by injuries, the Bucs were leading current I-AA No. 23 South Carolina State 12-6 with a little over a minute left. South Carolina State's quarterback fumbled and Bucs DB Greg Pinckney picked it up. He started to run, got hit and lost the ball. The Bulldogs recovered, scored and won 13-12. "People asked me, "Coach, why didn't you tell him to fall on the ball?' " Dowd said. "If I'd have had my rifle at the time, he would have fallen on the ball."