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Post The star of the team is…the stars

Wednesday September 16, 2009

“The star of the team is the team” might’ve been a useful approach to the offseason for Mark Richt, but reality is that every top-level team, Georgia included, has its standouts who come through and shine during the season. Stafford and Moreno might be gone, but the 2009 Dawgs are starting to show that they aren’t bereft of exciting playmakers.

The young talent on the team has definitely been given the chance to shine, and the emergence of the Brandon and Branden show on Saturday was a nice glimpse into the future. As Tim Tucker wrote, “Stars were born.”

“Around campus, people [are] asking for autographs and everything,” Smith said Tuesday. “It has been kind of weird.”

The fresh faces aren’t the only star power on the team. The South Carolina game was full of big plays and huge swings in the momentum, but Rennie Curran’s deflection on South Carolina’s final pass sealed the win. Plays don’t come much bigger, and Curran’s reaction and tip should rank right up there with Witherspoon versus LSU or even Hoage against Vanderbilt.

Georgia’s red zone defense made the difference in the game. Though they surrendered tons of yardage, the ability to hold South Carolina to field goals after the first quarter helped the Dawgs withstand several mistakes. Elsewhere on the field Georgia’s linebackers were often used to blitz to compensate for the lack of pass rush and left quite a bit of the middle of the field open. South Carolina exploited that opening all night. But after getting burned on a blitz for South Carolina’s second touchdown, the Bulldog defense began dropping its linebackers in the red zone, and the Gamecocks didn’t find the endzone again. Curran’s game-saving play saw the Dawgs rush only four and drop the linebackers into coverage, and Georgia’s defensive star was in position to make the play.

And speaking of stars, anyone who can levitate like this is in a galaxy occupied by few others…

AJ Green TD
Photo: Kelly Lambert/ABH

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