'Dogs not saying much, but they remember

Updated: October 8, 2003, 1:43 PM ET
Scripps Howard News Service

ATHENS, Ga. -- Most of Georgia's players tiptoed around the subject of Casey Clausen's comments following the Bulldogs' win over Tennessee last year.

Clausen, the Volunteers' senior quarterback, sat out that game due to a collarbone injury and replacements C.J. Leak and James Banks were overwhelmed in an 18-13 loss.

"I could have played on one arm and we could have definitely beaten Georgia, but [the doctors] didn't want to risk it," Clausen said afterward. "If I had played that game we definitely would have won by at least two touchdowns."

The 4-1 Bulldogs (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) play the 4-1 Vols (No. 14, No. 13) Saturday in Knoxville. Both are tied for the Southeastern Conference lead at 2-1.

While most players steered away from the subject, offensive lineman Josh Brock acknowledged that a large picture of Clausen and his comment are the only things on the team's bulletin board this week.

The Bulldogs' board, which is a new addition in their renovated locker room, is usually covered with dozens of articles and information sheets on opposing teams.

"It's the only thing up there," Brock said.

Outside the locker room, though, Georgia's players are brushing off the comments.

"Casey Clausen was just being Casey Clausen," wide receiver Fred Gibson said. "I think the world of Casey Clausen. He's a great quarterback. Everybody has got their own opinion."

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he doesn't expect his defense to be inspired by the quote.

"I don't know if it would make a whole lot of difference," he said. "If you've seen our defense, they play pretty hard regardless."

This story appeared in the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail.