Be it Aaron Murray, Logan Gray, or Hutson Mason under center this September against Louisiana-Lafayette, whoever the Georgia quarterback is, they will be making their first collegiate start. An out of conference, non-BCS opponent should provide the new starter with a chance to play without the pressures of an SEC conference game. In recent years, some Georgia quarterback have been lucky to start with an easier opponent while others have not. Here is a look at each starting debut for the last 5 players to start games for the Red and Black.
David Greene - September 1, 2001 vs. Arkansas State
After winning the starting job in summer, Greene was rewarded with a weak Arkansas State defense in his first game at starter. The Bulldogs rolled that afternoon, as Greene completed 72% of his passes. He threw for two touchdowns, one to Terrence Edwards and the other to Damien Gary.
Completion Percentage: 72%
DJ Shockley - September 3, 2005 vs. Boise State
After seeing occasional playing time during his first three seasons, Shockley finally started his first game to open the 2005 season against Boise State. Shockley would have the greatest starting debut in Georgia history, as the Bulldogs lit up the upstart Broncos. He tied a school record with five touchdown passes and added 85 yards on the ground, as the Dawgs romped to a 48-13 victory.
Pass Attempts: 24
Completion Percentage: 67%
Rushing Attempts: 5
Rushing Yards: 85
Average per Carry: 17
Joe Tereshinski - October 29, 2005 at Florida (in Jacksonville)
Joe Tereshinski was forced into the starting role against the Gators in Jacksonville following the injury to DJ Shockley against Arkansas. The Bulldogs were undefeated and it was a tough situation for Joe T to be in. Despite a conservative gameplan, Tereshinski put forth a valiant effort throwing, running, and catching the ball. This included a highlight reel touchdown catch on a halfback pass from Thomas Brown. The Dawgs came up short in the end and lost to the Gators, 14-10.
Pass Attempts: 21
Rushing Attempts: 6
Rushing Yards: 37
Yards per Carry: 6.2
Receiving: 1 catch for 9 yards and a touchdown
Matthew Stafford - September 16, 2006 vs. UAB
Stafford's first start came after he had taken over for the injured Joe Tereshinski the week before at South Carolina. Coach Richt used a conservative gameplan with the freshman at quarterback, and Georgia won easily 34-0. Stafford did not throw for a touchdown, however he did score on a quarterback keeper from 4 yards out.
Pass Attempts: 17
Completion Percentage: 59%
Rushing Touchdowns: 1
Joe Cox - September 30, 2006 at Ole Miss
Joe Cox earned the start against the Rebels after leading Georgia to 4th quarter comeback victory over Colorado the week before. The Bulldogs played sluggish throughout the game and Cox was benched in favor of Matt Stafford. The Dawgs would ultimately win 14-9 and Cox would not start another game until the 2009 season opener at Oklahoma State.
Pass Attempts: 10
Completion Percentage: 40%
With two great running backs and an experienced O-line, I expect Georgia will go conservative with Murray (or Gray or Mason) in the opener this fall. I expect this debut to be a little more like Stafford's debut in '06 than DJ Shockley's or David Greene's.