UGA fans still puzzled by Dogs

Athens – The mood is brighter for Georgia fans after the win over South Carolina, but many here still have questions and concerns about this year's football team.

The Bulldogs’ 41-37 victory Saturday night left them both happy and confused. They are more optimistic than after the season-opening loss to Oklahoma State, but they don’t know what to expect from Georgia from week-to-week.

Here is a sampling of their thoughts after two weeks of the season:

What do you think about the team’s start?

• “This is exactly what I expected. I want Georgia to do well, but I knew it would be an interesting year.” -- Kip Dominy, a senior financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network in Athens

• “I’m definitely more optimistic (than after the loss to Oklahoma State). Other than that opening drive against Oklahoma State, we did nothing offensively the rest of the game. The special teams looked good (Saturday) and the offense was better. Whenever South Carolina did anything, we’d turn around and answer. I feel a little bit better about (the season), but the rest of the schedule leaves me worried.” – Peyton Marsh, senior, public relations

• “I had a real personal problem that when we lose one game on the road, against what was a top 10 team, and we had three turnovers and didn’t hold onto the football, that all these people start thinking the sky’s falling. They say, ‘We need to get rid of the offensive coordinator. We need to get rid of the defensive coordinator. We need to fire Mark Richt and get rid of Joe Cox. We’re awful.’ I love Mark Richt. We have one of the top 10 programs in the country. We’re never going to be Southern Cal. We’re just not. But I’d rather be a top 10 program that is led by a good man who makes a difference in young men’s lives.” – Sean Seay, lead pastor, Athens Church

• “It’s tough starting off with a team like Oklahoma State. I don’t think the loss put a damper on things. Overall, I don’t think I was too disappointed that we lost. I didn’t expect us to lose, but I didn’t think it was going to be easy.” – David Tudor, senior, biology

What do you think about the turnovers and penalties that continue to plague Georgia?

• “I think we were a lot tighter (against South Carolina). There were mistakes, but we did what we needed to do to get it done. Despite the points and yards, I thought the defense looked good. We definitely have a lot of work to do. The crowd really helped out a lot. Being at home, I think was a comfort for the team.” – Tudor

• “We’re still having the same trouble that we’ve had the last couple of years. Penalties. Turnovers. Inconsistencies. It’s a young team. We’ll be all right.” – Dominy

Are you optimistic about the season?

• “I don’t really have a handle on this team. There are playing a lot of young people. They’re pretty much going to bite the bullet and live with the youth. They’re going to make a lot of youthful mistakes. I’m more encouraged that we were actually scoring points and moving the ball (against South Carolina). There was a big improvement from the first week to the second week. Everything seemed smoother and calmer. They need to keep that up.” -- Matt Baker, pediatrician/internist, Athens

• “Coming in, I didn’t think we’d be great. That schedule, it’s ridiculous. I thought if things go really well, maybe 8-4. That would be a really good season, but I don’t see a 10-win season for us, even with a bowl game.” -- Seay

• “Nothing would surprise me, to be honest. They still might go 5-7 or 7-5, 9-3 or 8-4. They could be any of those. I’m always hoping for better.” -- Dominy

• “This could be a real interesting season. The schedule is going to get tougher as we go. It’s hard to tell what this team is going to do. There are a lot of things that need to be accomplished. There are a lot of big games. LSU is huge. Florida will be as tough as always. There’s Tennessee. I don’t think I can judge this team this early on.” -- Tudor

What do you think the immediate future holds for Georgia?

• “I can handle three 7-5 years in a row, but some people act as if the world’s falling apart. There are 119 schools that lose the national title every year. Only one wins it. If we win the SEC every six years, we ought to be thrilled to death. If we go to the Georgia Dome every three or four years, we ought to be jumping up and down. That’s how competitive it is right now.” -- Seay