No. 15 Georgia rolls in opener; QB situation still in limbo

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Hey Mikey, what's with the showboating?

In Georgia's 48-12 win Saturday over Western Kentucky -- which

was as easy as expected although it did nothing to resolve the

Bulldogs' quarterback situation -- Mikey Henderson provided some


Henderson got a little ahead of himself on a 64-yard punt return

in the first quarter and started to celebrate inside the 5, holding

the ball high in his left hand. The problem was the ball came loose

before he crossed the goal line and bounced through the end zone

for a touchback.

Just over a minute later, Henderson got another chance returning

punts and broke loose for a 67-yard touchdown that set the pace for

No. 15 Georgia's season opener.

"I thought I was in but something in the back of my mind was

saying that maybe I wasn't in, so I looked for the ball," said

Henderson, who was returning punts for the first time in his


When officials began their long review of his blunder, Henderson

didn't even bother looking at the Sanford Stadium video board.

"I couldn't look," he said. "When they said it was being

reviewed, I just put my head down."

After the play was ruled a touchback, giving Western Kentucky

possession at the 20, Henderson approached coach Mark Richt, not to

beg forgiveness but to let the coach know his hamstring felt tight.

Then Henderson asked to have another chance.

"I didn't want that to be my last play," Henderson said. "He

didn't want me to get hurt, but I wanted to go back in there and

get another shot at it."

He didn't have to wait long.

Western Kentucky's Tanner Siewert had to punt to Henderson

again, and this time Henderson held the ball in both hands and dove

into the end zone.

"I wasn't thinking touchdown, I just wanted to go back in

there," Henderson said.

Richt only reluctantly provided the second chance.

"I was getting ready to yank him, not because of his hamstring

but because of what happened," Richt said.

After the touchdown, Henderson was held out the rest of the game

"not because of his antics, but because of his hamstring," Richt


New Georgia starting quarterback Joe Tereshinski's also had an

uneven day, but unlike Henderson, it may not be so easy to brush

off the Bulldogs.

Joe T threw for 90 yards and a touchdown before highly touted

freshman Matthew Stafford led two fourth-quarter drives.

Tereshinski finished 7-of-17, including a 17-yard touchdown pass

to Mario Raley for a 14-0 lead.

Joe Cox, the top backup, entered the game in the second quarter

with Georgia leading 24-0 and completed 2-of-3 passes for 29 yards

with an interception.

Tereshinski returned in the third quarter before Stafford

excited fans in the final period, possibly earning a promotion to

second string.

Tereshinski had several passes dropped, including a possible TD

pass to tight end Martrez Milner early in the third quarter.

Tereshinski, a senior, made his first and only start last season in

a loss to Florida.

"Right now Joe T. is definitely No. 1 and we'll just compete to

see who is No. 2," Richt said.

On Stafford's first possession, Danny Ware ran 40 yards for a

touchdown and a 41-7 lead. Ware had five carries for 63 yards.

Stafford also directed a 65-yard touchdown drive, completing

three straight passes, including a 13-yard scoring pass to tight

end Coleman Watson with one minute left. Stafford finished 3-of-5

for 40 yards and one touchdown.

Richt said the decision to play Stafford was made before the


"I felt pretty comfortable," Stafford said. "It was awesome

to go out there and have the fans cheer me like that."

The quarterback situation likely will be a hot topic again as

Georgia prepares for its Southeastern Conference opener at South

Carolina next Saturday.

"The depth chart is not really set in stone right now, so

you've got to look for your opportunities," Tereshinski said.

"I'm ready for it to be set."

After Tereshinski's TD pass, Brandon Coutu kicked a 37-yard

field goal for a 17-0 lead. Kregg Lumpkin and Thomas Brown each had 2-yard scoring runs for

the Bulldogs in the second quarter for a 31-0 lead.

Western Kentucky's Justin Haddix was 12-for-27 for 126 yards

with a touchdown and an interception.

"Forty-eight points is 48 points and we are not happy with

that," Hilltoppers coach David Elson said. "We did play hard and

were concerned with their running backs. You won't find a better

trio of running backs than what Georgia has."