NOTEBOOK: Pollack's Production Not Measured By Stats


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - A look at the stats from Saturday's 30-0 Georgia win over Clemson and one might think All-American defensive tackle David Pollack had just an average game.


Four total tackles. One for loss. Not great numbers, but adequate.


But Pollack's production can't be measured by simple numbers. For instance, it's impossible to count the number of times Clemson's offensive line had to account for his presence, thereby clearing the way for a teammate to make a tackle.


Or the pressure Pollack created on Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, chasing him around the backfield whether he recorded a sack or not.


And then, of course, there was the interception.


With Clemson trailing 16-0 and facing third-and-goal at the Georgia 10-yard line, Pollack somehow found himself in front of a Whitehurst pass, picked it off, and returned it all the way to the Georgia 40-yard line.


"I'm looking at the secondary there," Whitehurst said. "I never saw him. Maybe if I had caught him out of the corner of my eye I could have run or something, but I never saw him."


Georgia head coach Mark Richt, as he did for much of last season, just marveled at Pollack.


"When it mattered most (he) made some big plays," Richt said. "The interception was huge, and that just about iced the game for us. But the play prior to that, the option, he penetrated so deep that the quarterback had to turn around and run the other direction and we stopped them for a loss."


HARD KNOCKS


Duane Coleman waited a year and fought through academic problems to get to Saturday.


But after winning the starting job for the season opener, the sophomore tailback found life on the big-time gridiron can be difficult. Coleman rushed for 33 yards on 12 carries, just a 2.4 average. Clemson gained just 35 yards net rushing on the afternoon.


"We worked on our running game all spring and I had hoped it was going to be a big part of the game today," he said. "Unfortunately it wasn't. I don't know what I can say about it."


He also was involved in the game's most controversial play, a halfback option pass on fourth-and-two from the Georgia four-yard line with Clemson trailing 13-0 in the second quarter.


The pass, intended for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, was defended by defensive lineman Robert Geathers. Geathers appeared to interfere with Whitehurst in the end zone, though no flag was thrown.


But had Coleman not underthrown the pass, Geathers never could have recovered in time to make a play.


"I saw Charlie open and just tried to lob it up and give a guy who is 6-foot-5 a chance to go get it," Coleman said. "I believe it was pass interference, but we don't get everything to go our way."


OWNING CLEMSON


Georgia's win improves its all-time record vs. the Tigers to 41-17-4, including 7-2 in season openers. Georgia has won the last five meetings between the teams.


It also was the Bulldogs' first shutout of Clemson since a 12-0 win in Athens in 1978. The last time Georgia blanked Clemson in Death Valley was 1976 (41-0).


SHORT STUFF


- Airese Currie established a new career high in receptions Saturday with seven, six of which came in the first half. His 56 yards was short of the 90 he turned in on two catches vs. North Carolina a year ago;


- Leroy Hill led Clemson in tackles with 13, the second time in his career he's turned the trick. He had 11 tackles vs. Duke in 2001;


- Saturday was the first time Clemson has been shutout in the Tommy Bowden era, the first shutout for any Clemson team since Oct. 17, 1998 when Florida State defeated Clemson 48-0 in Tallahassee. It was the first time Clemson has been shut out at home since Sept. 12, 1998 when Virginia Tech defeated Clemson in the second game of the season, 37-0;


- Saturday's attendance of 83,000 was the largest for a home opener in Clemson history. The previous record was 81,482 when Clemson opened the 2001 season against Central Florida.

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