|Wednesday, October 2
Updated: October 3, 7:39 AM ET
Sweet Georgia! Dye stirring the pot
Just in case the hype for Saturday's Georgia-Alabama game wasn't hot enough, former Auburn coach Pat Dye fanned the flames -- and then some -- during a radio interview earlier this week in Birmingham, Ala.
Rather than just stop at predicting that host Alabama (No. 22 AP) would beat Georgia (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) in their Southeastern Conference showdown, Dye launched this missive: "I don't believe Georgia's man enough to beat Alabama."
Dye repeated that statement twice when prodded by radio host Paul Finebaum, the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer reported Wednesday.
"Alabama is gonna line up and run the football and they're gonna play defense and I don't believe Georgia is man enough to beat that," Dye said.
The words hit Georgia players like a sledgehammer.
"Wow! That one hurts," senior offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb told the Ledger-Enquirer on Tuesday. "That's a bold statement. I guess we'll find out Saturday. It stings a little bit when you hear your team is not man enough. That has some bite to it."
Added defensive end David Pollack, "The former head coach for Auburn said that? That's interesting. He's not dressing out, is he?
"There's a million coaches out there in the stands who don't dress out and think they know what they're talking about," Pollack told the newspaper. "Everybody is entitled to their opinion. We'll see what he says afterward."
Dye, a former Georgia player, could not be reached for further comment by the Ledger-Enquirer on Tuesday. His remarks were the basis for the first question for Georgia coach Mark Richt at his weekly press conference Tuesday.
"That would be good stuff (for the bulletin board)," Richt said with a smile.
Dye said the Bulldogs' most respected opponents thus far, Clemson and South Carolina, "ain't close to what Alabama is, and those were both close football games."
Dye was best known for winning with the ground game at Auburn. Though freshman quarterback Brodie Croyle adds more passing potential to Alabama's attack, the Tide is still best known for the kind of power football that appeals to Dye.