No. 6 UGA quarterback Joe Cox: Can't maximize his team's penetration

Joe Cox hasn't been able to hit his mark.

Sparks flew when the UGA Athletic Association and Joe Cox first met. She was an SEC darling and he was a red-hot high school football star. A top-10 All-American quarterback at Independence High School in Charlotte, Cox's substantial package included a 31-0 record as starting QB, a North Carolina state record of 66 touchdown passes, and a 2005 Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd" nod.

The Dawgs redshirted Cox for the 2005 season, the year quarterback D.J. Shockley emerged from starter David Greene's shadow – after a three-year wait. Cox's Bulldog career would follow a similar trajectory, with Cox waiting behind Matthew Stafford for three years.

In anticipation of Cox's 2009 season start, coach Mark Richt lauded the patient quarterback's accuracy and leadership skills in an interview with Anderson, S.C.'s Independent-Mail this summer.

But eight games into the season, Cox had already logged 12 interceptions (three alone in Halloween's Georgia-Florida death march) – tied for third-most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. His showing in Jacksonville even made a Nov. 7 start against Tennessee Tech questionable. (And the Tennessee Tech game comes with a $475,000 UGA payout.)

"The success of this team is not all on my shoulders," Cox said in the same Independent-Mail article. "There are 10 other guys that get the job done as well. I won't carry the team."

Cox's performance – or lack thereof – has fans giving him the shaft. "I don't agree with CMR [coach Mark Richt], but he gets paid a lot of money to make those decisions, for right now. Seems to me he's giving up by sticking with Cox, we need a new approach to the game," commenter "gfloyd" said on OnlineAthens.com in response to Cox's Jacksonville showing.

And "gaclubdawg" remarked just a few posts below: "Cox may be a nice person, but nice guys finish last !!!"

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