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ATHENS, Ga. - In last Saturday's 31-24 win over Auburn, Georgia quarterback Joe Cox completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Israel Troupe and a 47-yard pass to Tavarres King and had a potential 32-yard scoring strike to King go off his fingertips.

Not that Cox needed to prove his touch on deep balls.

"He throws a great deep ball," coach Mark Richt said. "He understands that it's important to keep it in play, keep it outside, and if nothing else, keep it short rather than long because the receiver almost always has an advantage on a short ball that's outside. We've had a lot of balls either hit the hands of our receivers or where they've always had a chance to catch a deep ball."

As for Cox's short passing game? Well, there are still two regular-season opportunities and a bowl left for improvement.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound senior threw 12 short-range passes against the Tigers, completing six for 42 yards, and quickly admits he prefers going deep.

"A lot of times on shorter routes you're dealing with people in your face," Cox said. "You've got to have a lot quicker feet. It's placement, and people are breaking in and out. On a deep ball, you kind of just get to take a good drop, and you don't have to worry about anybody knocking it down. It's something you've been doing as long as you've been playing quarterback.

"I do enjoy throwing the deep ball, and I always have. It's something I got used to high school with Mohamed Massaquoi."

Cox has gone two consecutive games without an interception entering Saturday night's home finale against Kentucky. He threw 12 in the first eight games, and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo believes most of them were the result of being too careful or too nervous.

"With the short routes you've got to be confident," Bobo said. "You've got to go through your progressions and be confident with your feet, and you've got to rip it in there. Not wanting to make a mistake sometimes leads to a mistake, and I think that's happened a little bit this season."

It's no secret Cox's 6-1 listing is somewhat generous, and Bobo believes taller quarterbacks can have an advantage in the short game. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who is 6-7, leads the SEC in passing efficiency, having thrown for 2,882 yards with 23 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Cox is sixth in the league, having thrown for 2,059 yards and 18 touchdowns, with 10 of his scores coming from beyond 20 yards.

"There are just some guys who can find the window and move in the pocket," Bobo said. "One of the concerns going into this year was working on our pocket movement and finding the window and not becoming a stationary target. We've been a little up and down in finding that window and have had some deflected balls.

"Where we're putting a big emphasis this week is trusting what you see and be confident and rip the ball."

Odds and ends

Kentucky do-it-all sophomore Randall Cobb (shoulder) took some reps during Wednesday's practice but couldn't finish and is now questionable according to coach Rich Brooks. ... Georgia holds a 49-11-2 series edge against Kentucky and hasn't lost to the Wildcats in Athens since 1977.

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