Originally created 09/17/99

Donnan will likely watch SEC showdown

Come Saturday night, it's a good bet Georgia coach Jim Donnan will be parked in front of the television.

Donnan's Bulldogs have an open date this weekend, and he'll use the extra time to take in the Tennessee-Florida showdown (8 p.m., CBS) that has huge SEC and national championship implications.

"I haven't had a chance to see either one of them this year, so I'm looking forward to watching them," said Donnan, whose 2-0 Bulldogs will play host to Central Florida on Sept. 25. "In a way, it's good to watch them, but in another way, it's kind of demoralizing when you see how good they are and realize what you've got to do to beat them."

Georgia travels to Tennessee on Oct. 9 and plays Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 30.

"We'll be looking at them with a lot of anxious eyes here," said Donnan, whose lone victory against the Big Two came in 1997 over the Gators. "Our whole team will be watching."


The statement might be certified blasphemy in Gainesville, Fla., but Kentucky coach Hal Mumme doesn't believe The Swamp is the toughest place to take his team -- at least from a decibel standpoint.

"I think Arkansas is the loudest place to play," said Mumme, whose Wildcats, 1-1, play at Indiana on Saturday. "... They beat on the bleachers, and it's a really tight field, and they come over there ready to make a lot of noise. I think it's more the attitude than it is anything else."


Whether South Carolina will continue to utilize the option on offense is anybody's guess. On Monday, Gamecocks coach Lou Holtz said his team will junk the option, a facet it used sparingly in its first two games.

"To run the option, you've got to buy into it," said Holtz, whose team plays host to East Carolina on Saturday at 7 p.m. "I can't tell you why exactly, but we cannot run an option."

But just a day later, offensive coordinator Skip Holtz begged to differ.

"No," Skip said when asked if his father's assertion was true.

The option was ineffective in the Gamecocks' 24-9 loss at Georgia last week, losing 12 yards the two times it was used.

"But we could have been OK," Skip Holtz said. "We've got to limit what we do."


With the Gamecocks' losing streak on the verge of reaching 13, Lou Holtz said the threat of losing his team mentally doesn't scare him.

"If we lose somebody mentally, we're going to lose them, period," Holtz said. "The ones who are going to stay here are the ones that are going to be champions, the ones that are going to fight through this sucker. The ones who want to bail out, I have no problem with that ... There's no easy way to this."


With last year's loss to Georgia in mind, Gerry DiNardo isn't going to place a mountain of emphasis on this week's game against visiting Auburn. Last year, the Bulldogs entered Baton Rouge, La., and upset the No. 6 Tigers, setting the stage for a 4-7 LSU free-fall. "One of the messages and one of the lessons learned is it's a long year," DiNardo said. "You can be sixth in the country and 3-0 and have a bad year." ... Alabama coach Mike DuBose said running back Shaun Alexander is worthy of his back-to-back SEC offensive player of the week awards. "I don't know if any player in the country is doing as much for their team than Shaun is doing for Alabama," DuBose said of his Heisman Trophy candidate.


Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645 or at larrywill7@yahoo.com


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