Originally created 09/19/00

South Carolina and Georgia notebook



South Carolina

A look at the Gamecocks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) four days before they play host to Mississippi State (12:30 p.m., CBS):

Latest news:

Coach Lou Holtz said Carlos Spikes, a receiver who has played quarterback the past two games, is the team's No. 2 quarterback behind starter Phil Petty. Spikes hasn't completed a pass in four attempts, but he has rushed 10 times for 24 yards.

Injuries:

LT Shane Hall (back strain) will miss practice today but is probable for Saturday. SE Ryan Brewer (bruised shoulder), TE Thomas Hill (bruised shoulder) and FS Antione Nesmith (bruised shoulder) will be hampered this week but should play in the game. QB Dondrial Pinkins (sprained knee) is expected to practice this week.

Key stats:

The Gamecocks are first nationally in scoring defense (5.3 points per game), third in total defense (197 yards per game), first in pass efficiency defense (68.4) and seventh in passing defense (111 yards per game).

Analysis:

South Carolina likely will face its toughest test to date against the Bulldogs. Their defense is big and fast, more than capable of testing an offense that has sputtered at times this season.

Quote:

"I really was optimistic about this game in the early summer. I thought, `Boy, I'm going to look forward to playing that game,' because I thought most of their defense and many of their skill people would be in Sydney, Australia, running in the Olympics." -- Holtz, on the speed of Mississippi State's defense.

Georgia

A look at the Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 SEC) four days before they play host to New Mexico State (1 p.m., pay-per-view):

Latest news:

Georgia looks to regroup after its shocking 21-10 loss at South Carolina on Sept. 9. The Bulldogs dropped from No. 9 to 23 in the Top 25 following the loss, then to No. 24 after an open date last week.

Injuries:

Running back Musa Smith (rotator cuff) missed some practice during the off week. Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud (fractured wrist) will play with a cast.

Key stat:

The Bulldogs are eighth nationally in pass-efficiency defense.

Analysis:

Following their worst loss in years, the Bulldogs face perhaps the most critical stretch of the Jim Donnan era. After this week's game, they travel to Arkansas before playing host to Tennessee. This week's game is critical to repair the confidence of quarterback Quincy Carter, who tossed five interceptions against the Gamecocks.

Quote:

"He's the best quarterback we've got. He had some unfortunate plays that happened to him." -- Donnan, when asked whether he has considered changing quarterbacks.

-- Larry Williams