Originally created 09/26/00

South Carolina and Georgia notebook



A look at the No. 23 South Carolina Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0 SEC) four days before they play at Alabama (1-3, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday at 3 p.m. (pay-per-view):

Latest news:

South Carolina began preparation for its first road trip of the season. Receiver Jermale Kelly was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his nine-reception, 123-yard performance in last week's 23-19 win over Mississippi State. Kelly is the third Gamecock this season to have been bestowed with a weekly honor from the SEC.

Injuries:

LB Kenneth Harney (fibula) is out for three to four weeks. QB Phil Petty (ankle, shoulder) is questionable. FS Antione Nesmith (shoulder), CB Andre Goodman (concussion) and OT Melvin Paige (knee) are probable.

Key stat:

The Gamecocks have outscored their four opponents by a combined 51-10 in the third and fourth quarters.

Analysis:

If Petty is unable to play Saturday, replacing him will be done by committee. Coach Lou Holtz said freshman Dondrial Pinkins, who is recovered from a knee injury, will get a chance to prove himself in practice this week. Holtz said Erik Kimrey, who delivered the go-ahead touchdown pass in Petty's stead against Mississippi State, will get a shot, as will receiver/quarterback Carlos Spikes.

Quote:

"If there is any doubt, we will not play him. We will hold him out. We can't afford to lose him for the entire season." -- Holtz, on Petty.

Georgia

A look at the No. 25 Georgia Bulldogs (2-1, 0-1 SEC) four days before they play at Arkansas (3-0, 1-0) on Saturday (12:30 p.m., CBS):

Latest news:

The Bulldogs begin a two-game stretch that will define their season. After the trip to Fayetteville, Ark., Georgia returns home the following week to play Tennessee. Wins in both games will put the Bulldogs back on track toward their goal of an SEC Championship; a loss could be disastrous.

Injuries:

RB Jasper Sanks (ankle) and RB Musa Smith (rotator cuff) are expected to return Saturday.

Key stat:

Arkansas is 16-0 at home in two years under coach Houston Nutt.

Analysis: The Bulldogs had a disturbing number of dropped passes in last week's 37-0 win over New Mexico State. The same problem plagued Georgia for most of 1999, and it's time the young receivers get on track before it again becomes the offense's glaring weakness.

Quote:

"For us to have any chance of winning the SEC East, we're going to have to find a way to win the rest of our games in the league." -- Donnan.

-- Larry Williams