Spurrier might go young vs. Georgia

COLUMBIA --- Steve Spurrier's newest strategy for No. 2 Georgia? Two quarterbacks and a bunch of young receivers.

South Carolina's coach ended much of the mystery as to which of the quarterbacks would start against the Bulldogs (2-0). He said he would probably play both Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley.

Spurrier added he would call on several of the Gamecocks' untested wideouts in the increasingly likely event Kenny McKinley, the record-setting receiver and the offense's best player, would miss the game because of a right hamstring pull.

"I would say he's doubtful," Spurrier said. "When you pull a hamstring like he did, it's usually a two-to-three week deal. So I don't know."

Spurrier also apparently couldn't decide on a quarterback. Then again, he hasn't had a lot to go on this season.

Beecher, a junior, was named the starter in the spring and opened against North Carolina State. It was a disappointing debut as Beecher threw four interceptions before injuries forced him to the sidelines.

Smelley came on to lead South Carolina to three scoring drives in the 34-0 victory.

Smelley started the next week against Vanderbilt as the Gamecocks looked to wipe away memories of last season's loss to the Commodores. Instead, Smelley threw two interceptions and South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) struggled to move the ball when it mattered most in Vandy's 24-17 win.

McKinley caught that game's first scoring pass. Soon, he was on the sidelines in street clothes with ice taped to his right thigh.

McKinley, who grew up in Mableton, Ga., says he wants to play since it's the senior's last game with Georgia. He vowed to do all treatments and rehab exercises to get ready for Saturday's game.

Without McKinley, Spurrier says sophomores Joe Hills and Jason Barnes, and freshman C.C. Whitlock would get more involved.

Hills and Barnes were part of Spurrier's 2007 recruiting class, a group possessing such speed and potential, some recruiting experts compared them to the top classes Spurrier brought in at Florida.

So far, only fellow sophomore Dion LeCorn has been a regular contributor.

Spurrier acknowledged frustration because his receivers hadn't shown more in their second seasons. But he and his staff go by what they see each practice.

"If they can get open and catch the ball, they'll be starters here," Spurrier said. "But when they don't get open and don't catch very many balls in practice, it's just hard to put them out there."

If McKinley doesn't play, 6-foot-5 tight end Jared Cook looks to be South Carolina's main option.

SATURDAY'S OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST

- N.C. State at Clemson, Noon (CBS-Ch. 12)

- Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. (ABC-Ch. 6)

QUARTERBACK COMPARISON

Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley both are likely to see time at quarterback against Georgia. A look at how they compare and how they've fared in the first two games for South Carolina (1-1):

TOMMY BEECHER

HEIGHT/WEIGHT :6-2/227

CLASS :Junior

GAMES :1

COMP.-ATT.-INT. :12-22-4

PASSING YARDS :106

TOUCHDOWNS :0

CHRIS SMELLEY

HEIGHT/WEIGHT :6-2/211

CLASS :Sophomore

GAMES :2

COMP.-ATT.-INT. :28-44-2

PASSING YARDS :325

TOUCHDOWNS :4

Source: secsports.com

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